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Bulb Question

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by Ieasa, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Ieasa

    Ieasa Elite Member

    So my husband has been researching like a mad man. He can't just let things be as they are.

    So now he is interested in the 125watt mercury vaper bulb by exoterra. They are on sale. My husband wants to get them for the 3 beardies.

    Trev seems to think they are dangerous or too hot for beardies.

    So I come here looking for experience.
     
  2. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    MVB bulbs are good. Honestly they are really good. What you have to do though is follow the manufacture recommended instruction about distance. Most of them will say the distance to keep them at. The advantage to them is the fact you get UV and heat out of 1 bulb. The bad thing is the UV is toast after 6 months. I use them in the winter time because my bedroom had such extreme temp variations. In the summer my room is 85 degrees but in the winter its more like 45. So when I use them I use the low end of distance. But for someone with a normal house you would try the middle of whatever the directions say, check temps every few hours and adjust accordingly.

    The largest problem with them is getting the distance right. Because UV is such a short wave it dies quickly. But they put out a good deal of heat - so finding that happy medium can be difficult. But once you have done it - you got it made.
     
  3. Ieasa

    Ieasa Elite Member

    Ok cool. He wants to know if using a dimmer would be useful in getting the right temps or would that effect the UV too much.

    I am trying to get him to acknowledge how much our beadies are outside.

    He is super focused right getting them set up with the best enclosures he can and making it easy and safe for the whole house. He is worried about the fire hazard that all these lamps being plugged in can create. We will have several reptiles in the same room and each needing 2 or more plugs is a lot. So being able to reduce at least some of them to just one each is very helpful.
     
  4. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    On some you can use a dimmer. I am not sure about all of them. I know the ones I use a dimmer can be used and actually on my shorter tanks I do use them. On the tall tanks I don't have to worry. Example - on the 75g, and 250 gallon the dimmer is not something I need because they are taller tanks. But on the 60g I do have to use one because it is shorter (same dimensions as the 75g just shorter).

    Ok as for the fire hazard - I live in a 73 year old farm house and each tank has 2 lights at least. 2 of them have 4 (the 250g have 2 basking spots)The bulbs are "about" the same as a lights with 100W bulbs. I have one area that has 4 dragons and for them I use a surge protector. I have the same issue with the feeders but realize I raise supers, silks and dubia/discoid so I am slightly unique there.

    PS~ with many reptiles, remember timers are good!
     
  5. Ieasa

    Ieasa Elite Member

    I can't wait until we are all done so I can share pictures. We are going from 2 juvi's in a 40 gallon breeder and one baby in a 20 gallon long to all three having each their own big home. Woot.

    Oh yea....I was also going to post about Spikes tail. The darker area on his tail has shed and doesn't look batter or worse except he has a few more little "dents" in it. I thought Ozzy was doing it. But today I walked in the room quietly and watched before they noticed me. Ozzy was chillin by the water dish. And Spike was looking at his tail. Then all of a sudden he nipped at his own tail and missed it. I think he is biting his own tail. He is a weird one.
     
  6. Ieasa

    Ieasa Elite Member

    Oh yea, he is going timer, dimmer, light, thermostat crazy.....We are going to have some well managed happy snakes and lizards.

    He even found some fun little cricket feeders to entertain the dragons with every once in awhile. I can see Spike having fun with this because he is silly. Ozzy might be too serious of a girl to play games with a cricket feeder. LOL!! I love her. I love them all.
     
  7. DustinQ

    DustinQ Elite Member

    Mvb are great bulbs but as they said be sure to read their recommendations. I've had many issues in the past with commercial bulbs being too close. I even had a ball python die from one being too close and many times I've had eye/sight related issues due to improper lighting.
    sometime ago Merlin directed me to the mega-ray mvbs and they are the best, a little pricey but well worth it. Product & Reptile Habitat Questions - ReptileUV
    They have all the answers here. Great costumer service too. The biggest thing you should do to prevent fire risk is make sure all your lamps or heat elements are fixed in position and can't be accidentally tipped over. Ive had animals escape and knock them over in the past. Mine are suspended and tied using thier cords at the desired distance from hooks in the ceiling or shelf above. I'm also looking into options as far as firewalls go to install around the reptile room. I'll share my findings with you if you like :) good day, have fun!
     
  8. Ieasa

    Ieasa Elite Member

    Yes, please share.

    The snakes will most likely only have lights for the sake of light. For heat they will have uth. We have tried both with these guys and they seem to like the uth better. They like to curl up tight in their hides over it. They seemed restless with heat lamps.
     
  9. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Most (it not all) of the MVB bulbs can not be used with a dimmer. The intensity is needed for the UVB to work (I believe). Otherwise, you're paying for a very expensive basking bulb.

