What bulb testudo marginated

Lulabee247

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I have a 4 year old testudo marginated tortoise she has been with me for a year but I seem to think her eye sight is declining. I’m wondering if I’m using the correct bulb for basking. Can anyone advise on which is the best bulb for heat and light that won’t ruin her eyesight further (if it’s actually damaging at the minute) she is my baby and I know she has lots of tears to grow and would like her to have a happy healthy life. I’m forever changing things reading on this websites advice and the bulb is the one thing I’m concerned about as she basks and stares up at it with her neck full out. Thankyou in advance. This is a fab site and I do enjoy reading every post in my email update
 

harrythetortoise

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I have a 4 year old testudo marginated tortoise she has been with me for a year but I seem to think her eye sight is declining. I’m wondering if I’m using the correct bulb for basking. Can anyone advise on which is the best bulb for heat and light that won’t ruin her eyesight further (if it’s actually damaging at the minute) she is my baby and I know she has lots of tears to grow and would like her to have a happy healthy life. I’m forever changing things reading on this websites advice and the bulb is the one thing I’m concerned about as she basks and stares up at it with her neck full out. Thankyou in advance. This is a fab site and I do enjoy reading every post in my email update
Which bulbs are you currently using? Could you also post some pictures?
 

Lulabee247

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harrythetortoise

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Komodo 80w 230v d3 UV basking lamp
Looks like a mercury vapor bulb. Not sure if that kind of bulb necessarily cause eye damage, but it is known to contribute to pyramiding and may produce unpredictable amount of uvb. Might wanna switch to a 65w incandescent bulb for heating and a T5 HO 10.0 fluorescent bulb with a hood for UVB.

As far as the eye health declining, can you please elaborate more? When did you notice it, and what made you think it has been declining?
 

Lulabee247

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Looks like a mercury vapor bulb. Not sure if that kind of bulb necessarily cause eye damage, but it is known to contribute to pyramiding and may produce unpredictable amount of uvb. Might wanna switch to a 65w incandescent bulb for heating and a T5 HO 10.0 fluorescent bulb with a hood for UVB.

As far as the eye health declining, can you please elaborate more? When did you notice it, and what made you think it has been declining?
 

Lulabee247

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Just when I hold food in front of her she seems a bit disorientated as to where it actually is. She bit my finger a few times when Iv been holding the food still, right in front of her. I just can’t determine if she had bad sight in one or both eyes or if it’s just me being paranoid. I love her more than people and don’t want her to suffer due to my ignorance in her needs
 

harrythetortoise

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Just when I hold food in front of her she seems a bit disorientated as to where it actually is. She bit my finger a few times when Iv been holding the food still, right in front of her. I just can’t determine if she had bad sight in one or both eyes or if it’s just me being paranoid. I love her more than people and don’t want her to suffer due to my ignorance in her needs
Is she able to find the food dish and eat well on her own?
 

Lulabee247

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She does yes but when I watch her she misses the leaves a lot, not like other videos Iv seen of tortoises eating. But as long as Iv got an ok bulb that’s not damaging il be happy.
 

KarenSoCal

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These are excellent bulbs. The mercury vapor bulb you are using should not be used for tortoises.

This is for basking...only your thermometer can tell you what wattage to use.


And this is for UVB. You would want the 24watt.

 

Lulabee247

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These are excellent bulbs. The mercury vapor bulb you are using should not be used for tortoises.

This is for basking...only your thermometer can tell you what wattage to use.


And this is for UVB. You would want the 24watt.

