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Old 05-10-17, 06:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need Information please

I have just build a vivarium out of a wall unit and used plexiglass instead of glass. As UV rays do not pass through it, do I need to put a UV bulb in.
I have a seven foot Rough Scaled Python.
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Old 05-10-17, 09:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

This is a highly debated subject in some threads...whether or not snakes need UVA/UVB/etc. I'm too new to the herp hobby, but others will chime in according to their views, etc.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it's not exactly necessary, snakes don't need UV as much as other reptiles, but it won't hurt the snake if you decide to add it.
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Old 05-10-17, 09:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

I'm a big advocate of uv for all reptiles. Will a snake die without it. No

Do they benefit from it? Yes and therefore I give the option. When i get time I'll put together something more concrete than this.

All my vivs have it and it's factored into the cost of any new setup I am considering.
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Old 05-10-17, 10:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

Lizards, Turtles, and insect eating snakes (such as the popular Rough Green Snake) need UVB in order to synthesize vitamin D3, which is needed to metabolize dietary calcium. Rodent eating snakes do not need UVB.

Welcome to the forum. Be sure to post pictures of your snake and your custom enclosure when you can.
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Old 05-10-17, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Lizards, Turtles, and insect eating snakes (such as the popular Rough Green Snake) need UVB in order to synthesize vitamin D3, which is needed to metabolize dietary calcium. Rodent eating snakes do not need UVB.
They don't *need* it as in won't die without but they do hugely benefit from it.

Depends on your definition of need in this respect. In my book they hugely benefit from it therefore it is a requirement.

There's lots of things we provide for other animals that they don't *need* but is still considered best practice.
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Old 05-10-17, 10:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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They don't *need* it as in won't die without but they do hugely benefit from it.

Are there any actual scientific studies on this? I'm not disputing what you say, but if there isn't, I'd think UVB could just as likely be harmful to nocturnal animals as helpful. If they don't need it, how is it helpful? Again, I don't know. I'm asking if anyone does know these things as proven fact.
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Old 05-10-17, 10:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
They don't *need* it as in won't die without but they do hugely benefit from it.

Depends on your definition of need in this respect. In my book they hugely benefit from it therefore it is a requirement.
Could you provide data indicating the huge benefits you suggest? Peer-reviewed publications and papers are preferred. "In my book" relays your opinion, which you are entitled to, but I do not base my husbandry techniques on opinion.
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Old 05-10-17, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Could you provide data indicating the huge benefits you suggest? Peer-reviewed publications and papers are preferred. "In my book" relays your opinion, which you are entitled to, but I do not base my husbandry techniques on opinion.
Yes there's lots of papers. There's been a significant amount of research this field over the last couple of years and I'll put something together. I may even have chance tonight as my wife is working so I've got a bit of time.

Anecdotally, providing uv for 10 plus snakes is bloody expensive and I would not spend the money on a whim. Further i know keepers with 100+ vivs all fitted with uv. This is not a cheap undertaking or a vanity project for them either.

@eminart - Again anecdotally I've observed all my snakes most of which are nocturnal species actively basking under the uv when they have plenty of options to hide. Everyone I know who has tried uv, even if only to prove the theory wrong, has observed their snakes bask under it.

Further as it happens Francis Baines, possibly the world's foremost authority on reptiles and their use of the light spectrum (from infrared through to ultraviolet) is putting together a paper specifically on nocturnal snakes and their use of uv.
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Old 05-10-17, 11:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Are there any actual scientific studies on this? I'm not disputing what you say, but if there isn't, I'd think UVB could just as likely be harmful to nocturnal animals as helpful. If they don't need it, how is it helpful? Again, I don't know. I'm asking if anyone does know these things as proven fact.
Also bear in mind nocturnal means active at night. This doesn't mean a nocturnal animal necessarily hides during the day just that it's generally resting. It may well rest in the open (this most species of cat for example) and the same can apply to nocturnal snakes.
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Old 05-10-17, 12:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

I've just been in my reptile room to change water bowls etc and noticed all 5 snakes were out basking under their uv. Even my C hortulanus is as close to the uv source as he can get. Note from the photos of the vivs I assume this is a preferential choice by the snakes as they all have plenty of options to be under cover - either partially or completely.

