newbie questioins

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newbie questioins

Postby turbojitsu » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:14 pm

My son and I have started to setup his soon to be bearded dragons enclosure. I've included a few pics so you guys can see what I'm doing wrong if anything. My questions mostly revolve around the basking rocks placement as far as distance from the bulb. Do I need to move it higher? How close or far should it be? The bulb is a 75w reptisun basking bulb. Is having this on for 12 hours going to be enough to warm up the terrarium adequately? Should I add a heating rock or other device? We have a 36" uvb light coming so I should be okay there. We aslo have feeding and water dishes on the way. What else should I add? More wood? More rocks? Thanks for the help[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:57 am

Is that the 18'' tall Exo Terra? If so, you'll definitely want to use a good T5 UVB light. Is that what you have on order? I have the same tank so I can definitely help out with this. I suggest removing the foam background to provide more space. Bugs like to hide behind it too. You may also find the sand mat to be difficult to clean. If that's the case you may consider switching out to ceramic tile. Two 18x18'' tiles fit well on the floor. I use a PAR38 halogen flood light (90w) as a basking light but I have it suspended above the tank and it's also on a dimmer. The 150w ZooMed Repti Basking spot light works well too but it's not dimmable. The 75w is not likely to be strong enough but go by the temperature readings you get. That's the key to the basking light. Have a couple of digital thermometers with a probe for the basking surface and one for the cool end or an IR temp gun to get accurate readings. If you have some extra money in the budget, a dimming thermostat is nice to have but not necessary.

Here are some photos of my setup to give you some ideas. It's by no means the only way to do it or the best, but it works well so feel free to use it to generate some ideas for your setup.

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Re: newbie questioins

Postby traildrifterphalanx » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:20 am

Hey there,
Great advice has already been given, but wanted to add that I also own this enclosure, two in fact! One's for a snake, though, so I'll refer to the one the dragon is in :lol:

I left the styrofoam wall for my dragon as he really enjoyed it and used it a lot to reach his basking spot as a baby, but this wall is terrible to have with insects, as mentioned, especially dubia roaches. Once a roach gets behind there, it isn't coming out. Crickets I noticed would come out to try and eat from the salad bowl where I'd be able to remove them or offer them to the dragon again to eat. During full tank cleanings I would move the wall, collect all the roaches that got back there (they always were alive, thankfully!) and put it back, only to have bugs get under/behind it the next feeding... I removed it about a month or so ago.

I did want to comment on the screen though. I personally hate the design of this screen. It makes lighting placement very restrictive, and a large dome cannot sit flat on it. If you end up hating it as well, I just use this generic one:
https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-Reptile-Te ... B000QFQ30K
It doesn't lock in place, is a little too big, but it works for my situation.

I would take into consideration Cooper's recommendations.
Other than that, more items to crawl around and explore would be great additions. You can add things you find outside after once sanitizing it (you can "bake" wooden items in the oven for 30-45 mins to kill off nasties.)
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:06 am

Also as you can see I've removed my screen top completely. I don't have any other animals in the house so I don't have a need for a top. If you have other animals in the house then it's best to leave a screen or top of some sort in place to make the tank more secure.
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby turbojitsu » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:45 pm

Thanks for the advice guys it really helps. As far as screen I have to leave it on as my daughter has a cat. As for the foam back my son wanted to leave it in so to hopefully minimize the insects getting back there I flipped it upside down so the holes are at the top. As for the mat I thought that as well. Cooper did you grout the 2 tiles. The uvb shroud doesn't have a bulb yet but I was thinking t5 or t8. As for keeping the tank warm do you guys or any one use a heating element? I have the dual lamp so I was thinking I might run one on the other side. Would I want to run it at night to keep the temps up in the tank?
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby traildrifterphalanx » Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:53 pm

I only run two lights per enclosure: basking and UVB.
if it gets cold at night, under 65°, you can use a ceramic heat emitter that creates heat, no light. Any lights at night will disturb their sleep. I also do not use any heat mats or anything.

I also own a sweet little kitty, and the generic screen works well, but the enclosure is also located in a position she can't really work with.

