55 gallon set up

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55 gallon set up

Postby Barnbabe0127 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:02 pm

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Hello, I'm getting my first beardie in a couple days. I have 55 gallon tank (I know it's not ideal and I will get a bigger tank when he gets bigger). The beardie I'm getting is about 10" long right now. My question to you guys is what exact lights and bulb wattage do I need? I know I need a UVB light extending as much of the tank as possible but I don't know what wattage and such. And what wattage hear bulbs do I need? I keep my house at 68 degrees. Thanks guys!
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Re: 55 gallon set up

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:26 pm

A 55g tank is a decent size if you provide plenty of outside the tank time. I have a tank that is a similar size so I can provide some info based on my setup. I suggest using adjustable lamp stands to get the lights to the proper height based on temperature readings. You can also use a lamp dimmer to achieve the same thing if your height is fixed. I have a 150w reptile basking bulb on one side that gets the floor of the tank in the basking area to 104 degrees from 18'' up. I have a ceramic heat emitter on the other side that keeps the tank in the low 70s from 25'' up overnight. I use this seasonally in the winter because my house goes below 65 at night. If your house stays above 65, this isn't needed. My UVB light is an Arcadia T5 in a fixture with a reflector. It sits on top of the tank (no screen) at 18''. I get UV readings comparable to mid day sun in the summer here at 12'' directly below the light. I've included some photos of my setup in case it's helpful.

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Re: 55 gallon set up

Postby Barnbabe0127 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:57 pm

Ok so my dimensions of my tank are 48"x13"x21". So most UVB bulbs don't reach 21" and I need a screen (curious cat) so can I put the bulb and fixture inside the tank? If so how do you rig that up? Also since my tank is 48" long and the UVB needs to cover 75% of the tank I need a 36" light fixture and I cannot find one anywhere! And can someone explain to me mvb bulbs? Thanks guys
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Re: 55 gallon set up

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:52 pm

OK, that is a bit longer/narrower/higher than mine is. If you need a screen, you'll either want to get a T8 bulb/fixture and mount it inside (6-8'' from the basking spot) using command hooks or something similar. You can also get a T5 w/reflector and mount it on top. If you build your basking site up a bit higher than normal (get it to maybe 12-18'' from the top) you should be OK with UV exposure. Even at an extended distance, and through a top, you should get slightly better exposure than with a T8 at 8''. The higher basking site will also help with getting the correct basking temperature from your heat bulb.

A mercury vapor bulb is a powerful bulb with a combination output of UVA and UVB. They are a nice all-in-one option but cost a bit more. You need to mount them at least 12-18'' above the basking site. Since they have to be further away, you may find that you need an additional basking bulb (just a reptile basking bulb or halogen flood light) to get the basking site to the proper temperature. You can get good MVBs (and good tube style UVB lights/fixtures) here: http://lightyourreptiles.com/mercuryvapor.html I don't have experience with MVBs so I can't say which wattage you'll need. I would probably go with the 100w kit, but that's just a guess on my part.

I have this bulb/fixture I have http://lightyourreptiles.com/34t5hofihouw3.html There are lots of other good options available, this is just what I use and it works well for me.
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Re: 55 gallon set up

Postby Barnbabe0127 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:24 pm

Thanks you've been a big help I appreciate it!
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