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  1. #1
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    UVB Lighting help needed

    I've been trying to setup a new vivarium for Naga because I've recently learned just how unsuitable his current one is. I thought I finally had everything ready... until I discovered that he should have UVB lighting as well.

    His new vivarium is 4x2x2, and I thinking of installing a light with these specs: ProT5, 6%D3, 24w, 22inch/55cm (with a mesh). It would have to be to the left of the ceramic heat bulb, and so would leave just over a foot on one end with no light.

    I would appreciate any advice you can give, because I'm way out of my depth here.

  2. #2
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    Re: UVB Lighting help needed

    Pics of Naga and your set up will help us advise you. This thread will show you how to post them: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-Post-Pictures.
    1.0 Normal Children's Python (2022 - present)
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  4. #3
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    Re: UVB Lighting help needed

    Thank you for that link! I hope this picture is helpful:


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    Re: UVB Lighting help needed

    Nice enclosure. Please add a pic of Naga as well. At the very least, we need to know what species he is.
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  8. #5
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    It isn't at all clear that ball pythons are one of those species that show benefits from UVB that outweigh the costs and risks. BPs don't seek radiant basking sites as many lizard and turtle species do; BPs don't have issues with calcium availability like herbivores and omnivores do; BPs don't have demonstrable lifespan increases when kept with UVB; BPs don't have "mental" (for lack of a better word) issues that are linked to lack of UVB like those basking lizard and turtle species sometimes do (BP's "mental" issues are much more complex -- linked to temps, moisture levels, enclosure design, and probably genetics to a larger extent than in any other captive herp species -- and tossing in yet another variable on that front would be imprudent without strong supporting reasons).

    Often, recommendations for UVB for BPs are made as part of the "every reptile needs UVB" falsehood. There's an unfortunate push in some hobby circles towards universal husbandry methodologies ("all herps need X") rather than understanding the specific and distinctive needs of each species. There was a similar push like this toward beta carotene instead of Vitamin A (retinol) in herp supplements a couple decades ago because of an imagined overdose risk, and that myth is still killing animals to this day. There are keepers struggling to provide adequate conditions in "bioactive" enclosures for poorly-suited species currently; this is another example of the dangers of universal husbandry methodologies.

    I personally use UVB for some of my herps -- about half of my frogs, my box turtles, and one pair of geckos, and I used it for the two decades I kept a green iguana; but none of my scores of snakes get UVB, including my sixteen year old BP -- so I am not opposed to it in principle. I use it when I have identified a specific need, and when I have a baseline read on the animals' health and behavior (and in one case, a comparison group -- two enclosures containing the same species, from the same offspring group, similar setups except that one has UVB and one does not, and for what it is worth the non-UVB group does better on at least one important metric).

    Importantly, I meter it so that I can know how much UVB I am providing, and know where that exposure is in the enclosure so that I can judge whether the animal is avoiding it, exploiting it, or ignoring it). It boggles my mind to know that so many keepers use UVB without metering it. We wouldn't apply heat without metering it (with a thermostat, or a thermometer), and UVB is equally worth measuring. The cost of a meter is part of the cost of providing UVB, and without tangible benefit from providing UVB that financial outlay helps to tip the scales away from using it for species that don't clearly benefit from it.

    Also importantly, I set up most of the UVB enclosures (not the turtles, unfortunately, whose indoor enclosure is seasonal and they use it only a couple months a year when not outside or hibernating) such that the enclosure has as real opportunities for the animals to use or not use the UVB. This means that all the possible things the animal could seek -- moist warm spots, moist cool spots, dry warm spots, dry cool spots; each of these either with some seclusion or in the open, and ideally multiple choices of each of these -- are available both with and without UVB. Doing this for a herp the size of a BP is impractical, as the enclosure would have to be room-sized. Providing UVB in a standard sized enclosure (which is the very bare minimum size even for basic housing) means that if the snake wants to avoid or exploit the UVB, that's the only choice they get, and if the UVB is in the spot where the other conditions of moisture, heat, and security are unsuitable then the snake can't choose those other conditions.

    This is all a very longwinded way of recommending that you don't provide UVB to your BP in that enclosure, especially in a situation where you're 'out of your depth' and also are motivated only by a recent discovery of online commentary.

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    Re: UVB Lighting help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    Nice enclosure. Please add a pic of Naga as well. At the very least, we need to know what species he is.
    Sorry! Naga is a ball python about 15 years old. This pic was taken a few months ago (the bit of shed was taken care of)



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  12. #7
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    Re: UVB Lighting help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    ...At the very least, we need to know what species he is.
    This was posted under "BP Husbandry" so it was safe to assume.


    To the OP- I'd listen to Malum Argenteum's post (#5 above) & skip trying to provide UVB also. I've kept countless snakes for decades & a very high % have lived long & healthy lives. I do occasionally take them outside briefly (in my hands, only) when weather (temperatures) are favorable, to "cover all bases"- but truly, that's not very often. Depending on the species, many are nocturnal as BPs are, so we try to duplicate what they experience in the wild. I'd be more inclined to take diurnally-active snakes (such as the gopher & bull snakes I used to raise) outdoors for brief "sun" than BPs.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 06-30-2024 at 10:13 AM.
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    Re: UVB Lighting help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    This was posted under "BP Husbandry" so it was safe to assume.
    Oops, I got carried away there

    And I'm going to continue without UVB lights; it's honestly such a huge relief, so thank you everyone for your help!

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    I think Naga will be very happy in his new digs.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: UVB Lighting help needed

    I'm sure he will I can't wait myself!

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