Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

If you just got a new beardie, introduce your beardie to the community! If you're a newcomer, say hello and introduce yourself.

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby CooperDragon » Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:32 pm

A lot of stuff you can get online if it isn't available locally. The big box stores don't tend to carry very good equipment (especially lighting) unfortunately. I don't agree with the store owner about a larger enclosure being too much. The little guys tend to love running around and exploring (although they are all a bit different/unique). If they do appear to be timid or defensive then you can use a divider to make the tank feel smaller. If you get a large enclosure first then you can buy proper lighting once and save money in the long run. For now, I would at least get a 40g breeder size tank (about 36x18x18). Either one of the wide aquarium style ones from the pet store will work in a pinch, or something like the Exo Terra or Nat Geo front opening options. These aren't cheap though. I really like the Zen Habitats that Karrie has. They are a good size and construction. The front opening doors are really helpful for accessing the enclosure without having to disrupt the lighting. Given the cost difference between that and one of the glass front opening options I'd just get the larger tank right off the bat and keep it for good.

If you get one that is as large as a 40g breeder, go with a T5 fixture and bulb. This one comes with a T5 5.0 bulb included which is OK for about 6-8'' between bulb and main basking area. https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-26053-Reptisun-Terrarium/dp/B00AQU8F2O You can upgrade the bulb (same fixture) to a 10.0 or Arcadia 12% https://www.reptilebasics.com/arcadia-desert-12-uvb/arcadia-d3-12-uvb-t5-bulb-22/ to bring the optimal range to around 12-14'' (10-12'' through a mesh top). These T5 bulbs last longer than the T8s in general. I get at least a year out of mine. I measure output with a solarmeter and in some cases have been able to get several years out of them (I don't recommend stretching this without measuring UVB output).

When I speak of basking area I think of it more like a zone. It's a zone that should be a diameter that is at least as big as the length of your dragon and provides a basking level temperature range and high UVB as if they are out on a branch or rock or fence post in the wild. To get a reading you can zip tie the temperature probe in the zone or nearby. I just zip tie mine to the basking log. Rubber bands work for this too. I would say since he is already laying on the branch to bask, I would make that the basking zone and get your readings there. You want temps around that zone to be in the 90s to allow a cooler place to hang out while still staying pretty warm, and the "cool zone" should be somewhere around 75-80(ish - these are rough estimates) to provide something closer to room temps.
Image
User avatar
CooperDragon
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 26071
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:41 am
Location: Iowa City, IA
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby zampano » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:36 pm

That's cool to hear, William. Well, at least that shop wasn't good for nothing. They had amazing looking all sorts of lizards there..anyway feels worth the extra cost I put down for this one. Could tell he was pretty special right off the bat, even next to the other pink guys in the tank with him. Certainly see some resemblance with some of the Purple Paradoxes I saw pictured so appreciate the mention.

I've got good news!! I've got some real actual gradient success, despite my dinky tiny tank I have for Antifa :D

The basking spot has been thoroughly checked with a probe thermometer and is at an even 105 give or take a degree, where I have it. The warm side around the bottom is hovering around 93-95 and my cool side is 79-81. The basking spot is the very top of the perch where Antifa's pretty fond of hanging out, but there's also that broader perch just below she likes where it's a few degrees cooler. If she gets hot (yes I've given up on saying 'he' or 'she' consistently anymore) she likes to take little dives into that pool but I've also moved the log hideaway to the cool corner for when she wants totally away from all the light and heat. She seems more comfortable! Still damn near black a lot of the day but I'm trying not to let that bother me so much, so long as she's eating and getting what she needs )

I ditched the sand, cleaned out the tank real good and laid down a few layers of paper towels, until I find a substrate I'd like to replace it with that isn't so hazardous.

I also replaced the lights and got the Zilla 18" fixture (50 uvb, the stronger of the two), and got a clamp lamp for a 50w bright basking bulb, as I needed more height due to the shallowness of the tank. This set up is so much easier to just take the top on and off though and that's proving helpful and not starting him too much. I was still having trouble getting the warm end generally warmer than the cool end though, so I decided to keep employing the halogen desk lamp for now, just to add 5+ degrees to that side.

[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]


There's only one bit of advice I'm still lagging on - I haven't removed the screen from the top yet. I know the mesh isn't ideal for a T8 bulb , and I had a tentative plan to find the 'perfect' position for the light to lay across the lid, and then I was gonna cut out just that portion of screen, for unobstructed UVB. Basically Antifa can get pretty close to the top on both that perch and the bush and I'd be surprised if she didn't have an escape plan hatched for when I leave it open. Her vertical leap is pretty awesome. :blob8:

Anyway I can still do this is people feel it's necessary to get the proper UVB. (* note that I will be replacing the bulb with a better Reptisun bulb suggested). But even though I know these aren't the highest recommended T8 bulbs, I thought maybe at this close a range in this small a tank maybe I should confirm if this is gonna be totally necessary? I don't wanna mutilate the screen if I don't have to, but she needs to get the right amt of UVB of course. So far, both spirits and appetite seem to be doing better in this set up!

So if anyone has any thoughts as to if this might be provided enough UVB (for now) to leave it as is, thanks in advance.

Also, does the angle/width at which i've positions the Zilla fixture look ok? Am trying to keep it out of melting range of the basking lamp, and not to coat the whole tank with too much of it (some nice shadey areas on the ground too near the hideaway/bush).

[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]


The next move for me will be to find that bigger tank. I'll try to consider everyone's advice on that as best I can, but sounds like general size is the key. And Antifa will be needing this before I know it, quite sure, as from the looks of it his tail has already grown on us a few cm's on us already this week! :shock: possibly exaggerating but...definitely getting longer..