Again I appreciate this is anecdotal however these observations match those of pretty much everyone who has tried uv. I know TRD tried it and was surprised by how quickly his mbk went to bask under it.

I will post papers etc in due course but found it interesting that all my snakes were fully out and basking under it...





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Old 05-10-17, 12:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

And the vivs




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Old 05-10-17, 01:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

When I get my 8'x3'x30" BoaMaster viv for my CP, I'll have Mark V. cut a hole in top for a basking lamp and see what CP does.

All my terrariums all have screens, so I can opt in now, but as of yet, I haven't.

Danny...do you have "sunny" basking days every day, or do you turn them off sometimes, or reduce the voltage, to simulate cloudy days?
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Old 05-10-17, 01:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Originally Posted by Scubadiver59 View Post
When I get my 8'x3'x30" BoaMaster viv for my CP, I'll have Mark V. cut a hole in top for a basking lamp and see what CP does.

All my terrariums all have screens, so I can opt in now, but as of yet, I haven't.

Danny...do you have "sunny" basking days every day, or do you turn them off sometimes, or reduce the voltage, to simulate cloudy days?
I'm pretty basic when it comes to such things and just have the light on all day every day. I may get some digital timers to mix things up a bit in due course. You can't vary voltage to a fluorescent tube - messes them up.

I know some keepers have whole banks of tubes that turn on in sequence to simulate the strengthening uvb rays the sun emits and I'll do this to an extent in my T lepidus Viv at least.

In a Viv that size I'd put a 4' T8 5% uvb tube mounted inside the Viv and have it mounted toward the warm end.
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Old 05-10-17, 03:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

Yes, my MBK is using his UV light on daily basis since the day he got it (I put a T5HO 6% of arcadia over 60% of his vivarium). Now, during the day, he's laying out and basking instead of laying under his rock until lights out.

I intend to extend the provision of UV to all other snakes as well. But first need to organize them all into a new furniture because right now they are standing all over the place.

I'm waiting the new furniture to arrive, then can put my MBK in a bigger vivarium (he's almost 90 cm now and vivarium he's in now is 80 cm... it's big enough but I like to give them space). Then a few others can move one up in size as well as his vivarium becomes available. The other vivariums are now featuring 'basic habitat features' (= normal snake bedding and stuff to climb on/under, heating, etc... no bio-active and planted right now as I prepared for moving them all).

I have all plants ready for the big planting day and most lights. Just need to purchase the UV still... debating with myself if I should supply UV to my albino milk, and if so, how much.


PS.
As for the debate whether or not it is required. No it's not required per se for rodent eaters. But UV helps them, they use it and seemingly like it (as they seek it out). UV helps with immune system, it's not just about D3 synthesis (ie- just like in mammals). So given that a) you can; b) they seem to appreciate it; I see no reason not to do it. The only real thing you need to care for is that you do not provide too much and you give the reptile the opportunity to NOT have any UV. So there should be a gradient to a 0 or close to 0 UV index in the terrarium, and places where there is shadow, even directly under the UV so they can regulate their intake. One should not force it upon them, so to speak.

PPS.
Danny, that Olive in the lower viv really seems to have quite some attitude Must be a handful at times heheh

Last edited by TRD; 05-10-17 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 05-10-17, 03:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

I found the project by Francis Baines you mention. It is certainly interesting, but only seems aimed at estimating how much UV reptiles and amphibians are exposed to naturally, and how to replicate that exposure in captivity. I don't see that it makes any attempt to establish the value of such exposure for rodent eating snakes, and it even warns of issues that exposure can cause, such as skin cancer and vision damage. I only skimmed it briefly though, I will have to read it more carefully when I have more time.

The link for those interested: How much UVB does my reptile need? The UV-Tool, a guide to the selection of UV lighting for reptiles and amphibians in captivity.
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