UVB Lighting During The Day

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Alexisd

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Hi,
I am curious what people's thoughts are for UVB lighting during the day?? I have my tortoise table set up right under a window (although I am under the impression that UVB does not necessarily transfer through glass well?) and I live in santa cruz (where it is sunny almost ALL the time :D BUT with the new time change the sun goes down at about 4-5:00 and I dont get home till about 5:30 to turn his light on) Should I be leaving the UVB light on ALL day... OR... should I turn it on for a few hours when I get home?? I have a 6 month old redfooted tortoise Named Bowser (who is amazing in every way!!) and I do not want to disrupt his sleep cycle -or- his calcium digestion. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic
~Alexis
 

Alexisd

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UVB Lights on During The Day

Hello,
I am Alexis and I am new on Tortoiseforum. I have some questions about UVB lights... I have a 6 month old Redfoot Tortoise (Bowser :D) his tortoise table is set up right under the window (although I hear that UVB rays do not necessarily go through glass well..?) I am curious if I need to leave the UVB light on all day ( I do live in Santa Cruz where it is sunny ALL the time) or if I can leave it off till I get home around 5:00?? It has been getting darker earlier now with the time change and the sun starts going down around 4:30 so by the time that I get home at 5-5:30 it is already fairly dark in the house. I do not want to disrupt his sleep schedule -or- his calcium absorption and I am curious what everyones thoughts are on UVB lights. I have heard to "have them on for 12-14 hours a day".... all the way to "having them on 4 hours a day, and the rest natural sunlight". I am fairly new at this and I want to make sure that he is happy and healthy!! He is eating and drinking great already, he LOVES to dig holes and bury himself (which makes me so nervous he is going to suffocate, but I have heard they do that as babies to feel secure and cool). Please let me know your thoughts on this topic!! Thank you!!
~Alexis
 

wellington

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RE: UVB Lights on During The Day

Hello and Welcome. Your right the uv does not go through glass. The bulbs we use is no where near as good as the sun. So for that reason alone, they should be on 8-12 hours a day. I don't do the 14. I try to follow the sunlight hours for the time of year. Now, with that said, if you could build him a secure enclosure for outside, and get him in that when the weather is warm enough, that would be better for him. Also, be very careful with the enclosure by the window. It can get hot in the enclosure and over heat your tort. I would have your lights on a 7-8am. and out at 7-8pm. I still have mine on for 12 hours, I haven't switched to 8 hours and not sure I will this year.
 

jaizei

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RE: UVB Lights on During The Day

What type of UVB lamps are you using? What other types of lighting or heating are you using?

Regardless, you should consider buying a timer so you can have the lights turn on and off when you are not there.
 

Alexisd

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RE: UVB Lights on During The Day

Thank you for the quick responses! I am looking into buying a timer in the next week or so, I am currently using a nocturnal infrared heat lamp that is adjustable so I set it at about 90 during the day then when I get home I turn it don to 80 and then 65-70 at night - and a florecent UVB coil light (26 watts - the 5.0 tropical one... I forgot which brand ) Is that OK??? And about the outdoor enclosure... I am getting a kiddy pool with soil, then getting some plants for it and a shelter for shade this weekend. I just need to figure out a stable/sturdy wire fence or some sort of topper for it to keep any kritters away from him while he is outside. any ideas on that as well?? :)
 

mike taylor

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Look up this on www.turtletary.com and let me know what you think I have put my red footed tortoise on his diet and my tortoise go outside in there enclosure if the weather is ok and I don't. Use uvb at all inside and my tortoise walk all around early in morning. And in evening. They stay in there hide if it to bright.
 

jareeed2

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Terry from www.turtletary.com sugesstes not using UVB. Check out his website and care sheet.. I have followed his care sheet never using UVB indoors and i have 5 healthy beautiful redfoots!
 

mike taylor

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Yep I don't use uvb lamps and I have. Two nice red footed tortoises but I do have an out door enclosure. So does turtletarry so they get what they need out side so if you don't have an out door enclosure than you should use one for a 8 to 12 hours a day
 

Madkins007

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While a few people recommend not using supplemental UVB, your results will vary greatly by your location. People that can let their torts outside early in the year and keep them out pretty late in the fall, have more success with no supplemental UVB than those of us with shorter summers or who have to keep their torts inside all the time. For that and other reasons, most experienced keepers recommend using UVB lighting. (Just another FYI- UVB-related health problems do not always show up early- such as with bone issues. Several studies have demonstrated that reptiles with decent UVB exposure have much better reproductive success than those that do not get proper levels.)

