Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

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Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:25 am

Murphy should be 2 in July. He is new to me, very healthy, but I am very new to all this so any help and suggestions I would be grateful for. He came with pretty much everything, and then I joined this site and started learning that his habitat is not suitable. From what I have read so far, Lighting/heat is the first thing I need to correct. I live in Oregon, so it is kind of cool temps here, especially since Spring hasn't really stated for us yet.

This is Murphy's set up. Please tell me what you think. I have his basking area on the left. I just bought a basking area yesterday. it's a cave about 6 inches high, but you can go in it to retreat. I was hoping to give him something to help him get closer to the light, but I don't really like the wood stick thing. Under the basking cave is a small heat pad. I have it under the tank. The basking light above is a 75 watt right now because the 100 watt blew out but I have a new one being delivered today. Also there is a 10.0 - 13 watt UVB bulb being delivered today too, I've had an issue with bulbs as my son has not been that gentle with them.

I am not entirely sure of the size of the tank. I bought Murphy from someone who had to re-home him. She said the tank was either a 75 or a 100 gallon. It is 36" long, 17 inches high, and 18 inches deep.

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In the middle is a heated ceramic red rock, medium size (just bought this today). On the right is the cool side with a log for him to do whatever with.

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I'll be measuring the heat today in the basking spot and warm/cool side. I will edit with that info then.

Lights out in this photo as he was going to bed.
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I am thinking of going with this to put in the tank, trying to research and see how to mount inside the tank. I can't do a hood because the top of Murphy's tank slides out. Too many bulbs are being banged around and breaking.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/ViaVolt-2-ft-T5-1-Bulb-High-Output-24-Watt-Fluorescent-Grow-Light-Fixture-V21/203124380
Last edited by TracyMarie on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby VenusAndSaturn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:39 am

Setup and lighting are a problem, now they do need 75 gallons at the very least because a foot of space left to roam in just doesn't do it for an adult dragon however 75 gallons are about 48x18x21. Meanwhile your tank is about 50 gallons (around 36x18x18 usually). You can easily get an upgraded tank when theres the dollar per gallon petco sales going on. I got one of my tanks for about 97 dollars.

75 gallons other than offering more space to run around in also offers more climbing space, beardies are semi aboral so climbing space is pretty important although its probably more important having a large amount of floor space than climbing space.


Okay onto the lighting, im not exactly going to bother asking the brand of the UVB as I already know 13 watts wont do either way. So get rid of the current UVB and cancel the one you bought or return it.
Beardies NEED at the very least a long tube light going across half their enclosure, I'd recommend you a Reptisun T5 HO 10.0 34" bulb and reflective fixture. However you can also go with Arcadia's T5 HO 12% and 14% bulbs.

And now a little lesson on UVB bulbs.
Basically zoomed compact/coils barely produce any UVB even when mounted inside so they can't really be used. They'd probably have to be mounted inside at least 2-4 inches away from the animal for it to do any good for at least 3-6 months until theres no UVB left in the bulb.

With exo terra compact/coils they can be used, just not as a permanent source of UVB as they are far too narrow and you can not offer any options with them. Its also only one specific coil bulb they sell that can be used.

Now t5 and t8 bulbs, one is actually weaker than the other. The T5 being a bit stronger and the T8 being weaker. A T5 10.0 can be mounted on top of a screened top enclosure and provide UVB still down to about 12 inches or so, meanwhile a T8 10.0 will not produce enough UVB up on the mesh to provide a correct amount of UVB.
And just so you know most mesh block about 30-50% of all UVB.

Make sure your monitoring your temperatures with a temp gun or a digital temperature gauge with a probe. Stick on temperature gauges can be off as much as 20*F sometimes, and they also only tell you the ambient temps, which thats fine for night time, the cool side and warm side temps but the basking spot needs to be done by getting the surface temperature...and no you can not just stick the stick on temperature gauges on to the basking spot to get the temp.

Basking spot should be around 100-110.
Warm side 88-95
Cool side 70-85
Night time temps never below 65 and not above 85.
If they drop below 65 you can use a CHE (Ceramic heat emitter) to provide extra heat, beardies see in color so no colored lights like blue, purple, red, green and black should be used.

