Infrared - sunlight vs. basking lamps

lilacdragon

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Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
34
Hi, MikeH

Lighting is done by double 48" T5HO specular aluminum reflector fixture with Arcadia 3D+ 12% tube and 3500k grow tube at 15-17" height. Very bright. This double fixture produces some radiant heat reaching the floor, the tortoise seems to recognize this. (A QUAD fixture could possibly be enough of single source for heat and UVB for smaller tortoises, as the heat ouptut by quad/4 bulb fixture is multiplied.

That sounds a very nice fixture....
I don't suppose you're in the UK, anywhere near London? If you visit ZSL London Zoo, and go to the Galapagos Tortoise House you'll see what they've just installed in there - a massive array of four 4ft long Arcadia "SuperZoo" T5-HO units, each with six 54-watt Arcadia T5 D3+ 12%UVB tubes. These 4 units are suspended from the ceiling in two pairs, about 7ft above the tortoises' backs, and create a huge zone of more or less uniform UVI 3 - 3.5 about 10 feet square. Between the two pairs is a huge ceramic heat panel, emitting long-wavelength infrared; but this is a temporary fixture to boost the warmth under the array, because they are about to replace it with a row of halogen heaters.
The visible light is excellent and the tortoises seemed to be treating it as a "patch of sunlight".... The most impressive thing is the sheer size of the basking zone, enabling up to five adult Galapagos tortoises to sprawl out underneath it. When I was there, two were doing just that, with their legs and necks extended. So good to see...

If you have got your UV levels where you want them, with a single D3+ paired with a non-UVB T5 tube for visible light, you could certainly add a second pair of tubes - both non-UVB - to boost the visible light. Or you could use your quad fixture with two D3+ and two non-UVB tubes, raised up higher to achieve the same UVB level but covering a larger area.
Or for a better visible spectrum still, you could install a high-quality, non-UVB metal halide lamp - either a PAR38 externally-ballasted bulb, or a linear metal halide in a flood lamp fixture - at a greater distance, to cover the same basking area with a much brighter light with UVA and visible wavelengths, but not nearly as much infrared as a basking lamp. (Check out the spectrum of the Iwasaki EYE Color Arc halide in my first post on this thread).

Best wishes,
Frances
 

mikeh

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Frances, I live in the northeast US, but can picture the array of lights at the Zoo you describe, as I have seen those and massive 8tube fixtures.
Metal halide sounds ideal, but now we are getting into territory of high expense and more complicated set ups. Personally I will consider it.

The idea though is to try to come up with a system to keep it simple and price reasonable enough for the average tortoise keeper. The average indoor set consists of an MVB and CHE, or basking light, florescent uvb and CHE, or something in between. All creating a hot dry spots with the exception of florescent UVB. Most people here are using T8 lights and are just learning about about T5HO.

I think a quad or higher T5HO fixture weather it be 24" or 48", enclosure size appropriate, at usable height distance can create an even large gentle basking area and could possibly replace hot heat lights in many set ups. 24" quad fixture is rated at around 108watt output. Of this a significant amount is transformed into heat (unlike that of T8) inside the bulb and projected downward, with help of reflectors.

I have a 6'x3'x12" open table not in use. Tomorrow, I will set it up with 4' quad fixture at different usable heights and take pictures of temperature along with humidity under the lights and against the background ambient.
 

mikeh

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Test results.

Objective: Determine viability of multi tube T5HO fixture for single source of UVB/basking/heating all in one, in an open table enclosure and its effects on relative humidity under the fixtures tubes.

Temperature and humidity data was collected to determine fixtures heat output against ambient room temperature and humidity of the room, and fixtures ability to efficiently heat up test objects.

Set up: All materials were left in the temperature stabilized room for 3 hours prior to testing, excluding the tortoise. Fixture was set up 14" above the middle of the 6'x3' open table. Two large flat slate stones were placed under the fixture. Few plants were placed in the enclosure. No substrate was used. Ambient temperature and RH of the room were constantly monitored with dual digital reader. Surface temperature of each test object was recorded prior to start of the test including slate rocks, infrared temp gun was used. Detailed photos were taken thru out the test.

The fixture was initially turned on and left on for one hour before testing. At the end of the hour ambient temperature and RH under the fixture were recorded. Surface temperature of the slate rocks were recorded.

Test objects were then placed on top of the slate rocks under the fixture. Surface temperature of each of the test objects was recorder at 30 minutes and again at 60 minutes after initial placement. After 60 minutes all test objects were cut in half to record their core temperature. Temperature of the bottom of objects was also recorded.

Test objects:
a) live 3.25" leopard tortoise, hoping it will cooperate to bask, if not zip ties are on hand to strap it down.
b) raw 3.5" sweet potato
c) raw 5.25" acorn squash
d) 4" stack of 4x4 limestone tiles.

Materials specifications:

Table: 6'x3'x12" constructed of pine boards.
Fixture: New Wave quad (4tube) 48" T5HO equipped with specular aluminum reflectors. Total output: 216watts, 2Amps
Light bulbs: one T5HO Zoomed 5% UVB and three T5HO 5600K grow lights.
Fixture measurements: 48"x11"x3" (ballasted at the top with louvers for cooling.)


