Atrium Cage T5 Lighting Question

reddog

Member
I plan on ordering one of Dragonstrand's new medium tall clearside atrium cages (30" wide x 23" deep x 48" tall). My plants will include a large golden pothos and a nepenthes miranda or bill bailey on the left side of the cage. Then a schefflera alpine jr, calathea freddie, and red maranta on the right side. I might include a small variegated spider plant and marble queen pothos if I can fit them somewhere as well.

I have been eyeing Sun Blaze and Agrobrite t5ho fixtures which have decent ballasts and individual reflectors. Do y'all think I should get a 2' 2 bulb or 4 bulb fixture for a cage this size with these plants? And do you think I should use an Arcadia 6% or 12% uvb bulb? My old plan was to run a 30" Odyssey fixture with a 12% UVB bulb. But that fixture does not have individual reflectors.

Also, should I worry about too much heat from four t5ho flourescent bulbs with the fixture sitting on top of the cage? The Sun Blaze fixture comes in an LED version which looks like the same fixture but includes AgroLED bulbs, which would give off much less heat. The Agrobrite fixture is an open top design, so maybe it won't radiate much heat down into the cage.

Thanks

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KMACSE4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002JQBQZQ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075TH9VVG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A3TVGJT7NY2ZAO&psc=1
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your going to want the 4 bulb with this cage. It needs the extra light. If you are using individual reflectors then you need a 6%. If you are using a single reflector with 4 bulbs your going to want the 12%. Basking at 7-8 inches below the top with the fixture sitting directly on the top will give you a 3-4 uvi range. LYR had a 30 inch the bulbs are 22 inches and are staggered in the fixture to give coverage the full length.
My temps on top with my quad from LYR are sitting right about 78-80. I have no experience with the LED lighting to give feedback there.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your going to want the 4 bulb with this cage. It needs the extra light. If you are using individual reflectors then you need a 6%. If you are using a single reflector with 4 bulbs your going to want the 12%. Basking at 7-8 inches below the top with the fixture sitting directly on the top will give you a 3-4 uvi range. LYR had a 30 inch the bulbs are 22 inches and are staggered in the fixture to give coverage the full length.
My temps on top with my quad from LYR are sitting right about 78-80. I have no experience with the LED lighting to give feedback there.
Hi hello I have a potentially dumb question -- with a quad fixture you are eliminating the need for a specific basking bulb, yes? Just adjusting your "basking branches" to be low enough, but you wouldn't need say, a dome basking bulb? I have no experience with dual / quad fixtures so I don't know how much heat they give off? (using NON LEDs)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi hello I have a potentially dumb question -- with a quad fixture you are eliminating the need for a specific basking bulb, yes? Just adjusting your "basking branches" to be low enough, but you wouldn't need say, a dome basking bulb? I have no experience with dual / quad fixtures so I don't know how much heat they give off? (using NON LEDs)
Nope... You still need the basking... I don't get high enough temps using the quads for either of my Males. One likes it about 86 and the other likes it at 90.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
that schefflera needs a quad, or some very well positioned basking bulbs. I cant keep mine alive with just a double.
Yeah I loose an umbrella every day it seems. I thought it had to do with repotting it but now I feel the plant bulb and T5HO 5.0 aren't cutting the job. Gets plenty of water.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
You might want to consider a plant LED grow light to add to the top. I use the dual T5s and then 2 SANSI LED lights on top. They are super bright and my plants are thriving, even the moss and ferns at the very bottom of my 5-6' enclosures. The quad gives off good lighting, as well, but the plant LEDs are even brighter, I think. I have one cage with a quad, the rest are on dual T5s with 1-2 SANSI lights.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
that schefflera needs a quad, or some very well positioned basking bulbs. I cant keep mine alive with just a double.

