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Re: New to using my Solartech 6.2 UVB Meter for Bearded Dragon

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  • jeff.solomon@rogers.com
    Hi Bob, Thanks for the comments in the thread. Not sure if you got the gist of the whole thread with Frances, but basically I decided to throw the towel in
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 18, 2013
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      Hi Bob,
      Thanks for the comments in the thread.
      Not sure if you got the gist of the whole thread with Frances, but basically I decided to throw the towel in today on my Exo Terra Solar Glo in favour of your 100W MVB. I actually called your place earlier today, and spoke with someone on the phone while at the same time I placed the order via your website for 2 bulbs to ship to me in Canada.

      I am very much looking forward to using your bulbs as all my research kept turning up yours as the best and most reliable. I originally balked due to the high shipping costs of $45 to Canada for 2 bulbs, but decided to just go ahead anyways.

      My readings per the previous messages were with my Solar Glo bulb which is about 2 weeks old, and performing below my expectations.

      My basking site is about 14 inches from the bulb, so I suspect that your standard 100W bulb will be all that I require for a bearded dragon. If you think otherwise, please let me know. Lastly, do you know what temp I can expect from your bulb at 14 inches?

      Thanks,
      Jeff

      --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@..." wrote:
      >
      > Hi Frances,
      > FYI, I decided to just order a couple of the 100W Mega-Ray light MVB bulbs, so unless you think otherwise, I will likely give those a try and see what readings I get when they arrive.
      >
      > As per my other note, if my current readings are around 30uW/cm2, is that too low for my beardie?
      >
      > Cheers,
      > Jeff
      >
      > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@" wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Frances,
      > > Thanks for the great explanation.
      > > My bulb was sold from the store as "new" but I am not 100% sure if it was previously purchased and returned as the package looked like it might have been open prior to my buying it.
      > >
      > > In any case, my readings at 12" from the light are 45uW/cm2 without the screen, and through the screen it drops to 30uW/cm2. I have had the bulb installed in the terrarium for about 10-12 days now. I didn't use a tape measure for the without the screen test, so this is an very close estimate, but it starts to paint a picture none-the-less.
      > >
      > > My setup is a Exo-Terra Terrarium with the screened top, and swing out front doors. The dimensions are 36x18x24, so I have lots of height to work with which has become a bit of a challenge. I am currently using a ReptiSun 2.0 Fluorescent tube across the top (36") which is mostly for white light. I also use an Exo Terra 75 Halogen Spot for heat as I found the MVB wasn't giving out enough heat at 12" to create the proper basking temp.
      > >
      > > Our Beardie, is about 5 months old, and we have had him for 2 weeks now. He seems to be adjusting extremely well, and is feeding and defecating very well, and quite regularly. However, if he isn't getting adequate UVB exposure, I'm not sure if that would be apparent yet.
      > >
      > > I live in Canada and have ready access to T-Rex, PowerSun and of course the Exo Terra bulbs. Given a clean slate, what would you recommend I use? I am seriously doubting if I should stick with the Solar Glo, especially if my readings are already so low, and if similar to your tests, will only continue to decline.
      > >
      > > Thanks,
      > > Jeff
      > >
      > > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "lilacdawndragon" wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hi, Jeff.
      > > >
      > > > Yes, I'm the primary author of UV Guide UK but it is very out of date right now. Lots of much better stuff is on my drawing board...
      > > >
      > > > ExoTerra Solar Glo lamps are a bit problematic because ExoTerra have changed manufacturer quite frequently over the years, but I *think* they are still using the same one as they were using when I last tested one, in 2011.
      > > > This has a high shorter wavelength : longer wavelength ratio, with my meters I got about UVI 1 = 17 uW/cm2. So to get a "morning sunlight" equivalent for beardies' basking areas, of UVI 3 - 5, you'd be looking at readings from about 50 - 85 uW/cm2 in the basking zone, from a 6.2 Solarmeter.
      > > > This 1:17 ratio is very low - sunlight is normally between about 35 to 60 - but I personally feel it is just about ok, I have used other brands with similar ratios with no harm to my beardies, but the problem with the 125W Solar Glo I tested was the extreme rate of decay I saw.
      > > > It started out with what seemed like a nice 114 uW/cm2 at 12 inches distance (which is about the minimum distance I think a mercury vapour should get) but after ONLY 105 hours of use (equivalent to about 10 days use in a vivarium) this had plummeted to only 46 uW/cm2 at 12 inches... I did not continue testing.
      > > >
      > > > What readings are you seeing with yours?
      > > >
      > > > What is your set-up, i.e., do you have other heating/lighting/UVB for your beardie, and at what sort of distances? (I'm wondering whether other lamps or even other types of lamp might be a possibility)
      > > > Are you in the USA, or Europe?
      > > >
      > > > Best wishes,
      > > >
      > > > Frances
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@" wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Thanks Frances for the timely response.
      > > > > Are you the same Frances whose Website I keep reading about UV?
      > > > > If so, absolutely fantastic, and thank you!
      > > > >
      > > > > I have a Exo Terra Solar Glo 125W MVB, but if something is better, I am completely happy to switch. I have no loyalties as I am new to this, and cost isn't an issue for me.
      > > > >
      > > > > Thanks again,
      > > > > Cheers,
      > > > > Jeff
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • lilacdawndragon
      Hi, Jeff. I tested one of BobMac s latest 100watt USA (110volt) version of his MegaRay bulbs in September. It was exactly as he said it was. Also, the
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 19, 2013
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        Hi, Jeff.