MEASURED AND RECORDED DATA:

Ambient room temp thru out the test:
74F
Room RH thru out the test:
39-42%


Ambient temp under the fixture, 1" above the slate rock at 60 mins after turned on: 90-91F

Slate rock surface temp at 60 mins: 92-94F

RH under the fixture at 60 mins: 24-28%

Ambient temp and RH remained constant after 60mins.

SWEET POTATO data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69.8F
Top @30 mins: 81.4F
Top @60 mins: 87.5F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins:82F
Bottom @60 mins:82F

ACORN SQUASH data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69F
Top @30mins: 82F
Top @60mins: 89.1F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins: 77F**
Bottom @60 mins: 79.2F

4x4 TILES data:
Surface temp prior to test: 74F
Top @30mins: 84.5F
Top @60mins: 88F
Core (stack cut in half) 60mins: 86F
Bottom @60mins:84.1F

TORTOISE data:
Surface temp prior to test: 79.5F
Top @30mins: 84F*
Top @60mins: 90.5F*
Core (cut in half) 60mins: Inconclusive, tortoise was unwilling to cooperate at this point.
Bottom @60mins: 87.7F

*Tortoise did not fully cooperate and had to be moved back under the fixture number of times. About 90% of the one hour was spent under the fixture.


Quick data facts:
1) This type of a fixture at 14" height was able to maintain (directly under) a constant ambient temp of 15-17F higher against the room temperature in an open table set up.

2) Relative humidity under the light was reduced by 12-15% against the backround humidity and remained constant.

3) In one hour the heat output was able to heat up 3.25" tortoise from 79.5F to 90.5-87.7F including its core in a 74F open floor room.

4) The fixture creates a large, very even and gentle basking area of 48"x11", somewhat replicating a patch of morning sun. It also raised temperature of its outer surroundings noticeably, surface temperature 7" from the outer edge of fixture was recorder at 85F.

I will upload detailed photos of the experiment and my conclusions shortly from my phone. Hope this will be helpful to some, any questions are welcome.
 

nearpass

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10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 11, 2009
Messages
109
mikeh said:
Test results.

Objective: Determine viability of multi tube T5HO fixture for single source of UVB/basking/heating all in one, in an open table enclosure and its effects on relative humidity under the fixtures tubes.

Temperature and humidity data was collected to determine fixtures heat output against ambient room temperature and humidity of the room and fixtures ability to efficiently heat up test objects.

Set up: All materials were left in the temperature stabilized room for 3 hours prior to testing, excluding the tortoise. Fixture was set up 14" above the middle of the 6'x3' open table. Two large flat slate stones were placed under the fixture. Few plants were placed in the enclosure. No substrate was used. Ambient temperature and RH of the room were constantly monitored with dual digital reader. Surface temperature of each test object was recorded prior to start of the test including slate rocks, infrared temp gun was used. Detailed photos were taken thru out the test.

The fixture was initially turned on and left on for one hour before testing. At the end of the hour ambient temperature and RH under the fixture were recorded. Surface temperature of the slate rocks were recorded.

Test objects were then placed on top of the slate rocks under the fixture. Surface temperature of each of the test objects was recorder at 30 minutes and again at 60 minutes after initial placement. After 60 minutes all test objects were cut in half to record their core temperature. Temperature of the bottom of objects was also recorded.

Test objects:
a) 3.25" leopard tortoise, hoping it will cooperate to bask, if not zip ties are on hand to strap it down.
b) 3.5" sweet potato
c) 5.25" acorn squash
d) 4" stack of 4x4 limestone tiles.

Materials specifications:

Table: 6'x3'x12" constructed of pine boards.
Fixture: New Wave quad (4tube) 48" T5HO equipped with specular aluminum reflectors. Total output: 216watts, 2Amps
Light bulbs: one T5HO Zoomed 5% UVB and three T5HO 5600K grow lights.
Fixture measurements: 48"x11"x3" (ballasted at the top with louvers for cooling.)


Measured recorder data:

Ambient room temp thru out the test:
74F
Room RH thru out the test:
39-42%


Ambient temp under the fixture 1" above the slate rock at 60 mins after turned on: 90-91F

Slate rock surface temp at 60 mins: 92-94F

RH under the fixture at 60 mins: 24-28%

Ambient temp and RH remained constant after 60mins.

SWEET POTATO data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69.8F
Top @30 mins: 81.4F
Top @60 mins: 87.5F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins:82F
Bottom @60 mins:82F

ACORN SQUASH data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69F
Top @30mins: 82F
Top @60mins: 89.1F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins: 77F**
Bottom @60 mins: 79.2F

4x4 TILES data:
Surface temp prior to test: 74F
Top @30mins: 84.5F
Top @60mins: 88F
Core (stack cut in half) 60mins: 86F
Bottom @60mins:84.1F

TORTOISE data:
Surface temp prior to test: 79.5F
Top @30mins: 84F*
Top @60mins: 90.5F*
Core (cut in half) 60mins: Inconclusive, tortoise was unwilling to cooperate at this point.
Bottom @60mins: 87.7F

*Tortoise did not fully cooperate and had to be moved back under the fixture number of times. About 90% of the one hour was spent under the fixture.


Quick data facts:
1) This type of a fixture at 14" height was able to maintain (directly under) a constant ambient temp of 15-17F higher against the room temperature in an open table set up.

2) Relative humidity under the light was reduced by 12-15% against the backround humidity and remained constant.

