We should consider a UVB meter as mandatory

wellington

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Too much heat outside most of the year and a neighborhood full of friggin feral cats
Have you joined the chameleonforum.com
Several south Floridians that keep their veiled and Panthers outside year round with fans and misters for the real hot days, above 90 or added heat to the outside enclosure for the cold nights or they bring them inside. That's where my info came from.
As for the cats, build the enclosure like chicken keepers build their chicken run. Hardware cloth with a skirt at ground level that goes around the outside perimeter and either gets buried or mine just lays on top and I used anchors to attach to ground. So far have kept out 3 cats, fox, and a coon. The mice are the only thing that can still get thru but they are only after the food.
 

Yvonne G

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Sounds pretty interesting but Where would you find the info on each animals need of UV so you could use this ?
See? THAT'S what I meant about not adding anymore extraneous information to my already crowded brain!!
 

ZEROPILOT

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Have you joined the chameleonforum.com
Several south Floridians that keep their veiled and Panthers outside year round with fans and misters for the real hot days, above 90 or added heat to the outside enclosure for the cold nights or they bring them inside. That's where my info came from.
As for the cats, build the enclosure like chicken keepers build their chicken run. Hardware cloth with a skirt at ground level that goes around the outside perimeter and either gets buried or mine just lays on top and I used anchors to attach to ground. So far have kept out 3 cats, fox, and a coon. The mice are the only thing that can still get thru but they are only after the food.
I AM a member.
I guess I'm being overly cautious.
There is a pretty large feral population of Chameleons just south of me and they've been there about 30 years.
 

wellington

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I AM a member.
I guess I'm being overly cautious.
There is a pretty large feral population of Chameleons just south of me and they've been there about 30 years.
Understand the cautiousness. I would so take advantage though of the free uvb, sun, heat and I love housing pets like reptiles outside when possible.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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You can suggest it but most won't buy it. That's a lot of money to put out for most members and that have one or two animal. Heck even the long time members with multiple tortoise and breeders of them has only gotten one in the last couple years.
Does anyone know why UVB meters that measure artificial UVB are so expensive? I ( pardon my stupidity) bought a UV meter inexpensively, only to find it didn’t measure artificial UVB. I know—stupid, stupid, stupid...🤦🏼‍♀️
 

wellington

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Does anyone know why UVB meters that measure artificial UVB are so expensive? I ( pardon my stupidity) bought a UV meter inexpensively, only to find it didn’t measure artificial UVB. I know—stupid, stupid, stupid...🤦🏼‍♀️
I have no idea.
Not stupid at all. Who would have thunk it. When you think you're getting a good deal, that's all you can think of, the good deal. Not what you should be thinking of, like reading all it really does.
 

turtlesteve

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Does anyone know why UVB meters that measure artificial UVB are so expensive? I ( pardon my stupidity) bought a UV meter inexpensively, only to find it didn’t measure artificial UVB. I know—stupid, stupid, stupid...🤦🏼‍♀️

If a sensor is measuring UVB, it has to count all light that corresponds to a specific wavelength region, and ignore anything that is not UVB (UVC or UVA). The cheap way to do this is with a band-pass filter.

If you want to be more accurate, or calculate UV index for an arbitrary light source, things get more complicated. The sensor has to measure each wavelength separately (this is called a spectrometer) and then count only the values corresponding to the proper wavelengths. For UV index, the values would be weighted first. This costs at least an order of magnitude more money.

The solarmeters are in the first category. It's an optical sensor, likely with a band-pass filter put in place. The filter allows only the desired UV spectrum to pass through. This isn't as good as using a spectrometer because filters won't have a sharp cutoff. In all cases the devices are then likely adjusting the measured value to "calibrate" it to a standard spectrum (probably sunlight).

The reason they cost so much......probably because it's a low sales volume product, honestly. I'd guess almost all the cost is in the product design, so the price per unit is inversely related to how many of them you can sell.

Steve
 

Markw84

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Does anyone know why UVB meters that measure artificial UVB are so expensive? I ( pardon my stupidity) bought a UV meter inexpensively, only to find it didn’t measure artificial UVB. I know—stupid, stupid, stupid...🤦🏼‍♀️
The price of a SolarMeter is not simply supply or marketing. In talking with their designers I was amazed at how much research and trial and error in producing reliable algorithms was involved in developing these meters. The issues are compounded by making it so it gives useful readings for all the various types of fixtures (fluorescent, MVB, HID, etc) as well as sunlight. Each require different weightings considered as the ratios of various wavelengths are different for each one. Yet the only way a meter is truly useful, is if we can easily read something that is reading a very specific wavelength of light in a range of only 5-6nm. The sensor and filter alone that must be used to get reliable readings costs them (Solarmeter) well over $100 wholesale from the manufacturer.
 

TeamZissou

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What would be the ideal reading for a Russian tortoise?
I dont see Russian on the list.
But I believe its 3-4.
Maybe someone can confirm or correct me.
[/QUOTE]

Yes, the paper by Frances Baines lists a value of 3 for Russians.

Though, I think people are finding that the zones listed aren't necessarily optimal for captive animals. For babies especially, those UV levels are probably too high given that the overall brightness of the enclosure lighting is orders of magnitude lower than sunlight that produces the same UVI. The babies are not induced to hide by excessively bright light, and in turn get blanketed by much higher UV levels for hours and hours per day. This can lead to probable UV-induced pyramiding discussed by @Markw84, @turtlesteve, and shown to be especially important by @Sterant in Chersina.

I feel like in the end, we'll have separate recommended UVI levels and duration of UV exposure for hatchlings and adults of each species. I view the Ferguson zones that are published as more of an 'upper limit' rather than a constant value that needs to be maintained for many hours.