Are you user its not the pot? I have one under a dual in Clarice's bioactive enclosure without issues, but the potted ones in Charlie's drops leaves and is pretty root bound in the 10" pot.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You might want to consider a plant LED grow light to add to the top. I use the dual T5s and then 2 SANSI LED lights on top. They are super bright and my plants are thriving, even the moss and ferns at the very bottom of my 5-6' enclosures. The quad gives off good lighting, as well, but the plant LEDs are even brighter, I think.
Gonna get some ASAP
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I love them. I have 9 right now of varying brightness, spread between the chameleons, free range, and bug area. If you have a tall cage, just skip right to the 36 or 40w. The others are still super bright but now I wish I had just bought all 40w.
My queen pothos does fine with the lighting. But the schefflera is just falling apart. Like I said thought it had to do with repotting it and adding new soil but now that others have stated lighting may be the issue I'm thinking the same.
 

reddog

Member
Thanks @Beman. Sounds like I should definitely stick with a 4 bulb t5ho fixture and not worry about t5 LED bulbs.

Anyone else have insight on 6 or 12% uvb bulb?

@snitz427 and @nightanole - what type of dual t5 fixtures do you have, what size cages, and what bulbs are you running in them where you have plant problems?

Just FYI the schefflera I mentioned is an alpine jr. It looks similar to an amate but stays much smaller. It is not your common schefflera arbicola. I am more worried about the nepenthes getting enough light to pitcher than any of the other plants, but I plan to mount it pretty high.
 
Last edited:

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
My queen pothos does fine with the lighting. But the schefflera is just falling apart. Like I said thought it had to do with repotting it and adding new soil but now that others have stated lighting may be the issue I'm thinking the same.

I've never had luck with the traditional instruction for a schefflera. In my plant room they thrive with more light and less water than traditiohnally suggested. I go a bit rogue with my plant keeping tho... got orchids in all kinds of crazy substrates.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks @Beman. Sounds like I should definitely stick with a 4 bulb t5ho fixture and not worry about t5 LED bulbs.

Anyone else have insight on 6 or 12% uvb bulb?

@snitz427 and @nightanole - what type of dual t5 fixtures do you have, what size cages, and what bulbs are you running in them where you have plant problems?

Just FYI the schefflera I mentioned is an alpine jr. It looks similar to an amate but stays much smaller. It is not your common schefflera arbicola. I am more worried about the nepenthes getting enough light to pitcher than any of the other plants, but I plan to mount it pretty high

I dont have any issues with my plants, other than I wish they’d grow faster! I have dual t5s with 6% in my 24x24, plus a basking light and a 30-40w SANSI. and dual 48” t5s with 12%, plus two 40w SANSi and a basking bulb in the larger cages (45x20x60 ish).

Everyone is bumping up to larger cages and will go all 12% when they do.

Here’s a recent pic of one, although it has already grown in a bit more and now has two SANSI instead of one. There’s a picther plant at rhe top left corner, but I’m too new to them to give advice. My Schefflera Amate is growing very quickly, and even moss and licorice fern on the bottom of the cage is doing well.


0B02AB79-3A79-43AA-BCD6-BECFF6FBEE76.jpeg
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Are you user its not the pot? I have one under a dual in Clarice's bioactive enclosure without issues, but the potted ones in Charlie's drops leaves and is pretty root bound in the 10" pot.


Its dead so who knows. It was not pot bound when i dug out its carcass. Though that doesnt mean that maybe the pot or drainage caused its demise. But using the same setup, the hibiscus flourished.
 

reddog

Member
I dont have any issues with my plants, other than I wish they’d grow faster! I have dual t5s with 6% in my 24x24, plus a basking light and a 30-40w SANSI. and dual 48” t5s with 12%, plus two 40w SANSi and a basking bulb in the larger cages (45x20x60 ish).

Everyone is bumping up to larger cages and will go all 12% when they do.

Here’s a recent pic of one, although it has already grown in a bit more and now has two SANSI instead of one. There’s a picther plant at rhe top left corner, but I’m too new to them to give advice. My Schefflera Amate is growing very quickly, and even moss and licorice fern on the bottom of the cage is doing well.


View attachment 238096

Does that t5 fixture have two reflectors?
 
Top Bottom