I recently purchased a Russian Tortoise from a pet store and recieved information on his care, heating and humidity

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Customer: Hi, I recently purchased a Russian Tortoise from a pet store and recieved information on his care, heating and humidity through the salesperson and two books I purchased. He seems healthy, is eating and active. However I was never given, and can't find, any adequate information on UVA and UVB lighting and bulb types. Does he need both lights over his habitat? I believe I've got the heat gradients down and stablized, but the UVB confuses me terribly and I've yet to purchase one. Do the UVBs give off heat as well? What is 'adequate' UVB? I've seen bulbs that read 2.0, 10.0, a compact florecent lid with 2) 50s in it that says it's for desert dwellers. . . Any info would be greatly appreciated. With Kindest Regards, Cheryl
Answered by Jav917 in 27 mins 13 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hi,

Almost all reptiles need UVB lights. A min of a 8.0 UVB to help metabolize calcium in the body. Without UVB 12-14 hours a day (which can include direct sunlight for part of the time) the tortoise will loose calcium since the body cannot manufacture D3 in the body. THe lack of calcium can cause shell deformaties, beak problems weaken bones and internal organ failure. Beside the UVB you beed to give a good calcium supplement which I suggest cuttle bones which are used in bird cages. Do not use the coil type UVB since this can cause eye issues. I prefer a tubular type to run the whole length of the enclosure. UVB puts out a minimal amount of heat. I am including a site that explains all reptile lighting. Please let me know if I can further assist. Joan

 

http://www.livefoodsbypost.co.uk/reptile-lighting-237-c.asp

This is why I dislike compact bulbs: http://www.uvguide.co.uk/phototherapyphosphor-info.htm

 

http://www.russiantortoise.org/care_sheet.htm

Joan39946.1095558218
Customer

Hi Joan,

 

Thank you so much for the speedy reply and the information. I reviewed the site that you sent and appreciate the recommendation on not purchasing the 'coil type' of bulb and your preference for the tubular type. With a minimum of 8.0 what would you say as a maximum? Have you had any experience with the ones the site also recommends for tortoises - the mercury vapor all inclusives? If you utilize the tubular type that run the full length of the habitat, how do you set up the heat and basking? (I use an under tank heat pad and an overhead basking lamp) I have a screen over his enclosure to keep the bugs and pests from getting at him. (he's indoors, but we still get those Asian Beetles and flies that creep in). I've not investigated the ones that run the full lenght, so I'm not speaking from an acurate visualization, but feel concerned that the top might become too crowded? and air flow might be minimized? All your advise is greatly appreciated. Cheryl

Hi,

The Mercury Vapor Bulbs are good for using 1 bulb for both UVA/UVB. It does not need to be changed as regualr UVB bulbs do every 6 months. Joan

This is an Enclosure that is simple but nice: http://www.russiantortoisepictures.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=2982

 

http://www.russiantortoisepictures.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=965

 

http://www.turtlerescues.com/russian_tortoise_care.htm

Customer
With a minimum of 8.0 what would you say as a maximum?

Hi,

Maximum is a 10.0 the most you can get in UVB. Direct sunlight is great, but does not penetrate glass or plastic, so close vigilance is important for preditors. MVB come in 125 and 150. A 125 should be more than enough. Joan

Customer

Many thanks for all your help. Cheryl

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