Meet Áfonya, Lift, and Mormota!

sghctoma

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Hey everyone! I've joined the forum one month ago, and had only vague ideas of what kind of tortoise I'd like to keep. Since then, I've decided I'll get pancakes, and as of yesterday I share my home with three of them: Áfonya (Blueberry), Lift, and Mormota (Marmot). The origin of these names:
  • Blueberry is my favourite kind of pancake
  • Lift (A.K.A Her Pancakeness) is one of my favourite Brandon Sanderson character who happens to *love* pancake
  • Marmot. She seems to sleep a lot, like a marmot. Also, all my softshell jackets are of the brand Marmot, and well, pancakes have soft shells.
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Their enclosure is a 120 x 80 cm (approximately 4 x 2.7 feet) IKEA bookshelf that I've made (hopefully) waterproof with some plastic sheeting used to cover furniture and floor while painting the house. The sheet is attached with small pieces of water-resistant double sided adhesive tape, and sealed off with some insulation tape.

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The substrate is 8 cm deep coco coir, and the rocky part is made of gneiss. I wanted granite (that is what kopjes are made of), but could not find any non-cut nearby.

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The plants are all Aloe and Haworthia species, and they are still in their pots, because they wouldn't like the damp coco coir. According to www.thetortoisetable.org.uk Haworthias are safe to eat, but Aloe have some laxative effects. I hope they won't munch on them anyways, but if necessary, I'll replace them. The plants, I mean, not the tortoises :D I have also started growing some wheatgrass, which I plan to put in their enclosure once it's nice and green, so they can graze a bit.

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They have a basking bulb, a T5HO UVB lamp, and some 6500K and red (620nm) LEDs (ZooMed LED/UVB Terrarium Hood). I made some modifications to the ZooMed lamp, so the lights can be controlled from a Raspberry Pi via a program I wrote. The program can act as a thermometer, a timer, and also records various kind of sensor data (right now it measures temperature and humidity on two different spots, but I also have some UVI sensors I haven't solder yet). I plan to write another post about the technical details, and I will also open source the software probably next week.

All three of them are from a local breeder. The smallest one is almost 1 year old, the other two are almost 2. I've been told that they probably will hide in the crevices for the first one or two days, and they won't even come out to eat, but Lift started exploring right after I put them in their new home. Áfonya joined her soon, and they even started munching on the Haworthias, so I went to the grocery store for some greens. By the time I got back, Mormota also came out of the shelter (btw, he choose the wood cavity instead of rock crevices), and all three ate. Áfonya and Lift accepted food from hand, but Mormota was a bit shy. They all pulled a T-Rex this morning (I mean they were a no-show), and right now I'm at work. I hope they are all right.

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CourtneyG

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The enclosure is absolutely lovely! Have you had a look at the care sheet for them?
 

wellington

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I love the enclosure too. However I think it's a bit small for three adult pancakes. They don't quite look adult size, so you have some time. However, it's hard to always see size in a pic. So if they are adults they need a bigger space. Here's a link to their care sheet. Unfortunately it doesn't give a minimum enclosure size. A 3-4x 5-6 or bigger should work good. https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/pancake-care-sheet.159222/
 

Markw84

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Very nice. I love the pancakes!!

I am interested and eager to see more info about the electronics and automation.

Keep in mind most all UVI sensors will often give misleading information about the quality of UVB. Since it is more expensive to produce lighting that gives off shorter wavelengths (due to the type of crystals needed instead of glass to pass the wavelength) you will often get a good UVI reading, but it is most all UVA and not UVB. The sensors should be good to monitor and watch for bulb degradation though.
 

Pearly

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How lovely! The torties and the enclosure! And welcome from Texas, US! I am a hobby keeper of 2 very cute Redfooted torts: Shellie and Tucker who are almost 3 yrs old[emoji217]
 

Bambam1989

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Pancakes are so darn cute!
I seem to have a pretty big preference for the African tortoises..
 

sghctoma

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Thank you all, I'm glad you like the enclosre!

@CourtneyG: Yes, of course, I have read every thread on this forum about these guys in the last month, including the care sheet. Thanks for putting it together, it really helped with the planning. Also, the guy I bought them from said the same things, which I took for a good sign.

