How far should my heat + uvb bulb be from my tortoise?

sigmatheratops

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I currently have a 25 watt heat + uvb bulb 7 inches away from my tortoise. I’ve been looking into it but don’t know how far away the light should be as I don’t want my turtle getting cooked, but I also want to make sure it’s close enough to actually be a basking area, because the temperature read 81 degrees all over the tank and it was 8-10 inches away. So since I’m putting it 1-2 inches closer, I want to know if it’s the right higher to have it at. Everything helps 🙏
 

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Littleredfootbigredheart

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

May I ask what kind of tortoise it is you have and roughly how old they are?

It’ll really help with members advising you on the correct heating&lighting to use🙂

Photos of your full set up are always super helpful too as well as any additional information you can provide😊
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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I currently have a 25 watt heat + uvb bulb 7 inches away from my tortoise. I’ve been looking into it but don’t know how far away the light should be as I don’t want my turtle getting cooked, but I also want to make sure it’s close enough to actually be a basking area, because the temperature read 81 degrees all over the tank and it was 8-10 inches away. So since I’m putting it 1-2 inches closer, I want to know if it’s the right higher to have it at. Everything helps 🙏
Hello!
This lamp is, unfortunately, is not good either as a basking lamp or UVB source (I suppose it's a "UVB 3.0" lamp from Amazon). It won't give large and warm enough basking zone (95-105F) due to narrow beam and low wattage. And UVB output is questionable if it has any.

Here you can find good lightning/heating setup (search for the word "breakdown" in the linked post):

You will need:
1. Incandescent flood lamp for the basking area (50-75W depending on the enclosure size).
2. Good UVB lamp (straight long tube, T5 type) or 15-30 minutes a day of natural sunlight - around 10-11AM in summer (don't leave tortoises under direct sunlight without shade!).
3. Ambient heating (probably, not in the summer)
4. Ambient LED light over the enclosure.

Please, ask further questions!
 

Tom

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I currently have a 25 watt heat + uvb bulb 7 inches away from my tortoise. I’ve been looking into it but don’t know how far away the light should be as I don’t want my turtle getting cooked, but I also want to make sure it’s close enough to actually be a basking area, because the temperature read 81 degrees all over the tank and it was 8-10 inches away. So since I’m putting it 1-2 inches closer, I want to know if it’s the right higher to have it at. Everything helps 🙏
Only your thermometer can answer this question for the heat lamp. Lay your digital thermometer on its back directly under the lamp and let it cook for an hour or more. Adjust the height of the bulb or the wattage accordingly. Most species need it around 95-100.

Thee is no UV bulb the works in a fixture like that, that should be used over a tortoise. This is all explained in the thread Alex left for you.
 

sigmatheratops

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

May I ask what kind of tortoise it is you have and roughly how old they are?

It’ll really help with members advising you on the correct heating&lighting to use🙂

Photos of your full set up are always super helpful too as well as any additional information you can provide😊
(happy birthday) I have a Desert tortoise and they are around 6 months old. Here’s a picture of my current setup (water bowl is the blue plate and the green plate is the food bowl)
 

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Littleredfootbigredheart

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(happy birthday) I have a Desert tortoise and they are around 6 months old. Here’s a picture of my current setup (water bowl is the blue plate and the green plate is the food bowl)
Thanks so much🥰

You have two adorable little babies there🥹

I hate to be the barer of bad news in that a few things are going to need changing up here asap to make sure your guys thrive❤️

The good news is it’s all fixable and everyone here can help advise you on getting the correct setup for these guys!😁I’m going to include some information below on how I’d personally tackle this whilst trying to stay as cost effective as I can🙂
I’m also including examples of the right types of lighting and heat you need👍

First and foremost these guys are going to need separating and can’t be housed together in the future, no species of tortoise does well in a pair, one can stunt the other, following one another round is actually bullying in tortoise terms.

Hatchlings need a higher humidity, which will be more difficult to achieve in an open top set up like this, what I’d personally do to make use of this enclosure for one of them is getting it lined with some pond liner to protect the base, then securing a greenhouse topper on top, don’t worry if you can’t find an exact fit, just place it over like the photo of the one with the white base, I’d put lining under the cover and base though to stop condensate getting on your floor.

For the second enclosure, my recommendation is you make some sort of base, just make sure the material is safe, or a bookcase with the shelves removed laid flat, or even a flower bed(pic included) for all these options simply line it with some cheap pound liner to put your substrate in, the liner going all up the sides too, you can then make your own stands out of timber for their uv and lights. Just make sure the sides are high enough to prevent escaping!

With lighting always avoid anything labelled halogen or mercury vapour, for their basking light you want a incandescent floodlight(pic attached)this can be on a 12 hour timer. You may also wish to add some ambient lighting in the form of a screw in led light(5000-6500k colour range from the hardware store) or led strip, this can be on the same timer as the basking bulb.

For indoor UV you’ll need a t5 tube fluorescent strip bulb, I’d personally recommend the Arcadia brand 12%, mounted 18-21 inches from substrate, it comes with a built in reflector fitting as to not waste any uv light, or zoo med reptisun 10.0, I don’t use that one but many on here do. I’ll include some photos of the kind of stands people use to fit those. That can be on a separate 4hr timer from noon.
The trouble with the compact uv bulbs is they don’t give off enough uv and can’t actually hurt the tortoises eyes.

Some people even use the greenhouse frames to hang their bulbs, wrap the wires so they hang at the height you need(check with a temp gun for your basking bulb, 18-21inches for uv) then put cable ties round to make sure they’re secure.

Humidity can be much lower as they grow🙂

Recommend substrates would be either coco coir, provided it’s damp and packed down(this wouldnt be my personal choice)with either orchid bark or forest floor on top. Or just either the orchid or forest floor on its own(that’s what I’d personally go for but it’s up to you)🙂

To maintain your substrate and humidity simply pour lukewarm water into the corners of the substrate, not loads, but enough to dampen the bottom layer, you want to aim for a drier top layer and damp under layer, to stop that top layer getting a little too dry you can mix it all now n then which will also give humidity a boost without extra water.

For a water dish, definitely get switched to shallow terracotta saucers as soon as, they’re considered the safest, especially for smaller young torts, they have grip in the event they accidentally flip themselves. The ones you’re using have unfortunately known to be a hazard. Sit the saucers flush with the substrate🙂

Ignore whatever else is in the enclosures in the photos, they’re just to give you an idea👍

I’m also going to include a link that might be helpful to read through


Hope all this helps🙂
 

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