        I tested one of BobMac's latest 100watt USA (110volt) version of his MegaRay bulbs in September. It was exactly as he said it was.
        Also, the proportion of shorter wavelength : longer wavelength UVB it emits is indeed balanced much more like natural sunlight than the Exoterra Solar Glo; a UV Index of 1.0 was equivalent to a Solarmeter 6.2 reading of 33 uW/cm2 on my meter.
        So the readings you will see with your meter with these MegaRay lamps are NOT equivalent to those you'll see with the ExoTerra Solar Glo.

        At 14" (without mesh) I was getting readings of UV Index 3.4 (114 uW/cm2) after the MegaRay lamp had been on for 30 minutes. After I had tested it for my standard 105 hours (i.e., 10 days use) it was giving me UV Index 3.8 (119 uW/cm2) which is basically near enough the same... (sometimes good mercury vapour lamps do go up a bit as they burn in, and then usually start a very slow decay, over the next year or so.)
        This is a very good reading for a basking spot. For bearded dragons and similar "full sun baskers" the natural basking sunlight range seems to be around UV Index 3 -5, which gives readings with THIS brand of lamp, using a 6.2 Solarmeter, in the range of 100 - 160 uW/cm2. So that's the sort of range I'd like to see, as a maximum reading in the basking area at beardie shoulder height, right under your new MegaRay lamps.

        You may find that 14" through ExoTerra mesh does not reach the desired readings. My tests of similar mesh suggest about 30% reduction in UV (and in visible light) - it's a simple, shading effect. So you might find you need to raise his basking shelf/ branch/ rock a bit higher so he can climb to within about 12" of the mesh.

        As for temperature, I doubt that any 100watt lamp of ANY type on its own will ever create a suitable 40C basking zone in a well-ventilated vivarium. And it is much safer -as well as much better as regards lighting and size of basking zone - to use an incandescent bulb alongside a mercury vapour, to get the temperature right. Because you can't use a thermostat with the mercury vapour lamp - but you can with the halogen, and so fine tune the temperatures. So keep on doing what you are doing, and check with an infrared non-contact thermometer to see what you're getting.

