Please recommend setup- pics

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Please recommend setup- pics

Postby EthansNova » Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:35 am

We’ve had Nova for almost a week. She is 8 inches from tip of mouth to tip of tail.

Image8DAE1FA3-FF1F-4B3B-9EB7-757244725939 by ambiedawnz, on Flickr

We went with the front opening Exo-terra terrarium I believe it is 50 gallon. 36x18x18”
We were told to use the zoo med eco carpet (which annoyingly doesn’t lay flat and crickets escape underneath the edges. A water dish, and a basking stick platform. A under tank heater, and for UVB an exo terra uvb150 in a dome lamp.

ImageCC259F9C-F925-4A3B-B0CB-C4834553F2E5 by ambiedawnz, on Flickr

We were told to feed her crickets three times a day, and red or green leaf lettuce. Only cooked or canned carrots. Was not told to dust crickets or give any type of vitamins.
I had the lamp on top of the top screen until I read here that’s a no-no, so I’ve moved it inside about 7 inches above her basking rock.
I’m worried she’s not eating enough, so hopefully moving the uvb light will help?

ImageUntitled by ambiedawnz, on Flickr

I’m so confused and over why with all the information here.
Do I need a different UVB set up and light? Is an under tank heater BAD? Do I need another additional light source?
I’m a visual learner, any links or pictures would help tremendously.!!
I also need a link to a temperature monitor, I was using a cheap mini L D humidity/temp monitor and it just broke. (Had it sitting on the carpet above where the heating pad is underneath and it was reading between 83-91) I’m sure that was the wrong temp monitor to be using.
We are determined to give Nova the best we can, thank you in advance for any help and if possible links to buy what we need.
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:39 am

You can replace the carpet w/ some textured NON adhesive shelf liner that can be bought at your local home improvement store -- next please get rid of the coil UVB -- you need this https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo ... -hood.html 24" hood for a 40 + gallon tank it comes w/ a 5.0 bulb hang onto it you can use it as back up- you need this bulb 22" Reptisun T 5 bulb --- distance and placement in the tank is key -- please get this ordered ASAP - this is my go to place and they are out of stock now -- they have a hard time keeping these in stock -- check Amazon or you can check you local pet stores but you want what I posted most pet stores do not carry the length of the hood - or bulbs either -- make sure you are taking basking temps w a digital probe thermometer NO stick ons they are inaccurate these things I have mentioned are the MOST important thing in the tank -- she will not eat w/ out any of this being corrected --
Please do not feed anymore lettuce or canned carrots and please DO NOT listen to the pet store people any more they have given you bad advice ---here is a website for nutrition http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html-- ignore the kale thing its a good staple feeder - you need a staple insect like crickets or dubia roaches or BSFL -- and those insects need to be dusted 5 x per week once per feeding w/ calcium D3 and vitamins w/ beta carotene 2 x per week once per feeding --https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/vitamins-and-supplements/zoo-med-repti-calcium-reptile-supplement-21812.html?cgid=500121-- https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/vitami ... gid=500121 please get rid of the heat mat underneath dragons heat from their backs not stomachs - your tank should have 3 temps in it for the day a basking side of 105-110 a middle of 90's and a cool side of 80's --- nite time temps should be 65-75 w/ NO colored lights -- if your tank is falling below 65 at nite you will need a CHE ceramic heat emitter that looks like this https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/enviro ... gid=500202 you will need a deep dome that has a ceramic socket --- you did not mention a basking bulb that is VERY important you need this https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/enviro ... gid=500202 you need to get this ASAP --- I would start w/ a 100 watt but MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A DIGITAL PROBE THERMOMETER to get the temp I posted ---
the probe looks like this https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/enviro ... gid=500202 please get this ASAP -- place the probe on the spot where he / she sits for basking and wait 10 minutes then get the temp -- please get this all corrected and your dragon should start eating --- if you have any more questions please ask
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby EthansNova » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:06 pm

[quote="KarrieRee"]DO NOT listen to the pet store people any more they have given you bad advice ---

