building a new cage...light issues and questions

alchemy

Established Member
Hi everyone, I've had my nosy be for a few months now, but I am building his adult cage (2x2x4) to have it ready for him. My problem is, I've built the frame of the cage and was planning to use my 24" hood/fixture with a reptisun 10.0 fluorescent bulb (from my current cage), but I messed up with the measurements! The "outer" diameter is 24", but the "inner" is less because of the 2x2's I used to make it. With the canopy resting on top of the cage, I will not be able to fit that fixture in there, so here are my questions....

Can I go buy a new fixture that houses an 18" inch fluor. uvb bulb? or will that not be enough light? If not, would dual reptisun 5.0's/10.0's be fine and make up for the difference at 18inches each? Im using a pet resistant screen mesh for the top, so the light doesnt get thru too easily. I am trying to stay away from the powersun's. Thanks in advance!

Jim
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Jim,

Sorry but I'm confused. Can't you just set the fixture on top of the new enclosure?
Were you planning to have it inside the enclosure? I personally wouldn't recommend that. Again, not sure exactly what you're plan is.
Can you post a pic? I always love to see the enclosures people build!

-Brad
 

alchemy

Established Member
Hey Brad,
Sorry, my post does sound confusing, but yes your right, I could just sit the fixture on the top, but only if I don't use the canopy I made for it (its like what people use on fish tanks at the top to cover it up, for aesthetic purposes only). The problem is that the canopy wont sit over the fixture because of the size, and therefore, I would like to know if I could go to a single or dual 18" tubes, to replace the single 24" tube.

So no, the fixture wont be "in" the enclosure, but above it, but within the canopy itself. Hope that makes sense!

I am building this at my parents house and do not have a digital camera handy, so I will take some pics with my phone and upload them when i get home. Thanks again.

Jim
 

roo_71

New Member
Well it really, really sounds like you plan on putting the light fixture in the cage – sorry if that’s a bad assumption. If that’s the plan then I highly advise that you don’t. Cham environments get wet and everyone knows water and electricity don’t mix. That and there is the possibility that the cham could injure itself pawing at the fixture – how?, I haven’t slightest clue but it could happen. Maybe get it's hands caught up in there somehow – really anything’s possible. My general rule of thumb before putting anything in a cham cage is ask myself how can my cham injure itself with this thing? And with a light fixture – many bad things could happen. Also, when looking at other keepers setups, about how many have the light fixture IN the enclosure? Exactly.

I think I know what material you are proposing to use for the screening, and that stuff will block the UV from the bulb even more so then the repatarium screen material which blocks roughly 50% of the rays. Please consider some other material such as aluminum screen or hardware cloth.

EDIT ... sorry for the delay on my response :(

-roo
 
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Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Okay.
I understand the concept now.
I don't see a problem with going with an 18" fixture.
I agree with Roo. Maybe a different material (at least for the top) would provide better uvb penetration.
I'm interested to see the final product....Happy building!

-Brad
 

alchemy

Established Member
Hey Roo,
Yeah the fixture is definitely not going to be in the cage, but above the screen. I think and rethink over and over about what goes in the cage for safety just like you do, so I would never put anything that would be an obvious hazard to the little guy! And about the screen, I prefer to keep it because its stronger than many of the others, and I am aware that it cuts back on more light, so thats another reason why I was thinking of doing two 18in repitsun 10.0 bulbs...the question is, is it too much or too little, or possibly just right? Thanks again.

Jim
 

alchemy

Established Member
Thanks Brad,
If you think 18in is fine, then should i do 1 or 2 tubes? And if 2, who sells dual 18in fixtures? I already went to Home Depot and Lowes and the smallest they carry in a dual setup is 24inchs and up. Thanks.

Jim
 

Julirs

New Member
I have an 18" ESU slimline flourescent fixture. 18" fixtures are difficult to find. If you do get that one remove the plastic lens and replace the bulb-I have a Zoomed 10.0 and it works out fine.
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Jim,
I think one tube would be sufficient as long as there are branches that allow the animal to get fairly close (within a few inches) of the UVB light.
It may cost you a bit more because you likely will have to go with an aquarium hood and the pet stores are pretty proud of those.:)
Probably around $30.

-Brad
 

roo_71

New Member
I am aware that it cuts back on more light, so thats another reason why I was thinking of doing two 18in repitsun 10.0 bulbs...the question is, is it too much or too little, or possibly just right? Thanks again.
Did you get this stuff at Lowes? Is it called “Pet Screen” by any chance? I don’t think adding 2 fixtures will really help any. All you will be doing is increasing the area of the cage where the UV rays will be hitting, and the output of these rays will be incredible diminished by that screen material if it’s the stuff I think it is. So think about it, adding two light fixtures really doesn’t increase intensity one bit – surface area where UV is hitting, yes but intensity no. To do that, you need a more intense bulb and even with a 10.0 bulb is gonna get blocked pretty well by that screen.

I have this pet screen stuff, I use it for covering some feeder tops and I know a lobster roach can eat right through it in one night. Confirm this is what you have or I will post of pic of what I have to see if it’s similar. I will take my UV meter and block a new 10.0 bulb with the screen and take a reading and go from there.

