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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I've tried to get an answer for this elsewhere, but I was looking for something a little more in depth. Yes, I'm a noob.

It's my understanding that lighting in PDF enclosures is more for the plants, and not the frogs themselves. I get that. As long as keepers have a good regimen of supplementing, lighting is not crucial for long term survival of PDFs.

That said, wouldn't it be healthier for the frogs if they were able to synthesize their own vitamin D by providing them with a UV source? It is a natural process that occurs within the animal when provided with "full spectrum" light.

Understanding this, and going on the supposition that any time an animal in captivity can be provided with an environment that is non-stressful and as close to the type locality as possible, wouldn't it be best to think of lighting as something more than "just" for the plants?

I would think that Metal-Halides and High-Pressure Sodium lamps would generate way too much heat for an enclosed system such as what is used for keeping PDFs. What about T-5s and LED systems?

Thanks,

Steve
 
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T5 and LED lights are being used increasingly more in this hobby, especially for people with "display tanks" or plants that like high amounts of light. For your basic grow-out or breeding tank, though, which in many cases are more functional than aesthetic and may be expensive to invest in so many T5's, a basic flourescent strip light will usually suffice.
Regarding UV lighting, UV rays that the frogs need to synthesize those vitamins cannot pass through glass, which is what the majority of frog keepers use as a top, so it is essentially useless to my understanding. I've heard of some people, especially those with more delicate frogs like histrionica, who do give the frogs regular UV "baths" and the frogs supposedly come out to the light.
Bryan
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Brian.

I'm a long time reefer, and even longer time killie keeper. I've run through regular fluorescents to T-5s and am now running Metal Halides on my reef setup.

In order to let UV penetrate into my reef tank, I have quartz glass that allows for UV transmission. I'd like to hear from other froggers that are experimenting with UV and whether or not it's worth a try to construct a lighting system that approximates a more natural set-up.

LEDs are on the cutting edge for reef systems, I'm wondering if there's a group here that is likewise experimenting with LEDs and PDFs, and what their conclusions are.

It's cool that some froggers are trying light baths for some of the more delicate species, I wonder if it's something to be looked at for all?

Steve
 

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I have a reef tank too so I know where you are coming from with the lighting. LED's are new with reefs and even newer with frogs. I think there are some LED fixtures made for frog vertical tanks sold here by a sponsor in the Sponsor's Classifieds section.
Awhile ago I think there was a discussion about something called Solacryl which I guess is some sort of glass or plexi-glass that allows UV penetration, but I haven't seen much of it on here or seen it for sale. I think it would be neat if someone found a way to make covers that allow UV to pass through for common size tanks (10, 10 vert, 20, 20 long, etc.) It would certainly encourage more experimentation by average hobbyists on UV supplementation I think.
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The main brand of UVB transparent glass is called Starphire... The acylic is solacryl. If you go with the solacryl, it does need to be changed as over time (years) it changes in color reducing transmission.

UVB is something that gets discussed fairly frequently but due to restricitions on three letter search words.

When looking at supplying UVB for frogs, you have to look at how thier natural habitat affects UVB exposure and whether or not the demonstrate behavioral avoidence or usage of the UVB. In two different species of dendrobatid, it is known that they will avoid exposure to UVB see http://people.oregonstate.edu/~blaustea/pdfs/HanBiotropica2007.pdf
This could in part be a result of having a more efficient system of converting provitamin D to D3 as is the case with some other subcanopy species.

Some of the prior discussion

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/36521-uv-light-effect-frogs.html

It should also be noted that if the frog's are getting everything they need from the supplement they won't manufacture D3 when given access to UVB.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bryan, sorry about spelling your name wrong :p I've seen some talk about the Solacryl and Ed says it will sag and discolor with time. Like I said, I've got quartz glass under my metal-halides so there is UV transmission into the tank. I know that Starfire (?) is supposed to be low iron and UV permeable. There's also Borosilicate glass and Pyrex.

