Wrapping UV light in mesh before mounting inside glass enclosure

dannigrrl

Member
I have a 2x2x4 three sided glass enclosure with a glass roof, therefore I have no other option than to mount my UV light inside the enclosure by velcroing it to the top. (Don't judge the glassiness, my city averages a solid 30% humidity year round!)

I have a 24" Reptisun T5 5.0 with reflector. Watching Neptune's Youtube video of 80 chameleon enclosure reviews, she suggested wrapping the entire fixture in screen mesh before mounting it to prevent UV overexposure. What a great idea!

Now I wonder which screen mesh to choose, so I've been using this chart as reference. By choosing the light mesh (1/4 inch wire), I should get a longer gradient range compared to the flyscreen mesh.

I've spent lots of time looking at other people's enclosures and it seems like the 1/4 inch wire mesh isn't really used that much, but I wonder why not if we can get a deeper and better ranged gradient from it?

uv.jpeg



Also another thing I was curious about (provided that all you nice people here suggest going with flyscreen only) is if I should pick fiberglass or aluminum screen? (Looks like the 1/4 mesh is aluminum only, but the flyscreen is available from my local hardware store in both fiberglass & aluminum.)

Please share your opinions and suggestions!
Thanks!
:)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a 2x2x4 three sided glass enclosure with a glass roof, therefore I have no other option than to mount my UV light inside the enclosure by velcroing it to the top. (Don't judge the glassiness, my city averages a solid 30% humidity year round!)
I'm not sure I'm understanding your point. :unsure:
Most chameleons need at least that much humidity or higher—some much higher.

I have a 24" Reptisun T5 5.0 with reflector. Watching Neptune's Youtube video of 80 chameleon enclosure reviews, she suggested wrapping the entire fixture in screen mesh before mounting it to prevent UV overexposure. What a great idea!
I'd be concerned about wrapping an electrical device in more metal, especially if there's a possibility of catching some mist or fog.

Another (better?) way is to create a false ceiling of mesh just below the bulb.
This will more closely simulate an enclosure with a screen top, and separate the luminaire from the screen in the event of moisture. ;)
IMO, this will also be safer if you get/have a ceiling climber.

Now I wonder which screen mesh to choose, so I've been using this chart as reference.
What is the source (URL) of the chart please? I think it could be very handy/useful for future reference & study.

By choosing the light mesh (1/4 inch wire), I should get a longer gradient range compared to the flyscreen mesh.

I've spent lots of time looking at other people's enclosures and it seems like the 1/4 inch wire mesh isn't really used that much, but I wonder why not if we can get a deeper and better ranged gradient from it?
Mostly because larger meshes allow feeder insects to escape the enclosure.
You have a different situation where larger mesh size is more practical, so long as it's not so large as to allow a baby chameleon to climb through it.

Also another thing I was curious about (provided that all you nice people here suggest going with flyscreen only) is if I should pick fiberglass or aluminum screen? (Looks like the 1/4 mesh is aluminum only, but the flyscreen is available from my local hardware store in both fiberglass & aluminum.)
There's quite a bit about this in the archives. I did some initial research when I designed some DIY enclosures, and wanted the best choice for material & mesh size.

Crickets can/will eat through fiberglass.
 

dannigrrl

Member
Can you post photos of the cage setup please.
Cage not setup - he will be moving in as a subadult in the fall. Just gathering ideas here first.

I'm not sure I'm understanding your point. :unsure:
Most chameleons need at least that much humidity or higher—some much higher.
My point is that the only way humidity can be maintained is by using a glass cage. I am aware of the humidity requirements. (y) Sorry for including that, it's really not relevant to my discussion anyway! 🤠

What is the source (URL) of the chart please? I think it could be very handy/useful for future reference & study.
I found the chart right here, actually! Original thread: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/t5-10-0-bulb.185099/
Interestingly, there was some discussion in the thread about the accuracy of these readings, but I don't see how they wouldn't be accurate.


I do like the idea of a false ceiling with 1/4 inch mesh. May consider that route. Thanks for your 2 cents there! 🙂


The other option could be to use no mesh at all and mount the basking branch so that his back sits 8-10 inches below the bulb.
What do you think about this idea?
 

dannigrrl

Member
Still wondering how you're going to provide airflow?
The entire front is metal grate. My Pablo lived happily in this enclosure for 7 years. I used a Powersun Mercury vapor bulb back in the day, but now I want to use T5 which is why I'm asking about mounting it inside the cage. Since the top is glass, I really don't have any other options.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
My point is that the only way humidity can be maintained is by using a glass cage. I am aware of the humidity requirements. (y) Sorry for including that, it's really not relevant to my discussion anyway!
Any kind of hybrid enclosure—glass, acrylic, PVC, even plywood if sealed against moisture—should make maintaining humidity possible.

I found the chart right here, actually! Original thread: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/t5-10-0-bulb.185099/
Interestingly, there was some discussion in the thread about the accuracy of these readings, but I don't see how they wouldn't be accurate.
Thanks, and I agree. Dr. Baines is (IMO) the authority on UVB with reptiles.
Her site is worth bookmarking, articles worth reading, and vids worth watching.
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
Also, there's a FB group, but I don't do FB. :)

I do like the idea of a false ceiling with 1/4 inch mesh. May consider that route. Thanks for your 2 cents there! 🙂
No problem.

The other option could be to use no mesh at all and mount the basking branch so that his back sits 8-10 inches below the bulb.
What do you think about this idea?
Two caveats:
  • The chameleon's reach (and they can stretch a LOT) could not extend that length (Mine already does).
  • There must be no way (other branches, "ledges", plants, or anything else) that would allow him access to reach the light.
If there's a way to get up there, a chameleon will find it.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
The entire front is metal grate. My Pablo lived happily in this enclosure for 7 years. I used a Powersun Mercury vapor bulb back in the day, but now I want to use T5 which is why I'm asking about mounting it inside the cage. Since the top is glass, I really don't have any other options.
This concerns me. Keeping chameleons is not cheap. Best current estimates are that it costs between $500-$1000+ to initially set up properly for a chameleon. The big variable is the enclosure, and since we know you need a hybrid, I would lean toward (or above) the high end.

You can find a shopping list on https://caskabove.com/

Best (most bang for the buck) hybrid enclosure I know of is
https://www.zenhabitats.com/products/2x2x4-pvc-reptile-enclosure-1
 
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