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Question About Uv Bulb Placement

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by Dan01, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    It is about the time that I need to buy another UV bulb for my beardie's cage but, after reading a few articles, I'm not sure that the setup that I have is the best. I have a normal (T8, I think) bulb and hood sitting on top of my 40 gallon cage's screen top. I saw that people say that a High Output bulb would be preferred to a T8, and also that the screen at the top of the cage would filter out a lot of the UV. I though maybe that I would buy a T5, 24" tube light fixture, and use a long strip of Velcro to attach it to the glass walls? Or would getting a HO bulb and hood be enough even filtering through the screen? If you get this information to me quick enough, I might be able to convince people to get it for me for Christmas and save me fifty bucks :).
     
  2. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    You could always modify the screen top or make your own, for example using 1/4 inch hardware cloth.
    That will still keep your dragon in but there's certainly a lot less metal in the way of the light.
     
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Why are you still using a screen topped fishtank, and how are you maintaining a decent humidity range (which is just as important as the temps)?
    If there`s been screen between the T8 UVB tube and dragon for the last 12 months it means the animal has had virtually no UVB exposure because the screen will have blocked most of it out as you`ve said yourself. Has the animal had regular exposure to unfiltered sunlight in that time?
    I would definitely NOT try to stick the tube housing to the glass with Velcro.
    I thought you were building a new (solid) enclosure a year ago?
     
  4. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    Remember, not all bulbs are the same either.
    I bought some UV tubes from Reptile UV and some Zoo Med RetiSuns, have four bulbs in a fixture. The ReptiSun put out about 124 in UVB at around 24". The Reptile UV tubes, put out 224 at 24", thus, now I need to raise the fixture so he doesn't get too much UVB. That is an amazing difference. Not sure how much the bulbs from Reptile UV cost as they were a gift for waiting so long on a fixture he is building for me. But I will be buying all my UV bulbs from Reptile UV from now on.
     
  5. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    As I don't have a machine for checking the uv output, I'm not sure how to tell if he is getting the correct amount. What would be considered the correct?

    The bulb I have used is the ReptiSun 10.0, and have never heard of Reptile UV before. Would you recommend them over Zoo Med?
     
  6. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    I built him a screen enclosure to put him outside while it was warm, so he has had UV light, and it has just been over 6 months since I replaced the bulb, but I know it hasn't quite been adequate. As winter is coming on, however, well...I may just have time to build a wooden enclosure before I leave on my trip, but the "screen topped fishtank" might just have to do for a while.
    Or I could take the large outdoor, screen sided enclosure and screw wood on three sides and the top and then plexi-glass on the front, and stick the fixture in there? Would the wood need to be sealed?
     
  7. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    I meant plywood. I don't know why, but I couldn't think of the name when I was typing it. If I use it, should it be sealed?
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Yes, you would need to seal it.
    What`s the weather like during the winter if the enclosure is outdoors?
     
  9. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    An explanation of Kansas weather:

    The summers: expect a high of 114 degrees F.
    The winters: expect a low of -14 degrees F.

    Both of those temps are recorded from the last few years, the -14 F from a time when I was unlucky enough to have to walk my grandma's dog, and the other when I was lucky enough to be vacationing further north.
     
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    If the temps can get that low during winter you`ll be better off keeping the dragon indoors.
    As far as you saying the screen topped fishtank will have to do, it isn`t that difficult to fit a solid top and preferably have the heat/lighting inside the tank (that way the UVB won`t be blocked by screen).
    I would have thought you`d been unlucky if you`d had to walk your grandma`s dog in 114f, here in the U.K where I currently live 14f is almost a heatwave!! ;)
     
  11. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    Wow. But how would you suggest mounting them? By drilling the holes in the glass? Anyway, my outdoor enclosure is 2.5 x 4 x 2 and it would be quite an upgrade from my 40 gallon breeder.
    I asked my question now because, with winter coming on, the small "screen topped fish tank" is about to become Spartin's prison, and I know that in itself isn't suitable.
    Oh, and I just realized what I forgot to mention: the screen enclosure can come apart very easy and isn't difficult to reassemble at all.
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    OK first off....are you talking about something that you can keep the dragon outside year round?
    It's not going to work. The only way it would work would be a heated and cooled insulated outbuilding. Which defeats the idea of not having to buy bulbs.

    Additionally we have something that dragons don't understand....FIREFLIES! A single ingested firefly will kill your lizard!

    As to affixing the lamp. You do NOT want to try to drill glass!
    You can simply get a piece of plywood the size of the outer limits of the frame of the screen top, Glue it to the frame of the top and then drill your holes thru both screen and plywood. And you will want to seal the plywood with Minwax Polycrylic.
     
  13. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    No, I'm not. I said that above because I thought from a reply I had made myself unclear, but maybe I made myself less clear in the process.
    I am thinking of moving the tank inside my house and insulating it.
    Isn't there a machine which allows you to actually drill through glass, by putting pressure over a large area of the glass, or something along those lines?
    I see I wasn't clear: that small part about the cage coming apart easily was to say it would be no big deal to move it inside.
     
  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I don`t understand why you would need to drill the glass (side wall), the fluorescent tube should be above the lizard, not shining at it from the side. What you need is a solid top and fix the lighting to that on the inside, I recommend using 3/4inch plywood (sealed as suggested) and dispose of the screen altogether.
     
  15. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    On my outdoor cage? The screen on it is at least a cm thick, and it isn't likely that one would block out much uv.
    How much damage would having the light near the top but mounted on the side of either of my cages do? I've seen videos of people who had their tube lights in that place (although, yes, it was secured in wood).
    Anyway, I have a top opening cage (I know, not the best) which slides open anyway (this is for my 40 gallon breeder).
     
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I was referring to the fishtank top. Replace the screen with 3/4inch plywood and fix the fluorescent tube batten on the inside.
    The problem with fixing it to the side is that it will be shining directly into the lizard`s eyes to a greater extent than if it were directly above.
     
  17. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Not to mention into your own eyes if you look at the tank from the side.
     
  18. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    Well, I've seen videos of people who had their tube lights on the side of the enclosure, attached so near the top that it was practically the same as if it were there. I was thinking of a fixture without a hood, also (I don't have much experience with lighting, so call me out if this would be wrong to do for some reason).
     
  19. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member


    Just because you`ve seen other people fixing them to the side doesn`t make it a good idea. The hood would make no difference at all to the direction of the light unless the tube was on the ground, meaning the light coming from it would be below the housing and the animal would have to dig underneath to get any UVB exposure (not the best way)!
    Myself and other members HAVE explained how to do it in a way that will benefit the lizard, now you need to act on the advise! ;)
     
  20. Dan01

    Dan01 Established Member

    Well, except that my cage opens from the top...I have something I need to work on. My outdoor cage opens from above (well, all of my cages do) so I may be able to modify it to work from the side, but that would be a bit of work. Maybe I could set it up with sliding Plexiglas doors, and cut the wire on one side of it?
    How exactly would you replace the screen on top of the tank? Just cut it away and screw the wood to the plastic on the side?
    And my outdoor enclosure doesn't slide open like my breeder: it swings up and out. I have things to think about.
     

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