Thankyou. There are so many conflicting things on here and I know it’s not good to keep changing an enclosure but her skin is flaky too. People on here range from 40% to 80% and that’s a big gap. Heard of using a tiny bit of coconut oil on skin ? I give regular soaks as I never see her drink. And she still has the same whistle when she breathes so I’m assuming I havnt got it right yet ? Any ideas ? I’m worried she is struggling to breathe
 

KarenSoCal

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Thankyou. There are so many conflicting things on here and I know it’s not good to keep changing an enclosure but her skin is flaky too. People on here range from 40% to 80% and that’s a big gap. Heard of using a tiny bit of coconut oil on skin ? I give regular soaks as I never see her drink. And she still has the same whistle when she breathes so I’m assuming I havnt got it right yet ? Any ideas ? I’m worried she is struggling to breathe
Flaky skin is not unusual for a tortoise, especially around the neck area. They will periodically shed the skin around their necks. As long as you see healthy new skin underneath, it should be fine.

If it's crackling dry in her enclosure, dampen her substrate and get her humidity higher, preferably above 80%. You can also spritz her with distilled water, rain water, or RO water. If you use regular tap water, you will probably get hard water stains on her shell. Using one of these will prevent that.

I use cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil on my boy's shell weekly. If he has a flaky spot on his skin I rub it with a bit of the oil. Then he walks around on the kitchen counter...he likes to wedge himself behind the coffee pot...he walks for 10-15 min, then I put him in a terry towel for a good polishing rub with the towel. He loves the rubbing part!

Then into his enclosure for dinner and then bed.

The whistling your tort does...does the sound come from his nose? or chest?
Have you looked with a flashlight to see if anything is stuck in his nose? You can use a syringe with no needle to spray some normal saline up his nose and hopefully wash any discharge out.
 
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Lulabee247

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Flaky skin is not unusual for a tortoise, especially around the neck area. They will periodically shed the skin around their necks. As long as you see healthy new skin underneath, it should be fine.

If it's crackling dry in her enclosure, dampen her substrate and get her humidity higher, preferably above 80%. You can also spritz her with distilled water, rain water, or RO water. If you use regular tap water, you will probably get hard water stains on her shell. Using one of these will prevent that.

I use cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil on my boy's shell weekly. If he has a flaky spot on his skin I rub it with a bit of the oil. Then he walks around on the kitchen counter...he likes to wedge himself behind the coffee pot...he walks for 10-15 min, then I put him in a terry towel for a good polishing rub with the towel. He loves the rubbing part!

Then into his enclosure for dinner and then bed.

The whistling your tort does...does the sound come from his nose? or chest?
Have you looked with a flashlight to see if anything is stuck in his nose? You can use a syringe with no needle to spray some normal saline up his nose and hopefully wash any discharge out.
Aw thankyou very much. I do use rain water to spray the enclosure. Didn’t know you could use oil on shell. Again, I read somewhere that you shouldn’t. The whistle comes from nose. She has had it for over a year now. I just think I’m doing something wrong all the time. The vet told me it’s a humidity problem so Iv tried to rectify that but don’t see any change. Apart from that she seems ok. I just worry about respiratory problems. Il try the syringe trick tho. How would I do that and how hard ?
 

KarenSoCal

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I just think I’m doing something wrong all the time. The vet told me it’s a humidity problem so Iv tried to rectify that but don’t see any change. Apart from that she seems ok. I just worry about respiratory problems. Il try the syringe trick tho. How would I do that and how hard ?
There are many different opinions on using coconut oil. But to my knowledge, no one on the forum has ever seen any kind of adverse effect, and members I respect endorse the practice. I use it, and like it. Whether it actually helps with softening the keratin I don't know. But it looks nice, and doesn't do any harm that has been found.

If your enclosure doesn't have a solid top, you will always have difficulty with maintaining humidity. If you'll post a few pictures of your enclosure, including one from a distance so we can see the entire structure, we may be able to help you do that fairly inexpensively.

I have never had to squirt saline up a nose, but I don't think I would use much pressure. If resistance is felt, I think gentle rinsing would soften the blockage, even if it took a few days of trying.
 

Lulabee247

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There are many different opinions on using coconut oil. But to my knowledge, no one on the forum has ever seen any kind of adverse effect, and members I respect endorse the practice. I use it, and like it. Whether it actually helps with softening the keratin I don't know. But it looks nice, and doesn't do any harm that has been found.

