1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

How to use solarmeters 6.5

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Lighting' started by Joetheyido, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    Hello, I have just got my solarmeter 6.5 and just wanted some guidance on using it. Is it as easy as placing it under a uv tube and using the furguson zone chart to put the tube at the right hight for the uv index. In my case Indian stars which says uvi 2.9-7.4 in basking zone and redfoot which says uvi 1- 3? Thanks
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    41,503
    Likes Received:
    18,792
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern California
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    I do my best to put it at tortoise shell height. This usually means digging a hole in the substrate right under the UV source and putting the bottom of the unit against the bottom of the enclosure. Then hold the button down and move the unit around trying to point it directly at the UV source and see what the highest reading you can get is.

    In my opinion, and that is all it is, I would leave the tube on all day with a reading of less than 4. With a reading of 5 or higher, I'd only run the UV source for a few hours mid day. This will depend on which bulb you've got. In all cases the tortoises should have plants or hiding areas where they can escape from the bright lights.
    Longhorns1187 and Markw84 like this.
  3. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    Cheers Tom. I am setting up there new houses at the moment, I would like to if it works to attach them streight to the top of Viv but I know that depends on what uv Its putting out. I have worked it out to be about 14 inches from light to top of tortoise does a t5 ho 12% tube sound to much to have on all day just as a rough guess as I don't really want to buy to many tubes to try and not end up useing them. Cheers
  4. zovick

    zovick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    621
    Trophy Points:
    93
    You cannot tell if the T5 bulb is too strong at 14" until you see what reading you get from the solarmeter. I would guess that it may be too much. With my young tortoises (under 3" or 4"), I use T8 bulbs and shoot for an average reading of 3.0 or so and leave the lights on for 16 hours daily. I say average reading because I use the 48" bulbs and those show different readings at different ends of the bulb. One end might be 2.9 and the other end 3.4 or 3.5.
    PJay and Tom like this.
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    41,503
    Likes Received:
    18,792
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern California
    I agree with what Mr. Zovickian said. I also think 14" will be too close for a 12%HO bulb, but your meter will tell you. That is about the right distance for a ZooMed 10.0HO t5 bulb, but again, only your meter can answer this question.

    My preference is to run a T8 regular daylight bulb in the 5000-6500K color range all day long, and then have an HO UV tube come on for a few hours mid day. This more closely simulates the mid day brightness and UV spike that happens outside. All this along with a basking bulb on a timer, and a CHE set on a thermostat to maintain ambient temps, depending on which species we are talking about.
    Longhorns1187 likes this.
  6. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    Cheers for feedback. I will order a couple and play around with them with my solarmeter. What sort of size? Would a 4ft tube be ok, which would cover half of 8ft x 2 x2 Viv I have be ok?
  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    41,503
    Likes Received:
    18,792
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern California
    Yes. The 48", or 46" if its an HO bulb will be good for your enclosure.
  8. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    I went and picked up a 6% 39w t5 34inch for Redfoot and the meter is showing 0.9 without a reflector at the rough hight he will be at or 1.5 with a reflector, would those be ok for all day use? IMG_20180305_172603.jpg IMG_20180305_173206.jpg 1520272017417.jpg
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    41,503
    Likes Received:
    18,792
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Southern California
    That should be fine for all day use for a RF.
  10. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    Cheers Tom. If you don't mind me asking another question, I have the Arcadia electronic t5 2x54w controller. I have just tried putting the t5 54 watt tube in but the ends light up briefly then turn off, would that be that I have to have another 54w tube in the other connecters to get it to work or does that sound like the tube is broken? Thanks
  11. Markw84

    Markw84 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,548
    Likes Received:
    3,482
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
    Most of the double ballasts require both bulbs to be connected to work
    Longhorns1187 likes this.
  12. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    Cheers mark, it work with a smaller wattage bulb by itself but not with the 54w one. Will pick one up and try it
  13. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    Turns out it was the bulb, got new one and is fine. What are you thoughts on leaving this light on most of the day at 4.8 or would that be to strong? That is with a reflector without it's 1.4 IMG_20180311_132902.jpg IMG_20180311_134047.jpg
  14. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    346
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Does the tortoise have a place in the enclosure where it can get out from directly under the light? If you take readings with your meter at the outside perimeter of the enclosure, you might find the readings are significantly less - thereby giving the tortoise the ability to regulate its UVB exposure. BUT - if it can't get out of the direct light, then its a different story.
    Longhorns1187 likes this.
  15. Joetheyido

    Joetheyido Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    UK London
    What I have done is put a reflector on top end and left the bottem end of tube so it's only 1.5ish and at the far end it is 0. They have got something at the moment but in the process of making them a hide but they never seem to use it. IMG_20180318_103720.jpg

Share This Page