Tortoise Daily Routine

kit0407

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I have enlarged his enclosure past two weeks and he is no longer pacing around. He looks more relaxed now.

Here is my Hermann Tortoise (his name is Maru) daily routine these two days:
- 8AM come out from the hide and bask under the light
- 10AM I put his food in the dish and he will come to the dish and eat
- 12PM go back to his hide and dont come out again

Is it normal he went back to his hide so early? Before these two days he usually bask until 4PM before he go back to his hide. Nothing in the environment changed.

Please feel free to share your tortoise daily routine:)

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Alex and the Redfoot

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An adorable tortoise! What is his age? As baby tortoises tend to hide and sleep a lot.

Also, tortoises don't really like changes and it can take weeks for them to feel confident in the new enclosure.

Temperatures, humidity and lightning are important as well. He may hide because it's too cold or too warm and he waits for the "good weather". Or the UVB light is too strong and he tries to avoid it.
 

kit0407

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An adorable tortoise! What is his age? As baby tortoises tend to hide and sleep a lot.

Also, tortoises don't really like changes and it can take weeks for them to feel confident in the new enclosure.

Temperatures, humidity and lightning are important as well. He may hide because it's too cold or too warm and he waits for the "good weather". Or the UVB light is too strong and he tries to avoid it.
He is two years old. Is he in Juvenile stage?

That might be the reason. I just changed his enclosure last week🙊

I am using Arcadia 14% UVB T5HO and put in on one side of the enclosure further from the hide. Humidity is 40-50% under basking spot and ard 60-70% in hide. Temperature 32 degree under basking and ard 24 degree further from basking.

Thank you for your prompt reply😃
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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He is two years old. Is he in Juvenile stage?

That might be the reason. I just changed his enclosure last week🙊

I am using Arcadia 14% UVB T5HO and put in on one side of the enclosure further from the hide. Humidity is 40-50% under basking spot and ard 60-70% in hide. Temperature 32 degree under basking and ard 24 degree further from basking.

Thank you for your prompt reply😃
You need to raise basking zone temperature to 36-38C (95-100F). Ambient temperature looks good.

If UVB lamp is really 14% (labeled Dragon) and not 12% (labeled Desert), it should be more than 60 cm high over the substrate. 12% (Desert) lamp is mounted at 50cm. This link can help to choose a safe mounting distance: https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/partial-baskers/ However, the most accurate way to determine distance is to use a radiometer (Solarmeter 6.5 is the only one I'm aware of, but it's expensive). Just in case, UVB light should be on for 4-6 hours a day, around midday.
 
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kit0407

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You need to raise basking zone temperature to 36-38C (95-100F). Ambient temperature looks good.

If UVB lamp is really 14% (labeled Dragon) and not 12% (labeled Desert), it should be more than 60 cm high over the substrate. 12% (Desert) lamp is mounted at 50cm. This link can help to choose a safe mounting distance: https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/partial-baskers/ However, the most accurate way to determine distance is to use a radiometer (Solarmeter 6.5 is the only one I'm aware of, but it's expensive). Just in case, UVB light should be on for 4-6 hours a day, around midday.
OK let me adjust the temperature.

Do you know what is the impact for too much UVB? I think mine does not suit my enclosure as it is at a 50cm distance...

Thanks!
 

Maggie3fan

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I am no expert on lighting, but I learned to set the UVB lights 18 inches away from the top of the tortoises' carapace...it probably has changed by now...but that works for me...also, I am not super concerned about UVB lights as all my animals are put outside at every opportunity...I betcha Hong Kong has UVB from the sun pounding down...can you make a small container that he can go in outside for a bit? I know that's an unusual thought...but why not try the actual sun?
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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OK let me adjust the temperature.

Do you know what is the impact for too much UVB? I think mine does not suit my enclosure as it is at a 50cm distance...

Thanks!
In the worst cases it could be eye irritation ("snow blindness"). Also they will try to avoid harsh light.

