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Hi this is 6 month old Myakoda. We found her in the street as a hatchling. Still learning, she's so sweet!

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
Ambient in the whole enclosure, which would include the inside of the hide can be 80-95. Any where in that range is fine. Most people maintain it around 80-ish, and that works. In my reptile room, ambient temps climb into the 90s on a hot summer day, and I run thermostats on the basking bulbs to shut them off at 95. The babies thrive at any time of the year under any of these temperature regimes.

To put extremes on it, I wouldn't want to go below 80 or above 96. If it drops to 77 one night, or climbs to 98 one day, the tortoise isn't going to die. Those examples would just be outside what I believe is the optimal range.
Hi Tom, Myakoda's temps and humidity are doing great. We've been monitoring her all evening, with lighting settings, etc.. We think it's close to very darn good. She seems even more happy, Ray a week or so ago suggested tin foil for now on top to hold in humidity. So we did that, the new substrate you recomended, is awesome! She loves it, we love it. It holds in the humidity very well. Also she LOVES her tub hide. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’πŸ’¦β˜˜πŸ™Œ
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi Tom, Myakoda's temps and humidity are doing great. We've been monitoring her all evening, with lighting settings, etc.. We think it's close to very darn good. She seems even more happy, Ray a week or so ago suggested tin foil for now on top to hold in humidity. So we did that, the new substrate you recomended, is awesome! She loves it, we love it. It holds in the humidity very well. Also she LOVES her tub hide. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’πŸ’¦β˜˜πŸ™Œ
That as great. Now that you have things perfect, she'll grow so fast that you'll have to move her outside full time in a few months. :p

Time to start building the night box...
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
That as great. Now that you have things perfect, she'll grow so fast that you'll have to move her outside full time in a few months. :p

Time to start building the night box...
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
That as great. Now that you have things perfect, she'll grow so fast that you'll have to move her outside full time in a few months. :p

Time to start building the night box...
Ha, ha, I think we have a little time. πŸ€” She's very content with her tub hide, she really loves it. She's more active again, taking a few laps in her enclosure, basking. She loves her new humid substrate. We spray it down, if we're gone for awhile during the day. Before we leave, we super spray. her hide stays pretty humid, not perfect yet. However, SO much better. :).
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
Ps, here's what we've been using since December, after going through SEVERAL different lights. Hope these are good ones? The UVB goes down a bit into her enclosure, it covers her whole enclosure.
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,048
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Ps, here's what we've been using since December, after going through SEVERAL different lights. Hope these are good ones? The UVB goes down a bit into her enclosure, it covers her whole enclosure.
I can't tell what type of UV bulb that is. Tube? CFL? 10.0? HO? T8 or T5?

The "spot" bulb is no good. You should be using a flood. Lower wattage will be less desiccating. I usually use a 65 watt and lower the fixture to get the correct temperature under it.

The CHE is okay if you are using a thermostat to control it. Otherwise, it will be too hot for such a small tub. With a closed chamber, you'd be using a fraction of the electricity you are using now.
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
I can't tell what type of UV bulb that is. Tube? CFL? 10.0? HO? T8 or T5?

The "spot" bulb is no good. You should be using a flood. Lower wattage will be less desiccating. I usually use a 65 watt and lower the fixture to get the correct temperature under it.

The CHE is okay if you are using a thermostat to control it. Otherwise, it will be too hot for such a small tub. With a closed chamber, you'd be using a fraction of the electricity you are using now.
The Repti Bulb is a 5.0, it's in a lamp, and is like one of those twisty new style bulbs. We have an Arcadia on order. Now when you say a small tub, you mean her hide tub? Or her 40 gallon tank? Her hide tub stays about 76ish inside, with about 65 to 75 humidity. We have a thermo cup down in it, also a humidity monitor in it, and check it as often as we can. Ambiant is about 90ish, ground level is 90, basking is 98 on her rock or lower. I will get a different heat bulb, a flood? Can you recommend a brand? Also my husband will be hooking up timers as well. Oh, and her basking bulb is flat on her teranium screen, not low. Her UVB, is lower.
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,048
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
The Repti Bulb is a 5.0, it's in a lamp, and is like one of those twisty new style bulbs. We have an Arcadia on order. Now when you say a small tub, you mean her hide tub? Or her 40 gallon tank? Her hide tub stays about 76ish inside, with about 65 to 75 humidity. We have a thermo cup down in it, also a humidity monitor in it, and check it as often as we can. Ambiant is about 90ish, ground level is 90, basking is 98 on her rock or lower. I will get a different heat bulb, a flood? Can you recommend a brand? Also my husband will be hooking up timers as well.
That is the type of cfl UV bulb we are always saying NOT to use. You screw it in like a light bulb, right? Those are ineffective as UV sources, the 5.0 makes almost no UV even when measured close up with a UV meter, and they are potentially damaging to tortoise eyes. I would not use it.

