EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

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EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby beaniethebeardie » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:43 am

I rehomed a 2 y/o male beardie about a month ago, and the set up that he came with was absolutely abysmal. He's in a 4ft x 2ft x 2ft vivarium with a glass front, with barely any furnishings and things for him to climb on, a broken UVB light, an old ceramic heat bulb, and some tacky plastic plants sellotaped to the roof of the tank.

The UVB bulb didn't work when we got the tank, and I was advised by my local pet store (which sells beardies too) to replace it with the exactly the same bulb- an Arcadia Euro Range Desert 10% + UVB lamp, 25 watts. However, I later found a specialist reptile store who told me that next time I replaced the bulb I should get a Reptisun. The bulb broke again today, even though it was supposed to last 6 months (think there's a loose connection in the fitting) so I'll be buying the Reptisun as a replacement tomorrow. Unfortunately my beardie has to go without a UVB for the night.

The reptile store I went to said I was doing everything wrong with the bulb and the basking spot, etc, and gave me a list of things to change based on the photographs of the viv that I took for her. I moved the temp probe to the bottom of the cooler end of the tank, I moved the UVB light from across the ceiling to halfway down the back wall, and I moved his climbing logs and rocks all over to the basking side. She also gave me a new bulb holder and new bulb and told me to replace the old ones. However, it was only after removing the old bulb holder and screwing in the new one that I realised the thermostat wasn't working anymore (I have a dimming thermostat that goes up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit), and then I realised the UVB light, heat lamp, and thermostat were all wired up together. I'm still in contact with Beans previous owner, who said that was the set up the tank came with. Unfortunately, it now means I can't control the temperature of the heat lamp, because it's not connected to a thermostat anymore.

My dial thermometer (I'm getting a temp gun as soon as for more accuracy) is placed in the basking spot, and reads 104 degrees F. I moved the thermometer to the cooler side to get a reading for that- it's been there for about 15 minutes and so far reads around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm going to the reptile store again tomorrow to get a new UVB and also to ask about another thermostat, and how I can control the temperature of the bulb without a thermostat wired up to it. I'm also concerned that tonight the vivarium will be too hot for Beans, because the cool side doesn't seem to be that much cooler than the basking spot. What should I do??

Side note: I'm pricing up a new vivarium for him as soon as possible. This reptile shop is run by a woman who's owned all kinds of reptiles including beardies for 25+ years. They sell full set-ups for roughly £200 (roughly $245), and I'm going to buy him one of those, with everything already installed so that I know it's done properly. I'm thinking one of those mesh-looking black ones, specifically one that's vertical so I can fill it with branches and logs for him to climb on, as he's had barely anything in his tank for over 2 years.
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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby claudiusx » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:50 am

Can you post a pic of your before and after setup?

The uvb should never be minted horizontally across the back wall it needs to be overhead. Serious eye damage will occur if placed horizontal near eye level.

The Arcadia and reptisun are both good bulbs. It's your choice. Is your fixture for a t8 or a t5 bulb? This will determine the distance your basking spot needs to be for it.

And he will be fine without uvb for the night... he shouldn't have any lights on at night anyways. Only darkness.

It sounds like this new petshop doesnt know what they are talking about.

Ps, I did experiments with dial thermometers and one of the things I found was that even when placed on the actual basking surface, they were over 20 degrees off. They are crap to be blunt lol. I'd pick up a digital thermometer with probe end and use that.

You want your temperature at your basking surface to be 95-105 for an adult. They are pickier so you might have to play around with temps until you find what your guy likes. But 90 degrees is much too low for the basking surface. That's fine for the hot side though.

-Brandon
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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby beaniethebeardie » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:08 am

This was his setup before:
[Click image to enlarge]


This is his setup now, based on what I was told by the reptile woman. Obviously, the UVB is missing:
[Click image to enlarge]


His basking spot is now measuring just under 120 degrees Fahrenheit. I didn't quite understand from your message, sorry- what temperature is the cool side of his tank supposed to be at? From what I've been told, I assumed it couldn't drop below 65 degrees F. I'm very concerned about putting him back into his vivarium when his basking spot is measuring so high, even though the dial thermometers are inaccurate. When I was using his old bulb that was wired up to the thermometer, if I turned the dial up to say, 95 degrees, the thermometer always changed to 95 or just under/above, so it's never been massively off before. And this new bulb does feel a lot hotter than the old one used to feel.

I always turn his lights off at night anyway, and his temperatures are always fine. I'm just wondering whether or not I should turn off his heat lamp now (it's currently 5:05pm and the lights aren't usually turned off until 10:30pm). I know his temperature stays warm at night, so I don't know whether I should just turn off the heat lamp to stop him from getting too hot, especially since I don't have any accurate way of measuring the temperature.

claudiusx wrote:Can you post a pic of your before and after setup?

The uvb should never be minted horizontally across the back wall it needs to be overhead. Serious eye damage will occur if placed horizontal near eye level.

The Arcadia and reptisun are both good bulbs. It's your choice. Is your fixture for a t8 or a t5 bulb? This will determine the distance your basking spot needs to be for it.

And he will be fine without uvb for the night... he shouldn't have any lights on at night anyways. Only darkness.

It sounds like this new petshop doesnt know what they are talking about.