        On the subject of the size of the basking zone and UV zone.... BobMac and I do have rather different views on this. I think we all agree that the entire basking zone - big enough for the entire animal to fit inside comfortably - needs to be at the correct basking temperature. This means it's essential to use wide flood lamps to supply heat and light. (I personally like PAR38 Flood incandescent lamps.)
        However, I also believe that the ideal UVB lamp would also have a wide enough spread to enable the whole animal to "get inside the effective area of the beam" - i.e., the UVB zone that's at least UVI 2 or 3 should be in an area as wide as its body. Which is why my *only* criticism of the ReptileUV MegaRay is that for larger reptiles (especially the really big ones like iguanas) the beam seems rather too narrow. (It's not nearly as bad as quite a few other brands though!)

        For many years, such a thing was totally impossible - and early mercury vapour lamps, which saved the lives of countless reptiles and were a massive breakthrough in reptile husbandry, only produced narrow spot beams creating little circles of effective UVB on a large reptile's back. This is why BobMac disagrees with me.
        Lamps have improved considerably since then, and we can always imagine something better. Surprisingly, however, it has proven extremely difficult to widen the beam without unacceptably lowering the UVB output - or skewing the shorter : longer wavelength UVB ratio.
        So until someone conquers this problem, we are left with a difficult choice if we want to continue using mercury vapour bulbs. We can have ones like the MegaRay, with good quality and quantity of UVB but in a rather narrower beam than I'd consider ideal; or ones like some other brands, with maybe a wider beam but usually weaker and/or with a far less satisfactory UVB wavelength ratio.

        But basically I think you're buying a good bulb and please do post on here, what you find when your bulb arrives and you set it up!

        Best wishes,

        Frances



        --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@..." wrote:

        > My basking site is about 14 inches from the bulb, so I suspect that your standard 100W bulb will be all that I require for a bearded dragon. If you think otherwise, please let me know. Lastly, do you know what temp I can expect from your bulb at 14 inches?
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Jeff
        >
        > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@" wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Frances,
        > > FYI, I decided to just order a couple of the 100W Mega-Ray light MVB bulbs, so unless you think otherwise, I will likely give those a try and see what readings I get when they arrive.
        > >
        > > As per my other note, if my current readings are around 30uW/cm2, is that too low for my beardie?
        > >
        > > Cheers,
        > > Jeff
      • jeff.solomon@rogers.com
        Hi Frances, Thanks again for the great information. Bob and I spoke today, and he is going to customize my new 100W bulbs to allow for the drop in penetration
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 21, 2013
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          Hi Frances,

          Thanks again for the great information.

          Bob and I spoke today, and he is going to customize my new 100W bulbs to allow for the drop in penetration due to the Exo Terra screening, so I expect that I will have the exact amount of UVB I am hoping to obtain as the basking site.

          I am quite eager to get the new bulbs and will be sharing all this information with everyone I know whom has been settling for inferior UVB lighting for their reptiles.

          It is fantastic to have folks like you and Bob assisting us in keeping care of our reptiles.

          I will be sure to share my reading with the new bulbs with the group.

