LED UV light

Bridgebob

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The LED lights work and it makes sense. The LED UV light is very specific.

My little Eastern Box Turtle is tanning very nicely under it. She is eating her bedding and is blending in almost perfectly.

Her heat lamp needs a different bulb. Food lamps do make their eyes hurt. But get a restaurant heat lamp and just use a reptile basking bulb. These heat lamps are built like a tank and easily adjustable and easily mountable. Warning with the restaurant bulb they get extremely hot - fire hazard.
 

Howard H

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LED is a much more efficient lighting source. Unfortunately current available options do not provide UVB. If you have found an LED that puts out a usable amount of UVB please share the brand and model I would switch today.
 

Tom

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The LED lights work and it makes sense. The LED UV light is very specific.

My little Eastern Box Turtle is tanning very nicely under it. She is eating her bedding and is blending in almost perfectly.

Her heat lamp needs a different bulb. Food lamps do make their eyes hurt. But get a restaurant heat lamp and just use a reptile basking bulb. These heat lamps are built like a tank and easily adjustable and easily mountable. Warning with the restaurant bulb they get extremely hot - fire hazard.
You post is confusing and without context.

Yes the new ZooMed LED UV lights are good and they work. There is at least one other that is okay, but offers a small basking area under it. Here is the ZooMed one for reference to anyone reading this:
FS LUV Reptisun UVB LED 34 2 21 313x700

The "lamp" is the actual bulb that you screw into the fixture. There are unlimited options for what fixtures and bulbs are used in restaurants, so no one has any idea what you are talking about. Good quality heavy duty ceramic based fixtures can be purchased at Home Depot for about $13. Infrared 250 watt food heating lamps are not good for tortoises and way to hot for most applications.

Your turtle should NOT be eating its substrate. If it is, there is a problem that needs to be solved ASAP.
 

Tom

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LED is a much more efficient lighting source. Unfortunately current available options do not provide UVB. If you have found an LED that puts out a usable amount of UVB please share the brand and model I would switch today.
Hello Howard. Several new LED UV bulbs have hit the market. The one I posted above works very well. I've been testing several of them for several months now, and they work perfectly so far.

There are other cheap Chinese made ones that are not so great, but there is at least one other that works. The name escapes me right now... @Markw84 gave me one that he has been testing, and it provides a small area of strong UV directly below it. Hopefully he will see this reference and remind me of the name here.
 

Markw84

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Viv Tech Makes the SurSun LED UVB light. I am very pleased with the basking zone it creates and the intensity of the UVB.
 

Howard H

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Looked in these products and the Vic-tech sursun as well as the Zoomed appear to be only available in a small single bulb basking light, not really what I'm looking for. My current light needs call for at least 48" of illumination.

Still new to this and learning.
Do I need a basking light? Currently using a 48" t5 uvb 5.0 and a ceramic heat emitter side by side. Also have a stick under heater for heat in the human hide on the opposite side of the heat emitter.

Attached some pics of my current setup please let me know what I need to change and/or add.
 

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Tom

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Looked in these products and the Vic-tech sursun as well as the Zoomed appear to be only available in a small single bulb basking light, not really what I'm looking for. My current light needs call for at least 48" of illumination.

Still new to this and learning.
Do I need a basking light? Currently using a 48" t5 uvb 5.0 and a ceramic heat emitter side by side. Also have a stick under heater for heat in the human hide on the opposite side of the heat emitter.

Attached some pics of my current setup please let me know what I need to change and/or add.
Looks like you got the usual old wrong care info that almost everyone gets. The following is all meant to help you, not upset you. What you've read previously and been told is quite simply wrong. Its obvious that you went to a lot of trouble and expense to do everything right, but what you were told to do was wrong.

