New Zen Habitat - 4x2x2

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New Zen Habitat - 4x2x2

Postby ComicBookMama » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:26 pm

I'm not posting pics yet; I'm still futzing about with lighting and decor. But here's what I've learned so far.

1) Tile is a pain in the butt to fit into a Zen. The measurements from the outside are 4x2' for the floor, but I should have waited until I had the thing together and THEN gone for the tile. Instead, I trusted what I read online - that the floor was actually 46"x22" - and had my tile cut to fit that. Then, not thinking of consequences, I threw out or lost my receipt. So when I cheerfully went to fit in my tile last night, I was astonished and hugely frustrated to find that it STILL DIDN'T FIT. It was too big by a small amount, but a small amount is as good as a mile... without the receipt, I can't bring the tiles back to be recut; I'll need to go and buy them again. Of course, this isn't a huge amount of money... $9 or so... but considering that foolish me had to do that once already, we're racking up a pile of useless tile here.

I'm honestly thinking of just getting the darned Zen Mat that will fit perfectly, and laying a couple of my tiles in on top of it for basking and nail trimming purposes. At any rate, lesson learned... measure twice, cut once. And keep the blasted receipts.

2) It is much harder to hang an Arcadia lighting fixture than it looks. Especially when your zip ties are just a hair too small. I finally dug up a spool of wire tie - the plastic coated kind that you usually see closing the plastic wrap on a loaf of bread - and used that. Sure, I'll have to completely untie the whole shebang every time I need to change out the bulb, but since that's only every year or so, I'm going to lump it.

3) PLACING the UV strip is harder than you think. Or harder than *I* thought. I initially wanted to put it against the back wall of the hab, and still might do that... but I also kinda want the basking spot to be the back corner, far enough from the doors to avoid more heat seepage than necessary. So now the UV strip is closer to the front of the tank, and roughly in the middle of the length of the tank. I'm still pondering what to do about this.

I don't want the UV strip to be TOO close to the basking area, because I got the ultra-strong Arcadia 14% bulb, and Figment is supposed to stay pretty far away from the bulb itself. However, heat being what it is, I need his climbing branches under the basking bulb so he has several perches to choose from for getting warm enough. And all of them would put him into the "too high" range for UV.

Is a puzzlement. Not sure what to do about this.

4) Boy, am I going to have to tweak the heating for his basking spot. With my old temp gun (still waiting for the new one to come in), the floor temp is 87.3 F under a 100w bulb. Figment prefers to bask on the floor, I've noticed... but I will put his resin basking branch under the spotlight to see if the heat will be a bit higher. If not, I bought a 150w bulb, which I'm hoping my 160w-max dome will be able to handle. It will be a process, I think.

EDIT: The new temp gun came in, as did my two new thermometer-hygrometers. Yay!

Lest it sound like I'm down on the Zen, I'm really not. I love the size, the sturdiness of it, the way I can now come and go through the front of his hab instead of having to take off the top every time. The new Arcadia UV bulb is SO lovely and bright that with that and the basking bulb and the LED I use just for brightening up the cool side, everything in there really POPS!

Figment also seems happier already. When I got home from work this afternoon, his colors seemed brighter, he seemed more alert, and was definitely more active. I can't wait to get the setup fixed up - I don't know where to put his hammock yet, with the extra branch in there, and I want to maybe add some artificial plants.

But it's most DEFINITELY a work in progress.
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: New Zen Habitat - 4x2x2

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:57 pm

I am sorry you had such a time w/ the tile - my husband measured mine and when we went to Home Depot to get it we didnt have a issue w/ it Kelly cut it when we got home to the measurements of the tank and it went right in - granted he had to cut one piece to fit the last piece to go in so its really narrow but it still was good -- I guess it depends on what you pick out ours was around 6" x 22" long -- you should see if you can find some one to cut it to what you need -
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