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Old 04-20-2017, 07:10 PM
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Default Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

I got some new LED T8 tubes with 6400k giving a nice light in my vivarium I'm building...
Question is do the frogs or plants need UV-B or would standard LED tubes be good enough?

Last edited by Graugaard; 04-20-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

The vast majority of us do NOT use UV lights. Instead, we use calcium and vitamin supplements that incorporate vitamin D3 in the mix. I like to use Repashy Calcium Plus.

That is not to say that UVB wouldn't be a good thing. Using a UVB light, in conjunction with a calcium bearing clay substrate, would be something to strive for, particularly for obligates (egg feeders). I won't kid you though, not many of us have gone quite that far. It's expert level, and comes with it's own challenges.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

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Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
It's expert level, and comes with it's own challenges.
I wouldn't call it expert level and most of the challenges are due to cost as solacryl isn't inexpensive.

some comments

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Old 04-21-2017, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

The challenges I'd be referring to are more about the construction. It's not a simple task to bond acrylic to glass. If you don't bond acrylic, it is likely to warp. If you go all acrylic on the tank, you increase bpa exposure. If you upgrade the rest of the viv, besides the solacryl top, to polycarbonate, your price skyrockets.
We also don't know how long it's usable life is under our vivarium lights. We do know it has a limited life span. For use in tanning beds, it is rated for 10,000 hours. Twelve hours a day puts it's rated lifespan at only about 2.5 years. Our lights are much less powerful, so Solacryl should last longer, but how long? More importantly, does that mean a design where you can replace your lid in, what?...5 years? That goes back to the problem of possible, or even probable, warping if you don't bond the edges. How many frog jerky and fish jerky stories have we heard caused from acrylic warping? Their 70% UV transmittance is only rated with 3/16" Solacryl, and 3/16" acrylic is fairly likely to eventually warp, unless it's bonded. Going with a really thick lid, in the hopes of eliminating warping, would be possible, but you have to take into account that your transmittance will drop. I can't seem to find specs for thicker than 3/16" solacryl.

Starphire glass, in my opinion, would be a poor choice. I don't have the specs in front of me, but it doesn't let nearly as much UVB through as Solacryl does. Borofloat glass does better, than Starphire, but it is through the roof expensive, to the point it's pretty much used for labs and lenses.

These are all things that people can, and have, worked around, and I hope to see it more and more often, but those would be the challenges I was referring to. It's not necessarily as simple as replacing your glass lid with a 3/16" sheet of solacryl.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

This reminds me of a thought I had the other day. Most people seem to use plastic tubs for QT, which makes for a pretty low-light enclosure. In your experience, do you think this presents a problem moving a frog to a brightly lit viv after 4 to 6 weeks in dim QT lighting?
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

I don't understand why people are so quick to dismiss just putting a UVB bulb over a vent section with fiberglass screen. Does it cut down on the light penetrating the screen? Of course, but I bet there is still enough getting through to make a difference. Even if you are blocking 50% of the UVB, maybe just add 2 bulbs? Just curious.

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Old 04-21-2017, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

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Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
The challenges I'd be referring to are more about the construction. It's not a simple task to bond acrylic to glass. If you don't bond acrylic, it is likely to warp. l.
Hey Doug,

I've got a bunch of chores to day so I'll have to write up my thoughts on this later today but I'll get back to this thread.

some comments

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Old 04-21-2017, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

Depending on your screen mesh, it could block more than 50%. The tighter/smaller the screen mesh size, the less light transmittance you will see. Tight weaves also block airflow, but that's just a side note.
If you use a looser weave, you will see more UV transmittance. You will also see more fruit flies floating in your beer! Tighten up the mesh to keep those pesky beer thieves away, and you are blocking more light.

So again, it takes a little more thought than just slapping some mesh over a hole. You'll need to make an educated guess on how tight a weave to choose. Hint, metal mesh is generally finer stranded than fiberglass screen mesh. If we are comparing a metal mesh to a fiberglass mesh, and they have the same number of strands per inch, then the metal will transmit more light, and allow more airflow. Metal will pretty much limit you to stainless steel mesh, which unfortunately, seems to be hard to find in looser weaves.

Don't forget about the wisdom of planting your viv with some broad leafed plants, and/or other appropriate cover. This supplies shade so your animals can escape the UV when they've had enough.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

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Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Hey Doug,

I've got a bunch of chores to day so I'll have to write up my thoughts on this later today but I'll get back to this thread.

some comments

Ed
While you've at it Ed, I'd love to know some sort of guideline about how much UV is enough, and more important, how much is too much? How long does a person run his UVB lights per day? How long is too long. Plus, that's got to tie together, yes? Does more intense UVB require a shorter run time than less intense UVB?

For instance, my good sir, my current 40 gallon vert. The top is obviously solid glass. I can cut holes of whatever size necessary in the top. I know a guy Screen mesh would probably be my choice. Is anybody making uv spotlights, or are tubes the best option? Something like a 3 or 4 inch spotlight, over a 3 or 4" hole, would be the easiest way to convert it, unless uv spotlights are not an option. Perhaps a twist power compact?


