T8 bulb in non-reptile fixture?

vaporwave

Member
Only half of my order shipped and I have a UVB bulb now with no fixture. Can I go to Lowe's and get a fixture that will fit it, or does it have to be animal specific, like ZooMed or something? I dont know if the animal specific ones regulate the output or something. Thank you!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
The problem is not all reflectors in fixtures are created the same. This is why typically we use ones that are for reptile or hydroponics because the reflectors are better.

T8 bulb has different distances to basking required and you need the right strength.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
For years I used a T8 5.0 Reptisun tube in a fixture I purchased from Walmart.
The ballasts will work. But as has already been said, the reflectors are different.
It'll work. Just not quite as well.
 

vaporwave

Member
The problem is not all reflectors in fixtures are created the same. This is why typically we use ones that are for reptile or hydroponics because the reflectors are better.

T8 bulb has different distances to basking required and you need the right strength.
Thank you!
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
As far as what works. It depends on the wattage of the bulb. You can run a 54w bulb in a 27w fixture, but you will not get full output. You want to match watts. If your fixture is coming soon just wait. Nothing is going to change with no UVB for a few days. It is a long term thing. Like Smoking but in reverse.
 

ZEROPILOT

Avid Member
What species is it? A T8 with a 5.0 is a very low output... We typically recommend a 10.0 bulb for T8 fixtures. Because with this combo basking branch would be about 7-8 inches below the fixture for the correct UVI output. But this is using a fixture with a good reflector.
I've tested a bunch of T8 and T5 tubes on the tortoiseforum.org
I don't remember the exact number. But you're correct. A T8 5.0 broadcasting through a screen puts out almost no UVB past about 4".
 

vaporwave

Member
I've tested a bunch of T8 and T5 tubes on the tortoiseforum.org
I don't remember the exact number. But you're correct. A T8 5.0 broadcasting through a screen puts out almost no UVB past about 4".
Oh...can I put the basking lamp farther from the screen so he can safely bask?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh...can I put the basking lamp farther from the screen so he can safely bask?
Yes, you need to raise the basking fixture up off the top of the cage so there is no risk of thermal burns. But with the T8 fixture and the 5.0 bulb you have to have this directly on top of the cage then the branch would be about 3-4 inches below the top screen to give a 2-3 UVI... Issue with this is depending on age this is extremely close to the top screen. I would consider upgrading to the 10.0 bulb and have basking branch 7-8 inches below it so that the chameleon is not sitting right against the screen top.
 

vaporwave

Member
Yes, you need to raise the basking fixture up off the top of the cage so there is no risk of thermal burns. But with the T8 fixture and the 5.0 bulb you have to have this directly on top of the cage then the branch would be about 3-4 inches below the top screen to give a 2-3 UVI... Issue with this is depending on age this is extremely close to the top screen. I would consider upgrading to the 10.0 bulb and have basking branch 7-8 inches below it so that the chameleon is not sitting right against the screen top.
Okay, that's what I will do!
 

vaporwave

Member
Yes, you need to raise the basking fixture up off the top of the cage so there is no risk of thermal burns. But with the T8 fixture and the 5.0 bulb you have to have this directly on top of the cage then the branch would be about 3-4 inches below the top screen to give a 2-3 UVI... Issue with this is depending on age this is extremely close to the top screen. I would consider upgrading to the 10.0 bulb and have basking branch 7-8 inches below it so that the chameleon is not sitting right against the screen top.
I got a thrive bulb because that’s all they had at the pet store...but I haven’t heard anything about thrive. Didn’t have a number designation but said it worked up to 12” away. Will it work, or will it lead to MBD? If it won’t work, I’ll just return it and order a reptisun bulb.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I got a thrive bulb because that’s all they had at the pet store...but I haven’t heard anything about thrive. Didn’t have a number designation but said it worked up to 12” away. Will it work, or will it lead to MBD? If it won’t work, I’ll just return it and order a reptisun bulb.
Replace it with the reptisun 10.0 bulb and have basking 7 inches below with the fixture sitting directly on the cage. I am not fond of the thrive bulbs. They do not give info the way the other bulb makers do. And their 12" away does not account for screen reducing the UVB output by 40%.
 

vaporwave

Member
Replace it with the reptisun 10.0 bulb and have basking 7 inches below with the fixture sitting directly on the cage. I am not fond of the thrive bulbs. They do not give info the way the other bulb makers do. And their 12" away does not account for screen reducing the UVB output by 40%.
Thank you! I'll return it and order a reptisun.
 
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