3) In one hour the heat output was able to heat up 3.25" tortoise from 79.5F to 90.5-87.7F including its core in a 74F open floor room.

4) The fixture creates a large, very even and gentle basking area of 48"x11", somewhat replicating a patch of morning sun. It also raised temperature of its outer surroundings noticeably, surface temperature 7" from the outer edge of fixture was recorder at 85F.

Hope some have found this useful. Any questions are welcome. I will upload detailed photos of the experiment and my conclusions shortly from my phone.

Now that's really impressive! Am looking forward to the pictures!
 

mikeh

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
1,050
Re: RE: Infrared - sunlight vs. basking lamps

mikeh said:
Test results.

Objective: Determine viability of multi tube T5HO fixture for single source of UVB/basking/heating all in one, in an open table enclosure and its effects on relative humidity under the fixtures tubes.

Temperature and humidity data was collected to determine fixtures heat output against ambient room temperature and humidity of the room, and fixtures ability to efficiently heat up test objects.

Set up: All materials were left in the temperature stabilized room for 3 hours prior to testing, excluding the tortoise. Fixture was set up 14" above the middle of the 6'x3' open table. Two large flat slate stones were placed under the fixture. Few plants were placed in the enclosure. No substrate was used. Ambient temperature and RH of the room were constantly monitored with dual digital reader. Surface temperature of each test object was recorded prior to start of the test including slate rocks, infrared temp gun was used. Detailed photos were taken thru out the test.

The fixture was initially turned on and left on for one hour before testing. At the end of the hour ambient temperature and RH under the fixture were recorded. Surface temperature of the slate rocks were recorded.

Test objects were then placed on top of the slate rocks under the fixture. Surface temperature of each of the test objects was recorder at 30 minutes and again at 60 minutes after initial placement. After 60 minutes all test objects were cut in half to record their core temperature. Temperature of the bottom of objects was also recorded.

Test objects:
a) live 3.25" leopard tortoise, hoping it will cooperate to bask, if not zip ties are on hand to strap it down.
b) raw 3.5" sweet potato
c) raw 5.25" acorn squash
d) 4" stack of 4x4 limestone tiles.

Materials specifications:

Table: 6'x3'x12" constructed of pine boards.
Fixture: New Wave quad (4tube) 48" T5HO equipped with specular aluminum reflectors. Total output: 216watts, 2Amps
Light bulbs: one T5HO Zoomed 5% UVB and three T5HO 5600K grow lights.
Fixture measurements: 48"x11"x3" (ballasted at the top with louvers for cooling.)


MEASURED AND RECORDED DATA:

Ambient room temp thru out the test:
74F
Room RH thru out the test:
39-42%


Ambient temp under the fixture, 1" above the slate rock at 60 mins after turned on: 90-91F

Slate rock surface temp at 60 mins: 92-94F

RH under the fixture at 60 mins: 24-28%

Ambient temp and RH remained constant after 60mins.

SWEET POTATO data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69.8F
Top @30 mins: 81.4F
Top @60 mins: 87.5F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins:82F
Bottom @60 mins:82F

ACORN SQUASH data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69F
Top @30mins: 82F
Top @60mins: 89.1F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins: 77F**
Bottom @60 mins: 79.2F

4x4 TILES data:
Surface temp prior to test: 74F
Top @30mins: 84.5F
Top @60mins: 88F
Core (stack cut in half) 60mins: 86F
Bottom @60mins:84.1F

TORTOISE data:
Surface temp prior to test: 79.5F
Top @30mins: 84F*
Top @60mins: 90.5F*
Core (cut in half) 60mins: Inconclusive, tortoise was unwilling to cooperate at this point.
Bottom @60mins: 87.7F

*Tortoise did not fully cooperate and had to be moved back under the fixture number of times. About 90% of the one hour was spent under the fixture.


Quick data facts:
1) This type of a fixture at 14" height was able to maintain (directly under) a constant ambient temp of 15-17F higher against the room temperature in an open table set up.

2) Relative humidity under the light was reduced by 12-15% against the backround humidity and remained constant.

3) In one hour the heat output was able to heat up 3.25" tortoise from 79.5F to 90.5-87.7F including its core in a 74F open floor room.

4) The fixture creates a large, very even and gentle basking area of 48"x11", somewhat replicating a patch of morning sun. It also raised temperature of its outer surroundings noticeably, surface temperature 7" from the outer edge of fixture was recorder at 85F.

I will upload detailed photos of the experiment and my conclusions shortly from my phone. Hope this will be helpful to some, any questions are welcome.