Maybe a different material (at least for the top) would provide better uvb penetration
... a good suggestion.

-roo
 

alchemy

Established Member
Thanks Julirs, I'll look into that 18" ESU fixture.

Brad, I just got back from the local aquarium shop and they have 20in fixtures that take 18" tubes for 12.99 each...not too bad of a price, but maybe I'll just start with one and see how that goes (or the ESU one Julirs recommended).

Roo, you are correct, it is the stuff called Pet Screen. So its no good huh? What screens are really durable and let a decent amount of uvb and light through it? I too would be interested to see how much uvb gets through the Pet Screen.

Thanks again for all your help!

Jim
 

roo_71

New Member
So its no good huh? What screens are really durable and let a decent amount of uvb and light through it? I too would be interested to see how much uvb gets through the Pet Screen.
Well all I know is lobster roach can eat through it pretty well so dont think of it as completely feeder proof. It does have the advantage of offering a bit more privacy compared to other materials though. I will do a UV test with my meter this weekend and show you the difference between a repatarium, aluminum, and the pet screen.

I like the PVC coated hardware cloth from Home Depot, the coating won’t melt and its incredibly tough stuff and will allow PLENTY of UV and light in. Sure some feeders can get out but I cup feed them and free range others such as silk worms/matids/stick bugs. It’s a happy in-between for me … it gives the cham a chance to hunt and exercise its tongue and the feeder cup (which is positioned in a way that my veiled really has to extend his tongue/exercize) allows me to contain the other feeders that can escape through the screen.

-roo
 

alchemy

Established Member
Thanks Roo, I'll go take a look at the PVC coated stuff at Home Depot....Maybe I saw it but overlooked it when I made the decision for the Pet Screen. Is it in the same screening section as the others?


Jim
 

Heika

New Member
Did you get this stuff at Lowes? Is it called “Pet Screen” by any chance? I don’t think adding 2 fixtures will really help any. All you will be doing is increasing the area of the cage where the UV rays will be hitting, and the output of these rays will be incredible diminished by that screen material if it’s the stuff I think it is. So think about it, adding two light fixtures really doesn’t increase intensity one bit – surface area where UV is hitting, yes but intensity no. To do that, you need a more intense bulb and even with a 10.0 bulb is gonna get blocked pretty well by that screen.

I have this pet screen stuff, I use it for covering some feeder tops and I know a lobster roach can eat right through it in one night. Confirm this is what you have or I will post of pic of what I have to see if it’s similar. I will take my UV meter and block a new 10.0 bulb with the screen and take a reading and go from there.



... a good suggestion.

-roo

Hmm.. I would really, really like to hear how your reading comes out with a 5.0 bulb when going through pet screen. No reason, really.. cough.. cough...

Then, I would really like to know how I missed that UVB doesn't pass through pet screen very well. It will give me something to think about on my drive to Home Depot.

Heika
 

roo_71

New Member
The PVC coated hardware cloth is only at Home Depot from what I can see and its not located with the other stuff. It was in the outside/open air area like where garden products are. It’s also 1” opening screen, you can find the ½ inch stuff without the coating too but I liked the PVC coated stuff since it’s smoother and easier on their hands if they crawl on it. I did see ½” coated online but was ok with 1” and I didn’t go online to get it since I wasn’t sure how much I needed and shipping would have been pretty pricey.

Hmm.. I would really, really like to hear how your reading comes out with a 5.0 bulb when going through pet screen. No reason, really.. cough.. cough...
I can do a 5.0 reading too. I will try and post results on Sunday in a seperate thread since I think a lot of people would be interested in the results.

-roo
 

Heika

New Member
Thanks, I would appreciate that. I haven't been too happy with the way it holds up on the top of the cages anyhow, but I really didn't realize it doesn't pass UVB well.

Heika
 

roo_71

New Member
Well I just took at some of the pet screen stuff and isnt much different then the repatrium material- I must have had a bad snap shot of it in my brain, it's thicker stuff though so maybe that's what threw me. I havent checked it with a meter yet but I wouldnt be surprised if its the same or maybe a bit less on the meter compared to the reptarium. I would be concerned about putting a heat lamp right on it though since it could melt - so that should obv. be confirmed first.

All I have is 5.0 to test with, the only 10.0 I have is over my carpet cages and is three feet long and a pain to get down.

-roo
 

alchemy

Established Member
I would be concerned about putting a heat lamp right on it though since it could melt - so that should obv. be confirmed first.

-roo
Do you mean "right on it" as in laying the uva light dome directly on the pet screen? If so, I agree and wasnt planning on letting the dome rest on it like that. Instead, I was going to use some low blocks to rest the dome on so it doesnt burn or melt the mesh. But maybe it'll still do something "bad" to the wood? :confused: ...thanks again.

Jim
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
I have my basking dome resting on two pieces of 1x2 mdf.
It houses a 100 watt bulb and has been this way for several months with no problem.

-Brad
 
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