UVB timing

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Hello, I posted a thread recently about getting a family members red foot tort an enclosure upgrade as she’s definitely long out grown her current one, I think I’m more or less sure about how to get her set up now, the people who answer on here are so helpful and kind!
She’ll be in an 8ft length, 3.5ft depth and 2.5ft high enclosure, one 60w floodlight at one end of her enclosure next to a 100w ceramic, with another 100w ceramic in the middle of her enclosure all run on the same thermostat, she’ll have two thermometers running(the ones we use measure both humidity and temperature) I’m also looking into getting her a solo meter to measure her uv output and obviously her uv and floodlight are on a 12hr timer. I really want to make sure I’m advising them correctly on everything before I start recommending different expensive equipment to invest in.
Her uv will be aricadia pro t5 12% either being a 39w or 54w, now my question is, I’ve been told here red foots uv need to be set on a separate 4hr timer as opposed to being paired with the 12hr for their lighting? She’s currently been getting 12hrs uv a day, I personally trust what everyone on here has told me so far but everywhere I look online it’s saying they need 12hr uv, I know I’ll have a hard time convincing her owner to separate her timer when all the information online is saying 12hr, leading to my next question, if they feel they want to keep her uv 12hr, is this going to harm her?
If I can get them to lessen her hours of uv I’ll probably look into some sort of non heat emitting led light strips as I don’t think her floodlight would be enough lighting for her during the full 12hr cycle, does anyone have any recommendations on those?🙂and if anything I’ve mentioned for her future set up sounds off please feel free to advise me! It’s greatly appreciated🙏🏻
 

jaizei

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What UVI would you be shooting for?
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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What UVI would you be shooting for?
I believe I’ve been told as a forest species she’s UVI zone 2, which threw me a bit when it comes to recommend uv %, because 12% is technically a dessert uv bulb, however I’ve been told it’s been best to go for that as opposed to a 6% forest bulb as the output reduces over time, so for longevity 12% is best, which makes complete sense.
I guess I’m just worried if there’s any major health concerns for her getting too much uvb, or, if with plenty of hiding spots it won’t be an issue?
 

wellington

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Put it to them this way. 4 hours is all that's needed and a separate timer is cheaper than a bulb. With the bulb running only 4 hours, it will last a lot longer.
A regular light bulb or an led can be used for added light, but RF don't like it bright, hence the forest dweller. They don't brumate so a bright enclosure is not needed like it is for a brumating species that is being kept up.
 

mojo_1

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Hello, I posted a thread recently about getting a family members red foot tort an enclosure upgrade as she’s definitely long out grown her current one, I think I’m more or less sure about how to get her set up now, the people who answer on here are so helpful and kind!
She’ll be in an 8ft length, 3.5ft depth and 2.5ft high enclosure, one 60w floodlight at one end of her enclosure next to a 100w ceramic, with another 100w ceramic in the middle of her enclosure all run on the same thermostat, she’ll have two thermometers running(the ones we use measure both humidity and temperature) I’m also looking into getting her a solo meter to measure her uv output and obviously her uv and floodlight are on a 12hr timer. I really want to make sure I’m advising them correctly on everything before I start recommending different expensive equipment to invest in.
Her uv will be aricadia pro t5 12% either being a 39w or 54w, now my question is, I’ve been told here red foots uv need to be set on a separate 4hr timer as opposed to being paired with the 12hr for their lighting? She’s currently been getting 12hrs uv a day, I personally trust what everyone on here has told me so far but everywhere I look online it’s saying they need 12hr uv, I know I’ll have a hard time convincing her owner to separate her timer when all the information online is saying 12hr, leading to my next question, if they feel they want to keep her uv 12hr, is this going to harm her?
If I can get them to lessen her hours of uv I’ll probably look into some sort of non heat emitting led light strips as I don’t think her floodlight would be enough lighting for her during the full 12hr cycle, does anyone have any recommendations on those?🙂and if anything I’ve mentioned for her future set up sounds off please feel free to advise me! It’s greatly appreciated🙏🏻
They buy enough of those t5 bulbs from Arcadia they might change their minds on running it for 12 hours 🤣
 

jaizei

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Don't use the 54w - the 39w is the biggest I would go, though I might go with a 24w if possible.

