HELP WITH UVB SETUP PLEASE - HERMANNS TORT

Gdrami

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Hey everyone, I’m at the point where I’m super frustrated with myself for not having the correct uvb lighting for my tort, he’s starting to form a tiny bit of pyramiding and I’m extremely upset with myself so if someone can please help me with his uvb.

I’ve recently got him a dome heat and uvb light however I came to the realization that compact uvb lights (mine is shaped like a U) are very bad for torts, blinding and causes eye irritation. It’s only been a week since he had that setup and I want to get rid of it as soon as I can.

Since I read that I immediately bought a tube light and tube fixture, however is it freaking huge and I’m so confused like it literally takes up the entire length of his tortoise table and in my mind I’m thinking isn’t this more harmful for him since it’s a huge light???? I found another long light fixture as well that I HAVENT bought but I’m not sure if that’ll be any better. The light fixtures I already bought are in the picture that has them listed as delivered.

The next thing I read was that the compact uvb lights Are actually not harmful if they are horizontal and I found this light fixture but I’m not sure if it’ll work well or give him enough uvb.

If anyone can help me figure this out I would greatly appreciate it, my tort deserves the world and I don’t mind returning any of this stuff if someone can link me the exact correct stuff to buy instead (I’m in the US). Also please provide pictures of correct setups and correct products to use please, I would also greatly appreciate that. Thank you in advanced! I will provide pictures of what I bought and of the horizontal compact setup thing I found as well. ALSO please let me know how far away height wise his lights should be, I’ve seen different answers all over and I’m very confused on which one it is.
 

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TaylorTortoise

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What you simply need is a basking light which you can buy from anywhere basking of 70-75 watt depending on how high the light is. You want to get the temps no higher than 99% for babies. You should get a temp gauge place your temp gauge directly under basking to see how hot it gets for your tort as if it were his/ her shell.
You can get a uvb 10 tube or I personally use a bulb and I have a double dome that I use and place on top of a reptile cage screen. That fits perfectly over my cages.
 

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OkAdiza

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Hello,
Is your Hermann's a hatchling? What type of enclosure do you have it in? You probably have already read this, sorry for the repetition if you have, but it is better for hatchlings to be kept in a closed chamber enclosure to help prevent the pyramiding. If there isn't enough humidity, that could be the cause of some. The strip UVB is probably a better choice as well. It doesn't have to run the entire day, you can set it on a timer to run for an hour or so. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have the strip span the enclosure, as long as you have a hide and other plants for him to go under. I am not an expert, so hopefully some others can help too. I do not have hatchling Hermann's, so they are in open top enclosures.
 

TaylorTortoise

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Hello,
Is your Hermann's a hatchling? What type of enclosure do you have it in? You probably have already read this, sorry for the repetition if you have, but it is better for hatchlings to be kept in a closed chamber enclosure to help prevent the pyramiding. If there isn't enough humidity, that could be the cause of some. The strip UVB is probably a better choice as well. It doesn't have to run the entire day, you can set it on a timer to run for an hour or so. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have the strip span the enclosure, as long as you have a hide and other plants for him to go under. I am not an expert, so hopefully some others can help too. I do not have hatchling Hermann's, so they are in open top enclosures.
I keep my hatchlings enclosure with plexi glass and humidity is still high enough to prevent pyramiding in fact, there is none. My baby is growing smooth and beautiful. I also poor water in substrate to help with humidity whenever levels go down. Basking area is always humid
 

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OkAdiza

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@TaylorTortoise Oh no, my post was in response to the original poster, not to yours. Wasn’t sure of how old and how it was being kept.
 
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dd33

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The new Zilla T8 fixture that you bought should be what you need. It should have included a 10.0 bulb. The consensus on this forum is to avoid the the compact fluorescent bulbs.
 

Lyn W

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This is the caresheet you need which should explain about heat, light and UVB and the temps you need.

@Tom can explain it much better than me and will correct me if I'm wrong but as I understand it
- coiled and cfl type lamps will damage tort eyes.
- basking lamps alone do not provide the UVB your tort needs to process and absorb the calcium and other nutrients for bone health etc. So you need a UVB source or be able to give some outside time with natural sun.
- spot bulbs and mvb bulbs are too intense and will dry and damage tort shells

Many of us use T5 or T8 HO tubes for UVB, with a sperate flood basking bulb and a CHE run through a thermostat for night heat and extra heat when needed.
The tubes come in different lengths.
 