1. Sulcatas hatch into a hot, wet, rainy monsoon season with very high humidity. They are NOT a desert species. You can't maintain the correct growing conditions in an open topped table, and that is why your tortoise is pyramiding so severely at such a small size. You need a large closed chamber with high humidity and warm temps day ad night.
2. 5.0 bulbs produce almost no UV. From the one picture that I can see, it looks like your tortoise is suffering from MBD. If your tortoise never gets outside for direct sun, and you are using a 5.0 tube, then the reason is clear.
3. Night heat? Trying to heat an open table is like trying to heat your house in winter with no roof. It doesn't work. Open tables are for adults of temperate species that need a cool night. Your tortoise needs 80 degree nights.
4. You don't need 48 inches of UV. One small area will get it done. You might need 48 inches of light for the enclosure though.
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
5. Hay is for adult sulcatas, mot babies.
6. Your tortoise needs damp substrate and that will make the hay mold. It should be removed.
7. When your tortoise get to about 12 inches and it is time to introduce hay, orchard grass hay is best, and Bermuda can work too. Timothy hay is too stemmy. Large 100 pound adults can certainly handle Timothy, but most will prefer orchard grass hay.

Here is the correct care info for your species:

Questions are welcome and I hope we can help you.
 

Howard H

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Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Costa Mesa California
Looks like you got the usual old wrong care info that almost everyone gets. The following is all meant to help you, not upset you. What you've read previously and been told is quite simply wrong. Its obvious that you went to a lot of trouble and expense to do everything right, but what you were told to do was wrong.

1. Sulcatas hatch into a hot, wet, rainy monsoon season with very high humidity. They are NOT a desert species. You can't maintain the correct growing conditions in an open topped table, and that is why your tortoise is pyramiding so severely at such a small size. You need a large closed chamber with high humidity and warm temps day ad night.
2. 5.0 bulbs produce almost no UV. From the one picture that I can see, it looks like your tortoise is suffering from MBD. If your tortoise never gets outside for direct sun, and you are using a 5.0 tube, then the reason is clear.
3. Night heat? Trying to heat an open table is like trying to heat your house in winter with no roof. It doesn't work. Open tables are for adults of temperate species that need a cool night. Your tortoise needs 80 degree nights.
4. You don't need 48 inches of UV. One small area will get it done. You might need 48 inches of light for the enclosure though.
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
5. Hay is for adult sulcatas, mot babies.
6. Your tortoise needs damp substrate and that will make the hay mold. It should be removed.
7. When your tortoise get to about 12 inches and it is time to introduce hay, orchard grass hay is best, and Bermuda can work too. Timothy hay is too stemmy. Large 100 pound adults can certainly handle Timothy, but most will prefer orchard grass hay.

Here is the correct care info for your species:

Questions are welcome and I hope we can help you.
Thanks for all the info! Im still new and not sure about care, doesnt help that every reptile shop has a different "expert" opinion.

The little guy just got here about 2 weeks ago and came with the pyramiding unfortunately. Currently I take him outside for about 2-6 hours a day depending on the Costa Mesa/Newport weather.

Temps in the human hide are in the 80s. Under the 48" light temps are about 75-85 and about 105 under the red heat bulb (previous said it was ceramic but forgot I changed it out)
The timothy hay is just about half a handful thrown in to explore eating habits. The human hide is filled with moist coco coir and reptibark, is that ok? I spray about 8-12 oz of water on the entire habitat substrate everyday as well as soak him right after his outside time for about 20-30 in luke warm water almost everyday.

Feeding has consisted mostly Mizuri soaked pellets but I try a new item 2-3 times a week.

Do I need cuttlebone??

Thanks for so much for your time and info.
 

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Tom

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Thanks for all the info! Im still new and not sure about care, doesnt help that every reptile shop has a different "expert" opinion.

The little guy just got here about 2 weeks ago and came with the pyramiding unfortunately. Currently I take him outside for about 2-6 hours a day depending on the Costa Mesa/Newport weather.

Temps in the human hide are in the 80s. Under the 48" light temps are about 75-85 and about 105 under the red heat bulb (previous said it was ceramic but forgot I changed it out)
The timothy hay is just about half a handful thrown in to explore eating habits. The human hide is filled with moist coco coir and reptibark, is that ok? I spray about 8-12 oz of water on the entire habitat substrate everyday as well as soak him right after his outside time for about 20-30 in luke warm water almost everyday.

Feeding has consisted mostly Mizuri soaked pellets but I try a new item 2-3 times a week.

Do I need cuttlebone??

Thanks for so much for your time and info.
I know of not one single reptile shop that is going to give you good tortoise advice. I would stop listening to them all.

