Is my Greek tortoise getting enough UVB? [Photos attached]


New Member
Jan 4, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Edinburgh, U.K.
Hi there!

New to the forum but wanted a second opinion on whether my tortoise is getting enough UVB light.

My tortoise is set up in a converted wardrobe, half of which is taken up by another tortoise enclosure (which I've not attached as their tortoise set up isn't mine to share) -

The two enclosures currently share a
Reptile Systems Eco T5 Unit Ferguson Zone 3 - 12% 870mm 39w. Due to an ordering error we do actually have another unit of the same specs, however my housemates think the one is sufficient for both enclosures.

Am I being overly paranoid in thinking we should also have the other one, or is one enough for both setups? While the tortoise spends most of their time around the basking lamp, they do sometimes sit on the hay under the UVB light. I am a little paranoid about pyramiding however I've read on the forum that the main cause of pyramiding is lack of humidity? We try to keep the enclosure around 80-90% humidity so maybe the light is sufficient?

I've attached photos of how the setup looks with (left) and without (right) the basking lamp turned on so you can get a feel of how light from the strip spreads over the enclosure.

Any and all responses gratefully accepted!

IMG 20210202 132439 IMG 20210202 132450


Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
I am not an expert, however, the statement that he gets on the hay under the UVB light? Is that a fire hazard?
My advice initially would be to not share anything with the other tortoise. Get his own light


Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, NM
It's hard to say what the actual (UV Index/Ferguson zone) UVI level is without measuring it with a Solarmeter 6.5. Think about trying to measure temperature without a thermometer. I don't have any experience with this brand or bulb directly, but it's interesting that they're now trying to advertise based on UVI. Do they give you a specific height at which to set the light? That might be the only way you can dial it in without a Solarmeter.

It's difficult to see your two setups and height of the lights in the picture. I guess they share a wall or something?

In general, you don't need to cover the entire enclosure with the UVB light. Tortoises need to have the option to get in and out of the bright areas of light as needed.

People on the forum are starting to find that excessive UV can contribute to pyramiding even in the presence of high humidity conditions. Some people have raised the height of the lights up higher to reduce the UVI at tortoise level for hatchlings, limited the UV time to only an hour, or have given up using UV lights at all in favor of sunning the tortoise outside for an hour periodically throughout the week. Personally, I only run the UV for an hour a day with a UVI of 3 for my Greek, using a 2' UV bulb in a 4x2' enclosure.

I don't know if this answers your question. Maybe you can use both and set them on timers.