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  1. #1
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    Question UVB Light For Fat Tails- How long should it be on a day?


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    So I have a nearly 5 month old male AFT, named Sinbad.

    He's doing great, he's eating well *loves the mealworms a bit too much*, pooping up to 3 times daily- has the cutest, chubbiest little tail; and in the 6 weeks I've had him, has shed beautifully 3 times- the 3rd shed being this morning so he's a handsome boy again with an even fatter tail

    Sinbad is my first gecko, so I want to give him the best quality of life possible so I bought a UVB canopy with a:

    Arcadia T5, D3 6% Rainforest UVB- bulb.

    I've just put it on, and so far he doesn't seem too impressed, but I have seen him flick his tail out of his hide a couple times for 1-2 minutes, then he goes back in; I know he has sensitive eyes, so he may never quite get used to the light, but he has 3 hides to choose from one of which is huge and pitch black at the back so he's not being forced into the light the whole time its on...


    My aim- is to get him off the D3 dusting powder, and have him just on Arcadia's Earth pro A full spectrum vitamins, he will have a small dish of Earth pro CA so he can boost his calcium intake if he needs it at all times, I just won't be dusting his food with it.

    So how many hours a day, would I need to leave the UVB on for to give him enough calcium? I keep getting told 2 - 4 hours would be ample for a fat tail, but that doesn't seem a lot when he is growing still ... and it's only 6%.





    I know I'm probably going to get a tirade of "Aft's don't need UVB. Just dust his food with calcium powder."

    Sinbad was very small when I got him; at 3 months old, he was hatchling size, not even 3 inches long. I noticed on my first handling that his left arm was a bit weaker and smaller than his right, but thought he just needed bulking up and a bigger terrarium to walk round since he was in a very small one.

    He's now nearing 5 inches long, I can't give an accurate weight since he's just shed so I want to leave him alone today, unless he comes out looking for food, but last week he was 4.3 inches long and weighed 12 grams, so I think he'll be around 14-15 maybe 18 at a huge push, this time since his tail's gotten bigger, but anyway, he still has weakness in this arm, and I am not risking MBD with him.

    Sinbad is still small for his age. I've seen 5 month AFT's who dwarf him length and weight wise, but given how tiny he was, I'm proud of where he is now ^^ he doesn't have to be the biggest. I just want him healthy and UVB's have been proven to better an AFT's quality of life.
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  2. #2
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    I provide all of my AFT's with UVB, same Arcadia T5 unit and use the supplements you intend to use, though I recommend some minor adjustments to your current plan in light of recent evidence.

    With regard to your question as to how long to have the light on for, ideally you would work toward having it on for 12 then off for 12. What is absolutely crucial is that the Gecko can find complete shade from the light and can therefore effectively self regulate his exposure.

    What you saw of him exposing parts of himself to the light for minutes at a time is typical behavior for the species, who rarely openly bask in UVB, unlike my Leos, many of whom do so each evening. The Gecko knows exactly what it needs and in what volume, that is the beauty of natural supplements and safe UVB provision.

    The bottom line here is this, ensure he can find complete shade from any light as he has need, and allow him to do the rest, within a few weeks you can move him to the schedule you likely have in mind.

    I use the following for both Leo and AFT's in my care:

    • Earth Pro Calcium + MG @ 1 Feeding a week.
    • Earth-Pro A - Lightly dusted @ All other feedings (however regular).
    • Any quality multivitamin with Synthetic D3/ A @ One feeding a month. (I use nutrobal for the purpose but there are many options)


    You can continue to leave the pure Ca in the enclosure if you wish, I elect not to do so myself.

    Any further questions, let me know, you are absolutely doing the right thing for your Gecko, my compliments on the effort thus far.


    PS: Anybody advising you with "x amount of time is enough for this species", can be safely ignored on such matters moving forward, they simply do not sufficiently understand the process if they feel comfortable making those claims. It is simply impossible for anybody to tell that per gecko, per species. So again, true self regulation is the key here for any Gecko.
    Last edited by Zux; 12-11-2017 at 08:53 PM.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The supplements I use and the thinking behind why !

