Mercury Vapour Lamp confusion??

Mango_the_Tortoise

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So i have literally just set up a tortoise table enclosure for my 15year old Hermanns tortoise. However i have got her a 100W mercury lamp (heat, uva and uvb) and the 100W does not seem as warm as the normal 100W heat lamp.

What i am wanting to know is

1. do i have to go up to the next wattage of lamp or is 100W enough for a hermanns tortoise in the mercury lamps?

2. will she be ok adjusting to the new enclosure as she has been in a 6 foot wooden viv and is now in a tortoise table?

3. Are the mercury lamps good for tortoises. Would they get enough heat and UVB?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Mango_the_Tortoise

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So i have literally just set up a tortoise table enclosure for my 15year old Hermanns tortoise. However i have got her a 100W mercury lamp (heat, uva and uvb) and the 100W does not seem as warm as the normal 100W heat lamp.

What i am wanting to know is

1. do i have to go up to the next wattage of lamp or is 100W enough for a hermanns tortoise in the mercury lamps?

2. will she be ok adjusting to the new enclosure as she has been in a 6 foot wooden viv and is now in a tortoise table?

3. Are the mercury lamps good for tortoises. Would they get enough heat and UVB?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Also i would like to know would i be better with a normal heat lamp and then a uvb tube running along the length of the table...??
 

Tom

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A tortoise table allows all your heat to escape up and into the room. An open table will require more heat and light than a viv.

All the lighting info and much more can be found here:
 

ManAlive85

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Also i would like to know would i be better with a normal heat lamp and then a uvb tube running along the length of the table...??
This is purely anecdotal but I ditched my MVB after a couple of weeks as it burned my star’s eyes. Our torts are different species and mine was much younger than yours (I also can’t guarantee there wasn’t some user error involved) but MVB’s are pretty mean bulbs. I understand they’re better suited to true desert species like beardies than tortoises. They’re also crazy expensive to replace, incandescents are increasingly difficult to find but you can still pick them up for next to nothing.

Whilst it may sound complicated, I find a T5 strip for UV combined with a regular, old fashioned incandescent bulb for basking and a CHE to maintain minimum ambient temps much easier to manage. As long as you’re able to mount the strip far enough away from your tort which can be tricky on a table.
 

Mango_the_Tortoise

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This is purely anecdotal but I ditched my MVB after a couple of weeks as it burned my star’s eyes. Our torts are different species and mine was much younger than yours (I also can’t guarantee there wasn’t some user error involved) but MVB’s are pretty mean bulbs. I understand they’re better suited to true desert species like beardies than tortoises. They’re also crazy expensive to replace, incandescents are increasingly difficult to find but you can still pick them up for next to nothing.

Whilst it may sound complicated, I find a T5 strip for UV combined with a regular, old fashioned incandescent bulb for basking and a CHE to maintain minimum ambient temps much easier to manage. As long as you’re able to mount the strip far enough away from your tort which can be tricky on a table.
Thanks for the information. The table is 27cm high so if i put in the uv tube from her previous viv would this height be suitable? Also have i made the wrong mistake in getting a table. I like in the UK but my house is classed as an eco house and the temperature sits at around 28-31 degrees C even in the winter lol.
 

Mango_the_Tortoise

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A tortoise table allows all your heat to escape up and into the room. An open table will require more heat and light than a viv.

All the lighting info and much more can be found here:
As i said previously to another reply do you think the tortoise table will damage my tortoises health? Should i put the UV from her previous enclosure black in along with a normal heat lamp? I was told that a viv did not have enough ventilation for a tortoise which is why i changed to the table but now i have having second thoughts.... :S
 

Tom

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As i said previously to another reply do you think the tortoise table will damage my tortoises health? Should i put the UV from her previous enclosure black in along with a normal heat lamp? I was told that a viv did not have enough ventilation for a tortoise which is why i changed to the table but now i have having second thoughts.... :S
Where are you? What are the room temps and humidity years round? If the room temp and humidity is within the acceptable range for what your species of tortoise needs, then an open table will work great for an adult. If the room is too cool for part or all of the year, then and open table will make your life difficult. Its the reduced ventilation that keeps the warmth and humidity in.

Only your thermometer and UV meter can tell you if the old bulbs are enough, or of the new bulbs are better. You'll have to run them and check everything.

I don't like MVBs for young growing tortoises because they contribute to pyramiding. For a 15 year old grown adult, you won't have that concern, but they still burn our and/or stop producing UV prematurely, they are expensive, and they are fragile. I think there are better ways to go.

If your vivarium was working and you have a healthy smooth tortoise, I would go back to that. I don't know who told you that vivariums are bad, but that is a commonly held misconception amongst many tortoise keepers who just don't know better because they haven't tried things multiple ways and compared the results.
 

Mango_the_Tortoise

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Where are you? What are the room temps and humidity years round? If the room temp and humidity is within the acceptable range for what your species of tortoise needs, then an open table will work great for an adult. If the room is too cool for part or all of the year, then and open table will make your life difficult. Its the reduced ventilation that keeps the warmth and humidity in.