Gdrami

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Hello,
Is your Hermann's a hatchling? What type of enclosure do you have it in? You probably have already read this, sorry for the repetition if you have, but it is better for hatchlings to be kept in a closed chamber enclosure to help prevent the pyramiding. If there isn't enough humidity, that could be the cause of some. The strip UVB is probably a better choice as well. It doesn't have to run the entire day, you can set it on a timer to run for an hour or so. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have the strip span the enclosure, as long as you have a hide and other plants for him to go under. I am not an expert, so hopefully some others can help too. I do not have hatchling Hermann's, so they are in open top enclosures.
Hi, my tort is a little over a year now, so he’s still pretty small, I do spray his enclosure with water once a day, I have him in a wooden tort table, it’s completely open from the top and I have a plastic liner at the bottom, I’m not sure if that helps with humidity. I will be sure to spray his home down more and I’ll setup his light strip as soon as possible! Thank you for your input!!!
 

Gdrami

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The new Zilla T8 fixture that you bought should be what you need. It should have included a 10.0 bulb. The consensus on this forum is to avoid the the compact fluorescent bulbs.
Thank you, I will set it up then!! I’ll update once it’s up!
 

Lyn W

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Hi, my tort is a little over a year now, so he’s still pretty small, I do spray his enclosure with water once a day, I have him in a wooden tort table, it’s completely open from the top and I have a plastic liner at the bottom, I’m not sure if that helps with humidity. I will be sure to spray his home down more and I’ll setup his light strip as soon as possible! Thank you for your input!!!
The caresheet I linked above will give you all the correct and up to date answers you need so follow that to help your tort thrive.
Open tables are not good for humidity or heat control that is why Vivs are recommended for babies.
Spraying does not really help humidity because it evaporates quickly from tables and although some use humidifiers they can make tort's sick if they breathe in the water droplets.
You need the correct substrate (see caresheet) which you can add water to and mix in with your hand so that it is moist but not soaking wet and can be packed down. Some use a layer of orchid bark on top to stop it getting too messy.
The liner will stop the table rotting but does little to help humidity on the surface. Many people use a portable pop up green house over the table to help retain humidity and temps.
You also need to make sure the temps are correct -
correct temps +humidity = healthy tort
too cold +humidty = sick tort
 

MenagerieGrl

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So, I'm wondering what the humidity levels are....Open top enclosure is Not good, even with spraying.
I'd say close the top, get the humidity up at LEAST 50 - 80% and get a meter to verify.
 

Krista S

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What you simply need is a basking light which you can buy from anywhere basking of 70-75 watt depending on how high the light is. You want to get the temps no higher than 99% for babies. You should get a temp gauge place your temp gauge directly under basking to see how hot it gets for your tort as if it were his/ her shell.
You can get a uvb 10 tube or I personally use a bulb and I have a double dome that I use and place on top of a reptile cage screen. That fits perfectly over my cages.
Compact UV bulbs should not be used with tortoises because they’re known to damage tortoises eyes. The UV they give off is usually not consistent which makes them even more harmful. Also, placing UV lights on top of a screen filters out a lot of the UV. A T5HO fixture should be used for both of your tortoises. Is the aquarium your Russian’s enclosure? If so, he needs a lot more space.

Here’s Tom’s care sheet that covers all of this and more.

 

Tom

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Hey everyone, I’m at the point where I’m super frustrated with myself for not having the correct uvb lighting for my tort, he’s starting to form a tiny bit of pyramiding and I’m extremely upset with myself so if someone can please help me with his uvb.

I’ve recently got him a dome heat and uvb light however I came to the realization that compact uvb lights (mine is shaped like a U) are very bad for torts, blinding and causes eye irritation. It’s only been a week since he had that setup and I want to get rid of it as soon as I can.

Since I read that I immediately bought a tube light and tube fixture, however is it freaking huge and I’m so confused like it literally takes up the entire length of his tortoise table and in my mind I’m thinking isn’t this more harmful for him since it’s a huge light???? I found another long light fixture as well that I HAVENT bought but I’m not sure if that’ll be any better. The light fixtures I already bought are in the picture that has them listed as delivered.

The next thing I read was that the compact uvb lights Are actually not harmful if they are horizontal and I found this light fixture but I’m not sure if it’ll work well or give him enough uvb.

If anyone can help me figure this out I would greatly appreciate it, my tort deserves the world and I don’t mind returning any of this stuff if someone can link me the exact correct stuff to buy instead (I’m in the US). Also please provide pictures of correct setups and correct products to use please, I would also greatly appreciate that. Thank you in advanced! I will provide pictures of what I bought and of the horizontal compact setup thing I found as well. ALSO please let me know how far away height wise his lights should be, I’ve seen different answers all over and I’m very confused on which one it is.
Much to address here for you:
1. Pyramiding has nothing to do with UV. Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. Open topped enclosures can do it, and spot bulbs, halogens, and MVBs make it worse. UVB allows a tortoise to convert vitamin D2 into D3, which allows it to assimilate calcium in the diet. If the tortoise can get outside in a safe enclosure for a couple hours for most of the year, indoor UV is not needed at all.
2. Mounting a cfl horizontally, does not help reduce the risk of eye burning at all. None of the cfl types of bulbs should be used over reptiles.