          Talk soon,
          Cheers,
          Jeff

          --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "lilacdawndragon" wrote:
          >
          > Hi, Jeff.
          >
          > I tested one of BobMac's latest 100watt USA (110volt) version of his MegaRay bulbs in September. It was exactly as he said it was.
          > Also, the proportion of shorter wavelength : longer wavelength UVB it emits is indeed balanced much more like natural sunlight than the Exoterra Solar Glo; a UV Index of 1.0 was equivalent to a Solarmeter 6.2 reading of 33 uW/cm2 on my meter.
          > So the readings you will see with your meter with these MegaRay lamps are NOT equivalent to those you'll see with the ExoTerra Solar Glo.
          >
          > At 14" (without mesh) I was getting readings of UV Index 3.4 (114 uW/cm2) after the MegaRay lamp had been on for 30 minutes. After I had tested it for my standard 105 hours (i.e., 10 days use) it was giving me UV Index 3.8 (119 uW/cm2) which is basically near enough the same... (sometimes good mercury vapour lamps do go up a bit as they burn in, and then usually start a very slow decay, over the next year or so.)
          > This is a very good reading for a basking spot. For bearded dragons and similar "full sun baskers" the natural basking sunlight range seems to be around UV Index 3 -5, which gives readings with THIS brand of lamp, using a 6.2 Solarmeter, in the range of 100 - 160 uW/cm2. So that's the sort of range I'd like to see, as a maximum reading in the basking area at beardie shoulder height, right under your new MegaRay lamps.
          >
          > You may find that 14" through ExoTerra mesh does not reach the desired readings. My tests of similar mesh suggest about 30% reduction in UV (and in visible light) - it's a simple, shading effect. So you might find you need to raise his basking shelf/ branch/ rock a bit higher so he can climb to within about 12" of the mesh.
          >
          > As for temperature, I doubt that any 100watt lamp of ANY type on its own will ever create a suitable 40C basking zone in a well-ventilated vivarium. And it is much safer -as well as much better as regards lighting and size of basking zone - to use an incandescent bulb alongside a mercury vapour, to get the temperature right. Because you can't use a thermostat with the mercury vapour lamp - but you can with the halogen, and so fine tune the temperatures. So keep on doing what you are doing, and check with an infrared non-contact thermometer to see what you're getting.
          >
          > On the subject of the size of the basking zone and UV zone.... BobMac and I do have rather different views on this. I think we all agree that the entire basking zone - big enough for the entire animal to fit inside comfortably - needs to be at the correct basking temperature. This means it's essential to use wide flood lamps to supply heat and light. (I personally like PAR38 Flood incandescent lamps.)
          > However, I also believe that the ideal UVB lamp would also have a wide enough spread to enable the whole animal to "get inside the effective area of the beam" - i.e., the UVB zone that's at least UVI 2 or 3 should be in an area as wide as its body. Which is why my *only* criticism of the ReptileUV MegaRay is that for larger reptiles (especially the really big ones like iguanas) the beam seems rather too narrow. (It's not nearly as bad as quite a few other brands though!)
          >
          > For many years, such a thing was totally impossible - and early mercury vapour lamps, which saved the lives of countless reptiles and were a massive breakthrough in reptile husbandry, only produced narrow spot beams creating little circles of effective UVB on a large reptile's back. This is why BobMac disagrees with me.
          > Lamps have improved considerably since then, and we can always imagine something better. Surprisingly, however, it has proven extremely difficult to widen the beam without unacceptably lowering the UVB output - or skewing the shorter : longer wavelength UVB ratio.
          > So until someone conquers this problem, we are left with a difficult choice if we want to continue using mercury vapour bulbs. We can have ones like the MegaRay, with good quality and quantity of UVB but in a rather narrower beam than I'd consider ideal; or ones like some other brands, with maybe a wider beam but usually weaker and/or with a far less satisfactory UVB wavelength ratio.
          >
          > But basically I think you're buying a good bulb and please do post on here, what you find when your bulb arrives and you set it up!
          >
          > Best wishes,
          >
          > Frances
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@" wrote:
          >
          > > My basking site is about 14 inches from the bulb, so I suspect that your standard 100W bulb will be all that I require for a bearded dragon. If you think otherwise, please let me know. Lastly, do you know what temp I can expect from your bulb at 14 inches?
          > >
          > > Thanks,
          > > Jeff
          > >
          > > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@" wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Hi Frances,
          > > > FYI, I decided to just order a couple of the 100W Mega-Ray light MVB bulbs, so unless you think otherwise, I will likely give those a try and see what readings I get when they arrive.
          > > >
          > > > As per my other note, if my current readings are around 30uW/cm2, is that too low for my beardie?
          > > >
          > > > Cheers,
          > > > Jeff
          >
        • Robert MacCargar
          Hi Jeff, I thought i answered this but I don t see a replay. the heat will need to be supplemented with an additional bulb as Fran suggested in her post. the
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 27, 2013
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            Hi Jeff, I thought i answered this but I don't see a replay. the heat will need to be supplemented with an additional bulb as Fran suggested in her post. the screen not only reduces the UV, but also the light (LUX) and the heat by deflecting the IR waves. Its a hands on adjustment only you can do. as we always say, triple check basking temps on every bulb change. :)

