We have exotic birds (Red Lorikeet, Senegal, budgies), an eastern box turtle, and a blue tongued skink. Therefore, we have UVB needs. We provide calcium/D3 dust to the skink and turtle. I know UVB rays do not work through glass.
What is the best bulb to buy (based on cost-benefit)? How close does the bulb need to be to the animal?
My favorite is T-Rex ActiveUV. It is the consumer version of the Mega Ray, which is designed for zoo use and has an external ballast. The T-Rex model is made by the same company (Westron) and comes in three wattages (100, 160, and 275), and are all self-ballasted, so all you have to do is screw it in. You can find them online for $50-75 apiece and the recommended range is 12" from bulb to animal- UVB rays degrade over distance.
Also, if your animals are small and are housed in glass tanks or smaller enclosures, you might want to consider the Zoo-Med Repti-Sun florescent tubes. They do not have the output nor the lifespan of the T-Rex, but are safer for small cages that might overheat. I have some small lizards I keep in shallow tanks, and I use the tubes in addition to a regular basking bulb.
My personal recommendation is to change the tubes every 6 months and the mercury-vapor bulbs every 12.
Last edited by snakewrangler; 12-30-2008 at 12:16 PM.
Reason: added info