Tested Fixture. 20,000 lumes output.
1388717169495.jpg 1388717187006.jpg

Test Set up
1388717300759.jpg
1388717352900.jpg

Ambient temp/humidity readings thru out the experiment. "Indoors" indicates room readings. "Outdoors" indicates readings under the fixture. The sensor for the fixture reading is the white rectangle on the slate rock with sensor facing up.
1388717616518.jpg
1388717631512.jpg

Readings of objects and enclosure right before start
1388717740207.jpg
1388717719308.jpg
1388717796052.jpg

1388717827791.jpg

Photos of random readings during the test.
Acorn Squash
1388718302304.jpg
1388718340934.jpg

Potato
1388718484251.jpg
1388718504979.jpg

Tiles
1388718605634.jpg

Tortoise
1388718742287.jpg
1388718671741.jpg


Missed tortoise temp before testing.
1388719179867.jpg
 

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nearpass

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10 Year Member!
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Messages
109

Will have to look this over much more in depth tomorrow when I'm not half asleep and snowed in, but this looks to cover the entire enclosure, at least, obviously, for your test. I think the concept is fantastic, but wonder about adapting it to a somewhat smaller enclosure, or, more accurately, to allow for thermo and light exposure choices. Do you think this can be accomplished with a somewhat smaller fixture over, say, half an enclosure?
 

mikeh

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
1,050
This will give you better perspective on enclosure 6x3 and fixture 4'x11" used in the test.
1388719992737.jpg

In the very first image you can see thermometer placed in the far end of enclosure where the temp remained at 74F, due to the box blocking the heat. If the fixture was suspended my guess is the temperature in very far end would be 76-80F

Sure for 4x2 enclosure 24"quad fixture would work as well. Darker areas can be created with plants.
 
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turtlesteve

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5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
491
Testudoresearch and others,

It should be possible to find or develop a solid filter that blocks the same IRA wavelengths that are absorbed by water. This could be used in front of an incandescent or halogen heat lamp. UV would then be provided by fluorescent lighting (such as the Arcadia bulbs) to avoid introducing un-filtered IR light.

I can help with finding the appropriate filter material if anyone is willing or interested in testing this approach.

Steve P.
 

lilacdragon

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
34
:D MikeH - this is a really great piece of research!
For species that don't need high basking temperatures (I guess that includes most tortoises?) this looks really worth pursuing!!
I'm not sure that one Reptisun 5.0 tube in a reflector at 14" distance is giving sufficient UVB. I'll need to dig out some charts and see what levels you're likely to be getting... But of course you've got the ability to swap around any of the 4 tubes into UV versions, and there are different "strengths" of UVB as well...

I too thought at first, like Nearpass, that it was covering the whole enclosure but MikeH's new photo makes it look ideal for a pen that size.

(I also got a shock when I first read about tying the tortoise down with cable ties! :( ... then I read about cutting it in half, too, and I decided this must be a joke and I obviously have no sense of humour.... :p )

TurtleSteve - if you can develop a filter that absorbs only the wavelengths absorbed by water, I seriously think that you could not only have a big impact on reptile husbandry, but also make a lot of money on the patent, because have you seen the price of medical water-filtered IR-A units with their integral thin water panels?!!! (Not joking at all..) Go for it!
The only problem is that you need a spectrometer that can examine infrared wavelengths, to see if it works. Do you have access to one? (Mine only goes up to 800nm so is useless for IR testing, unfortunately.)
 

Saleama

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Jul 12, 2013
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Irving Texas
mikeh said:
Test results.

Objective: Determine viability of multi tube T5HO fixture for single source of UVB/basking/heating all in one, in an open table enclosure and its effects on relative humidity under the fixtures tubes.

Temperature and humidity data was collected to determine fixtures heat output against ambient room temperature and humidity of the room, and fixtures ability to efficiently heat up test objects.

Set up: All materials were left in the temperature stabilized room for 3 hours prior to testing, excluding the tortoise. Fixture was set up 14" above the middle of the 6'x3' open table. Two large flat slate stones were placed under the fixture. Few plants were placed in the enclosure. No substrate was used. Ambient temperature and RH of the room were constantly monitored with dual digital reader. Surface temperature of each test object was recorded prior to start of the test including slate rocks, infrared temp gun was used. Detailed photos were taken thru out the test.

The fixture was initially turned on and left on for one hour before testing. At the end of the hour ambient temperature and RH under the fixture were recorded. Surface temperature of the slate rocks were recorded.

Test objects were then placed on top of the slate rocks under the fixture. Surface temperature of each of the test objects was recorder at 30 minutes and again at 60 minutes after initial placement. After 60 minutes all test objects were cut in half to record their core temperature. Temperature of the bottom of objects was also recorded.

Test objects:
a) live 3.25" leopard tortoise, hoping it will cooperate to bask, if not zip ties are on hand to strap it down.
b) raw 3.5" sweet potato
c) raw 5.25" acorn squash
d) 4" stack of 4x4 limestone tiles.

Materials specifications:

Table: 6'x3'x12" constructed of pine boards.
Fixture: New Wave quad (4tube) 48" T5HO equipped with specular aluminum reflectors. Total output: 216watts, 2Amps
Light bulbs: one T5HO Zoomed 5% UVB and three T5HO 5600K grow lights.
Fixture measurements: 48"x11"x3" (ballasted at the top with louvers for cooling.)


MEASURED AND RECORDED DATA:

Ambient room temp thru out the test:
74F
Room RH thru out the test:
39-42%


Ambient temp under the fixture, 1" above the slate rock at 60 mins after turned on: 90-91F

Slate rock surface temp at 60 mins: 92-94F

RH under the fixture at 60 mins: 24-28%

Ambient temp and RH remained constant after 60mins.

