Discuss substrates, lighting, heating, enclosure building ideas, share enclosure photos, and talk about any other enclosure-related topics.
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Hi everyone, I am trying to figure out the best & cheapest way to set up a 75 gallon tank for a Bearded dragon and I am getting mixed signals and having no luck! I am very new to this reptile thing, although my husband has a ball python so he's not as new at it. He's trying to help me out but right now he's away for a bit. I've been trying to do online shopping but I'm so confused and overwhelmed that I'm hoping you nice people can help me.
So, dumb it down for me a bit and starting from square one, what should I buy to set up a 75 gallon tank? Please include as many specific links to products as much as possible. All we have is the tank, that's it! We're still trying to find even a table or stand of some sort to put it on.
Thank you in advance!!
First off you will need to decide what type of substrate (lines the bottom) you want. I highly recommend using non adhesive shelf liner, cermic tiles or paper towels. Sand is bad and dangerous.. Then you will need your lighting.. You need a basking bulb.. For that i recommend getting a household bulb such as an indoor flood bulb of some sort.. I use a GE indoor flood bulb.. As far as the wattage it really depends on your enclosure and the room temp.. It's pretty much tiral and error with that.. Then you will need a UVB bulb.. The reptisun 10.0 is the best out there for the US.. You can purchase that at www.petmountain.com.. If you get the 24" you can find a fixture for that at walmart pretty cheap.. Then you will need some digital thermometers with probes so that you can properly manage the temps.. If your night time temp stays above 65 in the enclosure then there is no need for a night time heat element however if it drops below that I recommend getting a ceramic heat emitter. Stay away from the ifrared bulbs that emit light at night b/c it will intefere with their sleep.. You will need some type of basking spot for them to climb on to bask and you will also need a hide for them to cool off in.. Here is a link to a thread I created with lots of helpful links.. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=138947 Hope all of this helps! And guys if i left anything out help me out..lol
Thank you Slave2Scarlett! (Love your dragon's name, btw! It's our snake's name too!) I think I'll probably start off on paper towels or newspaper (I've heard you can use that, right? I have an overabundance of it since I subscribe to it daily so it would be cheaper than paper towels.) I'm going to bombard you with questions now and I'm sorry if I get annoying. I just want to set up the best environment for my future Beardie that I can.)
Tell me more about lighting. Exactly what type of fixtures are best/safest/cheapest for both the basking bulb and UVB bulb? Where do they go? The tank has a screen top. Do they need to be put inside the tank or can they be put on the screen top? If they go inside, how do you attach them to the inside of the tank? I've decided that the 24inch Reptisun 10.0 is the best option for sure. My husband and I are planning on building a basking platform for the tank so that will be an undertaking I'm sure. I haven't decided what we're making it out of yet. He can get a hold of slate tiles pretty cheap so we might go that route. What's the safest way to build a basking platform out of slate tiles? Also, we're planning on putting the tank in our bedroom and sometimes we stay up pretty late watching TV and whatnot. Should I cover the cage at night so that the light from our TV and lamps won't bother the beardie?
That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I'll have lots more later. Thanks again for your help!
You are so welcome! I don't mind at all giving u info..
Awesome! Thanks again for all the advice Slave2Scarlett (sorry, can't seem to find your name anywhere).
Is newspaper an acceptable substrate as well? Just wanna make sure. I definitely want to use an nice picture background too so that might take some time to find.
I know sand is bad for them but I have another question. If I fed insects in an empty tupperware or something like that, could I give my Beardie a sand box? I've seen a few tanks with them in and I like how they look. Would that be acceptable or should I really just leave sand completely out of the equation? Also, I'm getting confused about humidity and hydration. How do you keep the humidity low in the tank? What should it be at number wise? What's the proper way to keep a Beardie hydrated? Water bowl, misting, baths? I've seen so many different answers on here.
Also, what about veggies? My brother used to own two Beardies and looking back with the knowledge that I've acquired recently they were not taking good care of them at all! Neither of them ever ate their veggies that I ever witnessed. How do you get them to eat those? Also, what about dusting? I've heard all sorts of different advice about that too. How often, which kinds (brands, etc...), on what? What's your feeding schedule look like?
I think the biggest issue will be that I'm kind of afraid of bugs, so I'll be using rubber gloves or something to feed bugs for a little while until I get more comfortable. My husband might do that part for me too sometimes. I really do not want cockroaches in my house but from what I've seen it's the cheapest (& one of the best) feeding methods.
I've been browsing this forum for information just about every day so I hope I'll feel secure enough in my knowledge by the time I do get a Beardie.
LoL my name is Ashleigh.. I need to put it in my sig.. Newspaper would b fine to use as well.. As far as the sand goes.. I know a lot of people do eventually put a sand box in their for their beardies to dig around in and in ny opinion I think that would b ok for an adult but not for a baby or juvi.. U definitely want to keep the humidity down in the Viv bc it can cause respiratory problems.. The best way to avoid the high humidity is to not mist the beardie inside of the Viv and don't have a water bowl in there.. The best way to hydrate is baths.. I usually give Scarlett a bath every other day but as they get older u can do it every fees days.. If they are shedding it's good to bath them every other day.. I really don't mist at all bc I give her baths.. As far as the veggies go u can refer to the beautiful dragons website they have a great nutritional guide on there.. You should always offer veggies everyday even if they don't seem to like them.. The best way to get them to eat them is to put them in their Viv first thing in the morning when they r hungry and wait about 30 minutes for live food.. Which leads me to suggesting you use the reptiworms.. U can use the tongs and u don't have to dust them with the calcium powder bc they are naturally high in calcium.. But u should still dust them twice a week with the multivitamin.. Whew! Ok I hope I answered all your questions lol let me know if u have anymore though!
Hmm, those Reptiworms look interesting. About how much money would I be spending on those? Would I buy them monthly or what? How much would a typical dragon eat of them? What do the flys look like? Are they dangerous in anyway, shape or form?? What happens if any escape? Sorry, these are all questions that I did not see answered on the Reptiworm site. Off to search this board and Google them.
It just depends.. Scarlett usually eats about 35-40 per feeding.. I only feed her twice a day b/c I'm at work during lunch time.. If you order from www.reptiworms.com you can use the coupon that they offer through BD.org and get 20% off.. Its bearded20... I ordered 500 and it cost me $23... I also ordered some micro super worms from mulberry farms.. They are really cheap and also a good feeder.. The reptis along with the supers can last prob about a month or two.. I've only had them turn into flies once and that was an old bowl that had a few left.. They aren't dangerous at all and they don't even have mouths they are just used for breeding.. I put the few flies that formed in her viv and Scarlett loved to chase them and eat them..
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