Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

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Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby TipsyTraveler » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:42 am

So I don't currently have a beardie as my last passed on 5ish years ago, after I had him for 4 years (He was 8 years old not 4, I took him off someone's hands who didn't really take care of him). I'm planning on getting 2 more soon, since recently I learned my wife is fascinated with them when I had actually thought they'd gross her out. She didn't know I'd ever had one and thought I wouldn't be interested haha.

So now I'm building 2 identical enlosures out of melamine, they're gonna be 48"L x 24"W x 24"H. I was thinking about 18"W, but I think they'll enjoy a little more space. For my beardie years ago, I built one out of plywood, but now I'm reading that melamine is preferable and it's not much of a price difference.

So for the lighting, I was going to mount the basking ceramic fixture on the interior ceiling, and mount a 48" UVB diagonally on the interior ceiling as well. It would be corner to corner diagonally, with some of the UVB bulb being within appropriate range of the basking spot (6-8"). So I had a couple questions that might not matter at all, but I wanted to be sure because it's been a couple years.

Does it matter if I mount it diagonally across the viv ceiling? I figured it would reach the beardie in every part of the viv this way, as well as being within appropriate range of the basking spot.

Do y'all think a 48" bulb is too long, or should I go with a 36" UVB?

Being on the 24" high interior ceiling not blocked by a screen, would a Reptisun 10.0 T5 be too strong, or should I go with the T8? Pricing of the bulb doesn't really matter to me, I just wanna give each beardie the best I can. In theory we'll save with vet bills anyway haha.

Is a reflector in the fixture necessary with either bulb? If it'll help I'll get it.

These enclosures will be identical and each contain a beardie from 6" total length all the way through adulthood, if that's relevant. Any advice is appreciated, as well as design tips and ideas, I'm currently getting materials and haven't started the build yet.
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:32 pm

I recommend not doing the whole length w/ UVB -- they need to be able to escape the rays of the UVB and using one that runs the whole length is not good --- eventually he will be hiding from it --- also I would make basking spots move able and not permanent --- you want to be able to adjust your basking temp if you haft to and you cant do it if the spot is permanent --- and the easiest way is to have decor you can move or change -- just my input
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby TipsyTraveler » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:50 pm

KarrieRee wrote:I recommend not doing the whole length w/ UVB -- they need to be able to escape the rays of the UVB and using one that runs the whole length is not good --- eventually he will be hiding from it --- also I would make basking spots move able and not permanent --- you want to be able to adjust your basking temp if you haft to and you cant do it if the spot is permanent --- and the easiest way is to have decor you can move or change -- just my input
Karrie


The basking spot will be moveable, I'll just have to re-screw in the porcelain fixture as necessary, and the old holes I can cover with small circular stickers that cover them. You won't really be able to see the light fixture or holes anyway with the way I'm building it. I'll go with the 36inch bulb and run it diagonally by the basking spot, so the last foot on the other side of the cage won't be illuminated by it. That way he/she can get away if they want, but the other 3 feet of the enclosure will be hit by it. I'll also provide a good hide.

Do you know if the T5 would be too strong or should I go with the T8?
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:09 pm

You want the T 5 -- I have a 120 gallon and use Zoo Med fixture 24" w/ the Arcadia 14% bulb ---
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby TipsyTraveler » Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:03 pm

KarrieRee wrote:You want the T 5 -- I have a 120 gallon and use Zoo Med fixture 24" w/ the Arcadia 14% bulb ---
Karrie


So for our vis which are going to be a little more than a 40g breeder, a 24" T5 will probably do then? Probably no need for a 36" if you manage with 24" in your 120g right?
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:30 pm

With a 24" high ceiling you should use the T 5-- even then it will need to be inside the tank--- approx 10-12 inches from basking-
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby claudiusx » Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:41 pm

Hi there,

If going with the reptisun t5, I'd go with the 36 inch version. Karries 14% arcadia is quite a bit stronger than the t5 reptisun.
I have a 24" in one of my 4x2x2s and I'll be switching it out for the 36 like my other tanks.

If you go with the Arcadia 14% though I'd definitely only get the 24inch version though. It's a strong bulb.

-Brandon
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:28 pm

This will help :


Image
Is guidance in the shape of graphs for distance vs UVB and distance vs UV-Index.
The colored boxes are the guidance levels of UVB flux or UV-Index to aim for at the basking spot for a bearded dragon.

