Screen top

Hi,
Got a new enclosure for my male panther chameleon. Using reptisun 5 t5 for uvb. But my concern is screen top. It's really odd an has a weird mesh. Biggest concern is uvb Penetration though mesh. It's 16x16 inch. It's screen/glass hybrid. I'll post photos of it an screen top. Just seeing if there's a way replac either with bigger mesh screen top.
 

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suprdude

Established Member
I found that the "net" UVB light through a typcial window screen is cut in half (using my Solarmeter)
 
I found that the "net" UVB light through a typcial window screen is cut in half (using my Solarmeter)
Thinking the same or more. Maybe using a stronger uvb like for say, a reptisun 10. But don't wanna hurt the chameleons eyes an or anything else. I use the reptibreeze enclosures. An this top seems have smaller holes then regular window screen mesh. My panther chameleon is small still. Just don't want uvb to be a health concern. This enclosure is actually holding humidity. Better then the reptibreeze enclosures. Ones I use have plexiglass door an back an left side window Insulating kit. But they still dry within a hour after misting.
 
From your 2nd pic, it looks to me like that mesh lets through more light than window screen.
Do you have (access to) a UVB meter?

Are you thinking of replacing the whole top or just the mesh?
No access to a uvb meter. Been on my list to buy for some time. Just the price of them 😭.
Can't remove the mesh so whole top. Took a pic of whole over head. Just doesn't seem right to me.
 

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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
No access to a uvb meter. Been on my list to buy for some time. Just the price of them 😭.
Can't remove the mesh so whole top. Took a pic of whole over head. Just doesn't seem right to me.
OK... I'm not familiar with that particular enclosure, but if the whole top is removable, it looks like you could replace it with one made from window screen parts available at any home improvement store.

If you're handy with electronics (Arduino projects) you can build a UVI meter for less than $50.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=diy+uv+meter
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=diy+uvi+meter
 
OK... I'm not familiar with that particular enclosure, but if the whole top is removable, it looks like you could replace it with one made from window screen parts available at any home improvement store.

If you're handy with electronics (Arduino projects) you can build a UVI meter for less than $50.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=diy+uv+meter
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=diy+uvi+meter
It is removable, have to take a look at supplies they have an measure. Was thinking buy a reptile screen topper an cut it. But none are at 16 inches.
Going take a look at those links. If I have the tools I can try an make one.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
It looks more like the metal in a "screen" topper for an aquarium. This would allow more penetration of UVB since the holes are larger then aluminum window screen. UVB meter is the only way you will know your exact levels. 16x16 is not going to be much room for an adult male Panther though. They really need a 2x2x4ft cage.

How does the air flow work in this one? Looks like all side panels are glass. Is the service door at least screen so you can get the chimney effect for air flow?
 
It looks more like the metal in a "screen" topper for an aquarium. This would allow more penetration of UVB since the holes are larger then aluminum window screen. UVB meter is the only way you will know your exact levels. 16x16 is not going to be much room for an adult male Panther though. They really need a 2x2x4ft cage.

How does the air flow work in this one? Looks like all side panels are glass. Is the service door at least screen so you can get the chimney effect for air flow?
It is metal but holes are oval not square like window mesh. Going try get a uvb meter soon.
This enclosure is just temporary until I can get larger items for the xlarge deluxe reptibreeze I have.
I can take photos tomorrow. Right an left side is this same oval mesh. It's about 12 inches of mesh on both sides. This enclosure only one I used so far. That says wet longer after misting.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
That basking branch looks to be way too close to the UVB bulb, especially a T5 HO 10.0 one. You’ll also want to align the UVB bulb over the basking branch (preferably a tree branch, not a bamboo stick).
 
