Blue-Tongue Skinks Heating and Lighting Requirements

Blue-Tongue Skinks Heating and Lighting Requirements

The ideal lighting and heating setup for a blue tongued skink can depend on a few things, such as the type of enclosure you’re using, the ambient temperature in your home, and, of course, the specific breed of your scaly friend.

Do you have an Australian Blue-Tongue Skink, or is your little buddy from Indonesia? This is key to understanding their specific lighting and heating needs. We are going to discuss this in detail in this post.

For your blue tongue skink lighting setup, you will need the following bulbs:

  • UVB Bulb
  • Fluorescent Bulb
  • Basking Bulb

Blue Tongued Skink Lighting

The sun provides enough warmth for the blue-tongue skink to benefit from in the wild. However, in captivity, you must install light bulbs to give the effect of light and provide enough warmth with appropriate basking and heating lamps.

1. UVB Light

UVB light plays a vital role in the health of blue tongued skinks. UVB is a type of ultraviolet light that’s invisible to the human eye but has profound effects on our scaly friends.

Let’s get a little science-y here, but don’t worry, I’ll keep it light and digestible. UVB light plays a key role in the synthesis of Vitamin D3 in reptiles. Now, you might ask, “Why is Vitamin D3 so important?” Well, it’s quite simple. This vitamin is crucial for the proper absorption of calcium, a mineral that’s paramount for healthy bone formation and maintenance in reptiles, including our Blue-Tongued buddies.

Research in herpetology consistently shows that the proper use of UVB lighting can significantly benefit the health of reptiles, leading to more active, vibrant, and healthier pets. It’s particularly crucial for diurnal lizards like Blue-Tongued Skinks, who, in their natural habitat, are exposed to UVB during their daytime activities.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But I’ve heard that Blue-Tongued Skinks have survived without UVB lighting in captivity.” Yes, that’s true. They can indeed survive without UVB lighting, thanks to dietary supplements providing necessary Vitamin D3. But isn’t thriving better than merely surviving?

Providing a UVB source allows these unique reptiles to regulate their Vitamin D3 synthesis naturally, mimicking their wild conditions. It’s the difference between giving a fish a bath and letting it swim in the ocean.

Here are some of the best UVB lights for blue-tongued skinks that I’ve come across in my journey as a skink-keeper:

  1. Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 T5 HO UVB
  2. Arcadia Desert 12% Fluorescent Tubes

These lights are suitable for use on top of or inside 18-24″ tall enclosures, spanning at least half the enclosure’s length.

It’s important to replace these bulbs annually as UVB output declines over time, even if the visible light output doesn’t seem to change.

Installing UVB Tube Light in a Blue Tongue’s Tank

Proper installation of these lights is crucial. Ensure there is no glass or plastic shielding the bulb, as UVB rays are blocked by such materials. Also, your skink should be able to get no closer than 10″ to the bulb for its safety.

To cover most of your bluey’s lighting and heating requirements, getting a UVB tube with 50-70% of the tank length is suggested. It’ll help disperse the light evenly inside the tank. In addition to this, you need to get hoods for the UVB lig