New Member
May 11, 2021
Location (City and/or State)
Plymouth, UK
Hi, I have just bought a new viv for my tortoise. His old one was 2 foot tall and his new one is 14 inches tall inside. I don’t know what’s the best way to heat it as the basking spot I have currently is about 6.5 inches including the bulb. If I put this in his new viv there would be about 7 inches from the bottom of the lamp to the bottom of the tank, the Tortoise is around 3.5 inches tall , laeving a gap of only 3.5 inches between the top of the tortoise to the bottom of the lamp. I would think this would be way too close but I don’t know what to do, is there a better way of heating the viv or can you get a lower profile lamp or anything? I’ve seen the ceramic heat lamps but I’ve always thought the tortoise needs the light as it’s more of a focused patch of heat, rather than a more general spread of heat?


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 9, 2010
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
14 inches is too short. You need something taller. There isn't a way to make that work. I have 18 inch tall "vivs", and I use 25-40 watt round bulbs in them to make a basking area. These bulbs are in fixtures that are flush mounted to the ceiling, not hanging in domed fixtures.

A ceramic heating element at that distance will burn your tortoise. They get VERY hot.

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Nov 7, 2012
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
You can use a radiant heat panel with two temp output through a thermostat, a high temp for the day time and a low temp for the night time. ALL heating devices should be run through a thermostat. If you place the RHP on the inside roof and a dark tile below, it will re-radiate heat from the tile and warm the whole enclosure. Lighting can them be fluorescent tubes placed near where the RHP is so that heat and light are coordinated.

RHP's at their highest output are safe to the touch and can be mounted on plastic enclosure walls.

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