Equipment Review and Discussion :: MegaRay Review

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:09 pm   MegaRay Review

I had mentioned in another thread

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=35213

That I had ordered a MegaRay back in August out of frustration with the UVB I was giving my son's turtle Tobi. Long boring details about the frustration in another post coming soon, but after vowing to put the MegaRay in tomorrow I put it in tonight. That was because when I measured the UVB using my solarmeter 6.2 tonight, I had a reading of 7 micro W/cm^2 at 4" above the basking platform. (i.e. just resting the SolarMeter on the basking area and taking a reading directly under my ZooMed PowerSun 100 MVB.). A week and a half ago that reading was 23. When I first put it in in June or July it was 30. I'm glad I had added a supplemental cfl UVB a few weeks back.

I ordered a MageRay 160 because I wanted to provide UVB over a wider area with a larger gradient of good UVB. This was largely inspired by discussions here a few months back about about whether a basking turtle centering its shell under an MVB for heat was getting much UVB on its outstretched limbs. The recommendation for the MegeRay 160 is 18" to 24". I have mine currently at 21.5".

The light seems less yellow and washes out than the PowerSun. It has a much bluer tint, but is still quite yellow overall.

After 30 minutes, measuring directly under with the 4" solarmeter resting on the platform (so 17.5") I am getting a reading of 194. With the solarmeter resting on the platform, 2" off center and angled for maximum reading, I'm getting 130 and 3" off, I'm getting 80. Without taking the basking platform off and lowering the water, I can't get a reading at the basking level. That may have to wait until this weekend, but playing with the way it drops off as I move closer/nearer I estimate it around 90 to 100.

I do realize that with 30 minutes on the bulb, these readings are meaningless.

My only concern, besides watching Tobi for any signs of overexposure and monitoring the UVB during burn-in is the heat. I Amy be too faraway to get enough heat. With a thermogun, the hottest area under the PowerSun was about 103 degrees. With the MegaRay it's only 89. Of course, it was only on 30 minutes.

Right now, I'm leaving Tobi alone with three small baby Omega One pellets for enticement.
Tobi a RES born in 2012
1 dog, 1 teenager, 3 aquariums filled with fish, snails, shrimp and a bit of algae
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:04 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

I will not keep updating this daily, but now with about 12 hours of burn-in, I wanted to update the numbers.

First, when I got home the turtle pellets were still up there. When I fed dinner, I made sure she saw a full sized pellet being placed up there. An hour later all were gone. So, she's been up, but I have no idea how long.

All readings are still taken 4" above the basking platform and about 17.5" from the lamp.

Highest reading is 181. 3" off of center the reading is 88.

I do feel this will proved wide UVB coverage and allow a range of strengths. Using a heat gun, the highest temp is 98. At the edge of the ramp at that 3" point, it's 87.
Tobi a RES born in 2012
1 dog, 1 teenager, 3 aquariums filled with fish, snails, shrimp and a bit of algae
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:34 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

Thanks for the updates. I'm surprised it's not giving off that much heat. It is speculated that the skin absorbs the most UVB, so I think a wider gradient is good. What's your basking area made of? How long did it take for your order to ship?
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:32 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

I suspect others will get more heat out of it. As I said, I went with the 160 watt, which has a minimum distance of 18". I have it at 21.5".

The tank is in the basement. Temps at night are dropping into the 40's and we have windows open. The air temp there is probably around 67 degrees.

My basking area is pictured in some of my early threads. It's an acrylic ATBA with two 6"x6" pieces of tile. The whole area is about 12"x8".

I ordered sometime in August. Call it seven weeks for delivery.

Tobi hasn't shed since March. I wouldn't say I have pyramiding, but there are definitely layers of retained scutes. I suspect UVB is part of that. I've tried blueberries and koi pellets with wheat. In researching UVB, I ran across quotes from a 2012 freshwater turtle research paper that's paywalled, so I can't read it. There is apparently a quote there from a 1996 research paper I can't find online that says:

Signs of MBD, shown in adult freshwater turtles, include “progressive mineral loss of the shell, shell
and endoskeleton fractures, pyramidal shell growth, egg retention and concurrent hypovitaminosis A
(Barten, 1996)”


I found that on a blog that appears to be from a high school student doing research on sea turtles. I wish there was contact info to thank him or her.

http://seaturtleresearch.weebly.com/basking.html

But that combined with what I've observed in wild turtles in the area leads me to believe that the online recommendations for RES UVB exposure may be on the low side.

I love in NW Indiana, near Chicago. The entire area was swampland that was drained for settlement. There are numerous ponds with RES, painted turtles and snapping turtles. It's also at the extreme Northern edge of the natural RES range. Driving my car, walking the dog, even in a pond near work at lunch, I see tons of RES and painted turtles basking. When I got the SolarMeter, I was reading 350 at noon, and there are turtles basking then.

Since most of the RES range is south of me, know the UVB will be higher. I know too that the UVB is much lower throughout most of the day, and there are cloudy days when the UVB is minimal or nonexistent. But I have a hard time believing that the types of recommendations online aren't on the low side.

