I'm having difficulty getting the UVB lighting correct

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With my first Hermanns tortoise I bought a MVB and did not use the tube lighting at all. Recently I added another Hermanns and was advised to switch to tube UVB lighting because the MVB is too drying for babies. So I bought the Reptisun 10 HO T5 bulb and fixture. My problem is that I am worried about how high I should be mounting it? The box says one thing and I've read a ton of threads on here and elsewhere that are conflicting (12 inches, 18 inches, 20 inches, etc). I do not want to harm the tortoises but I want to make sure they're going to get adequate UVB over the winter when they do not get any outside time. Also, I read one place that the 10.0 is too much for Hermanns, and elsewhere it was advised to use a 10.0 for a Russian (don't they have similar requirements?). So now I'm worried I should have gotten a 5.0 instead of a 10. I might be driving myself a little crazy with this but I am so paranoid about doing something that will harm my babies! Thanks for any info.
 

Tom

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Get a meter. All bulbs are different and they can perform differently depending on several factors. The only way to know that your bulb is mounted at the correct height and your tortoise is getting enough UV, but not too much, is to put a meter under the bulb in your enclosure. Not using a meter is like not using a thermometer. Guessing is not a good way to go. At least without a thermometer you can still feel the heat or lack thereof. You can't feel or see UV at all, so you can't even make a reasonable guess without a measuring device.

Another money saving benefit is that you won't be replacing bulbs every six months that are working perfectly fine. I have some regular 10.0 T-8 bulbs that are still producing good UV after 3 years. Without a meter, I would have replaced each bulb 6 times by now. I have a couple of Arcadia 12% HO bulbs that are still making strong UV after more than 2 years of use.

Here is the one to get: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html
 

wellington

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Seeing most can't afford a meter, with a tube fixture/bulb, follow the height that is on the fixture/bulb.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Newark, DE
With my first Hermanns tortoise I bought a MVB and did not use the tube lighting at all. Recently I added another Hermanns and was advised to switch to tube UVB lighting because the MVB is too drying for babies. So I bought the Reptisun 10 HO T5 bulb and fixture. My problem is that I am worried about how high I should be mounting it? The box says one thing and I've read a ton of threads on here and elsewhere that are conflicting (12 inches, 18 inches, 20 inches, etc). I do not want to harm the tortoises but I want to make sure they're going to get adequate UVB over the winter when they do not get any outside time. Also, I read one place that the 10.0 is too much for Hermanns, and elsewhere it was advised to use a 10.0 for a Russian (don't they have similar requirements?). So now I'm worried I should have gotten a 5.0 instead of a 10. I might be driving myself a little crazy with this but I am so paranoid about doing something that will harm my babies! Thanks for any info.
Thanks - I was looking at meters on Amazon but there were soooo many and half only gave combined. I will look for a 6.5. Thank you.
 
Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
Newark, DE
Seeing most can't afford a meter, with a tube fixture/bulb, follow the height that is on the fixture/bulb.
Thank you - that's what I'm doing now. The box really just says it provides UVB up to 36 inches and not to mount closer than 6. To make it more confusing, I have two of the exact same bulbs, mounted at the same height on two different enclosures and one looks so much brighter than the other. Both bulbs are brand new and in the same exact type of fixture. So I'm worried at least one is wrong. I will buy a meter. I was just hoping there was some magic formula so I could save myself $200 lol. Thanks again.
 

Jbrez

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If you can afford a meter that's the way to go. I got one a while back and it is so nice to know I have my lamps at the right height. In my opinion it's well worth the money.
 

Tom

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Is there a comparable one from another company? I just looked for this model on Amazon.ca (I live in Canada) and it was $520 CAD :(
ZooMed puts their own label on the Solarmeter 6.5 and sells it that way. Maybe you can find that one at a more reasonable price?
 

Tom

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dwright27

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Sadly no, I will not be heading south any time soon :'(
 
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