Question about UV lighting

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by KristianG, Mar 24, 2013.

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  1. KristianG

    KristianG Not so new Member

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    I recently bought a UV light for my children's python and i just wanted to know if i should leave it on overnight or not. i was recommended by my vet to get a UV light so i took his word for it.
     
  2. Manda1032

    Manda1032 Very Well-Known Member

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    Snakes don't need UV light as they get a ready calcium supply from their food. If you do want it on in the enclosure only use it during daylight hours (this goes for all reptiles) and make sure the snake cannot get to the light for fear of burns
     
  3. stimigex

    stimigex Well-Known Member

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    The childreni does not need a UV light, It wont hurt at all having it but you did not need to spend the $$$ on something not needed!
     
  4. KristianG

    KristianG Not so new Member

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    thanks for the answers but i've gotten alot of trust worthy sources saying that UV light is only good for them although not essential.
     
  5. stimigex

    stimigex Well-Known Member

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    You should only use it to simulate day light, so dont run during the night. there would be nothing more anoying to the snake to have to put up with light 24/7
     
  6. stimigex

    stimigex Well-Known Member

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    Curious to know why the vet recomended using a UV light in the first place?
     
  7. Manda1032

    Manda1032 Very Well-Known Member

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    same as stimigex. I have had snakes for 10 years now and no one I know has UV lighting in their enclosures. they have heat lighting or fluro's to light up the enclosure during the day but no UV.
    Most published books say nothing on UV being needed either, both US, AUS and UK publications
     
  8. andrew2107

    andrew2107 Not so new Member

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    I have two darwin pythons and i was told to run a heat light and a uvb light, only run the uvb light to simulate day time should i be doin that???
     
  9. christopherR

    christopherR Not so new Member

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    You only need a heat source e.g heat globe or ceramic heat emitter no UVB is required. As long as there is enough light coming in the room the snake will know weather it is day or night, plus the light from a heat glode should be enough to simulate day light.
     
  10. Schnecke

    Schnecke Well-Known Member

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    I use one. Not expensive ($40 every 6 months) and it does no harm and throws nice light (my heat source emits no light) Run for 8-10 hours a day, depending on the season. Is only a 2% one.
     
  11. B-Bear

    B-Bear Not so new Member

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    I use UV 5% globes on all my snakes. Have done in the past using the logic that that's what they get in nature and I want to replicate that as closely as possible whilst taking out the unneeded stresses from their lives and reading a paper when the herp bug first hit me regarding gecko's and their ability to use very little amounts of UV light extremely efficiently where as it was thought that they also didn't need UV lighting either.
    Finally in the last 12 months I have started to be vindicated since there have been a few articles and papers concerning this topic (snakes and artificial UV lighting) with the out come coming out in the favour of the use of UV globes and lighting. Further supporting my use of UV globes I was recently talking to a breeder of elapids, snake handler and course co-ordinator who has been in the business for a great period and he stated that he started using UV globes a few years ago and instantly noticed that the snakes became livelier, more active, less health issues, longer longevity and a far better appetite.
    This does greatly divert from old and popular behaviour and thoughts but that is the role of science, to evolve!!!
     
  12. davobmx

    davobmx Well-Known Member

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    $4 60w Phillips globes are even cheaper, heat and light in one, 14 hours of light 10 hours of dark.
    UVB has no proven benefit for pythons and seems to be a waste of money and electricity.
     
  13. Miker84

    Miker84 New Member

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    My local pet store (where I recently bought my Spotted) has a sign up in the reptile area stating "All snakes need UV light".

    Seems that some 'light' really needs to be 'shed' on this subject.

    I took the advice given to me by DocRock (Simon Stone) when setting up my enclosures and neither have UV bulbs. Both my baby Spotted and 2.5yr old Albino Darwin are very placid and healthy snakes.
     
  14. Tempest404

    Tempest404 Active Member

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    I use UV light, again like some have stated it's to replicate natural light source, i find it also adds good lighting to the enclosure by giving it a good spread, if your going to use a fluorescent bulb then there's no harm in getting a UV bulb and if it does have benefits all the better... also helps in winter for heat management :p as it does radiate some warmth (logically speaking)... though there's not a lot of evidence saying that they need it personally i don't see any harm in having it. my stimmy reacted well to his :p way more active in the off hours of the night
     
  15. davobmx

    davobmx Well-Known Member

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    I agree that there would be no negative effect on the animal but for the price of the globes/lifespan it's just not worth it when $4 globes do the same and give a basking spot aswell.
     
