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UVB Bulb Questions.

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Logan, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Alright ... so, I bough the ReptiSun compact, and as I understand it, they need to be replaced every 2 months because they're the compact ones? Maybe I'm not remembering right. IDK.

    I've also heard that the compact ones aren't that great. I also got the spiral compact one instead of the tube compact, because the store only had the spiral 10.0 in stock. I mostly got the compact one because I started my CWD (only has 3 legs) in a small-ish set up (13g). He's currently (it's been roughly 3 months, maybe less since we got him) in a 90g, so I could put a tube in there now.

    Does the wattage on tubes make much of a difference? Even the Arcadia bulbs have a wattage listed on them. I'll probably stick with ReptiSun until we get his adult enclosure set up, and then switch to Arcadia. I hear that the Arcadia bulbs output holds up after a few feet vs 12". Is that correct as well?

    When he saw the vet, she said that continuing to use the calcium dust with d3 in it was safe, even with the uvb bulb. I've heard mixed reviews on using both at the same time. He's still currently getting the calcium dust with d3 on every other meal (every other day). I haven't seen ANY signs of MBD at all. No rubbery jaw or weird toes or anything. He'll probably be going back to the vet this weekend for a worming, and definitely to get a different or updated dosing for his URI which is still creeping around (breathing different when active/stressed than when resting) so I can double check about the dust with d3 if no one is really sure.
     
  2. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Natural sun UVB is best, if that's no the possible then fake sun (UVB bulb) to allow the body to use the calcium, if that's not possible, then calcium with d3 is fine. Your UVB bulb honestly doing nothing for your dragon, even if it can get within an inch of the bulb. The cfl bulbs are low on UVB, but high on light intensity which is why some had previously caused eye problems in bearded dragons. You are safe to continue using what you have, but when you build the new setup, switch to a full size Arcadia 12% tube and you can cut out the calcium with d3. You would just use the calcium without d3. Also, when the weather is warm and sunny, trying taking your dragon out for natural sun light sometimes too. I built a 3' X 3' X 2' screen cage to have outdoors to put mine in during the summer for natural light - even just a few hours here and there will help.
     
  3. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Natural UV is pretty tough here. I live in upstate NY ... so the only time we'd be able to do that is a few months during the summer ... I suppose on days over 80 would be fine though ... so maybe more like 4 months (not a solid 4 months though). Right now it's waaaaay to could out there. So the compacts do nothing? Even the ones that aren't spiraled? Not that it matters right now anyways ... he's shedding a currently hiding away from alllll the lights ... :/
     
  4. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Compact fluorescent is a spiral. If you mean fluorescent tubes, those work fine but only up to about 8 inches. If you have a taller cage, an MVB bulb is another option; however I would trust only the Arcadia MBV's as I have seen very low UVB output from the ZooMed PowerSun bulbs using my UVB meter on a number of bulbs. Check out www.lightyourreptiles.com for lighting options. I would highly recommend Arcadia tubes or MVB bulbs for better UVB. As I said, as long as you don't stop using the D3, you will be fine. If you get a better light, then you should be able to take out the D3.

    Compact fluorescent bulbs are only good for light, not UVB. I wish the pet stores would stop selling them as a great option. And by the way, I have multiple compact lights from before I found out how useless they are and began testing them myself.
     
  5. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    I think some things need to be clarified. First, not all CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs are spiral shaped. These types of bulbs are produced in all sorts of form factors. It's also important to note that these bulbs can and do produce UVB, but most are limited by their design, specifically the spiral shaped bulbs. Some of these bulbs are capable of producing high amounts of UVB, but the problem is their beam is often times too focused/small, which is not recommended for larger animals. In addition, several years ago certain manufacturers were producing bulbs with poor spectrums and or lacking QC. It was because of this that they were responsible for producing far too much UV, which caused signs of PKC (photo-kerato-conjunctivitis) in many reptiles. The amount of UV radiation was so great that it was basically burning animals eyes, causing irritation, inflammation and in serious cases irreversible eye damage. While many compact fluorescent bulbs were to blame, they were not alone.

    MVBs operate on a totally different spectrum/wavelength(s) than fluorescent UVB bulbs. While UVB measured in uW/cm2 using a Solarmeter 6.2 is a factor, it's not the only factor that needs to be taken into account. The bulbs UV index (UVI) rating must also be factored in to work out the UVB:UVI ratio. UVI is essentially a measurement of the sun's ultraviolet radiation intensity on a scale from 1-11+ (1 being low, 11+ being extremely high)--it's the same thing you often see on the weather forecast or posted on the beach. Basically anything in the 7-11+ zone will get you a nice sunburn and, with extended or prolonged exposure, skin cancer. So, while a UVB meter may get a reading of 200 uW/cm2 from a linear fluorescent at 30cm (~12") and, lets say, 60 uW/cm2 from an MVB at the same distance this doesn't necessarily mean the fluorescent is more effective If, when using the Solarmeter 6.5 UV meter, the fluorescent is producing a UVI of 2 or 3 and the MVB is producing a UVI of 7-8 the MVB would essentially be more photobiologically active, thus creating more D3 synthesis in a shorter period of time. As one of the leading figures in reptile lighting, Dr Francis Baines, once explained think of photreactivity like alcohol content. In the case of the fluorescent and MVB in the above example the MVB would be like a hard liquor while the fluorescent would be like a chardonnay. Because the MVB operates in lower/shorter wavelengths and a lower UVB:UVI ratio it's capable of producing a bigger punch (higher alcohol content) per amount in uW/cm2 (milliliters). I hope that makes sense...