Zone 2 is 1-3 UVI; near the equator, the UVI is over 3 for 8-9 hours. As long as the UVB is on one end of the enclosure and theres plenty of shade/hides throughout, I don't think it'd hurt them.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Put it to them this way. 4 hours is all that's needed and a separate timer is cheaper than a bulb. With the bulb running only 4 hours, it will last a lot longer.
A regular light bulb or an led can be used for added light, but RF don't like it bright, hence the forest dweller. They don't brumate so a bright enclosure is not needed like it is for a brumating species that is being kept up.
I’ll definitely explain that too them, would be brilliant for the bulbs to go that bit longer, but I don’t think they mind having to spend on her, I think they’d worry they aren’t giving her enough hrs of uv when that seems to be what’s recommended everywhere😣I don’t understand why that’s the case either? Will 12hrs hurt her if I can’t convince them to lessen uv hrs?
Oh but if I can now you’ve mentioned about the brightness I reckon her floodlight would be fine for her during the day then, thanks for that info!😊
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Don't use the 54w - the 39w is the biggest I would go, though I might go with a 24w if possible.

Zone 2 is 1-3 UVI; near the equator, the UVI is over 3 for 8-9 hours. As long as the UVB is on one end of the enclosure and theres plenty of shade/hides throughout, I don't think it'd hurt them.
Oh ok thank you! I’ll suggest the 39w maybe as it’ll be 8 foot? Or do you reckon 24w is sufficient?
If they tell me they aren’t comfortable lowering her uv hours(though I’ll definitely try to push for it) I’ll at least going to recommend they place it further one end of the enclosure(currently in the middle) and will be sure to suggest some nice faux ground plants for shade and a few hides, thanks for your input!😊
 

Tom

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Hello, I posted a thread recently about getting a family members red foot tort an enclosure upgrade as she’s definitely long out grown her current one, I think I’m more or less sure about how to get her set up now, the people who answer on here are so helpful and kind!
She’ll be in an 8ft length, 3.5ft depth and 2.5ft high enclosure, one 60w floodlight at one end of her enclosure next to a 100w ceramic, with another 100w ceramic in the middle of her enclosure all run on the same thermostat, she’ll have two thermometers running(the ones we use measure both humidity and temperature) I’m also looking into getting her a solo meter to measure her uv output and obviously her uv and floodlight are on a 12hr timer. I really want to make sure I’m advising them correctly on everything before I start recommending different expensive equipment to invest in.
Her uv will be aricadia pro t5 12% either being a 39w or 54w, now my question is, I’ve been told here red foots uv need to be set on a separate 4hr timer as opposed to being paired with the 12hr for their lighting? She’s currently been getting 12hrs uv a day, I personally trust what everyone on here has told me so far but everywhere I look online it’s saying they need 12hr uv, I know I’ll have a hard time convincing her owner to separate her timer when all the information online is saying 12hr, leading to my next question, if they feel they want to keep her uv 12hr, is this going to harm her?
If I can get them to lessen her hours of uv I’ll probably look into some sort of non heat emitting led light strips as I don’t think her floodlight would be enough lighting for her during the full 12hr cycle, does anyone have any recommendations on those?🙂and if anything I’ve mentioned for her future set up sounds off please feel free to advise me! It’s greatly appreciated🙏🏻
There is a lot of "conventional wisdom" found online for animal care. Few people question these assertions. I used to also follow the 12 hours of UV rule. I can remember rushing home in winter and running around trying to get my tortoises outside for that last hour or two of warm CA winter sunshine so they could get some UV... Problem is: There is no UV at that time of day. None in the morning either. I didn't know this until I bought a Solarmeter and started playing with it. Mid day winter UV peaks are very low compared to summer peaks. Anyone with a UV meter can verify this. Go stand outside in full bright direct sun in the morning and point the sensor of your UV meter right at the sun. It will say zero. Same in the late after noon. I thought my meter was broken when I first got it. I could feel the warm sun on my face at 4:30 in the afternoon, but my meter gave me a reading of 0.0. I went back inside and read the directions for how to use it correctly. Same story the next morning. I was all prepared to return it until I pulled it out and tried one more time at around 11am and finally got a reading. UV outside builds slowly in the late morning, peaks mid day, and then drops off back to zero by late afternoon. In winter, I'll start to see low levels of UV by around 10am. This is not even enough for a tortoise to use, but its measurable. By around 4pm, its back to zero again. So why would we would we have strong mid day UV levels in an indoor tortoise enclosure from 6:30am to 6:30 pm? This is totally unnatural, unnecessary, wasteful, and probably annoying to the tortoise. I have not seen this discussed anywhere else on YT, FB, or in person anywhere. It is yet another TFO innovation that started here on this forum. Ask anyone else and they will tell you that your torts "NEEDS" 12 hours of UV every day. That is utter non-sense. Explain what you just learned and see what they say.