Here is a simplified break down of heating and lighting:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  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. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html
 

Gdrami

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So, I'm wondering what the humidity levels are....Open top enclosure is Not good, even with spraying.
I'd say close the top, get the humidity up at LEAST 50 - 80% and get a meter to verify.
How would you recommend I close the top? Thank you for your response!
 

TaylorTortoise

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Compact UV bulbs should not be used with tortoises because they’re known to damage tortoises eyes. The UV they give off is usually not consistent which makes them even more harmful. Also, placing UV lights on top of a screen filters out a lot of the UV. A T5HO fixture should be used for both of your tortoises. Is the aquarium your Russian’s enclosure? If so, he needs a lot more space.

Here’s Tom’s care sheet that covers all of this and more.

Hi @Krista S
I am in the process of moving (making settlement) December 2nd and what you see is temporary set ups. Both of my babies will have their own room with enough space for the both of them until warmer weather to be outside. I let my tort get exercise daily during spring and summer. Of course they start to slow down with cooler weather.
 

Quixx66

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Hello,
Is your Hermann's a hatchling? What type of enclosure do you have it in? You probably have already read this, sorry for the repetition if you have, but it is better for hatchlings to be kept in a closed chamber enclosure to help prevent the pyramiding. If there isn't enough humidity, that could be the cause of some. The strip UVB is probably a better choice as well. It doesn't have to run the entire day, you can set it on a timer to run for an hour or so. It's not necessarily a bad thing to have the strip span the enclosure, as long as you have a hide and other plants for him to go under. I am not an expert, so hopefully some others can help too. I do not have hatchling Hermann's, so they are in open top enclosures.
Hi,

My Hermann’s will be 2 years old on May 7th. I already have an Arcadia ProTek 12% strip light. I just can’t figure out how to properly hang it in relation to a storage bin. I was advised a while ago to remove the strip from laying across the bin because it’s too close to the substrate.
 

OkAdiza

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Hi,

My Hermann’s will be 2 years old on May 7th. I already have an Arcadia ProTek 12% strip light. I just can’t figure out how to properly hang it in relation to a storage bin. I was advised a while ago to remove the strip from laying across the bin because it’s too close to the substrate.
Hello,
Not sure if you already found help for this on the forum, but you could try something like this that @Yvonne G has done. Check this link. Then you could suspend the strip and adjust as needed. I hope this helps.
 

LJL1982

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Jan 28, 2022
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Hey everyone, I’m at the point where I’m super frustrated with myself for not having the correct uvb lighting for my tort, he’s starting to form a tiny bit of pyramiding and I’m extremely upset with myself so if someone can please help me with his uvb.

I’ve recently got him a dome heat and uvb light however I came to the realization that compact uvb lights (mine is shaped like a U) are very bad for torts, blinding and causes eye irritation. It’s only been a week since he had that setup and I want to get rid of it as soon as I can.

Since I read that I immediately bought a tube light and tube fixture, however is it freaking huge and I’m so confused like it literally takes up the entire length of his tortoise table and in my mind I’m thinking isn’t this more harmful for him since it’s a huge light???? I found another long light fixture as well that I HAVENT bought but I’m not sure if that’ll be any better. The light fixtures I already bought are in the picture that has them listed as delivered.

The next thing I read was that the compact uvb lights Are actually not harmful if they are horizontal and I found this light fixture but I’m not sure if it’ll work well or give him enough uvb.

If anyone can help me figure this out I would greatly appreciate it, my tort deserves the world and I don’t mind returning any of this stuff if someone can link me the exact correct stuff to buy instead (I’m in the US). Also please provide pictures of correct setups and correct products to use please, I would also greatly appreciate that. Thank you in advanced! I will provide pictures of what I bought and of the horizontal compact setup thing I found as well. ALSO please let me know how far away height wise his lights should be, I’ve seen different answers all over and I’m very confused on which one it is.
Hi

I like an ExoTerra SolarGlo, with a large ExoTerra Basking Dome. Nice wide spread and covers UVA and UVB in one bulb. Nice and simple and keeps an area of his enclosure at basking temp without too much spread of heat. The ExoTerra stand is easily height adjustable so that you can lower or increase the heat at the basking spot by lowering or raising the dome.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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Hi,

My Hermann’s will be 2 years old on May 7th. I already have an Arcadia ProTek 12% strip light. I just can’t figure out how to properly hang it in relation to a storage bin. I was advised a while ago to remove the strip from laying across the bin because it’s too close to the substrate.
This was posted over on another thread. Maybe it will help!

 
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