UVb lights

StarCham

Member
I was trying to understand a little bit the range of UVBs and it's quite complex. And I am now afraid that I am doing all wrong!

When I got my first chameleon, the sold me the Reptisun 10.0 UVB.

I then added a new guy and I got a zilla tropical for that new chameleon and a Zilla Desert for my bearded dragon. In a sort of a confusion, the Reptisun ended up with the Bearded dragon and the Zilla Desert with the two horns that passed away recently. He was under the light for only a few days and it was full of live plants... could it have been the cause of his death??

I am now concerned because I read that the Zilla is not recommended, but any of the other ones floating around the forum are not available anytime soon.

In short, right now I have 2 veiled Chameleons, one with the Zilla desert and one with the tropical. How bad is it? Would it be better to go with no light until I get the good ones or keep these and do something else?

Also, I'd appreciate links of both, fixtures and lamps recommended, hopefully from amazon or any other place with free shipping that I could get them quickly.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
uhhh. Zilla doesnt make T5HO, so im going on the assumption that OP only has T8 stuff

So a zilla desert = reptisun 10.0
zilla tropical = reptisun 5.0

A desert/10.0 is worthless past about 12-18". They are good for 36" tall or shorter chameleon cages
A tropical/5.0 is worthless past about 6-8". They are not recomended for chameleons, they are meant for very short "tanks" like for anoles or geckos.

None of them are strong enough to over expose a reptile if you get them mixed up.


The recommended model to get for chameleons is the zoomed reptisun T5HO 5.0 or arcadia T5HO 6% that is perfect for 36-48" tall cages, and will provide usable uvb for about 24" into the cage.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
You should be able to find either one of the lights nightanole recommended on Amazon. I’m pretty sure that’s where I got my Arcadia 6% T5HO a couple months ago.
 

DonKeesh

Established Member
@StarCham the only way to factually know is to test them with a solar meter. Recreate the setup and take a reading and see if the UVI was in range.
 

StarCham

Member
uhhh. Zilla doesnt make T5HO, so im going on the assumption that OP only has T8 stuff

So a zilla desert = reptisun 10.0
zilla tropical = reptisun 5.0

A desert/10.0 is worthless past about 12-18". They are good for 36" tall or shorter chameleon cages
A tropical/5.0 is worthless past about 6-8". They are not recomended for chameleons, they are meant for very short "tanks" like for anoles or geckos.

None of them are strong enough to over expose a reptile if you get them mixed up.


The recommended model to get for chameleons is the zoomed reptisun T5HO 5.0 or arcadia T5HO 6% that is perfect for 36-48" tall cages, and will provide usable uvb for about 24" into the cage.
it makes me feel better knowing this couldn't have been the cause for the other cameleon to die.

I honestly bought what was available (actually the first one was recommended by the reptiile place). They are all T8, it's hard to come by t5s other than online and even online they take a long time. I want to upgrade to T5s, but I wanted to make sure I get the right one because as you know, they are not cheap, so I want to buy the right one.
 

StarCham

Member
@StarCham the only way to factually know is to test them with a solar meter. Recreate the setup and take a reading and see if the UVI was in range.
I would eventually like to get this, but I am just starting and I would lik to avoid spending hundreds on this if possible, at least for the time being.
 

StarCham

Member
Also my other concern is that I find it hard to find a good fixture that would fit the right lamp. I know that fixtures especific for reptiles tend to have a higher tag price sometimes just because, so is there any recommendation (link would be amazing) for a T5 24"? I've seen the lights per se, but now so much about the fixtures
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also my other concern is that I find it hard to find a good fixture that would fit the right lamp. I know that fixtures especific for reptiles tend to have a higher tag price sometimes just because, so is there any recommendation (link would be amazing) for a T5 24"? I've seen the lights per se, but now so much about the fixtures