SWEET POTATO data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69.8F
Top @30 mins: 81.4F
Top @60 mins: 87.5F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins:82F
Bottom @60 mins:82F

ACORN SQUASH data:
Surface temp prior to test: 69F
Top @30mins: 82F
Top @60mins: 89.1F
Core (cut in half) @ 60 mins: 77F**
Bottom @60 mins: 79.2F

4x4 TILES data:
Surface temp prior to test: 74F
Top @30mins: 84.5F
Top @60mins: 88F
Core (stack cut in half) 60mins: 86F
Bottom @60mins:84.1F

TORTOISE data:
Surface temp prior to test: 79.5F
Top @30mins: 84F*
Top @60mins: 90.5F*
Core (cut in half) 60mins: Inconclusive, tortoise was unwilling to cooperate at this point.
Bottom @60mins: 87.7F

*Tortoise did not fully cooperate and had to be moved back under the fixture number of times. About 90% of the one hour was spent under the fixture.


Quick data facts:
1) This type of a fixture at 14" height was able to maintain (directly under) a constant ambient temp of 15-17F higher against the room temperature in an open table set up.

2) Relative humidity under the light was reduced by 12-15% against the backround humidity and remained constant.

3) In one hour the heat output was able to heat up 3.25" tortoise from 79.5F to 90.5-87.7F including its core in a 74F open floor room.

4) The fixture creates a large, very even and gentle basking area of 48"x11", somewhat replicating a patch of morning sun. It also raised temperature of its outer surroundings noticeably, surface temperature 7" from the outer edge of fixture was recorder at 85F.

I will upload detailed photos of the experiment and my conclusions shortly from my phone. Hope this will be helpful to some, any questions are welcome.

All the great scientific data aside, I can't help but smile thinking about that cute little tort running away every time you tried to make him "sit" and "stay".
 

mikeh

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
1,050
Re: RE: Infrared - sunlight vs. basking lamps

lilacdragon said:
:D MikeH - this is a really great piece of research!
For species that don't need high basking temperatures (I guess that includes most tortoises?) this looks really worth pursuing!!
I'm not sure that one Reptisun 5.0 tube in a reflector at 14" distance is giving sufficient UVB. I'll need to dig out some charts and see what levels you're likely to be getting... But of course you've got the ability to swap around any of the 4 tubes into UV versions, and there are different "strengths" of UVB as well...

I too thought at first, like Nearpass, that it was covering the whole enclosure but MikeH's new photo makes it look ideal for a pen that size.

(I also got a shock when I first read about tying the tortoise down with cable ties! :( ... then I read about cutting it in half, too, and I decided this must be a joke and I obviously have no sense of humour.... :p )

Yes, well Frances that part of the experiment didn't exactly work out. When the tortoise seen the potato and squash being cut in half he bolted immediately. Unfortunately by the time I found him, his temperature has dropped considerably, thus going forward the data would render rather useless.

Reptisun 5.0 had no real meaning to the test. It just happen to be on hand. Like you said bulbs can be swapped out in countless configurations to achieve any desired UVB output to match height that yields desires basking temperature without baking off the humidity.

And that is whats so great about multi tube T5HO lights, versatility. (For example, If the fixture was at 12" height, it would have yielded basking temp higher still then in the test for those wanting 95F. Two Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia D3 6% installed in the outer positions would create such a very nice large UVB area.) Higher temperatures still can be achieved with 6 and 8 tube fixtures. They don't have to 4' in length, 24" 6 or 8 tube fixture will create an area of even higher basking temperatures.

I don't think any hatchling or smaller tortoise utilizes 100F direct midday sunlight for basking. So why are we creating these 100-110F hot spots with basking bulbs. Well, because thats what we know, to compensate with tiny basking spot, and to heat up the surrounding ambient temp with the same light.

I think these multi tube T5HO lights can be used for basking and heating on any hatchling and smaller tortoises without much impact on humidity, creating milder but BIG and EVEN temp basking area.
That being said, I do not see these lights alone being efficient to heat up a 50lbs Sulcata, but neither will a 100-200watt basking bulb, baking top of the carapace.

These multi tube T5HO lights appear to be very bright, but even at 20,000 lumes, it is still far cry from sunny day outside. Its just that indoor lighting is very dark and we are used to gloomy, dark enclosures. And For tropical spieces, no problem, plants, plants, plants, they love these lights. Create a nice plant canopy to break up the light and your tropical tortoise will bask under. Grass, clover, and weeds grow like crazy with these lights. After all these are grow lights.
 

lilacdragon

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
34
This is very much how I see the use of a multi-T5 fixture set-up, too. I am very impressed by their possibilities.
I have a query about basking temperatures, though.
Are we talking about air temperatures or substrate temperatures?

I'm sure no self-respecting tortoise would be out basking in full sunlight at air temperatures of 100F, (38C) but in sunlight, at air temperatures as low as 48F (9C) I measured surface temperatures of 93F (34C) up in the Spanish Sierra Nevada, and that was the surface temperature of the backs of a group of basking wall lizards in the sunlit spot, too. There weren't any torts there (!) but a couple of days earlier at sea level we found a baby Testudo graeca at the edge of some grass clumps, and the air temperature was about 81F (27.6C), the substrate where he was standing was about 105F (40.6C) and his carapace temp was about 104F (40.2C)....

Obviously there are huge species differences in this, and I agree in principle that the main reason that people have in the past created these hot spots is because we haven't understood the need for wide basking zones. But I think also, until infrared non-contact thermometers became available there was (and still is) a lot of confusion about what "temperature" we are measuring.
(Those wretched stick-on dial things that just measure the temperature of the wall don't help this either!)
 

mikeh

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Messages
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Re: RE: Infrared - sunlight vs. basking lamps

lilacdragon said:
This is very much how I see the use of a multi-T5 fixture set-up, too. I am very impressed by their possibilities.
I have a query about basking temperatures, though.
Are we talking about air temperatures or substrate temperatures?

