I have a MVB, What should I change my lighting too?

BigGoose

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Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
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As the title says I have an MVB bulb but after reading through this forum, I've seen people not using MVBs at all because they cause pyramiding. Does anyone know why they cause it?

And my Lil guy (Eastern Hermann CB17) has started to pyramid slightly on the central scutes, and although humidity is also a factor in this. I do bath him regularly and will continue to bath him consistently. Also planning on getting a humid hide but with Christmas, money is kinda tight right now.

What lights would be suitable for my guy?

Atm, my setup is a 2x4ft open-topped table with a hanging MVB. (That's a fake plant)

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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They cause pyramiding because they emit extremely high levels of IR-A which excessively desiccates the carapace.

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 for 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. Unless your house gets unusually cold at night, you can skip this step for a Russian or other Testudo species. Night lows above 60 require no night heat for Testudo species.
  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. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb. If your tortoises room is already adequately lit, you don't need this one either.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside in a safe secure enclosure 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. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
More info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
 

BigGoose

New Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
UK
They cause pyramiding because they emit extremely high levels of IR-A which excessively desiccates the carapace.

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 for 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. Unless your house gets unusually cold at night, you can skip this step for a Russian or other Testudo species. Night lows above 60 require no night heat for Testudo species.
  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. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb. If your tortoises room is already adequately lit, you don't need this one either.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside in a safe secure enclosure 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. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
More info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

Thanks for the detailed response, very helpful and answered all my questions.
 

jmaneyapanda

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
68
They cause pyramiding because they emit extremely high levels of IR-A which excessively desiccates the carapace.

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 for 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. Unless your house gets unusually cold at night, you can skip this step for a Russian or other Testudo species. Night lows above 60 require no night heat for Testudo species.
  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. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb. If your tortoises room is already adequately lit, you don't need this one either.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside in a safe secure enclosure 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. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
More info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

hey Tom, do you have a source for the IR-A reference? I’d like to read more on that.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,590
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
hey Tom, do you have a source for the IR-A reference? I’d like to read more on that.
Look up the work of Frances Baines from the UK. All sorts of into on lighting and UV. I've learned much of my lighting info from @Markw84 . He's the one I'd ask for reference material.
 
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