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I was thinking about some of the problems that frogs/froglets develop, and was thinking about UV lighting. As I understand, many people do not provide this, especially since it is lost when absorbed through glass/plastic/fiberglass. I was wondering, how much exposure do they need for best calcium absorbtion? If it's something in the area of 15 minutes, would it be possible and/or useful to switch the lid of the aquaria with a large mess screen and shine the light in for a period, and then switch back to the humidity-holding cover afterwards? I was just wondering if this would lead to healthier frogs when combined with supplimentation.
 
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u/v

Peter,

I'm not an advanced dart keeper, but I'm incorporating acrylic that passes through UVA and UVB in my rack now, so at least I'm thinking like an advanced keeper.

A fine mesh screen would allow UV light to pass through, but I'd guess that you'd need more than 15 minutes a day, given that the frogs hide under leaves and structures. I have some OP-4 acrylic coming and will probably keep one flourescent of zoomed UV light on for 12 hours a day. Either OP-4 or Solacryl will allow UV to pass through. Do a search under UV and you'll find plenty of references.

Dave Willmore
 

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Peter,

The most thorough discussion I have seen recently is on Frognet. Look in the archives:

http://listserver.dreamhost.com/piperma ... ognet.org/

Browse April for some recent stuff or enter "UVB" in the search. I think there are also some posts around here that you should be able to find using the search feature. I have heard of some people using a mobile UV source for moving the light around their frog room. I think the question is still up in the air, and it is hard to say with tads what the net effect is given all the other variables.

Some of us, myself included, use UV transmitting acrylic tops with the philosophy of trying to replicate natural conditions as much as possible. But, there is a good debate as to how close you can get with off the shelf UVA/UVB bulbs.

Marcos
 

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Also, darts don't get much UVB exposure in the wild. Most of them are terrestrial or semi-arborial. They don't live in the treetops, they live on the forest floor or in low hanging branches.
 

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there are some rumors though that pumilio and tricolor benefit from UV, particularly to help them color up. Brent had a testimonial quote that he nearly lost his blue jean pumilio until he added UV. (except that this had to do with MD, not coloration). While supplements are important, I am using solacryl over my tricolor tank with a 7% UVB bulb.

According to Corey, you will not get real, deep red tricolors like you see in the wild, even with tons of different supplements. While others have said its variety of carotenoids thats important, I think the deeper, richer shades could be from pigments reacting with UV light, like our skin tanning. This is just a theory though, I have no real hard evidence, but I feel like its better for them. Like Marcos said, it is more natural.
 

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Hey, I know I should probably not stick my nose in the advanced discussion, but I am curious. From my biology classes, it seems that all UV radiation, especially UVB, is good for is causing mutation. However, you all say that it may be good for pdfs. Why might this be? Please fill me in if you have an answer.
 

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UVB does cause mutation. The harmful effect is blocked by pigment in the skin called melanin. That's why you can get a tan. But it's also used to manufacture vitamin D. Some animals can get vitamin D from their diet, which is why it's added to milk for humans to drink, but others cannot metabolize it and have to get it through sunlight (or special bulb) exposure.

Vitamin D itself is essential because it is used in the process of metabolizing calcium. Everyone knows that calcium is used for building strong bones, but fewer people realize that it has an even more essential purpose in the nervous system. Nerve cells do not actually touch one another, rather their ends have a small gap called a synapse that looks something like this:

===) )===

The nerve cells communicate by passing molecules over the gap. Calcium is one of the molecules that they use. The nerve cells MUST have calcium. If calcium cannot be obtained through the diet, then the body will pull it out of the bones. This is why Metabolic Bone Disease (you'll see it referred to as MBD) is characterized by soft, weak bones and uncontrollable twitching of the muscles (starting on the digits and moving to major limbs) caused by the nerve cells firing erratically.

Here's a better example with pictures:

http://www.tvdsb.on.ca/westmin/science/ ... ynapse.htm

Since you said you were in biology, I thought I'd give a bit more info than you asked for. So now you know why UVB is important, to some animals at least. :)
 

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Arklier said:
Since you said you were in biology, I thought I'd give a bit more info than you asked for. So now you know why UVB is important, to some animals at least. :)
Thanks for the information. If you don't mind my continuing this thread, how much UVB would be filtered by glass, if any? What percentage would be optimal for pdfs if they do need it?
 

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acleverusername said:
Arklier said:
Since you said you were in biology, I thought I'd give a bit more info than you asked for. So now you know why UVB is important, to some animals at least. :)
Thanks for the information. If you don't mind my continuing this thread, how much UVB would be filtered by glass, if any? What percentage would be optimal for pdfs if they do need it?
I'm getting in late on this one. You can count on 100% of the UVB being lost passing through normal glass so it is a waste of money. Most off the shelf acrylics are the same way. Screen blocks about 50% (depending on mesh size).

The discussion on frognet that was mentioned is well worth visiting. There is very good reason to believe that the notion that PDF do not get much UVB exposure in the wild is not warranted and this subject was covered on frognet. Nobody knows how much UVB is optimal for PDF. All we know is they don't apparently "need" it. The testimonial that was referred to was actually a reaction to UVA but I've also experienced problems with MBD in pumilio getting the same level of supplements that my other PDF get. Only the pumilio have shown MBD though which prompted me to add UVB.... or so I thought. Chad Mayer posted the following link on frognet:

http://www.saunalahti.fi/toweri/Media/Herpetomania3-4_04.pdf

which indicates the ESU 7% lamps may be crap for providing UVB but a good source for UVA. Reptisun was the best performer of all fluorescent type lamps.

As for safety, a new reptisun produced 10 uW/cm^2 of UVB while the sun in Finland produced 118 uW/cm^2. This means that about 12 hours exposure to the best performing fluorescent UVB lamp is required to equal 1 hour of exposure to the sun in a northern latitude. "Exposure" means within 12" of the lamp with nothing obstructing the light. Given that PDF often spend time more than 12" from the lamps and under leaves and litter, it is doubtful that with UVB left full on for 12 hours a day that the PDF get much more than the equivalent of 10 - 15 minutes exposure to the sun. It's probably unlikely we will mutate any frogs with the UVB lamps currently available.

Zoomed did just introduce the Reptisun 10 which is reported to deliver therapeutic doses up to 24" from the lamp. I checked and they have no plans to produce CF bulbs other than the self-ballasted type.

Here's my bottom line: I tend to follow Marcos philosophy of trying to replicate a natural environment. I think there is every reason to believe that even forest dwelling PDF have the potential for exposure to UVB in the wild so replicating natural conditions means including UVB. I've seen some compelling evidence that UVA light is beneficial and it seems very logical that UVB could help provide a safety net for calcium defficiency. UVA also helps plants grow more compact and develop pigment so there is an aesthetic benefit too. I don't think safety is really an issue at all. In fact, I think it is questionable whether even with full on GOOD UVB producing bulbs the frogs get enough exposure to actually make a difference. So I think we are a long way from the problem of overdosing our frogs with UVB. Do PDF "NEED" UVB? No. Thousands of PDF have been kept and bred successfully without it and I have yet to hear of a single species or morph that required UVB to keep the frogs healthy.
 

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I was reading in one of my general amphibian books, that tadpoles do better with UV light and the author actually suggested using a blacklight. I have seen the difference a good UVB light makes with lizards and chameleons, so maybe some could benefit the frogs. Now they have small PC UVB lights for reptiles and it did wonders for my chameleons, they colored up and are growing faster compared to a group not receiving the UVB light.
 
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