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...mzky_qzQdxu-K2

    Modern Care Podcast Series - Learn everything you need to know about captive Reptile Nutrition and the ideas supporting Bio-Activity today !

    https://www.facebook.com/arcadiarept...366384280319:0

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  3. #3
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    Thank you so much for the information! =D

    Yesterday, I had the UVB on for 5 hours, today it was on for 6, going to work him up slowly I also played around with his items to ensure that at least two of his hides are pitch black, with the third one letting in some light, and ordered a few bits to give him 2 more shade area's.

    Oh wow, I didn't realise Arcadia had an MG supplement as well! I'll definitely be getting him that, his left arm needs all the help with muscle growth it can get while he's still growing!

    So with your information in mind; I'm thinking, of sticking to 6 hours UVB a day, for 4 days, then moving onto 7 for another 4, and so on till I get to 12 hours, and till then rotate his dusting so he has Earth Pro A for 3 days, then Earth Pro CA every 4th day so he's still getting it but I'm not running a risk of overdosing him on calcium, and he'll have his dish if he feels a bit low, I'll also add MG into day two of Earth Pro A so he gets it every 4 days once I get it

    Would this be a safe method? Or should I make some adjustments to even out the amounts?




    He's also been in a surprisingly good mood today. Usually, he is a bit grumpy for a couple days after his shed and while he does climb onto my hand, the last 2 sheds, he hasn't done so willingly till at least the 3rd day after. But he was really perky today, happily climbed on and was super calm and climbed onto the scales and off again without a care. I'm not complaining of course, just a rather sudden change of character xD

    He also passed his shedding a lot faster than usual, and in one solid lump for the first time! Its usually broken up into 3 piles, so I'm hoping that's a result of the more natural D3

    I'm super glad I got it for him now, a tad pricey, seeing how it cost more than his terrarium, but so, so, so worth it, if it improves his health and quality of life it's worth every penny


    Thank you for the awesome response!
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  4. #4
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    My pleasure, wonderful to hear he is showing signs of good health !

    As for your proposed schedule, what I would simply remove the pure 'Ca' from the diet in favor of the 'Ca + MG' product, it has been designed to be balanced with regular use in mind. So 1/4 feedings with that, 3/4 of Earth Pro-A is my recommendation.

    In terms of risking Calcium overdose, it is effectively impossible considering the total absence of synthetic D3 in his diet, it is that combination which results in the vast majority of instances of hyper/hypo-calcemia seen in captive reptiles.

    While able to effectively self regulate his exposure to UVB and therefore produce the perfect amount of D3 himself, excess Calcium will be easily passed and is wholly unlikely to ever build up (even in residual amounts) while following your proposed schedule.

    It is for the above reason and the 100% organic nature of the supplement line in general which allows for ready provision of both powders, thereby ensuring a complete supply of everything the Gecko may need, while not risking harmful oversupply commonly seen with synthetic powders.


    If I can help with anything else, just let me know. You can PM me here anytime in the future also, id be happy to assist where I can.
    Last edited by Zux; 12-12-2017 at 09:21 PM.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The supplements I use and the thinking behind why !

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...mzky_qzQdxu-K2

    Modern Care Podcast Series - Learn everything you need to know about captive Reptile Nutrition and the ideas supporting Bio-Activity today !

    https://www.facebook.com/arcadiarept...366384280319:0

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    Ok, just waiting on the MG now which should be here tomorrow, I got the items fto give him a bit more shade today:

    https://imgur.com/a/x4aWM


    He can get behind/under the foliage for complete cover and the log is a good half and half light and dark for him So he has 2 absolutely pitch black hides- one that lets in some light, and another that's half light half dark.

    As I type, he's having a nose around his new 'toys' and those poor mealworms have bit the dust.


    Thank you for the information on calcium as well! I had it in my head that it was super easy to OD them on, and make them really sick/risk compaction or severe diarrhea...

    But I'll be sticking to this most definitely, only been a few days and he's already showing so much more energy and is actually coming out now and wondering around a bit more when it's off, so looks like its flicking the switch on day/night cycle instinct
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  6. #6
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    Fantastic, that looks great. I keep my AFT's in a very similar fashion and they are all thriving.

    Sample enclosure here: https://imgur.com/a/Kaj9J
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The supplements I use and the thinking behind why !

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...mzky_qzQdxu-K2

    Modern Care Podcast Series - Learn everything you need to know about captive Reptile Nutrition and the ideas supporting Bio-Activity today !

    https://www.facebook.com/arcadiarept...366384280319:0

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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