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My Uvb Tester Isn't Showing Much Uvb Output From Brand New Bulb

Discussion in 'Uromastyx' started by Rainbow, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Rainbow

    Rainbow Member

    I've been wondering why I can't get a uvb reading from my bulb unless I hold the reader card directly under the bulb rather than down at the level my Uro would be. I don't want to have to worry about MBD, and when searching info today. I came across this info from deerfernfarms saying they don't recommend uvb lighting anymore and just use the vit d3 powder: "While many if not most sites still recommend the use of a UVB producing Mercury Vapor basking bulb, after many years of trials, we no longer feel these are a good choice for your reptile. UVB initiates the conversion of vit. D3 precursor into active vitamin D3, and in theory these bulbs produce enough UVB to stimulate this reaction. However we have been measuring output from about every bulb ever put on the market over the years and the vast majority put out far too little UVB to be useful in this process. Additionally both ourselves, colleagues and several Zoo's have noticed adverse effects form using these bulbs including basking avoidance to eye and skin issues. Many of us now choose to simply add vit. D3 to the diet and dispense with the bulbs. We spend 4 years rearing half each year's offspring under UVB lights and half on non-UV lights but with D3 supplementation in the food and tracked their growth rates. Those without exposure to UV bulbs did every bit as well as those reared under Mercury Vapor bulbs. When we noticed our Chuckwallas in particular consistently refused to bask under the Mercury Vapor bulbs in 2009, we decided to finally pull all the UV bulbs in the building and replace them with high quality (yet inexpensive) clear white Infra-Red bulbs. We've had no signs of hypo or hyper D3 issues and have been happy with the decision. All that said, if you can give your Uromastyx access to true unfiltered sunlight, it is beneficial. Uromastyx do detect the difference between normal "man made" light and sunlight and are unmistakably attracted to sunlight. All things being equal, Uromastyx raised outdoors in unfiltered sunlight tend to be brighter pigmented and sunlight is no doubt the best and safest UV source."

    I'm a bit confused as to what to do? I currently already do use the vit d3 powder so should I not worry about the uvb bulbs power and just keep up with the supplement powder and call it good?
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    What brand and configuration are the bulbs you are using?
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And what is this card reader you mentioned? Can you put up a photo of it.
    This something I have not heard of.
     
  4. Rainbow

    Rainbow Member

    The bulb I'm using is the one that came in this terrarium set which says "Desert UVB Bulb (13 watt)" the top of my terrarium is a nice quality metal mesh so maybe it's blocking part of the rays? The uvb reader is one that came with this National Geographic reptile sanctuary set and it's like the size of a credit card and has reactive film that changes color as exposed to uvb.
     
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, the "UVB reading cards" are almost useless, you need a Solar meter to check that accurately. If the bulb you`re using is a compact type, it is also not very effective, much more efficient are the fluorescent tubes such as "Arcadia" or "Zoo-Med" HO (high output) @12-0 UVB and fitted with a reflector. The tubes only need to be approx 2/3rds the length of the enclosure and fixed directly above the lizard/s rather than fitted to the side of the tank where the light will shine almost directly into the animal`s eyes.. Supplements are for the most part pure guesswork....
    The reptile specific metal halide bulbs are the closest thing to unfiltered sunlight at this moment in time...
    Sorry, I keep noticing more points to make: What distances were the face of the MVB bulbs to the closest surface of the animals when basking under them (exact measurements)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And any mesh less than a 1/4 inch opening will be shading out the Ibn.

    I looked online at some of the cheap card type readers and they are designed about reading atmospheric uv indexes in regard to human sunburn. And there was a footnote that they were not receptive to the narrow frequency band put out by lamps.
    Sadly there is a lot of stuff in the pet industry that is total garbage...if not worse.
     
    Darkbird, Jay1718 and murrindindi like this.
  7. Gaaaaaaaaaard

    Gaaaaaaaaaard Elite Member

    I bought my Uro from DeerFernFarms and trust what they say. That being said I still opt for UVB with D3 supplementation. Its not hard to give a reptile to much or to little UVB and the cards sold, as mentioned, are useless. A good quality light is, in my opinion, the best option. I got my set up from lightyourreptiles and have been satisfied. UVB is also supposed to help brighten the colors of a Uro but I don't know how much of that is true and how much is marketing. I know the size light you're talking about and agree with the above stating they're not ideal in this situation. One of the more common problems you will run into with lights is photo kerato conjunctivitis, it's not really serious unless it goes untreated but is possible if there is too much light. I think it would be somewhat difficult to give a Uro too much but it is possible.
     
  8. Gaaaaaaaaaard

    Gaaaaaaaaaard Elite Member

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