Second guessing my choice of UVB tube

ownedbyP

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Beardie name(s)
P
Please note that my profile information is from my late beardie and a different set up.

Hi guys

I got a new beardie a couple days ago - She seems to be doing great. I do have a couple questions about her UVB though.

Ive gotten one answer from breeder and another from a facebook group. In the end I went with the breeders advice, but I can't help but feel it might not be right for my baby.

According to breeder she is hypo het translucent. I don't know much about their morphs and colors, so I assume thats right. But i've heard that hypos and translucient animals need less UVB. Is this true? And how much, in that case? I'm gonna add an image to the thread, if anyone can tell me what her color and morph appears to be that would be great.

Her enclosure is 152x61x61cm.
The UVB tube i was recommended is 120cm. It basically lights up the entire area. What the facebook group told me was that it should only light up the basking spot due to the intensity of the UVB. Breeder told me it needed to cover about 80% of the enclosures length. Polarizing information. I am so confused.

The UVB tube is called Arcadia 54w Pro T5 kit 14% UVB lamp. Other tubes ive been recommended were 12% but i was told this one is better?

I've read that you can buy solar meters to monitor the UVB index, is that correct and if so how should the UVB index for her be?

Last but not least, how often should I give this girl vitamins and calcium? I have pure calcium on its own and vitamin on its own.

Pics attached of enclosure and baby.
 

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Claudiusx

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The hypo/trans question is all theory. No studies or tests have been done to prove one way or another whether those morphs need less UV exposure than their non-genetically modified counterparts. That being said, dragons need less UV than is commonly assumed as of the past few years. But that's a discussion for another topic.

To ramble a bit, if any morph would require less UV exposure, it would be the trans mutation, not the hypo. Possibly leatherbacks too. Logically, if scales are reduced and more translucent, UV rays will likely penetrate into the body easier than normal. It's possible that these morphs are more susceptible to the damaging effects of UV. We know for a fact that silkbacks are. Either way, like I said, no actual studies just anecdote. I digress.

Generally speaking, you want a UV tube to cover approximately 3/4 - 2/3rds of the enclosure. Just like a heat gradient, you want a UV gradient. If your bulb spans your entire length, just make sure you are providing shade and hide areas where your dragon can get out of the UV rays.

The 14% is a STRONG bulb. But it's just a method to the madness. You can make a strong bulb work in a smaller tank just like you can make a weaker bulb work in a larger tank. The most important factor is distance to basking site.

With the 14%, you don't want your dragon getting any closer than 16 inches from the bulb unobstructed. Ideally i'd aim for no closer than 18-20 inches.

There is a lot of moving parts with this, so to give you the best advice on what to do in your specific situation, you need to tell us what the distance is from your bulb to your basking SURFACE area. How tall your tank is too would help.

-Brandon
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
The UVB tube is called Arcadia 54w Pro T5 kit 14% UVB lamp. Other tubes ive been recommended were 12% but i was told this one is better?
Better is a term I hate. But because most don't understand how UV or these bulbs really work, the term gets thrown around. They both do the same thing. The 14% produces UV over a larger distance, ideal for large/tall tanks, horrible for small tanks. The 12% produces a tighter distance of the same UV, ideal for medium to large tanks, not so much for giant or tall tanks.

You buy the bulb that fits your setup and needs best.

I've read that you can buy solar meters to monitor the UVB index, is that correct and if so how should the UVB index for her be?
You can, but they are around $250. Handy to have around; a luxury item for sure, not a necessity. This is where the argument on how much they need comes in to play. I, along with other leading experts in the field of reptile lighting, believe that a basking site of around 3.5 UVI is ideal for dragons. Others, including some "experts" in the field, feel that 5-6 UVI at the basking site is ideal. That is a huge discrepancy. But once again, discussion for another topic :)

-Brandon
 

ownedbyP

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Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
P
The hypo/trans question is all theory. No studies or tests have been done to prove one way or another whether those morphs need less UV exposure than their non-genetically modified counterparts. That being said, dragons need less UV than is commonly assumed as of the past few years. But that's a discussion for another topic.

