Help with picking best enclosure

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Help with picking best enclosure

Postby sierralynn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:36 pm

So I’m thinking of buying a used tank from someone locally for a really great price but the only problem is that the tank is completely glass all around. No mesh at all, not even on the top. It has sliding doors on the side. I don’t even know how I would mount the basking lamp since it would need to be mounted inside since there is no mesh top. What could I do to modify this tank to work and be safe for my dragon, but that isn’t too difficult? I could just remove the top glass panel and then replace it with mesh instead but I have no idea how to do that unfortunately. The tank is a really great deal for the size, but I just don’t know about having to modify it, so should I just pass on it and keep looking? Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated! I will post a picture of the tank below

[Click image to enlarge]
Last edited by sierralynn on Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with all glass enclosure

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:01 pm

That looks like an old display case. I would probably pass on it. As you said it would be difficult to set the lights properly and having it all glass may not provide adequate ventilation which is also important.
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Re: Help with all glass enclosure

Postby sierralynn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:37 pm

CooperDragon wrote:That looks like an old display case. I would probably pass on it. As you said it would be difficult to set the lights properly and having it all glass may not provide adequate ventilation which is also important.


Okay thanks! I am going to find a better enclosure :)
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Re: Help with all glass enclosure

Postby sierralynn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Is a tank that is 36” x 18” x 18” big enough? I have read on this site that a 40 gallon breeder is an okay size tank and the dimensions are pretty similar to that. I have my juvenile in a 20 gallon zoomed right now that is 30"L x 12"W x 12"H but he is growing so fast I would like to upgrade him to a tank that will be appropriately sized for him when he is full grown.
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Re: Help with picking best enclosure

Postby VenusAndSaturn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:53 pm

A 75 gallon is considered the minimum, a 40-50 gallon being the bare minimum.
(In my opinion at least) Meaning you could house them in a 40G, but would it offer correct space for other things rather than just sleeping, eating and thermoregulating for a full grown beardie, probably not.

My three dragons that range from 18-21 inches could barely fit comfortably in a 50 gallon enclosure (36x18x18).
Currently when my male stretches out he is basically almost filling the whole (50 gallon) enclosure length wise, with just a foot or so of space left to cool off. Theres no space for exercise and when he does run around he bumps into the glass constantly.

Even my 18" adult female who is a bit overweight can barely fit comfortably in a tank like that and she takes up less space than my male.
She is extremely active and has rubbed her nose raw on multiple occasions trying to run around when she was in a 50 gallon, she is now in a 75 gallon and I'm not even positive this tank is suiting her activity levels.

I'd go with a 75 gallon rather than anything smaller, you can get one for a cheap price during the dollar per gallon sale at petco. I believe I have gotten most of my 75's for only 97 dollars.
1.2.0 CBD, Saturn 30 Months, Venus 30 Months, Neptune 19 Months.
0.0.1 IBTS, Turtle 17 Months. 0.1.0 BP, Spice 14 Months.
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Re: Help with picking best enclosure

Postby sierralynn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:47 pm

Okay, I just called my local petco and they said the dollar per gallon sale starts this Sunday so hopefully I can go get a 75 gallon for a good price. Thanks for the advice! Do you know if they sell screen lids for those or will I have to make one? Also, I currently have a 24 inch t5ho reptisun right now. Will I need to get a longer one for the new tank or will the 24 inch be okay as long as it’s mounted right under the basking light?
Last edited by sierralynn on Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with picking best enclosure

Postby VenusAndSaturn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:24 pm

Personally I prefer a 34" reptisun T5 HO 10.0 being the minimum for a 75 gallon, this way you provide options so the beardie can go in the middle of the enclosure and cool off while getting UVB rather than basking 24/7 for it.
The 24" one can work but I'd think about upgrading to a larger size.

They do sell screen lids for this size, however I've never seen them at petco or petsmart. I have a local petstore near where I live that I get my screen lids from. You may have to look around to find one, make your own, or get one online.
1.2.0 CBD, Saturn 30 Months, Venus 30 Months, Neptune 19 Months.
0.0.1 IBTS, Turtle 17 Months. 0.1.0 BP, Spice 14 Months.
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-Former scaley family members-
1.0.1 CBD, Lilly (died due to impaction, 1-2 months), Lola (Originally thought to be female, 5-10+ years, possibly died of impaction)
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Re: Help with picking best enclosure

Postby sierralynn » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:00 pm

VenusAndSaturn wrote:Personally I prefer a 34" reptisun T5 HO 10.0 being the minimum for a 75 gallon, this way you provide options so the beardie can go in the middle of the enclosure and cool off while getting UVB rather than basking 24/7 for it.
The 24" one can work but I'd think about upgrading to a larger size.

They do sell screen lids for this size, however I've never seen them at petco or petsmart. I have a local petstore near where I live that I get my screen lids from. You may have to look around to find one, make your own, or get one online.


Okay I will probably upgrade it later on when I have more money then. Thanks so much for all the advice :)
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Re: Help with picking best enclosure

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:48 am

How old and big is your dragon ? (in grams and inches total).