@wellington: Nope, they are not adult size, the biggest one barely reaches 7cm. There's an old thread here called "What size enclosures?", where @Will recommended the 4 square feet for one, plus 2 per any additional pancakes formula, which means 8 sq. feet for 3 tortoise: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/what-size-enclosures.61724/#post-586951. That post seemed to come from someone who knows pancakes, so I made my plans accordingly (my enclosure is ~11 sq. feet). That said, I plan to move in a year or so, and they can get a bigger home then (or they can get it sooner, if it is really necessary).

@Markw84: Cool, there will be at least one member interested in the technical details :) This will be a busy week, but I will find the time to write about the setup, and tidy up the source code.

I know how inaccurate cheap UV sensors can be, and my main purpose is exactly what you wrote: monitoring bulb degradation. However, I have read a lot of papers on UV, and frankly, I have some doubts about the real necessity of the Solarmeter 6.5 mainly because of these points:
  • Some of the original measurements in the Ferguson paper [1] were made with the solarmeter 6.2 and some Gigahertz Optik UV sensor (both measure a wider UV spectrum than the 6.4 and 6.5), and they were converted to UVI using regression analysis. This means there are some inherent inaccuracies in the Ferguson measurements.
  • Longer wavelength UV can photodegrade vitamin D3 [2], and the de facto standard Solarmeter 6.5 won't measure these rays. So in theory it is possible that two bulbs with the same UVI rating measured with the same sensor would yield very different amount of D3 if they have different spectrum. Also, some of the bulbs' spectrum is very unlike the Sun's, and even the Ferguson paper says they used a bulb with a Sun-like spectrum to determine the validity of the research. What I'm trying to say is that the Solermeter is the standard, because its action spectrum closely follows the vitamin D3 action spectrum, but other factors could also be in play.
  • Although a comparison of some UVI sensors with calculated UVI from a spectrometer measurements showed those sensors have significant scatter [3], keep in mind that the Ferguson zones are really wide for Zone 3 and 4 animals (2.9-7.4 UVI).
To summarize all this: the way I see it, the whole UVI measurement, and UVI/D3 correlation holds inaccuracies that may "hide" the inaccuracies of cheaper sensors.

Please keep in mind that I'm not telling that the Solarmeter is unnecessary. I just have my doubts, and I am really curious about this topic. I have two ML8511 and two GUVA-S12SD sensors, and I will buy a Solarmeter 6.5, so I will be able to make some comparisons both under the Sun, and under my UVB bulb.

[1] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4d02/eac093793f1d3caa39a560cec9d6c6f60004.pdf
[2] https://books.google.hu/books?id=py...hDoAQhBMAM#v=onepage&q=uva destroy d3&f=false
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20354638

@Pearly: Thank you for the kind words and the welcome! Redfoots were my first candidate when I decided to keep tortoises, but they are just too big for keeping them indoors fulltime. I've checked out the pictures of your torts, they are really cute :)

@Bambam1989: Indeed they are. First I wanted redfoots, than T. hermanni hermanni, and finally I fell in love with these guys :)
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Hi @sghctoma , FWIW I came up with that floor space calculation while I worked at the Philly Zoo and cared for a rather large colony of pancakes. About the same time I was working part time at a BioPhama and they are all SOP's all the time (Standard Operating Procedures) and there is an SOP for everything including mouse density. So I used the format (SOPs) and wrote some for the Pancake colony at the zoo.

Pancakes are more leaf and forb eaters than grass, based on the limited documentation regarding their life in nature and what people have told me that have done field studies.

They will spend a great deal of time in their rock hides no matter what, or at least it will seem that way. I got some Blink cameras and found they get out and just sit in different places off and on throughout the day, but much of any disturbance and they are gone. I have a few that will not mind the keeper or his hands as long as they don't get too close. They are wily tortoises.

There is a facebook group called "reptile lighting' or 'lighting for reptiles' moderated by people that seem to really know what they are talking about. I think one of the moderators there was here on TFO for awhile called Lilac Dragon or something like that. They broke open the whole concept of IR being filtered by water vapor in the air indicating that IR from a red buld several inches away was NOT the same thing blah blah blah, not exclusively pancake oriented, but you seem to be deep into that topic, and well, here my fingers are typing away.

I have four colonies of 1.3 and some lone individuals in quarantine waiting to be colonized.
 

Markw84

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Thanks for the opportunity for dialogue, @sghctoma

A few points for those reading this thread and possible taking your comments as weight to consider other less expensive meters as "just as good" as the Solarmeter 6.5 for the purpose of determining adequate UVB in an enclosure...