As far as solacryl construction goes, if I were to do another scratch build, I think I would design the top with tracks, kind of like a slider. The Solacryl would slide snugly into the tracks. The tracks would be what prevents any warping, as opposed to bonding it to anything. You can slide the top out in 5? years, and slide a new one in.

I know my original answer didn't give much detail, but the original OP specifically asked if UV was required, or if he could get away without it. I worded it so that he got his quick answer, but was left with the seed of thought that he should consider researching it further, perhaps for his next build.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

Doug, you couldn't wait until I had a chance to go over the initial stuff before making it more complicated??? To make it simpler for me to answer a lot of this (partly because I'm tired, one of the chores was shopping for flooring for the basement and I'm being a little lazy) I used the basic quote to indicate your sections.

Quote:
The challenges I'd be referring to are more about the construction. It's not a simple task to bond acrylic to glass. If you don't bond acrylic, it is likely to warp. If you go all acrylic on the tank, you increase bpa exposure. If you upgrade the rest of the viv, besides the solacryl top, to polycarbonate, your price skyrockets.
Iím not sure why your considering bonding solacryl to glass as the only bonding options as that ignores normal aquarium(none-vertical conversions), Exo-terra and ZooMed enclosures where the bonding would be to the plastic rim or lid. You could have to bond it to the glass if you were modifying the top of a vertical conversion, building from scratch, or using one of the newer rimless aquariums but those are much less likely scenarios. The cost as you correctly noted is why I said the problem is much more financial than it is expertise related.
This also ignores the options of using screening or even saran wrap (which is totally transparent to UVB) as lower cost options. Yes the finer the mesh the greater the interference towards the passage of UV (all UV) but given what is being learned about D3 and its metabolites its becoming clearer and clearer that simple oral supplementation may be insufficient (UVB conversion of cholecalciferol to calcitriol) is protected from overdosing by multiple feedback mechanisms which is why you can overdose on oral D3 but not from sun exposure (as an example it requires two steps one in the liver and one in the kidneys to finish the conversion to calcitriol) but more on that a little later.

Quote:
We also don't know how long it's usable life is under our vivarium lights. We do know it has a limited life span. For use in tanning beds, it is rated for 10,000 hours. Twelve hours a day puts it's rated lifespan at only about 2.5 years. Our lights are much less powerful, so Solacryl should last longer, but how long?
Why would the UVB have to run for 12 hours a day? Consider that the frogs are typically most active in the morning and the afternoon would allow the bulb to be used less frequently (which again is simply a limited by finances as you would need more than one light for best plant growth and UVB supplementation) or that it could be run for 10 hours a day Ö There are other formulations of solacyl that are made to last longer as well as they are used for skylights in zoos and aquariums to pass sufficient UVB to enable D3 synthesis inside enclosures. See http://www.modernplastics.com/wp-con...nkey-Shine.pdf
The reduction in transmission of UVB by solacryl is due to hazing and yellowing of the materials so there is a visual marker for when it should be changed (Iíve had it over tanks now for close to 9 years and Iím finally considering replacing it not due to yellowing but due to deposits from minerals over time. Iíve looked at it a little and the bond between the rim of the tank and the solacryl which was done with Weldon 16 is actually a little more brittle than the rim so Iím pretty sure I can pop it out, if not I can always run a box cutter down it a couple of times and pop it loose that way.
Quote:
How many frog jerky and fish jerky stories have we heard caused from acrylic warping?
Why would be discussing if it wasnít bonded or used in a way that prevents warping?


Quote:
Their 70% UV transmittance is only rated with 3/16" Solacryl, and 3/16" acrylic is fairly likely to eventually warp, unless it's bonded. Going with a really thick lid, in the hopes of eliminating warping, would be possible, but you have to take into account that your transmittance will drop. I can't seem to find specs for thicker than 3/16" solacryl.
At this point there is good indication that any transmission of UVB is better than no transmission of UVB but again this takes us back to the point that it is more a financial problem than one of expertise but Iíll make a few points on D3.
At one point (and this is still really prevalent in many aspects of the hobby) the belief was that D3 is only important for calcium uptake in the intestinal tract but it also regulates phosphate metabolism and magnesium uptake as well as bone formation. Unfortunately that belief is very mistaken as it turns out that virtually all cells in the body have receptors for the active form (calcitriol) of D3 and it is important for the regulation DNA transcription as it forms a complex with the retinol-x receptor which then binds to the DNA regulating transcription. Additionally the active form of D3 has been shown to be important in the differentiation of cells and their growth so thinking of it just in terms of calcium metabolism is a gross oversimplification and underestimates its overall importance.
There is an expanding body of literature that demonstrates that animals that are given access to UVB will behaviorally regulate their circulating D3 levels (including metabolites (such as both precursors as well as the active form)) at levels much higher than can be achieved by oral supplementation alone and given the expanded understandings of D3ís hormone activity and wider metabolic need shouldnít be surprising. These discoveries include species that were previously believed to acquire all of the D3 required through diet (snakes that consume mammals or birds!!). As for the reduction in exposure of UVB due to transmission issues given its wide metabolic requirements any option to deal with it above and beyond that achieved through an oral source should be considered important.