So, once Tobi starts basking regularly under the new UVB light, I plan to watch her closely, but right now I feel like I'm providing something she's been lacking for some time.
Tobi a RES born in 2012
1 dog, 1 teenager, 3 aquariums filled with fish, snails, shrimp and a bit of algae
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Post Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:09 am   Re: MegaRay Review

There is a bit of mystery as to how to effectively help a turtle shed. MBD could play a role in the retained scutes, but no one really knows how much UVB they should get. Basking time and dietary vitamin d3 could also be influencing shedding. I look forward to reading your updates!
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:43 am   Re: MegaRay Review

Thank you. Time to order one so I might get it by Christmas!
1 Male Mississippi Map/Mississippi
1 Female RES/Slidy.
1 DBT White Concentric Female/ Lucky
1 DBT Male/ Spots
(Housed in the same tank)

300 gallon indoor stock tank, FX6 & FX5 filters. Mega-Ray 100w UVB bulb.
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:55 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

Update after 50 hours or so of burn-in:

Measuring with a SolarMeter 6.2 resting on the basking platform my maximum reading was 132. That's 17.5" from the MegaRay in a deep dome, metal finished lamp. With the basking platform removed, I get a reading of 89. 3" off center and angled for max reading, I get 68. Max temp this morning, after a cold night, was 89. This afternoon, it was 93 degrees. I think I will lower the lamp a bit, but because of changes in my setup, I will need to get to the hardware store for more chain first.

No change on Tobi's scutes, but I didn't expect anything this soon. She is shedding skin more than I've seen in some time. Skin shedding has not stopped since the scute shedding has, but it has been some time since I saw this much.

She is basking. I'm not sure, but I don't think she is basking as much. I'm not sure if that is the newness, the temp or the UVB.

I will try to get a shell picture to show the retained scutes.
Tobi a RES born in 2012
1 dog, 1 teenager, 3 aquariums filled with fish, snails, shrimp and a bit of algae
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:03 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

I just read the update on their site sounds like soon you might be able to get one just about any where? We shall see. Still need to order one bin busy with my basking dock. Thank you for the update.
1 Male Mississippi Map/Mississippi
1 Female RES/Slidy.
1 DBT White Concentric Female/ Lucky
1 DBT Male/ Spots
(Housed in the same tank)

300 gallon indoor stock tank, FX6 & FX5 filters. Mega-Ray 100w UVB bulb.
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:28 am   Re: MegaRay Review

Finally some good news but I agree... we shall see. Interesting observation about skin shedding, I think it's the first time I've read it discussed in relation to UVB/MVB.
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:11 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

Update after nearly two weeks.

I have not lowered the fixture, so my meter reading is still at 17.5". Highest reading with a solarmeter 6.2 is 130 µW/cm². Highest temp is now 99 degrees. The increased temp reading is likely because we finally closed the house up and turned the heat on.

Other than the skin shedding when it first went in, I'm not seeing much difference in Tobi. There is no more skin shedding or sign of scute shedding yet. The only differences are that her shell needs less cleaning. Previously, there was algae growing in the shell, which I cleaned on a weekly basis. That seems to have disappeared. It also seems that the colors on the shell are brighter, which may be related to disappearance of algae.

I'm not seeing signs of of scute shedding or any behavioral changes.

I will continue with occasional updates, but not too frequent unless something changes.
Tobi a RES born in 2012
1 dog, 1 teenager, 3 aquariums filled with fish, snails, shrimp and a bit of algae
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:18 am   Re: MegaRay Review

Your readings are a lot higher than the powersun bulbs. Thanks for the info makes buying a bulb less complicated.
1 Male Mississippi Map/Mississippi
1 Female RES/Slidy.
1 DBT White Concentric Female/ Lucky
1 DBT Male/ Spots
(Housed in the same tank)

300 gallon indoor stock tank, FX6 & FX5 filters. Mega-Ray 100w UVB bulb.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:21 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

Would you think that the mega ray 160 would work best in a deep light fixture or a shallow one, or does it not matter. I want the deep one to keep the light from blinding me.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:27 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

Starscream wrote:Would you think that the mega ray 160 would work best in a deep light fixture or a shallow one, or does it not matter. I want the deep one to keep the light from blinding me.


I have mine in a deep dome lamp, and it's still an issue because of the clear acrylic when I down in front of the glass. I put paper up on the one side of the basking area.
Tobi a RES born in 2012
1 dog, 1 teenager, 3 aquariums filled with fish, snails, shrimp and a bit of algae
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:35 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

Awesome idea, ty
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:57 pm   Re: MegaRay Review

ljapa,any idea what a reptiglo 5 or 10.0 compact put out? That's what I use right now but have no idea if they even work?
1 Male Mississippi Map/Mississippi
1 Female RES/Slidy.
1 DBT White Concentric Female/ Lucky
1 DBT Male/ Spots
(Housed in the same tank)

300 gallon indoor stock tank, FX6 & FX5 filters. Mega-Ray 100w UVB bulb.
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Kansasslider
 
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Location: Manhattan,Kansas.
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