UVB and lights for enclosure

brandhllg

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
51
Location (City and/or State)
Maumelle Arkansas
So today, bc it's starting to get cold here and the torts will start living inside for awhile I started a little research and am somewhat aggravated by what is offered on the market as far as UVB is concerned. I have went in the past with the UVB Mercury vapor bulbs by zoo-med but this doesn't allow for the tortoise to bask without getting UVB rays. I also run T5 high output tubes in my enclosure but while researching have found that the 5.0 and 10.0 tubes only offer 5% and 10% UVB output. I ran the question of why is it that in a reef aquarium setup does one have to use 300 plus watts of 10,000k and 460 nm to provide enough light to sustain a reef in a 75 gallon tank for proper calcium absorption in coral then how in the world does one replicate the sun in a 4'x4' enclosure for a tortoise. So I googled my question. (T5 lights provide UVB.) what popped up discouraged me. It talked about lumens and the UVB concentration of natural sunlight compared to products on the U.S. Market and as the consumer we are being ripped. I'm literally at wits ends over this. The Arcadia bulb out of the UK offers 12% and is the closest bulb that replicates natural sunlight when being paired with a 6500k day light tub. As far as heat then provide heat emitters for gradient heat and a lower watt normal basking light for extra warmth a sunning. Anyone care to chime in on this?
 

Yellow Turtle01

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2013
Messages
7,710
Location (City and/or State)
OH, USA
Well, I actually read having an MVB is the best because tortoises regulate the amount of heat and UVB they get, and often times they will move away from both when they are done basking, making it difficult to do so while the heat and UVB are in different places. I'll try to find the link.
10% UVB is very good. That's what I have. Tortoises only need a few hours of UVB a week to 'survive' so I give mine two days off a week where he just has heat. on these days, he commonly spends most of day under the heat, which makes me think when he moves off, he's getting away from the UVB, not heat. I asked if coral bulbs (and Full Spectrum fish lights) provided UVB, and the answer was no. They are just lights. http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/full-spectrum-lighting.101605/ the conversation ended, though, and was just on my page.
So what are you trying to say, here? You want the to have heat, but not UVB in the whole package? As I said, I'm not fond of MVB because of the fact that I can't 'switch it out' and my russian doesn't get relief from the UVB rays without leaving heat.
 

brandhllg

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2012
Messages
51
Location (City and/or State)
Maumelle Arkansas
You just answered my question, without answering it in a way. Lol. We all can agree that UVB light is vital and this has to been in place, however are the Mercury Vapor Bulbs the way to get this accomplished. As you stated you can't just switch off UVB.
I have been misinformed while trying to become informed. I gather information like a sponge.
Right now, in my 4'x4' closed chamber I'm running a 32"T5 tube unit with a T5 10.0 UVB bulb, a zoo-med MVB bulb 100watts and 2 heat emitters. I know my heat within the enclosure is at good amounts giving hot spots, and cool areas.
That being said, with the MVB in the center I have noticed that the torts don't use the center except for small periods of time. One will sun but will do so off center from the bulb.
I like your answer with the basking light and will experiment with this by taking out my MVB on certain days and see if the torts are more active in the center of the enclosure. I will still have the T5 unit going on the one side and then will try the MVB without the T5 unit going.
What I want to make sure of is that my torts get enough UVB while indoors but also for them to enjoy themselves.
 

Yellow Turtle01

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2013
Messages
7,710
Location (City and/or State)
OH, USA
Hmm... Okay, I see your point now. :p Maybe the don't spend time below the MVB much because you also have heat emitters, w. hich keeps the whole things toasty and nice. Maybe just for day, use a regular 60w bulb from a hardware store (I have a floodlight bulb) and see if they use it more. The you'd know if UVB is affecting their basking.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,330
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Theories and speculation are great, but you are over thinking this. Rather than studying every detail under a microscope and getting all confused and discouraged, take a look at what 1000's of other keepers all across the country do to successfully get through winter. Somehow it works despite lame equipment and wide spread mis-understandings.

I think it awesome that you are considering all this, evaluating every detail, and trying to give your tortoise the best environment possible.

In my experience the Powersuns and HO tubes will provide adequate UV to get any tortoise through winter. Adding more light of the correct color spectrum is a bonus.

Do you have a UV meter to check what levels are actually reaching your tortoise? I like this one: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html

About your reef lighting questions: Number one is that the water filters out a lot of UV and light. Number two is that corals and related reef flora and fauna live in a relatively stable environment and are not adapted to deal with any conditions outside of a very narrow range. Our tortoises in contrast are adapted to survive and tolerate a wide variety of temperatures, climactic conditions, foods and many other external forces. Where certain corals will only survive under very specifics conditions, many tortoise species will survive and thrive under wildly variable conditions, including many different captive lighting strategies.
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,030
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
I'm just throwing this out there, but you said your tortoise will not lay directly under the MVB. Maybe it's just too hot directly under it, they do put out a lot of heat. My tortoise likes to lay right under the lamp.
 
Top