Lighting distance/temperature

Lewis516

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Hi im having some trouble with balancing the distance and temperature of my basking bulb. The bulb is currently 35 cm away from the substrate but its hitting anywhere between 35°c and 48°c. I have a hermanns and the temperature should only be 35°c at a max. The bulb is an Arcadia 160 watt d3 basking lamp.
 

Tom

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Hi im having some trouble with balancing the distance and temperature of my basking bulb. The bulb is currently 35 cm away from the substrate but its hitting anywhere between 35°c and 48°c. I have a hermanns and the temperature should only be 35°c at a max. The bulb is an Arcadia 160 watt d3 basking lamp.
How are you measuring the temperature?

Do you have a flat basking rock of some sort? If not, get one. Place the flat rock/slate/sandstone under the basking lamp, settle it sown into the substrate, and let it bake for a couple hours. Then rest a digital thermometer on its back directly under the bulb and let it bake for an hour or more. Adjust the lamp up or down until the temp s around 36-37C.

If this is for an adult, rest the thermometer on a block of wood or something to get the thermometer about the same height as the top of the tortoise's carapace.

If this is for a small juvenile or baby, I would recommend a different bulb, as this one will cause pyramiding.

Something similar to this for the thermometer:
thermopro-outdoor-hygrometers-tp-50-c3_max.jpg
 

KarenSoCal

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I think the bulb you have has UVB output, which in this kind of bulb adds to pyramiding.

This bulb is better...it has no UVB, and is a flood bulb. This is on E-Bay, and comes in several wattages. It's Arcadia as well.«
Screenshot_20210624-224231_Samsung Internet.jpg
 

Lewis516

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Sorry for the late reply. I did have the exact same bulb before but a 100 watt one instead, the temps were perfect but when i spoke to the guy i brought the tort and the last bulb from he told me to go for a 160 watt one this time. I've been told a basking bulb cant really be higher than 35 cm off of the substrate as the UV rays cant reach the tort. Ontop of the new bulb i was told to get an arcadia 27" inch 14% pro t5 kit. I want to do my very best to avoid any pyramiding but i dont really know a lot about bulbs and lighting. My tort is about 2 years old.
 

Lewis516

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Sorry for the late reply. I did have the exact same bulb before but a 100 watt one instead, the temps were perfect but when i spoke to the guy i brought the tort and the last bulb from he told me to go for a 160 watt one this time. I've been told a basking bulb cant really be higher than 35 cm off of the substrate as the UV rays cant reach the tort. Ontop of the new bulb i was told to get an arcadia 27" inch 14% pro t5 kit. I want to do my very best to avoid any pyramiding but i dont really know a lot about bulbs and lighting. My tort is about 2 years old.
I am also measuring the temps with an infrared thermometer
 

Lewis516

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Oh and the bulb is also a 2 in 1 uva and uvb ive heard they're not the best i intent to get a strip light and a propper basking bulb too
I think the bulb you have has UVB output, which in this kind of bulb adds to pyramiding.

This bulb is better...it has no UVB, and is a flood bulb. This is on E-Bay, and comes in several wattages. It's Arcadia as well.«
View attachment 327880
What is it that makes uvb bulbs contribute to pyramiding? Ive had a look around online and i cant find anything. The bulb i have is the 2 in 1 uva and uvb i know thoes arent the best i plan on extending the torts enclosure and getting a propper basking bulb and a uvb strip light the one i was recommended was an arcadia 27" inch 14% pro t5 kit is this any good. Thanks
 

Tom

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Sorry for the late reply. I did have the exact same bulb before but a 100 watt one instead, the temps were perfect but when i spoke to the guy i brought the tort and the last bulb from he told me to go for a 160 watt one this time. I've been told a basking bulb cant really be higher than 35 cm off of the substrate as the UV rays cant reach the tort. Ontop of the new bulb i was told to get an arcadia 27" inch 14% pro t5 kit. I want to do my very best to avoid any pyramiding but i dont really know a lot about bulbs and lighting. My tort is about 2 years old.
Sounds like the person you are talking to is one of the many people who mistakenly believe our tortoises need to be bombarded by high levels of UVB all day every day. They don'r.