Ed. I read those links with interest. I see that in one of the threads you were thinking about UV as well. Did you ever experiment? The research paper you cited was interesting. I wonder how much UV is transmitted via any of the above glass? I know that there has been some talk that the effective range is something like 6-8 inches, certainly nothing more than a foot in a viv. I'd like to build a vertical in the neighborhood of 48", so just about anything I put in would receive virtually nothing UV wise at the bottom.

Discuss :D

Steve
 

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Bryan, sorry about spelling your name wrong :p I've seen some talk about the Solacryl and Ed says it will sag and discolor with time.
Just a clarification, I don't think I said it will sag. I've seen it used for enclosures at institutions and while it discolored over the course of time, (years to a decade), it didn't seem to sag...

Ed. I read those links with interest. I see that in one of the threads you were thinking about UV as well. Did you ever experiment? The research paper you cited was interesting. I wonder how much UV is transmitted via any of the above glass? I know that there has been some talk that the effective range is something like 6-8 inches, certainly nothing more than a foot in a viv. I'd like to build a vertical in the neighborhood of 48", so just about anything I put in would receive virtually nothing UV wise at the bottom.
Not at home, I did use weak UVB sources at work to allow behavioral access but not levels that would reach the lower levels of the enclosures as that would have resulted in the frogs not being visible.

There is data coming out on herps that live in shaded areas (many dendrobatids fall into this category) which demonstrates that much much lower exposure is required to provide sufficient conversion of pro-vitamin D to D3. See for example http://people.hofstra.edu/jason_d_williams/HUML/Handbooks/Ferguson.pdf

So as a result I'm not sure why you would necessarily want to penetrate to the bottom of the enclosure as unlike sessile organisms, the frogs can climb to behaviorally access the UVB (obviously they can detect it if they can behaviorally avoid it).

Ed
 
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good thread - thought I'd mention what I use and see if anyone has comments/concerns... I use a ZooMed NatureSun bulb (over glass) in my 29g tank, Exo Terra 2.0 13watt bulbs (over screen, the rest of the top is covered by a glass sheet) in my 18x18x24 tanks as well as my 20g vert tank (over glass). I haven't had a vast amount of experience with frogs (yet!) but the 11 (azureus, citronella tincs, g/b auratus, and o.lamasi) I have seem to be doing well and healthy. If anyone thinks thinks this isn't sufficient lighting let me know! thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a clarification, I don't think I said it will sag. I've seen it used for enclosures at institutions and while it discolored over the course of time, (years to a decade), it didn't seem to sag...

...So as a result I'm not sure why you would necessarily want to penetrate to the bottom of the enclosure as unlike sessile organisms, the frogs can climb to behaviorally access the UVB (obviously they can detect it if they can behaviorally avoid it).

Ed
Sorry about the miss-quote on sagging, I think I confused that in my head with regular Acrylics and their tendency to be hygrophillic and bow towards the area of higher humidity. I even remember looking at what I wrote before I posted and thinking "did he or didn't he say that?" Again, my apologies.

I wasn't suggesting that penetration was necessary, or even desirable. I was more musing out loud, thinking that if an enclosure is 48" tall, that leaves about 2' of limited to no UV. This is providing a effective penetration depth of 8-12".

I find it interesting that, given sufficient supplementation, pro-vitamin D to D3 conversion stops within the animal. If the following is true, "Exposure to sunlight for extended periods of time does not normally cause vitamin D toxicity." (Vieth R (May 1999). "Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 69 (5): 842–56. PMID 10232622) and "Within about 20 minutes of ultraviolet exposure in light skinned individuals (3–6 times longer for pigmented skin), the concentrations of vitamin D precursors produced in the skin reach an equilibrium, and any further vitamin D that is produced is degraded." (Holick MF (March 1995). "Environmental factors that influence the cutaneous production of vitamin D". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61 (3 Suppl): 638S–645S. PMID 7879731), Then it seems that either pro-vitamin D supplementing provides for the vitamin D precursor equilibrium, and the animal continues to produce vitamin D in a degraded form, or the mechanism in PDFs is different than in human models. I realize I'm quoting human studies, but I believe the mechanism is similar in PDFs. Also, how many froggers knew we synthesize vitamin D just like our froggies :D

I'm enjoying this, Thanks!

