Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

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Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

Postby Kitsune » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:24 pm

I've been working for a while to set up my future baby beardie's enclosure. If anyone could take a look at my set up and comment, I'd be grateful.

[Click image to enlarge]


The temperature on top of the log is about 100 degrees with the basking bulb on. In other parts of the enclosure, it's around 80. (Note: I will eventually get a heat lamp for the cool side. When it gets cooler the ambient temperature in my apartment can fall into the 70s or even 60s).

I haven't yet acquired the light, but I'm planning on getting the Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 High Output UVB Fluorescent Bulb (15 Watts). I also plan on getting a few rocks to secure the basking branch.

The substrate is slate. There are a few places where the tile didn't fit and I used paper towels. The tank itself is 36 long, 24 wide, and 18 high - I believe this comes to about 60 gallons. My studio apartment is quite small, but I'm open to getting a bigger enclosure in a few years.

In addition to the enclosure, I have:

-RepCal Calcium w/D3
-RepCal Herptivite multivitamin
-Temperature gun
-Feeding tongs
-Enclosure for crickets
-A timer for the light/heating bulb

I'm going on vacation next week, but if possible I'm hoping to make an appointment with the breeder the day after I get back. So...am I ready? :blob8: (That smiley is me being really excited about having a new occupant move in!)
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Re: Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

Postby CooperDragon » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:17 am

That looks pretty good! I suggest using a T5 UVB light in a tank that size. It should be mounted above the basking log so there is high UVB as well as high heat over the basking area while allowing other parts of the tank to be cooler with less UVB. This is what I use and like it quite a lot http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/22-t-5-ho-fixture-high-output-with-arcadia-d3-12-ho-bulb/

You may not need a heat light for the cool side of the tank. It's OK if the temps drop to around 65-70 overnight. If your place gets cold in the winter you may want a CHE for seasonal use. I've found having a dimming thermostat is helpful because it will kick the light on only as needed to bump the temps a bit and will prevent overheating. That's definitely a secondary issue to a high quality UVB light though.
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Re: Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

Postby PrettyinPurple » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:29 am

I think it looks great! The temperatures shouldn't be an issue. I also don't think you'll need to look into getting a larger tank. The minimum tank size for a bearded dragon is 40 gallons or 38X18X18 inches. Your tank surpasses that, so it looks like you wouldn't actually have to upgrade :)
2 bearded dragons: Sienna (f) 6yrs, Mouse (f) 5 months
1 beta fish: Remus (m) 3 yrs
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Re: Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

Postby Kitsune » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:13 am

CooperDragon wrote:That looks pretty good! I suggest using a T5 UVB light in a tank that size. It should be mounted above the basking log so there is high UVB as well as high heat over the basking area while allowing other parts of the tank to be cooler with less UVB. This is what I use and like it quite a lot http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/22-t-5-ho-fixture-high-output-with-arcadia-d3-12-ho-bulb/

You may not need a heat light for the cool side of the tank. It's OK if the temps drop to around 65-70 overnight. If your place gets cold in the winter you may want a CHE for seasonal use. I've found having a dimming thermostat is helpful because it will kick the light on only as needed to bump the temps a bit and will prevent overheating. That's definitely a secondary issue to a high quality UVB light though.


Thank you! I'm curious, what's the difference between a T5 light and the one I mentioned?

The tank I got was premade with slots for the basking bulb and UVB. They don't quite overlap in space, but come close. If it turns into an issue later on I guess I could try moving the fixtures.

PrettyinPurple - I feel like I've read that while a 40 gallon is okay, 80 is much better. Obviously there are a lot of different opinions out there on these things! I'm new enough to beardies that I don't have a good sense of what's best for really helping them thrive.

Anyway, thank you both! When I first got my leopard gecko I got a lot of invaluable help from online message boards, so I'm relieved to see there is a thriving beardie keeper community as well.
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Re: Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

Postby charmander16 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:57 am

Looks kind of dark and stark (though maybe it's just how it cam out in the photo)

Keep this in mind: Dragons need a basking light for heat and a UV light to make vitamins, but they ALSO need other lights to SEE.

I think a lot of people just go with only a basking light and a UVB light and provide no other light, and I think this is not enough light for dragons. In the wild they live in extremely bright full sun conditions. Think of it like this. If you were in their habitat, you would need to wear sunglasses and it would still be bright.

So now, put on some dark sun glasses and stick your head in the tank.

That's closer to what it looks like to them.

So, basically, you really need a basking light, a UVB light AND some additional light, which is typically some fluorescent light. Right now my dragon (for 1 more day) is in a 40 gallon fish tank, so I have him in a space with a open window AND I happen to have 4 florescent lights in the room, which I leave on all day long for him.

His new viv is going to be more enclosed however (like yours), so external light won't be getting in, so I'm adding an additional fluorescent light in the viv. I think this is really essential for enclosed vivs like this that don't allow much external light in.

Inside the viv should really be bright.
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Re: Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

Postby Kitsune » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:14 am

charmander16 wrote:Looks kind of dark and stark (though maybe it's just how it cam out in the photo)

Keep this in mind: Dragons need a basking light for heat and a UV light to make vitamins, but they ALSO need other lights to SEE.

I think a lot of people just go with only a basking light and a UVB light and provide no other light, and I think this is not enough light for dragons. In the wild they live in extremely bright full sun conditions. Think of it like this. If you were in their habitat, you would need to wear sunglasses and it would still be bright.

So now, put on some dark sun glasses and stick your head in the tank.

That's closer to what it looks like to them.

So, basically, you really need a basking light, a UVB light AND some additional light, which is typically some fluorescent light. Right now my dragon (for 1 more day) is in a 40 gallon fish tank, so I have him in a space with a open window AND I happen to have 4 florescent lights in the room, which I leave on all day long for him.

His new viv is going to be more enclosed however (like yours), so external light won't be getting in, so I'm adding an additional fluorescent light in the viv. I think this is really essential for enclosed vivs like this that don't allow much external light in.

Inside the viv should really be bright.


The darkness is mostly because I don't have the bulb for the UVB light. That being said, I could see if I could mount something on the cool end - would just having an additional bright bulb be helpful?
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Re: Is my enclosure ready for a baby beardie?

Postby charmander16 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:45 am

Yeah. Typically the best additional light is a fluorescent light. Fluorescent lights #1 don't give off much heat and #2 provide a fuller spectrum of light than incandescent bulbs.

LEDs "can" be okay, but not typical bulbs. There are special LED "lights" (that are really groups of many colors) you can also use, but typical LED lights provide only a very narrow spectrum of light.

So basically, the best thing is just to add an additional non-UV fluorescent light, and yeah, doing that on the cool side is fine, though just putting it right in the middle is fine too.
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