Are we finally ready for Mario?

Discuss substrates, lighting, heating, enclosure building ideas, share enclosure photos, and talk about any other enclosure-related topics.

Are we finally ready for Mario?

Postby MariosDad » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:35 pm

Hi, Everyone!

First, I want to thank you all for making this an amazing, helpful, kind, and just plain fun place to hang out on the internet! When Mario arrives I will be sure to introduce him (and my daughter) properly in the Introductions forum. The TL:DR is that after months of proving herself responsible enough to care for her own pet, I think we may finally be ready for Mario!

I wanted to ask you all if everything is looking good for the enclosure, and if you had any last minute advice/criticisms/suggestions. Also, this home will be temporary. My wife and I are going to rearrange the living room (hopefully with some good garage sale finds!) this summer, and I will be trying my second attempt at an enclosure for the new space: a good 'ol 4x2x2!

Mario is coming from a chain store, where all the beardies are all around 5". Yes, my daughter named the (hopefully) male dragon a while ago. We don't even have him yet but he has already stolen our hearts! :lol:

Inside wdh
-36.5" x 14" x 22" - calculates to roughly 48.5 gallons. Also the part of the build I am least happy about, specifically the 14" depth. Luckily, I'm eager to get more melamine and start number two...

Substrate
-Tile, nicely textured. It's grouted, but after reading some more DIYs I think the tile for number two will be closer fitting and with no grout.

Lights and Heat
-Temperatures taken with an IR gun, and ambients with digital thermometer/hygrometer.
-24" ZooMed Reptisun T5 hood with 10.0 tube. More on my UV concerns later...
-100watt incandescent household bulb.
-60watt CHE for night. (It drops to 55-60 degrees at night right now, but we probably won't need it after the winter. This keeps the cool end right around 70 degrees, the hot around 78.)
-The ambient temp at the hot end, near the basking spot, sits around 90 degrees.
-The ambient temp at the cool end is 77-78 degrees in the shade, 82ish in the open.
-Basking spot has a gradient of 102-112 degrees, shot from 2-3" away. The lighter spots on the rock are 104 and 107 degrees when shot at 10-12", respectfully, while the darker center reads 110 when shot from 10-12" away.
-The wood pieces (baked to sanitize) are cooler, reading at around 100 degrees when shot.
-Humidity is usually between 30-35% on the hot side and 20-22% on the cool side.

Food
-Started a Dubia colony about 3 weeks ago and just received 500 more of the 1/4" little buggers yesterday to split between the colony and the smaller feeder keeper.
-Going to start with (ahem, throw away a lot of...) collard greens and squash, with occasional bell peppers.
-Reptical vitamin mix tub, and calcium tub.
-wax worms for treats and training.
-Will definitely be looking into BSFL. There seems to be a consensus of them being a great staple, especially to change things up from the Dubias.

Pictures
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


Questions/Concerns
-Regarding UV and the reflector possibly adding nothing to its output: The unit is 20" to the floor, 14" to the basking surface, and between 6-12" to the hammock, depending on where Mario chooses to position himself. I've based the distances on this chart: https://sites.google.com/site/thelizardmadness/lighting-guides. On Chart A, the difference between the readings of Reptisun 10.0s with and without the reflector are vastly different, so I've decided to split the distance until I can borrow a UV reader. Maybe from a local "grower" around here.

-I'm guessing my reflector is one of the bad ones, but I don't want to risk overexposure, especially when it seems there is a good gradient right now for Mario to choose between. The reflector has the "scratch" marks and has a clear mirror image, as opposed to the blurrier pictures I've seen on the forum, leading me to that conclusion. I'm very eager to get my hands on a UV reader just to be positive, and will happily make any necessary changes.

-The UV gradient: I know it's not perfect, as the tube is basically in the middle of the enclosure. I want to build a 4x2x2 this summer with the correct gradient, but as for now do you think this will provide a few different areas with low-to-zero UV? I figure that under the hammock will have at least a 30% reduction of UV (making it .3 on the UV scale, according the linked chart), while under the basking spot, logs, and hide it should theoretically be 0.

-Do the above observations seem reasonable, totally off base, or somewhere in between?

-The Nintendo characters are printed, then adhered to super thin plastic with non-toxic spray adhesive. Then they're sticky-tacked (again, non-toxic) on the paper side to the melamine. Is this going to be dangerous in any way to Mario?

