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Baby Bow

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 4:39 am
by Pau
Hello all,

We just adopted a 1-week old beardie called Bow. Despite her short age Bow seems to be adapting well to her new home, as she seems interested exploring around and enjoying its features. So far she's been doing well, we feed her 3 times a day with microdubias and she has a colorful salad and water always at her disposal.

The reason I'm writing is because I want to make sure we are doing everything right this time, as we are coming from an experience with a previous beardie where things didn't turn out well. So let me first give some details about the setting we have. Despite her small size, Bow is housed in an all-wood 48'' viv with front glass sliding doors. The viv has 2 rows of end-to-end in-tank bulbs, both with reflectors. The front row is a regular Arcadia T5 LED, the one in back is an Arcadia T5 D3 UV light. Both follow day-night cycles through a light sensor. There is also a thermostat-operated 75W dimmable bulb on the basking spot and a hideout on the cool end of the viv. Temps and humidities are constantly monitored by two Netatmo indoor modules, one on each end of the viv. Package is completed by an end to end air flow provided by 2 12V fans (it gets hot here during summer) and a cordless ProBreeze mini dehumidifier attached to the top panel. Finally, an in-cage Nest minicam as a fun addon.

As we are on a fresh start and we strive to keep this beardie alert and happy throughout its hopefully long life, my question today is about lighting and heat. Since these are solar-powered creatures, I reason that UV light and temperature must be of paramount importance to prevent them from becoming lethargic. There are some driftwood branches in the cage that allow the beardie to climb up to different levels, up to 14 cm (5.5 inches) from the UV bulb. The exposure dose goes from negligible at the ground level to level 6 (Ferguson zone IV) if she were to sit at the highest level of the branch, according to a measurement done with a 6.5R Solarmeter. The reason I decided to spend money on a meter is to be able to monitor the bulb through its lifetime and make sure it operates within specs.

My question is, can beardies see the UV wavelength spectrum and move towards it or away from it according to their preference and, hopefully, needs? As far as heat goes, I assume that they will roam around to find the spot they are most comfortable with. So if they not spending too much time under the basking spot, that's because they are fine with where they are. I'm aware that there are many factors involved in keeping a beardie happy and preventing them from becoming lethargic. And that temperature, UV light and hydration are main players. Today I want to make sure I have the right setting as far as light and heat are concerned. Am I going in the right direction in this regard?

Thanks in advance

[Click image to enlarge]

Re: Baby Bow

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 12:35 pm
by CooperDragon
Welcome to the forum! I'm glad to hear Bow is settling in and is off to a good start. Your setup sounds excellent to me. It does help to have a Solarmeter to check output of the bulbs. The 6.5 can directly compare output to natural sunlight too. They are able to sense heat and UV pretty well and will move/adjust based on what they need at a given time. That's why it's important to give them a wide variety of heat and UVB levels to choose from. It sounds like you're off to a great start with Bow. I look forward to hearing more about her as she grows =)

Re: Baby Bow

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:24 am
by Pau
Thank you. I recently switched from an Arcadia T5 D3 (6% UVB) to a T5 D3+ (14% UVB), which is supposedly made for dragons. While she has places to hide, I really trust her judgement, since this lamp is clearly more powerful according to the meter.

Re: Baby Bow

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:04 am
by CooperDragon
Yep the 14% is a strong bulb and really best suited for large enclosures. What are your Solarmeter readings around the tank? (using a 6.5 for UVI) I shoot for 3-6 on the main basking surface and 1-3 nearby while areas away from the basking site are shade 0-1. You're right in that they are good about sensing what they need and will move around given a good variety of options.

Re: Baby Bow

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 8:44 am
by claudiusx
Welcome to the site! Glad to have you and your dragon here! :mrgreen: