Zoo Med 36” T5 w/ Desert 10.0 Bulb Too Bright?

Toombsk16

New Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn, CT
Hello all,

We just upgraded our baby Sulcata’s enclosure to a New Age 50g 36”x18”x18” enclosure after the smaller wooden one wasn’t big enough & didn’t do well with the high humidity we have setup to keep it between 80-90%. The new enclosure is great & the composite materials perfect as they won’t rot and the sides and back are not glass to tempt him to try and get through. (2 Ceramic heat bulbs. 50w & 25w to cover 1/3 and 1/3 with the other 1/3 with no heat to provide areas for basking, standard and cooler area’s.

My question/concern is the light setup. I purchased and installed a Zoo Med 36” Terrarium Hood T5 w/ Desert 10.0 Bulb it is inside the enclosure and works very well with it’s low profile and easy clip mounts. It runs the entire width of the enclosure.

The side and back are a light cream almost white color. We found that with the reflector piece in the hood, it created excessively bright light both in the enclosure and out into our room where we spend most all of our time with him. It was very distracting. The documentation mentioned the easily removable reflector of the hood for applications that didn’t require as much light.

It is much better now & less distracting to the room. It is still very bright but I was hoping to get feedback on if that should provide enough UVB for him. The bulb is approximately 14” above the floor where his substrate is.

Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated. We enjoy having him near us & he is very active during the day.

We are going with the 12 hours on / 12 hours off schedule.

Thank you ahead of time for any input. We appreciate and value all of the great threads on this site. It helped us so much in researching whether the lifetime commitment of caring for a Sully (Obi’) was something we were really prepared to make. We are so happy that we did!

(obviously we understand this enclosure will not be long term as he will grow quickly, but should be good for a couple years before we expand. ?)

CB704C58 007C 43FF A430 BD004ED9DD03 CB704C58 007C 43FF A430 BD004ED9DD03
 

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TeamZissou

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Aug 23, 2020
Messages
956
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Albuquerque, NM
Your tortoise will be fine with this brighness. Bright sunlight is about 120,000 lux. This bulb probably produces something like 500 lux. A shaded area outside is about 20,000 lux. I run some bright LEDs along with a UVB tube and can only reach about 7500-8000 lux for my Greek tortoise. He is totally fine with this. Some have suggested that bright LEDs will help tortoises transition to outdoor living easier.


Your 36 x 18" chamber might not last long. Sulcatas grow very fast.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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57,270
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Hello all,

We just upgraded our baby Sulcata’s enclosure to a New Age 50g 36”x18”x18” enclosure after the smaller wooden one wasn’t big enough & didn’t do well with the high humidity we have setup to keep it between 80-90%. The new enclosure is great & the composite materials perfect as they won’t rot and the sides and back are not glass to tempt him to try and get through. (2 Ceramic heat bulbs. 50w & 25w to cover 1/3 and 1/3 with the other 1/3 with no heat to provide areas for basking, standard and cooler area’s.

My question/concern is the light setup. I purchased and installed a Zoo Med 36” Terrarium Hood T5 w/ Desert 10.0 Bulb it is inside the enclosure and works very well with it’s low profile and easy clip mounts. It runs the entire width of the enclosure.

The side and back are a light cream almost white color. We found that with the reflector piece in the hood, it created excessively bright light both in the enclosure and out into our room where we spend most all of our time with him. It was very distracting. The documentation mentioned the easily removable reflector of the hood for applications that didn’t require as much light.

It is much better now & less distracting to the room. It is still very bright but I was hoping to get feedback on if that should provide enough UVB for him. The bulb is approximately 14” above the floor where his substrate is.

Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated. We enjoy having him near us & he is very active during the day.

We are going with the 12 hours on / 12 hours off schedule.

Thank you ahead of time for any input. We appreciate and value all of the great threads on this site. It helped us so much in researching whether the lifetime commitment of caring for a Sully (Obi’) was something we were really prepared to make. We are so happy that we did!

(obviously we understand this enclosure will not be long term as he will grow quickly, but should be good for a couple years before we expand. ?)

View attachment 338353 View attachment 338353
I can guarantee that the light with the reflector hood attached is not brighter than daylight outside, and that is what we are shooting for.

14" might be too close for that bulb. Only a UV meter can tell you. Solarmeter 6.5.

Also, UV outside is very low in the morning and afternoon, and it spikes rapidly mid day. I find it is best to only run the UV tube for 2-3 hours mid day, and rely on LED lighting and the basking lamp for the rest of the day.

