DIY Tank Decor


Juvie Member
I currently own a tank that's LxWxH 42x24x48 inches. It is split roughly in half with two levels. Unfortunately she primarily only uses the upper level and a middle level that splits the ramps due to the lower level not being as warm or decorated. I dont have any current pictures right now but the attached image is pre-decoration (wood is gone now).

I wanted to consider the bottom half being bioactive so she could have some enrichment/digging aside from her separate dig box, however this idea produced a number of obstacles.

First and foremost, the platforms currently in there are simply styrofoam with a thin layer of concrete and sealed with food grade water based sealant. It all needs replaced because its been tore up by running around. I need to figure out what material i will use as substrate in the top level because Id only have bioactive where its less of a mess on bottom.

The second predicament is figuring out a new ramp setup that can go from the bottom portion to the top without being too steep, additionally something i can firmly attach to the bottom so that digging around it doesnt cause it to fall.

The third obstacle is figuring out heat and UVB placement. I forgot that bioactive needs active UVB and only initially planned to move one of the two top heat bulbs to be located in the back right corner of the lower level so that she could not get to it from the ramps.

Lastly, I need to consider how I will give all four proper zones without placing anything how within reach. Zones being:
+heat +uvb
+heat -uvb
-heat +uvb
-heat -uvb

Currently the tank is split roughly into four quadrants to cover this. Ranging from 80C to 105C with or without UVB.

Suggestions appreciated... This is a last ditch call for help before giving up on the idea of utilizing bioactive and considering what else I can do overall for the entire tank to be utilized.


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CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
The quadrant idea is a good one and kind of imitates what Taterbug set up with a similarly tall enclosure. She had bioactive substrate at the bottom if I recall correctly. There was a heat bulb and UVB tube on the top shelf, and a heat bulb underneath the top shelf on one side that provided just heat. I've observed my dragon utilizing this option when available so I think it's a good idea to provide the zones as you've outlined. She used a large branch that went from bottom to top at an angle and allowed for relatively easy climbing between levels.


Juvie Member
Original Poster
How taterbug has it setup is sort of the idea I was going with as well. Heat and uvb on top shelf, second heat below top shelf. However with how my setup is, 0 UVB would make it from the top tube to the cuc/plants at the bottom.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
Depending on the plants, I'm not sure if that would be a problem. I'd probably give it a try. You might consider building in an extra socket so that you could put in a compact UVB light or perhaps hang a T8 or something like that if it does turn out to be a problem, but I'd try it out as-is first and see how it goes.


Juvie Member
Original Poster
Wouldn't the compact uvb be bad for the beardy? I was considering having a very short tube on the right side wall pointed outwards.

Just estimates based off of whay I know about the tank and bulbs I use... She would have basking spots (100-110F) on top and bottom right with uvb. The top and bottom left would be cooler at around 80-90F. Top left with uvb, bottom left without.

The other thing I forgot to mention is i wanted to have the top shelf come over to the left further so she doesnt have as much space to jump directly down. This would require a two part ramp like the current one to not be to steep.

Unsure how Ill end up designing these changes.

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