I'm sure no self-respecting tortoise would be out basking in full sunlight at air temperatures of 100F, (38C) but in sunlight, at air temperatures as low as 48F (9C) I measured surface temperatures of 93F (34C) up in the Spanish Sierra Nevada, and that was the surface temperature of the backs of a group of basking wall lizards in the sunlit spot, too. There weren't any torts there (!) but a couple of days earlier at sea level we found a baby Testudo graeca at the edge of some grass clumps, and the air temperature was about 81F (27.6C), the substrate where he was standing was about 105F (40.6C) and his carapace temp was about 104F (40.2C)....

Obviously there are huge species differences in this, and I agree in principle that the main reason that people have in the past created these hot spots is because we haven't understood the need for wide basking zones. But I think also, until infrared non-contact thermometers became available there was (and still is) a lot of confusion about what "temperature" we are measuring.
(Those wretched stick-on dial things that just measure the temperature of the wall don't help this either!)

We are talking about air temperatures.
I am glad you shared your findings at Spanish Sierra Nevada. It would have been interesting to know what the temperature was of the plastron and the core of that tortoise. I am willing to bet that if you took the tortoise into shade and measured its carapace temperature, it would be way down from 104F within seconds. Radiant heat has different intensities as we know. Midday sun in the summer will penetrate much deeper then winter sun, even though winter or shallow angle will still heat up the very top layer to high temperatures. What time of a year, time of day did you happen to be there? While the suns radiant heat was heating top of the tortoises shell a convection cooling of ambient 81F was having an effect on its entire shell. Was there air movement or wind, which would amplify the convection effect. All these thermo effects combined play a role as a whole for tortoise thermo regulating. Very interesting stuff indeed.

To make things more interesting here is an image of our surviver test subject, happily thermo regulating (basking) for couple hours strictly by convection in a 91F fan circulated air with no overhead radiant heat source. Its worth pointing that after the fan was turned off and ambient temp was brought to 84F, his carapace temp was still at 89F 30mins after suggesting his core was at the same temperature.
1388824281981.jpg

And here utilizing convection, conduction and radiant heat, from warm circulated air, and heated rocks. Again, no overhead radiant heat source.
1388824848133.jpg

We don't need to be stuck SOLELY on overhead radiant heat sources with arid species. A combination may be most ideal to reduce undesired indoor IRA effects.

I am glad you share similar vision on T5HO lights Frances. More testing will be done. On the last note Id like to ask, do we know what CORE temperature do arid species strive to reach during the day?
 
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lilacdragon

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mikeh said:
We are talking about air temperatures.

I think it will become increasingly important to state this, because if an owner is using an infrared non-contact thermometer to check temperatures, they will never be reading air temperatures in areas receiving infrared radiation. I think there could be a big risk of people not providing enough heat, because they are keeping the SURFACE temperature in the basking zone at a level more appropriate for the AIR temperature....
As you in effect point out, you will only get surface and air temperatures equal, in shade.
It is not therefore necessarily a problem if the basking zone surface temperature, or carapace temperature, is 104F. But it IS a problem if it is only reaching 84F and the tortoise wants to bring its core temperature up to 89F...

I am glad you shared your findings at Spanish Sierra Nevada. It would have been interesting to know what the temperature was of the plastron and the core of that tortoise. I am willing to bet that if you took the tortoise into shade and measured its carapace temperature, it would be way down from 104F within seconds. Radiant heat has different intensities as we know. Midday sun in the summer will penetrate much deeper then winter sun, even though winter or shallow angle will still heat up the very top layer to high temperatures. What time of a year, time of day did you happen to be there? While the suns radiant heat was heating top of the tortoises shell a convection cooling of ambient 81F was having an effect on its entire shell. Was there air movement or wind, which would amplify the convection effect. All these thermo effects combined play a role as a whole for tortoise thermo regulating. Very interesting stuff indeed.

I did not pick the little tortoise up, or move him around so the only measurements I have are for surface and carapace temperatures (Infrared n-c thermometer), air temperature (gas probe on an ordinary thermocouple thermometer) and UVI (Solarmeter 6.4). I didn't have a humidity meter with me, unfortunately.

Here are some photos:
Air and substrate temperatures
substrate-temp40C.jpg


Carapace temperature:
carapace-temp40C.jpg


UVI:
testudograecaUVI4-6.jpg

The little guy was in partial shade as you can see. The local time was 13:22 on May 19th. (This is about 30mins before the solar mid-day, owing to Daylight Saving Time and the location of the site). Out in the open, at human height, the UVI was 6.5.