Thank you so much KarrieRee !!!
I’ve just ordered everything you mentioned except the hood, which I found on Amazon but had horrid reviews saying they arrive damaged or not working. I’ll keep searching! Also if I get rid of the under tank heat pad, how will I keep the right temp in the tank? Will the basking light do this? Nova’s tank is on the second story 9of our home, and it stays pretty warm up there even in winter. I would say it doesn’t get below 69 degrees at night up there.
So basking lamp on one side, UVB bulb across top above the screen? Where should the water dish be placed, near basking or on cooler side of tank?
I appreciate your guidance so much!
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:35 pm

As long as Nova's tank temp.at nite is 65 or above to 75 he's good-- your basking bulb should keep temps 105-110 for a baby and 95-110 for a juvie-/.adult- and if it's warm in the room he's in keep.an eye on his temp- room temps can effect the tank temp- your screen on the tank is it a fine mesh like a screen door or a wide holed type-? That's going to depend on the placement-- the water dish does he actually drink from it also do you have a hygrometer?
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby EthansNova » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:49 pm

Thanks! I should get all these supplies within the next two to three days. The screen is a fine mesh.
Also, the pet store recommended a minimum of 10-12 hrs of uvb light a day, is that accurate?
So should I be turning the uvb and basking lights on at the same time each morning and turning them off same time at night?
We’ve seen her drink from it a few times. We’ve also bathed her in a warm bath for about 15 minutes, we’re told to do this 2-3 times per week.
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:21 pm

Correct on photo period 12 hrs on 12 hrs off-- do not feed w/ less than 2-3 hrs of basking time-- if your dragon is eating salads rinse before serving she/ he will get lots of moisture thru that and gut loaded insects so I would lay off the bathing that much - some on here recommend only bathing when necessary- if he/ she is not eating their salads then you can offer water by dropping on the nose- or better if she's drinking from the bowl that's great- all lights on at the same time--
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby EthansNova » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:43 pm

Wonderful! I am so appreciative!
One last question, as for the salad, what’s an appropriate amount for her size? She’s 8 inches long and 25g. Should it be torn into small bite size pieces?
Thanks again
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:35 pm

Here is a nutrition website ignore the kale thing its a good staple feeder-
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
Yes I cut mine up - rolled into like a cigar sliced down the middle - then cut in half - squash is sliced sweet potato is shredded raw -- all veggies are raw - you dont want to feed her something she could choke on - so if feeding green peppers etc cut them up - fresh green beens cut them up -- carrots shred -- etc-- feed her a nice size salad she may not eat it all but even if shes eating some that is good - staple greens are mustard turnip collard and kale - I rotate my greens -- feeding two at a time mixed -- look at the website it will tell you what to feed how often to feed and what not to feed -- my two dont eat fruit havent found anything they will eat
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby EthansNova » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:14 pm

I’ve saved the nutritional info and bookmarked it, thank you!
I luckily found one of the last Reptisun T5 HO Terrarium hoods at a local pet supply shop. I grabbed it up immediately. It came with the 5.0 lamp but I will be getting the 10.0 delivered tomorrow and will switch them out as soon as I open it up.
I also bought a deep dome basking lamp fixture with a 100w basking light.
Now I’m having a really hard time setting everything up to get the right temperatures + height for appropriate UV.
The screen looks to be a fine mesh type, so how can I safely hang the hood inside while also having it the appropriate distance from my dragon?
Then there’s the basking lamp, which instructions state to only use the lamp fixture above the screen top. My tank is 18 inches deep and my dragon is only 8 inches long with her basking rock and stick only approximately 5-6 inches in height.

ImageUntitled by ambiedawnz, on Flickr

The probe thermometer is showing 83 degrees on the hammock directly under the basking lamp. One of the hammock suction cups won’t work so it’s at an angle and can’t go any higher.

ImageUntitled by ambiedawnz, on Flickr

I’m running low of funds now, is there anything I can safely use/find from home to get her higher up towards both lights? Do I really need the screen on top while she’s this small?
Last question, her coloring on her back has faded and looks dull, noticed some shed skin on the ground and a small loose piece on her back leg. Is the dull color meaning she is about to shed from her back too?