  16. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    There seems to be a little confusion here. Let’s sort out the basics first. UV light can be of 3 types – UVA, UVB & UVC. UVC is dangerous to all living cells but fortunately are filtered out by the ozone layer of the atmosphere. UVB rays are responsible for photosynthesis of vitamin D in the skin of vertebrates. The jury is still out on the effects of UVA. It is claimed that UVA rays affect various behaviours, including feeding and reproduction, as well as circadian and annual rhythms.

    Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin required to absorb calcium from the gut into the body and to use it once inside the body. A lack of vitamin D will produce the same effects as a lack of calcium in the diet, even if plenty of calcium is eaten. Being fat soluble, this vitamin is stored in the fat globules in the liver, ready for use when needed, such as after a meal. Varanids and snakes that eat whole vertebrates are able to make use of the vitamin D present in the livers of prey items.

    With geckos, it was found that the sloughed skin did NOT block UVB rays like that of snakes and other lizards tested. Based on this observation it has been hypothesised that even very low levels of UVB could get through gecko skin to where the living cells are able to photosynthesise vitamin D using UVB rays. The question that arises is at what point is the concentration of UVB sufficient to provide the energy required to drive the reaction?

    There is plenty of sound evidence to demonstrate that snakes, be they nocturnal or diurnal or something in between, do NOT require UVB radiation to be 100% healthy and normal in all respects, so long as they get vitamin D in their diet. On the other hand, high intensity UVB lights should be avoided or caged, as exposure close up can damage the eyes.

    The effects of UVA are still hotly debated. I personally suspect it plays a part in snakes being able to distinguish natural day length from that provided by artificial lighting. As for the other claimed effects, I remain to be convinced…

    Irrespective of what individuals do or do not use, if they are taking the time to monitor their animals and ensure that they are alert, active and healthy, then they are doing the right thing. In the final analysis, the welfare of one’s charges is the ultimate goal. How you get there is secondary.

    Blue
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2013
  17. mad_at_arms

    mad_at_arms Very Well-Known Member

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    Always a pleasure to read your responses Blue.
     
  18. Cypher69

    Cypher69 Well-Known Member

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    About 18 years ago when I got into reptiles, it was the bible that snakes NEEDED UV light to break down/absorb Vit D.
    Enclosures needed a UV light & a heat light...& yes, heat rocks were essential also. All the information provided was obviously marketing promotion on the back of the light packaging, there was only about 2 reptile books on the market that generalised captive keeping advice.
    I kept several snakes back then & for various reasons gave them away (to better homes) & then took a break from reptiles for several years after.

    Last year my interest in reptiles became strong again & I registered here at APS. And much to my surprise, UV lights were no longer deemed important to snakes, research over the years had proven that in captivity....I guess I'm just trying to imply that vets don't necessarily keep reptiles as pets or have any husbandry experience with them, they just rely on old text books for info. OR promote the brands they may get incentives from.
     
  19. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Cypher69, I can guarantee that you are not alone in your experiences. Even today, with the knowledge of practical experience available, we still have retailers flogging goods that are not necessary and swearing black and blue that it has been a proven necessity. Those vets that have a passion for reptiles and keep their own, are the gems of our hobby. They are the ones that trial and differentiate the needs versus the supposed needs of many species of reptiles. Find one that is thus inclined and you are onto gold. Unfortunately there is a percentage that make claims to being like that, but actually don’t put in the hard yards and therefore their claims are spurious and should be viewed accordingly. Find yourself a vet who has a real passion for reptiles and who exercises a scientifically objective view of any evidence provided and you will be well and truly on the correct track!

    Blue
     
  20. Cougar2007

    Cougar2007 Active Member

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    I use uv in every one of my enclosures. Simply because I like the temperature of light they throw off. I know I don't need it (Diamonds debatable) but I figure it can't do any harm as they are all caged and on timer for daylight. My diamonds use them as a basking lamp which to me is kind of cool cause I believe it mimics nature as close as I can. Whilst ended up with them because of pet shop advice originally, like I said I like the light they produce.

    Has anyone ever heard of them causing harm? 5.0s is what I run for my snakes
     
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