Lower Wattage Mercury Vapor Bulbs with UVB?

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sulcatadude

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I currently use a 100 watt PowerSun UVB bulb on the hot side of my enclosed chamber for my sulcata. The problem is that this brings the lowest temperature in the enclosure up to 88 or 89 degrees, which is a tad bit too warm.

Does anyone know if there is a reputable manufacturer of a lower wattage (70 to 80 watts) mercury vapor UVB bulb? My hope is by lowering the wattage, I can simply bring the light fixture on the hot side down closer to the floor to maintain the same 100 degree hot-spot temperature, while also bringing down the overall enclosure temp.

The only option I found on Amazon was a SunForce Mercury Vapor Bulb rated at 70 watts, but I'm not familiar with that brand.
 

samsmom

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I found a lower wattage one time but best I remember it was the coil type bulb which is a no-no! I just use two bulbs, one UVB one Spot light for basking. I aslo use a CHE for the heat.
 

wellington

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You could switch to a fluorescent UVB, not as good as the mvb but will not through off so much heat. Also, if its warm out where you are, forget the bulb for summer and get him outside.
 

sulcatadude

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wellington said:
You could switch to a fluorescent UVB, not as good as the mvb but will not through off so much heat. Also, if its warm out where you are, forget the bulb for summer and get him outside.

That's a good idea, but in my enclosure, I'm not sure how I could set up the flourescent fixture low enough to the ground for the UVB to reach the tort since fluorescent bulb UVB doesn't reach very far.. My enclosure is very very tall, so i'd need to get some long chain to hang it low enough. (the left fixture is the MVB, and the right ficture is the CHE hooked up to a thermostat set at 85 degrees so it only turns on at night)... The water and enclosure are on the right side of the enclosure and not visible.

2013-05-10%2013.18.54.jpg
 

TommyZ

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I was recently toying with somewhat similar idea for a table in my basement, the idea i came up with was to simply hang a couple of eye hooks into the roof of the enclosure, thread a rope through it and hang the fluorescent fixture from it. Just tie down the one end of the string to a nail or something. Thatll keep the fixture easy to adjust the height.

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sulcatadude

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TommyZ said:
I was recently toying with somewhat similar idea for a table in my basement, the idea i came up with was to simply hang a couple of eye hooks into the roof of the enclosure, thread a rope through it and hang the fluorescent fixture from it. Just tie down the one end of the string to a nail or something. Thatll keep the fixture easy to adjust the height.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using TortForum mobile app

That's what I did at the top of my enclosure.. Eye hooks, with S hooks connected to chain so I can quickly adjust how far the fixtures hang, I have extra eye hooks so I can quickly tweak the place where the chains hang from..

2013-05-10%2015.03.34.jpg
 

Tom

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89-90 for a midday ambient is great. If that is only the warm side, even better. I'd also let my night temp drop to 80. This way it will take a little longer to heat up the rest of the enclosure too.

Remember there are only two seasons where sulcatas come from: "Hot and hotter". 90 degrees for a daily high would be an unusually exceptionally cool day. I watch the weather over there and I think the lowest temp I've seen during a rainy day in "Winter" was 88. Most days the high over there is very near 100. its sometimes climbs to 112 or drops to 92, but its stays pretty hot all year long over there.

100 is the lowest wattage MVB I've seen. If your tortoise get regular sunshine a couple times a week or more, you don't need any artificial UV. My torts get some sun almost every day so I just use regular hardware store 65 watt flood bulbs.

With your temps climbing only to 90 each day, I wouldn't change a thing.
 

TommyZ

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Great minds think alike :)

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sulcatadude

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Thanks Tom - that's reassuring.. I'll keep the temps as they are. BTW, I notice there is mold developing at the top of the enclosure on the pine wood (I didn't put any type of sealant on the wood when building the enclosure.) I keep the temps high, and humidity stays between 80 and 90%. Is there anything I should put on the wood to inhibit the mold growth? I read in other threads that cold and humid stimulates mold growth, but I keep it hot & humid in there and the coolest it gets at night is 80!
 

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sulcatadude said:
Thanks Tom - that's reassuring.. I'll keep the temps as they are. BTW, I notice there is mold developing at the top of the enclosure on the pine wood (I didn't put any type of sealant on the wood when building the enclosure.) I keep the temps high, and humidity stays between 80 and 90%. Is there anything I should put on the wood to inhibit the mold growth? I read in other threads that cold and humid stimulates mold growth, but I keep it hot & humid in there and the coolest it gets at night is 80!