This is calculated thusly
Image and Image


General guidance for layout of lightings and temperatures and UV levels , UV tube one end overtop basking spot as close as you can manage it to the basking globe, and tube / reflector / reflector hood NOT MORE THAN 2/3 the tank length.
Image
and
Image
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby MrSpectrum » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:37 am

TipsyTraveler wrote:So now I'm building 2 identical enlosures out of melamine, they're gonna be 48"L x 24"W x 24"H. I was thinking about 18"W, but I think they'll enjoy a little more space. For my beardie years ago, I built one out of plywood, but now I'm reading that melamine is preferable and it's not much of a price difference.

PERSONAL OPINION/OBSERVATION: YMMV

I don't want to start a debate here; I've read most of the articles, and seen most of the vids, but still... For the life of me, I can't see why melamine would be preferable--other than it's cheap. I'm sure not all melamines are created equal, but for as long as I can remember I haven't seen any that didn't reek of formaldehyde (particularly those sold in big-box stores). The formaldehyde is used in the binders that hold the particle-board core together, and can off-gas for a considerable time (years). Formaldehyde off-gassing is less a problem in open-air/outdoor applications, but confined inside a reptile enclosure--even a well-ventilated one--I'm not willing to take the risk. Yeah, I know there's melamine tape; I don't know how well the tape (glue) holds up over time in the temps & arid humidity of an enclosure. The stuff (melamine) is also toxic if ingested, it's known to flake off if you look at it the wrong way, and beardies--like dogs--will try to eat anything they come across.

Anyone ever had melamine flake off from beardie claws?

Plywood binders contain formaldehyde as well, but the off-gassing is not as significant nor enduring, and with sealing (see below) it becomes a non-issue.

One (over-touted, IMO) advantage of melamine is the reflectivity of the white color. If one is going to seal plywood anyway, it can be done with a white beardie-safe paint (properly cured).

Some say the problem with plywood is that pine is toxic to reptiles.

    1. There are plenty of other veneers that aren't toxic to reptiles, and they're only incrementally more expensive than pine plywoods.

    2. AFAIK, most people who build plywood enclosures seal them with some type of waterproof sealer/finish anyway, which reduces/eliminates direct exposure to pine as well as off-gassing.
I used ¾" Baltic Birch. Birch (among other hardwood veneers) is not toxic to reptiles, the core plys are also birch, and it came in 5' x 5' sheets, making a 5' x 2' x 2' enclosure easily possible. If I had to do it over, the only thing I'd change is the thickness (I have a tendency to over-design/build); I'd use ½" as it's much lighter than ¾".

Best of luck with the builds!

[EDIT]: For more on melamine formaldehyde outgassing, see:
Everything You Need to Know About Particle Board Outgassing
The formaldehyde used to bind wood chips into the particle board will break down and aerosolize over time. This phenomenon has been studied extensively, and the half-life of formaldehyde calculated. The greatest amount of particle board outgassing occurs during the first year after the piece is manufactured. After the first or second year, the rate at which formaldehyde seeps out of the piece drops off considerably. However, the piece can continue emitting small amounts of gas for up to 10 years. Wood products emit more formaldehyde at higher temperatures and humidity. The emission rate is not nearly as important as the concentration of gasses in living areas. The lumber industry began self-regulating formaldehyde content in its products in 1981. This resulted in major reductions in the volumes of gas emitted. However, formaldehyde is still used in board production and outgassing still occurs, albeit at lower levels.

I don't know if the 1981 standards apply to melamine (products) imported from outside the US.

Bottom line, if you have a melamine enclosure, and when you slide open the door in the morning you get a whiff of formaldehyde, think about what your beardie (with his little lungs) is breathing. :wink:
[/EDIT]
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:09 pm

MrSpectrum wrote:
TipsyTraveler wrote:So now I'm building 2 identical enlosures out of melamine, they're gonna be 48"L x 24"W x 24"H. I was thinking about 18"W, but I think they'll enjoy a little more space. For my beardie years ago, I built one out of plywood, but now I'm reading that melamine is preferable and it's not much of a price difference.

PERSONAL OPINION/OBSERVATION: YMMV

I don't want to start a debate here; I've read most of the articles, and seen most of the vids, but still... For the life of me, I can't see why melamine would be preferable--other than it's cheap. I'm sure not all melamines are created equal, but for as long as I can remember I haven't seen any that didn't reek of formaldehyde (particularly those sold in big-box stores). The formaldehyde is used in the binders that hold the particle-board core together, and can off-gas for a considerable time (years). Formaldehyde off-gassing is less a problem in open-air/outdoor applications, but confined inside a reptile enclosure--even a well-ventilated one--I'm not willing to take the risk. Yeah, I know there's melamine tape; I don't know how well the tape (glue) holds up over time in the temps & arid humidity of an enclosure. The stuff (melamine) is also toxic if ingested, it's known to flake off if you look at it the wrong way, and beardies--like dogs--will try to eat anything they come across.

