Question about bulb burn in time

leigti

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Hello, I have read several times on this forum how you should give your bulbs a burn in time, 50 to 100 hours has been suggested. I just received a 10.0 UV and a 5.0 hi output UV bulb. When tested with my solar meter 6.5 the readings at 15 inches were .7 and 1.3 respectively. Is this the correct meter to use to see if they are putting out too much UV? Should I just burn them in anyway or can I put my turtle and tortoise under them today?
 

leigti

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This is the first time I've used the tube lights, I usually use MVB also. I think I am going to go ahead and put them under the lights tonight, the readings don't seem high to me. But I will check them again.
 

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This is the first time I've used the tube lights, I usually use MVB also. I think I am going to go ahead and put them under the lights tonight, the readings don't seem high to me. But I will check them again.

Those reading are too low, but to be expected with those bulbs at those heights. 15" is too high for a regular 10.0 bulb. It need to be 10-12" from the tortoise, or meter in this case. 15" would probably be a bit too low for a 10.0 HO bulb, but the 5.0 HO bulbs produce a lot less UV, just like the regular 5.0 bulbs. I don't bother with the 5.0 bulbs for this reason. Can you return the 5.0 HO for a 10.0 HO? That would probably be just right for your enclosure. If you lower your regular 10.0 a bit, it should work for you too.

Aren't you glad you have a UV meter? Now you KNOW what levels you are dealing with and can adjust accordingly. :)
 

leigti

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Well darn it anyway!! These are the bulbs that were recommended to me in another thread, and the ones that are recommended by the zoo med company. This is so frustrating :-(I can't lower the bulbs anymore but I guess I can add more substrate and get the animals closer to the bulbs. I don't want to use a high output for my Boxturtle so that's why I got the 10.0 for her and I was told that 10.0 hi output would be too high for my Russian. I am glad I have the meter but it's still frustrating, sorry about my rant.
 

leigti

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Makes me kind a wish I would've stuck with an MVB 160 W for the bigger enclosures but I thought these lights would be better. I spent quite a lot of money so far so I would kind a like to make this work out. If the cheapest way is to get brighter bulbs then I'll do it. Now I understand why there so many questions about the lights, it definitely is not an easy thing to get right sometimes.
 

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Well I would have told you if you'd asked me first! :p


Seriously though. Live and learn. And share what you learned with the next person wondering which bulbs to get for their application.
 

leigti

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Well I would have told you if you'd asked me first! :p


Seriously though. Live and learn. And share what you learned with the next person wondering which bulbs to get for their application.
So what do you suggest now Tom? :) :-(I got these mail order so send them back is a royal pain in the butt. My enclosures are approximately 53 bye 38 x 20" tall and I can't get the bulbs any closer. I was told box turtles should not have the high output but maybe I should get the high output 5.0 for her and the high output 10.0 for the Russian? I plan on putting 65 W floodlight in each one for heat.
 

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A UV index of 1.3 should suit a boxie just fine. A little higher would be fine, as long as they also can take shelter from the rays. So your 5.0 HO will work for that one.

For your russian you will either need a stronger bulb or figure out a way to lower the one you have. I'd keep the regular 10.0 over the russian, but buy an additional 10.0 HO for that enclosure. Running both bulbs AND a 65 watt basking lamp will keep it super bright and lit up, which will encourage your Russian to stay awake all winter, since that appears to be your goal.
 

leigti

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A UV index of 1.3 should suit a boxie just fine. A little higher would be fine, as long as they also can take shelter from the rays. So your 5.0 HO will work for that one.

For your russian you will either need a stronger bulb or figure out a way to lower the one you have. I'd keep the regular 10.0 over the russian, but buy an additional 10.0 HO for that enclosure. Running both bulbs AND a 65 watt basking lamp will keep it super bright and lit up, which will encourage your Russian to stay awake all winter, since that appears to be your goal.
Okay, so another high output hood and a 10.0 hi output bulb and I should be good. Yes I am not going to hibernate either one of them. Just as a sidenote? It seems like if your enclosure is more than a foot tall thin high output bulbs or MVB is the way to go.
 

leigti

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I purposely got a deeper enclosure so I can make different terrain, bigger plants etc. I'm not sorry I did it I will make this work if it kills me and my bank account :)
 

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It seems like if your enclosure is more than a foot tall thin high output bulbs or MVB is the way to go.

I would agree. Further this is exactly why I keep telling everyone to get a good UV meter. That is the ONLY way to know what level of UV your over wintering tortoises are getting. (Turtles too.)
 

leigti

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I would agree. Further this is exactly why I keep telling everyone to get a good UV meter. That is the ONLY way to know what level of UV your over wintering tortoises are getting. (Turtles too.)
No wonder so many tortoises and turtles have issues even though their owners mean well. I rely very heavily on this forum because I have nobody locally that knows what in the heck they are doing. I'm very frustrated right now but I'm glad I figured it out early rather than having my critters spend the winter in side under in adequate lighting. I'm not bashing anybody on the site I know everybody means well and it is very hard to give advice in this area. Unlike diet it is not as straightforward and every single set up is different. It is really really too bad that the solar meters are so dang expensive, even if they were $50 less I think many more people would own one.
 

leigti

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One more side note while I'm on a roll, the zoo med company recommended that I have even less lighting than what I did get. It is hard when you can't trust the companies either. Okay I will stop for now I promise :)
 

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Be careful not to overexpose to too much overall light....if this much lighting is going to be ran, I would be sure to offer a few heavily shaded areas so that the animal can escape the rays when they become too much...after all, no tortoise nor turtle remain in the bright uv all day....IN MY OPINION that is....
 

leigti

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Be careful not to overexpose to too much overall light....if this much lighting is going to be ran, I would be sure to offer a few heavily shaded areas so that the animal can escape the rays when they become too much...after all, no tortoise nor turtle remain in the bright uv all day....IN MY OPINION that is....
Both enclosures, and especially the box turtle one, are heavily planted. And I will put other hides etc. in there too. I'm not sure I'm going to put two UV strips in the tortoise enclosure, that might actually be too bright, I will just have to see. I ordered a brighter light for the Russian tortoise and will move the Russians light over to the Boxturtle pen and that should be plenty for the Boxturtle. I'm not looking for readings of seven or eight :) but two or three would be nice. I appreciate everybody's opinions, and I know that giving advice when you can't actually see the enclosure etc. is difficult. It is very confusing sometimes. I just want what is best for my critters, it's hard when you think you're doing everything right and to find out that you're not.
 

ascott

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it's hard when you think you're doing everything right and to find out that you're not.

Well, this is even relative to who you speak with....everyone has their own set up, based on their own location, own weather and such....
 

leigti

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Well, this is even relative to who you speak with....everyone has their own set up, based on their own location, own weather and such....
True. I know there are a lot of different ways to do things "right"and some of it does come down to personal preference. I'm just trying to get the UV Numbers right for winter. Thank God they can be outside during the spring and summer or I would probably give myself a heart attack trying to figure this out :)
 

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There is no way a couple of florescent tubes and a 65 watt basking bulb will be too bright for a russian. That is still only a fraction as bright as the sun. And your UV levels are very low right now so no danger from that. I know you'll be checking UV levels when the new bulb arrives and I think the combo will put you in your desired range of a UV index of 2-3.
 
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