The Ferguson, Baines, et al paper was written just as the Solarmeter 6.5 was introduced, and they could not use it in any of their studies and conclusions. I have great respect for them and their work and contribution on understanding UV. Especially Baines who has gone on since then and done a lot more tortoise specific study. She also herself cites the Solarmeter 6.5 as the meter of choice, by far. This paper you reference looked at the total intensity of UV in µW as that is the reading most all meters give. I am not a huge fan of the Ferguson zones, but I do believe it is the best relative guide currently available. The paper also looks at snake and lizzard preferences and parts of the Southern US and Jamaica only for conclusions. Extrapolating to tortoise habits/preferences can be misleading.

UVA does degrade D3 IN THE SKIN. This is a natural way to keep from ever seeing an overdose in Vit D through natural production. The D3 produced in the skin is picked up by the bloodstream and transported for usage. Excess D3 created is not picked up in the skin and is then degraded. However the paper you are citing is exploring mainly human D3 production and even then accounts for the quite different ways skin coloration can effect this. Reptile skin and scales coupled with the very limited amount of skin that can even be exposed to the sun in a tortoise is a very different matter.

Your 3rd reference actually does show a significant difference between all "comsumer" meters available and the solarmeter. In all their tests, the solarmeter was far more reliable to their scientific instrument used for comparison ((Bentham specrometer). Their only concern with the Solarmeter 6.5 was a reading slightly lower (about 5%) consistantly. (Look at Fig. 2 in the paper on page 460 of the publication.) That is exactly as expected as the solarmeter is specifically developed to be weighted towards only bioactive UVB wavelengths and not be overwhelmed by total UV.

Actually it is not the sensor that is the main value in a meter, including the solarmeter 6.5. It is the erythemally weighted UV Index curve that goes into the reading that is a substantial difference. The resulting spectral response curve is nothing other meters can come close to. Just as the paper #3 you reference finds - all consumer meters have too wide a response error margin to be useful for this purpose. Just as your ML8511 and GUVA-S12SD sensors - it is not the reading from the sensor, it is the interpretation of the values by wavelength that is the most meaningful in this application. The sensor is the cheap part of the unit.

I have no stock or relationship with Solarmeter. I do have a great interest in furthering tortoise husbandry and trying to sort through the information available.
 

CourtneyG

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Glad the care sheet was able to help! I greatly look forward to seeing how they change and grow with you over the years. Cannot wait to see their adult enclosure you build for them in a few years time. I am also looking forward to the results of your uvb experiment as well.
 

sghctoma

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@Will: Hi, and thanks for the additional info!

Their previous owner said they won't eat cut down grass, but they are happy to graze. I will give wheat grass a try for now, and next time plant some leafy stuff. But of course this won't be their main food source, I give them various greens.

The biggest one seems to be inside one of the hides in the majority of time, but the other two are quite active. Sure, they can sit in a crevice for hours, but when they come out, they wander a lot, and are not afraid of me. They even come to me when I offer them food from hand.

Thanks for the Facebook group suggestion! I've tried to join a similar named group a few weeks back, but there was no response, and totally forgot about it. I'll give it another try.

@Markw84: I had these thoughts about UV for a while now, and it's really nice to discuss them with someone, so the pleasure is mine.

Just to clarify: suggesting that other meters are just as good was absolutely not my purpose, I would not say such things without data supporting the claim. So if anybody considering buying a meter reads these messages, please don't draw the wrong conclusions!

Yes, it is clear that the 6.5 (or the 6.4, since they are essentially the same, the only difference is the output measurement unit) is the best ready made tool for the job, it tracks real UVI pretty accurately.
And of course the work of Ferguson, Baines, et al is invaluable, I didn't want to attack it by saying that the conversion between various devices introduces some inaccuracies. Baines' "How much UV-B does my reptile need? The UV-Tool, a guide to the selection of UV lighting for reptiles and amphibians in captivity" paper, and the whole http://www.uvguide.co.uk/ website is really-really awesome, and IMHO everybody should read it while planning the lighting setup for their enclosure.

