New owner, need some advice!


New Member
Oct 15, 2019
Location (City and/or State)
I'm a new tortoise owner to 2 Mediterranean spur-thigh hatchlings, and I'm after some advice about basking temps.

We have a combi bulb in their table, and have a digital probe thermometer directly under the lamp on the substrate, we also have a laser heat gun.

The temps measured on the digital thermometer are a lower than those on the heat gun, by 2 or 3°, only just about reaching 31° later in the day. Using the heat gun some outer sections of the basking area are a lot higher than directly underneath, sometimes going too high, about 35° close to where they they lie.

Which of the temperatures should I go by, as I know the digital thermometer is measuring the air temp rather than the surface temp like the heat gun.
Should I be lowering the bulb so the centre reaches the correct temp, risking some of the edges surface temps going even higher?

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post!

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I'm not a fan of the combination fixtures. I want one fixture at each end of the enclosure and you can't do that with the combination. I have either a tube type fluorescent UVB or a Mercury Vapor Bulb at one end and either a Ceramic Heat Emitter or black bulb at the other end. The instructions on the box the lights came in usually tell you to not have them closer than 12" from the tortoise's back. But I'm not an expert on the lighting, so please wait for other members to answer your questions.