For a long time keepers believed monitor lizards did not require UVB, that they only needed heat since they were carnivores. This has been proven false in recent years.
While monitors can definitely live a long time without UVB, their bodies do not grow at the proper speed or as large as they are supposed to be. Monitors that lack UVB usually stay smaller than they should, not growing to their proper potential.
While it is true that monitors get vitamin D from the meats they eat, they do need more of it. So UVB bulbs are very important.
My rescue nile monitor has gotten consistent UVB light since she got here. And while I'm certain regular feeding has helped a lot, I don't want to forget about the great benefits she has received from UVB. She was tiny when I got her--only the length of my arm. Now Anuket is approaching 3 feet! It's pretty incredible what proper diet and proper lights can do for these guys.
So if you have a monitor lizard, the answer about whether or not they need UVB or not... is YES. ABSOLUTELY YES. There may be "old-school" keepers telling you differently, and they may even have large monitors that never got an ounce of UVB. But that doesn't mean their animals are thriving. UVB is a must for almost ALL LIZARDS.
The bulbs can be expensive to buy, but lizards are not cheap animals. Lizards that need something other than a 40 gallon tank (example, bearded dragon) are going to be pricey to care for. But that's why research is so important. If you can't afford it, don't buy it. If you can't afford the bulbs, then don't buy the lizard.
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3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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