I mean that a 100 watt spot bulb and a 150 watt CHE is a LOT of desiccating electric heat going into a very small enclosure. That is not good and that is why its so dry.

How can ambient be 90ish and the temp in the hide is 76? That doesn't make sense. Something is off somewhere. No part of the enclosure should drop below 80, especially not the inside of a humid hide. All of these problems are solved with a closed chamber.
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
My husband and I have a hand held temp gun, and two thermos in the enclosure, and a thermo cup. I agree with you on the lights, the ceramic is no light just heat. I know when we check and re-check, her temps as much as we can. I'm seriously getting a timer like you recomended, so she doesn't over heat, or get cold. Can you please recommend what kind? I need to go over these lights with my husband tomorrow. The lights are something we disagree on a lot. I'm always worried about if we're using the wrong lights, he says there the best they had. I said, there has to be something different. I am confused ugh! :confused:o_O I'm so glad you're helping me. Thank you, feeling a bit like a bad Mommy.
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
This is me, from my FB. I don't give up. I will do right by baby Myakoda. I'm almost 53, but right now, I'm boo, hooing like a baby. I knew these lights sucked. Hubby and I need to talk. She really is doing good, and is more active since her humidity is up. But I won't stop until it's great! I never thoguht we'd find a helpless baby Torty. I know she came to us for a reason. I have to do the best for her. πŸ™Œ πŸ’¦ 🐒 😊49822894_2713230925569144_5126347929417678848_o.jpg
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,048
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
My husband and I have a hand held temp gun, and two thermos in the enclosure, and a thermo cup. I agree with you on the lights, the ceramic is no light just heat. I know when we check and re-check, her temps as much as we can. I'm seriously getting a timer like you recomended, so she doesn't over heat, or get cold. Can you please recommend what kind? I need to go over these lights with my husband tomorrow. The lights are something we disagree on a lot. I'm always worried about if we're using the wrong lights, he says there the best they had. I said, there has to be something different. I am confused ugh! :confused:o_O I'm so glad you're helping me. Thank you, feeling a bit like a bad Mommy.
You don't need "the best they had". You need the right stuff.
  • There are four elements to heating and lighting:
    1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs because these bulbs are overly desiccating and cause pyramiding even in good living conditions.
    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 like sulcatas or leopards. I like this thermostat: https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller. Put the probe in the coolest corner away from all heating elements. You may need more than one heating element to spread the heat out for a given enclosure.
    3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb.
    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. I like the ZooMed 10.0 HO, and the Arcadia 12% HO. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
In number one: No spot bulbs. Any digital timer from Walmart or Home Depot will work.
There is a link to the thermostat in paragraph number two.
You might not need numbers three if the room is already lit up well.
You might not need number four if your tortoise is getting UV outside on a regular basis.
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
Ok, we're changing bulbs today. Getting the 10.0 today, it doesnt say HO on the Zoo Med box, I'm assuming this means High Output? The flood as well, just any old flood light 65 watts will work? I know we've already tried regular bulbs, from Home depot. We've bought and returned so many from the pet store, and HD, so many times. I can't even recall.
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
You don't need "the best they had". You need the right stuff.
  • There are four elements to heating and lighting:
    1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs because these bulbs are overly desiccating and cause pyramiding even in good living conditions.
    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 like sulcatas or leopards. I like this thermostat: https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller. Put the probe in the coolest corner away from all heating elements. You may need more than one heating element to spread the heat out for a given enclosure.
    3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb.
    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. I like the ZooMed 10.0 HO, and the Arcadia 12% HO. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
In number one: No spot bulbs. Any digital timer from Walmart or Home Depot will work.
There is a link to the thermostat in paragraph number two.
You might not need numbers three if the room is already lit up well.
You might not need number four if your tortoise is getting UV outside on a regular basis.
Also, if they don't have it in store, ordering the timer. I'm a bit confused as to the colored yellow lights you mention above, and what it's for? 'I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb'.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,048
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Ok, we're changing bulbs today. Getting the 10.0 today, it doesnt say HO on the Zoo Med box, I'm assuming this means High Output? The flood as well, just any old flood light 65 watts will work? I know we've already tried regular bulbs, from Home depot. We've bought and returned so many from the pet store, and HD, so many times. I can't even recall.
Don't bother with the UV bulbs. You don't need it where you are. A half hour of sunshine twice a week will do it. An hour a day if your life style permits is great if you can do it. Skipping a few weeks during a cold winter spell won't hurt anything.

