Is my sulcata getting sun?!

mariogalluscio

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Hello everyone, I have a question that hopefully someone will know the answer to. My sulcata is about two years old and lives entirely outside. His enclosure is an atrium on the side of my house that I have converted for him to live in. I will describe the enclosure to give you a better idea, it is completely closed in all four sides, three of which are by walls of my house and the fourth side is closed off by a six foot fence that faces due north while looking at the fence. My concern is now that it is winter in South Florida I believe the path of the sun has changed and it is no longer making it over the fence for him to bask. I know for a fact that the sun was making it over the fence in the summer as I was home most of the time and I could see him happily basking during the day. I am not too sure about whether or not he is getting basking time during this time as I am not home during the day because of work and school. I was hoping someone on here would possibly have enough life (or physics) experience to either validate or discredit my fears of him not getting enough sunlight. I did set up a GoPro today in time-lapse mode for about 4.5 hours worth of photos where I saw no sunlight for him to bask :( . I am going to keep setting up the GoPro for the next several days to see if by chance it was overcast or something similar that kept the sun out. If he is not getting the proper amount of sunlight I know I will have to make arrangements for him to get to it, but I am still concerned that he has been lacking this necessary basking time over the last couple of months. What are the possible health implications, etc and possibly any solutions...

Please and thank you so much!
 

mariogalluscio

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He has to be able to warm up under 95-100 temps in order to properly digest his food. If the sun isn't doing it, you will need to provide a basking light.
I believe he gets warmth, as he is outdoors in the South Florida weather all day. He seems to be digesting fine, I believe he has been pooping, etc normally. I am just concerned that he isnt getting proper sunlight.
 

wellington

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I believe he gets warmth, as he is outdoors in the South Florida weather all day. He seems to be digesting fine, I believe he has been pooping, etc normally. I am just concerned that he isnt getting proper sunlight.
Best way to find out for sure is to get a temp gun and temp the ground around him and his shell.
 

Yvonne G

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The UVB rays float around in the atmosphere. He doesn't need to be in direct sun in order to be getting UVB.
 

JoesMum

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Hello everyone, I have a question that hopefully someone will know the answer to. My sulcata is about two years old and lives entirely outside. His enclosure is an atrium on the side of my house that I have converted for him to live in. I will describe the enclosure to give you a better idea, it is completely closed in all four sides, three of which are by walls of my house and the fourth side is closed off by a six foot fence that faces due north while looking at the fence. My concern is now that it is winter in South Florida I believe the path of the sun has changed and it is no longer making it over the fence for him to bask. I know for a fact that the sun was making it over the fence in the summer as I was home most of the time and I could see him happily basking during the day. I am not too sure about whether or not he is getting basking time during this time as I am not home during the day because of work and school. I was hoping someone on here would possibly have enough life (or physics) experience to either validate or discredit my fears of him not getting enough sunlight. I did set up a GoPro today in time-lapse mode for about 4.5 hours worth of photos where I saw no sunlight for him to bask :( . I am going to keep setting up the GoPro for the next several days to see if by chance it was overcast or something similar that kept the sun out. If he is not getting the proper amount of sunlight I know I will have to make arrangements for him to get to it, but I am still concerned that he has been lacking this necessary basking time over the last couple of months. What are the possible health implications, etc and possibly any solutions...

Please and thank you so much!
Being outside he will get UVB and that is great. UVB will even pass through cloud (I had a bad teenage sunburn experience to prove that :( )

If the sun isn't rising high enough to shine over your fence, that means your garden is in the shade all day. This isn't uncommon in the winter months as the sun is much lower in the sky.

The impact of this is that your tortoise cannot bask and thus can't digest its food properly.

UVB isn't your problem, basking heat is. I get round this by having a basking lamp setup in a dog kennel for my tort to use in the cooler months. You may find this useful
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-accommodation-in-a-colder-uk-climate.140866/
 
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