The 12% HO tubes make strong consistency UV. If you are mounting it up near the ceiling of a 30 inch tall enclosure, it should be about right because it will hang down a few inches at least. You really need a Solarmeter 6.5 to get the mounting height correct. A tortoise really only needs 15 minutes of UVB to do what it needs to do, and they store D3 that they've made from previous UV exposure, so there is no need to make a mad scramble and have them bathed in high levels of UVB all day every day. They can go months with no UV at all and be perfectly fine. We had a moderator here that would do this in her Michigan winters every year with all of her tortoises, including RFs. Her torts were outside all summer and inside all winter with no UV source at all.

Personally, I would not use a basking lamp with a RF. I would use the UV tube for a few hours mid day, LEDs for ambient lighting 12 hours a day, and the two CHEs set on a thermostat to 82-84 degrees 24/7. When used for 4 hours a day instead of 12 hours a day, the UV tube will last... do the math in your head... 3 times longer. If you want a basking lamp for a RF, I would at least mount it a little higher than for other "basking" species so it is not too hot on their carapace. They will grow smoother without it.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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They buy enough of those t5 bulbs from Arcadia they might change their minds on running it for 12 hours 🤣
Oh gosh I know they’re so expensive!😂I’d love my own tort but could never afford it! I don’t think they mind spending on her as long as they think she’s getting everything she needs, unfortunately they’ve been incredibly misguided on a lot of her care for years now, I know pet care is such a sensitive subject when coming from an outside source(someone with such little knowledge on reptiles as me no less😂)but I think they’re willing for me to help with recommendations for her upgrade so I absolutely want to make sure I’m going over everything with a fine tooth-comb before helping set her up, I’m probably way too invested in someone else’s tort tbh😂but I’m a huge animal lover hate to think she’s not thriving😕
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Wi
There is a lot of "conventional wisdom" found online for animal care. Few people question these assertions. I used to also follow the 12 hours of UV rule. I can remember rushing home in winter and running around trying to get my tortoises outside for that last hour or two of warm CA winter sunshine so they could get some UV... Problem is: There is no UV at that time of day. None in the morning either. I didn't know this until I bought a Solarmeter and started playing with it. Mid day winter UV peaks are very low compared to summer peaks. Anyone with a UV meter can verify this. Go stand outside in full bright direct sun in the morning and point the sensor of your UV meter right at the sun. It will say zero. Same in the late after noon. I thought my meter was broken when I first got it. I could feel the warm sun on my face at 4:30 in the afternoon, but my meter gave me a reading of 0.0. I went back inside and read the directions for how to use it correctly. Same story the next morning. I was all prepared to return it until I pulled it out and tried one more time at around 11am and finally got a reading. UV outside builds slowly in the late morning, peaks mid day, and then drops off back to zero by late afternoon. In winter, I'll start to see low levels of UV by around 10am. This is not even enough for a tortoise to use, but its measurable. By around 4pm, its back to zero again. So why would we would we have strong mid day UV levels in an indoor tortoise enclosure from 6:30am to 6:30 pm? This is totally unnatural, unnecessary, wasteful, and probably annoying to the tortoise. I have not seen this discussed anywhere else on YT, FB, or in person anywhere. It is yet another TFO innovation that started here on this forum. Ask anyone else and they will tell you that your torts "NEEDS" 12 hours of UV every day. That is utter non-sense. Explain what you just learned and see what they say.

