Ambient Temp Help

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MeanCrayons

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Need some advice on my new setup. Ignore the paper towels. Waiting for my zen mat to ship.

Basking spot (top section of big log) - 100-108F depending on exact spot controlled by Exoterra 600w dimming thermostat
Warm Side around basking spot -78F
Cool Side - 75-76F 25% RH

Obviously the warm side ambient is low. My solution in my head is to move the 100w CHE that I have in the middle over to the warm side and put a 60w CHE in it's current place. This would boost my warm ambient temp and provide a better gradient. Does that sound like it would work?
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Need some advice on my new setup. Ignore the paper towels. Waiting for my zen mat to ship.

Basking spot (top section of big log) - 100-108F depending on exact spot controlled by Exoterra 600w dimming thermostat
Warm Side around basking spot -78F
Cool Side - 75-76F 25% RH

Obviously the warm side ambient is low. My solution in my head is to move the 100w CHE that I have in the middle over to the warm side and put a 60w CHE in it's current place. This would boost my warm ambient temp and provide a better gradient. Does that sound like it would work?
I am going to have CooperDragon help you w/ the ambient temps but I need to ask what is in the wide long tube fixture ? Please get your T 5 inside the tank - I have a Zen and I have my basking lights on top w/ a CHE on top middle of screen in the back 100 watt keeps temps at night 70 or so the UVB T 5 needs to be directly over the basking decor piece 12 -15 inches your dragon is not getting enough UVB w/ it on top of the screen I am going to post a pic of my tank take a look at it for reference - please ask questions -- I am only using my CHE at nite now but most of the time it is not on - off during the day on at nite during winter -
 

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MeanCrayons

Member
Original Poster
I am going to have CooperDragon help you w/ the ambient temps but I need to ask what is in the wide long tube fixture ? Please get your T 5 inside the tank - I have a Zen and I have my basking lights on top w/ a CHE on top middle of screen in the back 100 watt keeps temps at night 70 or so the UVB T 5 needs to be directly over the basking decor piece 12 -15 inches your dragon is not getting enough UVB w/ it on top of the screen I am going to post a pic of my tank take a look at it for reference - please ask questions -- I am only using my CHE at nite now but most of the time it is not on - off during the day on at nite during winter -
That long thick tube is my old T5 light with a combo LED (also a colored light option that I do not use). It is on the right side only for LED ambient light and goes off with the rest of the lights at bed time. My night time temps are fine. It's my daytime ambient temperature that seems a little low to me. Ambient is 79F with the ground floor coming in at ~82F. Also my T5 is 12" from the basking spot. I thought T5 above the mesh was just fine, unlike T8. If I mount it any lower, it will be like 7" from the basking spot which seemed like a terrible idea. What is your ambient warm side temp with the CHE off?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
That long thick tube is my old T5 light with a combo LED (also a colored light option that I do not use). It is on the right side only for LED ambient light and goes off with the rest of the lights at bed time. My night time temps are fine. It's my daytime ambient temperature that seems a little low to me. Ambient is 79F with the ground floor coming in at ~82F. Also my T5 is 12" from the basking spot. I thought T5 above the mesh was just fine, unlike T8. If I mount it any lower, it will be like 7" from the basking spot which seemed like a terrible idea. What is your ambient warm side temp with the CHE off?
My ambient temps run different its a gradient heat I keep track of the surface basking temps if those temps are hot then the rest of the area around it runs from 95- 100 - the spot in the middle of the tank is 90's on the rock - I use a probe for those - cool side of the tank is 80's during the day
depending on the screen determines where the T 5 can go - if its a fine mesh like a screen door it would need to go inside the tank - approx 12-15 inches directly above the decor -- for a wide hole screen it can stay on top w/ the decor under it 8-10 inches - fine screen block out 30% of the rays
I use 3 basking bulbs right now to get ambient temps - one in the middle of the tank and one on the hot side of the tank - your ground floor is 82 of the cool side is good -
@CooperDragon
 

