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Heat source for Russian tortoise?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by TowTruck67, Jun 5, 2019.

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  1. TowTruck67

    TowTruck67 New Member

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    Apart from the UV lights, do my russians need any other heat source?
  2. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Please go to the Russian tortoise specific species page and you will find a care sheet
  3. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  4. TowTruck67

    TowTruck67 New Member

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  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    There are four elements to heating and lighting:
    1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You may need a higher or lower wattage depending on your application. Around 36-37 C directly under the bulb. Use a flat basking rock.
    2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species like sulcatas, stars or leopards. This might not be needed for a temperate species, like a Russian, if the room temp is adequate. 21-22 C is warm enough for a Russian during the day and as low as 13-14 C is fine for an overnight low as long as it warms up the next day.
    3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.
    4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height.
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