Any improvements to be had? New setup just want a sanity check


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Beardie name(s)
I have just "finished" my setup (4x2x2 vivarium) and wanted to know if there were any recommendations on improvements for a baby Beardie?
  1. Are my temperatures OK?
    • Hot Side: 39c / 102.2f (the basking spot is hotter as the finish on the 3d background holds the heat much like a slate tile)
    • Middle: 33c / 91.4
    • Cold Side: 29c / 84.2
  2. For those with thermostats with a ramp up time, is 30 mins a sane amount?
  3. Currently I am using two 100w basking lights (on dimmers) above the vivarium with relatively small domes 140mm, would it make more sense to replace with one 210mm dome?
  4. The 3d background means the T5 12% covers more than 3/4 of the vivarium. The UV meter doesn't get higher than 6 for anywhere the Beardie can bask and on the floor of the enclosure it measures between 1-2. There are also leaves, a tunnel and two hides at the bottom if needed. At the moment he is out all day so I'm hoping this is not an issue.
  5. Currently it is not cool enough to require night time heating but I have a CHE bulb I need to fit for windows, where would you recommend adding it?
    • All the way in the corner (where a basking light already exists)
    • The other side of the UVB light (opposite the one above)
    • In the middle of the enclosure (where the second basking light already exists)
Any other concerns from the pictures?


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CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
That looks great! It sounds like you have everything dialed in pretty well. I'd try to bring the cool side down a little bit, perhaps by increasing airflow if you can. Low vents on the cool side should naturally pull air in if there are vents high up on the warm side. It's pretty close though so don't fuss over it too much.

30 min ramp up time is fine. If you see flickering in the lights, maybe bring it down to 15 min ramp time. That really kind of depends on the bulbs though and will vary.

Using two smaller bulbs is OK for basking as long as the basking temp zone is wide enough for a dragon to bask their entire body (somewhat) evenly. This can be achieved with multiple small bulbs or a single large wide beam bulb. Either way is OK and go with what works best and requires the least amount of dimming throughout the day.

UVI 6 is OK in the basking spot. Do be sure there are plenty of areas with lower UVI (1-3ish) and some shade areas with <1 UVI available as options.

I keep my CHE over the cool side and let the cool side probe determine when to kick it on/off overnight by setting min temp to 63 and max temp to 73 (17-23ish C). It doesn't need to be configured that way, it's just convenient from a space and logistics standpoint.


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Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Thank you. I'll have to play with the ventilation and see if that can help.

I have a Vivexotic vivarium so 5 vents (top left, top middle, top right, bottom left, bottom right).

Left being hot and right being cold.

At the moment I have blocked off the vents except for top left (hot by the lights) and bottom right (cold where one of the hides are) and it stays at 29. Would you recommend changing how I have my vents set up or to possibly lower the temperature in the middle?

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
Your vent setup sounds good. If you can lower the middle temps that would probably do the trick. I typically have those temps surrounding the main basking area but then they drop down to room temps as you move away from the basking zone. You have a good gradient already so I wouldn't mess with it too much. More of an optimization than a necessity. Once you have everything up and running it's a matter of observing how the space is used and then tweaking the temps to the preferences of the dragon - they all seem to prefer slightly different temps and UVB levels and I encourage catering to that when possible.


New member
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Beardie name(s)
Seems to hold 102.2f / 87.8f / 82.4f no problems with the middle light barely on so I'll stick with that for a while. He seems to use the entirety of the Vivarium throughout the day so looks like it must be close.

Thank you again for the reassurance and sanity check.

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