That heat rock you need to take back before your beardie gets injuries and then you have tons of vet bills on your hands. Those things are literally known to kill and malfunction once they are turned on. They aren't even used for leopard geckos and Ball pythons because of how dangerous they are and they can actually feel/need belly heat unlike the bearded dragon.
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.
0.1.0 LG, Delilah 15 Months. 0.1.0 Ultra Purple Tegu, Oreo 13 months.
-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: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:09 am

Thank you for your detailed reply. I am still reading, studying and rereading what you wrote.

I can find the bulb T5 HO 10.0 34" bulb, but not the fixture to mount it inside the terrarium.

These are the lights being delivered today.

Would this one be okay to use anyways in addition to a tube light?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074443X2J/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And of course some more basking bulbs.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0791D7YPL/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby VenusAndSaturn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:15 am

That UVB bulb is an entirely different brand than what I've seen so theres no telling what damage it could possibly do. You see some UVB lights can cause eye damage because of how they're made so its safer to only use the lights that are approved by people who have tested them and their output than risking the animals health.
You also dont exactly know the actual output with that bulb, so I would be on the safe side and not buy it. It wouldn't do much anyway if you have a tube light.

I have a whole list of links for UVB tubes,

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013R ... UTF8&psc=1
^ 46" T5 HO Fixture

https://www.amazon.com/Reptile-T5HO-Sta ... ho+fixture
^ 34" T5 HO Fixture

https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-26062-Re ... Src=detail
^ 34" T5 HO 10.0

https://www.amazon.com/ZooMed-Zoo-Med-R ... 08VVS6YN6C
^ 46" T5 HO 10.0

http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/arcadi ... p-34-inch/
^ 34" T5 HO 14%

http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/arcadi ... p-46-inch/
^ 46" T5 HO 14%
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.
0.1.0 LG, Delilah 15 Months. 0.1.0 Ultra Purple Tegu, Oreo 13 months.
-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: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:33 am

Thank you for all your help, it is much appreciated. So, I'm ordering the 34" fixture and bulb that you suggested from Amazon.

Any thoughts on the warming lamp. Right now the 75 watt is in there but the 100 watt is being delivered today. That is as high as that lamp will allow me to put in there. Do you think that is sufficient in the size terrarium he is in right now? If not I could always put a 100 watt in one, and the 75 in the other since it's a double.

I'll have to wait a bit before I get a bigger tank.
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:56 am

My Digital thermometer and bulbs arrived. I added the 100 watt basking bulb to the twin lamp which already had a 75 watt bulb in it. Right now I have the two basking bulbs going at the same time which might be too much. Murphy climbed right up on his basking spot. I did not use the compact UVB bulb, I did order the tube UVB bulb and fixture.

We have a temperature laser pointer but the batteries are dead. My husband is going to the store now to get new batteries so we can test out the basking spot area etc.

[Click image to enlarge]


[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:15 pm

Enough time passed and I measured the temperatures with both basking bulbs going for a total of 175 F watts combined. The basking temp got up to 115 deg F. I turned off the 75 watt and it went down to 98 deg. It seems to me that I might need a 150 watt bulb to be where i really should bee, but for now which would be the preferred?

The cool zone is 75 to 85 with both on, and all other temps looked to be where they should be with both bulbs.
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby VenusAndSaturn » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:41 pm

115 is a bit hot, but 120-150 watts should get it to a stable temperature. Around 105 is good, if your tank was bigger you may be able to get away with 115 as long as you provide other areas at lower temperatures that are in the preferred range.

Each beardie is different though in what they prefer temperature wise, which is why I always try to offer about 2 basking spots at the very least. One thats on the high end and one thats on the low end of basking temps. I commonly see my adult male basking at 95-98, but in the morning and afternoons he basks on his branch that ranges from 105-110.