The 12% HO tubes make strong consistency UV. If you are mounting it up near the ceiling of a 30 inch tall enclosure, it should be about right because it will hang down a few inches at least. You really need a Solarmeter 6.5 to get the mounting height correct. A tortoise really only needs 15 minutes of UVB to do what it needs to do, and they store D3 that they've made from previous UV exposure, so there is no need to make a mad scramble and have them bathed in high levels of UVB all day every day. They can go months with no UV at all and be perfectly fine. We had a moderator here that would do this in her Michigan winters every year with all of her tortoises, including RFs. Her torts were outside all summer and inside all winter with no UV source at all.

Personally, I would not use a basking lamp with a RF. I would use the UV tube for a few hours mid day, LEDs for ambient lighting 12 hours a day, and the two CHEs set on a thermostat to 82-84 degrees 24/7. When used for 4 hours a day instead of 12 hours a day, the UV tube will last... do the math in your head... 3 times longer. If you want a basking lamp for a RF, I would at least mount it a little higher than for other "basking" species so it is not too hot on their carapace. They will grow smoother without it.
Wow thank you so much for your reply! Everything you’ve said makes complete sense! Since coming on here, every single reply I’ve received from someone like yourself has helped me understand their specific care so much more, admittedly sending me down rabbit hole after rabbit hole on top of previous hours of research for a tort that isn’t even mine😂(I’m not knowledgeable on reptile care at all)but honestly for me, it’s all been time well spent, I adore all animals and find reptiles fascinating! I can’t bare to think she isn’t thriving, she’s such a long living creature too, they deserve the best care possible to help them fulfil that life comfortably.
I’ll probably actually read your reply to them! Thank you for taking the time😊
 
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Littleredfootbigredheart

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There is a lot of "conventional wisdom" found online for animal care. Few people question these assertions. I used to also follow the 12 hours of UV rule. I can remember rushing home in winter and running around trying to get my tortoises outside for that last hour or two of warm CA winter sunshine so they could get some UV... Problem is: There is no UV at that time of day. None in the morning either. I didn't know this until I bought a Solarmeter and started playing with it. Mid day winter UV peaks are very low compared to summer peaks. Anyone with a UV meter can verify this. Go stand outside in full bright direct sun in the morning and point the sensor of your UV meter right at the sun. It will say zero. Same in the late after noon. I thought my meter was broken when I first got it. I could feel the warm sun on my face at 4:30 in the afternoon, but my meter gave me a reading of 0.0. I went back inside and read the directions for how to use it correctly. Same story the next morning. I was all prepared to return it until I pulled it out and tried one more time at around 11am and finally got a reading. UV outside builds slowly in the late morning, peaks mid day, and then drops off back to zero by late afternoon. In winter, I'll start to see low levels of UV by around 10am. This is not even enough for a tortoise to use, but its measurable. By around 4pm, its back to zero again. So why would we would we have strong mid day UV levels in an indoor tortoise enclosure from 6:30am to 6:30 pm? This is totally unnatural, unnecessary, wasteful, and probably annoying to the tortoise. I have not seen this discussed anywhere else on YT, FB, or in person anywhere. It is yet another TFO innovation that started here on this forum. Ask anyone else and they will tell you that your torts "NEEDS" 12 hours of UV every day. That is utter non-sense. Explain what you just learned and see what they say.

The 12% HO tubes make strong consistency UV. If you are mounting it up near the ceiling of a 30 inch tall enclosure, it should be about right because it will hang down a few inches at least. You really need a Solarmeter 6.5 to get the mounting height correct. A tortoise really only needs 15 minutes of UVB to do what it needs to do, and they store D3 that they've made from previous UV exposure, so there is no need to make a mad scramble and have them bathed in high levels of UVB all day every day. They can go months with no UV at all and be perfectly fine. We had a moderator here that would do this in her Michigan winters every year with all of her tortoises, including RFs. Her torts were outside all summer and inside all winter with no UV source at all.

