Basking behavior vs tempature targets.

Axil

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
So I'm not sure if this is really the correct section for this, I debated putting it in the advanced lighting section but I'm not sure how advanced it really is.

After moving Beebz to his 120g I've been struggling to provide enough heat over the basking area. He is about 4mo and 12in long, which as far as I understand translates to a target of 105-110f on his basking platform. Moving stuff around for a couple days I finally got the tempatures to reliably sit between 105-110 across most of his basking area. This required 3 100w bulbs, and was verified with two different digital probes.

However as I got the tempature to increase I noticed Beebz began migrating down lower and lower until he was spending most of his time "basking" on the 95 degree section of shelf liner in front of his basking decor. He would even gape there.

I moved one of the lights away which dropped his temps around 5-8 degrees and now he is back to basking on the lower section of his decor which runs about 95-100f. He will gape there. He has access to a higher step that runs 100-103 but rarely hangs out there.

Should I leave the temps lower and figure he his behavior is showing me the current temperatures are correct. Or should I still aim for 105-110 in case he changes his mind about using the higher temps?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
So I'm not sure if this is really the correct section for this, I debated putting it in the advanced lighting section but I'm not sure how advanced it really is.

After moving Beebz to his 120g I've been struggling to provide enough heat over the basking area. He is about 4mo and 12in long, which as far as I understand translates to a target of 105-110f on his basking platform. Moving stuff around for a couple days I finally got the tempatures to reliably sit between 105-110 across most of his basking area. This required 3 100w bulbs, and was verified with two different digital probes.

However as I got the tempature to increase I noticed Beebz began migrating down lower and lower until he was spending most of his time "basking" on the 95 degree section of shelf liner in front of his basking decor. He would even gape there.

I moved one of the lights away which dropped his temps around 5-8 degrees and now he is back to basking on the lower section of his decor which runs about 95-100f. He will gape there. He has access to a higher step that runs 100-103 but rarely hangs out there.

Should I leave the temps lower and figure he his behavior is showing me the current temperatures are correct. Or should I still aim for 105-110 in case he changes his mind about using the higher temps?
You only need the surface basking temps under the light itself 105-110 - ambient temp around the area can be around 100 or 95 as he is seaking that out - 3 100 watt bulbs is too much
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I always recommend having a gradient in you basking temp as well as an overall gradient end to end. Leave the option for the hotter temp but give him a couple other options also, as you've discovered they will pick the temp that makes them happy. As long as he doesn't start passing undigested food and poops normal it's all good.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Should I leave the temps lower and figure he his behavior is showing me the current temperatures are correct. Or should I still aim for 105-110 in case he changes his mind about using the higher temps?
Id keep it at the 105 range and let him pick. It's always best to give them options. Give him the option to bask at 105-110, but let him bask at a site that is lower if that's what he wants. He knows what is best for him more so than we do. A lot of times, owners forget that fact.

300w of heat is a lot though. I'd look into better insulating your enclosure or using a different type of bulb/dome.

3 100 watt bulbs is too much
300 watts of heating isn't too much perse, if it's providing you the temperatures that you need, but it is most likely an indicator that you could do something more efficient.
Assuming your kwh cost is 15 cents per hour, you're spending almost $17 a month just on your heat bulbs. If you were able to find a way to make a 75w bulb work, you'd be spending just over $4 a month on the heating.

In winter, I use a single 75w bulb in my 4x2x2s and in summer drop it down to around 40w

-Brandon
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
You only need the surface basking temps under the light itself 105-110 - ambient temp around the area can be around 100 or 95 as he is seaking that out - 3 100 watt bulbs is too much
I would've thought 300w was too much but it's what was required to get any area to stay over 105f consistently.

