Uv question

Kimmers000

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Dec 9, 2014
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Tacoma, WA
Ugh, I'm going crazy.

I have a Greek (newly rescued) in an indoor tort table - nearly 3'x6' (with a new larger table when I can find something bigger to repurpose or find the supplies to build). She'll likely spend several of our wet/cold/rainy months inside every winter and even a good portion of the damp and cool spring and fall. I'm going to be pretty heavily reliant on supplemental uv for her.

Monday, I was moving things around a bit and my uv (T5 HO 10.0) suddenly stopped working. Assuming that I had somehow damaged the bulb, I ordered two replacements (in case one arrived broken and so I'd have a back up if both arrived fine). They came today and after trying both, it's still not working. So apparently the problem is my fixture. I have no idea why - I'm always careful with my lamps. So now I have bulbs and no fixture. My fixture is a Zoo Med. Its still under warranty for another month, but the paperwork says it'll take 4-6 weeks for repair or replacement.

So my question first is how long can she safely be without her uv? It's already been 2 days. Worst case scenario, I can go buy a MVB at petco, but I really don't want to because I would rather use a long tube fixture and separate basking. It's an emergency measure if I need to - but I really can't afford it if I can safely wait a bit.

I don't think waiting for a replacement is an option (at best if they send a replacement, I'll have a back up). I have the two bulbs now, but I could return them if I wanted to.

Then, separate questions - what would be the ideal set up be, if I were to start from scratch? T5? T8? Arcadia bulbs? (My only issue with them is cost - the way I understand it, ideally it would only be on 4ish hours of the day for a uv spike, requiring a second tube fixture and bulb for a regular daytime light...) Zoo Med bulbs? Something else? If I didn't start from scratch and just kept the Zoo Med bulbs, would a Home Depot fixture work just as well? Any ideas that balance my budget with her welfare as the priority would be greatly appreciated.

A uv meter is on my wishlist but financially that can't happen any time in the near future, so if you recommend a particular set up, I'd love to hear your ideal mounting distances too.

Thanks so much!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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We had a moderator here that lived in MI. Her tortoises were outside for about 6 months a year and inside the other 6 months with zero UV. They all did fine for her.

I don't use any UV in some of my enclosures, and there have been times where my tortoise go for a stretch of 6-7 weeks in winter with no sunshine. They store D3 when times are good, so I wouldn't worry about 4 weeks with none while you wait for a new fixture. Call them and see if they can expedite things.

I prefer:
  1. A regular 65 watt flood on a timer for 12-13 hours for basking.
  2. Regular T8 tube in the 5000-6500K color range for light, set on the same timer as the basking bulb.
  3. Arcadia 12%HO on its own timer for 3-4 hours mid day.
  4. CHE on a thermostat, if needed depending on temps and species. Probably not needed for an adult greek indoors.
 

Kimmers000

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Tacoma, WA
Thanks Tom!

So if I were to set her up like you prefer, I will still need another tube fixture.

What length uv fixture would you use on a 6' table? Would a 22" mounted at the basking end sufficient? I have her basking lamp at one end and her CHE (on a thermostat, my house gets down to the very low 60s at night) in the middle. She spends most of the day at the basking lamp end, eating and basking with occasional breaks at the cool end of the table.
 
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