50cm over substrate (or 18 inches over shell) is a safe distance for 12% lamps. For 14% it should be a little higher. However, according to Arcadia data sheets it's UV index of 4.6 (that's close to autumn/spring midday sun in Hong Kong).
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Maggie suggested a great idea with natural sunlight. You have daily temperatures between 70 and 80F, according to a forecast. Some hours of walking in the sunshine would be great. Maybe you have a balcony, where you can setup an outdoor space for him?
 

Tom

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I am no expert on lighting, but I learned to set the UVB lights 18 inches away from the top of the tortoises' carapace...it probably has changed by now...but that works for me...also, I am not super concerned about UVB lights as all my animals are put outside at every opportunity...I betcha Hong Kong has UVB from the sun pounding down...can you make a small container that he can go in outside for a bit? I know that's an unusual thought...but why not try the actual sun?
This really depends on the bulb. The OP is using a 14% HO tube, and 18 inches is way too close for a bulb that strong.
 

kit0407

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I am no expert on lighting, but I learned to set the UVB lights 18 inches away from the top of the tortoises' carapace...it probably has changed by now...but that works for me...also, I am not super concerned about UVB lights as all my animals are put outside at every opportunity...I betcha Hong Kong has UVB from the sun pounding down...can you make a small container that he can go in outside for a bit? I know that's an unusual thought...but why not try the actual sun?
Thanks for your advice. I will let me out in the balcony to get some natural sun:))

Maggie suggested a great idea with natural sunlight. You have daily temperatures between 70 and 80F, according to a forecast. Some hours of walking in the sunshine would be great. Maybe you have a balcony, where you can setup an outdoor space for him?
This really depends on the bulb. The OP is using a 14% HO tube, and 18 inches is way too close for a bulb that strong.
Thanks. I will get a UVB Meter for more accurate adjustment🙌🏻
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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A few things about the balcony:
1. Glass filters out UVB (if you have glazing, you'll need to open the windows).
2. It's better to setup some space for him with a substrate, some hides and such while leaving an access to the whole balcony area.
3. If you can provide 2-4 hours a week under the midday sun, you might not need UVB lamp at all.
 

Maggie3fan

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I would set him up in a container w/out substrate, just a hide to get out of the sun...you can do all that stuff Alex suggests...but I wouldn't, it's simply a quick easy way to get UVB...
 

Maggie3fan

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This really depends on the bulb. The OP is using a 14% HO tube, and 18 inches is way too close for a bulb that strong.
Guess you missed where I said..."that has probably changed by now". I don't use UVB bulbs at all...every animal I have has an outside place in winter and summer...
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Guess you missed where I said..."that has probably changed by now". I don't use UVB bulbs at all...every animal I have has an outside place in winter and summer...
18 inches is still a good distance for the "standard" T5 UVB lamps we use for tortoises (like Arcadia Desert or ReptiSun 10.0). It's just *this* (if it's really a 14%) lamp has stronger UV output, so it needs to be mounted higher.
 

Tom

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Guess you missed where I said..."that has probably changed by now". I don't use UVB bulbs at all...every animal I have has an outside place in winter and summer...
I didn't miss that. I just wanted you to know that you are correct, and that it really has changed with all the different bulbs on the market now. The old 18 inches is still correct some of the time, but that is too close for some of the newer HO tubes that we can get now.
 

kit0407

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I didn't miss that. I just wanted you to know that you are correct, and that it really has changed with all the different bulbs on the market now. The old 18 inches is still correct some of the time, but that is too close for some of the newer HO tubes that we can get now.
18 inches is still a good distance for the "standard" T5 UVB lamps we use for tortoises (like Arcadia Desert or ReptiSun 10.0). It's just *this* (if it's really a 14%) lamp has stronger UV output, so it needs to be mounted higher.
Guess you missed where I said..."that has probably changed by now". I don't use UVB bulbs at all...every animal I have has an outside place in winter and summer...
I forgot to mention my uvb tube is put on top of a mesh so that may filter out some UVB...

