"Black Light" for my B. smithi

mikeymo

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Jan 14, 2007
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Hey everyone, mike here (again) with a problem (again) and questions (again)

First let me explain the situation:

About 6 weeks ago i bought a juvi b smithi and he's currently relaxing in a Kritter Keeper cage. Things are going well, but seeing how the b. smithi likes his substrate dry and doesn't require a lot of humidity (i DO have a water bottle lid full of water for him at all times though) i decided that it might be a good idea to get a heat source for him.

I ran down to the hardware store and picked up a lamp and a 75 watt "black light" (the bulb in purple) and currently i keep that lamp on for about 4-5 hours a day. Considering it's winter in canada, the house is heated to 72-73 F and that stays pretty constant.

I guess my question/concern is this; am i overdoing it with the lamp? Should it be on for a shorter amount of time, a longer amount of time, or off all together?

The smithi doesn't move around a lot, but i've just attributed that to normal behavior and not a sign of stress from overheating (am i wrong and slowly killing my little friend?) :S

Thanks for reading!

_mike
 

ScorpionFanatic

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I've used them on many ocasions, just make sure they are far enough away as not to make it too hot for the T. I've recently switched to undertank heaters (on the side of course) because I have a few T's that need more humidity than my smithi.
 

mikeymo

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first and foremost, thank you for the speedy reply.

The lamp is about 6 inches away from the top of the Kritter Keeper. Perhaps i should also note that the light isn't directly above the KK, but is angled at such a way to provide the heat to only half of the container.

Also, Scorpion, for how many hours did you keep the lamps on (approximately)?
 

Mushroom Spore

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If your house is in the 70s, you do NOT need any kind of extra heat. Heat lamps are more likely to overheat/dessicate the spider than anything else.

You could also be damaging the T's eyes with that--I know that it apparently blinds scorpions, if I remember right.
 

ScorpionFanatic

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About 4-5 hours or so. I only used it in the early AM, before the heaters in my house kicked in.
 

ScorpionFanatic

Arachnosquire
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If your house is in the 70s, you do NOT need any kind of extra heat. Heat lamps are more likely to overheat/dessicate the spider than anything else.

You could also be damaging the T's eyes with that--I know that it apparently blinds scorpions, if I remember right.
I would agree with the statement that they can harm scorpions eyes, but they would also no longer glow if kept under a blacklight, what you could try is a red bulb, but I've yet to have a blacklight affect any one of my T's in such a way as to blind them.
 

mikeymo

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humm.... now i'm a man divided and also a bit worried... i've read that b smithi need temperatures of 75-90F which is why i thought the lamp was needed...but Mushroom has "shed some light" on this (pun intended, of course)

The lamp is OFF for now...
 

Mushroom Spore

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i've read that b smithi need temperatures of 75-90F
Bull. :) The vast majority of T species can/should be kept anywhere between 65-85F. 90 is almost dangerous.

If you got that off some internet caresheet, here's a good plan: stop reading online care sheets. Most of them are complete nonsense, the authors either make it up or copy/paste it from OTHER species caresheets which are also inaccurate.
 

mikeymo

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Bull. :) The vast majority of T species can/should be kept anywhere between 65-85F. 90 is almost dangerous.

If you got that off some internet caresheet, here's a good plan: stop reading online care sheets. Most of them are complete nonsense, the authors either make it up or copy/paste it from OTHER species caresheets which are also inaccurate.
it's true! it's true! i googled and got burned. I thought 90F was a bit much. i should have trusted you guys on here allll along.

http://www.arachnopets.com/tarantulas/tcaresheets/bsmithic.htm <--- caresheet from this site. My house temperature is still a few degrees cooler then 75F but it's probably not cold enough for any damage to occur.

Yes?
 

cheetah13mo

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Theres no need for the heat lamp. On top of not being good for your pet T, it would evaporate any moisture you had in the tank very quickly. You might want added humidity around molt time and the lamp would just make molting harder. As mushroom spore said, 65 to 85 is ideal. Even if the temps get outside that window for a short amount of time won't hurt. Just give the T plenty of substrate, a hide and keep a water dish full and that's all you need. If you do that, you'll have a happy, healthy pet rock. :)
 

mikeymo

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yup, he's got ALL of the above! The lamp will be off now unless it's unusually cold in the house.

Thanks to everyone who replied! Oh..Chico (the b smithi) thanks you also :p (i'm a nerd)
 

cacoseraph

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it seems like you are taking a safer path now...

but something to consider. B. smithi live in relatively deep burrows in the wild (1+feet/30+cm). This means that at about a foot inside the burrow the temp is going to be right around 68*F and another foot or so down it will hover around 65-66*F. These temperatures will be incredibly stable with vitually no seasonal change in temp. The air exchange with outside would be the largest source of temp (and RH changes). A veil limits this exchange tremendously.

So... deep burrowers are used to their burrow being the same (and "low") temp for most of the year. Things are complicated by the fact they thermo- and hydro- regulate by moving up and down inside their burrow... a practice most cage setups don't allow.
 

Beth-Tex

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In my T keeping of over 25 years, I have never been without a B. smithi. I have also never used supplement heating. Have lived all over the country & usually in the winter time keep the temps (day & night) around 72 (sometimes a bit cooler) & in the summer (due to cooling costs) around 76 - 78. All my Ts have done just fine. They have always thrived & grown well.

Beth
 

SPIDERBYTE

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The black light mentioned before probably wouldn't harm the T's eyes. Those 75w bulbs are pretty much just ordinary lightbulbs with a lot of dark blue paint on them, they get really hot, give off some blue light, and maybe a tiny amount of near-uv light. I'd be more concerned about a dried out spider than a blinded one with this type.

It's the fluorescent ones that have the more potent UV light and there are a few different types of those too.

"blacklight"--as in bug zapper--looks like blue neon tubing (some uv)

"blacklight blue"-- as 4w flashlight tube or 15w "party" lamp--tube has darker blue glass to filter out most of the visible light (similar uv) Some now come in compact fluorescents that plug in or even screw in like regular lightbulbs (those ones are usually coiled tubes)

"tanning salon" -- long tubes 40-80w (lots more uv here!)
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"germicidal UV tube" -- totally clear quartz glass tube, designed for nothing BUT high energy UV production (never ever look at one of these while in operation!!)
 
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