UV Bulbs vs Basking Bulbs???

M0rdrid

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I'm a little confused on the use of Basking bulbs. I know that UV bulbs can actually damage a tortoise's eyes, so wouldn't a basking bulb do the same things? Would someone please explain this to me, I'm just having a difficult time wrapping my head around it.

Also do tortoises need both a CHE bulb and a basking bulb? What's the purpose of basking in an enclosure that's the optimum temperature?

I've seen the user Tom say that you can probably due without UV strips for the most part if you're able to take your pet to bask in the sun. And apart from inclimate weather or the winter season might not have a need for UV strips.
 

wellington

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Tortoises need to warm up under a bulb/sun thats temp is 95-100 to properly digest their food. They should not live in this temp permanently, so that is the need for a basking bulb.
Uvb does not hurt their eyes unless the bulb is the coil/CFL type or if the bulb is hung too close.
They only need a che if added heat is needed. A che can be used as a basking bulb but most tortoises will naturally bask under actual light.
 
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JoesMum

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Tortoises need UVB which they use to make their own vitamin D (many species don’t absorb it from their diet) which helps them process dietary calcium so they have strong bones and shell.

Tortoises are cold blooded. They need external heat to raise their body temperature so they can be active, eat and digest food. If they have no dun they must have a basking lamp.

They must have both.

Compact UVB bulbs can cause problems with tortoise eyes. Natural UVB from the sun and fluorescent tube UVB are not a problem.
 

M0rdrid

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Tortoises need UVB which they use to make their own vitamin D (many species don’t absorb it from their diet) which helps them process dietary calcium so they have strong bones and shell.

Tortoises are cold blooded. They need external heat to raise their body temperature so they can be active, eat and digest food. If they have no dun they must have a basking lamp.

They must have both.

Compact UVB bulbs can cause problems with tortoise eyes. Natural UVB from the sun and fluorescent tube UVB are not a problem.
From what I'm understanding the compact or coil UV bulbs cause problems because they emit a harsher form of light than what a basking bulb would? So a basking bulb wouldn't cause those issues as it's main purpose is to make one area a essentially "warming" station to help tortoises go about their day and not to act as an actual light.

That does make more sense, I've just been seeing some people say they get their basking lights from hardware stores or just use regular appliance bulbs instead of buying basking bulbs from a petstore.
 

Lyn W

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It is the curly and cfl type bulbs that have been found to damage tort eyes.

You can get basking bulbs that are bulb shaped and just give light and heat.
You need to use a thermometer to help you position the height of the bulb so that it isn't too close to your tort, but you get the correct basking temp for him.
I believe @Tom gets his from a hardware store and I'm sure he'll be able to tell you what he uses.

Your tort also needs uvb if, like mine, he can't bask in the sun during winter - tubes seem to be the most highly recommended.

A CHE may be used for extra heat or for night heat if needed. I've used one on a thermostat at night to keep temps within the range for my tort because they don't give light and torts need darkness to sleep.

All bulbs should have a ceramic holder and I use wide domes with mine.
 

M0rdrid

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It is the curly and cfl type bulbs that have been found to damage tort eyes.

You can get basking bulbs that are bulb shaped and just give light and heat.
You need to use a thermometer to help you position the height of the bulb so that it isn't too close to your tort, but you get the correct basking temp for him.
I believe @Tom gets his from a hardware store and I'm sure he'll be able to tell you what he uses.

Your tort also needs uvb if, like mine, he can't bask in the sun during winter - tubes seem to be the most highly recommended.

A CHE may be used for extra heat or for night heat if needed. I've used one on a thermostat at night to keep temps within the range for my tort because they don't give light and torts need darkness to sleep.

All bulbs should have a ceramic holder and I use wide domes with mine.
Okay Yea, I think I've seen a few comments saying like 65 watt flood lights will work.
I'm actually planning the set up for an Ornate Box Turtle so I'm really just researching and double checking stuff right now.

Do all wide dome light fixtures have a ceramic base or will they specifically say on box if they do or not? None I've seen at petstores really say anything about having a ceramic base.
 

Tom

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I'm a little confused on the use of Basking bulbs. I know that UV bulbs can actually damage a tortoise's eyes, so wouldn't a basking bulb do the same things? Would someone please explain this to me, I'm just having a difficult time wrapping my head around it.

Also do tortoises need both a CHE bulb and a basking bulb? What's the purpose of basking in an enclosure that's the optimum temperature?

I've seen the user Tom say that you can probably due without UV strips for the most part if you're able to take your pet to bask in the sun. And apart from inclimate weather or the winter season might not have a need for UV strips.
A CHE emits no light. Only heat. These are used to maintain a minimum ambient temperature in the enclosure with the use of a thermostat. That temperature depends on the species, age, season, and other factors. For a red foot, you'd set it around 85 and leave it alone, and that would be their only heat source since they usually don't bask. For a baby star, Sulcata or leopard, you'd set it at 80 to keep ambient above 80 day and night. The thermostat controls it 24/7 and never lets your ambient drop too low.

Then, you'd have an incandescent basking lamp that emits heat and light to simulate the sun that they would bask in outdoors. This basking lamp should be set to make the area directly under it around 95-100 degrees. The tortoise can move in an out of this warmer zone all day to regulate its own body temperature. CHEs can't work for this purpose because they emit no light. Incandescent bulbs do not hurt the tortoises eyes. Most of the pet store ones are "spot" type bulbs which are no good for tortoises, and they are over priced anyway. Get your basking bulbs from a hardware store and save some money. This bulb should be set on a timer to be on for about 12-13 hours a day and off at night.

What if you have a temperate species like a Russian or a Hermanni that need a night drop in temperature? Easy. Keep your basking bulb on a timer just like for the other species, and you can plug your thermostat that controls the CHE into the timer that controls the basking lamp. At night, the timer will shut of the heat from the CHE and the basking lamp. It will be dark and the enclosure can cool to room temp slowly. In the morning, the timer will kick the light on and send power to the thermostat to warm up the CHE. The CHE will turn itself on and off all day to keep ambient where you want it, while that basking lamp makes a warmer area directly below it.

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html Here in our climate, you shouldn't need indoor UV.
 
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