In your situation, however, you could pretty much just leave the window open for a decent chunk of the day and your tort will probably get all he needs. When they have access to real sunlight (not filtered through glass or plastic), they only need something like an hour a week spread over several short exposures.



(On a purely personal note- I followed turtletary's advice for my first group of baby red-footeds, and advice more like what I included in the Library for the second. The second group was noticeably healthier. It was not a big enough sample, or carefully controlled enough to prove that his methods are flawed or anything- I think one key issue is that what works for him in his location and situation does not work for everyone.)
 

redfoot7

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It seems like people are split on the subject. Some do, some don't, while most agree it's not going to hurt to use it.

I just started using Uvb because it's too cold around here for any outside time. It's safe to say my redfoots hate it. The only time I see them out of their hides when its on is when they are eating. So this past week I turned it on 3 days and left it off with just natural light the other days and their activity really picked up again. I guess I'll try this for a while and see how it goes.
 

jaizei

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Madkins007 said:
While a few people recommend not using supplemental UVB, your results will vary greatly by your location. People that can let their torts outside early in the year and keep them out pretty late in the fall, have more success with no supplemental UVB than those of us with shorter summers or who have to keep their torts inside all the time. For that and other reasons, most experienced keepers recommend using UVB lighting. (Just another FYI- UVB-related health problems do not always show up early- such as with bone issues. Several studies have demonstrated that reptiles with decent UVB exposure have much better reproductive success than those that do not get proper levels.)

In your situation, however, you could pretty much just leave the window open for a decent chunk of the day and your tort will probably get all he needs. When they have access to real sunlight (not filtered through glass or plastic), they only need something like an hour a week spread over several short exposures.



(On a purely personal note- I followed turtletary's advice for my first group of baby red-footeds, and advice more like what I included in the Library for the second. The second group was noticeably healthier. It was not a big enough sample, or carefully controlled enough to prove that his methods are flawed or anything- I think one key issue is that what works for him in his location and situation does not work for everyone.)

Don't window screens filter out much (most?) of the UVB as well?
 

Alexisd

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Thank you everyone! So far Bowser is doing great!!! I have been leaving the light on all day for now and I think I will continue to do this until the summer season when the days are longer and he will have adequate outside time daily, then I might cut back on the uvb lighting and take full advantage of the natural sunlight. He is eating well and I have been giving him a soaking every other day to ensure he stays hydrated (is this too much?). I am already so attached and am looking forward to having him for the next 50 years :D Hopefully, if I do everything right!!! I glad I found this site, it seems that everyone responds quickly and has great suggestions, being new to the tortoise world - Im going to need tons of advise ! - and I love that I can pick everyones brains on here! Thanks guys!!!
 

Madkins007

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Jaizei- Window screens cut about 5-10% of the available UVB light (depending on material, density of the weave, and angle the light hits it at), not enough to be an issue as long as there is decent intensity and duration.



Also remember- red-footed tortoises, like lots of other tortoise species, do not like bright, hot lights and they can see into the UV spectrum- so high UV is probably seen as a 'hot' light. This is one reason I don't like mercury vapor bulbs- hot, bright blasts of light.
 

StudentoftheReptile

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Ditto on what Madkins said. I also followed Turtletary's caresheet and I ended up with a dead redfoot. What works good for some and their tortoises doesn't work for every tortoise and every tortoise keeper.

What works for me? A UVB tube florescent bulb 12 hrs a day, and a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) on 24/7. My 6" tortoise already spent several days here and there outdoors during the latter part of this summer. Next spring, I'll be putting them both out when weather permits.
 
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