We should consider a UVB meter as mandatory

MEEJogja

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I have a forest species who are always outside, so this isn't my area of expertise, but I went to check if a uvb meter is any cheaper here (they're not) and came across these. A potential better than nothing solution for those on a budget, or a potentially dangerous waste of time?
 

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TeamZissou

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I have a forest species who are always outside, so this isn't my area of expertise, but I went to check if a uvb meter is any cheaper here (they're not) and came across these. A potential better than nothing solution for those on a budget, or a potentially dangerous waste of time?

I'd say it's probably not necessary. Meters are needed more for dialing in the height of UVB lamps in indoor enclosures. In your case, just make sure to provide plenty of shade spots/hiding places and your tortoises should be fine. They can move in and out of the sunlight as they please.
 

MEEJogja

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I'd say it's probably not necessary. Meters are needed more for dialing in the height of UVB lamps in indoor enclosures. In your case, just make sure to provide plenty of shade spots/hiding places and your tortoises should be fine. They can move in and out of the sunlight as they please.

Agreed, not useful for me, but I just wanted to share that product in case it would be of help to a new indoor keeper. I have actually been advertised one of these this morning that at least claims to measure lamp uvb, and is available in the US, albeit at 16x the price of the generic Chinese one:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TJHQ2JR/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
 

TeamZissou

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Agreed, not useful for me, but I just wanted to share that product in case it would be of help to a new indoor keeper. I have actually been advertised one of these this morning that at least claims to measure lamp uvb, and is available in the US, albeit at 16x the price of the generic Chinese one:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TJHQ2JR/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

These cards are used to tell if a mercury vapor or other bulb has completely lost it's ability to output UVB. It's a binary measurement; even if you check your lamp with the card and you get that it's outputting UV light, it could still be at an intensity that is way too high for tortoises based on the lamp height etc. Plus, it does not tell you anything about the UV Index, which is what we care about for vitamin D3 production. Therefore, it's misleading and potentially harmful. I would avoid using these cards and go for the Solarmeter.
 

Sterant

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In my opinion, we should suggest that every new keeper of tortoises or any other type of reptile needs to purchase a 6.5 or 6.5R UVB meter.
There are so many types of UVB lights now. that we have to just guess where to mount them or which ones suit our needs best.
I've seen the same MVB light. Same wattage. Same manufacturer have four times the UVB output of another.
I've seen a T8 tube put out virtually no UV after 4 months. And another still working well at one year.
I've seen a T5 5.0 hold steady at one level, then steeply decline seemingly overnight. And a T5 10.0 put out a reading of 8 at a foot away.
We all know that a coiled CFL bulb can blast out a tiny area of too much UVB. and nothing a few inches away.
It's all just guessing without a UVB meter.
They are all about $200.
Not cheap. But you're likely to have it for the rest of your life.
I have the 6.5R from JOSH'S FROGS and I highly reccomend it.
It has greatly simplified my keeping.
View attachment 316183
I totally agree. If you run UVB bulbs indoors you need one of these. The money you spend buying the meter will be save plus some since you will see that these bulbs can last for many years. The display is very easy to red (just a number). I feel this same way about infrared heat guns.
 

jsheffield

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PXL_20210414_210133185.jpg

I finally bit the bullet and dropped the cash for a UV-meter.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that - BY LUCK & GUESSWORK - the uv setups I'd been running in my various enclosures were providing essentially what the tortoises need.

I'm going to be adjusting all of them a bit in the coming weeks, minor stuff, but "aim small, miss small".

Once I've got things where I'd like them, I'm going to check, and track, the bulbs monthly to see how they perform over time... I'm running a mix of MVB and fluorescent bulbs, so it should be interesting to watch the changes over time.

Thanks again, TFO!

Jamie
 

ZEROPILOT

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View attachment 323204

I finally bit the bullet and dropped the cash for a UV-meter.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that - BY LUCK & GUESSWORK - the uv setups I'd been running in my various enclosures were providing essentially what the tortoises need.

I'm going to be adjusting all of them a bit in the coming weeks, minor stuff, but "aim small, miss small".

Once I've got things where I'd like them, I'm going to check, and track, the bulbs monthly to see how they perform over time... I'm running a mix of MVB and fluorescent bulbs, so it should be interesting to watch the changes over time.

Thanks again, TFO!

Jamie
Yep.
You're going to be using it a lot in the days to follow.
I started testing every uvb device I own and even different spots in my yard at different times of the day.
It's nice to finally be sure that you are providing what your animals need.
 
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