[Click image to enlarge]


appreciate the help from everyone, again, of course, and hope you will bear with me and the little monster while we make this tiny apartment work. Will look forward to showing off the new pad once we get it, and will surely have a lot more questions!

all the best
zampano
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:01 pm

The Zilla bulb is not a strong one and is needing to be unobstructed -- you can take the lid and lay it half way across the tank w/ the UVB fixture bumped up next to it straight across - she needs to be 6-8 inches from it --- if shes a big climber you may haft to downsize that piece of decor for her so she cant get clear to the top ---
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby zampano » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:31 pm

That’s a shame, she’s so fond of that upper perch, but makes perfect sense. She’s a jumper, climber, adventurer it seems. I’ll look into investing in a bigger tank pretty soon so I don’t need to constantly be worrying about that. Better for both of us. I’ll see if I can make a 30-40 for now, knowing a 20 would be only very temporary too, but will keep posted on progress.

That said the uvb itself is 6-8” from the highest points. That branch really just lets her get way up there right under the basking bulb (and my understanding is the basking bulb distance is less important than the temperature the basking spot gets).

I’ll do what I can to unobstruct the bulb in the meantime.

Thanks Karrie )
zampano
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:00 pm

Yes basking temp is important but you dont want her so close to that bulb she can get burned -- we have had that happen
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby CooperDragon » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:14 am

You're better off using a stronger bulb from a further distance or multiple weaker bulbs in a cluster so you can have a wide beam for basking and keep the bulbs at least 12'' up, well out of reach. There are adjustable stands you can hang the basking fixtures from, and the brooder lamp fixtures from the farm supply store are cheap (under $10) and have a hook that you can hang them from.
Image
User avatar
CooperDragon
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 26071
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:41 am
Location: Iowa City, IA

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby zampano » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:36 am

Thanks all. I've fixed the top so she's got unobstructed UVB light (approx 7-8" from highest points) and the basking light is about the same distance from her spot.

I've bought a lot of equipment that I need to get rid of/replace this week obviously, so I'm hoping she'll be happy if I just leave her be for a couple days. There's a shop across town that has the Reptisun 10.0 t8 bulb that I'm planning to go get today and will put the Zilla bulb I got with the fixture aside as a backup if I ever need one in a pinch.

Still looking around for a proper and affordable 30-40 gal tank to move into eventually and need to find a good spot in loft for it, but when I do then I will work on getting all the lighting upgrades needed. I imagine at her small size that merely having a taller tank she can't jump out of will make the whole lighting debacle much easier to figure out then.

I tried to take the branch so I could break off the top for her and create a more level basking area, but she objected so hard that I'm going to try to leave it for now so we can move it into that bigger tank :)
zampano
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:48 am

I would suggest skipping the 30-40 gallon and try and find a 75 gallon or 120 gallon w/ front doors-- look on FB marketplace or craigslist -- if you find one on either site make sure you sanitize it real good w/ Zoo Med wipeout or try and get some F10 disinfectant
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby zampano » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:45 am

Thanks Karrie,

After shopping at all my local shops personally, trolling fb, Craigslistc eBay and Etsy, and not really finding much that seemed to fit the bill. So I decided to go brand new and to make a real investment out of it. Just ordered a ZenHabitat (wood paneled 4x2x2’) and conformed with the company they’re expected orders to ship about about 1 month from now :)

Antifa’s been dancing around to the Jeffersons theme song all morning, she’s pretty excited about the new digs :D

All in all this has gotten a lot more expensive than I’d been planning on. But probably some of the best use of my UI stimulus money so far to be fair.

Hopefully you all approve, they seem beautiful and have very few drawbacks as best I could tell!

My goal for now is gonna be to just make sure the next month is as comfortable for her as I can and get the right equipment lined up for when the new tank comes. Appreciate the tough love, as does the dragon. Needed it ;)
zampano
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:48 am

Ok so w/ the Zen coming you need a 24" fixture w/ a reflector and a Reptsiun 10.0 T 5- its going to need to go inside the tank approx 12-15 inches from basking decor -- Randy is a great guy from Zen I have two of those tanks -- I would start out w/ a 100 watt basking light you may need to go to a 150 watt trial and error -- if you want I can post pics of my tanks --
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby zampano » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:12 am

Any visuals or advise you have for maximizing the use of that tank is of course most appreciated. Have been looking around at other posts/pics trying to get inspired- as for that equip i should have ample time to get all that good stuff in advance of the tanks arrival. Thx for the tips as always )
zampano
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:22 am

[Click image to enlarge]

Blazes tank
[Click image to enlarge]

Hiccups tank
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby zampano » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:34 am

nice looking tanks and lovely dragons!

they really have a clean fancy apartment vibe )

i definitely have plans to fix the uvb inside to the roof like you've done and will see what I can best do to have a real nice basking spot (and some toys of course). she really doesn't like my hand coming down from above either so the sliding doors are going to be a huuuge plus.

i know the bamboo is supposed to help retain heat a little better which should be nice, i wonder if it's vastly different as far as humidity goes? I don't have a gauge yet for that but imagine I oughta get one pretty soon. I got the Zen Mat too, it seemed like a low fuss, easy-on-the-joints, easy to clean and nice looking substrate.
zampano
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:54 am

It is humid where I live in summer not in the winter tho - I have a dehumidifier for my house it keeps humidity in the tanks low 30-40 % I also use a digital hygrometer - I recently changed the tanks over to those- here's a better pic of blaze
[Click image to enlarge]

Better pic of hiccup
[Click image to enlarge]

Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Nervous first timer needs setup feedback!

Postby zampano » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:23 am

I really like the coloring on both! Blaze’s name is most appropriate )
zampano
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:03 pm
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

PreviousNext

Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users