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UVB confusion

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:53 am
by nic_the_burner
Hi! This is my first post here. I'm preparing to get a Northern BTS. I'm going to do a 48" x 24" x 18"H diy plywood enclosure. Assuming about 2" of substrate and 1 1/2" from the thickness of the plywood, the UVB would be about 14 1/2" from the animal at it's closest. So my questions are as follows.
1. Is that an acceptable distance with the right bulb?
2. What IS the right bulb? Is 6% enough? 12%? Does bulb length matter?
3. Is it ok to mount the UVB in the center, parallel with the long side, so it can also be the cage lighting? The hotspot will of course be to one side.

Re: UVB confusion

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:30 am
by mb606587
1. At 14.5", the 12% is your best bet.
2. Linear bulbs are usually regarded as the most effective. Again at your distance, I'd go with 12%. Length doesn't really matter. They are not a species that is super sensitive to UVB needs.
3. Yes. It is better to mount inside so the light is unobstructed than to place over top a screen.

Re: UVB confusion

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:42 am
by nic_the_burner
Thank you very much for your answers! I do just want to clarify on number 3. Yes the UVB will be inside the enclosure but I was asking about whether it's ok for it to be in the center rather than being in the basking spot.

Re: UVB confusion

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:06 pm
by kingofnobbys
As stated , since northerns in the wild live in tropical savannah woodlands and grasslands and deserts , see occurance map :
https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid ... a873c0cc51

where UV is extreme in summer ( UVI over 14 is usual see BOM UV-Index maps here :
http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_a ... /index.jsp = annual
http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_a ... /index.jsp = January
and as low as UVI = 7 in winter
http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/climate_a ... period=jul = winter


Unfortunately Arcadia's guide infers too low a UVI at the basking spot for this species.

For a 18" tall tank with a t5 reflector hood mounted under the "lid" , your best bet is a 12%UVB T5ho about 10" to 12" from the basking spot.
I'd restrict the tube length to no more than 2/3 the length of the tank.

Re: UVB confusion

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:07 pm
by mb606587
Yeah that's fine. Just make sure your skink has a hide to escape both the heat and light, which I'm sure you already do.

Re: UVB confusion

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:14 pm
by kingofnobbys
mb606587 wrote:Yeah that's fine. Just make sure your skink has a hide to escape both the heat and light, which I'm sure you already do.


Yes , good point.

I suggest two suitable sized HubbaHuts , one to double as a basking spot , the other located in the cool zone ( where they go to escape light ), and nice deep bed of course coco-fibre mixed with eucalypt leaf-litter (if you can source it - might be sold over there as eucalypt mulch ??) so they also have the option to burrow into their DRY substrate.

Re: UVB confusion

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:12 pm
by nic_the_burner
Awesome, thanks for your answers! I was definitely going to do 2 hides and maybe some extra cover. If the build goes well I'll be ready to adopt as soon as my heat panel comes in. Thanks for helping me work out the kinks. I can't wait!