Here are the toasty warm lizards basking in air temperature 9C:
podarcismuralis-temp34C.jpg


On the last note Id like to ask, do we know what CORE temperature do arid species strive to reach during the day?
I don't know, but I think if you have access to some journals the answer will be there. (Unfortunately I don't have any university library access so rely on friends who have, or the occasional one uploaded to Researchgate or someone's website.)
Here are abstracts for the sort of thing you are looking for. Squint and you can guess at the numbers on some of the graphs....
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306456513000181
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030645651300017X

Best wishes,
Frances
 

gtc

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mikeh said:
lilacdragon said:
:D MikeH - this is a really great piece of research!
For species that don't need high basking temperatures (I guess that includes most tortoises?) this looks really worth pursuing!!
I'm not sure that one Reptisun 5.0 tube in a reflector at 14" distance is giving sufficient UVB. I'll need to dig out some charts and see what levels you're likely to be getting... But of course you've got the ability to swap around any of the 4 tubes into UV versions, and there are different "strengths" of UVB as well...

I too thought at first, like Nearpass, that it was covering the whole enclosure but MikeH's new photo makes it look ideal for a pen that size.

(I also got a shock when I first read about tying the tortoise down with cable ties! :( ... then I read about cutting it in half, too, and I decided this must be a joke and I obviously have no sense of humour.... :p )

Yes, well Frances that part of the experiment didn't exactly work out. When the tortoise seen the potato and squash being cut in half he bolted immediately. Unfortunately by the time I found him, his temperature has dropped considerably, thus going forward the data would render rather useless.

Reptisun 5.0 had no real meaning to the test. It just happen to be on hand. Like you said bulbs can be swapped out in countless configurations to achieve any desired UVB output to match height that yields desires basking temperature without baking off the humidity.

And that is whats so great about multi tube T5HO lights, versatility. (For example, If the fixture was at 12" height, it would have yielded basking temp higher still then in the test for those wanting 95F. Two Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia D3 6% installed in the outer positions would create such a very nice large UVB area.) Higher temperatures still can be achieved with 6 and 8 tube fixtures. They don't have to 4' in length, 24" 6 or 8 tube fixture will create an area of even higher basking temperatures.

I don't think any hatchling or smaller tortoise utilizes 100F direct midday sunlight for basking. So why are we creating these 100-110F hot spots with basking bulbs. Well, because thats what we know, to compensate with tiny basking spot, and to heat up the surrounding ambient temp with the same light.

I think these multi tube T5HO lights can be used for basking and heating on any hatchling and smaller tortoises without much impact on humidity, creating milder but BIG and EVEN temp basking area.
That being said, I do not see these lights alone being efficient to heat up a 50lbs Sulcata, but neither will a 100-200watt basking bulb, baking top of the carapace.

These multi tube T5HO lights appear to be very bright, but even at 20,000 lumes, it is still far cry from sunny day outside. Its just that indoor lighting is very dark and we are used to gloomy, dark enclosures. And For tropical spieces, no problem, plants, plants, plants, they love these lights. Create a nice plant canopy to break up the light and your tropical tortoise will bask under. Grass, clover, and weeds grow like crazy with these lights. After all these are grow lights.

This might be a silly question but in what way are the 4 T5 tubes better than a 160W mvb in a closed chamber? Both create basking zones That can be considered large for small tortoise species and humidity should not be an issue with closed chambers. I am sorry if I have missed something here.

By the way great job with your setup and research.
 

gtc

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gtc said:
mikeh said:
lilacdragon said:
:D MikeH - this is a really great piece of research!
For species that don't need high basking temperatures (I guess that includes most tortoises?) this looks really worth pursuing!!
I'm not sure that one Reptisun 5.0 tube in a reflector at 14" distance is giving sufficient UVB. I'll need to dig out some charts and see what levels you're likely to be getting... But of course you've got the ability to swap around any of the 4 tubes into UV versions, and there are different "strengths" of UVB as well...

I too thought at first, like Nearpass, that it was covering the whole enclosure but MikeH's new photo makes it look ideal for a pen that size.

(I also got a shock when I first read about tying the tortoise down with cable ties! :( ... then I read about cutting it in half, too, and I decided this must be a joke and I obviously have no sense of humour.... :p )

Yes, well Frances that part of the experiment didn't exactly work out. When the tortoise seen the potato and squash being cut in half he bolted immediately. Unfortunately by the time I found him, his temperature has dropped considerably, thus going forward the data would render rather useless.

Reptisun 5.0 had no real meaning to the test. It just happen to be on hand. Like you said bulbs can be swapped out in countless configurations to achieve any desired UVB output to match height that yields desires basking temperature without baking off the humidity.

And that is whats so great about multi tube T5HO lights, versatility. (For example, If the fixture was at 12" height, it would have yielded basking temp higher still then in the test for those wanting 95F. Two Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia D3 6% installed in the outer positions would create such a very nice large UVB area.) Higher temperatures still can be achieved with 6 and 8 tube fixtures. They don't have to 4' in length, 24" 6 or 8 tube fixture will create an area of even higher basking temperatures.

I don't think any hatchling or smaller tortoise utilizes 100F direct midday sunlight for basking. So why are we creating these 100-110F hot spots with basking bulbs. Well, because thats what we know, to compensate with tiny basking spot, and to heat up the surrounding ambient temp with the same light.

I think these multi tube T5HO lights can be used for basking and heating on any hatchling and smaller tortoises without much impact on humidity, creating milder but BIG and EVEN temp basking area.
That being said, I do not see these lights alone being efficient to heat up a 50lbs Sulcata, but neither will a 100-200watt basking bulb, baking top of the carapace.