To ramble a bit, if any morph would require less UV exposure, it would be the trans mutation, not the hypo. Possibly leatherbacks too. Logically, if scales are reduced and more translucent, UV rays will likely penetrate into the body easier than normal. It's possible that these morphs are more susceptible to the damaging effects of UV. We know for a fact that silkbacks are. Either way, like I said, no actual studies just anecdote. I digress.

Generally speaking, you want a UV tube to cover approximately 3/4 - 2/3rds of the enclosure. Just like a heat gradient, you want a UV gradient. If your bulb spans your entire length, just make sure you are providing shade and hide areas where your dragon can get out of the UV rays.

The 14% is a STRONG bulb. But it's just a method to the madness. You can make a strong bulb work in a smaller tank just like you can make a weaker bulb work in a larger tank. The most important factor is distance to basking site.

With the 14%, you don't want your dragon getting any closer than 16 inches from the bulb unobstructed. Ideally i'd aim for no closer than 18-20 inches.

There is a lot of moving parts with this, so to give you the best advice on what to do in your specific situation, you need to tell us what the distance is from your bulb to your basking SURFACE area. How tall your tank is too would help.

-Brandon
Hi Brandon, thank you so much.
So as you can see on the picture, she has several areas she can utilize. She likes to be on the branch, so she gets pretty close to the uvb tube a lot of times.
My tank is 61cm tall. I can measure the basking surface area to the hear bulb but i dont know if thats helpful when she usually is on the branch
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
My tank is 61cm tall. I can measure the basking surface area to the hear bulb but i dont know if thats helpful when she usually is on the branch
We need the distance from the basking surface (Whatever the surface is she basks at) to the UV bulb. That's how you size and adjust the UV bulb you purchase to working for your enclosure. For instance, one of my tanks is 2' tall (approximately 61cm also) but because of how the light is mounted, in the tank, and because of the height of my basking site, the distance from bulb to basking site is only 14'', or 35~cm.

Realistically, the 12% is going to suit your enclosure better, especially since your fixture runs the majority of the enclosure and the logs on the cool side get her pretty close to it. What you can do for now to get your moneys worth from your 14% is to remove the reflector from your UV fixture. This essentially halves the output of it, making the safe and effective distance now 12-14 inches, which looks like fits your needs better based on your pictures.

Remember, UV is necessary, but it's also extremely dangerous and damaging at higher doses. The goal is to provide the minimum amount required to keep them healthy as this minimizes the risks of health issues that would arise from exposure to such intense UV radiation.

-Brandon
 

ownedbyP

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Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
P
We need the distance from the basking surface (Whatever the surface is she basks at) to the UV bulb. That's how you size and adjust the UV bulb you purchase to working for your enclosure. For instance, one of my tanks is 2' tall (approximately 61cm also) but because of how the light is mounted, in the tank, and because of the height of my basking site, the distance from bulb to basking site is only 14'', or 35~cm.

Realistically, the 12% is going to suit your enclosure better, especially since your fixture runs the majority of the enclosure and the logs on the cool side get her pretty close to it. What you can do for now to get your moneys worth from your 14% is to remove the reflector from your UV fixture. This essentially halves the output of it, making the safe and effective distance now 12-14 inches, which looks like fits your needs better based on your pictures.

Remember, UV is necessary, but it's also extremely dangerous and damaging at higher doses. The goal is to provide the minimum amount required to keep them healthy as this minimizes the risks of health issues that would arise from exposure to such intense UV radiation.

-Brandon
I will get you the measurements tomorrow, it is currently 11pm here and shes going to bed. Thank you for your thorough explanation, I will definitely change some things.
 

ownedbyP

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P
Measurement from the spot under heatlamp is about 40cm.
Measurement from the spot on the branch she hangs a lot is about 14cm.
 

ownedbyP

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Beardie name(s)
P
I have a arcadia 24w 12% 22.5" that i can use if thats better? But its not gonna span much of the enclosure

I also have a multi bulb, heat and uvb that i can use until i get the right tube.