ImageUntitled by ambiedawnz, on Flickr
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:29 pm

Ok so shes gonna shed --- the placement for the UVB w/ no screen is 12-15 inches if you want to leave the screen off thats fine and have it set up width wise is good - the basking temps need to be 95-110 for a juvie/ adult dragon - or if you want the screen on you can use these to hang w/ 3 M command Velcro fasteners- picture hanging wire –long plastic zip ties-- potted plant wire hangers -- fishing line or there I use this stuff it works great and its like a Velcro strap cut in strips and wrap around the hood
https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-15-ft-Ca ... /304220195
Inside the tank is same distance 12-15 inches --
Basking bulb is a bright white it looks yellow -- you want bright white and for it to be only getting 83 degrees something is off -- what do you have for decor in the tank besides the hammock -- I would ditch that hammock they cause all kinds of toenail injuries / leg injuries from the dragons getting them caught in it --- if you want a hammock get a fleece one or a cloth one --- you can look here http://www.pamperedbeardies.com sometimes the mom and pops stores sell hammocks that are cloth etc -- I know you said your getting low on funds --- but when you can look at petsmart or petco for some basking decor petsmart sells really nice stuff for dragons and its easy to clean -- you might haft to get a higher wattage bulb you dont want her any closer to that basking bulb than 6 inches - here is a idea take that basking bulb and clamp on the side and take your UVB and get it closer to the end of the tank-- what is the distance from the UVB to the hammock?
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby ComicBookMama » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:19 am

I looks like Karrie has you well on the way to a fabulous and healthy setup for your Nova, who is a gorgeous little dragon! I just thought I'd pop in and say that I find it useful to have an LED lightbulb (non heat producing) on the cool side of the tank, since dragons prefer bright enclosures during the day. It encourages them to eat, if I'm not mistaken.

Good luck with your salad fixing and renovations! For things like carrots and squash, I find that grating them really made my boy more likely to eat them - I use a tiny hand grater from the dollar store that was probably meant for cheese. As for raising the basking platform, you can pick up bricks or concrete pavers really cheaply at a home improvement store, and stack them to allow for closer access to basking light and UV. Added benefit - they're great for wearing down nails!

Good luck!
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby EthansNova » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:04 pm

Okay, I’ve got the UVB light hanging inside with zip ties, it’s about 15 inches from the bottom of the enclosure.
I have the basking light sitting next to the UVB but resting on top of the screen. Its probably about 10 inches from the highest basking spot. I also got a much better thermometer (zoo med) The previous one must have been faulty because now I am getting readings that make sense. 99-102° at the basking spot. Mid to lower 80’s in the middle, and I’m about to take a reading for the cool end here after dinner.

I can tell a difference in her behavior already. She looks content all stretched out with her head tilted upwards while basking.
I also tried 1/4” Dubia roaches today and she ate 25 in one sitting. She seems to not like crickets, which was what we were previously giving her. I also got some BSFL which she seemed okay with. Her appetite this morning was great, although I’m not sure if that’s because of the changes to her terrarium or if it’s that she likes the Dubia’s better.

I appreciate all your feedback and recommendations!
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:08 pm

Cool side should be 80's middle of tank you want 90's- do you have a piece of decor under the UVB?
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby EthansNova » Fri Jan 29, 2021 3:12 pm

ComicBookMama wrote:I looks like Karrie has you well on the way to a fabulous and healthy setup for your Nova, who is a gorgeous little dragon! I just thought I'd pop in and say that I find it useful to have an LED lightbulb (non heat producing) on the cool side of the tank, since dragons prefer bright enclosures during the day. It encourages them to eat, if I'm not mistaken.

Good luck with your salad fixing and renovations! For things like carrots and squash, I find that grating them really made my boy more likely to eat them - I use a tiny hand grater from the dollar store that was probably meant for cheese. As for raising the basking platform, you can pick up bricks or concrete pavers really cheaply at a home improvement store, and stack them to allow for closer access to basking light and UV. Added benefit - they're great for wearing down nails!

Good luck!


Thank you so much! Yes, Karrie has been a great help for sure. I have an extra dome I can use to put a regular LED bulb in, so I will add that too, thank you for mentioning it.
I ended up using a big rock one of my sons had in his room (he’s a collector of random things haha) and I think if I get a few paver stones underneath it, it will get it at the perfect height. The nail thing is a bonus, I would have never thought of that! Thank you so much!!

ImageUntitled by ambiedawnz, on Flickr
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Re: Please recommend setup- pics

Postby ComicBookMama » Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:22 pm

What an adorable picture... happy littel dragon! :)
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