These multi tube T5HO lights appear to be very bright, but even at 20,000 lumes, it is still far cry from sunny day outside. Its just that indoor lighting is very dark and we are used to gloomy, dark enclosures. And For tropical spieces, no problem, plants, plants, plants, they love these lights. Create a nice plant canopy to break up the light and your tropical tortoise will bask under. Grass, clover, and weeds grow like crazy with these lights. After all these are grow lights.

This might be a silly question but in what way are the 4 T5 tubes better than a 160W mvb in a closed chamber? Both create basking zones That can be considered large for small tortoise species and humidity should not be an issue with closed chambers. I am sorry if I have missed something here.

By the way great job with your setup and research.


I re-read the posts and I think I understand now. The advantage is a even and wider basking area with a small effect on humidity. Mimics the sun more closely. Very cool. What basking temps would you recommend with this setup? How many UVB 5.0 tubes, 2 of 4 maybe?
 

mikeh

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gtc, yes, you got idea.....
Ideally you want to create same basking temperature as with regular basking lights. I would go with 95F for arid species. Because the heat output of T5HO is not as intense the height to create this basking temp will depend on weather you have closed chamber and size or open table and room temperature. It could be anything from 10"-18", that will also determine strength and number of UVB tubes.
If you provide some details I can give you better idea on tubes.
 

gtc

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mikeh said:
gtc, yes, you got idea.....
Ideally you want to create same basking temperature as with regular basking lights. I would go with 95F for arid species. Because the heat output of T5HO is not as intense the height to create this basking temp will depend on weather you have closed chamber and size or open table and room temperature. It could be anything from 10"-18", that will also determine strength and number of UVB tubes.
If you provide some details I can give you better idea on tubes.

Thank you,

The attached photo is not current, I have covered about 90-95% of the top now in order to keep humidity at basking zone between 25-30% and 60-70% in rest of enclosure. I use a 160W powersun mvb now.

Due to the climate my greek lives about 9 months indoors and always sleeps indoors.

I am considering changing to your setup after reading all these interesting posts, especially when in about 2 years I plan to make a very large indoor enclosure and I wish to have large basking zones.

My biggest concern is if uvb tubes (compared to mvb) can provide enough uvb for adequate vit D synthesis in torts that dont get a lot outside time. Also since the future indoor enclosure will be open and about 3 yards by 6 yards I wonder if the tubes will be able to produce a hot enough basking temp?
 

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mikeh

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Re: RE: Infrared - sunlight vs. basking lamps

gtc said:
mikeh said:
gtc, yes, you got idea.....
Ideally you want to create same basking temperature as with regular basking lights. I would go with 95F for arid species. Because the heat output of T5HO is not as intense the height to create this basking temp will depend on weather you have closed chamber and size or open table and room temperature. It could be anything from 10"-18", that will also determine strength and number of UVB tubes.
If you provide some details I can give you better idea on tubes.

Thank you,

The attached photo is not current, I have covered about 90-95% of the top now in order to keep humidity at basking zone between 25-30% and 60-70% in rest of enclosure. I use a 160W powersun mvb now.

Due to the climate my greek lives about 9 months indoors and always sleeps indoors.

I am considering changing to your setup after reading all these interesting posts, especially when in about 2 years I plan to make a very large indoor enclosure and I wish to have large basking zones.

My biggest concern is if uvb tubes (compared to mvb) can provide enough uvb for adequate vit D synthesis in torts that dont get a lot outside time. Also since the future indoor enclosure will be open and about 3 yards by 6 yards I wonder if the tubes will be able to produce a hot enough basking temp?

On your biggest concern of UVB: T5HO UVB tubes are superior to MVBs. They mimic suns spectrum better then MVBs and last much longer. MVBs (Mega Ray may be the exception) are known to fail within as little as one month, rendering them useless for UVB. T5HO Arcadia D3+ are good for up to one year. In short T5HO tubes are better choice for UVB.

For your current set up 24" T5HO quad fixture seems ideal. Fixture placed in the middle with most of the enclosure covered as you have now. This would increase your basking area humidity to 45%-55% with rest remaining at your current levels.
Here is link to a hydrofarm fixture.

http://www.megagrowers.com/t5-designer-2ft-4-tube-fixture-w-bulbs/?gclid=CMaXx66c77sCFYtQOgodGDIAjQ

It comes with grow lights. This will allow you to determine at what height you will set the fixture to obtain desired basking temp. The ideal height will then determine what strength UVB tube(s) are appropriate.

Heights 10"-12" will yield lover UVB tubes such as Zoomed 5% or Arcadia D3+ 6%.
Height of 15-18" will yeild higher UVB tubes, Zoomed 10% or Arcadia D3+12%.
Either set up with two uvb tubes placed in the outer positions of the fixture seem ideal, with grow lights on the inside positions.

For your future 3yards by 6yards enclosure you would need 4' 6-8tube fixture or maybe even creating two basking areas with two large fixtures.

___________________________________

If your tortoise spends hours on end under the MVB you have, it is having a drying effect on its carapace not only by lowering humidity to very low levels under the bulb but also by IRA spectrum the heat bulbs produce. It is suggested this may be one of the factors contributing to pyramiding, that's what this thread is about.

Since T5HO lights don't dry out the humidity it would seem they don't produce as high of IRA spectrum thus not having this negative effect on the shell, although testing is needed. Hopefully one of our members will test them with rest of the heat lights in next couple of months to give us better answers.
 
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