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Need a New Fixture - T8 or T5?

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by guadalakara, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. guadalakara

    guadalakara Member

    Hi guys,

    I got a secondhand enclosure with a single-bulb 36" T12 fluorescent fixture with magnetic ballast. Apparently ZooMed has discontinued their T12 bulbs and long story short, I need to put in a new fixture. I was planning to put in a 36" T8 fixture, but do you think those are on their way to being phased out, too? Should I just jump to a T5?

    It's an enclosure for a green iguana and her basking spot is only about 6 inches away from the fluorescent fixture. I am slightly concerned about TOO much UVB with the HO T5s.. what do you think?
  2. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Unless you're using screen or an extremely thin piece of plexi and have a UVB meter, 6" from the bulb to the basking spot is too close for even a standard t8 10.0/12% and 5.0/6% bulbs, let alone a high output uvb bulb. The minimum recommended distance for most bulbs is 8-12" from the animal and for 12% t5 HO bulbs you're looking at around 2x the working distance for the same UVI and UVB rating. That said, you need to revamp your basking area of you intend on using UVB. If you were to install a UVB bulb at that distance you would be putting your animal at risk.
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree. Why the original owner had the basking area at a 6 inch distance is beyond me. Much too close.
  4. guadalakara

    guadalakara Member

    annnnd this is why i love herpcenter. thank you. I will go with the T8 5.0 and reposition her branch so she is further away.

    i've only had her a few days and she hasn't had any UVB yet (other than what might have been left in an old, probably non-UVB fluorescent bulb) but just out of curiosity though, what are the risks of too much UVB?
  5. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    If there is also a basking spot out of the intense UVB, you would be fine having one that close. Most tube UVB lights (even HO) don't put out UVB even close to the midday sun. I had a thread a few months back talking about UVB meter readings for different bulbs through screen, etc. Plexiglass will block all UVB unless it is a specialized type like for tanning beds. The intensity of the light may be a lot at six inches, but if your herp has the ability to move further away if desired, then you're fine. Arboreal species typically with move around on different branches to obtain the lighting and heat they desire. Make sure you have branches, etc. covering a wide range of temps, lighting, etc. and you iguana will move around.

    If this android app let me link to other threads easily, I would post the link, but look up my name in the lighting (it may even be a sticky) section to get ideas of UVB output. I use the 36" HO Arcadia 12% bulk b for my water dragon. It is mounted inside his cage and he sometimes will sit within a few inches of it, but mostly hangs around 8-12 inches away.
  6. Jetbo

    Jetbo Active Member

    I would go for the T8 fixture if I were you. I don't see Zoo Med discontinuing such a good selling product anytime soon. Also being in the planted fish tank hobby :) I know T5 bulbs are supper bright vs T8. I would not want to expose any of my pets to that bright of a light without being sure it 100% safe and working well for others first.
  7. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Iguana bask in open sunlight in tropical environments, thus exposing themselves to very high amounts of UVB. This is why I do not think a 5.0/6% bulb will cut it. I would advise swinging by this thread to inundate yourself on reptile lighting by watching videos before you make a decision. The better you understand reptile lighting the better off your reptile is.
  8. guadalakara

    guadalakara Member

    Vers, I'm confused. Your first comment said that my iguana being 6" away from even a standard t8 5.0 bulb would be too close, but your last comment says you don't think a 5.0 bulb won't be strong enough... from my understanding, being close to a 5.0 gives the same exposure as being slightly further away from a 10.0, so what's the issue?
  9. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Personally I would go with a stronger UVB light and offer areas that are also out of the light so that your iguana can choose what it wants. The natural sunlight that they get in the wild is much stronger than either bulb. You are correct in the distance vs intensity you noted... It would be roughly the same, but I can't tell you at what distance that would equal without running a few tests.

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