I've seen that in mine too before. It comes and goes. I've never done anything about it.
 

sulcatadude

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Tom said:
sulcatadude said:
Thanks Tom - that's reassuring.. I'll keep the temps as they are. BTW, I notice there is mold developing at the top of the enclosure on the pine wood (I didn't put any type of sealant on the wood when building the enclosure.) I keep the temps high, and humidity stays between 80 and 90%. Is there anything I should put on the wood to inhibit the mold growth? I read in other threads that cold and humid stimulates mold growth, but I keep it hot & humid in there and the coolest it gets at night is 80!

I've seen that in mine too before. It comes and goes. I've never done anything about it.

the mold simply goes away on its own? Is your wood sealed and/or pressure treated? My enclosure's wood is unsealed, and not pressure treated, so maybe my wood won't hold up over time?? I'll wipe away the mold I see growing on the wood with vinegar, and see if I can inhibit future growth with that. Or should I maybe clean out the habitat and seal everything with polyurethane?
 

theelectraco

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sulcatadude said:
Tom said:
sulcatadude said:
Thanks Tom - that's reassuring.. I'll keep the temps as they are. BTW, I notice there is mold developing at the top of the enclosure on the pine wood (I didn't put any type of sealant on the wood when building the enclosure.) I keep the temps high, and humidity stays between 80 and 90%. Is there anything I should put on the wood to inhibit the mold growth? I read in other threads that cold and humid stimulates mold growth, but I keep it hot & humid in there and the coolest it gets at night is 80!

I've seen that in mine too before. It comes and goes. I've never done anything about it.

the mold simply goes away on its own? Is your wood sealed and/or pressure treated? My enclosure's wood is unsealed, and not pressure treated, so maybe my wood won't hold up over time?? I'll wipe away the mold I see growing on the wood with vinegar, and see if I can inhibit future growth with that. Or should I maybe clean out the habitat and seal everything with polyurethane?

I had a mold problem, and sealed the entire enclosure with poly and it still came back. I build a new closed chamber....it started to mold again. I wiped it, adjusted my temps and its gone now. Perhaps there's just an area n your tank that's a little cooler than you think and that's why the mold has grown there.
 

Tom

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Mine are all untreated plywood too. I sometimes get some blackish looking mold in the corners when things get a bit damp. I don't do anything. I just ignore it. It sort of comes and goes depending on temps, condensation levels and how much time the doors are open.
 

sulcatadude

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Tom said:
Mine are all untreated plywood too. I sometimes get some blackish looking mold in the corners when things get a bit damp. I don't do anything. I just ignore it. It sort of comes and goes depending on temps, condensation levels and how much time the doors are open.

I wiped away some of the mold growth on the wood with undiluted vinegar, and it looks like the vinegar (even after it has dried) is keeping the mold at bay. I think the wood's PH remains low even after the vinegar dries, and that lower PH inhibits the mold growth. and Fortunately, once the vinegar dries, there is no lingering smell. Other fungicides I looked into were based on copper (which is fairly toxic), or various extracts/oils whose health effects on reptiles don't seem well established. Plain food-grade vinegar is fairly benign, and has so far been effective!

I'll report back in a couple weeks about whether the vinegar treatment continues to inhibit mold growth.
 

sulcatadude

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sulcatadude said:
Tom said:
Mine are all untreated plywood too. I sometimes get some blackish looking mold in the corners when things get a bit damp. I don't do anything. I just ignore it. It sort of comes and goes depending on temps, condensation levels and how much time the doors are open.

I wiped away some of the mold growth on the wood with undiluted vinegar, and it looks like the vinegar (even after it has dried) is keeping the mold at bay. I think the wood's PH remains low even after the vinegar dries, and that lower PH inhibits the mold growth. and Fortunately, once the vinegar dries, there is no lingering smell. Other fungicides I looked into were based on copper (which is fairly toxic), or various extracts/oils whose health effects on reptiles don't seem well established. Plain food-grade vinegar is fairly benign, and has so far been effective!

I'll report back in a couple weeks about whether the vinegar treatment continues to inhibit mold growth.

Looks like my experiment with straight 5% vinegar has mixed results. The mold growth reduces after spraying & wiping with vinegar, but inevitably comes back within a week! I can only assume this much mold is not healthy for tortoises, or for human residents of our home! Time to take my mold fighting efforts up a notch.


Tom said:
Mine are all untreated plywood too. I sometimes get some blackish looking mold in the corners when things get a bit damp. I don't do anything. I just ignore it. It sort of comes and goes depending on temps, condensation levels and how much time the doors are open.

You mention your wood is untreated. Is it sealed?
 

Kapidolo Farms

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In the US, you can get the arcadia 80 watt bulb via LightYourReptiles.com, but they run on 220 volts, so the additional item needed is a volt converter, also available at a slight extra markup at LightYourReptiles.

The system works well, so don't get caught up in an extra 'thing'.

Will
 
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