I admittedly don't know much about the biology of D3 photosynthesis, and most of the sources I found are for humans or other mammals, and most of the experiments are in vitro. So far I have read only one paper that discusses UVB bulb efficiency in vitamin D synthesis in living reptiles (bearded dragons): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpn.12728.
By the way, when I first started reading about UVB needs of tortoises, one of my very first thoughts was what part of a tortoise can utilize UVB. Are the scales UVB-transparent? Or is it really only the skin between them that they use to "catch" UVB rays? Did anybody ever measure the the UV filtering characteristics of various reptile scales? I think these are very interesting questions.

Yes, the difference between various devices is significant, but all I'm trying to say is that it may be possible that we can establish a function for a given bulb (a given spectrum) and a given sensor, that gives back the UVI value the Solarmeter 6.5 would've given. Like they did during the research with the 6.2 -> 6.4, and GO -> 6.4 conversions.

But that curve is a characteristic of the photodiode + UV filter itself. The sensor outputs only a current value based on the amount of light it gets, you can't apply a weight function to it. If you want to achieve a certain spectral responsivity curve, you have to create the sensor the right way, from the right materials, etc. for it to be sensitive to the wavelengths you want to measure, and apply the right filters. And this is the real achievement of the Solarmeter, they managed to manufacture a sensor that tracks the D3 action spectrum at a very high accuracy.

@Grandpa Turtle 144: Thanks for the welcome!

@CourtneyG: I'm really excited about seeing them grow, about how they turn out personality-wise, etc. They are fascinating little creatures :)
 

Markw84

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@sghctoma

I do enjoy discussing these topics. We are running into one of the things that has fascinated me with chelonian studies - So much is just not known and really explored. And of the few studies that have/are being done with chelonians, often the people who have the scientific minds PLUS access to expensive equipment (electron microscopes, spectrometers, nutritional food analytics, etc) do not also have the actual experience with the animals themselves. This often can lead to conclusions that from the beginning are drawn from data extrapolated from findings from other very different orders of animals. We certainly see this with UV / D3 discussions.

I love the paper by Diehl, Baines, et al. We need more like that. It is recent (2017) and at least deals with reptiles (bearded dragons) and looks at compact bulbs as an effective source of UVB. Although they did not go so far in the paper as drawing conclusions about quantifying the necessary UVI levels needed for elevated 25(OH)D3 levels needed for healthy calcium absorbtion, their results do provide data that can begin to build that. For example, we can see that only UVI levels of 2.9 on for 2 hours raised blood levels while levels of 1.4 did not. I would love to see this taken further now and start developing guidelines of min levels required in UVI levels and time!! If only I had access to equipment like that - I would do a progressive study with tortoises on exactly that!

Scales do not transmit UVB. Even human skin (see - here I am even doing it!!) will vary in UVB blocking depending greatly upon skin color. Melanin will reduce UVB transmission. With tortoises it is the thinner skin that can therefore allow UVB transmission and only in these very limited areas is D3 synthesis occurring. That would primarily be the back of the front legs, the neck, and the upper parts of the rear legs. Tortoises adopt this spread-eagle pose when basking to expose these areas. This is not just for solar heating, as the carapace itself is a great absorber of IR radiation. They do not have to spread out at all to absorb all the heat they need from the sun. But it is the thin skin only capable of allowing for D3 production. The lighter the skin color, as well as the thinner the skin - the less "UVI minutes" are needed.

In talking with the guys at Solarmeter, it is the ONLY the 6.5 they actually make specifically for measuring and monitoring reptile D3 lamps. In fact, it was the research Baines did in uncovering the problem with the older D3 lamps and compact lamps that was revealed when the 6.5 became available. The other meters used, were all used to set all the lamps to give a constant 100 µW/cm2 reading. But then when the 6.5 was used, it showed some of the lamps had up to 4 times the UVI (bioactive weighted reading) as other lamps. So with the standard meters all showing the same reading, the 6.5 actually showed some lamps were giving off 4 times the actual UVB levels. Even using the commonly avialable UVI index weather stations give out now is not totally accurate. As we go further north (or south) with a lower sun angle the shorter wavelengths are filtered out quicker than the longer. So you can end up with some readings in the 320 nm+ and show some UVI value with many meters. But there is no 293nm UV remaining which is the peak D3 active range. I think it is interesting and applicable that tortoises do not exist in areas much greater than lattitude 46°. Above that lattitude, there is just not enough available UVB in sunlight much of the year. Even tortoises found in areas of lattitude >30° are species that will brumate and not actively grow when the sun is lowest in the winter and no UVB is getting through the atmosphere.