The Solarmeter is great for this and dialing in the height on a bulb, as well as knowing whether or not you got a bad bulb that is putting out super high levels of UV.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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The price of a SolarMeter is not simply supply or marketing. In talking with their designers I was amazed at how much research and trial and error in producing reliable algorithms was involved in developing these meters. The issues are compounded by making it so it gives useful readings for all the various types of fixtures (fluorescent, MVB, HID, etc) as well as sunlight. Each require different weightings considered as the ratios of various wavelengths are different for each one. Yet the only way a meter is truly useful, is if we can easily read something that is reading a very specific wavelength of light in a range of only 5-6nm. The sensor and filter alone that must be used to get reliable readings costs them (Solarmeter) well over $100 wholesale from the manufacturer.
Thanks for the explanation. I’m always trying to learn and understand more. This really helps.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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I have no idea.
Not stupid at all. Who would have thunk it. When you think you're getting a good deal, that's all you can think of, the good deal. Not what you should be thinking of, like reading all it really does.
The problem was it didn’t say that it didn’t measure artificial UV, and I didn’t realize that I needed one specific to artificial UV. It wasn‘t about getting a good deal. I just didn’t know what I needed.
 

chadk

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There is a great facebook page called "reptile lighting" that covers a lot of this with links to best lights and UVB for the various types of reptiles.

That said, I often wonder if we are going about this backwards. Like saying we know water is good for you, but then provide a fire house to drink from or a tiny drip. What is the ideal? The main (but not ONLY) reason for the UVB is to prevent MDB. I wonder if there is a blood test or something that could be done to check the health of the reptile in regards to MDB?

On a similar line of questioning, I see recommendations for UVB bulbs for snakes for example, that should be as long or at least 3/4 as long as the snake. And then also for redfoots and leopard geckos who don't do a lot of direct bright light basking, but rather filtered or cryptic basking, where the UVB would only be touching 5 to 10 percent of the body.

Folks seem to think that the entire animal should be exposed to the UVB for the max benefits. But yet in the wild, a lot of these animals never fully bask. So I'd love to see some data on how much exposure is required for the most optimal benefits. It probably exists, but I haven't seen the studies myself yet.

And finally, where does Calcium with vit D3 come in to play? How much better is it to only provide UVB vs only to provide Cal +D3? I've raised reptiles with about 3 months of sun, and then indoors with just calc + D3 and never have had an issue with MDB. My concern is that if a reptile owner only does UVB, but gets the wrong bulb, wrong distance to basking spot, the animal never comes close enough, the bulb is defective, etc - and they aren't also offering at least occasional D3 powder, then they are heading for MDB. I've heard of this happening where someone thought they were doing it right with UVB tubes, but their reptile still got MDB. I think Arcadia recommends Calc+D3 on a recurring basis along with their UVB lights. I know there is some concern about overdosing on D3, but I've heard that is very hard to do, especially if you only use it once a week or so.
 

ZEROPILOT

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There is a great facebook page called "reptile lighting" that covers a lot of this with links to best lights and UVB for the various types of reptiles.

That said, I often wonder if we are going about this backwards. Like saying we know water is good for you, but then provide a fire house to drink from or a tiny drip. What is the ideal? The main (but not ONLY) reason for the UVB is to prevent MDB. I wonder if there is a blood test or something that could be done to check the health of the reptile in regards to MDB?

On a similar line of questioning, I see recommendations for UVB bulbs for snakes for example, that should be as long or at least 3/4 as long as the snake. And then also for redfoots and leopard geckos who don't do a lot of direct bright light basking, but rather filtered or cryptic basking, where the UVB would only be touching 5 to 10 percent of the body.

Folks seem to think that the entire animal should be exposed to the UVB for the max benefits. But yet in the wild, a lot of these animals never fully bask. So I'd love to see some data on how much exposure is required for the most optimal benefits. It probably exists, but I haven't seen the studies myself yet.

And finally, where does Calcium with vit D3 come in to play? How much better is it to only provide UVB vs only to provide Cal +D3? I've raised reptiles with about 3 months of sun, and then indoors with just calc + D3 and never have had an issue with MDB. My concern is that if a reptile owner only does UVB, but gets the wrong bulb, wrong distance to basking spot, the animal never comes close enough, the bulb is defective, etc - and they aren't also offering at least occasional D3 powder, then they are heading for MDB. I've heard of this happening where someone thought they were doing it right with UVB tubes, but their reptile still got MDB. I think Arcadia recommends Calc+D3 on a recurring basis along with their UVB lights. I know there is some concern about overdosing on D3, but I've heard that is very hard to do, especially if you only use it once a week or so.
There is indeed a blood test for checking both calcium and phosphorus levels in a REPTILES blood as a determination of pre MBD or an existing MBD condition.
That and a few Xrays of the bone structure are important. Because as MBD does damage, the damage is not reversible.
This is an Xray of one of my Chameleons sold to me with pretty advanced MBD.
The twisted bones are now solid. The MBD stopped. But the damage done is permanent.
It's very painful and most often ends in death.
On the other end of the spectrum are UVB burns and over calcification of the bones and joints. It's far less common.
A tortoise with MBD will be far less likely to outwardly show early signs. Simply because most of the body is hidden by the shell.
Once it is unable to walk, dragging it's legs, etc. The prognosis is already too late.
My animals that do not get any actual sunlight have T5 UVB tubes and are given calcium supplements every day and +D3 once a week. (These are all Chameleons)
My outdoors animals receive no supplemental products except an occasional cuttlebone.
(They are all Redfoot)
I agree that different species need very different levels of UVB. And that some require far less to process D3. Like my Redfoot torts as compared to my Chameleons.
But they both live at a level very near 3.0 for 12 hours a day.
 

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