I am thinking of getting a UVB Meter. I know Solarmeter 6.5 is the best choice but it is too expensive for me at the moment. I plan to get a UVB Meter, I know that the wavelength it measures is more than those specific to reptile. Is it still worth buying to check the UVB in its enclosure?

I also tried to search for the ideal UVB reading to look for. But seems that there is no such info. Should I just test it under the sun, in shade area and compare the reading to my enclosure?

Thank you!
 
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Alex and the Redfoot

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I forgot to mention my uvb tube is put on top of a mesh so that may filter out some UVB...

I am thinking of getting a UVB Meter. I know Solarmeter 6.5 is the best choice but it is too expensive for me at the moment. I plan to get a UVB Meter, I know that the wavelength it measures is more than those specific to reptile. Is it still worth buying to check the UVB in its enclosure?

I also tried to search for the ideal UVB reading to look for. But seems that there is no such info. Should I just test it under the sun, in shade area and compare the reading to my enclosure?

Thank you!
I'm not sure if other UVB meter will do the job. :( You may be looking for this post: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/zoomed-digital-uv-index-radiometer.85716/#post-804063
which explains what radiometers measure, how to convert "mW to UVI". And some other topics. Worth looking at http://www.uvguide.co.uk/index.htm as well - lamp information is a bit outdated, but basics of physiology are still good :)

Also there is a recent post on UVB: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/uvb-and-heat-info-guide.212079/#post-2105659 (looks like it's NOT accurate, but there are mesh/lamp attenuation charts, which can help to predict what UV level you have).
 

kit0407

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I'm not sure if other UVB meter will do the job. :( You may be looking for this post: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/zoomed-digital-uv-index-radiometer.85716/#post-804063
which explains what radiometers measure, how to convert "mW to UVI". And some other topics. Worth looking at http://www.uvguide.co.uk/index.htm as well - lamp information is a bit outdated, but basics of physiology are still good :)

Also there is a recent post on UVB: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/uvb-and-heat-info-guide.212079/#post-2105659 (looks like it's NOT accurate, but there are mesh/lamp attenuation charts, which can help to predict what UV level you have).
I just read through the post. I eventually found a UVI Meter 280-400nm Wavelenth Respnse same as the Solarmeter 6.5. It's only around USD51 in Hong Kong. I might try this out!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B3Y9ZXLZ/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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I just read through the post. I eventually found a UVI Meter 280-400nm Wavelenth Respnse same as the Solarmeter 6.5. It's only around USD51 in Hong Kong. I might try this out!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B3Y9ZXLZ/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
If Amazon shows me the same meter, it has mW/cm2 scale (written under the display). It works perfect to measure lamp degradation over time, but to determine distance you will need mW to UVI charts for the exact lamp fixture/lamp combination you use (they can be found on the Internet and some are linked in the thread about radiometers I've linked). I really hope, this radiometer will work as expected - we need some alternatives to Solarmeter :)
 

kit0407

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If Amazon shows me the same meter, it has mW/cm2 scale (written under the display). It works perfect to measure lamp degradation over time, but to determine distance you will need mW to UVI charts for the exact lamp fixture/lamp combination you use (they can be found on the Internet and some are linked in the thread about radiometers I've linked). I really hope, this radiometer will work as expected - we need some alternatives to Solarmeter :)

I think the reading should be shown in UVI as this is written in the product specification. (I believe the scale shown is a mistake). The only thing we need to know is if it is as accurate as the Solarmeter 6.5.

Anyway, I will order it to try it out. Yes it would be good news if it work exactly the same as the Solarmeter 6.5 as it's half the price (USD110 in Amazon). More people can afford it. Unfortunately I cannot compare it to the solarmeter 6.5 side by side. So...if anyone interested to compare the result please share it with us in the forum haha😆

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