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Combined Heat/UV Lamps

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#1 Guest_gaelle_*

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:57 PM


Still sorting out my setup before I get my little one!

Right, I had decided to go for the combined UV/heat lamp like Zoomed Powersun as I read very good reviews about them. Now here are my questions :

Obvioulsy, you need to switch the UV light off at night and respect a "normal" pattern of day and night for the tortoise. Because the light is combined to be also a heat source, I'm worried about keeping the little one warm at night too. I understand it can be less hot as it would be in their natural environment, but still, my average room temperature is only around 15-17C. I was told I needed a heat mat on a thermostat. Isn that correct? What are your experiences? And also, do you put the lamp on a timer or just switch is on and off manually?

Second question about these lamps is their lifespan. The internet seems to say that they should last almost 2 years, making them expensive on the day but fairly good value on average. And yet, now womebody else tells me they shold be changed every 6 months as they wouldn't trust a bulb to go on so long and still be 100% efficient.

What are your views?

Many thanks

#2 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*
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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:56 PM

Lights on- alot of people on here keep the lamps on for 12 hours a day. This is great if you are there or if you have bigger torts which don't tend to turn over as often as the littel ones and who can self-right easily. If you have a youngster or hatchling then leaving them with the lights on for long periods could cause them to dehydrate if they are upside down under the light, don't forget the undersides are softer and lose heat quicker.

I work school hours so my lamps are on a timer which comes on for 2.5 hours in the morning. This wakes themm up and means we get to check on them before we all leave for school/ work etc. The lights come on again just before we are all due back and stay on until they go to bed, normally another 5-6 hours. if the weather is good they go out when we get home, but this being british summer time wink.gif they have the lamp on instead. The breeder I had mine from didn't leave the lamps on all day if they were out so I followed his advice. The weekends and school hols are different, but as we try to get them out as often as poss this still means they don't get the 12 hours under the bulbs.

I have a zoo med powersun 100w, I bought it in February and it packed up this week!! They have a 6 month guarantee so I am trying to contact the buggers at the mo. They are good bulbs I just had a dodgy one I think.

If they are in the house and you don't keep your heating on at night then the temps should be ok, as long as they are above 10 degrees. Think about where they live normally and it makes sense, you have stupidly high temps through the day and it cools right down at night in the Mediterranean.

Heat mats encourage humidity which they don't like, as long as you have the lamps they'll be fine. You won't find anyone on here supporting heatmats for Hermanns.

I have my year olds on towels in the house to help them to right themselves, they also have a large soil/sand play area away from the lamp with a log tunnel/bridge over it. They like to crash under the lamp, then they mooch about before digging in under the bridge. Love to see their little bums peeping out from under the bridge wub.gif so cute.

There seems so much to know, btu as soon as you get one it all falls into place with just the odd panic now and again- honest. They are soooo worth it though, absolutely fascinating creatures.

I am getting excited for you!! Need pics on here as soon as you take the plunge. I've never seen one that isn't stunningly cute yet, amazing how they all look different as well. My 2 are like chalk and cheese, from how they look to how they act- so funny!


#3 Guest_gaelle_*

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 06:10 PM

Oh thanks for your advice and kind words!

So you're saying that no heat at night, even for a hatchling is fine. And that the combined bulbs really only last 6 months, right?

I was dreaming of finding a Testudo Hermanni Hermanni (dwarf hermann or western hermann) and I know they are hard to come bay, BUT I found a breeder this morning and should have my hatchling for Novermber! I'm so excited and also very scared as it is going to be so small, fragile and dependant!... and so cute too!
I really want to get everything right and be prepared for him/her. Advice and tips more than welcome, especially on the care of hatchlings.


#4 Guest_Hermie + Pebble_*

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 06:37 PM

As long as it's not below 10 degrees at night it's ok, but normal homes won't get that cold anyway. If you have any worries as the breeder you are getting them from. If they are a good breeder theywill be pleased you want to get it all right for the hatchling. Also better for the little one that there is a bit of consistency from the breeder to you, its a big enough change as it is, but if your temps and general husbandry is similar then they should settle better.

My lamp was just under 6 months, but they normally last far longer. Combi's seem to be the best option. I like the fact its all in the one place and the whole table isnt covered in lamps so you can see them better as well.


#5 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 10:33 AM

Hi there,

In the whole of last winter there were only two nights when the temperature dropped so low I decided to leave the heating on for Hettie (she will be hibernated this year, last year she had been unwell and was overwintered), a drop in temperature at night time is very important for the little shelled guys, to do with digestion and metobolic rates, although I am unable to expand on this!!

Paula x

#6 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 12:05 PM

Hi - just agreeing with everyone else really - if kept in your home a Hermann would very rarely need any heat at night unless you live in an extremely cold and draughty house and like being very cold yourself. 15C is plenty at night.

If you use a combined lamp like the Powersun then you have no need for a heatmat. Personally I think the MegaRay is the best combined lamp. They do last about two years and even after that they are still producing some UV (well the MeagRay does). Yes the amount of UV declines a bit over time but unless there is something wrong with it then there is no way it would be used up in six months. Most of us use a timer (cheap) so the lamp comes on and off at the right time.

The only way to be certain what the UV output of your lamp is would be to get a UVB meter and if you get very keen on tortoises you might want to get one but most people don't.

You will find that not everyone agrees totally about every smallest thing whent comes to tortoises but we reckon we are getting a lot of it right on this forum. Pet shops and suchlike are trying to know a bit about dozens of sorts of animals and even reptile people need a huge range of knowedge. On here we're mainly concentrating on one kind of tortoise and I think this gives us an advantage.

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