Ps, I did experiments with dial thermometers and one of the things I found was that even when placed on the actual basking surface, they were over 20 degrees off. They are crap to be blunt lol. I'd pick up a digital thermometer with probe end and use that.

You want your temperature at your basking surface to be 95-105 for an adult. They are pickier so you might have to play around with temps until you find what your guy likes. But 90 degrees is much too low for the basking surface. That's fine for the hot side though.

-Brandon
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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby claudiusx » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:16 am

Basking surface should be 95-105 for adults.
Warm side around 90 (or whatever ambient temp is achieved from your basking surface)
And you should have a gradient down to 75-80 on the cool side.

Temperatures at night can drop to 60 before the need for supplemental heat is required, such as a CHE.

120 is too hot. I wouldn't test the dial, even if it seems to line up with your thermostat. The thread I made testing them is stocked at the top of this section of the forum if you want to check it out.

Digital with probe ends are readily available at every petstore I've been to and they are usually pretty cheap. Would you be able to pick up one of those?

Proper temperatures are critical for the health of dragons. So it's best to know what they are, and make sure they are proper.

-Brandon
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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:19 am

Hi Beanie,

I'll admit I'm--at least at first--skeptical of advice from anyone who sells anything. Once they earn my trust/respect, that's different, and it's a lot easier to lose than earn (and regaining is nigh impossible), but that's me.

I agree with Brandon about the UVB. Not sure if the whole enclosure needs replacement, but that's your call, HOWEVER...

From everything I've researched about many species of lizards, vertical screened enclosures are better for more arboreal critters like geckos & chameleons, who can tolerate room temperatures. Horizontal enclosures (especially 48 x 24 x 24in/120 x 60 x 60cm) are better suited to BDs. Also, screening will make temperature & humidity balance extremely challenging/difficult--nigh impossible.

Some nice rocks/cobbles (properly sterilized) and/or logs/cork rounds should be plenty for climbing & basking--maybe a hammock(?) Google: bearded dragon enclosure and click images for more ideas/inspiration. :wink:
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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby beaniethebeardie » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:29 am

I can pick up a digital probe tomorrow, that's not a problem. My only concern is what to do with Beans tonight. The vivarium temp is too hot overall, and I can't reduce the temp because I don't have a thermostat. I can't put him into the viv if it's going to be too hot for him, but I can't keep him out either.
What I was asking is should I turn off his bulb to lower the temp? The tank never goes below 77 in general, but today my room and the whole house is 84 degrees. He's been out all afternoon and hasn't got cold once. All his lights usually go off at 10:30pm, so he has a good 4 and 1/2 hours left, but would it be okay for tonight if I turned off the heat lamp early so his tank cools down and he doesn't overheat?
I'll buy a new UVB tomorrow and a digital probe tomorrow, and also enquire about the thermostat situation. But for now, what do I do?

claudiusx wrote:Basking surface should be 95-105 for adults.
Warm side around 90 (or whatever ambient temp is achieved from your basking surface)
And you should have a gradient down to 75-80 on the cool side.

Temperatures at night can drop to 60 before the need for supplemental heat is required, such as a CHE.

120 is too hot. I wouldn't test the dial, even if it seems to line up with your thermostat. The thread I made testing them is stocked at the top of this section of the forum if you want to check it out.

Digital with probe ends are readily available at every petstore I've been to and they are usually pretty cheap. Would you be able to pick up one of those?

Proper temperatures are critical for the health of dragons. So it's best to know what they are, and make sure they are proper.

-Brandon
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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby beaniethebeardie » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:32 am

So, in your opinion, what should I do with my beardie tonight if his vivarium is too hot for him?

MrSpectrum wrote:Hi Beanie,

I'll admit I'm--at least at first--skeptical of advice from anyone who sells anything. Once they earn my trust/respect, that's different, and it's a lot easier to lose than earn (and regaining is nigh impossible), but that's me.

I agree with Brandon about the UVB. Not sure if the whole enclosure needs replacement, but that's your call, HOWEVER...

From everything I've researched about many species of lizards, vertical screened enclosures are better for more arboreal critters like geckos & chameleons, who can tolerate room temperatures. Horizontal enclosures (especially 48 x 24 x 24in/120 x 60 x 60cm) are better suited to BDs. Also, screening will make temperature & humidity balance extremely challenging/difficult--nigh impossible.

Some nice rocks/cobbles (properly sterilized) and/or logs/cork rounds should be plenty for climbing & basking--maybe a hammock(?) Google: bearded dragon enclosure and click images for more ideas/inspiration. :wink:
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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby claudiusx » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:41 am

Turning off the heat bulb for the night is perfectly fine. :)

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Re: EMERGENCY- set up CRISIS

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:12 am

beaniethebeardie wrote:So, in your opinion, what should I do with my beardie tonight if his vivarium is too hot for him?

Same as folks do--open a window. Seriously, if the enclosure has a removable top, you could crack it a bit. If it's a front-opener, slide/open it a bit, but block it off so he can't escape.
Beardies can take lower temps at night.

From: https://www.desertfishes.org/australia/desrtgen.html
Average daily winter temperatures range between 16-24oC (61-77°F).

What Brandon suggested is fine too.
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