Currently two of my enclosures have a large variety, my adult females enclosure who has about 4 basking spots in her tank, and then the baby tank (doesnt have anything in it yet) that has about 3-5 basking spots... still need to pull out a heat lamp to test and see the temperatures but theres a lot of areas the possible hatchling can go to if it wants to bask at certain levels of both heat and UVB.
And the empty tank is only 20 gallons so it just depends on the decor and what your using to create the basking spot.
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


You could probably go outside and collect some nice logs to create good basking spots, just make sure its not cedar or pine and no trees with sap.
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.
0.1.0 LG, Delilah 15 Months. 0.1.0 Ultra Purple Tegu, Oreo 13 months.
-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: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:16 pm

VenusAndSaturn wrote:115 is a bit hot, but 120-150 watts should get it to a stable temperature. Around 105 is good, if your tank was bigger you may be able to get away with 115 as long as you provide other areas at lower temperatures that are in the preferred range.

Each beardie is different though in what they prefer temperature wise, which is why I always try to offer about 2 basking spots at the very least. One thats on the high end and one thats on the low end of basking temps. I commonly see my adult male basking at 95-98, but in the morning and afternoons he basks on his branch that ranges from 105-110.

Currently two of my enclosures have a large variety, my adult females enclosure who has about 4 basking spots in her tank, and then the baby tank (doesnt have anything in it yet) that has about 3-5 basking spots... still need to pull out a heat lamp to test and see the temperatures but theres a lot of areas the possible hatchling can go to if it wants to bask at certain levels of both heat and UVB.
And the empty tank is only 20 gallons so it just depends on the decor and what your using to create the basking spot.
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


You could probably go outside and collect some nice logs to create good basking spots, just make sure its not cedar or pine and no trees with sap.


Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I've tested the temp of everything all day. The 175 watt is too high, and the 100 watt is too low, so I'll be looking for a basking bulb for something under 50 watts to put in the other hood until I upgrade to a bigger tank.
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:23 pm

My UVB bulb gosh typing all the garb is hard, I'll have to go look at it and copy paste. I'll get all the garb memorized eventually.

I ordered the Reptile T5HO 34" Standard Fixture & Reflector, and a Zoo Med 26062 Reptisun 10.0 T5-Ho Uvb 39W Fluorescent Lamp, 34".

Anywho...it was supposed to arrive today, but it is going to be tomorrow now. I'm worried about all the time he has gone without a UVB bulb, should I be concerned? I sit him in the window as often as I can on a warm pad so he can soak up rays.
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby lizardmom25 » Tue May 01, 2018 4:56 pm

UVB doesn’t penetrate glass, so unless the window is open, he’s not getting UVB, although he may be enjoying the heat.
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Tue May 01, 2018 7:38 pm

lizardmom25 wrote:UVB doesn’t penetrate glass, so unless the window is open, he’s not getting UVB, although he may be enjoying the heat.



Good point! He's all set up now and eating greens really well!
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:53 pm

Help! My Carolina cages 34inch uvb light fixture isn't working!i just got it in April. I've been everywhere in town look g for another 34 inch light fixture. I can't find one,only 24 inch.
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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:21 pm

I finally completed Murphy's Home. This is what it looks like now. He is soooo happy now.

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Re: Enclosure Setup - Opinions Please

Postby TracyMarie » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:57 pm

I just wanted to say how much I appreciate everyone that helped me through this process. I learned alot. I have a second bearded dragon now, both setups are great. I do want to get bigger terrariums at some point, at least for my big guy. This is what I have going on.

Murphy's Terrarium, 34 inch UVB Reptisun HO. 65 watt flood lamp on the left which puts the basking spot at 100 degrees. The other side has a CHE, that I was using when it was cooler. Temps are perfect.
[Click image to enlarge]


Stella's Terrarium: Same 34 inch UVB Reptisun HO bulb. She has a double dome with a 65 watt flood light and a CHE. This dome doesn't quite reach 100 degree basking spot, but the temps are still good. I am going to get the same domes I have for Murphy's tank soon.
[Click image to enlarge]


Anyways, I know it's a lot of work to teach everyone that runs in here with questions, and don't always listen. I just want you all to know I really appreciate it and all your work went to good use. Thank you!
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