Personally, I would not use a basking lamp with a RF. I would use the UV tube for a few hours mid day, LEDs for ambient lighting 12 hours a day, and the two CHEs set on a thermostat to 82-84 degrees 24/7. When used for 4 hours a day instead of 12 hours a day, the UV tube will last... do the math in your head... 3 times longer. If you want a basking lamp for a RF, I would at least mount it a little higher than for other "basking" species so it is not too hot on their carapace. They will grow smoother without it.
Oh sorry for more questions!😬 But regarding the ceramics, if I were to recommend switching to just the ceramics as a heat source, is there a watt you recommend for the size(8foot length, 3.5ft depth, 2.5ft height)? I’ve attached a photo for the ones I’m looking at, and do you happen to have any recommendations for the LED lighting? Is it just simply an led bulb?
 

mojo_1

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Oh sorry for more questions!😬 But regarding the ceramics, if I were to recommend switching to just the ceramics as a heat source, is there a watt you recommend for the size(8foot length, 3.5ft depth, 2.5ft height)? I’ve attached a photo for the ones I’m looking at, and do you happen to have any recommendations for the LED lighting? Is it just simply an led bulb?
One 6500K led flood light bulb should be just fine.
 

wellington

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Oh sorry for more questions!😬 But regarding the ceramics, if I were to recommend switching to just the ceramics as a heat source, is there a watt you recommend for the size(8foot length, 3.5ft depth, 2.5ft height)? I’ve attached a photo for the ones I’m looking at, and do you happen to have any recommendations for the LED lighting? Is it just simply an led bulb?
My two cents on the ceramic heat emitters. Get 100 watt and do not get off brand ones.
I have bought lower watt and off brand ones. Lower watt isn't enough and off brand ones don't last or get nearly as hot as it needs to be
Putting the 100 watt on a thermostat will guarantee it's not too much
 

mojo_1

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My two cents on the ceramic heat emitters. Get 100 watt and do not get off brand ones.
I have bought lower watt and off brand ones. Lower watt isn't enough and off brand ones don't last or get nearly as hot as it needs to be
Putting the 100 watt on a thermostat will guarantee it's not too much
I agree with Wellington on this the off brands only last about 2 months if you're lucky.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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My two cents on the ceramic heat emitters. Get 100 watt and do not get off brand ones.
I have bought lower watt and off brand ones. Lower watt isn't enough and off brand ones don't last or get nearly as hot as it needs to be
Putting the 100 watt on a thermostat will guarantee it's not too much
Ok brilliant thank you, multiple have suggested 100w so I feel comfortable recommending those, I forgot to attach a photo of the brand I’m looking at on a previous reply so I’ll attach here, I believe these are a good brand?
 

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wellington

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Ok brilliant thank you, multiple have suggested 100w so I feel comfortable recommending those, I forgot to attach a photo of the brand I’m looking at on a previous reply so I’ll attach here, I believe these are a good brand?
I have never heard of that brand. ZooMed and Flukers are the two I know and use. ZooMed being the better of the two in my opinion. They last a very long time too, years and years. Be sure they are placed in a wide metal dome ceramic socket fixture.
Maybe others have heard and used the kind you have in the picture.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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I have never heard of that brand. ZooMed and Flukers are the two I know and use. ZooMed being the better of the two in my opinion. They last a very long time too, years and years. Be sure they are placed in a wide metal dome ceramic socket fixture.
Maybe others have heard and used the kind you have in the picture.
Ah fair enough, I’m based in the uk and they’re apparently a very reputable brand here, her current ceramic is this brand, she’s going be in this type of enclosure(pic attached) and from a quick look I can only see the ceramic dome style fixtures in a ‘clamp lamp’ design, which I’m not sure would work for this, I’ve attached the type of brackets I was looking at getting
 

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