Lighting

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Annika
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Nov 2020, 19:15

Lighting

Post by Annika » 21 Apr 2021, 20:47

Hi
I've posted before regarding my daughters baby horsfield tortoise. It's about 1 Yr old now and is now my baby tortoise. I followed your advice before about keeping him awake and it did work for a while. Now he has returned to sleeping alot. Our vet has suggested getting another uvb strip light to put along the enclosure aswell as the dual purpose light we have. I was wondering if you knew the best place on line to buy lighting and tortoise stuff in general?

Thanks

Ann

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Nina
Posts: 1555
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Lighting

Post by Nina » 21 Apr 2021, 22:36

Hi Ann,

I'm sorry to hear that Turbo is sleeping a lot again.

Could I ask what wattage your dual purpose light is (I assume this is a mercury vapour heat/light/uvb bulb)? You really shouldn't need a UVB strip if you have that, as it should be bright enough, and the strips don't give off a very bright light anyway. I think what could be more important is the temperature. What is the temperature directly below your light, at the height of your tortoise's shell? I know I asked this previously, but depending on the temperature in the room, the temperature in the tortoise table will be very different. If temperature in the room is warmer, like on a warm day, then you might need to reduce the temperature in the table, as if it is too hot the tortoise will also sleep a lot.

You could try some extra light in the table, of course, as a bright light does make a huge difference to the tortoise, but before you buy an expensive strip light, and the starter unit and reflector that need to go with it, maybe just try something like one of those bendy desk lamps hooked over the side with the light directed into the table, or some sort of other light hanging above as I'm not convinced that lack of light is the cause of your tortoise's sleepiness.

If you do want to buy lighting and other equipment, you could try somewhere like Swell Reptiles https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/reptil ... le-lights/ as they are sometimes cheaper, but if you have a Pets at Home or a Reptile Shop near you then you won't have to pay for postage. If you do get a UVB strip then it is important that you also get a clip-on reflector to protect your eyes, because looking directly into the light can damage your sight.

When it is nice and warm out, do you have the facility to take Turbo outside? The natural sunlight has a much higher quality UVB than we can provide, and they do love it outdoors. If you can be outside in a t-shirt then Turbo can be out, and even if it is a bit cooler you can put him out for a while, and when his shell starts to feel less warm then you can bring him in for a warm up and then put him out again, but do supervise him as they are great escape artists.

Also, I know it sounds odd to say, but tortoises do get bored if they are in the same environment all of the time, so you could also try putting more 'furniture' in his table -- a nice big rock that he has to walk around, or something like one of those bendy log thingys (I think they call them 'fiddle sticks' that he could use as a tunnel or climb up and slide down the other side (they love those), or just make some of his substrate into a nice hill in the middle -- just stuff to break up the sight lines and give him something new to explore.

Nina

Annika
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Nov 2020, 19:15

Re: Lighting

Post by Annika » 22 Apr 2021, 18:28

Hi Nina

Thanks for the reply. We are just sorting the temp out as he has moved from my daughters to mine. Its 30 at the height of his shell and 18 at the other end. So the vet also suggested a heat mat with a thermostat to keep it 20 at the cool end. Then turn it off at night.
Unless he's eating he is asleep he even falls asleep under his lamp. I'm not sure what the bulb is but I will check with my daughter.
I need to get a small table to put his enclosure on and then he can move rooms where there will be alot more natural light. I have a study lamp so I will try that.
He was doing this again at my daughters so it's not just since he moved.
Oh yes he's not Turbo anymore I call him Dave. I think its funny when animals have human names.

Ann

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Nina
Posts: 1555
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Lighting

Post by Nina » 22 Apr 2021, 22:01

Hi Ann,

Many thanks for getting back to me. Where did your vet say to put the heat mat (was it on the floor of the table or on the ceiling of a sleeping area, or a side wall)? The reason I ask is that it is extremely dangerous for a tortoise to sit on top of a heat mat (even if it is covered by substrate), because even low wattage heat mats can cause burns to the underside of a tortoise's shell.

The temperatures you describe seem absolutely fine. What is the ambient temperature of your room (that does have a big effect on the temperature in the table). I think there is something else at play here, but I'm not sure what it is, and I wonder if instead of going back and forth with posts on the forum if it would be easier for us to have a quick chat over the phone. I would be happy to phone you at a time that is convenient for you, or you could phone me if you prefer. If you email me at nina@thetortoisetable.org.uk you could send me your number or ask for mine. I'm out all of tomorrow afternoon, but will be home in the morning and evening and am around for much of the weekend.

Lol, Dave is an excellent name and it helps to solve a problem I was having (we've been corresponding with four people with tortoises called Turbo and three of them had eating problems/lethargy, and I couldn't keep them straight in my head!). :) Of course you won't know his/her sex for a couple of years, so the name might have to change to Davina!

Nina

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