Only a UV meter will tell you what level of UV you are getting at tortoise level from a given bulb height. The packaging is merely a suggestion. You bulb height should be set with a thermometer as I previously explained.
I am also measuring the temps with an infrared thermometer
That doesn't work well for this application.
Oh and the bulb is also a 2 in 1 uva and uvb ive heard they're not the best i intent to get a strip light and a propper basking bulb too

What is it that makes uvb bulbs contribute to pyramiding? Ive had a look around online and i cant find anything. The bulb i have is the 2 in 1 uva and uvb i know thoes arent the best i plan on extending the torts enclosure and getting a propper basking bulb and a uvb strip light the one i was recommended was an arcadia 27" inch 14% pro t5 kit is this any good. Thanks
IR-A and UVA both cause carapace desiccation. This is what causes pyramiding. MVBs produce a lot of both of these. You are not likely to see this mentioned anywhere but this forum.

The 14% is going to be overkill for most people in most situations. The 12% running for an hour or two mid day is more than enough to meet their UV needs.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  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. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In the UK, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12%. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html
Problems with MVBs:
1. They run too hot for a closed chamber, which is what you should be using.
2. They cause too much carapace desiccation which causes pyramiding.
3. They are fragile and break easily.
4. They are temperamental sometimes and shut themselves off for 20 minutes at a time.
5. They are expensive.
6. Their UV output runs from one extreme to the other. Some produce way too much UV, and other produce none at all after two or three months.
 

Lewis516

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Sounds like the person you are talking to is one of the many people who mistakenly believe our tortoises need to be bombarded by high levels of UVB all day every day. They don'r.

Only a UV meter will tell you what level of UV you are getting at tortoise level from a given bulb height. The packaging is merely a suggestion. You bulb height should be set with a thermometer as I previously explained.

That doesn't work well for this application.

IR-A and UVA both cause carapace desiccation. This is what causes pyramiding. MVBs produce a lot of both of these. You are not likely to see this mentioned anywhere but this forum.

The 14% is going to be overkill for most people in most situations. The 12% running for an hour or two mid day is more than enough to meet their UV needs.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  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. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In the UK, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12%. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html
Problems with MVBs:
1. They run too hot for a closed chamber, which is what you should be using.
2. They cause too much carapace desiccation which causes pyramiding.
3. They are fragile and break easily.
4. They are temperamental sometimes and shut themselves off for 20 minutes at a time.
5. They are expensive.
6. Their UV output runs from one extreme to the other. Some produce way too much UV, and other produce none at all after two or three months.
Thanks for the info the guy I've been talking too just sounded like he knew his stuff also online searching doesnt get me very far there's never a direct "this is best" or "this isnt good" answer to the questions i have.

So i currently have a small enclosure for my tort i plan on doubling the length and refurbishing the greenhouse into an outdoor home for the summers along with an outdoor run. I know no lighting beats the natural sun but with the uk weather i cant really put the tort out permanently all year round.

Could you send me a few links to the correct bulbs and strip light equipment please, i currently have two 2 in 1 thermometers and hydrometers one is under the basking spot and the other is in the hide but no matter how far up i raise the light the temperature doesnt drop below 38°c. I think 100 watt max would be fine i dont really know why the guy told me to upgrade to a 160 watt one its just too hot. I also have the basking bulb on for 12 hours a day which i was also recommended not sure if thats correct either, ive spoken to so many people and no one ever says the same thing.

But yea if you could send a link to the correct basking bulb and strip light that would be amazing thank you.
 

Tom

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Thanks for the info the guy I've been talking too just sounded like he knew his stuff also online searching doesnt get me very far there's never a direct "this is best" or "this isnt good" answer to the questions i have.

So i currently have a small enclosure for my tort i plan on doubling the length and refurbishing the greenhouse into an outdoor home for the summers along with an outdoor run. I know no lighting beats the natural sun but with the uk weather i cant really put the tort out permanently all year round.