That basking branch looks to be way too close to the UVB bulb, especially a T5 HO 10.0 one. You’ll also want to align the UVB bulb over the basking branch (preferably a tree branch, not a bamboo stick).
It's a t5 HO 5.0 haven't replaced it with a 10. Wasn't 100% sure to do it. So move the uvb fixture where the heat lamp is? Have to find some tree branches. Mostly have the bamboo lol
 
Photo of the left side an front in view. Photo of the male searching for food lol. Female just basking.
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
It's a t5 HO 5.0 haven't replaced it with a 10. Wasn't 100% sure to do it. So move the uvb fixture where the heat lamp is? Have to find some tree branches. Mostly have the bamboo lol
So keep the 5.0, and when it’s time to replace, get either another Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 (good for 6 months to a year) or an Arcadia 6% (good for a year). The distance from bulb to basking branch should be 8-9” in a normal aluminum mesh cage, so I’d say 9-10” at the max closest for your cage. Move the UVB fixture so it is over the basking branch, so it’s straight above it and going in the same direction, if that makes sense.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is wrong information. Both are good for at least a year or more.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=how+long+is+a+reptisun+t5+good+for?
I'm not getting into this with you, we've had this discussion before. The only way to know for sure is by getting and using a Solarmeters 6.5. My experience with Zoo Med bulbs is they only lasted like 4 months, while yours is still good after over a year. I'd rather be safe than sorry and recommend the 6 months (who other people suggest, too) than possibly hurt someone's chameleon because their bulb lasted shorter.
 
This is wrong information. Both are good for at least a year or more.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=how+long+is+a+reptisun+t5+good+for?
Thought the reptisun 5 an 10 t5-HO are good for a year. Not liking changing bulbs out 4-6 months since first used. Then Arcadia 100% are good for a year. Arcadias are just harder to find an get in the states. With that said seems zoomed are waste of money. An would think if no output under a 1 year. They would have a warranty. But zoomed doesn't respond by email most of the time. Looking to get a uv meter soon. Just overwhelmed on spending 250 for one.
Then finding a chart for status on if the bulb is good or bad with output for chameleons. Even on reptisun box says good for 10-12 hours for 12 months. If that's incorrect think zoomed needs to look into that. Uvb is most important thing to keep reptiles. An hear this no wonder reptiles get MBD. When you think your pet is getting what it needs an isn't. Plus these bulbs are costly. Seem to get more expensive more years go by. Reason I switched from t8 to t5-H0. Was for stronger output an lasting. Only brand that seems reliable is the mega-ray. They even last over a year. Just even with 70watt give off way to much heat.
Just overwhelmed an really need find way check output monthly. Just dont get how the reptisun vary. One last 4 months an another a year. There all made the same I assume.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thought the reptisun 5 an 10 t5-HO are good for a year. Not liking changing bulbs out 4-6 months since first used. Then Arcadia 100% are good for a year. Arcadias are just harder to find an get in the states. With that said seems zoomed are waste of money. An would think if no output under a 1 year. They would have a warranty. But zoomed doesn't respond by email most of the time. Looking to get a uv meter soon. Just overwhelmed on spending 250 for one.
Then finding a chart for status on if the bulb is good or bad with output for chameleons. Even on reptisun box says good for 10-12 hours for 12 months. If that's incorrect think zoomed needs to look into that. Uvb is most important thing to keep reptiles. An hear this no wonder reptiles get MBD. When you think your pet is getting what it needs an isn't. Plus these bulbs are costly. Seem to get more expensive more years go by. Reason I switched from t8 to t5-H0. Was for stronger output an lasting. Only brand that seems reliable is the mega-ray. They even last over a year. Just even with 70watt give off way to much heat.
Just overwhelmed an really need find way check output monthly. Just dont get how the reptisun vary. One last 4 months an another a year. There all made the same I assume.

I'm sorry, I don't understand some of this—it could be me. :oops:

Reptisun and Arcadia have the same warranty—1 year, and I've had the Reptisun warranty honored—no questions (except providing a copy of the receipt, which is pretty standard).
https://zoomed.com/reptisun-5-0-uvb-t5-ho-high-output-linear-lamp/ (5.0)
https://zoomed.com/t5-ho-reptisun-10-0-uvb/ (10.0)
Arcadia Lighting Product Warranties

MBD doesn't set in overnight either—it usually takes months to develop.