If under 12 months old you can get away with a 100L tub , set up as shown here : viewtopic.php?f=34&t=233480

If an adult , the tank needs to a least 4ft long x (1.2x the length of the dragon) and between 18 inches and 24 inches tall. Please stear clear of fish tanks mascerading as lizard tanks which have open tops (a mesh lid is essentially an open top).
Personally, I'd be looking for either a flat-pack timber tank with sliding glass doors on the front or building one from plywood.
CBDs: Puff (M)(RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (F)(RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless (M)(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (F) (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (M)(wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (F)(rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy (F) rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old . .
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Re: Help with picking best enclosure

Postby sierralynn » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:36 am

kingofnobbys wrote:How old and big is your dragon ? (in grams and inches total).

If under 12 months old you can get away with a 100L tub , set up as shown here : viewtopic.php?f=34&t=233480

If an adult , the tank needs to a least 4ft long x (1.2x the length of the dragon) and between 18 inches and 24 inches tall. Please stear clear of fish tanks mascerading as lizard tanks which have open tops (a mesh lid is essentially an open top).
Personally, I'd be looking for either a flat-pack timber tank with sliding glass doors on the front or building one from plywood.


I don’t know exactly how old he is but I got him in the beginning of November when he was a tiny hatchling so maybe 5 months old? He is already a little over a foot long from head to tail but I don’t have a scale to weigh him right now. The tank I am thinking of getting is 48x18x21 so ideally it could be a bit wider but I am having a hard time finding any bigger tanks that also fit my budget right now. I have thought of building one but I am so incredibly bad at building things that I can’t even build a gingerbread house so I don’t think that would be possible for me haha. What is the issue with a screen top? I have seen lots of nice enclosures with that feature. He lives in my bedroom and when I am not there the door is closed so nothing could get to him. The tank I have is actually zoomed brand and designed for reptiles but it has the sliding screen lid on top and he’s never tried to escape or anything like that. I am just trying to find the best enclosure for him that fits my budget :) thanks for all the info!
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Re: Help with picking best enclosure

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:27 pm

sierralynn wrote:
kingofnobbys wrote:How old and big is your dragon ? (in grams and inches total).

If under 12 months old you can get away with a 100L tub , set up as shown here : viewtopic.php?f=34&t=233480

If an adult , the tank needs to a least 4ft long x (1.2x the length of the dragon) and between 18 inches and 24 inches tall. Please stear clear of fish tanks mascerading as lizard tanks which have open tops (a mesh lid is essentially an open top).
Personally, I'd be looking for either a flat-pack timber tank with sliding glass doors on the front or building one from plywood.


I don’t know exactly how old he is but I got him in the beginning of November when he was a tiny hatchling so maybe 5 months old? He is already a little over a foot long from head to tail but I don’t have a scale to weigh him right now. The tank I am thinking of getting is 48x18x21 so ideally it could be a bit wider but I am having a hard time finding any bigger tanks that also fit my budget right now. I have thought of building one but I am so incredibly bad at building things that I can’t even build a gingerbread house so I don’t think that would be possible for me haha. What is the issue with a screen top? I have seen lots of nice enclosures with that feature. He lives in my bedroom and when I am not there the door is closed so nothing could get to him. The tank I have is actually zoomed brand and designed for reptiles but it has the sliding screen lid on top and he’s never tried to escape or anything like that. I am just trying to find the best enclosure for him that fits my budget :) thanks for all the info!


I recommend a 100L to 150L clear plastic tub with a clip on lid like one of these
https://www.bunnings.com.au/all-set-149 ... d_p2583377
the 149L tub is W:575mm H:480mm L:790mm and is UV stabilized and very tuff walled and near perfect high to mount a T8 10-12% UVB tube (or a 5% - 6% T5HO tube in a reflector hood under the lid ,or a 25W UVB200 in a NanoHood under the lid (which is what I do in my rearing tubs ,which are set as shown.
See this for working out UV lighting that's suitable for this : viewtopic.php?f=34&t=235611
Will work well for him for the next 6 - 10 months, and start saving for a good solid timber 4ft x 2ft x 2ft tank with sliding glass front door for his forever home for when he grows out of the tub.

All kits (irrespective of the brand) are very poor and never ideal for the reptile they are supposed to be ideal for, poor UV sources included, bad / dangerous substrates included, mesh lids, poor basking globes, poor thermometers, bad foods included.
Better off just doing your homework and buying the best basking globe, UV tube and fittings and either a large tote / tub or a timber reptile tank and fitting it out yourself (you'll save a lot $ in the long run and wind up with healthier and happier lizard).

Issues with screen tops are :
>>> cheap and nasty
>>> NOT CAT PROOF
>>> will need to use much higher wattage basking and MVB bulbs and CHEs to maintain suitable basking and warm and cool zone temperatures in the tank (open lid allows all the warm air created to immediately escape - warm air is very buoyant and rises - surprising how many people simply do no know this fact - result ==> warm layer of air pooling at the ceiling of the room and wasted electricity
>>> mesh will block up to 50% of the UV when the UV tube or globe is mounted on top of mesh
CBDs: Puff (M)(RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (F)(RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless (M)(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (F) (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (M)(wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (F)(rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy (F) rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old . .
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