Enclosure ventilation help needed

GogiDragon

New member
Beardie name(s)
Gogi
Hello, everyone!

I recently got a bearded dragon from Petsmart. I know, I know... Petsmart. I was there getting supplies and I saw him. He was free as they had him for awhile and was getting to big. He seemed healthy and alert, so I took him home. He's been to the vet already, has a bit of tail rot I am treating with Batadine and neosporin as well as came with a small piece of toe missing. Petsmart told me about the toe but not the tail. Other than these things, he is doing great. Loves his veggies and eats a variety of insects of course. Is very handleable and not very skittish. Rarely spends time in hides, likes to be out in the open so I guess that means they are feeling safe in the enclosure.

I currently have him in a 40 gallon. I know its on the small end, but he's currently only 11 inches so we have some time for me to work on a permanent enclosure. Which brings us to the point of this post. Thanks for reading this far!

I am currently deciding between Toad Ranch and Blackbox. I like Blackbox because they have more of the configurations I want on their website such as UVB mounting and LED mounting. The UVB and LED mounts aren't really a big deal as I know I can do it myself. My issue is that I will be paying close to $1,000 on the enclosure with either company and at that amount, I don't want to have to do anything myself beyond the assembly or compromise on things "I can add later". Toad Ranch website says they don't install LED but I am waiting for response regarding UVB. I will be going bioactive, so LED is needed.

The thing currently stopping me from going with Blackbox is the location of the ventilation slits. They are are located in upper area of tank on the back middle and corner ends as well as on the side by the back corners. From what I'm reading about bioactive setups and airflow in general for bearded dragons, it seems that the better setup for vents would be to have some at the top and some at the bottom, preferably on sides the way that Toad Ranch does them. I also like the option to add an air vent fan that Toad Ranch has. It seems that the staggered side vents/air vent fan combo would be better for ventilation, humidity, and airflow for a bioactive setup.

As far as humidity. Currently, with the mesh in a 40 gallon humidity levels are 17.1% in basking area (106 F) and 36% in cool area (80.4 F). Middle of tank is 27.3% (90.1 F). Slightly cool in the cool area but in about an hour temps should raise about 5 degrees and stay there for the remainder of day. Temps and humidity are measured by Govee Hygrometer Thermometer devices (Shown in pic with yellow mat). I am curious if these are good for humidity or i I should get something with a probe.

Enclosure placement will most likely be near the window as it is now. The only other good place for it is by the radiator and I think temps would be better controlled if its by the window. Especially, sine the humans in the apartment get overheated thanks to radiator.

I don't know if I'm overthinking this but, in my mind, sticking the lil guy in a box with just a few slits for ventilation for up to 15 years doesn't seem like the best way to go. I realize that I can also eliminate this issue completely by opting for the screen top, but I think a solid top would make the lil guy feel more secure based on their current behavior in the 40 gallon with mesh top. I'm wondering if I am overthinking this or if I am misunderstanding how ventilation works with enclosures.

Anyone willing to chime in with an opinion on this? To sum up, what's the best way to ventilate an enclosure to promote optimum ventilation and airflow in a bioactive environment? The goal would be to promote health of the occupant, maintain temps, and maintain humidity while preventing mold and other issues that can arise with bioactive setups. I'm willing to invest the time and money to make sure I establish a good long term home.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hello, everyone!

I recently got a bearded dragon from Petsmart. I know, I know... Petsmart. I was there getting supplies and I saw him. He was free as they had him for awhile and was getting to big. He seemed healthy and alert, so I took him home. He's been to the vet already, has a bit of tail rot I am treating with Batadine and neosporin as well as came with a small piece of toe missing. Petsmart told me about the toe but not the tail. Other than these things, he is doing great. Loves his veggies and eats a variety of insects of course. Is very handleable and not very skittish. Rarely spends time in hides, likes to be out in the open so I guess that means they are feeling safe in the enclosure.

I currently have him in a 40 gallon. I know its on the small end, but he's currently only 11 inches so we have some time for me to work on a permanent enclosure. Which brings us to the point of this post. Thanks for reading this far!

I am currently deciding between Toad Ranch and Blackbox. I like Blackbox because they have more of the configurations I want on their website such as UVB mounting and LED mounting. The UVB and LED mounts aren't really a big deal as I know I can do it myself. My issue is that I will be paying close to $1,000 on the enclosure with either company and at that amount, I don't want to have to do anything myself beyond the assembly or compromise on things "I can add later". Toad Ranch website says they don't install LED but I am waiting for response regarding UVB. I will be going bioactive, so LED is needed.

The thing currently stopping me from going with Blackbox is the location of the ventilation slits. They are are located in upper area of tank on the back middle and corner ends as well as on the side by the back corners. From what I'm reading about bioactive setups and airflow in general for bearded dragons, it seems that the better setup for vents would be to have some at the top and some at the bottom, preferably on sides the way that Toad Ranch does them. I also like the option to add an air vent fan that Toad Ranch has. It seems that the staggered side vents/air vent fan combo would be better for ventilation, humidity, and airflow for a bioactive setup.

As far as humidity. Currently, with the mesh in a 40 gallon humidity levels are 17.1% in basking area (106 F) and 36% in cool area (80.4 F). Middle of tank is 27.3% (90.1 F). Slightly cool in the cool area but in about an hour temps should raise about 5 degrees and stay there for the remainder of day. Temps and humidity are measured by Govee Hygrometer Thermometer devices (Shown in pic with yellow mat). I am curious if these are good for humidity or i I should get something with a probe.