Could you send me a few links to the correct bulbs and strip light equipment please, i currently have two 2 in 1 thermometers and hydrometers one is under the basking spot and the other is in the hide but no matter how far up i raise the light the temperature doesnt drop below 38°c. I think 100 watt max would be fine i dont really know why the guy told me to upgrade to a 160 watt one its just too hot. I also have the basking bulb on for 12 hours a day which i was also recommended not sure if thats correct either, ive spoken to so many people and no one ever says the same thing.

But yea if you could send a link to the correct basking bulb and strip light that would be amazing thank you.
Every enclosure is different. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You must ascertain what the needed conditions are for your species, take a guess based on what you know about various lights, run your set up, and check the parameters. Adjustments will be needed to get the temps set correctly. My recommendations are above, and I don't have links that will work in the UK. You don't need links anyway. Do a search for Arcadia 12% HO bulbs/fixtures and 65 watt flood bulbs. Your enclosure may need a 150 watt bulb, or it may need a 45 watt bulb. Only your thermometer can answer that question. This is why no one can simply make a list of what to buy for every tortoise and every enclosure. The 160 watt will make a larger basking area, which can be good if your enclosure is large enough, and if you can raise the fixture up high enough to get the correct temperature under it. In a small enclosure or a closed chamber, a 160 is usually too hot. A 65 watt flood lowered down to the correct height will make a suitable basking area over a flat rock of some sort, and it will save on the electric bill compared to higher wattage bulbs too. Let your thermometer/hygrometers be your guide.
 

Lewis516

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Every enclosure is different. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You must ascertain what the needed conditions are for your species, take a guess based on what you know about various lights, run your set up, and check the parameters. Adjustments will be needed to get the temps set correctly. My recommendations are above, and I don't have links that will work in the UK. You don't need links anyway. Do a search for Arcadia 12% HO bulbs/fixtures and 65 watt flood bulbs. Your enclosure may need a 150 watt bulb, or it may need a 45 watt bulb. Only your thermometer can answer that question. This is why no one can simply make a list of what to buy for every tortoise and every enclosure. The 160 watt will make a larger basking area, which can be good if your enclosure is large enough, and if you can raise the fixture up high enough to get the correct temperature under it. In a small enclosure or a closed chamber, a 160 is usually too hot. A 65 watt flood lowered down to the correct height will make a suitable basking area over a flat rock of some sort, and it will save on the electric bill compared to higher wattage bulbs too. Let your thermometer/hygrometers be your guide.
Thanks so when i get round to the greenhouse or the bigger enclosure I'll have a think about a 150 watt as there will be much more space.

The 100 watt bulb seemed to work pretty well the only problem being it was an MVB bulb, so the correct bulb to look for would be a 75/100 watt solar basking bulb and thoes only produce uva not uvb?

Do you know if Arcadia do the solar basking bulbs? They're just a brand i trust really.

Then the Arcadia 12% pro t5 kit but the strip light should only be on for 2 hours a day around mid day?

Sorry for repeating things 😂 just trying to get everything straight
 

KarenSoCal

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If you are unable to buy regular incandescent flood bulbs from the hardware store, you can use this. It comes in various wattages. It does, however, output UVA.


This is the UVB tube light and fixture you want. It also comes in different wattages, which is actually the length of the tube. You will probably only need the 24 watt, turned on for a couple hours mid day.

 

Lewis516

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If you are unable to buy regular incandescent flood bulbs from the hardware store, you can use this. It comes in various wattages. It does, however, output UVA.


This is the UVB tube light and fixture you want. It also comes in different wattages, which is actually the length of the tube. You will probably only need the 24 watt, turned on for a couple hours mid day.

Sorry i have a few questions 😅

What is the difference between the incandescent bulbs and the arcadia floodlights?

How come the basking solar floodlights are so cheep compared to the d3 basking lamp that i brought mine cost me £35

Are the Basking Solar Floodlights the same size as the Arcadia 160watt d3 basking lamp, so i already have a ceramic screw in fitting would the new bulb also fit in the same fitting?
 

KarenSoCal

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Sorry i have a few questions 😅

What is the difference between the incandescent bulbs and the arcadia floodlights?

