New tort update + enclosure

Prenchpries

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May 30, 2020
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Metro Manila, Philippines
Hi tortoise fam! Hope everyone’s been well. Last year, I posted about my poor Ube (sulcata baby) that fell ill and eventually passed after just a month. During my birthday last September, my brother got another sulcata baby. And I’m glad to say, he’s doing really great! It’s been a few weeks since I weighed him. But he was already 250 grams at just 6 months!

Here’s his latest enclosure, which he just moved into yesterday. Wanted to share it with y’all for feedback, and maybe to even share some ideas for those looking to set up a new enclosure.

I noticed mild pyramiding because his old enclosure had an open top so humidity was only 40-60%. That’s why I really wanted to move him in here ASAP!

5129E070-6B5D-46EF-98F1-33055E0089D5.jpeg
Location: My balcony.
Box: A giant Lifetime storage trunk. We obviously didn’t use the cover anymore
Cover: 3mm Acrylic Sheet.
Lighting: Repti sun 5.0 UVB/UVA light in the middle (we’ve since added a makeshift paper dome to protect our eyes lmao). Incandescent bulb 25W on the hot side.
Humidity: 88% on the warm side, and 99% on the cool side.
Temps: 31-32C in the warm side/basking spot, 30C in the cool side.

FYI: I live in a tropical country so I only ever worry about cold weather at night and during the wet season.

Things to be added:
- Hide for the cooler side
- Maybe some fake rocks or whatever that he can climb on
 

TheTattooedTortoise

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Apr 20, 2021
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North Wales, UK
Hey,
Pretty sure that uv bulb isn't strong enough dude, I'm under the impression you need a 10.0 min for effective use... also, those types of bulbs you have (coil/incandescent types) are often so bright they can burn your torts eyes, yours too by the sound of it (adding paper dome).

A uv tube light would be much more suitable.

From what ive read, I'd recommend more variation in temps across the enclosure too based on what sulcata care sheets say, lastly.. that seems like quite a small enclosure, specially for a sulcata, even if he is only a baby.
 

Prenchpries

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Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
36
Location (City and/or State)
Metro Manila, Philippines
Hey,
Pretty sure that uv bulb isn't strong enough dude, I'm under the impression you need a 10.0 min for effective use... also, those types of bulbs you have (coil/incandescent types) are often so bright they can burn your torts eyes, yours too by the sound of it (adding paper dome).

A uv tube light would be much more suitable.

From what ive read, I'd recommend more variation in temps across the enclosure too based on what sulcata care sheets say, lastly.. that seems like quite a small enclosure, specially for a sulcata, even if he is only a baby.

Yea, this UV light was from his old enclosure. I literally just already purchased a 10.0 one today, since the light is now like 16” from him (used to be just 12). Haven’t noticed any issues with his eyes, coz as you mentioned, the light is kept at a safe distance. Besides he gets natural UV every day, so this is just supplemental lighting. ;)

Of course we all want a big enclosure for our torts but this is the best size enclosure I can do for now. I’d rather not move him to our garden yet coz it’s too complicated at the moment. Hahahaha
 

TheTattooedTortoise

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Messages
138
Location (City and/or State)
North Wales, UK
Yea, this UV light was from his old enclosure. I literally just already purchased a 10.0 one today, since the light is now like 16” from him (used to be just 12). Haven’t noticed any issues with his eyes, coz as you mentioned, the light is kept at a safe distance. Besides he gets natural UV every day, so this is just supplemental lighting. ;)

Of course we all want a big enclosure for our torts but this is the best size enclosure I can do for now. I’d rather not move him to our garden yet coz it’s too complicated at the moment. Hahahaha
Glad to hear you've invested in a decent light 👍🏻 even better that he gets access to direct sunlight every day too.

Yea I understand people have space limitations... if only we all had mansions with acres of land huh?! 😂

While he's smaller sized, now's the time to start chipping away at a decent outside space for him... won't be long before he's a right lump hehe
 

KarenSoCal

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I literally just already purchased a 10.0 one today, since the light is now like 16” from him (used to be just 12). Haven’t noticed any issues with his eyes, coz as you mentioned, the light is kept at a safe distance. Besides he gets natural UV every day, so this is just supplemental lighting. ;)
Hello!
If your tortoise gets natural sun that is not through a window, plastic, or screening of any kind, then you really should not use extra UVB lighting.

UVB lights like you're using have been shown to contribute to pyramiding, as well as not being safe for eyes. In addition, the UVB they emit is very variable from one bulb to another. Unless you have checked the light with a solarmeter, you can't know that it is 'safe'.

Your tort only needs access to about an hour of unfiltered sun twice or 3 times a week.

He does need a basking light. An incandescent flood bulb is best. Notice flood, not spot. You'd probably get them at a hardware store.
 

Prenchpries

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Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
36
Location (City and/or State)
Metro Manila, Philippines
Glad to hear you've invested in a decent light 👍🏻 even better that he gets access to direct sunlight every day too.

Yea I understand people have space limitations... if only we all had mansions with acres of land huh?! 😂

While he's smaller sized, now's the time to start chipping away at a decent outside space for him... won't be long before he's a right lump hehe
Yeah! I wish I had a farm... our garden is enough but we have so many pets. We’re already thinking of where to place his new home outdoors that would be safe. Any suggestions? Hahahaha
 

Prenchpries

Member
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
36
Location (City and/or State)
Metro Manila, Philippines
Hello!
If your tortoise gets natural sun that is not through a window, plastic, or screening of any kind, then you really should not use extra UVB lighting.

UVB lights like you're using have been shown to contribute to pyramiding, as well as not being safe for eyes. In addition, the UVB they emit is very variable from one bulb to another. Unless you have checked the light with a solarmeter, you can't know that it is 'safe'.

Your tort only needs access to about an hour of unfiltered sun twice or 3 times a week.

He does need a basking light. An incandescent flood bulb is best. Notice flood, not spot. You'd probably get them at a hardware store.
I give him around 45min-2 hours of sun a day. It’s directly hitting him probably for only 30-45 min tho, the rest is just indirect light I guess. He’s on my east facing balcony.

And damn I didn’t know these UV bulbs could contribute to pyramiding??! :(

sadly, incandescent lights are super hard to find in my country. They’re almost non-existent in big stores haha had to hunt for them on FB marketplace... but the distance should be safe enough ? Why can’t it be bulb? For eye safety reasons as well?
 

KarenSoCal

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I give him around 45min-2 hours of sun a day. It’s directly hitting him probably for only 30-45 min tho, the rest is just indirect light I guess. He’s on my east facing balcony.

And damn I didn’t know these UV bulbs could contribute to pyramiding??! :(

sadly, incandescent lights are super hard to find in my country. They’re almost non-existent in big stores haha had to hunt for them on FB marketplace... but the distance should be safe enough ? Why can’t it be bulb? For eye safety reasons as well?
It can be a bulb, but if all you can get is LED, they don't make heat. And reptile basking bulbs are spot bulbs, so are hard on the shells.
 
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