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
good thread - thought I'd mention what I use and see if anyone has comments/concerns... I use a ZooMed NatureSun bulb (over glass) in my 29g tank, Exo Terra 2.0 13watt bulbs (over screen, the rest of the top is covered by a glass sheet) in my 18x18x24 tanks as well as my 20g vert tank (over glass). I haven't had a vast amount of experience with frogs (yet!) but the 11 (azureus, citronella tincs, g/b auratus, and o.lamasi) I have seem to be doing well and healthy. If anyone thinks thinks this isn't sufficient lighting let me know! thanks!!
Hey Rachel,

You never answered on the Ohio Froggers group, you coming home this week for fair? I'll be in Wellington all week :rolleyes:

I was looking at the specs on those bulbs; no appreciable UVB out of either bulb. Next to none will penetrate regular glass, screen does block some but is way better than normal glass. But again, neither of those bulbs really has any UVB. As far as what's best for your frogs...that's what we're trying to figure out :D. As long as you're supplementing with good quality vitamins, minerals and amino acids; pursue a quality diet of various live critters and practice good husbandry techniques, your frogs should be good. Lighting-wise, as long as your plants are healthy, you're good there too. I'm looking for some information as to whether or not there is something "better".

Toodles,

Steve
 

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While conversion of provitamin D to vitamin D is pretty well conserved across taxa, what we do with the frogs isn't quite the same as that study if I understood it correctly as we are providing a source of D3 via oral supplementation, while that may be deficient in the study. This article is a better direct comparision I think http://www.academicjournals.org/JPAP/PDF/pdf2011/July/Verschooren et al.pdf


Orally supplied D3 (provided that there isn't something disrupting uptake (such as too little fat in the diet, excess retinols or tocopherols)), ends up supplying feedback which prevents the formation of surplus D3 through exposure that could result in hypervitaminosis (which can kill the frog). This has been taken to mean that the frogs would not/do not benefit from access to UVB.. but in reality, this could be a misperception of husbandry success. There is data emerging in herps that up until now have been percieved to not need additional D3, behaviorally modifying thier circulating D3 levels (ranging from snakes to lizards (sorry no free pdfs) see for example AVMA - American Journal of Veterinary Research - 69(2):294 - Abstract ) The real trick would be to supply UVB in a manner that the frogs (and eggs and tadpoles) can avoid exposure if they so choose...as there is a lot of data on how UVB is problematic for the frogs (see for example (one free, one not free) Developmental Responses of Amphibians to Solar and Artificial UVB Sources: A Comparative Study - Hays - 2008 - Photochemistry and Photobiology - Wiley Online Library, http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/4/879.full)
Which is in no small part why frogs may be trickier than other herps in supplying behaviorally available UVB as one has to provide adequate niches that allow for behavioral avoidence while not reducing access to important resources (like foraging areas, egg and tadpole deposition sites, calling sites).

One of the reasons, I haven't used UVB on my frogs at home is in no small part to running trials on supplements and substratates and reducing things that could throw off the results.

Some comments,

Ed
 

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spoggy - I'm not headed home for the fair unfortunately, I'm a Biology teacher and today is actually only the 3rd day of school so I can't miss this early in the year.

