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Mercury Vapor Bulbs

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by xBapes, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. xBapes

    xBapes Member

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    Hi guys/gals..

    Just a quick question. I'm thinking of going with a Mercury Vapor bulb for Stoli to help eliminate having multiple light fixtures. I've been looking at the 100watt ones, mostly from Mega Ray and Lugarti. Is it safe to use one about 12-14 inches away? I don't wanna cook him..

    Thanks
  2. DARKFIRE007

    DARKFIRE007 Active Member

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    Buy it...and before exposing a tort to it, put a thermometer down in the basking area. If it goes over 90 degrees, raise it a bit if you can, an inch or two will go a long way toward cooling the basking area down. I would shoot for say 87-88 degrees

    Be sure to leave it there for say an hour to be sure that will be the hottest temp.
  3. xBapes

    xBapes Member

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    The regular basking bulb I bought is 100 watt that he seems to really enjoy it and I haven't cooked him since I've gotten him. I just assume that Mercury Vapor Bulbs burn just a little warmer. I want to make sure that the UVB/UVA exposure isn't too overwhelming for him
  4. DARKFIRE007

    DARKFIRE007 Active Member

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    Nah, as long as you don't let the temp go over 90 you will be fine. Had mine under one for over 6 months with no issues.
    xBapes likes this.
  5. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    Most torts need a basking temp of 90 to 100!
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  6. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Basking spots should be 95-100. Not in the 80's
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  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Only a thermometer and UV meter can answer this. The rest of us are just guessing.

    Just be aware that recent tests of MVBs demonstrate that they stop producing UV after as little as three months, even though the bulb still lights up.
    Cowboy_Ken likes this.
  8. DARKFIRE007

    DARKFIRE007 Active Member

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    Right, but without seeing his setup I was being conservative since he is worried about cooking him. I honestly think they are no different than us...88 can feel good to us as 95 or 100 does to them, but those same temps directly in the sun will bake you like a thanksgiving turkey. I won't be caught with temps that high if the bulb is close.
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Some studies have shown that wild tortoises, given the choice, will heat themselves up to a similar core temperature to mammals. They can't do that if the basking bulb is only gutting to the high 80s.

    If the basking temp is over their current preferred body temp, kind of how the sun would be on a warm day, they can easily move away from the heat source and into a shady area.
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  10. DARKFIRE007

    DARKFIRE007 Active Member

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    Your post prompted me to check my own temps, and they hit a brick wall at 93 degrees...which is not that horrible, but the lamp is 9 1/2 inches from the substrate. My guess is the more you use these MVB lamps the less heat they produce over time as they burn out. Before I swapped enclosures it was putting out higher heat from further away. Time for a new one...
  11. Schildlkröte

    Schildlkröte New Member

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    Lots of reviews for MVBs on Amazon complain about them going out after a few weeks, or even a few days.

    I really want to go this route for basking and UVB, but not waste money on a bulb that doesn't last even to its six-month expiration date.

    Have the MVBs lasted a sufficient amount of time for you?
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I used them in the past, but had lots of problems with them burning out early, not producing UV after a while, and the main reason I stopped using them is because they run too hot, overheat my closed chambers, and desiccate the tortoises carapace too much.

    I prefer to use:
    Low wattage flood bulbs for basking.
    Florescent tubes or LEDs for light.
    CHEs or RHPs set on a thermostat for ambient temp maintenance if needed.
    Florescent HO tube bulbs for UV. Arcadia makes nice stuff that works well and lasts a long time.
    Schildlkröte likes this.
  13. DARKFIRE007

    DARKFIRE007 Active Member

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    My MVB bulb was bought in August and is still going even though it isn't putting out as much heat. 6-7 months is pretty good, but it should be for the price you pay.
  14. Jbrez

    Jbrez Member

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    My mvb bulbs are 9 months old , and still going good. I would suggest getting a solar meter.
  15. tortoiseplanet

    tortoiseplanet Active Member

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    Do you have ebay or amazon links for the flood bulbs you speak of? I can’t seem to find the right ones.
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    What readings do you get on your Solarmeter at what distances?
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Just regular household incandescent flood bulbs form the hardware store or Walmart.
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