Only your thermometer and UV meter can tell you if the old bulbs are enough, or of the new bulbs are better. You'll have to run them and check everything.

I don't like MVBs for young growing tortoises because they contribute to pyramiding. For a 15 year old grown adult, you won't have that concern, but they still burn our and/or stop producing UV prematurely, they are expensive, and they are fragile. I think there are better ways to go.

If your vivarium was working and you have a healthy smooth tortoise, I would go back to that. I don't know who told you that vivariums are bad, but that is a commonly held misconception amongst many tortoise keepers who just don't know better because they haven't tried things multiple ways and compared the results.
I live in the Uk. The type of house I live in is classed as an eco house so our temps are pretty high all year round. To give you an idea we don’t have to put heating on at all even during the winter. The temps down in the living room were mango is situated goes between 23 during the winter till 31 during the summer. (Degrees C) I am not sure on humidity as I am getting one delivered in a few days but the humidity is certainly not low we’re I live.

also I changed me uv tube every 6 months and was planning on doing that with the MVB but will prob just go back to the viv if that will be an all round better option for her in the lone run. 🙂
 

ManAlive85

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Thanks for the information. The table is 27cm high so if i put in the uv tube from her previous viv would this height be suitable? Also have i made the wrong mistake in getting a table. I like in the UK but my house is classed as an eco house and the temperature sits at around 28-31 degrees C even in the winter lol.
27cm sounds okay for a low output T5 but unfortunately, as Tom says, the only way to tell for sure is with a solarmeter.

Tom’s yer man for all this info, anything I know is learned from his posts so there’s not much I can add. I’d tend to agree that a viv would probably be a more ideal solution for the tortoise as it’s easier to manage temps and humidity although I’d imagine that a 15 year old temperate species should get on perfectly well in a table with the correct setup if that works better for you. I wouldn’t have any concerns about lack of ventilation in the viv, they like it stuffy. My star has a 30mm hole drilled into her viv to run cables in and out, it’s otherwise pretty much sealed.

Having just re-read your initial post, one thing I would say is don’t be tempted to lower the MVB closer to the table to replicate the heat of the incandescent. MVB’s can cause damage if positioned too close to the tort 👍.
 

Tom

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I live in the Uk. The type of house I live in is classed as an eco house so our temps are pretty high all year round. To give you an idea we don’t have to put heating on at all even during the winter. The temps down in the living room were mango is situated goes between 23 during the winter till 31 during the summer. (Degrees C) I am not sure on humidity as I am getting one delivered in a few days but the humidity is certainly not low we’re I live.

also I changed me uv tube every 6 months and was planning on doing that with the MVB but will prob just go back to the viv if that will be an all round better option for her in the lone run. 🙂
Your temps sound pretty good for a Testudo in a table, and also much warmer than the usual UK temps we hear.

Good quality UV tubes, like the Arcadia brand, can last and produce good levels of UV for 2 or 3 years in some cases. No need to throw away money every six months. Get a meter so that you know exactly what your bulbs are producing at a given height, so you can make the necessary adjustments and so that you aren't replacing perfectly good bulbs.
 

Mango_the_Tortoise

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Your temps sound pretty good for a Testudo in a table, and also much warmer than the usual UK temps we hear.

Good quality UV tubes, like the Arcadia brand, can last and produce good levels of UV for 2 or 3 years in some cases. No need to throw away money every six months. Get a meter so that you know exactly what your bulbs are producing at a given height, so you can make the necessary adjustments and so that you aren't replacing perfectly good bulbs.
Thanks for all the info. Do you think I could put in the Arcadia 10% desert uvb tube in the table along with the MVB? Or would this be too much for her?
 

Tom

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Thanks for all the info. Do you think I could put in the Arcadia 10% desert uvb tube in the table along with the MVB? Or would this be too much for her?
Depends on mounting distances, hoods, age of bulbs, etc... Only a meter can answer that question.
 

ManAlive85

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I came across these UV sensor cards earlier.


Obviously not as good as a meter but at £1 a card they might give you a good indication of UV levels in different areas of the enclosure. I’m going to get a set myself.
 

Mango_the_Tortoise

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I came across these UV sensor cards earlier.


Obviously not as good as a meter but at £1 a card they might give you a good indication of UV levels in different areas of the enclosure. I’m going to get a set myself.
ah ok, will get those then as a uv meter are extremely expensive lol. Will take me a bit to save up
 

Tom

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I came across these UV sensor cards earlier.


Obviously not as good as a meter but at £1 a card they might give you a good indication of UV levels in different areas of the enclosure. I’m going to get a set myself.
Those do not measure the wavelength of UV needed by our tortoises to synthesize D3. Waste of money, no matter the price.
 

Mango_the_Tortoise

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Hi so thanks for everyones replies as they really did help a lot. So i have kept the table for the moment but put in the Arcadia desert 10% uv tube and the normal 100W basking lamp and she is back to her normal self. Basking away as per usual. I have taken the MVB out and i definatly see the benifit now of have the normal uvb tube and basking lamp compared to them.

Once again thats everyone :D
 

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