Hey! So I very recently bought a greek tortoise from petsmart. I have a big indoor enclosure for her all set up, I just have some questions, well asking for advice about lighting. Right now I have a big dome lamp for the UVA bulb. I was wondering if you had any advice in what I should put the UVB bulb in because I don’t really want to buy another big dome lamp. I saw zoo med has a mini double lamp but I don’t know if it’s big enough for the bulbs. Also, how long should each light be on each day?

Hey! Sorry for the delay! Had to do a little reading to make sure I had the right info. 

 My recommendation would be to go for a UVA/UVB combo bulb. They give off much more UVB than the other bulbs (significantly more). This is really important to making sure your tortoise grows a strong healthy shell. These bulbs can be pretty pricey, but its only one bulb and will last you a year. It also makes it easier to keep the right temperature gradient. 

From reading some discussion on the tortoise mailing list I’m on, from people who have UVB meters, the most reliable bulb at the moment is the Powersun UVB/UVA bulb. It can’t be placed at an angle (since its a mercury vapor bulb) but a stand for a zoo med light fixture (I’m guessing the one you have) is pretty cheap and will last forever. If you get one, make sure to read the directions about distance and what not. 12 inches from the ground is needed (which is why the stand is perfect) so its not too strong. 

Greek Tortoises need similar care to russian tortoises, a basking spot of 90-95 with cooler areas in the 70s. The gradient is important. You don’t want your little shell to over heat so she has to be able to crawl to a cooler area if she wants. I ordered a ‘temperature gun’ from amazon. Its pretty cool. Point the red dot and it tells you the temperature at each spot. 

The light should be on for 10-12 hours a day. I use one of those cheap christmas tree timers and it works just fine. 

One last thing, since she came from petsmart I would definitely make sure to take her to the vet ASAP. Trust me on this one. Despite all the conservation issues etc that people have about adopting vs buying at a pet shop, the other major issue is that many of them have health issues before they become yours. I’m telling you this from personal experience. Zoya came from a pet store and despite being healthy looking and active, she had a major case of worms. I brought her in soon after I got her and they were able to give her deworming medicine and so far so good. Its not that expensive and can save a whole lot of heart break. If you need an exotics vet near you I can ask around 🙂 

I hope this helps. I definitely think the double function bulb is worth it, health wise and space wise. Send us picks of her if you get a chance! From what I’ve read they are feisty little torts. 

I’m listing links of the stuff I use so you can check them out. 

A good site for Greek Tortoise Care  http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/tiberagoldengreekcare.htm

Powersun UVB/UVA bulb http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-PowerSun-Mercury-Vapor/dp/B0002AQDJK/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_4

Lamp Stand http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Reptile-Lamp-Stand/dp/B000255OUO

Temperature guns http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dpets&field-keywords=temperature+gun 

(I use a regular temp gun thats not labeled as ‘reptile supplies’  cause it was cheaper but look around for what you like best)

Leave a Reply