What you have now is a 40 gallon. I think it is too small for a tiny hatchling sulcata, and unless something is wrong, your sulcata will be far too big for that size enclosure in a month or two. He should be around 20 pounds 2 years from now. You need something 4x8 feet. That will last about 12-18 months in most cases.

That moss looks so nice and inviting, but unfortunately it is an impaction risk, and all tortoise of all species will eat it. Best to remove it ASAP.

All this and more is right here:
 

Maro2Bear

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13,762
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Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Agree with other posters. It’s a (bit of a ) waste of money to make super nice enclosures for youngster Sulcatas. Our Sully, following all the humidity, soaking & other guidance here on TFO, went from small to monster tort pretty quickly. Our growth/weight chart demonstrates just how quickly Sulcatas can quickly outgrow (nice & expensive) enclosures.

I would remove most of the “stuff” that takes up useable crawl space & then start planning your next much larger enclosure.

Happy New Year - Happy Torting
 

Toombsk16

New Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn, CT
I can guarantee that the light with the reflector hood attached is not brighter than daylight outside, and that is what we are shooting for.

14" might be too close for that bulb. Only a UV meter can tell you. Solarmeter 6.5.

Also, UV outside is very low in the morning and afternoon, and it spikes rapidly mid day. I find it is best to only run the UV tube for 2-3 hours mid day, and rely on LED lighting and the basking lamp for the rest of the day.

What you have now is a 40 gallon. I think it is too small for a tiny hatchling sulcata, and unless something is wrong, your sulcata will be far too big for that size enclosure in a month or two. He should be around 20 pounds 2 years from now. You need something 4x8 feet. That will last about 12-18 months in most cases.

That moss looks so nice and inviting, but unfortunately it is an impaction risk, and all tortoise of all species will eat it. Best to remove it ASAP.

All this and more is right here:
Thank you so much for you input and help. We really appreciate it. I’d thought he wouldn’t hit 5” or so for a couple years. It has been a learning curve to this point, so if I need to start planning on that larger enclosure sooner, I cer
I can guarantee that the light with the reflector hood attached is not brighter than daylight outside, and that is what we are shooting for.

14" might be too close for that bulb. Only a UV meter can tell you. Solarmeter 6.5.

Also, UV outside is very low in the morning and afternoon, and it spikes rapidly mid day. I find it is best to only run the UV tube for 2-3 hours mid day, and rely on LED lighting and the basking lamp for the rest of the day.

What you have now is a 40 gallon. I think it is too small for a tiny hatchling sulcata, and unless something is wrong, your sulcata will be far too big for that size enclosure in a month or two. He should be around 20 pounds 2 years from now. You need something 4x8 feet. That will last about 12-18 months in most cases.

That moss looks so nice and inviting, but unfortunately it is an impaction risk, and all tortoise of all species will eat it. Best to remove it ASAP.

All this and more is right here:
Agree with other posters. It’s a (bit of a ) waste of money to make super nice enclosures for youngster Sulcatas. Our Sully, following all the humidity, soaking & other guidance here on TFO, went from small to monster tort pretty quickly. Our growth/weight chart demonstrates just how quickly Sulcatas can quickly outgrow (nice & expensive) enclosures.

I would remove most of the “stuff” that takes up useable crawl space & then start planning your next much larger enclosure.

Happy New Year - Happy Torting
 

Toombsk16

New Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn, CT
I can guarantee that the light with the reflector hood attached is not brighter than daylight outside, and that is what we are shooting for.

14" might be too close for that bulb. Only a UV meter can tell you. Solarmeter 6.5.

Also, UV outside is very low in the morning and afternoon, and it spikes rapidly mid day. I find it is best to only run the UV tube for 2-3 hours mid day, and rely on LED lighting and the basking lamp for the rest of the day.

What you have now is a 40 gallon. I think it is too small for a tiny hatchling sulcata, and unless something is wrong, your sulcata will be far too big for that size enclosure in a month or two. He should be around 20 pounds 2 years from now. You need something 4x8 feet. That will last about 12-18 months in most cases.

That moss looks so nice and inviting, but unfortunately it is an impaction risk, and all tortoise of all species will eat it. Best to remove it ASAP.

All this and more is right here:
Thank you so much for you input and help. We really appreciate it. I’d thought he wouldn’t hit 5” or so for a couple years. It has been a learning curve to this point, so if I need to start planning on that larger enclosure sooner, I certainly will. I’ll get the UVB measure and get a better idea what the levels are. We will also get rid of the moss. We got it off a recommendation post, the breeder and a book we picker up. It has a moistened layer of Coconut Coir and (fine ground and course ground mixed)

that’s also helpful to know about the UVB being on 2-3 hours a day, then use led and heat lamps the rest.
 
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