The problem in what you are trying to do - is knowing the actual spectral response curve the sensor is giving. With our artificial UVB lights, as they age, the same is happening as the shorter wavelengths seem to fade out quickest. So it is the "D3 active" sweet spot 292nm -305nm light that I am interested to "see" is still there. IN general terms - a typical reptile 10.0 D3 fluorescent bulb will be puttiing out about 40% of its "light" as UV. OF that 40% portion, 25% is UVB and 75% is UVA. Let's say the bulb has aged and is now really only putting out 30% UV of the total light. But that 30% portion is now very likely about 10% UVB and 90% UVA. Unless weighted correctly, a meter could only show a drop of 25% when in reality there is a 70% drop in UVB. Now I am oversimplifying as some other meters to weight the sensor readings, but how effectively? I cannot get a spectral response curve from manufacturers on other meters available! I only trust the 6.5 currently to give me an accurate assessment of that.

Since you are planning on getting a 6.5, I will eagerly follow your results and see how what you are able to set up actually compares to your readings over time with the 6.5.
 
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sghctoma

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Mormota, the biggest, most shy one, who spent almost every time hiding, came out yesterday, accepted food from hand, and was very active. He ran laps around the perimeter of the enclosure, climbed the rocks and the log, bathed and basked a lot, so I hope he accepted his new home too :)
I have also weighed them, they are 36g (Áfonya), 55g (Lift) and 84g (Mormota). I plan to do this every week.

@Markw84:
I am working as a computer security researcher/hacker, but I studied chemistry at the university, and worked on modeling chemical waves and also on modeling air pollution. I always tell my fellow CS guys that we are in a very easy position, since with computers we know all the rules, tha math is exact, and we literally can set up a lab on just one laptop. With natural sciences equipment is expensive and often unavailable for the public, we don't know how nature works, and there are always assumptions, and so many unknowns. But that's the beauty of it (except for the expensive lab part).

Yes, that paper was exciting because they used reptiles, and I really hope they, or someone else will extend their research. Talking about this reminded me of something I was pondering over. The tortoise shop guy told me that sick turtles often won't go into the water and bask too much, which got me thinking about UV self-regulation. I came up with the idea of creating small wireless UV sensors using an Arduino Nano/Teensy as a base, attaching it to the carapace, and measure periodically. This would give a measurement on how much UV they really get. There are of course some problems with this: it would require finding a good enough sensor, and - more importantly - I wouldn't want to bother my little guys with a "backpack". These problems lead to an improved plan of this experiment: once I have the Solarmeter, I could measure UV in the enclosure in a grid to get a UV gradient, and motion track my pancakes using a camera, so I could calculate their UV exposure at any given moment based on their coordinates. This would require more programming, but rather that than bothering them.

It is not very surprising that other meters gave such erronous outputs, I have found multiple so-called UVB sensors that in reality measure only longer wave UV or even only visible light, and estimate UVB based on the spectrum of the Sun. Given that the spectrum of the Sun is not an exact thing either, those sensors won't even give right readings under the Sun, let alone under UV lamps. The 6.4 should give accurate results though, since it uses the same sensor than the 6.5, and its IU/min reading can be converted to UVI.

Spectrum shifting is exactly my main concern with using other sensors, but don't want to guess, I want to collect data, and see if some correlation can be drawn between the Solarmeter and other sensors. I also know that I won't be able to draw far-reaching conclusions based on my data, since it will include only one bulb at a time, and only a few sensors, but it is interesting, so I will do it.

The ML8511 and GUVA-S12SD both have their response curve in their data sheets, that's why I choose them. I have even digitzed the curves and plotted them side-by-side in Mathematica:

uvb-spectral-response-curves.png

The longer wavelength radiation clearly weighed much more with these two, but at least I know the curve. I have found some relatively cheap UV bandpass filters that could help with that: https://opticalfiltershop.com/shop/bandpass-filter/uv-bandpass-filter-310nm-fwhm-20nm/

@kaabi: Thanks for the welcome!
 