The regular 10.0 T8 isn't much better than the 5.0, and you don't want either one to be the screw in type cfl. If you want indoor UV get an Arcadia 12% HO tube, or a ZooMed 10.0 HO tube. Anything else isn't going to be effective, and its a waste of your time and money.

Stay out of the pet store. Nothing good there. Bad advice and bad products.

Regular incandescent flood bulbs from the hardware store work great as basking bulbs. You'll need to have the fixture mounted from above so that you can raise or lower the bulb to get the correct temp. Its gotten difficult to find regular incandescent bulbs at the stores anymore. All they seem to sell anymore is the LED "replacement" types that use very little electricity, but produce no heat, which is our whole reason for using them.You might have to order online.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,048
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Also, if they don't have it in store, ordering the timer. I'm a bit confused as to the colored yellow lights you mention above, and what it's for? 'I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb'.
Bulb color is measured on the "Kelvin" scale. 2000-2500 is "soft white" and it tends to look yellowish. I don't like that. Bulbs with a K rating of 5000-6500 are more in the "natural sunlight" or bluish spectrum and look better to my eyes and the tortoise eyes too. These color ratings apply to all incandescent, florescent and LED bulbs. Avoid the yellowish ones, and look for the 5000K ones instead. This information is on the package of each bulb in the store.

In general, I'm referring to enclosures that are too dark and dank with just a low wattage 65 watt basking bulb. An LED bar or a florescent tube in the aformentioned 5000-6500K range is a good way to add light. With a closed chamber, not much room light gets in, so sometimes its good to add light and make it look like daytime in there for the tortoise. Not every enclosure needs this.

Its good that you ask these questions. I guarantee you are not the only one confused about all this info.
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
Don't bother with the UV bulbs. You don't need it where you are. A half hour of sunshine twice a week will do it. An hour a day if your life style permits is great if you can do it. Skipping a few weeks during a cold winter spell won't hurt anything.

The regular 10.0 T8 isn't much better than the 5.0, and you don't want either one to be the screw in type cfl. If you want indoor UV get an Arcadia 12% HO tube, or a ZooMed 10.0 HO tube. Anything else isn't going to be effective, and its a waste of your time and money.

Stay out of the pet store. Nothing good there. Bad advice and bad products.

Regular incandescent flood bulbs from the hardware store work great as basking bulbs. You'll need to have the fixture mounted from above so that you can raise or lower the bulb to get the correct temp. Its gotten difficult to find regular incandescent bulbs at the stores anymore. All they seem to sell anymore is the LED "replacement" types that use very little electricity, but produce no heat, which is our whole reason for using them.You might have to order online.
I agree, the only thing we're getting from Petco for now, is the 10.0 Zoo Med spot light until our Arcadia 12% shows up. and the Zilla 1000 timer. Thanks Tom, also we'll go to Home Depot, and get the 65 watt flood light. If not Ace hardware, calling around now.
 

Myakoda

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
67
Location (City and/or State)
AZ.
Bulb color is measured on the "Kelvin" scale. 2000-2500 is "soft white" and it tends to look yellowish. I don't like that. Bulbs with a K rating of 5000-6500 are more in the "natural sunlight" or bluish spectrum and look better to my eyes and the tortoise eyes too. These color ratings apply to all incandescent, florescent and LED bulbs. Avoid the yellowish ones, and look for the 5000K ones instead. This information is on the package of each bulb in the store.

In general, I'm referring to enclosures that are too dark and dank with just a low wattage 65 watt basking bulb. An LED bar or a florescent tube in the aformentioned 5000-6500K range is a good way to add light. With a closed chamber, not much room light gets in, so sometimes its good to add light and make it look like daytime in there for the tortoise. Not every enclosure needs this.

Its good that you ask these questions. I guarantee you are not the only one confused about all this info.
:) Thank you.
 
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