    Here is a link that may better explain what I've said above.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  6. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I've yet to see a UVB compact fluorescent bulb not in spiral form. I agree there are others, but in the UVB bulb world, I don't think CFL's come in another shape.

    I do like the analogy of alcohol, but my point on the PowerSun bulbs was that I was getting a reading of 7-19 at very close distances between six different brand new 100w bulbs with a 6.2 Solarmeter. I had purchased three from Amazon, one from PetCo and two from Petsmart. I no longer have much faith in PowerSun, but the point is without a meter, I would suggest not buying them.
     
  7. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    However, they do, and there are a lot of them :)
    Just to list a few...
    One
    Two
    Three
    Four

    That wasn't really the point I was trying to make. I too have tested multiple ZooMed PowerSun MVBs, none of which produced adequate UVB.
     
  8. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

  9. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    So long story short: compact (either the spiral or the funny shaped you posted[which is the same principle as a spiral]) UVB bulbs are junk and you should get the long flourescent tubes.

    A reptisun tube will work for now in the smaller enclosure and then for the final cage you can do the Arcadia bulbs. And if you get the correct length reflector hood you can still use it for the arcadia bulbs in the adult enclosure. Reason why you should wait on Arcadia is the bulbs HAVE to be atleast 12in from the animal and most small set ups don't allow the gap between bulb and animal but still allow climbing areas. If you have a taller enclosure or he doesn't climb much yet and you can give him the head clearance than go ahead and get the Arcadia.
    I use the reptisun bulbs on my bearded dragon tanks that are only 2ft tall as they have multiple levels but on my taller set ups (CWD and box turtles) I use the Arcadia brand bulbs.
     
  10. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I haven't read about Arcadia needing to be at least 12 inches from an animal - can someone post a link to that info?
     
  11. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Someone on here told me about it. Apparently they have a high enough output that it needs to be atleast that far to prevent overexposure. Also MVBs are supposed to be a minimum of 12in from the animals.
    I could be wrong and misread the info...it wouldn't be the first time.
     
  12. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yes, MVB's state the animal should be able to move at least 12" away, but when speaking with Todd from LightYourReptiles.com and viewing their site, I haven't found that info. Also according the info from the UVGuide Matt cited, it would seem as though their intensity is lower and therefore the close proximity should not be dangerous. If I'm incorrect, I would certainly like to see the info showing why.
     
  13. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    So I added 2+2 and got fish...
    Well I will now look into the minimal distance of Arcadia bulbs as it would be nice to just bulk order them for all my cages. So far all I see on lightyourreptiles.com and the Arcadia site is that the animal should be able to get within 12in of the bulb but nothing on minimal distances...
    Sorry for the misinformation!
     
  14. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Given my experience with t5 HO bulbs I'd recommend treating them more like an MVB than your typical t8 fluorescent, especially bulbs longer than 22". This means limiting animals to 12" from the center of a bulb mounted in a silver reflector without any type of filtration. That's not to say that you cannot mount them closer, but that I personally would not recommend it, especially for those who do not own a UV meter.
     
  15. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Also, just to clarify, you must take into account the species you're working with when selecting and mounting any given bulb. I can only speak for Arcadia's 12% t5 HO bulbs in reference to sun gazer species. Water dragons and other 'forest' species require less UVB than 'desert' species therefore certain bulbs can be placed further than 12" from the animal, especially 12% HO bulbs. Also keep in mind longer bulbs are capable of producing more UVB than shorter bulbs and all linear fluorescent bulbs produce a UVB path in the form of an arch. This basically means the max output is found in the dead center of the bulb and falls off gradually towards each end.
     
  16. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    I can definitely get him a UVB tube. I'll have to BUILD a top instead of using the lid that came with the 90g bin since there's noooo way to mount a tube to or on top of that plastic lid. At least not the way I cut it to put bulbs on top. I've got bamboo flooring boards that I was going to use to make a top when there was a free 90g tank on CL and we were supposed to be getting it ... buuut ... that didn't work out. So I can use that. I'll have to take some measurements, and look at bulb lengths (including Arcadia so I can reuse the fixture) but getting it done should be easy. I may have to buy a sawsall again or something though. Excuuuses for power tools!!!
     
  17. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    A 24in fixture would be a good size for your plastic container and for an adult enclosure. I use an 18in one in my adult CWD cage as I have heat lights on each side of the bulb but I would eventually like to get a longer one as the heat lamps are never all on.
     
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, you are incorrect, the minimum distance from the surface of the bulb to the surafce of the animal is 30cm (12inches), it is NOT that the animal must be allowed to move 12inches away, that`s quite ridiculous (so in effect the lizard could actually almost touch the bulb)!? The information can be found in the manufacturers instructions that come with for example "Powersun" MVB`s (and most others as far as I`m aware).

    6826638251_c2c7a45d86.jpg
    100_1066 by murrindindi, on Flickr
     

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  19. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Ummmm ... pretty sure 'minimum distance from' means that it shouldn't be any closer than that ...
     
  20. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    You win!! ;)
     

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