UVB help

Masie8

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Joined
Feb 18, 2022
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5
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Can I use this UVB for hatchlings (5 weeks old)

They live in a tortoise house at the moment while a larger more appropriate enclosure is being built. What do you recommend? A strip light? 10 or higher? How high?
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Can I use this UVB for hatchlings (5 weeks old)

They live in a tortoise house at the moment while a larger more appropriate enclosure is being built. What do you recommend? A strip light? 10 or higher? How high?
Definite no on any cfl. Some of them burn tortoise eyes, and none of them are an effective UV source.

What species of tortoise are we talking about? Different requirement for red foots compared to sulcatas for example.

T5 is an HO bulb. High Output. They are narrower in circumference, shorter in length, and they burn more electricity than the old style fatter T8 bulbs. T5 HO bulbs are currently the best UV source you can get indoors. Which type you need and how high depends on the species.
 

Masie8

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Definite no on any cfl. Some of them burn tortoise eyes, and none of them are an effective UV source.

What species of tortoise are we talking about? Different requirement for red foots compared to sulcatas for example.

T5 is an HO bulb. High Output. They are narrower in circumference, shorter in length, and they burn more electricity than the old style fatter T8 bulbs. T5 HO bulbs are currently the best UV source you can get indoors. Which type you need and how high depends on the species.

Thank you, my son, husband and I, just very graciously adopted (rescued) a neighbor’s three baby Sulcatas. They moved and did not want to take them with them across country. I swear, some people I want to throw off a bridge for their utter lack of empathy and yes it was an impulse buy. Here we are now having had scrambled to purchase everything we need. We all have been non stop researching and making sure everything is what they need in regards to humidity and the right foods and proper bedding. This website has been an amazing resource. All that being said we are struggling with lighting. Right now they are in a tortoise house while we build an even larger tortoise enclosure (four times the size) and finding a way to keep humidity and proper heat in all areas (not just one) has been challenging. Understanding all the things that they need as far as UVB has been tricky for me to understand. I know it’s so important to make sure Sulcatas have high UVB. What’s the difference between UVB and UV?

Another thing, we are in NY. I know, I know it’s not the ideal place for them. However we are animal people, I run a 501c3 dog rescue and are dedicated to making sure these babies live enriched and full, happy lives. We are aware they will need lots of place which we can provide. All this being said, it’s very frustrating that some people do this and other people pick up after them. They’re very cute however.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,286
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thank you, my son, husband and I, just very graciously adopted (rescued) a neighbor’s three baby Sulcatas. They moved and did not want to take them with them across country. I swear, some people I want to throw off a bridge for their utter lack of empathy and yes it was an impulse buy. Here we are now having had scrambled to purchase everything we need. We all have been non stop researching and making sure everything is what they need in regards to humidity and the right foods and proper bedding. This website has been an amazing resource. All that being said we are struggling with lighting. Right now they are in a tortoise house while we build an even larger tortoise enclosure (four times the size) and finding a way to keep humidity and proper heat in all areas (not just one) has been challenging. Understanding all the things that they need as far as UVB has been tricky for me to understand. I know it’s so important to make sure Sulcatas have high UVB. What’s the difference between UVB and UV?

Another thing, we are in NY. I know, I know it’s not the ideal place for them. However we are animal people, I run a 501c3 dog rescue and are dedicated to making sure these babies live enriched and full, happy lives. We are aware they will need lots of place which we can provide. All this being said, it’s very frustrating that some people do this and other people pick up after them. They’re very cute however.
Unfortunately, almost everything you find about tortoise care out in the world and online is rubbish. I tried to watch a few sulcata care videos and frankly, I don't know how any of them even survive with the scope and quantity of just plain wrong info and bad practices that abound for them. I was watching a YT video on how to raise dubia roaches before clicking back here and almost every assertion the tattooed lady was making is wrong. I know its wrong because I've been breeding them, and 17 other roach species, for more than a decade, and I've done dozens of side by side experiments to test out all the opposing theories I read about years ago. Food, humidity, bin color, etc... Same thing with tortoises.

With that in mind, may I suggest you disregard what you've previously read about raising sulcatas, and instead follow this care guide. The reason you are having trouble maintaining the correct temps and humidity is because you are using the wrong type of enclosure. Its all in here:

Please give this a read, and then come back with all your questions. I'll be happy to explain why what is in that care sheet differs so drastically from what you've read previously.

Here is a quick guide to heating and lighting too:

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
 

Masie8

New Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2022
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Unfortunately, almost everything you find about tortoise care out in the world and online is rubbish. I tried to watch a few sulcata care videos and frankly, I don't know how any of them even survive with the scope and quantity of just plain wrong info and bad practices that abound for them. I was watching a YT video on how to raise dubia roaches before clicking back here and almost every assertion the tattooed lady was making is wrong. I know its wrong because I've been breeding them, and 17 other roach species, for more than a decade, and I've done dozens of side by side experiments to test out all the opposing theories I read about years ago. Food, humidity, bin color, etc... Same thing with tortoises.

With that in mind, may I suggest you disregard what you've previously read about raising sulcatas, and instead follow this care guide. The reason you are having trouble maintaining the correct temps and humidity is because you are using the wrong type of enclosure. Its all in here:

Please give this a read, and then come back with all your questions. I'll be happy to explain why what is in that care sheet differs so drastically from what you've read previously.

Here is a quick guide to heating and lighting too:

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
This is all so helpful. We so appreciate all of this. We are very dedicated now and want to only provide the ultimate care.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
23,609
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome
It's very kind of you to give the 3 sullies a home, if you follow Tom's advice they should thrive.
If you want to check your set is OK for them you could post some pics and get good feedback and of course we all love pics of torts!
 

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