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Thread: UVB Debate

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    Default UVB Debate


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    I know that these guys do not *need* UVB, and it appears to negatively affect some of the paler morphs, but I was reading an article today that showed that these lizards can absorb UVB/UVA far better and in lower light than many other lizards. This suggests to me that while they are crepuscular verging on nocturnal, the few min of daylight they are exposed to is very effective.

    With this in mind, does anyone think there would be a benefit to using a dim (2%-6% UVB light placed at the highest effective distance from the tank floor and not covering the full length of the tank) on a timer so that the gecko could get the rays when just coming out in the morning and evening. Have it "on" for 30min to 1.5h twice a day for instance.

    Also, if they were out and about at this time and essentially getting 'sunlight' would you need to decrease the D3 supplements to compensate for what they were producing naturally.

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    Hi SpottedDragon ~

    UVB for leos depends upon the size of your let's enclosure. I don't recommend UVB with any enclosure shorter than 3 feet -- perhaps 4 feet. Success depends upon how much your leo is out and about absorbing the rays as well as proper amount (distance from lamp and strength of rays) of your setup.

    GU's @Seth9999 custom built both his leos 4 foot long enclosures. This year Seth purchased ShadeDweller lighting for both enclosures. I don't know where he stands on how successful this project was. Maybe you could PM him if he doesn't stop by this thread.

    Even when the above specs are met, Dr. Fran Baines (vet) recommends a backup dose of powdered calcium with D3 @ 1 feeding per month. Arcadia's supplements are vitamin D3-free!

    Arcadia began manufacturing ShadeDweller lighting not long ago. That's available in the USA from
    • Light Your Reptiles in USA for Arcadia's Lighting including ShadeDweller lighting: 207-588-7210 LightYourReptiles.com

    Have you see Dr. Baines article in my Leo Care Sheet?


    >>> Leopard geckos have been well-cared for and healthy for years now, using powdered supplements. Presently there's a retired female breeder leo in the EU right now who's in her middle 30s. If your UVB specs are spot on and your leo is willing, UVB could be successful.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 11-30-2018 at 12:04 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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    I am looking at getting an animal plastics T3 (36x24x12) or more likely a T10 (48x24x15) once its big enough. Until then I am torn between using my spare 40 gal (36x18x16) as a starting cage or getting one of the exo terra front opening cages.
    I have lots of experience in using UVB for aquatic turtles, tortoises, and tropical lizards and would like to try with a leo. I'm looking at the shade dweller lighting, also looking at lower wattage bulbs. Already have a UVB output meter to make sure all lights are functioning.
    It's not because I don't want to use supplements, I will still be using vitamins and calcium - but it's more natural for their bodies to do it and if I can achieve that, I'd like to. It seems to still be recommended to give d3 supplement once a month just in case thought.

    If any keepers out there use UVB in there set ups I'd love to know what bulbs they use, distance from cage floor, and if they are the sole light source or only used for short duration each day. And any tips you've learned over the years.

    Any particular reason that UVB is only recommended in longer cages? If there are enough dark hides that provide plenty of shade, what would be the harm in having a shorter cage that has UVB exposure?
    Last edited by SpottedDragon; 11-30-2018 at 08:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    I am looking at getting an animal plastics T3 (36x24x12) or more likely a T10 (48x24x15) once its big enough. Until then I am torn between using my spare 40 gal (36x18x16) as a starting cage or getting one of the exo terra front opening cages.
    I have lots of experience in using UVB for aquatic turtles, tortoises, and tropical lizards and would like to try with a leo. I'm looking at the shade dweller lighting, also looking at lower wattage bulbs. Already have a UVB output meter to make sure all lights are functioning.
    It's not because I don't want to use supplements, I will still be using vitamins and calcium - but it's more natural for their bodies to do it and if I can achieve that, I'd like to. It seems to still be recommended to give d3 supplement once a month just in case thought.

    If any keepers out there use UVB in there set ups I'd love to know what bulbs they use, distance from cage floor, and if they are the sole light source or only used for short duration each day. And any tips you've learned over the years.

    Any particular reason that UVB is only recommended in longer cages? If there are enough dark hides that provide plenty of shade, what would be the harm in having a shorter cage that has UVB exposure?
    Its harder to dodge the rays. My husband used a uvb in an exo terra 36x 18x12 but I canít remember which one. He put in a lot of fake plants for cover. I searched the garage but all I found was tank sitting alone. I recommend buying that T10, I goggled it and it looks nice. More space is better. Once you put all the decor in most of the space is gone and they can be quite active and fun to watch.
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    I appreciate it. I've already talked to the AP cage people and I can have the top customized for a more open top, and have lights installed. I'm super excited to arrange all the tank decor. Everyone on my ball python forum said that my AP cage was "too big" for a ball python and that he'd never use the space - but he does and is a blast to watch. He's got 6 hides and lots of cover and logs.

    For a leo, I just can't wait to see what I can design. My only question is, how clumsy are leos? I can have a "basking shelf" installed (12in wide x 48in long), which while not necessarily used for basking, would provide cover from UVB for 1/2 of the cage - if they wont walk off the edge and die (it would be 6-8 inches off the bottom of the cage). That plus fake plants and a ton of hides leave me with so many options. He could come out for rays if he needed, or stay in the "dark" whichever his body demanded.

    I really do want to try the UVB, it made such a difference in the wild reptiles and even birds that I've cared for. I just want to make sure I get it right. I know that the supplements work too, but I always feel like I'm taking the easy way out doing that. Yeah, they are fine and healthy, but a little extra work on my part can help them be more naturally healthy.
    Last edited by SpottedDragon; 12-04-2018 at 01:12 AM.
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing
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    6-8 inches should be fine. Placing hides or decoration that can act as a step ladder would be good, since they don’t have sticky feet Your python is lucky to have you!
    Last edited by Sg612; 12-04-2018 at 05:58 PM.
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    Thanks! I will be sure to have plenty of "footsteps" if I have the shelf installed. I figured this plus hides and maybe some fake foliage will guarantee that my leo will definitely be able to avoid the 'sun' if he feels like it.

    The more I learn, the more I can't wait until march gets here! If I'm reading things right - normal geckos will have less issue with light than say an albino or blizzard right?
    I'm really partial to normals, red-stripes, and some of the more boldly spotted/striped ones. Esp the ones that have really yellow bodies and white tails. Don't like the white red eye'd ones
    Nature is the best teacher, learn by observing

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpottedDragon View Post
    Thanks! I will be sure to have plenty of "footsteps" if I have the shelf installed. I figured this plus hides and maybe some fake foliage will guarantee that my leo will definitely be able to avoid the 'sun' if he feels like it.

    The more I learn, the more I can't wait until march gets here! If I'm reading things right - normal geckos will have less issue with light than say an albino or blizzard right?
    I'm really partial to normals, red-stripes, and some of the more boldly spotted/striped ones. Esp the ones that have really yellow bodies and white tails. Don't like the white red eye'd ones
    I would like one thatís as natural as possible. Whatever thatís called.😁 One that just arrived from pakistan, Afghanistan India. No fancy made up stuff. Original is nice. To those who are familiar with genetics, does it exist anymore?
    Since you want to use UVB, definitely consider the closest to natural type.

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