Spot Bulb vs Flood Bulb vs CHE

ayrgrn

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Hello all,
I am thinking about changing my MVB to a separate UVB flood and a heat bulb but I don't know which heat source to get for basking.
I've found some that look good:
Arcadia spotlight
Arcadia Flood lamp
Or a CHE
What works best for basking?
Thanks
 

G-stars

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I use regular flood bulbs for basking, and I’ve used CHEs to maintain night temps. A CHE is not meant to be used as a basking type heat source since it produces not visible light. I don’t use any UVB sources. Nothing better than the sun, even if it’s only for 30 mins 2-3 times a week.

Hibernating species don’t get any UVB for months and they are just fine.
 

ayrgrn

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Okay thanks.
I live in the UK and hardly get any sun until around June/July so I need a uvb strip unfortunately.
 

Lyn W

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I'm in UK too and use Arcadia MVBs as they are the easiest for my set up, but I know many of the more experienced keepers like the tubes better.
I also have a basking bulb in another area.
The che, which I run through a thermostat, is to help keep temps even at night only.
Torts need darkness to sleep and che's can last for years.
 

ayrgrn

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I'm in UK too and use Arcadia MVBs as they are the easiest for my set up.
But I also have a basking bulb in another area.
The che, which I run through a thermostat, is to help keep temps even at night only.
Torts need darkness to sleep and che's can last for years.
Thanks for info, could you send a picture of your setup and tort?
 

Tom

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-No spots. These cause more pyramiding.
-No MVBs. These have all sorts of problems and also cause pyramiding.
-Floods are the best compromise to create a basking area without overly desiccating the carapace. I use low wattage ones and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp.
-CHEs are for ambient temp maintenance and should be run through a thermostat.
 

ayrgrn

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-No spots. These cause more pyramiding.
-No MVBs. These have all sorts of problems and also cause pyramiding.
-Floods are the best compromise to create a basking area without overly desiccating the carapace. I use low wattage ones and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp.
-CHEs are for ambient temp maintenance and should be run through a thermostat.
Okay thanks, do I need a reflector dome with the flood bulb?
 

Lyn W

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Thanks for info, could you send a picture of your setup and tort?
My tort has his own room as he's too big for a table or viv.
He has had to move out of there for a while so is in a temp set up at the moment so I can't post any pics.
That's him in my avatar - if you click on it you'll get a bigger pic.
He's a leopard approx 9 years old. I've had him almost 5 years.
 

Lyn W

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-No spots. These cause more pyramiding.
-No MVBs. These have all sorts of problems and also cause pyramiding.
-Floods are the best compromise to create a basking area without overly desiccating the carapace. I use low wattage ones and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp.
-CHEs are for ambient temp maintenance and should be run through a thermostat.
So for uvb in our climate, a tube would be better than the mvb?
 

ayrgrn

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My tort has his own room as he's too big for a table or viv.
He has had to move out of there for a while so is in a temp set up at the moment so I can't post any pics.
That's him in my avatar - if you click on it you'll get a bigger pic.
He's a leopard approx 9 years old. I've had him almost 5 years.
Okay thanks, nice tort :)
 

Tom

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So for uvb in our climate, a tube would be better than the mvb?
I prefer Arcadia 12% HO tubes. Strong UV and long lasting. They can also be mounted farther away. They are effective at 20-24" with a reflector in most cases.
 

Tom

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So for uvb in our climate, a tube would be better than the mvb?
Yes in any climate.

MVBs have so many problems and are so short lived. Before these HO tubes hit the market, MVBs were the best thing going. When MVBs hit the market in the late 90s, I was literally using them to save and rehab animals in various stages of MBD. No other bulb had worked previously. Do you remember "Vita-Lite"?

As time wore on, I learned more and more about the problems associated with MVBs:
  • They are expensive.
  • They tend to burn out prematurely.
  • They are very delicate.
  • They run very hot. Too hot for closed chambers.
  • Some of them stop producing any UV at 3 months.
  • They create high levels of IR-A which desiccate the carapace and contribute to pyramiding.
MVBs aren't dangerous or harmful. They are just not a good option for most people due to all of the above. In contrast, the new HO tubes have NONE of the above listed problems. I suppose someone could argue that they are expensive if one considers the necessary fixture to run them, but I would counter with how long they last. I have some that have been in daily use for more than 3 years and their UV output is still great! No MVB is still working, much less making UV, even one year later, much less 3+.

