Blue Tongue lighting suggestions needed

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Dani161, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Dani161

    Dani161 Not so new Member

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    Hi
    So I’ve just bought my 2 yr old blue tongue a 2nd hand enclosure and need to add uv lighting to it before I can set her up in it. The enclosure is 1500x630x540 and I wanted to add a 45cm T8 fluro onto the roof inside the enclosure and drill a small hole to run the electrical cable out the back but I’m finding it hard to find a 45cm balustrade fitting suitable for UV. Also the thermostat probe I currently have is 10cm long big metal thing that would stand out like dogs balls in my new display enclosure. Any reliable cheapish small probed thermostats out there these days? Also with the basking light I am tossing up between cheap Bunnings bulbs and reptile band basking bulb for the basking ledge. I have to put in a ramp for her to access the basking shelf. The shelf it’s about 15cm from the light so quite close, what wattage would you suggest for something that close? And opinions on dimmer thermostats on bulbs? would love to here some options for what would suit this enclosure? [​IMG]
    Thanks,
    Danielle


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  2. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Not so new Member

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    I'd go for a t5ho 12% UVB tube about 2/3 the length of the viv, one end with reflector over basking spot.
    Basking globe , I'd get hold a Philips 80W incandescent , might get you to about 35 degrees C at the basking spot .
     
  3. Dani161

    Dani161 Not so new Member

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    Thanks for the advice nuttylizardguy.


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  4. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Go for a cheap spotlight, and don't worry about the UV light - skinks don't need or benefit from them, the only thing they're good for is emptying your wallet.
     
  5. Dani161

    Dani161 Not so new Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I don’t give my blue tongue any calcium powder, I just give a mix of fresh fruit and veg and vetafarm Lizard food. If I don’t have UV would she have a higher risk of MBD? Also I don’t get her out into natural light very often.


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  6. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I'm not a fan of expensive silly products like anything Vetafarm and have little familiarity with Vetafarm specifically. UV won't make any difference either way, but a lack of micronutrients will certainly increase the risk of MBD and if it's a young, growing one will guarantee it. Your Vetafarm feed may have everything they need (you'd certainly hope so with the price I'm sure you're paying), as would the cheap options the Blue-tongued guys use (it's always a good idea to look at what the guys who have been doing stuff for a long time on a large scale do, because they almost always know what they're doing, and they never use expensive silly boutique products, whatever type of animal you're looking at). Basic products like tinned dog and cat feed (the staple diet used by big Blue-tongued breeders) have a lot of added vitamins and minerals, as do all processed pet feeds which are worth using. I used to use unprocessed feeds for my Blue-tongueds, so I used the supplements with them. I haven't kept them for about 10 years now, but these days I'd be going lazy and using tinned dog/cat feed plus some vegies. I'm not sure if the added supplements in the tinned feeds would be sufficient alone and I'd probably do some experimenting and ask some of the large scale keepers what they're doing.
     
  7. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Not so new Member

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    )'My 4 skinks = 2 x 10 year old eastern bluetongue skinks + 2 eastern water skinks have 26W UVB200 globes + an overhead basking globe in their tanks and I see them all basking for while everyday.

    I try to follow this for my BTs and water skinks https://www.completecritter.com/blue-tongue-skink.html (no mice given ever - too fatty , I prefer to hard boil an egg and mash it up to add to their diet ) .
    I raise my own silkworms so the BTs each get a big silkworm each day (when I have them) as one of my staples. I never give dog or cat food to my skinks ( I know some people do and claim they have healthy skinks ) , my mature female water skink is not a fan of silkworms (she likes the moths) , but the juvenile loves them so he gets a couple of medium (1 inch) silkworms a few times a week + his mealworms (lavae and pupae) and his dusted gutloaded crickets and BSLF and blowfly gents , he also likes blacksoldier flies and blowflies.

    Yes I use calcium dust and reptile vitamin dust to supplement my skinks (very sparingly dusting the crickets). A tub of calcium dust goes a very long way , and tub of vitamin dust lasts me a few years. I don't give VitD3 in the suppliments.
    VitD3 given orally is not well metabolized in reptiles and tends to be excreted and can become toxic while VitD3 produced by photosynthesis in the reptile's skin on exposure to UVB immediately enters the bloodstream and is very beneficial in the metabolisation of dietary calcium .
    Uptake of calcium in the bloodstream is buffered by the level of VitD3 in the bloodstream.
    Hence I choose to give my skinks access to UV and in my case I choose a 10% UVB source , when the skink's had enough UV they simply bury themselves or retire to a hide or to the area of low / zero UVB in their tank.
    [​IMG]
    The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia).
    Hypervitaminosis D is a potentially serious condition. It occurs when too much vitamin D is ingested.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  8. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    It varies from mouse to mouse, silkworm to silkworm, but on average, eggs and silkworms have more fat than mice, and if you look up the data most sources will give figures which reflect that. Eggs in particular are well known for their fat content.

    Having said that, Blue-tongueds are brilliant omnivores and have very versatile digestive systems. As long as they get a reasonable amount of all the nutrients they need, and aren't over or under fed, they're not fussed with 'too much fat' or 'too much protein' or whatever. They're extremely hardy in this way.
     
  9. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Not so new Member

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    Silkworms have other benefits including a very high Ca/P , beneficial enzymes and fill of vitamins (I feed my silkworms fresh mulberry leaves) ,and the skinks like a slow moving live food item.
    I'm not advocating a huge amount of egg , one hard boiled egg will last my 4 skinks several days , I add it to their "salad" a little at a time.
     
  10. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I'm not for a moment saying you shouldn't feed them egg or silkworms, but it's peculiar to avoid something extremely nutritious because it's 'high in fat' and instead using stuff which is higher in fat.

    Blue-tongued Lizards are not at all fussy about particular enzymes and nutrient ratios. They are extremely versatile in this way. Those ratios etc are important in extreme specialist species which evolved on very narrow diets, but Blue-tongueds are generalist omnivores. Overthinking their nutritional requirements is nonsensical.
     
  11. Dani161

    Dani161 Not so new Member

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    Thanks, I think I will keep providing UV lighting as I am in her current enclosure (I’d rather be safe than sorry). Just have to find the right light fitting!! Heaps of bulbs/tubes available but not a lot of options with fittings.
    As for her diet I will purchase some calcium powder and start dusting her food with that and mix in a more natural diet rather than the vetafarm pallets.
    Thank you everyone for all your input, I’ve taken all of it in and I’ll share a pic of her (her could be a him but I’ll just go with her) enclosure once it’s completed (could be weeks).




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  12. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Not so new Member

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    Sounds like a plan .

    I've been very happy with my 26W UVB200 compacts and Exo Terra Nano Hoods , I get a nice spread of UV and light from these hoods , enough to cover 1m x 0.6m floor area at 0.5m from the globes.

    I only have Vetafarm pellets as backup and tend to mix these with the same amount of RepCal Juvenile Bearded Dragon pellets , all softened by soaking in the amount of water and mixed with the salad as a supplement .
     

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