Need lighting tips for Zen Habitat 2x2x4'

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Need lighting tips for Zen Habitat 2x2x4'

Postby zampano » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:09 pm

Hey all,

Hope you're all doing well! Anti and I are both really excited because her new Zen Habitat apartment finally showed up in the mail. Just got it all set up, easily done, and now I'm going through all the set up motions to see I can get good light, heat and humidity before we move her out of her old viv. She's outgrowing it faster each day :)

I've been experimenting with both the single dome and the combo (double) dome I have for basking lights and, while I can get a proper basking temperature (juvenile) I can't get the lights to really heat up the remainder of the tank. Even with them hanging inside from the lid. I started experimenting with 2 basking bulbs and a CHE to see where I can get things but its starting to seem overly-complicated, and also I feel weird about giving her possibly "2 suns" to choose from, if that makes sense.

All I have right now is a 100w basking bulb, a 65w basking bulb, and a 65w CHE.

I'm guessing I'm going to need something stronger than a 100w basking bulb and a larger stronger dome to match. Then maybe the CHE on the other end/middle of the tank if needed? Would it help maybe to have the basking spot a little more central than off to one side?

I'm already strained budget-wise so I thought I'd see if anyone had any advice before I go off on another spending spree. Going to Petco today to shop around but mostly just wanted to get some new furniture, so maybe won't buy anything right away. Last time I was there there was a 165w zoo med basking bulb in the clearance bin I kept thinking of grabbing, it was half off, but hadn't needed anything that strong yet.

Anyway the room is usually in the 60's, but 70's when hot and 50's in the winter, I think. And the humidity is up in the 70's on average. Can't do much about those external conditions. Anyone have any thoughts on a good set up for the Zen tanks in these kind of conditions?

many thanks!
zampano
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Re: Need lighting tips for Zen Habitat 2x2x4'

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:19 pm

Here is a pic of how I have my Zen set up - the CHE is in the back of the tank in the middle it is only used for winter months 100 watt keeps my tanks in the 70's - I live in MN and the room I have them in is my office/ computer room - it is a warmer room - I am using a zoom Med 150 watt bulb for winter I have had to lower the wattage to 100 for the summer - both tanks were getting too hot w/ the 150 watt - I will haft to go back to the 150 this winter -- your room you have them in will play apart on what you use for bulbs - its going to be trial and error just make sure you have a digital probe thermometer - my basking bulbs sit on top of the tank the only thing in the tank is the UVB and they are Zoo Med fixtures w/ one a Reptisun 10.0 T 5 and the other one in the other tank is a Arcadia 14% getting changed next week to the Reptisun 10.0 T 5 - when I tried ordering Arcadias no one had them they were all out of stock --
this is Blazes tank
[Click image to enlarge]

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Re: Need lighting tips for Zen Habitat 2x2x4'

Postby zampano » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:50 pm

always most helpful, thank you Karrie!

I'm going to borrow what I can from your setup and work my way out from there for now ;)

Of course am going to have more questions eventually and will have pics to share one we're a little more set up.

all the best
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Re: Need lighting tips for Zen Habitat 2x2x4'

Postby zampano » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:26 pm

Ok, picked up a few things, not everything, but off to a good start!

I got a new dome that could handle a 150W zoo med bulb and have that set up on the right side, towards the back corner. I'm using the hideaway as a temporary stand-in for Anti's basking log, and I measured to ensure they are the same height. Under the lamp, in the basking spot, it's right at 110 right now.

The rest of the tank STILL wasn't heating up much though, in the 70's - lower 80's. So I tried using the 65W CHE I already have in the combo dome I already have. On top of the mesh, it didn't make much a difference at all. But then I hung it inside the tank, in the middle/back, and finally, finally got the general temperature in the lower 80's on the left, 91 under the CHE in the middle, and 89 on the right (the ground in front of where the basking branch would be).

* I also have the Zoo Med 24" 10.0 HO uvb light currently sitting above the mesh, which I just thought maybe would add even 1 degree of heat perhaps. I know it doesn't emit much heat, but still. Am going to buy some UV resistant zip ties to hang it inside however, and who knows, maybe that helps a tiny bit too. I also put a lightweight towel over the left half of the mesh screen to see if I could 'trap' some more heat inside.

Now because I don't have much furniture in there right now, the ambient temps are being taken on the substrate/matt. Since it's so tall, I imagine there's a gradient just going up and down to some degree, but I kind of wish it were a little warmer. Maybe okay for an adult but a little low for a kid.

The room the viv is in is 70 right now and this seems to be the best I can do with the tools I have. Not super breezy right now but it often is in SF and there's not a whole lot I can do about that most the time, and that will usually bring things down a little bit.

Also I realize I've been relying heavily on the basking lamp in the little tank we have now to help dehumidify the thing. Right now I am FINALLY getting a reading of about 41% humidity in the middle of the tank, and I have the obligatory box of Arm & Hammer helping me out as well, but I'm going to be a little nervous about keeping that lower as well. I looked online at all sorts of small dehumidifiers that were recommended and animal-safe, and most of them sound like junk. At least the ones I could afford.

So I'm thinking about 2 things right now:

1. How to increase the ambient temp by 5-10 degrees as needed. I could buy a newer, stronger CHE? I could even buy a 2nd one if that isn't too crazy and use two side by side in that combo dome?

2. How I can control the humidity in there a little more. Maybe I just need a family size box of baking soda? :p

thanks and best yall[Click image to enlarge]
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