BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPS - HELP

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BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPS - HELP

Postby AC70 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:35 pm

[img]Hi All,
Just to say, my family and I are new to beardies but for many years I had snakes (hognose, garters, burmese pythons - but not for the last 10 years or so). Our 11 yo daughter wanted a beardie so here we are.....

I wonder if someone would be kind enough to offer guidance/advice.

On 8th December 2019 we got a bearded dragon, Bindi, and she is now almost 12 weeks old, weighs 37 grams, and is 9 inches long. Eats dubia, locusts, calci worms, silk worms and the odd waxworm, plus eats her veggies (sometimes, but gets fresh daily).

After her 2 week settling in period, I got a faecal test done, and due to having coccidia, she was placed in a quarantine viv with minimum decor (hide, plastic plant, log, paper substrate). Bindi finished her meds on Tuesday past, so I will be arranging a second test this Monday when our vet is open. Provided Bindi gets the all clear she will move into a brand new viv (wooden) which is 45 (L) x 22 (H) x 20 (D) inches - I know it's just a tad shorter than the minimum recommended of 48 x 24 x 24, but I do have a 60 x 30 x 30 (inch) on order, won't be ready until March (they are extremely busy).

I built the new viv just a few days ago......so......

NEW VIV
Light: Arcadia ProT5 UVB 12% 24w
Heat: Basking bulb exo terra 100w intense (with +75w intense)

Air temp hot end is 42.6 oC, with 10% humidity (measured 2 inches above substrate/floor, directly beneath basking spot bulb)
Air temp cool end is 29 oC and 28% humidity (measured at half way point between roof/substrate)
Surface temp....unsure, but ridiculously hot.....

Directly below the basking bulb I have a piece of slate. From the lowest point of the bulb to the slate is 13 inches.....the slate is really hot to touch, I can only hold the palm of my hand against the slate for 5 seconds or so! Therefore, I'm going to assume this is way too hot for baby Bindi and she'll burn her belly?

Tried Uncle Google to no avail,...what I'd like to know is:
a) What is the maximum surface (not air) temperature a beardie should have at the basking spot?
b) How is it best to get the surface temperature right without compromising the hot/cool end air temperatures which are fine?
c) Is there a better, less heat conductive material that I should use, other than slate; directly under the basking bulb?
d) If I have to change the basking bulb...what is recommended?

Thank you in advance.
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Re: BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPS - HELP

Postby claudiusx » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:44 pm

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Re: BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPS - HELP

Postby claudiusx » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:50 pm

Hi there,

If it's too hot to touch its definitely too hot for Bindi.

What are you using to measure your temps?
If you have a digital with probe end, you can just place it on the slate for 10 minutes or so and read the temp.

To answer your questions though:

1. General consensus is to not lot surface temp get over 110. Although I'd say 115 is the definite max. I dont go over 110 in my tanks. And I learn my dragons to figure out what temp they prefer.
2. Use a digital thermometer with probe end. You can use an IR thermometer too, just make sure the surface you are reading (the slate in this case) fits the emissitivity setting of your gun.
3. Slate is a good choice, you can also use a log or brick or other stone. But I'd figure out what the surface temp is first. Surface temps IMO are more important than air temps. That's why we typically ask what the basking surface temp is. So when we say a baby should have a basking surface temp of 100-110 that's what we mean, the actual surface temp.
4. If this bulb is too hot you will just need to play around with wattages. You can use normal household bulbs too, they are cheaper and once you figure out which one works for you, you're set.

Hope this helped. :)

-Brandon
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Re: BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPS - HELP

Postby AC70 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:14 pm

Hi Brandon,

Many thanks for the reply, very helpful and really appreciated..

In response to your replies...
1: What am I using to measure temps: I have a digital thermometer one at each end.
Hot end, the thermometer probe is directly below the basking spot bulb, approx 2 inches above the slate (beardie head height). See image, blue circle.

Cool end, the thermometer probe is dangling 7 inches from viv roof. See image, orange circle.

So am I right in saying then that the AIR temp (hot end) should really be about 38oC (100 F), and the basking spot SURFACE temperature should be no more than 43oC (110 F)? Where should the dimmer thermostat probe be positioned in the viv, I currently have the probe placed against the back wall, 4 inches from slate (slate runs full depth from front to back, and 12 inches wide). See image, yellow circle...missing from this image as added after I took the photo)

2: IR Thermometer: Today I ordered an Etekcity Lasergrip 800 IR Thermometer. How would I know the emissitivity of the gun and what should it be?