MeanCrayons

Member
Original Poster
My ambient temps run different its a gradient heat I keep track of the surface basking temps if those temps are hot then the rest of the area around it runs from 95- 100 - the spot in the middle of the tank is 90's on the rock - I use a probe for those - cool side of the tank is 80's during the day
depending on the screen determines where the T 5 can go - if its a fine mesh like a screen door it would need to go inside the tank - approx 12-15 inches directly above the decor -- for a wide hole screen it can stay on top w/ the decor under it 8-10 inches - fine screen block out 30% of the rays
I use 3 basking bulbs right now to get ambient temps - one in the middle of the tank and one on the hot side of the tank - your ground floor is 82 of the cool side is good -
@CooperDragon
82F for the ground temp is my warm side sadly. I didn't take the ground temp on the cold side. Thats why I thought about moving the 100w CHE to the warm side and adding a 60w to the middle to better my ambient temperatures and create a better gradient.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I don't worry too much about ambient temps. I make lighting adjustments based on the surface temps. I feel that this more accurately represents the temperatures that they are able to reach while basking. I've observed that their skin temps can get pretty high when they are basking even when ambient temps are relatively low. My dragon is often free roaming and seems content at room temp in the low 70s for long periods of time and will return to his basking area to warm up at intervals throughout the day. He will often bask in sunlight coming through a window and can warm up pretty well that way too. Since your basking surface temps are nice and warm, I think your dragon will just move there to warm up as needed.

Your T5 should be just fine at 12'' through the mesh top. That should put UVI somewhere around 3 which is similar to mid morning or late afternoon - active basking time. I usually recommend about 3-6 UVI over the basking zone.
 

MeanCrayons

Member
Original Poster
I don't worry too much about ambient temps. I make lighting adjustments based on the surface temps. I feel that this more accurately represents the temperatures that they are able to reach while basking. I've observed that their skin temps can get pretty high when they are basking even when ambient temps are relatively low. My dragon is often free roaming and seems content at room temp in the low 70s for long periods of time and will return to his basking area to warm up at intervals throughout the day. He will often bask in sunlight coming through a window and can warm up pretty well that way too. Since your basking surface temps are nice and warm, I think your dragon will just move there to warm up as needed.

Your T5 should be just fine at 12'' through the mesh top. That should put UVI somewhere around 3 which is similar to mid morning or late afternoon - active basking time. I usually recommend about 3-6 UVI over the basking zone.
Switching from the directional floodlights to actual basking bulbs helped increase my ambient temps to ~84 with the basking area ranging from 102-110F. Are there any relatively inexpensive ways to test the UVI?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I'm glad that you've found bulbs that are working well for your setup. As I mentioned in the other thread, always good to stock up and have some extra on hand since they tend to burn out suddenly.

The Solarmeter 6.5 is pretty much the only reliable way of measuring UVI. Unfortunately, they aren't a cheap option, running at around $200. A lot of the popular bulbs and fixtures have been tested by people with Solarmeters (inlcuding myself) and we have some reasonably good estimates of UVI at varying distances. There are factors that can affect the readings such as varying types of screen tops that can intercept more or less of the UV, but the range will be close enough to be healthy and sufficient/not too strong etc.
 

MeanCrayons

Member
Original Poster
I'm glad that you've found bulbs that are working well for your setup. As I mentioned in the other thread, always good to stock up and have some extra on hand since they tend to burn out suddenly.

The Solarmeter 6.5 is pretty much the only reliable way of measuring UVI. Unfortunately, they aren't a cheap option, running at around $200. A lot of the popular bulbs and fixtures have been tested by people with Solarmeters (inlcuding myself) and we have some reasonably good estimates of UVI at varying distances. There are factors that can affect the readings such as varying types of screen tops that can intercept more or less of the UV, but the range will be close enough to be healthy and sufficient/not too strong etc.
Is the 6.5R the model I’m looking for? I’ll probably order one tomorrow. Is it as simple as placing it in a spot and seeing what the UVI for that spot is?
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Yep the 6.5R will work to read UVI. It's straightforward to use. It comes in a leather case so you just open the top flap so the top of the reader is showing and point it at what you want to read and press the button on the front. Works very much like an IR temp gun in that way.
 

Rubble1212

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Rubble
Just to add to that you need to make sure the basking bulb is in front or behind the t5 not at the end of the t5 fixture like the picture posted as an example of an enclosure setup above. You want the heat and uvb to overlap not have the basking bulb all the way at the end of the viv. I’ve found it’s easier to run the t5 fixture at a angle and create a triangle for the basking area. It doesn’t do any good to have the basking bulb at the end of the t5 fixture they get no uvb at the basking spot. The easiest way I’ve found is to buy a ceramic light socket and mount it on the ceiling right next to the t5 fixture and you can get the basking bulb and uvb tube to overlap and create heat directly underneath the tube.
 
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