If your enclosure doesn't have a solid top, you will always have difficulty with maintaining humidity. If you'll post a few pictures of your enclosure, including one from a distance so we can see the entire structure, we may be able to help you do that fairly inexpensively.

I have never had to squirt saline up a nose, but I don't think I would use much pressure. If resistance is felt, I think gentle rinsing would soften the blockage, even if it took a few days of trying.
Thanks again. Yes I didn’t think it would do any harm on the skin as it’s flaky but didn’t want to put oil on the shell due to her going under the basking lamp ? Would assume it would burn more ? Anyways I don’t have a pic of it as yet I work away a week at a time and just got to work today. My home made temporary enclosure has a hard top. I made a a hinged one for easy access. I got a humidity digital thing and bounces between 75-84% that’s just with me spraying the substrate is that actually ok tho or does it have to stay at the exact same all the time. Iv heard they pretty hardy tortoise but being in the uk our weather is unpredictable so she doesn’t get outside every single day. I just want to make sure the next time I build the enclosure it’s a permanent one that suits her every need and easy to clean. Thanks for all pointers. I tend to google most things but there’s so much conflicting stories I’d rather hear from actual people with an actual marginated tortoise
 

KarenSoCal

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Well, I'm an actual person, but I don't have an actual marginated tortoise 😂 As you've already seen, there is a huge amount of info available about torts. The problem is that most of it is old, outdated, or just plain wrong. You will find the best up to date info right here on this forum. Some of the members here are known worldwide, and have done many experiments to find the best way to care for torts. I don't know if you have read these, but if you haven't...


Thread '*Marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata) Care-Sheet*' https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/marginated-tortoise-testudo-marginata-care-sheet.98564/

I'm not 100% certain re' the perfect temps and humidity for marginated, but your humidity is good for most tortoises. We usually aim for more than 80% when torts are babies and still have lots of growing to do. No one can keep it exactly on the ideal percentage. Just try to keep it above 80%.

What several keepers have done is to use these over their enclosure to keep in heat and moisture. But you have an enclosed space already, so shouldn't need this.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08Z84DSR8/?tag=

She doesn't need to go outside every day to be able to do without a UVB light. Just an hour twice a week is enough UVB. You only need a UVB tube fluorescent in the winter. This was already discussed in post # 10 above ⬆️

As for your original concern, biting your finger when holding food...I find that torts generally don't have great eye-mouth coordination. Often, especially as babies, they don't seem able to hit the intended target. I have a pet lizard who can't always distinguish between my finger and a blueberry. She bites at the blueberry and gets it, along with a mouthful of finger. My tortoise can't always bite a leaf...he bites air instead. Maybe it has to do with where their eyes are placed on their heads...I really don't know, but others have had the same troubles. I don't think it's anything to be concerned about, and I think her eyes are probably just fine.
 

Tom

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I have a 4 year old testudo marginated tortoise she has been with me for a year but I seem to think her eye sight is declining. I’m wondering if I’m using the correct bulb for basking. Can anyone advise on which is the best bulb for heat and light that won’t ruin her eyesight further (if it’s actually damaging at the minute) she is my baby and I know she has lots of tears to grow and would like her to have a happy healthy life. I’m forever changing things reading on this websites advice and the bulb is the one thing I’m concerned about as she basks and stares up at it with her neck full out. Thankyou in advance. This is a fab site and I do enjoy reading every post in my email update
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. In the UK, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12%. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html
Problems with MVBs:
1. They run too hot for a closed chamber, which is what you should be using.
2. They cause too much carapace desiccation which causes pyramiding.
3. They are fragile and break easily.
4. They are temperamental sometimes and shut themselves off for 20 minutes at a time.
5. They are expensive.
6. Their UV output runs from one extreme to the other. Some produce way too much UV, and other produce none at all after two or three months.
 
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