-Ventilation is 4, 3" round soffits, plus the 1.5" hole the Sunblaster cord runs through. The Plexiglass doors have 1/8" of gap between them and the sides and top of the melamine, plus 9, 1/8" holes drilled near the bottom. Does that seem adequate?

-Feeding chart. Would you change anything?

Conclusion
If you made it this far on this saga of a post, thanks for reading! I welcome all comments, advice, and criticisms. It has taken me a while to convince myself that keeping a living thing in a box is not somehow cruel or immoral, but this website (and the people, dragons, and stories) have totally changed my mind!

-Big thanks to all the Moderators for their hard work and patience.
-Shout out to the other forum members, especially opaquelace and DorgEndo for their highly entertaining stories of new dragons!
-Special shoutout to KerrieRee; I've never seen someone answer the same question over, and over, and over again without losing their mind! Maybe you have, but if so you have hidden it well! :lol:
Mario's Dad- 3 kids, 1 old dog (in our hearts, RIP Kibo), 2 barn cats, 6 chickens, and a new beardie named Mario!
User avatar
MariosDad
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:44 am
Location: Montana
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Are we finally ready for Mario?

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:47 pm

Your set up sounds and looks great -- I just wish more dragon owners would do more research first w/ out jumping in head first and then ask questions later about why their dragons are sick lethargic not eating etc etc etc --- and yes it does get frustrating at times answering the same questions but I do it for the dragons health and trying to keep them alive and not sick ------- it breaks my heart to read stories of these dragons passing because someone did not take the time or responsibility to research what is good and bad for them - I know sometimes its not the owners fault and I realize that but some times you just want to strangle them thru the computer --- glad I was of help and when you get your little dude we all want to see him---- and you will enjoy him as we all do - they all have their own personalities
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 6453
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am

Re: Are we finally ready for Mario?

Postby Claudiusx » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:08 pm

Hi there,

You are definitely off the a great start! Way better than most! :) Can't wait to see little Mario. I bet your daughter is super excited.

Definitely look into BSFL. I prefer them over Dubias by a long shot feeder wise. But, Dubias are just so easy to breed if you're going that route as opposed to buying them.

You have the zoomed fixture right? That fixture and reflector have been tested to be good working reflectors. So far it's only confirmed that the sunblaster reflector is bad. And possibly a few other run of the mill companies that buy from the same factory. However, your zoomed one is made by a completely different company, so you definitely want to go off the assumption that it's working. I say assumption only because there can be no absolutes without testing it yourself. But be about 99.9% confident it works :)

So, you will want your T5 reptisun 10.0 to be 12-15 inches from the basking surface, so you're spot on right there.

Your UV setup will be just fine, especially with the distances you mentioned. You can always change it to how you want with your second build :)

The stickers are very unlikely to pose an issue. The only issue would be off gassing of the adhesive, but even if it were a toxic off gassing, it likely would be so small an amount it wouldn't cause an issue.

MariosDad wrote:the Sunblaster cord runs through

Can you elaborate on this though? I thought earlier you mentioned you have a zoomed fixture? And in your pictures, you definitely don't appear to have a sunblaster fixture. If it is a sunblaster fixture and you are seeing those longitudinal lines and a clear reflection, you most likely have a bad one. But like I said, it doesn't appear you actually have a sunblaster fixture. So even with those symptoms, you are likely OK as that method of determining effectiveness only pertains to the sunblaster reflector.

MariosDad wrote:Special shoutout to KerrieRee; I've never seen someone answer the same question over, and over, and over again without losing their mind! Maybe you have, but if so you have hidden it well!

Definite second this. I sometimes lose my mind just seeing her not lose her mind! LOL

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
User avatar
Claudiusx
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 18143
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: California

Re: Are we finally ready for Mario?

