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BASKING ARTICLE

HawaiiHermann

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
37
Location (City and/or State)
Hawaii
It's quite a long read. Hopefully someone will summarize.
In essence:

  • There is not a long history of using artificial light and heat sources for reptiles, and many products on the market for this purpose were designed for other uses (household lighting, paint drying, etc.) and not optimized for reptiles
  • When tortoises bask under natural sunlight, their bodies heat up evenly throughout
  • When tortoises bask under artificial sources, the heating is uneven and concentrated at the top of the shell. Basking long enough to warm their extremities can cause burns or heat damage at the top of the shell
  • Artificial sources are more drying than natural sunlight
 

Oxalis

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
2,833
Location (City and/or State)
Michigan
In essence:

  • There is not a long history of using artificial light and heat sources for reptiles, and many products on the market for this purpose were designed for other uses (household lighting, paint drying, etc.) and not optimized for reptiles
  • When tortoises bask under natural sunlight, their bodies heat up evenly throughout
  • When tortoises bask under artificial sources, the heating is uneven and concentrated at the top of the shell. Basking long enough to warm their extremities can cause burns or heat damage at the top of the shell
  • Artificial sources are more drying than natural sunlight
Thanks for the summary; the graphics are great but the text could use some minor proofreading. Nonetheless, these are important points for serious tortoise keepers and vets. :) This is why I'm glad to get my tort out in natural sunlight as much as possible. I'm hoping to employ a greenhouse type of structure for him in our next house.
 

izzzzzz6

New Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
France
Just waned to add that it is important to avoid halogen type lamps. They can look just like incandescent lamps which can usually be considered an ok heat source if used correctly, however the halogen style lamps cause hot spots. If the light bulb appears to have another smaller lamp inside it is probably a halogen, the shops around here still sell those as they are considered slightly more energy efficient than the traditional ones. I order my incandescent lamps online and i avoid cheap makes as the cheap ones don't last long. Distance is critical and it's not easy to decide exactly how far above the substrate to position them, i experiment quite a bit with various thermometers positioned below the lamps. So basically i use approx 1x 100W incandescent per tortoise and i sometimes add a small heat mat near by for when my tortoises are inside during colder weather. But they must have a cool place to hide. I have at least one lamp per tortoise. Some people use smaller than 100W but i don't think smaller than 100W are really hot enough (depending on your species). One tip is to use a lamp splitter, i use the screw in type lamps and a splitter will enable you to screw two lamps into one lamp holder, then two x 60W might be fine in one holder as you now have 120W and might be able to get a bit more even coverage. But first check your not overloading your lamp holders max wattage.
 

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