Major new research on basking lamps

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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:50 am

TillyTortoise wrote:
Image

Why don't I see such a localized hot spot on this image like the images on the first few pages of this thread? There is, clearly a hotter spot on the top of the carapace but it isn't as pronounced as the tortoises in the other images.

Ross


What size and weight is this tortoise? Looks fairly small.... appears to be a drinking or food dish in the image.
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby AliTBimbo » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:46 am

I was thinking overall similar / equal carapace temps are easy to achieve if tort is smaller than the flood of heat / light, it's the larger ones which may have difficulty in achieving this and end up with localised hot spots. Fred seems to be liking the large stones around his basking area and will move himself around and angle himself until he is thoroughly warmed up before breakfast :) Barnaby doesn't have to move to get warm ;)
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby TillyTortoise » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:24 pm

Tortoise Trust wrote:What size and weight is this tortoise? Looks fairly small.... appears to be a drinking or food dish in the image.


The tortoise pictured is a female, Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis, measuring 125mm and weighing 482g. Yes, that is a food dish.

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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:50 am

As pointed out right at the very beginning of this thread:

"Multiple factors affect the precise heating pattern obtained from lamps, and also the time-scale involved in distributing the heat from the lamp through the tortoise's body. These include:

a) Size/Mass of the animal
b) Power and physical size of the basking source
c) Beam distribution (e.g. spot vs. flood)
d) Background (ambient) temperature"


You will see much less the 'spot' heating effect in small tortoises. This is simply due to their reduced mass, and also size relative to the basking source. The effect is most acute in larger animals. Exposure time is also important. It will be most obvious as the animal warms up. Once "warmed though" much less so, and obviously, that happens much faster in a small tortoise vs. a larger adult. If you repeat this with the tortoise starting from a 'cold' state, however, you will certainly observe it even in a tortoise of less than 500g. If you measure a tortoise which is already 'warm' then this will mask the effect.
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Morpheus » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:54 am

Wow, what a great thread Andy, I have just read all 16 pages and have been blown away with so much detailed information and the quantitative data to back it up!

I have a few questions relating to the basking spot problem. Somebody brought up the thought of using two lights facing each other to try to reduce the single spot which is heated by heating from 2 angles (opposite sides of the tortoise), although after reading the 16 pages, I did not see a response to this (or its too late in the night and I am forgetting).

Daryn, you mentioned about a halogen 120w floodlight |(if memory serves me correctly), and I see Andy mentioned the dangers of the UVC emitted. Did you get round to testing any of these to see if the glass did absorb the UVC?

I have noticed the last post in this thread was from back in April 2013, has any further research gone into the subject?

Thanks for the original work Andy, it definitely has opened my eyes to what I was previously blind to!
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Tortoise Trust » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:07 am

Hi,

Yes. We have been working overtime on it. In fact, we have a new super-high resolution imaging system scheduled for delivery in January which will give us 4X more data and some very high-res combined visible/IR spectra images. We have also done a lot of work on the underlying theoretical basis... and.... will be running some more lamp tests (including LED, Metal Halide and others) as soon as the new equipment arrives.

Using multiple lamps in an array will increase the surface area of the radiating surface, and hence, cause a more even distribution. So - it will help. What it won't do, is overcome the issue of IR-A absorption by water molecules. Currently, no lamp available will do that (outside of some extremely costly, very specialist medical lamps).

I am acutely aware that we have identified a problem, but there is no "easy" solution. There are strategies to reduce the impact, but an easy, cheap and effective complete answer still evades us. Until then, my own recommendation is as follows (and exactly as published in the new Tortoise Trust Guide):

Maximise the use of natural sunlight

This can include providing as much outdoor time as the weather allows (bearing in mind that UV-B and Infra-Red levels can still be higher under cloud than they are under many basking lamps), the use of ‘mini-cloches’, greenhouses and plastic poly-tunnel accommodation to provide higher temperatures and shelter from wind-chill, and good general outdoor pen design. Note that glass and most plastics will block UV-B, but this can be compensated for by including fluorescent UV-B emitting tubes within the housing, and by permitting “pre-warmed” tortoises to remain active outside the unit for longer periods. In tests conducted in Northern Europe, tortoises with access to ‘mini-greenhouse’ accommodation were able to achieve body temperatures of up to 18 Celsius above ambient even on cloudy days. The degree to which these measures are necessary will depend entirely upon the climatic conditions where the tortoises are kept. It is very much the case that in addition to providing a generally safe and very effective warm “microclimate” housing of this type can also dramatically reduce the overall costs of tortoise maintenance, by cutting energy costs and reducing ‘wear and tear’ on lamps and holders.

Avoid using heat-emitting lamps of any sort at close range to animals

Use at close range greatly exaggerates extreme local heating effects, and causes very severe drying and dehydration problems. Larger sized lamps with a broad beam used further away are in this respect preferable to small, lower powered lamps at close quarters. The risk of thermal damage to sensitive tissues is also greatly reduced by this approach.
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Morpheus » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:36 pm

I look forward to reading your next lot of work, I'm sure it will be just as informative and fascinating as the previous lot!

Like you said, I guess for now, the only safe answer is to use the sun. Or if that is not available (due to the horrid weather in the UK winter) then try to use large lamps further away from the tortoise, and perhaps use a few so the localised spot is larger.

Thanks for your help in this, I was just going to buy a new lighting setup, although now I am going to re-evaluate my original idea to accommodate your suggestions.
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Morpheus » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:15 pm

I also think I read somewhere in this thread, that certain bulbs should not be angled. What kind of bulbs are these, as I can't find the page with it on. Conversely, are there any bulbs which can safely be angled?
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Daryn » Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:28 pm

Without looking back through the posts their was tests done on security lamps and they came back as safe as long as they had the glass in front of the bulb, Ive done little experiments on the one I bought for heat but still hanging on for now.

I did do lots of tests in February using small coldframe that I made from left over bits I had, my tortoise on sunny days could sit in there and warm up real nicely. I then done a post in April with some readings, here is the post if you have not already seen it...........

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9282&p=80557&hilit=cheap+coldframe#p80566
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Re: Major new research on basking lamps

Postby Morpheus » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:36 pm

The glass would presumably stop all UV and not just UVC yes? They are a bit big for my indoor enclosure but something to consider for a new outdoor enclosure, along with your little warm box from the other thread. Good work there!

With regards to the warm box, if the top was made from glass, rather than the plastic it seems to be made from, would this allow UVB through? I think i remember someone telling me that I can still catch the sun if I am behind glass. Not sure how true that is though?!
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