Let me know if either of these options are good. I have turned off the uvb in her enclosure for now.
 

KarrieRee

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Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I have a arcadia 24w 12% 22.5" that i can use if thats better? But its not gonna span much of the enclosure

I also have a multi bulb, heat and uvb that i can use until i get the right tube.

Let me know if either of these options are good. I have turned off the uvb in her enclosure for now.
The 24" fixture is good for your tank - please use the 24w-12% bulb
 

xp29

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Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
The 12% is a great bulb, so is the 14% I would use one of those over the multi bulb. It's much easier to get it right using independent bulbs for uvb and basking. You can always move the uvb bulb higher if you need to to get it right. Same with the basking. Remember though the screen blocks a large percentage of the uvb so be careful not to get to high above it even with the 14% bulb.
As far as calcium and vitamins, babies need a LIGHT dusting on their food once per day. (the calcium) you don't want the bugs to look like powdered doughnuts. The multivitamins 2 to 3 times per week. Once your baby is adult and no longer putting on size you can reduce the calcium to a few times per week also. (This is all with the assumption your keeping your uvb at adequate levels). The bulbs you have are great so straight calcium is good, the calcium with the d3 may be slightly more useful for someone that isn't on top of keeping their uvb at proper levels. (But if thats the case likely their entire husbandry is inadequate as well and their beardie is paying the price)
 

ownedbyP

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Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
P
The 12% is a great bulb, so is the 14% I would use one of those over the multi bulb. It's much easier to get it right using independent bulbs for uvb and basking. You can always move the uvb bulb higher if you need to to get it right. Same with the basking. Remember though the screen blocks a large percentage of the uvb so be careful not to get to high above it even with the 14% bulb.
As far as calcium and vitamins, babies need a LIGHT dusting on their food once per day. (the calcium) you don't want the bugs to look like powdered doughnuts. The multivitamins 2 to 3 times per week. Once your baby is adult and no longer putting on size you can reduce the calcium to a few times per week also. (This is all with the assumption your keeping your uvb at adequate levels). The bulbs you have are great so straight calcium is good, the calcium with the d3 may be slightly more useful for someone that isn't on top of keeping their uvb at proper levels. (But if thats the case likely their entire husbandry is inadequate as well and their beardie is paying the price)
Unfortunately the uvb tube is already as close to the roof of the tank as it can go which is why my only option is to get a tube that is less intense, i just dont know if the other one i have home is ideal
Screen? if youre talking about the baskingspot, she only has heat in the lamp itself usually, swapped out for a multi until i know which uvb to use

Regarding the vitamins and calcium, that is very helpful, thank you!!
 

Chris.

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Luis and Lilith
Unfortunately the uvb tube is already as close to the roof of the tank as it can go which is why my only option is to get a tube that is less intense, i just dont know if the other one i have home is ideal
Screen? if youre talking about the baskingspot, she only has heat in the lamp itself usually, swapped out for a multi until i know which uvb to use

Regarding the vitamins and calcium, that is very helpful, thank you!!
Your setup looks really nice :)
The 14% is probably not going to hurt her in the short term so you don't need to turn it off until you switch it for a 12% bulb (which is what I would do in your situation).

Personally I use a "multibulb" (a metal halide bulb) for the basking spot and a 12% tube to light out the tank a little better. My tanks are 150x80x80 though.

Your tank looks like it's an all wooden tank so it probably has no screen on top and you mounted your fixture inside the tank.

As for color and morph, she looks like she is a hypo, her nails look clear to me. The het translucent is something you have to just believe, as het means the gene does not display in this animal. The colors have gotten different names in the past but I would probably call that orange.
She is beautiful btw. :)

Those fb groups seem to really give a lot of horrible advice these days. I've read multiple similar stories now :(
 

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