I feed d.melanogaster, d.hydei, and springtails. I dust with a reptical mix that mike novy from rainforestjunkys.com mixed for me. to be honest i'm not sure what all is in it but i trust mike. I dust almost everyday. all my frogs are juvies or sub-adults ranging from 3 month oow g/b auratus up to 15 month oow citronella tincs.

my plants are fine, although I have some broms that could be closer to the light for better coloration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@DendroRachel...Sorry you won't be up, grats on having a job though. I don't know about your supplement schedule, sounds like it might be too much. As a long time reefer, I've spent a lot of time moving corals around until I can find their "sweet spot" where they're happiest. I'm pretty sure that plants will be the same.

@Ed...Thanks for the clarification. I'm more familiar with human models and the only real UVB knowledge I have on amphibians is from my wife. She was raising several species of Ambystoma in the lab for regeneration studies. (many moons ago) I'll keep hunting up information on this in frogs. I think it's a fascinating and under-studied area in the hobby.

I really hope that there are others here that feel this way as well.

Steve
 

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@DendroRachel...Sorry you won't be up, grats on having a job though. I don't know about your supplement schedule, sounds like it might be too much. As a long time reefer, I've spent a lot of time moving corals around until I can find their "sweet spot" where they're happiest. I'm pretty sure that plants will be the same.

@Ed...Thanks for the clarification. I'm more familiar with human models and the only real UVB knowledge I have on amphibians is from my wife. She was raising several species of Ambystoma in the lab for regeneration studies. (many moons ago) I'll keep hunting up information on this in frogs. I think it's a fascinating and under-studied area in the hobby.

I really hope that there are others here that feel this way as well.

Steve
If you have more questions, feel free to send them my way, I'm managed to amass a large amount of the nutritional stuff on amphibians... as well as pigmentation and some other odd things that are related to nutrition.

Ed
 

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One thing to add that is working well for me is simply drill holes under your UV bulbs in the glass ... say 2" in diameter... and cover with screening. You can just silicone the screen discs in place and make sure your UVb source is positioned over the "holes".

Or ..you could always leave an open strip down the top as a cut-out and covered with screening and the appropriate bulb positioned over it.

As we all know, screen cuts down some on UV, so you may need to compensate in bulb / UV strength.

Works like a charm. :) and no need for expensive star-fire or solarcryl.
Unless you want to incorporate those materials just to get to "play" with them. :D

UV-ing is not that difficult.

Cheers.
Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One thing to add that is working well for me is simply drill holes under your UV bulbs in the glass ... say 2" in diameter... and cover with screening. You can just silicone the screen discs in place and make sure your UVb source is positioned over the "holes".

Or ..you could always leave an open strip down the top as a cut-out and covered with screening and the appropriate bulb positioned over it.

As we all know, screen cuts down some on UV, so you may need to compensate in bulb / UV strength.

Works like a charm. :) and no need for expensive star-fire or solarcryl.
Unless you want to incorporate those materials just to get to "play" with them. :D

UV-ing is not that difficult.

Cheers.
Todd
Thanks Todd,

I had been thinking of doing just that. Any thoughts on T5 HO? Especially some of the bulbs that reefers use? I was also thinking of using a dimmable ballast run off a HerpKeeper(NET). A slow ramp up to full output, on for an hour or so and then a slow return to off. Say, over four hours?

Steve
 

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I know it was mentioned that screen cuts down on UVB, but if the screen used is fruit fly proof then it may let virtually no UVB through. I know the screening I use for fruit fly proofing ends up with a zero transmission.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know it was mentioned that screen cuts down on UVB, but if the screen used is fruit fly proof then it may let virtually no UVB through. I know the screening I use for fruit fly proofing ends up with a zero transmission.

Ed
Aw, nuts. I wasn't thinking of that. :(

Steve
 

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Aw, nuts. I wasn't thinking of that. :(

Steve
this is a situation where more heads the better. While starphire and solacryl are more expensive options one should consider that at least starphire glass is going to be a much more permanent option than screening.. and you can get custom cut starphire from Twin Oaks. See for example Glasscages.com - Home and just go down the menu on the left side of the screen.

Ed
 
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