proper lighting and temperatures

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mer001

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I need to get a new light set up for my RT because the set up I adopted him with is not adequate I don't think. Can anyone give me advice on what type/brand lightbulb and heat lamp I should use? Is it best to get a UVA & UVB light in one, do I need a heat emitter for the russian, etc?

For my redfoot, I have a fluorescent tube light on one side and a heat emitter on the other.

If anyone can give some advice on the proper temps/humidity/lighting they use for either their russian or redfoot I would very much appreciate it! Every website seems to differ, and I am just wondering what works for you and your torts!
 

Madkins007

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A study done on the effects of UVB and light on some species of lizard had some interesting results- they found that the best reproductive success came from low-level UVB light over the entire habitat. in other words, if there was light at all, it had some UVB in it.

That got me to thinking if it really makes sense to separate light, heat, and UV? After all, in the wild, every bit of light contains all three, and the wild animal's systems are geared towards this- they probably expect to get some UVB whenever they heat bask, etc.

I am not saying that they should all be in the same bulb or anything, but it has to be kind of weird to an animal that it is BRIGHT over here, but WARM over on the other end.
 

lynnedit

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Good points.
However, since a tortoise enclosure is sort of artificial anyway, and to be more practical here, I think many of us with RT's use a MVB bulb. One good brand is a Powersun. Depending on the size of your tort table, 100W should be enough, with a light fixture that has a ceramic base (many of us use a Zoomed Deep Dome Fixture, but a good brood light from a feed store that can handle the wattage is fine too, as long as the base is ceramic).
RT's humidity needs are not as high as Redfoots, but they need the lower levels of their substrate to be moist. They need a basking area of about 95, a cool side of about 70, can go down to 60 at night. So they don't generally need night heat unless your house is very cold.
They tolerate cooler temps, but these temps will prevent them from hibernating, hopefully.
http://www.russiantortoise.org/
 

mer001

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lynnedit said:
Good points.
However, since a tortoise enclosure is sort of artificial anyway, and to be more practical here, I think many of us with RT's use a MVB bulb. One good brand is a Powersun. Depending on the size of your tort table, 100W should be enough, with a light fixture that has a ceramic base (many of us use a Zoomed Deep Dome Fixture, but a good brood light from a feed store that can handle the wattage is fine too, as long as the base is ceramic).
RT's humidity needs are not as high as Redfoots, but they need the lower levels of their substrate to be moist. They need a basking area of about 95, a cool side of about 70, can go down to 60 at night. So they don't generally need night heat unless your house is very cold.
They tolerate cooler temps, but these temps will prevent them from hibernating, hopefully.
http://www.russiantortoise.org/

Thank you both for your replies! Should the light fixture be reflective on the inside to bounce off heat? I have seem some with/without that feature. Also, are you saying I would need two lights, one for the basking and one for the heat MVB? Right not my tort only has one lamp, and to be honest I dont know what it is, but the person I adopted him from didnt seem to provide proper lighting as the lamp is similar to a desk lamp :( I was hoping to only need on light fixture, but if its necessary then I want to give him the best he deserves :)
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Meridyth:

Right now I have two light fixtures over my baby habitat. In one fixture I have an MVB (mercury vapor bulb - heat and UV in one bulb), that I turn on at 6am and off at 9pm. In the other fixture I have a black light for heat at night.

I've been giving some thought to not using the UV light all day long. I've been thinking of using a regular 100 watt incandescent bulb from 6 am until about 10am, changing it out for the MVB from 10 until about 2p, then putting the 100 watt back in.

There really is no need for you to do this, but since I'm home all the time, I figured I could do it and give them some relief from the strong light shining in all day long.

I didn't used to use a UV bulb for my indoor habitats and my tortoises suffered no ill effects, however, I started hearing about the MVB's here on the forum and decided to give one a try. I must admit that I did see a big difference in the activity level of my babies. They became more active and ate better.

I don't keep tortoises indoors much. Even in the winter, they are outside in heated sheds with regular incandescent bulbs. But I usually have a couple tubs of different kinds of babies that have to over winter in the house. And for them, I'm glad to have found the MVB's.
 

Madkins007

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Reflectors on bulbs can help either focus or diffuse the light, heat, and UVB depending on the shape of the reflector. In general, we usually want it diffused, so we want a very wide, shallow bowl shape that the bulbs sits high up in- unfortunately, most reflectors are made to focus the light.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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I have raised healthy tortoises without UVB lights for most of my tort keeping. I do use a UVB light for sick torts or babies. I use a black light bulb for warmth at night for sick torts or babies. I do put all my tortoises and turtles outside all summer bringing them in at night, I bring them all in for the winter and I don't use UVB lights in the winter with no ill effects...
 

mer001

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ok so i was browsing to get an idea of what would be good and can you all give me a yes or no if it would work, or possibly somewhere to buy or order for good price.
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3569157 <-- lamp im considering or this one http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3569157 but it says incondescent lights only (can that be a mvb bulb?)

and this http://www.carolinapetsupply.com/ca...id=512&zenid=29e784a0c6034d48f6551c45b9074441 for a lightbulb. crazy how much lighting will cost but itll be worth it i suppose!!!
 
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