No temp anywhere in the enclosure day or night should drop below 80. Ambient should rise into the low 90s during that day. Its hot in the Sahel. Every day is near 100 there, and in the rainy season, when babies hatch, it is extremely oppressively humid. Spraying the substrate in an open topped enclosure just will not get it done. Dumping water into the substrate will keep it wetter, but it still won't give you the humidity you need with the open top.

Outside time is oaky, but keep it to about one hour of sun per inch of tortoise. Outside time makes pyramiding worse. Soaking on the way in is great.

No red bulbs over tortoises for several reasons. Daylight during the day, and darkness, but still warm, at night.

The hay will mold and it is too stemmy. You should remove it. Coco coir is safe but messy. Fine grade orchid bark is best.

Mazuri is okay once or twice a week, but weeds, leaves, grasses, flowers and opuntia pads should make up most of the diet.

Cuttle bone is good, but not "necessary". You can use a powdered supplement instead if you wish.
 

Tom

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Aslo...
The bulb im using is the ZooMed Reptisun 48" T5 HO 5.0 UVB.
Will that work?
Do I need the 10.0 UVB?
5.0 bulbs don't do much. Get the 10.0. It should be around 18 inches over the tortoise, but use a Solarmeter 6.5 to verify and set the height correctly.
 

Howard H

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Ive read over your guide several times now. Very informative.

Getting rid of the red bulb asap.

Today I was able to take some better temp readings with an inferred gun in his indoor encousure. Basking area is about 100-105, under the T5 HO in the low 80s throughout and Ive set the heat to stay at about 84 in the hide. Changed out the substrate in the hide for a damp coco coir with orchid bark and humidity is holding at about 85-87 percent. The hide is 20"x10" covered area at one end of the enclosure.

I have noticed that while in the outdoor enclosure he'll eat fresh dandelion greens that pop up but other than that he will only eat Mizori and Romaine. Ive just ordered a 5 pack of "Littles" from Kapidolo farms because he will not touch most of what I leave in the bowl.

He is currently about 3-4 inches wide and about 6 months old as told by the pet store.
What else can I do to ensure no more pyramiding?
 

Tom

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Ive read over your guide several times now. Very informative.

Getting rid of the red bulb asap.

Today I was able to take some better temp readings with an inferred gun in his indoor encousure. Basking area is about 100-105, under the T5 HO in the low 80s throughout and Ive set the heat to stay at about 84 in the hide. Changed out the substrate in the hide for a damp coco coir with orchid bark and humidity is holding at about 85-87 percent. The hide is 20"x10" covered area at one end of the enclosure.

I have noticed that while in the outdoor enclosure he'll eat fresh dandelion greens that pop up but other than that he will only eat Mizori and Romaine. Ive just ordered a 5 pack of "Littles" from Kapidolo farms because he will not touch most of what I leave in the bowl.

He is currently about 3-4 inches wide and about 6 months old as told by the pet store.
What else can I do to ensure no more pyramiding?
It takes time and effort to get them to eat new foods. Introduce new foods by finely chopping up tiny amounts and then mixing it in with the favorites. Gradually up the ratio of new to old. It can take weeks or months in some cases.

There is no way humidity is 80+% in an open table. How are you measuring that? Something doesn't add up.

To stop pyramiding in progress: Keep humidity over 85% all the time. This is only possible with a large closed chamber. Use damp substrate, a humid hide and spray the shell with warm demineralized water several times a day. Soak daily for 40-60 minutes. Reduce sunning times and reduce the number of days per week. Be sure you have a regular flood bulb for basking and keep the height so that the temperature under it is 95-100. Raise ambient temp into the low 90s daily to reduce basking duration and frequency.
 

Howard H

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There is no way humidity is 80+% in an open table. How are you measuring that? Something doesn't add up.
The table is not entirely open. There is an enclosure on one side about 20"x10" with a hinged lid. Inside the enclosure the humidity is in the mid 80s.
 

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Tom

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The table is not entirely open. There is an enclosure on one side about 20"x10" with a hinged lid. Inside the enclosure the humidity is in the mid 80s.
Reptile hygrometers are notoriously inaccurate. Often off by a lot. I would get a garden one from Home Depot or Walmart. One that records the high and low temp and high and low humidity. They cost around $12.

Humidity inside the covered area is good, but you also need humidity in the entire enclosure. You need a closed chamber if you don't want the pyramiding to continue and worsen.
 
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