Quote:
Borofloat glass does better, than Starphire, but it is through the roof expensive, to the point it's pretty much used for labs and lenses.
Pure clear quartz allows 100% transmission as that is used for Spectroscopy in the UV spectra but for that to be manufactured in a large enough sheet would be ruinous and could make the Borofloat look like the cost saving option.

Quote:
These are all things that people can, and have, worked around, and I hope to see it more and more often, but those would be the challenges I was referring to. It's not necessarily as simple as replacing your glass lid with a 3/16" sheet of solacryl.
But it isnít in the realm of expert either Ö itís much more in the realm of high cost in terms of expense.

some comments

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Old 04-22-2017, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

Wow, I'm impressed of this discussion. I must say it gave me a new perspective, and something to think about for the next time I build a tank. But for now i can understand that it would not be necessary, if i add D3 to my my azureus, food.
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Old Today, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

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While you've at it Ed, I'd love to know some sort of guideline about how much UV is enough, and more important, how much is too much? How long does a person run his UVB lights per day? How long is too long. Plus, that's got to tie together, yes? Does more intense UVB require a shorter run time than less intense UVB?
As the current literature stands, any UVB is better than no UVB as it has been well established that oral supplementation of D3 does not meet all of the metabolic requirements of many animals and that allowing behavioral regulation of UVB exposure allows them to optimize the circulating levels of D3 and its pre-metabolites (which function more as a hormone (see previous post)). As for maximal UVB exposure this can be looked at from two different directions, the first is given that the all of the artificial UVB sources when properly used are much less intense than that available from the sun, we can consider the maximal exposure rating (provided the frogs can behaviorally modify/control their exposures, in other words not housed without any options to avoid the exposure) to be the average length of day light in the wild. As for the minimal exposure, unless you are not supplying a D3 containing supplement this is a moot question as the animal only makes enough D3 to meet metabolic requirements and circulating levels of D3 and its metabolites are controlled by feedback mechanisms in multiple steps the frog will only synthesize the amount needed for its metabolic needs.
As for the intensity this would require testing specific animals as there can be variations due to normal exposure in the wild, in short, shade dwelling, crepuscular animals have been shown to be able to synthesize more D3 with less UVB exposure than those that are exposure to more direct UVB due to adaptations to its ecology. This is also known to translate across vertebrate taxa where darker skin pigmentation typically translates towards less sensitivity to UVB photoconversion (as a protection against excessive UV damage to DNA) and thus a need for either greater intensity or exposure time to convert the same amount of D3.


Quote:
Screen mesh would probably be my choice. Is anybody making uv spotlights, or are tubes the best option? Something like a 3 or 4 inch spotlight, over a 3 or 4" hole, would be the easiest way to convert it, unless uv spotlights are not an option. Perhaps a twist power compact?
Well if you have a lot of free cash you can actually get LEDs that emit at the sweet spot of 285 nm and make your own spot lights (with minimal holes) but they cost more than $200 per LED. (see for example https://www.thorlabs.com/thorproduct...UgIaArPs8P8HAQ ). Actually either a tube or a coiled power compact would be better than no UVB, for example the tube could be placed over a slit cut or even a sequence of holes which would allow for spot light effects or a power compact in a dome. Or consider that if the system is large enough you could even leave a section cut out of the top without any mesh in it at all (open air) but this would of course have to situated where the frogs couldnít jump out.

Iím waiting for the LEDs to keep coming down as they are about $80 cheaper now than they were a couple of years ago so hopefully it wonít be too long before we start to see them as options for our animals.

Quote:
As far as solacryl construction goes, if I were to do another scratch build, I think I would design the top with tracks, kind of like a slider. The Solacryl would slide snugly into the tracks. The tracks would be what prevents any warping, as opposed to bonding it to anything. You can slide the top out in 5? years, and slide a new one in.
In my experience with Vison cages with the sliding plexi-type fronts, this isnít always sufficient to stop warping. It would perhaps be better to build it into a frame (like a slightly heavier duty window frame) as that would allow it to be easily replaced as well but should stop the warping and as an additional bonus you could modify the humidity as needed for local conditions.

Quote:
I know my original answer didn't give much detail, but the original OP specifically asked if UV was required, or if he could get away without it. I worded it so that he got his quick answer, but was left with the seed of thought that he should consider researching it further, perhaps for his next build.
Yes as the hobby understands it at this time, it appears you can get by without it but that understanding should be challenged as greater understanding of the larger role played by D3 in the metabolism is elucidated and that is why I challenged it as it really is more a function of cost than expertise.

some comments

Ed
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Old Today, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Lights, do i need UV-B / UV-A ??

This thread really came at a nice time as I'm in the design/planning stage of my viv and just today started thinking about lighting options.

I was planning to go with LED all the way but now I'm thinking that it could be a good idea to plan for some UV too.

The viv is going to have a base of roughly 30x50 and a height of around 30".

Could it be a good idea to put something like a 15-18W UVB tube over a meshed slit across the top and have it be lit for a few hours around midday? I was already planning for some ventilation slits on top anyway.
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