Lighting a double decker tortoise table

Kaeloni

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We’re just finishing up our double decker tortoise table. I’ve had the original top part of the tortoise table for a year, the bottom part is new.

I didn’t take into consideration that the bottom table would be really dark. In the middle there is a powersun bulb. I’m wondering what kind of lights to put on the left side where the food and water is. Should I get a uvb tube light (is that what they’re called? The long lights.) Or would a basic fluorescent tube light be more ideal? I don’t plan on putting in more lighting on the right hand side because that’s the cool side with some burrows. Although, I would be open to putting lights on that said if necessary. Thanks!

Please note that the divider in the top table was temporary. I took the powersun bulb from another table and wanted to keep that tortoise warm while it was heating up. On the plus side, I did use a divider instead of putting 2 males together [emoji217][emoji217]

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T Smart

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Looks great! I'd love to know how you built the table.

It wouldn't be hard to hang a UVB tube for the bottom enclosure. Both a UVB and fluorescent will light up the area well, but the UVB will obviously provide UVB rays.

I'd get rid of the two pots, or dig them deeper in the substrate. It's a tipping hazard and a possible way to climb out. Russians are great climbers!
 

Kaeloni

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Looks great! I'd love to know how you built the table.

It wouldn't be hard to hang a UVB tube for the bottom enclosure. Both a UVB and fluorescent will light up the area well, but the UVB will obviously provide UVB rays.

I'd get rid of the two pots, or dig them deeper in the substrate. It's a tipping hazard and a possible way to climb out. Russians are great climbers!

Thank you. This is my first time using the pots and I don’t know that I will keep them. My tortoises don’t like them and I’m not impressed either. Both of my tortoises like to dig under their logs.

The bottom was a challenge to build. The legs were already established and I insisted that we build on the outside of the legs to make it match and have more room. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

I know that some uvb lights cause damage to the tortoises eyes. It there a specific one that I should get or are all tube lights safe?
 

vladimir

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All tube style ones are safe as far as I know. It's the compact florescent / cool type ones that plug into a regular socket that are bad.
 

Minority2

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How high is the height of each table/planter box?
What type of tarp/material are yous using to line them with?
What is the width of your enclosure? It looks pretty narrow.

A setup with a basking fixture in the middle would require 2 uvb fixtures on both sides. This means you'll want to purchase 4 total uvb strip fixtures for your entire setup. You want your entire enclosure to be lighted. Some tortoises tend to completely ignore spaces that are either too dark and or too cool.

4x 2-3ft uvb fixtures should do the job.
 

Kaeloni

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How high is the height of each table/planter box?
What type of tarp/material are yous using to line them with?
What is the width of your enclosure? It looks pretty narrow.

A setup with a basking fixture in the middle would require 2 uvb fixtures on both sides. This means you'll want to purchase 4 total uvb strip fixtures for your entire setup. You want your entire enclosure to be lighted. Some tortoises tend to completely ignore spaces that are either too dark and or too cool.

4x 2-3ft uvb fixtures should do the job.

Each table is 12” high
We used pond liner to line the tables.
The enclosure is 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. It was meant to be 4 feet but ended up smaller.
I will get 4 uvb fixtures, thank you.
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings... regarding your terracotta pots... I had good luck breaking one in 1/2 which seemed to work very well as a hide. Thst said, dark rubbermaid type containers flipped over (lid off) with a nice small entrance works even better. They won’t climb on top (no flip), are dark inside like a nice safe cafe, and are pretty cheap. As tort grows you can first enlargen the hide entrance and eventually upgrade to larger and larger containers.

Good luck n happy torting.
 

Kaeloni

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Greetings... regarding your terracotta pots... I had good luck breaking one in 1/2 which seemed to work very well as a hide. Thst said, dark rubbermaid type containers flipped over (lid off) with a nice small entrance works even better. They won’t climb on top (no flip), are dark inside like a nice safe cafe, and are pretty cheap. As tort grows you can first enlargen the hide entrance and eventually upgrade to larger and larger containers.

Good luck n happy torting.

I’ll definitely look into the Rubbermaid containers. Hopefully they will use them. Thank you!
 

Alex Z

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What torts you have built this elegant home for?
 

EllieMay

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The bottom was a challenge to build. The legs were already established and I insisted that we build on the outside of the legs to make it match and have more room. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

This is really impressive! I’m glad you posted this because I have a singular table that is built very similar but the top is enclosed.. Toretto (2yr Sulcata) lives in it now but next spring, she will move outside so I’ll want to utilize it for Pickles and Crusher... meaning I will need to build on to the bottom for a second story.. my thoughts are exactly like yours.. I’ll want it outside the legs for the size and symmetry.. were you concerned about leaks?
 

Kapidolo Farms

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https://www.zenhydro.com/sun-blaze-t5-ho-22-2-ft-2-lamp.html

I use these, it's the best value per light tube use, single tube fixtures cost less in total, but more per tube, they are at best $30 plus each. To get more life with these you can just use one side or the other. They can be plugged into each other so you only need one outlet for four of them.

These use T5 HO tubes, both ZooMed and Arcadia manufacture tubes. Best prices I've found are at http://www.reptilesupplyco.com/461-t5-uvb-bulbs

You could also get two - two tube four foot fixtures like these https://www.zenhydro.com/sun-blaze-t5-ho-42-4-ft-2-lamp.html one for the lower, one for the upper, still better value per running foot of light tube. I think two 2 tube two foot fixture would allow you to better place the fixtures to spread the light out.

Great enclosures BTW. We've chatted on FB too.
 

Kaeloni

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Thank you!! When my table was just a single table, I had problems with the dirt leaking. We used painters plastic and my tortoise was able to rip through it and get under the plastic. Since we lined the table with pond liner, we haven’t had any problems. It was about $40 to use pond liner in both tables but well worth it! I hope that answered your question.
 

Carol S

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We use the linoleum self sticking squares to cover the wood. Be sure to sand lightly and then throughly vacuum so that the linoleum squares stick real good. You can buy them per square or by the box. They are inexpensive and come in many different patterns and colors.
 
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