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Aggravation Galore.

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Thalatte, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    So on tai's cage he has 2 5in holes cut into the top that the lights shine through. His lights are a 160W MVB and a 45W indoor halogen bulb. Well when moving the cage I noticed scortch marks in the shape of the domes, especially under the MVB. So I removed the MVB for now and replaced it with a low wattage house bulb for lighting purposes only and I left the halogen since that wood was barely off color.
    So what can I do to make it less dangerous? Is there something I can paint the wood with? Some sort of lining I can put on it? Would a metal plate work or would that just conduct the heat and burn a larger area of wood?
    I dont have the tools necessary to enlarge the holes more at the moment and I cant mount the lights on the inside of the enclosure. Is there anything else I can do?

    Also I ordered him a 48in T5 HO fixture that is supposedly coming beginning of april (didnt realize it would take so long or else I would have ordered from somewhere else) until this fixture comes in or until I can put the MVB back the only UVB light I have is a small 18 T8 fixture that I am thinking would work well attached to the bottom of one of his shelves but any suggestions on how to do that? Please keep in mind I dont have many tools available and none are electric.
     
  2. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Not sure if you want to go this route... Wood pellet Fireplace shops have asbestos plates with various holes in them for wall mounted exhaust vents. I've seen them used to place the light hoods on with the hole lined up like you described your set up as having.
     
  3. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Isn't asbestos toxic though?
     
  4. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    The dust can be, most plates are sealed with a system that binds the harmfull stuff to the base. It is something to consider...
     
  5. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    What kind of lights are we talking about? Domes that sit on top of the cage?
     
  6. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    As to attaching the other fixture to the shelf I'd say just some small wood screws should do the job with nothing more then a Phillips screw driver. you know, you should talk to the guys at "pro products" about their heat panels and your particular enclosure. They are awesome guys and great to work with, honest dudes and can suggest something that would work for you whether a heat panel or a fix for your issue. Good luck Tia!
     
  7. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    I'll assume your working with standard type dome fixtures. You could try raising the MVB an inch or so off the top to allow better air circulation, but this may affect lighting and cage temps, not sure as I don't think I've seen a pic of the cage in question. Could the basking area be lowered to allow the fixture to hang through the hole into the cage rather that sit on top? Just typing random thoughts at this point. Toss a pic up if you can, might be easier to suggest something.
     
  8. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    No the shelves are fixed to the back wall and can't be adjusted. But yes they are standard domes that just sit on top. One dome is a big 13in diameter one and the other is a small 6in diameter. Pictures:
    image.jpg the whole top section of the tank. The hood is decorative and slides off so I can get to the lights in the back.
    image.jpg the basking shelf and one of the light holes.
    image.jpg without the glare. This is the large dome that used to have the MVB. The wood under this one is really scorched. Went.from a light natural oak color to a charred brown. So the MVB is gone for now.

    image.jpg the lower shelves where I was going to attach the zilla slimline fixture I have. It would fit nice and snug under that top shelf and shine down onto the platform. It would allow him to get within 6inches of the unfiltered T8 10.0 uv bulb-is that ok?
    I may have some small screws somewhere to attach the uv fixture to the wall of its fine to let him so close to it.
     
  9. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    I wouldnt worry about the UVB exposure for now. If you were giving them good exposure before, they will be fine for a few weeks without it. Tests have shown that their Vit D metabolite levels stayed relatively constant for up to 90 days without UV exposure.

    As for the MVB now, I would look at getting some chicken wire or 1/2" hardware mesh to cover the holes, then you could remove the dome cover of the light and simply put the bulb directly on the wire mesh. It will reduce the UV exposure a tiny bit, but nothing substantial. Alternatively, you could get something to lift the light like Darkbird said. If you were to sink four 3" screws into the top around the hole so that the hood was supported a couple inches up by the screws that should work. The head of the screws would get hot Im sure, but the wood should remain cool.
     
  10. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    Ive used peel and stick linoleum tile with a hole cut into it to insulate plywood from a dome lamp. Works really well actually.
     
  11. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Wish you were close to me so I could just toss the tools in the van and come fix that right. I wouldn't trust linoleum anything near a MVB, not with the heat levels they can generate. I like the idea of possibly using screws to elevate the fixture, but I really only think you need an inch or so. Another alternative that just occurred to me, go buy some of the small ceramic bathroom tiles, and line the hole with those. Put one layer around the hole, then stack another layer on top, staggering the gaps so the spaces on the bottom are covered by the tiles on top. Kinda like flower petals or roofing shingles. The tile should absorb/distribute the heat and protect the wood. Not a free solution, but one not requiring tools at least.
     
  12. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will try the tile stacking and I think I have some little tiles somewhere...
    So Air flow will stop the heat from the bulb burning the wood?
     
  13. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    That and sheer distance. The more distance, the less intense the heat, the more air flow, the less the heat builds up. If you eventually can, cut that hole out the size of the fixture, and use some 1/2"hardware cloth or something to cover it. Then the dome can sit on the mesh and should not be an issue. The edges of the domes rarely get hot enought to do any damage. Actually, never personally had an issue even with the domes touching the wood when its just the edges.
     
  14. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Well I was thinking I would just get 2 small heat panels and cover the holes entirely and forget using lights but its going to be many many months before I can afford that.
     
  15. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    It would be cheaper to buy a saw and recut the hole. Seriously, check the local home improvement stores, you might be surprised how cheaply some of these tools can be had. You don't need the best name brand to do an occasional job. Just bought the cheapest router I could find because I rarely need to use one, but they're handy when you need it.
     
  16. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    Definitely stick with the lights over heat panels, they need all the UVA and light they can get.
     
  17. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    But it would be prettier to have the heat panels instead of 2 larger holes. plus if I do the MVB hole much larger it will endanger the structural integrety of the top. Its placed too far back and making it more than 7in in diameter will cause it to hit the supports. With the amount of money I spent on this stupid cage I dont want to risk ruining it with my inexperienced wood working skills.

    The guy that built this tank is not knowledgeable about reptiles and didnt listen to my instructions at all on how to build the tank which makes it so arranging the electrical components for this cage has been a nightmare. I was supposed to have the ceiling raised a bit into the hood and then some recessed lighting fixtures installed but he completely ignored the part where I had to have lights in the cage and instead built my a very pretty decorative cabinet. There werent even any holes for an electrical cord to pass through or anything. Whats worse is there is no bracing whatsoever in oor under the floor panel. It is just 1/2 in oak plywood that sits in a grove and so the wieght of the 90gal fish tank with all the rocks and decor in it warped the floor panel and when it was moved into my new place the floor no longer fits in that grove at all. Stupid cabinet maker.

    With the heat panels it sounds like they will create a sufficient basking temp. Then I will have a 4ft T5 HO 10.0 fixture spanning almost the entire length of the cage and an 18in T8 10.0 fixture under the one shelf. This should give off plenty of light inside his cage. certainly be better then what he has now. Though of course its going to be a long time before I can afford the heat panels so until then he shall have the 2 halogens and the 2 flourescents.
     
  18. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Well the T5 fixture showed up today a bit ahead of the delivery schedule so now I get to figure out how to install that as well. I am thinking some metal brackes just on the end of the fixture so that I can still have access to the bulb.
     

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