Anyone ever had melamine flake off from beardie claws?

Plywood binders contain formaldehyde as well, but the off-gassing is not as significant nor enduring, and with sealing (see below) it becomes a non-issue.

One (over-touted, IMO) advantage of melamine is the reflectivity of the white color. If one is going to seal plywood anyway, it can be done with a white beardie-safe paint (properly cured).

Some say the problem with plywood is that pine is toxic to reptiles.

    1. There are plenty of other veneers that aren't toxic to reptiles, and they're only incrementally more expensive than pine plywoods.

    2. AFAIK, most people who build plywood enclosures seal them with some type of waterproof sealer/finish anyway, which reduces/eliminates direct exposure to pine as well as off-gassing.
I used ¾" Baltic Birch. Birch (among other hardwood veneers) is not toxic to reptiles, the core plys are also birch, and it came in 5' x 5' sheets, making a 5' x 2' x 2' enclosure easily possible. If I had to do it over, the only thing I'd change is the thickness (I have a tendency to over-design/build); I'd use ½" as it's much lighter than ¾".

Best of luck with the builds!

[EDIT]: For more on melamine formaldehyde outgassing, see:
Everything You Need to Know About Particle Board Outgassing
The formaldehyde used to bind wood chips into the particle board will break down and aerosolize over time. This phenomenon has been studied extensively, and the half-life of formaldehyde calculated. The greatest amount of particle board outgassing occurs during the first year after the piece is manufactured. After the first or second year, the rate at which formaldehyde seeps out of the piece drops off considerably. However, the piece can continue emitting small amounts of gas for up to 10 years. Wood products emit more formaldehyde at higher temperatures and humidity. The emission rate is not nearly as important as the concentration of gasses in living areas. The lumber industry began self-regulating formaldehyde content in its products in 1981. This resulted in major reductions in the volumes of gas emitted. However, formaldehyde is still used in board production and outgassing still occurs, albeit at lower levels.

I don't know if the 1981 standards apply to melamine (products) imported from outside the US.

Bottom line, if you have a melamine enclosure, and when you slide open the door in the morning you get a whiff of formaldehyde, think about what your beardie (with his little lungs) is breathing. :wink:
[/EDIT]


And don't ever let any edge stay damp even for an hour, you will know what happens to particle boards -
they first start to swell, then they become timber particle crumble.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby MrSpectrum » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:36 am

Good point. There are now some particle boards that are better (different resins) but they're considerably more expensive. I don't know of any melamine board that fits that bill. :dontknow:
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:03 am

MrSpectrum wrote:Good point. There are now some particle boards that are better (different resins) but they're considerably more expensive. I don't know of any melamine board that fits that bill. :dontknow:


Only ones that might are KITCHEN or BATHROOM GRADE MDF - perhaps.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby MrSpectrum » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:38 am

Yes, I see that melamine MDF exists; it's just not something the big box home improvement stores around here regularly stock. Even the lumber yards only get it by special order.
For kitchens we generally see veneered MDF, and for bathrooms, painted MDF.

I considered veneered MDF for my enclosure, but the BB priced out about $100(USD) less for the 3 sheets cut to size. In retrospect, it's probably for the better; BB is (IMO) a much better material, not as persnickety with moisture, and the dust isn't as obnoxious. (Not to mention I get a foot longer enclosure. :D )
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:43 am

MrSpectrum wrote:Yes, I see that melamine MDF exists; it's just not something the big box home improvement stores around here regularly stock. Even the lumber yards only get it by special order.
For kitchens we generally see veneered MDF, and for bathrooms, painted MDF.

I considered veneered MDF for my enclosure, but the BB priced out about $100(USD) less for the 3 sheets cut to size. In retrospect, it's probably for the better; BB is (IMO) a much better material, not as persnickety with moisture, and the dust isn't as obnoxious. (Not to mention I get a foot longer enclosure. :D )



I had my veneered MDF kitchen bench tops replaced with quartz benchtops last year, the MDF itself was in good shape after 24 years service , but the laminate on top was well and truly worn out ( the coloured spots had been worn off in places ).

Quartz benchtops , upgrade from ceram electric cooktop to induction cooktop and new kitchen window and new mixer tap gave the kitchen an upgrade that will likely see us out. I ordered the stone mason and window installer not to damage my wall tiles.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: Kinda specific UVB Lighting questions

Postby claudiusx » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:58 am

Hi guys,
Friendly reminder to try to keep it on topic for the OP.
Thanks :)
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