            BobMac
            http://www.reptileuv.com
            http://www.reptileuvinfo.com
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UVB_Meter_Owners/

            If you do nothing else today, visit and join the International Reptile
            Conservation Foundation (IRCF) at www.IRCF.org
            The International Reptile Conservation Foundation
            works to conserve reptiles and the
            natural habitats and ecosystems that support
            them.





            To: UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com
            From: jeff.solomon@...
            Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 03:06:58 +0000
            Subject: [UVB_Meter_Owners] Re: New to using my Solartech 6.2 UVB Meter for Bearded Dragon






























            Hi Bob,

            Thanks for the comments in the thread.

            Not sure if you got the gist of the whole thread with Frances, but basically I decided to throw the towel in today on my Exo Terra Solar Glo in favour of your 100W MVB. I actually called your place earlier today, and spoke with someone on the phone while at the same time I placed the order via your website for 2 bulbs to ship to me in Canada.



            I am very much looking forward to using your bulbs as all my research kept turning up yours as the best and most reliable. I originally balked due to the high shipping costs of $45 to Canada for 2 bulbs, but decided to just go ahead anyways.



            My readings per the previous messages were with my Solar Glo bulb which is about 2 weeks old, and performing below my expectations.



            My basking site is about 14 inches from the bulb, so I suspect that your standard 100W bulb will be all that I require for a bearded dragon. If you think otherwise, please let me know. Lastly, do you know what temp I can expect from your bulb at 14 inches?



            Thanks,

            Jeff



            --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, Robert MacCargar wrote:

            >

            >

            > Hey jeff,

            >

            > no offence, but unless you have those bulbs 3' away, those are not the readings you will get. there is no "burn in". what you get is what you get as stated on my website. Forget factories. I personally make sure that you will get what i promised. yea, we did have bulbs that burned out early (not our name, only my design on UVB) but never did we sell bulbs that did not have my UVB as advertised.

            >

            > 150-200UVB with a 30-1 UVB to UVI ratio at the basking distance and it will stay there for as long as the bulb will be lit. We are ALWAYS running behind!!! Always!!! sorry. Its a miracle or a curse that we are still here. we are no competition for the other suppliers. all i promise is that you will get the best MV or MH UV available in the world. and that is not easy.

            >

            > if you already ordered, tell me what you want in UVB at what distance, and i can give t to you. I don't make money at this and you certainly don't give "same day shipping" like this, but your animal will get what it deserves.

            >

            > best my friend :")

            >

            > BobMac

            > http://www.reptileuv.com

            > http://www.reptileuvinfo.com

            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UVB_Meter_Owners/

            >

            > If you do nothing else today, visit and join the International Reptile

            > Conservation Foundation (IRCF) at www.IRCF.org

            > The International Reptile Conservation Foundation

            > works to conserve reptiles and the

            > natural habitats and ecosystems that support

            > them.

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            > To: UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com

            > From: jeff.solomon@...

            > Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:38:04 +0000

            > Subject: [UVB_Meter_Owners] Re: New to using my Solartech 6.2 UVB Meter for Bearded Dragon

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            >

            > Hi Frances,

            >

            > FYI, I decided to just order a couple of the 100W Mega-Ray light MVB bulbs, so unless you think otherwise, I will likely give those a try and see what readings I get when they arrive.

            >

            >

            >

            > As per my other note, if my current readings are around 30uW/cm2, is that too low for my beardie?

            >

            >

            >

            > Cheers,

            >

            > Jeff

            >

            >

            >

            > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@" wrote:

            >

            > >

            >

            > > Hi Frances,

            >

            > > Thanks for the great explanation.