Hydrofarm Agrobrite if you want a double or more fixture

These are all single bulb clones of each other:
  • Arcadia Pro T5
  • Biodude T5HO
  • Carolina Custom Cages T5HO
  • Hydrofarm "Jumpstart"
  • Sunblaster T5HO Nanotech
  • Vivarium T5
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also my other concern is that I find it hard to find a good fixture that would fit the right lamp. I know that fixtures especific for reptiles tend to have a higher tag price sometimes just because, so is there any recommendation (link would be amazing) for a T5 24"? I've seen the lights per se, but now so much about the fixtures
Hydrofarm Agrobrite if you want a double or more fixture

These are all single bulb clones of each other:
  • Arcadia Pro T5
  • Biodude T5HO
  • Carolina Custom Cages T5HO
  • Hydrofarm "Jumpstart"
  • Sunblaster T5HO Nanotech
  • Vivarium T5
+1.

StarCham,
As it happens, all of those type fixtures come from the same mfr.
All made by Shenzen Sunlight Lighting Co. (OEM) and all are virtually identical.

1618240919804.png

  • Arcadia Pro T5
  • Biodude T5HO
  • Carolina Custom Cages T5HO
  • Hydrofarm "Jumpstart"
  • Sunblaster T5HO Nanotech
  • Vivarium T5
  • and Others
so shop for price.

As far as T5 bulbs, if mounted on top of—or just above the top of—the enclosure, you'll likely be looking at either Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% (I have both). IMO, you would only consider a Reptisun 10.0 or Arcadia 12% if the UVB is to be mounted 6" or more above the top of the enclosure.

MBD doesn't manifest overnight; it takes week to months. I would go with what you have (adjusted for the correct estimated distance) until you get the upgraded T5s.

All that said, I would still encourage you to invest in a UVI meter (or build one). It's the only way of ensuring distances are correct, and the more reptiles (UVB bulbs) one has, the sooner a meter will pay for itself by not replacing bulbs prematurely.
 

StarCham

Member
+1.

StarCham,
As it happens, all of those type fixtures come from the same mfr.
All made by Shenzen Sunlight Lighting Co. (OEM) and all are virtually identical.

1618240919804.png

  • Arcadia Pro T5
  • Biodude T5HO
  • Carolina Custom Cages T5HO
  • Hydrofarm "Jumpstart"
  • Sunblaster T5HO Nanotech
  • Vivarium T5
  • and Others
so shop for price.

As far as T5 bulbs, if mounted on top of—or just above the top of—the enclosure, you'll likely be looking at either Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% (I have both). IMO, you would only consider a Reptisun 10.0 or Arcadia 12% if the UVB is to be mounted 6" or more above the top of the enclosure.

MBD doesn't manifest overnight; it takes week to months. I would go with what you have (adjusted for the correct estimated distance) until you get the upgraded T5s.

All that said, I would still encourage you to invest in a UVI meter (or build one). It's the only way of ensuring distances are correct, and the more reptiles (UVB bulbs) one has, the sooner a meter will pay for itself by not replacing bulbs prematurely.
OMG you can build one? I LOVE those projects. I am lookinf forward to it. It is, definetly my goal, to have something to measure the UV light.

Last night I happened to be near one of the LLLReptile stores (Oceanside) and they had the T5 at a great price, so I got it! I still have one of my guys with the crappier T8 that I will be upgrading soon, but the difference is amazing. Even without an UV meter, the t5 is so much brighter! Now my question is, the second guy is a baby one, so she is in a reptibreeze medium. Which light would be better, the zilla desert or the zilla tropical?

Thank you
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Which light would be better, the zilla desert or the zilla tropical?

Thank you
Either, as long as positioned at the correct distance for the bulb & reflector.
Personally, I'd likely go with the tropical because I mount my UVB within an inch of the screen top.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/simple-uvb-fixture-supports.177896/

I have a Reptisun 10.0 in my beardie's enclosure. If you ever have plans to expand, the desert bulbs are appropriate for beardies, Uromastyx, Ackie Monitors, and other arid/desert dwellers.
 
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