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Thread: Are uv lights ok?

  1. #1

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    Lightbulb

    Hello, everyone

    After a disastrous attempt at starting up an aquarium I've decided to use the 55 gallon tank I bought as a CP terrarium instead. I will put in mainly Mexican pings, Utrics, Byblis Linifolia, a few Sundews, and maybe one or two tropical pitcher plants. I'd like to know though, if flourecent bulbs (the kind that have UV rays) used for reptiles are suitable for these plants? (are they too harsh or not strong enough?) I don't really care if they're more expensive than regular grow lights I just want to know if they're good to use with the plants I want to put in the tank. The brand I'm planning on using is called Super UV daylight. The item desciption says it has 3% UVB and is "excellent for plant growth in vivariums".

    All info is greatly appreciated, Thanks

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    Sounds like they would be ok, but don't quote me on it, I have never used lizard lights, lol.

    You might consider laying the tank on its side though. This is what I do with my 55 gallon tank as it is tall and narrow. I use trays on the bottom, and get much more floor space. The lights are also closer to the plants which is a real plus when trying to get UV to penetrate glass: differences of a couple of inches are significant.

    I screen the front loosely with a plastic curtain (clear vinyl). It makes access from the front easy, and affords some air circulation.
    "Grow More, Share More"

  3. #3
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    UV Does absolutely nothing for plant growth. Do you have animals that need the UV in there? If not then skip the expensive special bulbs and get some plain old daylight type or at just a couple coolwhite.

    T
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Lightbulb

    Thanks for the info guys!

    Tamlin,
    Putting the tank on it's side was a good idea, there really is a lot more room for more plants but would I be able to have have any nepenthes in there? Looks like I'd only be able to put in Pings, Utrics, and short Sundews. It does even look like I'd be able to fit a Biblis in there. I've never seen any Nepenthes or Biblis in person so I have no idea how tall they get. The ones I want to have in the tank are gracilis, ampullaria 'Catley's Red', or maybe even a H. Heterodoxa X Minor. I can probably live without the pitcher plants but I really want a Biblis in there. What plants do you have in your turned over terrrarium?

    Tony,
    I'd like to know how you came to the conclusion that UV does not do anything for plants? I'm totally ignorant to keeping CPs under artificial light and I don't doubt for a second that you know what your talking about, I'd just like to be more informed about the matter.

    Thanks, for replying
    LA Traphole

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    NP LA Traphole

    Based on spectrum absorption graphs. Plants don't absorb wavelengths under 420nm. UV starts around 380-400nm and drops down from there. So any UV wavelengths are not going to be of benefit to the plants growth. They may not do much harm if it's only in minor amounts but why spend for expensive bulbs and using electricity to produce some light in a spectrum that isn't doing anything positive for the plants.

    Ideally you want a bulb which produces alot of light around 420-430 nm. The point at which Chlorophylla A absorbs the most light and is the primary molecule for powering photosynthesis. You also want the bulb to produce some red/far red as there are other compounds which can absorb these wavelengths to suppliment photosynthesis as well as regulate other aspects of plant growth. Coolwhite bulbs are ok but they are still far from ideal but many people use them because they are cheap and easy to find. Better sunlight/daylight bulbs are around 5000-6500K while the coolwhite is around 4000k. (the higher the K the more blue and the better for plants growth.. to a point)
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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