We should consider a UVB meter as mandatory

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
In my opinion, we should suggest that every new keeper of tortoises or any other type of reptile needs to purchase a 6.5 or 6.5R UVB meter.
There are so many types of UVB lights now. that we have to just guess where to mount them or which ones suit our needs best.
I've seen the same MVB light. Same wattage. Same manufacturer have four times the UVB output of another.
I've seen a T8 tube put out virtually no UV after 4 months. And another still working well at one year.
I've seen a T5 5.0 hold steady at one level, then steeply decline seemingly overnight. And a T5 10.0 put out a reading of 8 at a foot away.
We all know that a coiled CFL bulb can blast out a tiny area of too much UVB. and nothing a few inches away.
It's all just guessing without a UVB meter.
They are all about $200.
Not cheap. But you're likely to have it for the rest of your life.
I have the 6.5R from JOSH'S FROGS and I highly reccomend it.
It has greatly simplified my keeping.
20201008_132710.jpg
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,494
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
You can suggest it but most won't buy it. That's a lot of money to put out for most members and that have one or two animal. Heck even the long time members with multiple tortoise and breeders of them has only gotten one in the last couple years.
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
842
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
In my opinion, we should suggest that every new keeper of tortoises or any other type of reptile needs to purchase a 6.5 or 6.5R UVB meter.
There are so many types of UVB lights now. that we have to just guess where to mount them or which ones suit our needs best.
I've seen the same MVB light. Same wattage. Same manufacturer have four times the UVB output of another.
I've seen a T8 tube put out virtually no UV after 4 months. And another still working well at one year.
I've seen a T5 5.0 hold steady at one level, then steeply decline seemingly overnight. And a T5 10.0 put out a reading of 8 at a foot away.
We all know that a coiled CFL bulb can blast out a tiny area of too much UVB. and nothing a few inches away.
It's all just guessing without a UVB meter.
They are all about $200.
Not cheap. But you're likely to have it for the rest of your life.
I have the 6.5R from JOSH'S FROGS and I highly reccomend it.
It has greatly simplified my keeping.
I completely agree with you. In Canada it’s more around the $300 mark, and although I cringed at the cost I considered it a necessity for my Hermann’s tortoise set up. I was without one for the first 6 months of his life and I just had too much worry over wondering what the UV output was...or wasn’t. It’s been a great investment that has given me peace of mind and helped me make the most optimal UV setup I can give my little guy who has to live indoors year round. Over time, it will pay for itself by me not having to replace UV bulbs just because of the 6 month rule I commonly hear about.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,494
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
For those of us who keep our tortoises outdoors year round or even partially, the amount of UV they get naturally is more then sufficient. However, I do think it’s pretty much mandatory to have for those that keep their reptiles inside all the time.
This I can agree with. However on the other hand, i don't agree with keeping them inside year round. Everyone has a summer and should get their reptile out into it as I'm sure you would agree to that too.
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
842
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
This I can agree with. However on the other hand, i don't agree with keeping them inside year round. Everyone has a summer and should get their reptile out into it as I'm sure you would agree to that too.
My tortoise can spend some time outside in the summers, but his primary enclosure is indoors. There’s only about a 2 month window where the weather is good enough here for him to be outside and maybe only half of the days in that span that are suitable and only for part of the day. Sask weather sucks. I do the best I can for my tortoise.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,494
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
My tortoise can spend some time outside in the summers, but his primary enclosure is indoors. There’s only about a 2 month window where the weather is good enough here for him to be outside and maybe only half of the days in that span that are suitable and only for part of the day. Sask weather sucks. I do the best I can for my tortoise.
(My first post I deleted because I didnt pay attention to the thread I was on lol.)
To respond now to this post, you get him out when you can. That's all any of us living in the cold North can do.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,489
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I completely agree.

Guessing at your UV levels with no meter is like guessing at your temperatures with no thermometer. Except its worse. At least with the temperatures you can kind of feel it with your hand and make a reasonable guess. Not so with UV.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
You can suggest it but most won't buy it. That's a lot of money to put out for most members and that have one or two animal. Heck even the long time members with multiple tortoise and breeders of them has only gotten one in the last couple years.
I've only had mine for little more than a year.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
For those of us who keep our tortoises outdoors year round or even partially, the amount of UV they get naturally is more then sufficient. However, I do think it’s pretty much mandatory to have for those that keep their reptiles inside all the time.
My tortoises do live outside.
I got on the UV METER bandwagon after attempting to correctly keep Chameleons inside.
I spent/wasted more money on the wrong lamps and fixtures than what my meter cost me.
 
Last edited:

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
You can suggest it but most won't buy it. That's a lot of money to put out for most members and that have one or two animal. Heck even the long time members with multiple tortoise and breeders of them has only gotten one in the last couple years.
It's not a lot of money at all if you compare the cost of buying all sorts of inefficient lighting. (I've spent hundreds)
Throwing away perfectly good lighting just because it's 4-6 months old or in needing to see a vet for MBD treatment.
It starts to look like a money saver. And its certainly a worthy investment.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
My tortoise can spend some time outside in the summers, but his primary enclosure is indoors. There’s only about a 2 month window where the weather is good enough here for him to be outside and maybe only half of the days in that span that are suitable and only for part of the day. Sask weather sucks. I do the best I can for my tortoise.
I give plenty of the credit for my success with Redfoot to my location alone.
Those of you that keep tortoises in less than ideal areas of the world are to be commended for their dedication.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,494
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
My tortoises do live outside.
I got on the UV METER bandwagon after attempting to correctly keep Chameleons inside.
I spent/wasted more money on the wrong lamps and fixtures than what my meter cost me.
Why don't you keep your chameleons outside? I kept mine outside in the summer months, in a cage, with heat for night time if needed.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,494
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
It's not a lot of money at all if you compare the cost of buying all sorts of inefficient lighting. (I've spent hundreds)
Throwing away perfectly good lighting just because it's 4-6 months old or in needing to see a vet for MBD treatment.
It starts to look like a money saver. And its certainly a worthy investment.
It would be a waste for me. I have never thrown a working bulb away, I use them for light purposes for the tortoises shed or Depending on the kind, would use them on a fish tank. Never had mbd although I have only had a total of 7 tortoises and a couple small clutches, but no where near the months of sun you have in florida. If I lived in the southern states I wouldn't even use a uvb bulb.
I think it's right for some, I think it's a big waste for most. I don't mind spending the money, it's not a problem. I have a problem wasting money and I think for most people, with few tortoises and not breeding, it's a waste.
 
Top