Other aspects:
When brand-new, all T5 fluorescent UVB bulbs have an initial "burn-in" period when they put out significantly higher UVI numbers. This burn-in period usually lasts for between 50-100 hours (4-8 days of use), after which the UVI will level out for about a year. Some folks choose to "burn-in" their bulbs before putting them into service, or adjust basking distance during that periiod.

When T5s do eventually wear out, it's not instantaneous like flipping a switch. After 12 months, output begins to wane—slowly—over a period of several months. There is still substantial output, so prematurely pitching a bulb after any length of time just doesn't make sense—until the output falls below the lower limit of a chameleon's requirements.

Panther, and Jackson’s Chameleons [are] in Ferguson Zone 3 which is UVI [of 1 to 2.6] with a maximum of UVI 7.4.
(If you are interested in the discussion about Ferguson Zones, a thorough paper by Dr. Francis Baines discusses UVB in the captive environment. https://www.jzar.org/jzar/article/view/150/89)
https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-cage-set-up-replicating-the-sun/
I recommend anything/everything written by Dr. Baines.

Lastly, the possibility of insufficient UVB is why we supplement with D3, so we have that insurance as well.

I use a little trick to extend the life of my UVB bulbs up to an additional 2 months.
As the Sun rises & sets, the atmosphere that UVB light must penetrate is much thicker (about 3X thicker) at Sunup & Sundown than when overhead, and very little/no UVB gets through anyway.

1629549582226.png


So, while it is recommended to run enclosure lights 12 hrs on/12 hrs off, I turn my UVB on an hour later, and turn it off an hour earlier (10 hrs). My plant lights stay on the full 12 hours, as less than that long can affect some plants' natural cycles. (I recently read a study that it's the length of the dark period that counts, but in a zero-sum 24 hour day, comme ci comme ça. 🤷‍♂️)

Anyhoo, my basking light stays on for 12 hrs unless the ambient temperature at the basking site rises to or above the target basking temperature, in which case it turns off.

Richardslusser111, I agree with you that, "Uvb is most important thing to keep reptiles," and I can appreciate the sticker shock of a Solarmeter (as I went through it myself, but with a difference☝️). Many/most articles detailing the costs of owning reptiles (while updated in most respects) date back to a paradigm before these meters even existed (except in academic/commercial/research laboratory settings) and are remiss in including them as a cost of keeping reptiles. If "UVB is most important" in keeping reptiles, why aren't meters included in the articles and lists as mandatory/required just as the lighting itself is? Shouldn't meters be an integral part of reptile lighting just as much as the fixtures & bulbs?

I've seen enough anecdotal evidence about both Arcadia and Reptisun bulbs burning out prematurely and lasting longer than one year that IMO they cancel out. I own some of each—they're both good bulbs, and IMO are qualitatively equal.
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
It is metal but holes are oval not square like window mesh. Going try get a uvb meter soon.
This enclosure is just temporary until I can get larger items for the xlarge deluxe reptibreeze I have.
I can take photos tomorrow. Right an left side is this same oval mesh. It's about 12 inches of mesh on both sides. This enclosure only one I used so far. That says wet longer after misting.
You will find that the solarmeter 6.5 is a great purchase. I am now on month 14 with my arcadia bulb. Output has barely reduced. But the ONLY way to know if your UVB bulb needs to be replaced is with a solarmeter. Rule within the hobby is 6 months for a zoomed bulb and 12 months for an arcadia bulb. With the solarmeter obviously you can get more time out of them because you know what your actual levels are rather then having to go by the hobby standard for keeping them before replacing them.

I have a feeling your top is going to let a bit more light through but it may be comparable to the screen. I have no first hand experience testing that type of material to give you exacts though. So your looking at 8-9 inches to basking branch from the bottom of the fixture with a T5HO fixture and a 5.0 or 6% bulb. With a 10.0 or 12% it would be 11-12 inches to the branch. This would be through aluminum screen which causes about a 40% reduction.

That is good that the cage has side mesh. I just wanted to make sure you had the airflow needed.
 
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