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Reptile Corner - UVB Lighting
Not All Bulbs Are Created Equal
One of the most important husbandry cares are the quality of your herps UVB lighting source. Reptile, like humans can not absorb calcium with out the use of Vitamin D3 from a UVB source. When reptiles eat food with calcium and when you apply calcium to their food source, the calcium stays in their system until the vitamin from the UVB pulls it out to be absorbed into their body for various functions and bone growth. This is why having a high quality UVB is so important for ALL reptiles. Not all bulbs are created equal though, some bulbs do not last as long as other and some UVB is not as strong as others. Most bulbs that are bought in a pet store only have usable UVB for about 6 months from when you buy the bulb, even if the bulb itself still works. So every 6 months you should buy a new UVB bulb. The two good quality bulbs that are sold at pet stores are ZooMed Reptisun 10.0 and 5.0 LF and ExoTerra ReptiGlo 5.0 LF.
The leading UVB bulb in the whole industry is called the Mega Ray. You are only able to purchased it on-line. (Below is the link to the website) This bulb is more expensive on the front end but the bulbs UVB lasts for 1 to 1.5 years, which is two to three times longer then the ones you can buy from the stores. In the end it comes out to be about equal.
The other important UVB source comes from sun light when it is warmer outside. Once the warmer weather of spring comes and through till the early part of fall, owners of reptiles are able to take their herps out into the direct sunlight for 20 - 30 minutes for as little are 3 times but up to everyday. This allows the reptiles to absorb the best form of UVB from the sun light. Cautions: Make sure your reptile is always securely in your hands or on a leash. Also, never let them out in the sunlight with out supervision since other animals can enter your yard and harm them.
Along with UVB, in order for reptiles to absorb calcium they must eat calcium. There are many great calcium sources from the dark leafy greens and other veggies they eat, however, they can not get enough calcium from food alone. Owners of reptile must use a Calcium Carbonate powder to dust their food with. We recommend a straight Calcium Carbonate powder with nothing else added to it of a human grade source. We sell a large container for under $10 that will last for a few years, if you need an easy way to locate some.
Check out one of the leading UVB lights in the industry currently at Reptile UV.