20230329_144753.jpg

This is a picture of my setup, and that probe was there for 20min. That was before I swapped the last 75w bulb for a 3rd 100w
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
I always recommend having a gradient in you basking temp as well as an overall gradient end to end. Leave the option for the hotter temp but give him a couple other options also, as you've discovered they will pick the temp that makes them happy. As long as he doesn't start passing undigested food and poops normal it's all good.
Ok, part of my concern is as he moves down in tempature he's being driven further from his uvb light.
20230327_130103.jpg

I'm planning on giving him a hammock climb along the back wall so he has cooler uvb options but I haven't been able to get it rigged up yet.

I'm also a little paranoid I'll cook the uvb strip having 300w shining right past it.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
This is a picture of my setup, and that probe was there for 20min.
It's more than likely going to be a product of your domes. Those domes because of how they are shaped direct all of the bulbs heat into a very small spot. A wider flared dome will do better at spreading the heat and not creating such a hot spot.

If you go to your home improvement store / feed store, or look on amazon for Clamp on Brooder lamps, you'll see the shape that is better suited for our application. They are pretty cheap too when compared to pet branded ones.

-Brandon
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
Id keep it at the 105 range and let him pick. It's always best to give them options. Give him the option to bask at 105-110, but let him bask at a site that is lower if that's what he wants. He knows what is best for him more so than we do. A lot of times, owners forget that fact.

300w of heat is a lot though. I'd look into better insulating your enclosure or using a different type of bulb/dome.


300 watts of heating isn't too much perse, if it's providing you the temperatures that you need, but it is most likely an indicator that you could do something more efficient.
Assuming your kwh cost is 15 cents per hour, you're spending almost $17 a month just on your heat bulbs. If you were able to find a way to make a 75w bulb work, you'd be spending just over $4 a month on the heating.

In winter, I use a single 75w bulb in my 4x2x2s and in summer drop it down to around 40w

-Brandon
Yeah I have another bulb coming to try. I'm trying to avoid dropping the light into the enclosure or restricting airflow by covering the mesh but I may have to be less stubborn and sacrifice one of those objectives.
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
It's more than likely going to be a product of your domes. Those domes because of how they are shaped direct all of the bulbs heat into a very small spot. A wider flared dome will do better at spreading the heat and not creating such a hot spot.

If you go to your home improvement store / feed store, or look on amazon for Clamp on Brooder lamps, you'll see the shape that is better suited for our application. They are pretty cheap too when compared to pet branded ones.

-Brandon
I have one in that style as well but the bulbs stick out the bottom. I have a lampstand and safety cage for the dome but I figured raising it would definitely be less efficient. I'll give it a shot though if you think it'll deliver more heat even a few inches higher.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Most of the brooder lamps should be able to accommodate a basking bulb and sit flat. You are right though, if you have to suspend it or raise it, heat will be lost.

The good thing though, once you figure out what works for you, you don't need to worry about it anymore. It's always the initial setup that is the headache.

-Brandon
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
Most of the brooder lamps should be able to accommodate a basking bulb and sit flat. You are right though, if you have to suspend it or raise it, heat will be lost.

The good thing though, once you figure out what works for you, you don't need to worry about it anymore. It's always the initial setup that is the headache.

-Brandon
Hmm, this is the one I have:
20230330_183211.jpg

I actually used it for my chicks. I thought it was typical for the bulb to protrude as the guard is pretty much required so you don't end up igniting wood shavings if it falls in your brooder.

I might could get a smaller bulb that would fit like a dome shaped halogen, but those things have thier own reflectors to focus the beam.

Do you have a link or brand bane of one that accommodates an A22 bulb without overhang?
 

Axil

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Beebz
So I swapped my double-dome for my brooder dome and loaded in a Phillips 100w PAR38 Clear Infrared Halogen. This raised my temps across the entire basking area to 108-110. Using half the wattage.
20230331_164805.jpg


The bulb does still stick out of the brooder lamp but only about a half inch, way less than the a22 type bulbs.

Thanks to @Claudiusx for pointing me in this direction. I definitely did not expect a more than 100% increase in efficiency.
 

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