uvb/uva light

charl19

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I have a Baby Sulcata Tortoise I was just checking if the halogen light at the end of the uvb light will be enough for basking before I buy it? It’s a light from Carolina custom cages and it comes in 20w, 35w, 50w and 75w. Thanks
 

jockma

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I use PowerSun as well, I strongly recommend it, but it does get quite hot.

For my tort’s last enclosure, I went from 2 regular heat bulbs to 1 PowerSun and the ambient temps were the same...though I was using a 160w.
 

Cowboy_Ken

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...though I was using a 160w.
My first choice was a 160watt but it was too intense for my enclosure but the single 100watt is perfect. Remember you must use a ceramic holder that is rated at least as high as the lamp or heating device so y’all don’t burn nothing.
 

Tom

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First: Halogen bulbs should not be used. They emit a lot of carapace desiccating IR-A.
Second: Spot bulbs should not be used. They concentrate too much shell desiccating IR-A into too small of an area.
Third: Flood bulbs work best. I usually start with a 65 watt, but only your thermometer can tell you if this is the correct wattage for your enclosure.
Fourth: I disagree with the previous posters about the Powersuns. They generate even more shell desiccation than the halogen bulbs and should not be used over tortoises. I learned this one the hard way. You don't have to.
Fifth: Most of the care and feeding info you find for this species is wrong. Its the same old often repeated stuff that has been passed down for decades. It was based on incorrect assumptions about how they live in the wild. It was wrong then and its wrong now. Here is the correct care info:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/

Sixth: Here is some info to summarize heating and lighting:

There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them.
  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 like sulcatas.
  3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.
  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. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height.
Last: In case you don't take the time to read the links above, your tortoise is not a desert species. In the wild they hatch in to hot, wet, humid, rainy, monsoon conditions. They need damp substrate, high humidity, warm temps 24/7, and daily soaks to thrive.
 

charl19

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Tom, you say not to use halogen bulbs. Aren’t the flood lights you are using halogen? How close do you have it next to your Sulcatas? Would you send a picture of your Sulcata enclosure? Thanks
 

Tom

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Tom, you say not to use halogen bulbs. Aren’t the flood lights you are using halogen? How close do you have it next to your Sulcatas? Would you send a picture of your Sulcata enclosure? Thanks
Mine are not halogens. I use standard incandescent bulbs. I have a variety of enclosures. My most current enclosure for starting baby sulcata hatchlings is an 18" tall closed chamber in a room that stays 80-90 degrees all the time, so I've had to go all the way down to a 25 watt round bulb to prevent over-heating.
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/new-stack-of-animal-plastics-closed-chambers.165626/#post-1600958

I don't have any of my older pictures showing 65 watt bulbs in use on this computer, but mounting height will vary for several reasons. Somewhere around 12-15" will usually do it, but only your thermometer can tell you for sure.
 

SarahA

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Mine are not halogens. I use standard incandescent bulbs. I have a variety of enclosures. My most current enclosure for starting baby sulcata hatchlings is an 18" tall closed chamber in a room that stays 80-90 degrees all the time, so I've had to go all the way down to a 25 watt round bulb to prevent over-heating.
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/new-stack-of-animal-plastics-closed-chambers.165626/#post-1600958

I don't have any of my older pictures showing 65 watt bulbs in use on this computer, but mounting height will vary for several reasons. Somewhere around 12-15" will usually do it, but only your thermometer can tell you for sure.


The height of my new enclosure is just over 24”, so the 65W incandescent is not enough to create a warmer basking spot. My light fixture is mounted to the curing of the enclosure so I am not able to easily move the fixture height. I do have a 75W halogen flood lamp, I know it says on here that halogen is damaging because of the higher ira, does this apply when the bulb is at a higher height like my enclosure? Would a higher wattage incandescent be better?
 

Tom

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The height of my new enclosure is just over 24”, so the 65W incandescent is not enough to create a warmer basking spot. My light fixture is mounted to the curing of the enclosure so I am not able to easily move the fixture height. I do have a 75W halogen flood lamp, I know it says on here that halogen is damaging because of the higher ira, does this apply when the bulb is at a higher height like my enclosure? Would a higher wattage incandescent be better?
Halogen bulbs do more damage at any height. I would hang a different fixture so that you can adjust the height.
 
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