The Great lighting Debate (long)
Now I am no expert on reptile lighting but after reading thousands of posts about lighting on different forums nothing has been resolved about the hundreds of questions on lighting. Many on the forums claim they do not use “high end UV lights”
I have even come up with many new ones and there are no answers yet and no major research being done to prove them wrong or right. SO this is now placed on the keepers and breeders.
I am going to point out a few observations and please remember to keep a very open mind on this I am not trying to have a big fight here.
Lets start off say 10-15 yrs ago. We had no UV lighting or we were just starting to use it. Now we had big aquariums that we kept the reptiles in, a heat light, screen top and a heat rock. Now most aquariums are 24” or more high. We had aluminum screen tops. Most reptiles lived a long life and grew with no problems. Did we change our bulbs every six months like we are told to today? Yes there were problems with some as there is today. Now we know today that aluminum screen tops will dissipate 30% of the UV. Any thing past 12” away from the bulb is just light, no UV. So how did these reptiles do it??
It is also said Quote Reptiles USA 2000”In order to equal just one day’s exposure in the wild, a captive iguana would have to lay under one of the best reptile lamps eight hours a day, for almost 25 days!” It is also said that (can’t find it yet to quote) 5 min of natural sunlight is equal to 22 hours of UV lighting. So how much are the reptiles really getting?
Another point is why are some reptiles are pushed more on having UV then others? Many geckos don’t need UV but others do. Cresteds and leopards don’t? Pre-hensile tailed skinks don’t. Many monitors and snakes. Many of the reptiles that are high in the canopies, one would think they should have UV in captivity, Why not the ETB or GTP or other reptiles that live in the canopies. Many of these reptiles spend a great deal of hiding from predators, cloud cover and so on. So how much do they really get?
Talk to many of the huge breeders around the world and many do not use UV anymore but feed a better diet with supplements. I myself have raised many different species without UV and they are fine today with no health problems. Another question that can arise is the color of the light. Why do we use red when many lizards can see that color spectrum? It would be like having red lights in our house, it will one day drive us crazy. Many of the lights change the colors of the reptiles food, so many do not recognize it as food, how healthy is this?
Sorry about all the rambling just some thoughts and I know I am jumping all over the place. So it quick Why do some need it and others don’t, even if they are from the same region? Why not some of the arboreal reptiles that spend a great deal of time in the canopies? Some insect eaters do and others don’t, nocturnal or not? Beneficial yes, needed???????
WALTER @ Mice & Things