Lighting for my Greek tortoise

Fishlou92

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Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
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TX
Hi everyone!

I very recently adopted a 7 year old Greek tortoise. The previous owner had kept her in a small glass tank with a zoo med double dome lighting. While I am awaiting a turtoise table to come in the mail, I have also built her an outside enclosure.

My question is, when and how long should the heat lamp or uvb light be on? I plan on letting her rome for a few hours each day in her outside enclosure but keeping her in her indoor tortoise table for the majority of the time. I’m not sure if that will affect how long I should leave the heat lamp on each day.

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated! This is my first time owning a reptile.

Thank you!
 

KarenSoCal

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Hi, and welcome to the forum!

If she gets time outside with access to unfiltered sunshine, you don't need to use indoor UVB at all. Even if you have a few weeks of unsuitable weather, she'll be just fine.

Her basking bulb should be an incandescent flood bulb. Not a spot, or an energy saving, or a 'replacement', or LED. Incandescent flood. YOu should be able to buy them at Home Depot or Lowe's, or maybe even at Walmart. I'd try a 65 watt first. If the temp isn't correct, raise or lower it in the enclosure, or go up or down in wattage.

The easiest way to use it is to put the light on a timer to turn it on every morning and off every evening, on a 12 hour on/off cycle.

I'm a bit concerned about the enclosure you've bought in the mail. What kind is it? What size is it? For an adult, the smallest recommended size is 8ft x 4 ft.

Here's our care sheet for your tort, and a mini lesson on heating/lighting. They will answer some of your questions. Come back and ask us any more that you have. We have links to products that we use, and helpful ideas.


4 elements of heating: By Tom
There are four elements to heating and lighting:

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. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb.

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.

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.

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. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html
 

Fishlou92

New Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
TX
Thanks so much for getting back to me! I have a lot to learn and I want to make sure she is happy and healthy.

The inside tortoise house I ordered is a zoo med wood enclosure - 36”l x 24”w x12”h. As for the outside enclosure, I got an extra large dog kennel that is about 2 3/4 in width and 4 feet in length. I attached wood paneling along the bottom perimeter, cypress mulch as the substrate along with some rocks, potted aloe and a plastic wood log den.I currently live in a one bedroom apartment so this was the best I could do at the moment but will try to move some stuff around to provide a bigger space for her.
 
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