Are we doing UVB wrong?

Thatcher

Chameleon Enthusiast
I had a keeper message me for help and tell me their vet was watching my videos right in front of them during their vet visit looking up answers lol

But back on topic…
I will also recommend 6%/5.0 for new keepers with a big reason being they’re using cages that are too small/smaller than 48” tall. For what it’s worth, I’ve mentored countless keepers experiencing eye issues with their cham who had been using a 10.0 on a 36-48” tall enclosure and after switching to a 5.0 no longer saw their cham closing their eyes. This is after confirming their supplements were correct. I’ve used a 12% on a densely planted panther enclosure and have had great success after measuring UVI levels with a solarmeter 6.5. I also run a 12% on my male parson’s 6 foot tall enclosure. I badly wish I could just keep my chams outside… the struggles of living in an apartment…
You have helped me a lot and congratulations on having a vet use your vids! I'm making a 5 foot tall 3 foot wide and deep enclosure should I use a 10.0/12%?
 

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
You have helped me a lot and congratulations on having a vet use your vids! I'm making a 5 foot tall 3 foot wide and deep enclosure should I use a 10.0/12%?
Your use of a certain strength of bulb will depend on the distance from the bulb to the basking branch. The size of the enclosure doesn’t change that unless it affects where the basking branch is. Large enclosures are great for giving multiple hiding spots and microclimates. But the basking spot is still the basking spot. And that is where the UVB is delivered.
 

suprdude

Established Member
Back sometime at the beginning of the year I took Jack to a terrific and very experienced/knowledgeable vet (Dr Bogoslavsky in Orlando). He advised I change his uvb from a 6% to a 12%, which I did and all has been fine. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any difference in him from my other chams, who still have 6% uvb. Later when I took Stella to him, he didn’t say anything about changing her uvb strength. Today I took Hammlet to Dr B and he again advised I change to the stronger 12% and keep basking area the same 8-9” away. He explained that the 6% strength is really more suitable for the montaines and that panther and veiled do very well with 12%. When I asked him about UV index, he explained that I really only need to measure that to determine if my bulbs need replacing. He also mentioned the thriving (invasive) wild populations of chameleons in Florida, but I very briefly got distracted and missed the connection point he was making. However, he did then mention how it’s impossible to standardize the needs for all species of chameleons in one neat package.
Of course, I’ve already ordered new 12% bulbs for all of my chams and am now sitting here pondering this. Like most of us, my chams have plenty of shady spots and varied levels in their appropriately sized enclosures so they can choose how much uvb and heat they want. If I had a cham in a smaller enclosure with sparse plants, I would definitely stick with the 6% uvb.
So, what is the reason that the 6% or 5.0 uvb has become the standard? Is it because it’s the safe choice for those who may have inadequate enclosure sizes and/or plant cover? Is it because it’s also the safe choice to recommend for whatever species of chameleon someone may have? Is it to try and keep things as simple as possible even though possibly one size doesn’t fit all? Should those who have enclosures of adequate size and foliage be using the stronger uvb? Should we still be recommending 6% or 5.0 to keepers of veiled and panther chameleons?
I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts about this.
This is not an exact science and I think all this is way too much detailed and unnecessary analysis.
 
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