These are just my opinions and observations. Unlike some tortoise practices that can actually do harm, like sand substrates, I don't feel the need to argue with people about these bulbs. If someone has an adult tortoise and they aren't too worried about pyramiding, I don't think MVBs are all that bad. They do make UV when new, and they do warm up nicely for larger enclosures that aren't closed in. As long as people know about the pros and cons of each, I'm content to take a back seat to personal preference on this matter.
 

ayrgrn

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Yes in any climate.

MVBs have so many problems and are so short lived. Before these HO tubes hit the market, MVBs were the best thing going. When MVBs hit the market in the late 90s, I was literally using them to save and rehab animals in various stages of MBD. No other bulb had worked previously. Do you remember "Vita-Lite"?

As time wore on, I learned more and more about the problems associated with MVBs:
  • They are expensive.
  • They tend to burn out prematurely.
  • They are very delicate.
  • They run very hot. Too hot for closed chambers.
  • Some of them stop producing any UV at 3 months.
  • They create high levels of IR-A which desiccate the carapace and contribute to pyramiding.
MVBs aren't dangerous or harmful. They are just not a good option for most people due to all of the above. In contrast, the new HO tubes have NONE of the above listed problems. I suppose someone could argue that they are expensive if one considers the necessary fixture to run them, but I would counter with how long they last. I have some that have been in daily use for more than 3 years and their UV output is still great! No MVB is still working, much less making UV, even one year later, much less 3+.

These are just my opinions and observations. Unlike some tortoise practices that can actually do harm, like sand substrates, I don't feel the need to argue with people about these bulbs. If someone has an adult tortoise and they aren't too worried about pyramiding, I don't think MVBs are all that bad. They do make UV when new, and they do warm up nicely for larger enclosures that aren't closed in. As long as people know about the pros and cons of each, I'm content to take a back seat to personal preference on this matter.
Thanks for all this info Tom!
 

Joetheyido

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Im in UK and keep stars, reedfoot and Herman's. I had 80w Arcadia mvbs for stars and my redfoot when they was in smaller vivs. My sister works at pets at home so I got them and Arcadia stuff cheaper. They worked fine and I haven't seen any bad effects a few years on. Now I have them in bigger vivs I have put in Arcadia ho uv tubes and che's mainly due to the vivs being so big. I really ike the Arcadia flood bulbs for basking but they are rubbish for how much they are, they don't last long at all, the bigger watt ones seem to do better. I still use a mvb that's a few years old for if I bring the Herman's in and its still putting out uvb like it's new. Just my experience so far.
 

PA2019

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Im in UK and keep stars, reedfoot and Herman's. I had 80w Arcadia mvbs for stars and my redfoot when they was in smaller vivs. My sister works at pets at home so I got them and Arcadia stuff cheaper. They worked fine and I haven't seen any bad effects a few years on. Now I have them in bigger vivs I have put in Arcadia ho uv tubes and che's mainly due to the vivs being so big. I really ike the Arcadia flood bulbs for basking but they are rubbish for how much they are, they don't last long at all, the bigger watt ones seem to do better. I still use a mvb that's a few years old for if I bring the Herman's in and its still putting out uvb like it's new. Just my experience so far.

Could you post some pics of your stars? I’m curious about the effects of a MVB on their shells long term. MVB’s are soppossed to be pretty dessicating to a shell, so I wonder how pyramided they became, thanks!
 

Joetheyido

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Could you post some pics of your stars? I’m curious about the effects of a MVB on their shells long term. MVB’s are soppossed to be pretty dessicating to a shell, so I wonder how pyramided they became, thanks!
Sure. The one of the stars in the Viv is when I first bought them and holding was a few months ago, they was probly under mvb for 2years so not sure if that's classed as long time. Screenshot_20190323-073855~2-324x242.jpeg Screenshot_20190323-073533-810x1620-324x648.jpeg Screenshot_20190323-072132~2-810x798-324x319.jpeg
 
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PA2019

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Taylorlynn48

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Okay thanks, do I need a reflector dome with the flood bulb?
@Tom For a 65 watt or low wattage flood bulb are they safe to put in a ceramic dome shaped fixture?
Are flood bulbs safe? I would assume using the higher wattage flood bulbs seem more of a fire hazard in ceramic domes.. but I am also not an expert. Please advise!
 

Tom

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@Tom For a 65 watt or low wattage flood bulb are they safe to put in a ceramic dome shaped fixture?
Are flood bulbs safe? I would assume using the higher wattage flood bulbs seem more of a fire hazard in ceramic domes.. but I am also not an expert. Please advise!
Yes, they are safe in a ceramic dome. Yes they are safe. Every electiracle bulb that emits heat is a potential fire hazard. Securely hang the fixtures from over head, and there should be no fires. This also allows you to adjust the height up or down to get the correct basking temperature under it.
 
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