Arcadia UVB Fixture and Bulb Output Questions

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Kitlings

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Hey, I'm thinking about investing in an Arcadia fixture (instead of ZooMed+Reptisun). I have a few specific questions about Arcadia setups, though. This is the one I'm looking to get for my 40g tank: http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/22-t-5-ho-fixture-high-output-with-arcadia-d3-12-ho-bulb/

- Are the bulbs interchangeable with different brands? e.g. Could I use the 22" Reptisun T5 10.0 bulb in the 22" Arcadia T5 fixture if I wasn't able to order from them again for whatever reason?

- Do they really last 12 months without significant loss of UVB output? I currently change my uvb every 6 months.

- Can they really be placed above the screen/mesh of a tank without significant loss of UVB output? I read it can filter out up to 35%, which sounds like a lot.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I use this light and it's great. The fixture is a generic grow light fixture so you can use any bulb in it as long as it's the same size/wattage. Mine has been running with great output (measured with a Solarmeter) for over 2 years now. Your mileage may vary, but yes they can last quite a bit longer than a T8. They are much more intense than a T8 so they can be mounted on a screen. Even through a screen I measure mid morning sunlight levels of UVB between about 10-12'' below the bulb (about 12-14'' with no screen). If you're on the fence about it, I advise getting one. High quality UVB lighting is one of the best investments you can make into your setup.
 

Kitlings

Member
Original Poster
Hi Cooper. Wow... 2 years on the same bulb? Amazing.

I did some price calculations on it last night (I couldn't sleep haha)... and it's surprisingly closer to the cost of a ZooMed setup than I would have thought!

LightYourReptiles.com's fixture w/ bulb (22" T5 HO w/ D3+ 12% HO)
Cost = $99.89 (~$80 + $20 USA shipping)
OR
Cost = $118.99 (~$80 + $40 Canada shipping)
^Comes with bulb, replacement not needed until next year

Arcadia bulb (22" T5 D3+ 12% HO)
Cost = $46.99 (~$33 + $14 USA shipping)
OR
Cost = $68.99 (~$33 + $36 Canada shipping)
^ Replaced once per year

Total:
US: $100 USD now, and $47 USD per year for upkeep.
CAN: $120 USD now, and $70 USD per year for upkeep.
----------

ZOO MED:

Zoo Med fixture w/o bulb (24" T5 HO)
= $45.68 (USA free shipping w/ amazon)
OR
= $60.87 (Canada free shipping w/ amazon) [$79.99 CAD]
^Fixture comes with a 5.0 bulb so I do not count it.

Reptisun bulb (22" T5 10.0 24W)
= $22.31 (USA free shipping w/ amazon)
OR
= $28.15 (Canada free shipping w/ amazon) [$36.99 CAD]
^Replaced twice per year

Result:
US: $70 USD now, $23 USD in 6 months, and $46 USD per year for upkeep
CAN: $90 USD now, $30 USD in 6 months, and $60 USD per year for upkeep.
----------

Note that I have Amazon Prime on Amazon.com, so that's why the US ones have free shipping. Amazon.ca seems to offer free shipping on those specific items even without Prime.

Sorry if it's confusing, but I go back and forth between US and Canada, so I looked at prices for both. Assuming I am in Canada, this means my costs will be about the same for my first year, and only $10 more than a Reptisun per year!

Also I assumed that even a T5 Reptisun needs to be replaced twice a year (my vet advised it and I don't own a solarmeter to confirm)... but going by what you said, now I'm not sure if this is accurate?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
If you have free Amazon shipping you might want to check out the cost of a SunBlaster fixture as well. They work well with the T5 UVB lights too and are available on Amazon. If you don't have a Solarmeter to verify the output of the lights, the safe bet is to just replace it every 12 months or so because the output degrades over time. The only reason I haven't done this yet is because the duration of the bulbs can really vary by build quality and usage patterns etc so I check regularly with my Solarmeter and have lucked out. Otherwise I play it safe with 6 months for the T8 and 12 months for the T5.
 

Kitlings

Member
Original Poster
Oh okay, thanks!!

Btw, do you have any photos of your UVB setup?

EDIT: How's the quality of the Sunblaster fixture btw? Does it go ZooMed -> Sunblaster -> LightYourReptiles (worst to best)?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Not really. They are all good quality from what I've seen. As long as the fixture provides adequate power to the bulb and has a decent reflector it should serve you well. Taterbug uses the Sunblaster fixture and has reported good results with it.

Here is my setup with the 36'' LYR Arcadia across the front. If I had to do it over I'd go with the 22'' and keep it just over the basking side but I've created enough of a gradient by moving the bulb forward that the UVI at the back of the tank is quite low.

76248-8383156387.jpg

Basking light is on the left and MegaRay heat projector on the right.
 

Kitlings

Member
Original Poster
Ok! Then I think I will stick with a ZooMed fixture since I personally just love their sleek, black look. And I will order an Arcadia bulb to go with it!

Thanks for the pic and for answering all my incessant little questions. You're the man! Or woman!
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello,

I absolutely agree! I have personally been using the light fixture from lightyourreptiles, along with the Arcadia D3 12% T5 with terrific results as well. The only modifications we have done were replacing the ballasts. They had started to go bad & were ruining our lights.
All of the light fixtures are made in China, of course. Though, at least they have good reflective quality to them.
You get what you pay for most of the time!

Tracie
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
I recently bought 4 of the 24W t5 arcadia slimline kits from a place in the UK (Birmingham Reptiles ??) , they came with 24W t5 12%UVB tube in each .... can't get them here in Australia without being a special order and the local dealers ask extortionate prices for this kind of gear.

Will be using them in the 3 bay beardie upgrade tanks (if I ever get around building them), will have a spare.
 
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