Postby MariosDad » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:21 pm

claudiusx wrote:
MariosDad wrote:the Sunblaster cord runs through

Can you elaborate on this though? I thought earlier you mentioned you have a zoomed fixture? And in your pictures, you definitely don't appear to have a sunblaster fixture. If it is a sunblaster fixture and you are seeing those longitudinal lines and a clear reflection, you most likely have a bad one. But like I said, it doesn't appear you actually have a sunblaster fixture. So even with those symptoms, you are likely OK as that method of determining effectiveness only pertains to the sunblaster reflector


Ah, yes! That actually clears a lot up, as I was thinking they were one and the same. It is definitely the ZooMed, not the Sunblaster. Thanks for the confirmation that the UV will be good to go!
Mario's Dad- 3 kids, 1 old dog (in our hearts, RIP Kibo), 2 barn cats, 6 chickens, and a new beardie named Mario!
User avatar
MariosDad
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:44 am
Location: Montana

Re: Are we finally ready for Mario?

Postby Claudiusx » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:33 pm

Alright great :)

Sounds like you guys are ready for Mario :D

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
User avatar
Claudiusx
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 18143
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:44 pm
Location: California

Re: Are we finally ready for Mario?

Postby DorgEndo » Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:06 pm

Preparations looking pretty good. Since you up for constructive criticism I'll dig in!

Food Part 1 - Schedule: You know worms are treats, remove the text except for Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. One reason is because the weekend tends to be special for humans so you can overlap this specialness with your dragon too. Second is that some of those days you have the multivitamin. Like human multivitamin tablets that supplement tastes and smells bad (to my human senses, not sure if the same for dragons but I figure it might be). Worm treat after the supplement food to help make up for the bad taste.

Food Part 2 - Bug variety: One thing this website helped me learn about were all the edible insect options, for treats and regular daily nutrition. More variety is a boon physically and mentally for your dragon. Definitely look into BSFL, for adding variety they are easy and amazing. Keep them in the fridge. Don't feed them. Don't supplement them. If you keep them long enough to turn into flies they are still perfectly edible and add more variety. Even buying crickets or silk worms occasionally for a growing dragon. Silk worms have the most protein, they are also expensive and fickle, still worth having a batch every now and then.

Food Part 3 - All the Plants, More Plants, Never give up on plants!: Babies may not be too interested in plants, but still offer variety. How I have tried to make sense of the "staple" and "occasional" and "treat" plants is having at least 2 staple type plants a week, then 2 occasional, and 1 treat a week. From week to week the menu changes. It is impossible in just one day or one week to offer all the variety that a dragon can eat. Think of the big picture that over weeks and months, maybe even coinciding with seasonal choices you can offer a huge variety of vegetables. If your dragon doesn't seem to like something, leave it out of rotation a few weeks then try again. They can surprise you and suddenly eat something they have refused for months on end. And don't forgot for right now, the 20% ratio of plant foods for babies equals 1.4 days a week. So eating their greens once or twice a week is a WIN for a baby.

Lighting: What is your heat bulb? You mention the hot spot where it is over 100°F is 2-3 inches from the light source, but I do not see any dragon furniture that close to the light source? Maybe I am wrong, from pictures the hot side appears to be the right side of the enclosure with the left side with the hammock being the cool side. EDIT/ I read the post wrong. Re-reading it you took the IR gun reading from 2-3 inches of the log. I apologise.
Devlyn my beautiful bearded dragon, approx hatch 8/18, mine since 2/19. Kitty Greysie born 3/06. Lttle rescue Charlie the American grey tree frog, found 11/18. Lots of house plants, I like cacti and succulents.
User avatar
DorgEndo
Juvie Poster
 
Posts: 544
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:51 am
Location: MN, USA

Re: Are we finally ready for Mario?

Postby MariosDad » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:38 pm

DorgEndo wrote:One reason is because the weekend tends to be special for humans so you can overlap this specialness with your dragon too.


I love this! It does make sense to simplify the schedule while simultaneously making it correspond to our lives. Great tip! :D

DorgEndo wrote:Think of the big picture that over weeks and months, maybe even coinciding with seasonal choices you can offer a huge variety of vegetables. If your dragon doesn't seem to like something, leave it out of rotation a few weeks then try again. They can surprise you and suddenly eat something they have refused for months on end.


Thanks for the reminder to think long term. My daughter and I are kind of excited about the finicky-ness of these creatures, sort of like a puzzle to figure out!
Mario's Dad- 3 kids, 1 old dog (in our hearts, RIP Kibo), 2 barn cats, 6 chickens, and a new beardie named Mario!
User avatar
MariosDad
Hatchling Poster
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:44 am
Location: Montana
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Return to Enclosures

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CooperDragon