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Fluorescent lights and FBT's

This is a discussion on Fluorescent lights and FBT's within the Bombinatoridae: Fire-bellied toads forums, part of the Anura: Frogs & Toads category; Having rescued 5 unwanted FBT's recently I've been trying to sort out the best lighting set up for them. Being ...

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Old 20th July 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fluorescent lights and FBT's

Having rescued 5 unwanted FBT's recently I've been trying to sort out the best lighting set up for them. Being largely diurnal it's reasonable to assume that FTB's require some amount of UVA/UVB - although clearly other amphibian species , such as Great crested newts or Common toads (UK) are entirely nocturnal and presumably receive very little UV.
Currently my flourescent lighting setup is not suiting the FBT's. Having tried several of the available versions of flourescent tubes (UVa/b and non UV) and played around with setting the lights at varying distances from the viv the toads still react to this lighting by going very dark in colour. Switching the lights off reverts them back to their usual vivid coloration within several hours.
This leads me to think that maybe it's the flicker of the tubes that is the problem?
It seems to be generally accepted that exposure to the older, magnetically ballasted fluorescent tubes can cause us headaches due to their noticeable flicker rate.

However, I gather electronically ballasted fluorescents refresh themselves at up to 40,000 cycles per second, which is too fast for the human eye or brain to detect and thus doesn't cause headaches.

Has anyone experience of using both old-style ballasts and electronic ones and the affect these have on FBT's or other amphibians?



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Old 16th August 2015   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
Having rescued 5 unwanted FBT's recently I've been trying to sort out the best lighting set up for them. Being largely diurnal it's reasonable to assume that FTB's require some amount of UVA/UVB - although clearly other amphibian species , such as Great crested newts or Common toads (UK) are entirely nocturnal and presumably receive very little UV.
Currently my flourescent lighting setup is not suiting the FBT's. Having tried several of the available versions of flourescent tubes (UVa/b and non UV) and played around with setting the lights at varying distances from the viv the toads still react to this lighting by going very dark in colour. Switching the lights off reverts them back to their usual vivid coloration within several hours.
This leads me to think that maybe it's the flicker of the tubes that is the problem?
It seems to be generally accepted that exposure to the older, magnetically ballasted fluorescent tubes can cause us headaches due to their noticeable flicker rate.

However, I gather electronically ballasted fluorescents refresh themselves at up to 40,000 cycles per second, which is too fast for the human eye or brain to detect and thus doesn't cause headaches.

Has anyone experience of using both old-style ballasts and electronic ones and the affect these have on FBT's or other amphibians?
I think maybe the light could be a bit bright for them? I have an exo terra hood with a single fluorescent bulb in. If you use vitamin supplements which include vitamin D3 then lack of UV shouldnt be a problem (although 3%uv wouldnt hurt) and you could choose a less bright bulb which might help things.

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