4x2x2 Enclosure lighting setup

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4x2x2 Enclosure lighting setup

Postby 3DragonGma » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:40 pm

Hey. I am new here and my daughter took in 2 bearded dragons, both right at a year old, supposedly temporarily while the owner was moving. Well, that temporary situation became a permanent living arrangement. I literally knew NOTHING about taking care of them and my daughter is 16 and only knew a little more than I did. I quickly fell in love and bonded with our new babies so much so that I am building a stacked 4x2x2 enclosure because at the moment both females are cohabing in a 55 gallon tank. They don't seem to be bothered by each other but I want them to be comfortable and healthy so I am fixing the situation. However, being new to this i want to make sure we provide the right amount of light for each of them in their new homes. If anyone has suggestions for proper and adequate lighting or opinions on the better brands of lighting please feel free to jump on in the comments. Lol. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated!
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Re: 4x2x2 Enclosure lighting setup

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:10 am

I'm sure they'll love the stacked 4x2x2! Are you following a specific design?

As far as lighting goes, I would set up a ceramic socket over the basking area and perhaps a second one over the "cool side" if you plan to use a heat emitter for cold nights (if your house/enclosure go below 65ish at night - if not then they aren't needed).

I would set up either a 24'' or 36'' T5 fixture for UVB. If you use the 36'' I'd set it up lengthwise next to the basking fixture and out toward the center of the enclosure. If you go with the 24'', I'd set the basking fixture a bit toward the front or the back of the enclosure and then set the UVB fixture at an angle from the back or front corner so the basking light is in the center of a triangle formed by two walls and the UVB fixture. That will help maximize the UVB exposure over the basking area while creating a nice gradient across the enclosure. I'm a fan of the Arcadia 12% bulbs for UVB. Set one of those in the UVB fixture and build the basking site up to around 12'' below it and you should be in good shape for several years.

For the basking light, you'll have to test out a few different ones to find what works best. It comes down to the surface temperature readings. You want the surface temps in the basking area to be around 100-105 or so with areas around that in the 90s and a gradient down to 75-80 or so on the other side of the enclosure. Go with a bulb that has a nice wide beam like a PAR38 halogen or other flood light. You can try incandescent or halogen. Both of them should handle dimming if you eventually set them up to a thermostat. You'll need to test out different wattages at first to find what works best. Once you have that down, you can just pick up a bunch of the same to have spares on hand and it's much less fuss going forward.


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Re: 4x2x2 Enclosure lighting setup

Postby ComicBookMama » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:21 am

Welcome to the forum! I'm so glad you're separating the girls... they really shouldn't live together, as one will invariably dominate the other, taking the best basking spots and first and best food. CooperDragon has given you excellent advice! Building your own habs is probably the least expensive way to go, but if you decide to go for prefab housing, Zen Habitats is the cheapest (but among the best) of the you-assemble dragon housing available. Good luck making a home for your ladies!
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
1.0 Bearded Dragons - Figment
1.0 dogs - Ariel
1.0 cats - Skimble
1.0 husband
1.0 son
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Re: 4x2x2 Enclosure lighting setup

Postby 3DragonGma » Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:45 pm

Thanks so much for the advice!!! I was seriously thinking I needed a 48 inch light but then I was thinking they wouldn't have a way to escape the light bt wasn't sure exactly how much room on both the warm end or the cool end of the tank. Ziggy, though the smaller of the two, is definitely the dominant one 9f the two. Right before separating them my daughter had held a piece of turnip greens in there and spike wanted to eat it, but she nibbled and quickly backed up and started waving slowly because ziggy was giving her the stink eye even though she didn't even want it. They are really funny ro watch and I have been reading a lot and watching YouTube a lot to learn as much as I can. The lighting situation is by far the most overwhelming due to all factors that come into play. Being able to buy the shorter lights makes it easier as well since I have to buy 2 of everything! I ordered 4 probe hygrometers/ thermometers so we can have one on each end of each tank and plan to go ahead and get their lighting today. I will post pics as soon as we have everything set up. Again thanks for the help as I was pretty lost. Lol
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