Markw84

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Great ideas and information. The response graph is great. That is exactly what I always refer to when asked about other meters and why they would not work as well. As expected, you can see the response curve of your sensors are more in the UVA range. You would therefore still get high readings with a degrading bulb that is still putting out >330nm UV yet virtually no Bioactive UVB. Conversely and more importantly, the reading you get with a grow light that "has UV" could look equal to a reptile UVB bulb, but no actual UVB is produced in the grow bulb - only UVA. And, you are correct in sunlight not always being equal with the same reading. For example, on a hazy, semi-overcast day, a slightly lower UVI reading may not be lower at all. With the overcast, there is much more scattered UVB coming indirectly. An area on the edge of cover will have higher UVB exposure. An area in the open will also have higher actual exposure though a meter reading direct overhead UVI will show a lower reading - not picking up much of the indirect scatter. Lower vs higher sun angle is another example, as proportionately UVb is filter out quicker than total UV as sun angle decreases.

I like the idea of tracking movement and extrapolating to UVI preference. This is a great starting point. However, we still won't know if the preference is for IR (heat) or UV if the basking area includes both a heat source along with the UV as should be the case. Perhaps you could also provide an area of "optimal" UVI index that includes both IR and non IR areas. With a long tube fluorescent that would be easy to do by putting the Basking heat light on only one end.

I absolutely love and totally agree with this statement of yours - "with computers we know all the rules, the math is exact, and we literally can set up a lab on just one laptop. With natural sciences equipment is expensive and often unavailable for the public, we don't know how nature works, and there are always assumptions, and so many unknowns." That is exactly what I was talking about, and why it is often difficult wading through many published research papers on tortoises and sorting out assumption from actual result. Often those with the access to expensive equipment needed do not also have the broader experience based perspective of habitat preference, husbandry learnings, diet preference, growth rates, etc, etc.

I also do not believe the 6.4 and the 6.5 use the same filters and gasses with their sensors. The 6.4 is more accurate for measuring true solar UVB radiation, while the 6.5 has a filter to give a more accurate reading when used with artificial light. They even had a recall of older 6.5 meters to replace the filters to account for their findings of the difference between solar and artificial. I sent my meter back to them to have its filter replaced and the meter re-calibrated. The 6.4 should still work well for the application and experiment you are talking about. Degradation and spectrum shift will equally be apparent with a baseline reading.

Please keep updating and showing results and findings. Good or Bad!! So many will post they are doing an experiment but seem to only update if it works. It is equally interesting and an opportunity for learning when it doesn't work or produce what is expected as well. So please - stay active with the forum and post updates often.

thank you for sharing!!!!
 

sghctoma

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I have digitezed the wavelength/transmission% diagram of a 285nm,15nm FWHM bandpass filter (https://opticalfiltershop.com/shop/bandpass-filter/uv-bandpass-filter-285nm-fwhm-15nm/), and applied it to the action spectrum of the GUVA-S12SD sensor. The diagram is not the best quality image, so the resulting diagram is a bit angular, but it's good enough to make a rough comparison with the Solarmeter 6.5:

filtered-1918.png

So, in theory this setup would not measure the longer waves, but would also filter out some of the useful UV rays. I think it's a smaller problem than measuring a lot more longer wave UV, but of course it's just a thought. I realize I'm theorizing a lot, but I'd like to explore what would be a useful experiment before starting buying stuff :)

Accounting for IR is a good idea, I haven't thought of that. This is another good example of the "so many unknowns" problem :) And thinking about this generated a few more questions. Should I take into account substrate preferences (maybe they like the rocky parts better than the coco coir)? Should I put food in random places? There could be a dozen similar factors.

I'll try to find some more information on the 6.4 vs 6.5 differences. My assumption that they are the same came from the fact that both have the same action spectrum listed on their website.

I will stay active, and I definitely will show failures too. I totally agree with your statement about failed experiments, they are equally important. One of the guys here came up with the idea of an event where every participant presents a failed research in a few minutes. It's called "FAIL night" (https://github.com/v-p-b/failnight), and it's awesome.
 

sghctoma

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Mar 14, 2018
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Hungary
Áfonya frightened me a quite a bit today. She was on her back when I got home from work, limbs and head in her shell. I have no idea how long she's been that way. They fall on their back frequently, as they climb a lot, but they are quite capable of turning back - usually in a few seconds. I can tell she was trying, because the substrate had digs around her, but apparently it was too loose, she couldn't get a grip. It's heart-wrenching to think about her futile attempts at turning back, and eventually giving up :(
I gave her a soak, she pooped, she is active as usual, and also ate. I think she is all right now.
I compressed the coco coir, and will place some more stones, branches and plants in the enclosure to give them more objects that help in turning back.
 
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