3: Slate: I like, it's easy to clean and disinfect (F10) so if I get the SURFACE temperatures right, I'll try and keep this in the viv, but more than happy to swap out if I struggle.

4: Bulb: currently have the 100w (+75 intense) but I have a 75w (+75 intense) in the cupboard, so if need be I'll swap down.

The thing that is confusing me is that the QUARANTINE VIV, which is only a tad smaller (height and depth smaller, length is exactly the same) everything seems to be spot on, heat temps, humidity etc using the 100w bulb...I'm wondering if the dimer thermostat could be faulty? I suppose I'll know more once I get the IR and see what is happening with the SURFACE temp.

And again, thanks so much...really appreciate the help.
AC70 (Andy)

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Re: BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPS - HELP

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:54 pm

AC70 wrote:[img]Hi All,
Just to say, my family and I are new to beardies but for many years I had snakes (hognose, garters, burmese pythons - but not for the last 10 years or so). Our 11 yo daughter wanted a beardie so here we are.....

I wonder if someone would be kind enough to offer guidance/advice.

On 8th December 2019 we got a bearded dragon, Bindi, and she is now almost 12 weeks old, weighs 37 grams, and is 9 inches long. Eats dubia, locusts, calci worms, silk worms and the odd waxworm, plus eats her veggies (sometimes, but gets fresh daily).

After her 2 week settling in period, I got a faecal test done, and due to having coccidia, she was placed in a quarantine viv with minimum decor (hide, plastic plant, log, paper substrate). Bindi finished her meds on Tuesday past, so I will be arranging a second test this Monday when our vet is open. Provided Bindi gets the all clear she will move into a brand new viv (wooden) which is 45 (L) x 22 (H) x 20 (D) inches - I know it's just a tad shorter than the minimum recommended of 48 x 24 x 24, but I do have a 60 x 30 x 30 (inch) on order, won't be ready until March (they are extremely busy).

I built the new viv just a few days ago......so......

NEW VIV
Light: Arcadia ProT5 UVB 12% 24w
Heat: Basking bulb exo terra 100w intense (with +75w intense)

Air temp hot end is 42.6 oC, with 10% humidity (measured 2 inches above substrate/floor, directly beneath basking spot bulb)
Air temp cool end is 29 oC and 28% humidity (measured at half way point between roof/substrate)
Surface temp....unsure, but ridiculously hot.....

Directly below the basking bulb I have a piece of slate. From the lowest point of the bulb to the slate is 13 inches.....the slate is really hot to touch, I can only hold the palm of my hand against the slate for 5 seconds or so! Therefore, I'm going to assume this is way too hot for baby Bindi and she'll burn her belly?

Tried Uncle Google to no avail,...what I'd like to know is:
a) What is the maximum surface (not air) temperature a beardie should have at the basking spot? 105-110 F- I don't know C
b) How is it best to get the surface temperature right without compromising the hot/cool end air temperatures which are fine? Cool side of tank should be 80's F- concentrate on basking temps
c) Is there a better, less heat conductive material that I should use, other than slate; directly under the basking bulb? No slate gets too hot-- a resin material or wood-- take that slate out
d) If I have to change the basking bulb...what is recommended? You don't need a 100 watt + a 75 watt-- get your temps w/ a digital probe and or a infrared heat gun w/ just the 100 watt go from there--

Thank you in advance.
AC70

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Re: BASKING SPOT SURFACE TEMPS - HELP

Postby AC70 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:38 pm

Hi KarrieRee,

Many thanks for your reply. So, I ordered an IR thermometer and the basking SURFACE temp was reading at just under 50oC on the slate...slight adjustment on the thermostat dimmer dial, and the overall AIR temp has now been reduced to 37oC and the basking spot SURFACE temp is now between 40 and 43oC, (gets the odd fluctuation throughout the day, but nothing above 43). Cool end has also lowered slightly to 29oC and humidity 33%.

Slate, I've left a piece in, which is around 22 inches by 15 inches but placed a resin cave on top of the slate directly below the basking spot bulb, surface temp on the cave is 41.6 - 43.4 (changes between these two temps throughout the day). Covered half the slate with paper, which is where she poops so remove paper/add new paper, simple swap over.

Bindi moved in to her new home a couple of days ago, took it all in her stride and is happy exploring her new surroundings, even went to sleep in the large cave at the cooler end of the viv when she realised no one was listening to her sing karaoke....Dragon Attack (Queen).

Take care
Andrew :)

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