Is repti-glo 5.0 enough for 36" high terrarium live plants?


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We recently finished setting up our new exo-terra 36X18X36 terrarium with a false bottom for drainage and live potted plants (hibiscus, some ferns and smaller floor plants). We have the large canopy hood with 4 bulbs as well as a separate basking lamp. The temperature and humidity seem to be at the correct levels however we know that our veiled chameleon needs to bask within 12 inches of the uvb bulbs so my question is how do the plants on the lower level of the terrarium (approx 30 inches down) receive enough uva/uvb light to flourish? We have considered buying the repti-glo 10, desert bulb) to place on the non-basking side of the terrarium. Would this solve the problem? We would appreciate any feedback from users with knowledge or experience with this particular problem.

I have one of these for my Johnstoni. I bought a zoo med 36" T5 5.0 HO for UVB. I use the exoterra hood for visible light and a heat source.

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Hi Biffle, your setup looks awesome. And those bulbs look great but I have the compact hood, can I get something similar in the compact format?
I would stay away from cfls unless you have meter to make sure they are not acting funny. For you plants to grow you need lots of light, not uvb. I dont quite understand your 4 bulb setup. Please respond with length/wattage/type of bulbs you are using.

I good plant growth setup would be uv bulbs and matching 6500k bulbs.
You have lots of compact florescent options. A 26W 5.0 CF will give you the UVB that you need. I would add one at either end.

I choose the 36" liner bulb because it covers the length of the cage and it's only 1 bulb to replace every 6 months. 26 watt CF bulbs are not cheap, replacing them every 6 months gets costly.

Another option for the plant/visual lighting is LEDs. Light your has a nice compact option.

I do have a repti-glo 26W 5.0 CF (Exo Terra Repti-Glo 5.0 Compact Fluorescent Tropical Terrarium Lamp, 26-Watt) on both ends and I also have a repti-glo Full Spectrum Terrarium Lamp, 26-Watt on both ends. I thought that the UV only penetrates 12 inches from the bulbs though so I don't know how the plants on the bottom are receiving enough uv? The repti-glo 26W 10.0 (desert) penetrates 20" per the description on the exo terra site so this would reach the plants on the bottom but I would need to ensure that my chameleon could not get within 12-16 inches of that one. Am I missing something or over thinking something here?
Thanks for the reply nightanole, from reading through all of the posts on here over the past month, the majority of them suggest live plants over fake plants but not many (if any) posts mentioned anything about specific lighting for the plants that's different from the bulbs that I have in place now. Why are you suggesting to avoid cfls completely?
Ya, plants only need uva. its why you can grow plants indoors or in glass hot houses even though glass filters out 95% of uvb.
ok so the Full Spectrum bulbs (26 W - High Color Rendering Index of 98 (CRI) - 6700 Kelvin) would be enough to penetrate down 30+ inches and provide everything that the plants need? I have 2 of these bulbs, 1 on each end of the terrarium.
Here are some pictures of the setup so far. The floor plants on the right side are the ones that I feel need more light. I know that the plants do not need the same UVB light that chameleons do but they do need full spectrum light, this is what my post is regarding. The hibiscus plant on the left side does not look like its doing very well so far, some of the leaves are starting to look like they are wilting. I feel that I am not getting enough full spectrum light in there.


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Thanks Sandra, I had read that information previously, my main question was related to the height of the enclosure and what lighting was required to maintain healthy plants 30-36 inches down from the canopy hood, also taking into account the amount of light lost because of the screen top etc. There are some links in that last thread that I will check out though, thanks again.
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