You had got halfway if you have the best UVB bulb for tortoise; you also need to know a right way to use the bulb to get the best effects, or your tortoise may not receive any UVB. Unfortunately, many new tortoise keepers do not know that. They just wonder why their turtles died so young even when there is a good UVB bulb in their enclosure.
There’s plenty of confusion about tortoise UVB. This post are all those things you have to know before mounting a UVB bulb in your tortoise enclosure to ensure your tortoise gets the adequate amount it needs.
#1 Glass and plexiglass block UVB
Ensure that there are nothing but air standing between UVB bulb and your tortoise. UVB rays must be able to reach your tortoise directly without being scattered or blocked by glass or plexiglass. Besides, for the best effects, you also should not mount the bulb further from your pets for more than 10 to 15 inches.
A mesh screen is okay to set your UVB light on, but it does decrease the amount of UVB that will penetrate through to your tortoise. you use a cover, then it should be a metal screen cover. If you use a standard reptile tank cover, be aware that it will block as much as 50 percent of UVB light.
#2 Placing the bulb too close can cause burns your tortoise
The distance of this UVB is very important as a UVB bulb that is too close will cause thermal burns, especially if you use mercury vapor bulbs. Just as humans can be sunburned, reptiles can have tissue damage on their skin and their eyes as they continue to bask in highly-concentrated UV rays. It is better to create a distance about 10-12 inches. A distance of fewer than 10 inches will cause heat burns and harm your pet.
#3 Always secure the lights over your tortoise tank
To prevent the UVB can’t fall into the water, you should always secure the it over the tank. Your pets could be electrocuted if the UVB fail. So if you set them on the screen cover, also secure them in some way so they can’t fall into the water if the cover is removed.
#4 Use UV meters
For the best result and ensure that your UVB bulb still emit enough amount of UVB that your tortoise requires. You can monitor the intensity and ageing of your UVB lamps with small, handheld devices – UV meters.