The tiles do not need grout, just set them inside, but tiles may need to be cut as the 36X18X18 are the outer dimensions.

Here's some photos of mine I just took tonight for my topic on just receiving my t5 fixtures for reference
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby CooperDragon » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:50 am

The tiles are loose. I have 3 sets and swap them out for cleaning as needed. The second fixture I have is a megaray heat projector. It's controlled by the second outlet on my herpstat and kicks in if the temp on the cool side drops below 70 and turns off when it goes above 73 which helps with night temps in the winter. It stays off for most of the summer. You'll definitely want a T5 with a tank that size. I recommend this one http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/22-t-5-ho-fixture-high-output-with-arcadia-d3-12-ho-bulb/. Both of us are using these in our setups.
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby turbojitsu » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:49 am

So we picked up my sons dragon the other day and everything seems to be well. Night time temps in the morning are 67 degrees on the cool side. On his basking rock it ranges from 100-106 at its hottest during the day. Thanks for your help guys. Any other suggestions?[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby traildrifterphalanx » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:11 am

It's a nice looking little dragon :D How's he settling in?
What did you end up going with for the enclosure? Can we get some photos to see how it turned out?

Those temps are pretty good - my dragons enjoy being around exactly 107 to bask and right at 110 or so after eating, so being biased I'd say just a few degrees higher may be beneficial but not necessary. I totally forget how you stated you'd take temps or if it was even discussed (as though I can't just re-read the page :roll: ), digital probe or temp gun?
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby turbojitsu » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:45 am

I've got a digital probe in the cool side but I take everything with a temp gun. I'm running a heat admitter and the 75watt bulb to get those temps. Plus the t8 uvb bulb. I'll get pics after work or tomorrow.
He's settling in good. We brought him home late Wednesday night and didn't feed him but he ate about 6-8 crickets Thursday morning. Maybe 5-6 last night. We're leaving all kinds of fresh veggies in there right now just to see what he likes. Mostly carrot, asparagus, and a variety of leafy greens. Everything chopped finely or shredded. Only thing we've seen him nibble on was the asparagus. He doesn't seem to mind being held but we only let my some take him out once just so he can get settled.
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby traildrifterphalanx » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:13 am

Sounds good!
I personally just use a temp gun, but stopped obsessively checking the temps after a week since nothing has changed inside the enclosure...
He's very little and as I'm sure you know won't pay too much mind to the greens/veggies, but wanted to offer a list of veggies safe for dragons for your reading pleasure. I actually have this all printed and with my dragon care bin of towels, probe thermometers, meds, etc.
http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/bearded ... ta.php#veg

Carrots and raw asparagus are in the "occasionally" field, but your little guy will only be pecking at pieces of it anyway, so it will be occasional by default.

It's good he's already been eating! Remember the rule of no bigger than the space between the eyes when feeding, or you may end up with an impacted dragon.
Try offering him a good variety of live bugs, and this may mean ordering online (the postman will get over the "live harmless animal" stickers. :lol: ) I recommend some BSFL, or black soldier fly larvae, and nymph/small dubia roaches for a growing dragon, but crickets are always a popular choice.
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby turbojitsu » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:42 am

Thanks traildrifter. Can you recommend a good place to order the Dubai roaches from? Also how many should I get at a time and how should I store them? I would think a normal cricket keeper wont do the job. Sorry I haven't had time to take pics of the setup yet. I'll try to get some in the next couple of days.
Last edited by turbojitsu on Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby traildrifterphalanx » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:47 am

I really like dubia from ABDragons. Their roaches are always plump and healthy and the correct sizes. My colony was started on their roaches and I'm possibly ordering more on Monday (they only ship Monday and Tuesday) in large so my colony has more time to grow. I've got lots of nymphs and adults, but not many inbetween sizes
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby turbojitsu » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:58 am

Alright here are some more photos.[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: newbie questioins

Postby traildrifterphalanx » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:10 am

Good looking setup!
If the UVB is T8, I'd recommend mounting inside the enclosure, under the screen. That's about the only thing I'd change for now. He looks very content
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