    The 20 gallon tank is too small for an MVB, and the 40 gallon breeder would not allow for anything over a 60 watt MVB. 125 watt MVB's are made for much larger (and typically more vertical) enclosures. I would look into HO Arcadia tube UVB bulbs and 40-60 watt outdoor floodlamps (par38) for basking spot. I cut my energy usage age down switching to those.
     
  10. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I have a water dragon, two beardies, three leos, and a skink enclosure in my master bedroom (along with large plasma TV, dvd player, directv box, cell phone chargers, etc.) without any electric issues. Switching to the flood lamps I mentioned cuts energy usage way down and actually heats more evenly (not just one tiny spot like a regular basking bulb). The floodlamps can (and should) be used with a dimmer to dial exact temps.
     
  11. Ieasa

    Ieasa Elite Member

    I am not sure you read that right. They are moving to all new much biggers enclosures of their own. New lights for new enclosures.
     
  12. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Make sure and read the MVB light - I have found a few that are dimmable BUT Dragon is right about it being cheaper to use the UV and heat lamps separately.
     
  13. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    There are basically two brands of MVB that are worth buying, MegaRay and Arcadia. Dont bother with the rest as the cheapness of the glass, and the production variability, make them either worthless or incredibly short lived. Now I say this only recently as I was a big proponent of MVBs for a long time. However, as this is something you are just setting up, I would recommend going with the high output T5 fluorescents instead of the MVBs. MVBs are great for certain peaks of UVB production, (even better than the T5s) but have almost no spectrum in between those peaks. Its enough to stimulate Vit D production, most definitely, so Im not saying they are bad bulbs. However, if you want to recreate a more natural spectrum, then the high output fluorescent is the way to go. They give a much better spread as well, since the bulb is so much longer. They do also provide some heat, though obviously not nearly as much as the MVB. Of the brands, you want to get either the ZooMed or Arcadia brands as those are the best ones available.

    For your and your husbands reading pleasure, check out this website. Frances Baines is pretty much considered the top expert in the field or reptile lighting.

    http://www.uvguide.co.uk/index.htm
     
  14. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    These are what I personally use D3+ T8 Reptile Lamp 36" *Fits all regular 36" Fixtures* SALE!!! and the reason is as great as MVB bulbs are the amount of reptiles I own it gets expensive replacing MVB bulbs. For heat frankly I use just plain household light-bulbs because even the MVB bulbs are fragile and break easy.
     
  15. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    Ya, the T8s are good if you have your basking platform closer to the lights, around 10-15". If you are going to be mounting them right to the top of a 2 foot viv you are definitely going to want the T5s though. The Arcadias are great, though I have found that the ZooMed go on sale for a much better price sometimes, and are identical in output.
     
  16. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    Yup they do but I can't ever find 36 inch in the store. Sooo I buy them in 3 packs when they are on sale because none of my tanks are less then 4ft in length. Most are 5-6 feet. And 3 are really tall so yep I kinda need them. I have 3 that hate being on the floor, 4 that don't climb as much.
     
  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, just to say that many MVB`s can last for around 12months in terms of being effective (I`ve used Arcadia, ZooMed and Megaray in the past). It should also be noted they must hang straight down, even a slight angle will significantly reduce the life of the bulb.
     
  18. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    have to measured the UV life of them with a UV meter? Just curious because everything I have ever heard still says 6 months usable UV. Just wondering. Around here though with kids and all the fluorescent tubes last longer.
     
  19. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, yes, I have checked with a Solar meter in the past, and the levels were still relatively high after that time (Arcadia and Megaray in particular). I don`t use MVB`s these days other than in the coldest months for supplementary heat and illumination (but not for the UVB), and I`ve sold the meter. I have a couple of MVB`s that are at least two YEARS old and still working as far as the heat and some light`s concerned!
    There have been a couple of discussions on the levels of UVB some of these bulbs produce (sorry, I can`t` remember the titles)?
    I believe it`s thought by some that the difference in the American MVB`s effectiveness compared to the European/Australian/other is the voltage (I believe it`s 120 in your country compared to 240v over here in Europe? Matt (Vers) is the member to ask.
    The UVB tubes in many cases need renewing after approx. 6 months.
     
  20. jarich

    jarich Elite Member

    Again, it depends on the brand. Exo terra are barely worth mentioning, the Zoo Med are surprisingly not much better (their fluorescent tubes are so good, but their MVBs just dont do as well), with them you get about 3 months of usable UVB. Both the MegaRay and the Arcadia produce usable UVB for about a year. These have all been tested but unfortunately the results are not yet up on the net. Will try to let you know when they are back online.

    The fluorescent are much the same, in that it depends on brand and model. Again the T5s are the way to go, as both ZooMed and Arcadia produce good UVB for a year or more.
     

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