Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

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Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby svh » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:33 pm

Hi guys, I am a brand new bearded dragon owner. I just purchased my first guy yesterday from the Canadian Pet Expo. He was a package deal with a 40 gallon breeder starter kit. I bought him with the set up and the awareness that I would be changing out items in the kit ASAP to make it more appropriate for him.

His tank opens from the top, so it is going to quickly get annoying having to remove the lights every time I want to open his tank. My current plan is to attach his basking light to swivel mount outside the tank, so I can just rotate it out of the way. But I am stuck on the best light to mount inside his tank.

I'm planning on purchasing a 22" Reptisun 10, but I am not sure if I should go with the T5 HO version or the T8 one. With how the tank is set up now, his basking spot is relatively close to where the UV light will be mounted, maybe 6-8 inches, so I don't want to blind him or have it be too bright.

Also wondering opinions on this fixture if I end up going with the T5 HO bulb? https://www.amazon.ca/SunBlaster-090030 ... 3GPXMQ8RET

Any tips or opinions are welcome! I'm hoping to get this within the next day or 2 so he can have more appropriate lighting.

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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:44 pm

At 6-8 inches I'd probably go with a T8. Alternatively you could use the T5 but I'd put it on top of the enclosure and let the mesh top cut down on the UVB a little bit. I would pick one that runs maybe half the length of the enclosure (the 22'' versions are usually a good choice) so you can have a good gradient with high UVB over the basking area and little to no UVB in some areas away from it.

The Sunblaster is a good fixture to use with the T5. It can be a bit tougher to find a good T8 fixture with a reflector.

If your guy turns out to not be much of a climber and you don't have other pets then another option is to leave the top open and suspend both lights up above the enclosure. That may make lighting adjustments and access easier for you. It works in some situations but is not advisable unless it's in a safe setting.
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby svh » Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:19 pm

Thanks!

I definitely need a lid, as my home has cats, one of whom has been very interested in him.

The problem with mounting it outside is that I have one of the Petsmart All Living Things starter kits and I'm realizing the lid is terrible now that I have it. It's plastic all around with a wire mesh center. I'm honestly considering just getting a whole new tank that opens from the front and makes my life easier.

Then I could mount both lights much easier on the outside and not worry about melting any portion of the lid.
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:04 pm

Ah yeah the open top is a no go with cats unfortunately. If you can build or buy a front opening enclosure that will make things MUCH easier in the long run. You may at least want to get an all metal top for the existing tank so it's both a bit heavier, and more heat resistant.
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:21 am

svh wrote:Thanks!

I definitely need a lid, as my home has cats, one of whom has been very interested in him.

The problem with mounting it outside is that I have one of the Petsmart All Living Things starter kits and I'm realizing the lid is terrible now that I have it. It's plastic all around with a wire mesh center. I'm honestly considering just getting a whole new tank that opens from the front and makes my life easier.

Then I could mount both lights much easier on the outside and not worry about melting any portion of the lid.


This is something I put together to help at least keep the cat/s OUT of the dragon tanks :
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=240221&p=1840683#p1840683
(Tracks = https://www.cowdroy.com.au/product/p026 ... -track-set)
Never let the cat in the same room as the dragon , and never let it louter near the dragon tank .
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby svh » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:10 am

So I ended up going out and purchasing a new front opening 40 gallon breeder. It has a much better lid and it will be so much easier to interact with him. It has been an expensive week, but oh well, I rather make sure my set up is proper and my dragon is well cared for. I'm probably just going to list the other tank for cheap on Kijiji

I mounted my basking light to a stand, so it will stay put now. I also ordered a Reptisun 10.0 T5 HO bulb with the Zoo Med Reptisun Hood to go on top of the mesh. It should be here tomorrow, so I can set that all up. My temp gun, digital hygrometer and timer is supposed to be arriving today, so hopefully that will be waiting for me at home once I'm done class. I just need to get a proper background for the tank. I'm thinking of having it wrap around the sides and back.

In terms of the cat, it's inevitable that they are in the same space. My bearded dragon is in our family room. I am confident the tank is secure, otherwise I would not have it in my home. He is my first reptile, but not my first animal which would be vulnerable to my cats. I also keep a hamster in a large tank and I have never had an issue in many years. I live in an all adult home, am the sole caregiver and am very cautious with all of my pets. I am confident that after a few days, the cat will lose interest.

[Click image to enlarge]


[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby claudiusx » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:28 am

Sounds good!

Since the reptisun will be on top of the mesh, just make sure he can get within 8 or so inches of it. But judging by your picture, it looks like that will easily be achieved. :)

Your tank looks great :)

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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:38 am

That looks great! I think the expensive week will be well worth it in the long run =)
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:41 am

Cable ties through the mesh to form two loops will be an easy way to hang the hood under the mesh lid , will take under 10 minutes to mount it permanently under the lid.

Mesh will block about 50% of the UV.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy rescued injured by lawnwacker14Nov17, Gutzy 27Sep19.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - injured rescued, boss lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby svh » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:08 am

Hmm maybe I'll also order a fixture to mount inside and see what works best and just return the one I don't use. Or try and mount this hood inside. Lol you can see I'm indecisive!

I just want to make sure he gets everything he needs. My top priority is that I have everything for him to be a happy, healthy dragon.
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby claudiusx » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:31 am

Based on your decor, I wouldn't mount it inside. It's perfectly acceptable on the mesh since you have so many areas in your tank that get close to the top.

If you mount it inside you'll need to lower your logs so that he can't get any closer than 10 or so inches. 12-15 is ideal.

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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby svh » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:23 pm

Ok, I will just stick with the hood and tube light on top, as he will definitely be able to get within 8 inches of it. Lol I'm clearly a beginner and not 100% confident in what I'm doing. I just want to make sure I'm taking care of him properly.

Thank you guys for your patience and kindness! It's very nice coming onto a new forum like this.
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:46 pm

You're off to a good start. Feel free to ask questions here whenever you want to. Keep in mind that you can constantly make adjustments to your setup as time goes on. Especially as you observe your dragons reaction to different elements. It's not a set, static correct/incorrect kind of thing.
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Re: Choosing a UV light and fixture to mount in the tank

Postby claudiusx » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:01 pm

That's what we are here for. Lighting is the trickiest part of their initial setup, but once you're initially setup, you're golden :)

And like Cooper said, as you get to know your dragon more and note it's preferences, you'll be able to make little tweaks here and there. :)

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