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indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 15/08/2008 by shazzler

oh dear here i go again with these temp questions sorry to be so repetative peopleClick and drag me down to the editor,

ok, twiglets outdoor enclosure although protected from the rain is still exposed to the outside air and temperatures, she has her heater on thermostat and her uv strip light on timer, she had her megaray hanging (safely) over her outside run as the natural uv wont penetrate the plastic roof under the pergola where she is, its clear roofing and no sides so she gets the natural daylight hour cycle,

however,her hutch is not insulated yet and although we can keep the temps right we cant stop the dampness of the air that enters the hutch at night, ive been told russians are prone to problems with cold and damp conditions and im worried that with the heater that warm yet damp can be just as bad, her bedding is hay ontop of her substrate so she can dig down if she feels like it or just stay in the hay, i have felt her hay and its not damp but as a precaution i have brought her indoors for the week whilst im at work( also had alot of thefts from neighbours gardens recentley)

sorry this is dragging on abit but i needed to explain my actionsClick and drag me down to the editor

ok, at present she is in her indoor rabbit hutch, the type with a deep plastic base and wire topping, she doesnt need any heat indoors but she does need her uv so we have hung her megaray over her hutch so she can get the uvs but heres the problem, 12-15 inches is full sun, 18-24 is like early morning sun (height from cage) but even at 24 inches her cage is heating up to nearly 28 in all corners, she is in the hallway which is the best place for her as she wont get disturbed and we leave the ceiling fan on which is a few metres away from her( her cage is not directley underneath) also with this megaray heating up like that i cant possibly put a basking corner in for her otherwise my baby will bake, i wont put her next to a window as she wont get uv thru glass, i cant leave her megaray off as she wont get uv,

im in such a fix as i really need to rectify this problem asap as i am not hibernating her this year due to me only getting her this may and im not confident enough,ivr read about overwintering and i just wont be able to maintain realistic conditions unless i sort this out, please dont slam me for not hibernating this year shes only 1yr old and i want to have a good 12months of her being in top condition before next yrs hib i love her to bits and i dont want to lose her due to my being innadequate

thanks sharon xxxxx 

Re: indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 15/08/2008 by ElaineTPG

Hi Sharon, Firstly NO SLAMMING aloud Click and drag me down to the editor ! I don't hibernate my babies their first, this is MY choice and the way I do things so you are not alone. I to have had many comments made to me by keepers that do hibernate from the first year but that is when freedom of choice comes in to tortoise keeping.

Outside I would be tempted to remove the hay as it can contain spores of dampness and mould. At night have you tried pulling a waterproof cover over the hutch, this may cut down on the cool air.

What is the strength of your UV lamp? Are you sure it is not one of the combined heat and UV lights? Have a check and let us know, we've started in plenty of time to get this sorted out before winter.


Elaine  Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 15/08/2008 by tpgadmin

To add to Elaine's comments and say I agree please remove the hay.  It will hold the damp.  Just put in place plenty of substrate for Twiglet so she can bury right underneath it. 

Have a look at this photo I took it last night after all my hatchlings had gone to bed.  It is a bit blurred but I think you can make it out.

Spot the tortoise and I bet you can't but there are 10 in there and you cannot see where one of them has even disturbed the soil, but they are all underneath it.  Amazing isn't it?


Re: indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 15/08/2008 by tpgNina

Great photo to illustrate the burying activity! It's when they do this in the garden that panic starts to set in {vbg}.


Re: indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 15/08/2008 by shazzler

Hi Elaine & everybody else lolClick and drag me down to the editor

the hay will be removed tonite as for covering with plastic i can do that but her hutch isnt insulated so even though im not bothered about how much electricity we use her thermostat will be on then off all night will this be sufficient tho,

another reason i brought her indoors when were not in the house is that there have been a few gardens being intruded by little thieving sods and id rather they took something other than my baby, as a bike can be replaced but she cant,

my megaray is a 100watt combined heat and uv, ive just got home and twiglet is fast asleep in the corner but her temps are 23 above the cage and 25 lower down inside she has been active judging by the squashed planted weed pot and empty food dish ( im glad cos her appetite was really low last week), ive turned her light out now so the areas are cooling, would i be able to just higher the lamp or will the rays be too weak for her then.

also do you think it was possible that the shop overfed her because when i 1st got her she was 112g but after worming and being vet checked shes down to 108g but the vet said shes fine, i know we aim for slow growth but im not sure what weight she should actually be, shes 8cm when i measure herfrom the shell under her chin to the bit that comes down over her tail sorry i tried to measure her as shown on tlady site but she wont retract her head shes too nosey lol

any and all advice greatly recieved thanks


Re: indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 18/08/2008 by TPGJo

Hi Sharon,

You should be aiming for a temperature of 30c directly under the light so she can warm up to required temperature, just move the light higher/lower until your happy with the temperature reading.......100watt lights normally need to be about 12 inches from the substrate, but this depends on the ambient temperature of the room the enclosure is in, this is just a guide.

I would not worry about the 4g weight loss, this is quite normal after worming and she will gradually start gaining weight.  There is no 'standard' weight a tortoise should be, they are a bit like kids, they are different weights when they are born and some are just genetically smaller/bigger than others. 

Hope this helps


Re: indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 18/08/2008 by ElaineTPG

Hi Sharon, Glad you removed the hay. I would also bring my tort in if there were light fingered folk about. Better being safe than sorry. Do you bring Twiglet in at an evening too? If so that would stop any problems with heat ect as she wouldn't need any being in a house. I'm sure with Jos' advice your temp problems will soon be resolved. What is the lowest emp during the day in the indoors set up? I would be inclined to agree with your vet regarding the weight loss. If you think what she had to move around in whilst her stay there compared to now, she is just getting fit <bg>.

HTHClick and drag me down to the editor


Re: indoor megaray lamp advice please
Posted: 04/09/2008 by vivtpgadmin

Hi Sharon, did you sort the temps out in the hutch.  You could try moving the megaray to cover just one side of the hutch rather than over the centre, higher or lower as previously stated to get the higher temp just on the one side.  Hopefully the other corners on the opposite side should be cooler.  It doesnt matter if you do have to take the lamp higher, your tort will still be getting the same uv rays.



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