How come the basking solar floodlights are so cheep compared to the d3 basking lamp that i brought mine cost me £35

Are the Basking Solar Floodlights the same size as the Arcadia 160watt d3 basking lamp, so i already have a ceramic screw in fitting would the new bulb also fit in the same fitting?
1) I'm not up on the science of lighting, but I think the difference is this: Arcadia adds the wavelength that is UVA, because living beings need UVA. Without it, people become depressed and feel sad. I believe it's the same for animals that are diurnal. But there's also "too much of a good thing", which comes into play with our basking lights. But please...I'm kind of guessing here...we'll ask someone who knows.
@Tom can you help here? Or
@Markw84

2) Isn't the d3 you bought the MVB? Maybe I'm confused...

3) Yes, they should be the same size.
 

Lewis516

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1) I'm not up on the science of lighting, but I think the difference is this: Arcadia adds the wavelength that is UVA, because living beings need UVA. Without it, people become depressed and feel sad. I believe it's the same for animals that are diurnal. But there's also "too much of a good thing", which comes into play with our basking lights. But please...I'm kind of guessing here...we'll ask someone who knows.
@Tom can you help here? Or
@Markw84

2) Isn't the d3 you bought the MVB? Maybe I'm confused...

3) Yes, they should be the same size
 

Lewis516

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Thats the one i have
 

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Markw84

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Sorry i have a few questions 😅

What is the difference between the incandescent bulbs and the arcadia floodlights?

How come the basking solar floodlights are so cheep compared to the d3 basking lamp that i brought mine cost me £35

Are the Basking Solar Floodlights the same size as the Arcadia 160watt d3 basking lamp, so i already have a ceramic screw in fitting would the new bulb also fit in the same fitting?
The Arcadia Basking Flood is a great basking bulb. I wish it were available in the US in 110 volts. I would use them! It will fit in the same fixture as your D3 basking bulb. It is an incandescent bulb, but it is designed to emit a little bit of UVA in the light it emits. A "normal" incadescent bulb emits light mostly in the longer wavelengths - the yellows to reds plus near IR. SO the color of a normal incandescent is about 2500k. The arcadia flood has a color of 3500k as it has been designed to emit more of the blue and a bit of the UVA.

Just saw you new post... The D3 bulb you have is a Mercury Vapor Bulb. Not good for tortoises! More expensive because it is a totally different type of bulb that uses a different technology to produce light. They put out a tremendous amount of near IR and that heat also overheats a closed system enclosure quickly as well.

So the Arcadia Basking flood and the pro T5 fluorescent is a perfect combination for a basking are for your tortoise.
 

Lewis516

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So the uva light is essential to have on for 10 to 12 hours a day but the uvb strip light its just a couple of hours
 

Lewis516

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The Arcadia Basking Flood is a great basking bulb. I wish it were available in the US in 110 volts. I would use them! It will fit in the same fixture as your D3 basking bulb. It is an incandescent bulb, but it is designed to emit a little bit of UVA in the light it emits. A "normal" incadescent bulb emits light mostly in the longer wavelengths - the yellows to reds plus near IR. SO the color of a normal incandescent is about 2500k. The arcadia flood has a color of 3500k as it has been designed to emit more of the blue and a bit of the UVA.

So the Arcadia Basking flood and the pro T5 fluorescent is a perfect combination for a basking are for your tortoise.
Thanks for the help hopefully I'll have them in a few days
 

Lewis516

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Just placed the order for the new lighting thanks a lot for all the help, ive had my tort for a year now, been and spoken to so many "professional" reptile stores and none of them really helped at all so I'll be back here for future queries 😂
 

Tom

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So the uva light is essential to have on for 10 to 12 hours a day but the uvb strip light its just a couple of hours
The basking lamp needs to be on at least 12 hours a day. It is to simulate the sun. The UV tube is only on for a couple hours to simulate the mid day UV spike that happens outside all day.

Your previous bulb is a mercury vapor bulb. The bulb Karen linked for you is an incandescent bulb.
 
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