Lighting for outside

Janetzak

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Apr 11, 2021
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Butler Pa
Hi. I live in Pennsylvania. Newer tortoise owner here. I have an outdoor enclosure that I built and I have a tortoise small home for the tortoises to go into in the evening with an outdoor rubber heated reptile mat laying under the 4 inches of dirt and hay mix. I’d like to add a light source outside for the days where it is a little rainy or the direct sun doesn’t hit them. Even though it can be 80-90 degrees temp wise, the sun isn’t directly shining on them parts of the day. I have an indoor enclosure as well, but I like to have them outside during the warmer months as much as possible. Russian tortoise.
 

wellington

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A heat mat without a heat bulb above it can be dangerous. Tortoises warm themselves from the top not bottom, basking. A heat mat could be laid on too long as they wait for their top to get warm and they get burned. Ditch the heat mat. As for a light outside, it's not necessary. However you can use a regular spot light.
You say they. If you have more then one, they are not to be housed together. Tortoises don't do good in pairs and a group needs a very big enclosure with many sight barriers. Russians are one of the more aggressive and one is sure to suffer.
 

Janetzak

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Butler Pa
A heat mat without a heat bulb above it can be dangerous. Tortoises warm themselves from the top not bottom, basking. A heat mat could be laid on too long as they wait for their top to get warm and they get burned. Ditch the heat mat. As for a light outside, it's not necessary. However you can use a regular spot light.
You say they. If you have more then one, they are not to be housed together. Tortoises don't do good in pairs and a group needs a very big enclosure with many sight barriers. Russians are one of the more aggressive and one is sure to suffer.
Thank you for responding. The enclosure is about 8 feet by 8 feet (the outside one), with a couple areas to dig in or go into, such as a 6” plastic pvc pipe with dirt on top (like a tunnel) and a 2 foot by 2
Foot house and a little bridge for them to go under and a few terra cotta flower pots turned on their sides. So, the heat mat, is about 4” under dirt. It’s still not a good idea? I have felt it and it’s not hot at all, and that’s me touching directly on the mat. I figured 4” buried, would warm up their house if they went to sleep in it.
Lighting wise, spot light. I would just try to find an outdoor flood light then? Nothing special? Because even without direct sun shining on them, they are still getting the uvb rays from it? The sun hits down a little during part of the day, but my human home, is buttes next to me his enclosure so it blocks a lot of the sun throughout the day.
 

wellington

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Russians like fo dig. The heat mat at 4 inches probably wouldn't do much but if they dig down it could hurt them. It's just not needed and can be dangerous. Russians can withstand temps as low as 55-60. Yes, even cloudy days there is uvb. Its not needed every single day. Remember to think of them in the wild when trying to decide on what to do. No light in the wild if it's a gloomy day and no heat buried, only the sun.
8x8 is not big enough for 2 russians or a group.
 
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