Heating lamp

Lyn W

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Ok. So the basking bulb and UV light are different? I would’ve thought that would be one light. Is there a place with recommendations for those types of setups, including UV bulbs? I ordered a double dome light for reptiles as recommended by the pet supply place and feel like that’s probably going to go back, based on this information. Many thanks!
There are MVB bulbs which give heat, light and uvb, but these have been found to dry and damage tort shells so uvb tubes are mostly recommeneded now. Don't buy any coiled or cfl type bulbs as these can damage tort eyes.
 

Dcatalano

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There are MVB bulbs which give heat, light and uvb, but these have been found to dry and damage tort shells so uvb tubes are mostly recommeneded now. Don't buy any coiled or cfl type bulbs as these can damage tort eyes.
Thanks Lyn! This is immensely helpful.
 

Dcatalano

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Pet shops almost always give the wrong advice and sell you the wrong products.

You need and incandescent flood bulb for basking. These give off heat and light and simulate the sun indoors. They give off no UV.

You need an HO tube for UV. I like to run them for a couple of hours mid day to simulate the mid day UV spike that happens outside. You can turn it off in summer when they are getting outside time.

Most people need LED lighting to make thing brighter during the day.

Some people need ambient heat from a CHE or RHP on a thermostat, depending on your room temps and species.
Thanks Tom! That helps a ton - and you're right about the pet shops.

Would you say that my Russian could go with heat for daytime hours with the flood bulb and not at night if it's above 60 degrees indoors? I'm not opposed to heat 24/7 but if she's ok without, that simplifies the situation a bit.
 

Tom

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Thanks Tom! That helps a ton - and you're right about the pet shops.

Would you say that my Russian could go with heat for daytime hours with the flood bulb and not at night if it's above 60 degrees indoors? I'm not opposed to heat 24/7 but if she's ok without, that simplifies the situation a bit.
Correct.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html Here in our climate, you shouldn't need indoor UV.
 

Blastoise

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I have had bad luck with the reptile basking lights. I just use bulbs from home depot now and they last longer and are way cheaper.
 
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