Trying to decipher true needs, not opinions

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Trying to decipher true needs, not opinions

Postby Nicolove » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:14 am

Hi All,
I’ve been a beardie mom for a year. I got my dragon at petco he was three months oldish December last year.
I’m a member of another forum and recently posted in there just to get feedback to see if what I’m doing is the best I can do and that I’m providing what Nico needs to be at his best. This being said, I researched a lot prior to getting him, and continued to and still research all the time. Information out there is often very contradicting. In any case, my post unexpectedly caused a very negative reaction and some strong opinions that I’m doing everything wrong when it comes to lighting and enclosure. Someone there pointed me here because it’s obvious that opinions and facts are different things and also that so called facts that are floating around on the internet can be largely contradicting. So to get second thoughts, below is basically what I posted in the other forum:

My male beardy, Nico, is 13 months old and is very personable and seemingly happy and healthy. I want to run everything i do by this forum in case there is anything I am doing wrong or should do better. (Pictures below as well)

Tank size: Glass 4 foot long x 1 foot wide x 18 inches tall, metal screen top

Substrate: Tile flooring

Furniture: Large corner water dish (mainly to help boost humidity to 30-35 on cool side because my house is dry) food dish, 2 log hide, raised hammock basking spot

Thermometers: two digital hygrometers temp/humidity one at each end, one digital probe thermometer placed at basking spot, one scale hygrometer in middle of tank

Additional Heat: Small heat pad under tank on basking side

Lighting(On 12 hour on/off timer): Power sun UV 160w on basking side(Supposed to give both uva & uvb), 15 watt T8 uva & uvb tube light on cool side, 150 watt nocturnal infrared heat lamp (used 24 hours in winter for extra warmth but only at night in spring/fall if chilly, dark during summer)

Temperature Average: 95 hot side, 70-75 cool side, 105 basking spot

Diet: Staple-Salads mustard greens-dandelions-Arugula topped with other fruits and veggies switched. Dubias or Crickets (dusted with calcium twice a week and dusted with multi vitamin once per week, undusted other days)
Treats: Occasional raspberry (he loves these but limit him to one torn up every few weeks), super worms a couple per week

Bath soaks once per week sometimes more or less (more depending on shed or weather) spray misting every other day in summer

Important to note that Nico gets let out daily to play and run and my house is very clean(vacuumed prior to him being loose) he’s handled regularly, watches tv snuggles I fleece blankets and watches the bird feeders out the window (he loves the action).

Any and all suggestions from experienced owners welcome!

The biggest issue off the bat in the other forum was that I was using a deadly bulb using the power sun. That it could fry him was one comment. It hardly keeps the basking spot at 100 -105 never hotter so I’m looking for real experienced responses here. I do not want to spend a lot of unnecessary money to replace the expensive things I already use unless it is truly necessary for the health of my dragon.

Looking forward to responses!

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Re: Trying to decipher true needs, not opinions

Postby Claudiusx » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:46 am

Hi there,

Firstly to directly answer your question, the powersun is actually one of the better MVB bulbs out there. The 160w version is pretty strong though. And it needs to be set at the proper distance from your basking site to be providing the proper UV levels. Unfortunately, this distance usually ends up not getting your basking surface temperature where it needs to be, so it's a bit tricky, and why we typically recommend just a normal basking bulb alongside a quality linear UV bulb.

For the 160w powersun, you want it 12-16 inches away from the basking surface. If it's ontop of a screen, I'd opt for the 12 range. Any closer and the UV starts getting too intense, and any further and the UV starts to become insufficient. So its placement is really key.
I am slightly concerned about that hammock being too close to the powersun though.

Is the hammock his basking area or is that log?

Now onto a few other items with your husbandry. I would really only rely on your digital with probe end thermometer. The other digitals that are just stick ons' aren't too effective. Your most important tank temperature is your basking surface anyways though, so they aren't even really needed. But, that's not a big deal.

The red light bulb should go. It's a very unnatural color of light, and it's utterly useless as a night time bulb for heat. You might as well leave your powersun on, it's the same difference. When compared to the human eye, dragon eyes actually have an extra cone. This allows them to see much more of the lighting spectrum than we humans can. So this means, if your human eye can see a light, your dragon can too, and most likely in a MUCH more vivid fashion. Dragons (as most animals) prefer complete darkness for sleeping. The red light being on all night long disturbs their sleep.

If you need to supplement extra heat at night (only if your house is dropping below 65f) then you will want to use a CHE instead of that red bulb.

What is the brand of your linear UV tube? Is it a T5 or a T8?

Really, a 36x18x18 is considered the be the minimum dimensions for an adult dragon. So unfortunately, your tank really isn't quite wide enough for an adult. Sure,that is opinion (although widely agreed upon opinion) and an adult sure can survive in a smaller tank, but it's not ideal, and it would be a good upgrade to find something a bit wider.

In my opinion, the water bowl isn't necessary if your only goal is to raise the humidity.
Fact, however, is your hygrometer has a 95% chance of being inaccurate anyways (i've tested dozens of them) You can test yours too if you're interested, just tell me and I'll tell you how to test it, but humidity really isn't an issue for dragons either side of the spectrum. Not until it's getting obviously too humid.

It is great that he gets time outside of his tank! That really does help make up for his tank being a bit smaller. So that's good for him :) and I bet he enjoys it.

His diet sounds fine too :)

All in all, you're doing a fine job with him. Lighting is just the most confusing initial part of their husbandry, but once you get it setup right, it's a breeze.

-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
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Re: Trying to decipher true needs, not opinions

Postby cliffhangerreptiles » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:52 am

Hi there,

Just a few things I note for starters. I'd stay away from the red "night heat lamp." These have been shown to be unhealthy for the beardie's sight. Plus, unless your home gets below 65-67 degrees, there is nothing to worry about at night. In fact, beardies need to cool down at night to reset their digestive and biological processes. Good job with the T8, but you'll want a different UV instead. The Reptisun 10.0 is a great option (you may already have this and just confused the terms), though my opinion is biased to the Acradia bulbs.

I love the substrate. Tile is a win-win.

Your temps are great. Diet is great.

You are looking to be in good shape. I'm sure it's frustrating to hear so many opinions. There's so much disinformation on the web, and everyone wants to be an authority. Sometimes, they aren't open to hearing what the beardie needs, even if it comes from a breeder. I applaud you for reaching out for honest, unbiased advice without the backlash.

Cheers,
Blake M
Breeder
--
Cliffhanger Reptiles
https://www.cliffhangerreptiles.com/
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Re: Trying to decipher true needs, not opinions

Postby Nicolove » Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:07 pm

Thank you both! Update- I removed the colored bulb and bought a basking bulb, tried to buy a reptisun 10.0 fixture and bulb only to get home and realize it didn’t work, returned it to find it’s the only one in stock. Now searching online for a t5 high output 10.0 fixture that’s 30” or bigger and a corresponding bulb, I’m finding everything out of stock 😫. If anyone has suggestions as to where to buy please share!!
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Re: Trying to decipher true needs, not opinions

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:19 pm

Nicolove wrote:Thank you both! Update- I removed the colored bulb and bought a basking bulb, tried to buy a reptisun 10.0 fixture and bulb only to get home and realize it didn’t work, returned it to find it’s the only one in stock. Now searching online for a t5 high output 10.0 fixture that’s 30” or bigger and a corresponding bulb, I’m finding everything out of stock 😫. If anyone has suggestions as to where to buy please share!!


http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/arcadi ... b-35-sale/
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