            >

            > > My bulb was sold from the store as "new" but I am not 100% sure if it was previously purchased and returned as the package looked like it might have been open prior to my buying it.

            >

            > >

            >

            > > In any case, my readings at 12" from the light are 45uW/cm2 without the screen, and through the screen it drops to 30uW/cm2. I have had the bulb installed in the terrarium for about 10-12 days now. I didn't use a tape measure for the without the screen test, so this is an very close estimate, but it starts to paint a picture none-the-less.

            >

            > >

            >

            > > My setup is a Exo-Terra Terrarium with the screened top, and swing out front doors. The dimensions are 36x18x24, so I have lots of height to work with which has become a bit of a challenge. I am currently using a ReptiSun 2.0 Fluorescent tube across the top (36") which is mostly for white light. I also use an Exo Terra 75 Halogen Spot for heat as I found the MVB wasn't giving out enough heat at 12" to create the proper basking temp.

            >

            > >

            >

            > > Our Beardie, is about 5 months old, and we have had him for 2 weeks now. He seems to be adjusting extremely well, and is feeding and defecating very well, and quite regularly. However, if he isn't getting adequate UVB exposure, I'm not sure if that would be apparent yet.

            >

            > >

            >

            > > I live in Canada and have ready access to T-Rex, PowerSun and of course the Exo Terra bulbs. Given a clean slate, what would you recommend I use? I am seriously doubting if I should stick with the Solar Glo, especially if my readings are already so low, and if similar to your tests, will only continue to decline.

            >

            > >

            >

            > > Thanks,

            >

            > > Jeff

            >

            > >

            >

            > > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "lilacdawndragon" wrote:

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > Hi, Jeff.

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > Yes, I'm the primary author of UV Guide UK but it is very out of date right now. Lots of much better stuff is on my drawing board...

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > ExoTerra Solar Glo lamps are a bit problematic because ExoTerra have changed manufacturer quite frequently over the years, but I *think* they are still using the same one as they were using when I last tested one, in 2011.

            >

            > > > This has a high shorter wavelength : longer wavelength ratio, with my meters I got about UVI 1 = 17 uW/cm2. So to get a "morning sunlight" equivalent for beardies' basking areas, of UVI 3 - 5, you'd be looking at readings from about 50 - 85 uW/cm2 in the basking zone, from a 6.2 Solarmeter.

            >

            > > > This 1:17 ratio is very low - sunlight is normally between about 35 to 60 - but I personally feel it is just about ok, I have used other brands with similar ratios with no harm to my beardies, but the problem with the 125W Solar Glo I tested was the extreme rate of decay I saw.

            >

            > > > It started out with what seemed like a nice 114 uW/cm2 at 12 inches distance (which is about the minimum distance I think a mercury vapour should get) but after ONLY 105 hours of use (equivalent to about 10 days use in a vivarium) this had plummeted to only 46 uW/cm2 at 12 inches... I did not continue testing.

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > What readings are you seeing with yours?

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > What is your set-up, i.e., do you have other heating/lighting/UVB for your beardie, and at what sort of distances? (I'm wondering whether other lamps or even other types of lamp might be a possibility)

            >

            > > > Are you in the USA, or Europe?

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > Best wishes,

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > Frances

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > >

            >

            > > > --- In UVB_Meter_Owners@yahoogroups.com, "jeff.solomon@" wrote:

            >

            > > > >

            >

            > > > > Thanks Frances for the timely response.

            >

            > > > > Are you the same Frances whose Website I keep reading about UV?

            >

            > > > > If so, absolutely fantastic, and thank you!

            >

            > > > >

            >

            > > > > I have a Exo Terra Solar Glo 125W MVB, but if something is better, I am completely happy to switch. I have no loyalties as I am new to this, and cost isn't an issue for me.

            >

            > > > >

            >

            > > > > Thanks again,

            >

            > > > > Cheers,

            >

            > > > > Jeff

            >

            > > >

            >

            > >

            >

            >

            >

            >

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            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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