Enclosure placement will most likely be near the window as it is now. The only other good place for it is by the radiator and I think temps would be better controlled if its by the window. Especially, sine the humans in the apartment get overheated thanks to radiator.

I don't know if I'm overthinking this but, in my mind, sticking the lil guy in a box with just a few slits for ventilation for up to 15 years doesn't seem like the best way to go. I realize that I can also eliminate this issue completely by opting for the screen top, but I think a solid top would make the lil guy feel more secure based on their current behavior in the 40 gallon with mesh top. I'm wondering if I am overthinking this or if I am misunderstanding how ventilation works with enclosures.

Anyone willing to chime in with an opinion on this? To sum up, what's the best way to ventilate an enclosure to promote optimum ventilation and airflow in a bioactive environment? The goal would be to promote health of the occupant, maintain temps, and maintain humidity while preventing mold and other issues that can arise with bioactive setups. I'm willing to invest the time and money to make sure I establish a good long term home.
Try these websites
www.zen habitats.com I have 2 of them stainless steel screen on top w/ a bar running width wise for the UVB to hang from
www.dubiaroaches.com
www.symtonbsf.com
Main - Carolina Designer Dragons all glass I dont like the UVB / basking bulb connected together - hard to heat as they are all glass and heavy
Animal Plastics Cages and Racks no feed back from these
(no title) no feed back from these either
$1000 for a tank is ridiculous- please look at the websites I posted a lot of people on here have the Zens -
a digital probe thermometer and hygrometer is recommended for the tanks - Exo Terra makes the hygrometer I would go w/ NO combos for them - the hygrometer probe would go on the back center wall of the tank ---
@CooperDragon can help you w/ the ventilation questions
 
Beardie name(s)
Emeril
Dubia is a great website I agree, I get my feeders from them. Sorry i was thinking of replying to them....
www.zen habitats.com I have 2 of them stainless steel screen on top w/ a bar running width wise for the UVB to hang from
www.dubiaroaches.com
www.symtonbsf.com
Main - Carolina Designer Dragons all glass I dont like the UVB / basking bulb connected together - hard to heat as they are all glass and heavy
Animal Plastics Cages and Racks no feed back from these
(no title) no feed back from these either
$1000 for a tank is ridiculous- please look at the websites I posted a lot of people on here have the Zens -
a digital probe thermometer and hygrometer is recommended for the tanks - Exo Terra makes the hygrometer I would go w/ NO combos for them - the hygrometer probe would go on the back center wall of the tank ---
@CooperDragon can help you w/ the ventilation questions
 

GogiDragon

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Gogi
Thanks for the links.

I've actually visited all of these and more as I have been researching enclosure companies quite a bit as well as communicating with these companies.

I've settled on these two for reasons that make sense to me based on reviews, longevity, what I want in an enclosure, and how other factors. I'm sure plenty of people will have opinions on whether the cost investment is too much but you don't know my finances or other factors that went into this decision. So, while I appreciate your input. I'll be the one to determine value.

What I'm asking about is ventilation.

Thank you.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Thanks for the links.

I've actually visited all of these and more as I have been researching enclosure companies quite a bit as well as communicating with these companies.

I've settled on these two for reasons that make sense to me based on reviews, longevity, what I want in an enclosure, and how other factors. I'm sure plenty of people will have opinions on whether the cost investment is too much but you don't know my finances or other factors that went into this decision. So, while I appreciate your input. I'll be the one to determine value.

What I'm asking about is ventilation.

Thank you.
Ok I flagged your post to cooperdragon
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
To sum up, what's the best way to ventilate an enclosure to promote optimum ventilation and airflow in a bioactive environment?
By creating a convection. Vents high up on the hot side and low down on the cool side. Will naturally draw more airflow into the enclosure.

A screen top is a viable option too, but typically the larger enclosures won't use a screen top.

Both enclosures you posted look a little "light" on the ventilation. I'd be more inclined to add more ventilation slots to the enclosure as opposed to adding a small PC fan.

-Brandon
 
Last edited:

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
And since you specifically asked:

Temps and humidity are measured by Govee Hygrometer Thermometer devices (Shown in pic with yellow mat). I am curious if these are good for humidity or i I should get something with a probe.
Typically, humidity is a non-issue, despite what some might say. With bioactive (such as in your case) it's a bit more important mainly just for the health of your bioactive tank. The device you have right now is good enough for humidity measurements.

I can't tell from the picture (and without knowing the actual model of Govee you are using), but you want to make sure you are measuring your basking surface temperature with a thermometer that has a probe end. You want to be getting the basking surface temp, not the air temp.

-Brandon
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I'm glad he found his way to a good home with you. Dragons who are stuck in those big box stores deserve a happy life.

The toad ranch enclosure has the vents in more of a layout that I typically recommend which will allow more natural airflow via convection. I agree that they are a bit light on the vent area, though I don't see why you couldn't just drill additional vents into the sides as needed. I like having a mechanism like an iris that you can adjust to control airflow as needed. I probably wouldn't overthink it too much though.

My main issue is with the hard/set top that limits the height and your ability to easily adjust the lighting and temps. A bioactive setup will also take a bit more height away in order to provide for the layers you'll need to set up at the bottom. For this reason I tend to prefer either an open top or a tall enclosure. For the price you're paying, you would get a lot more bang for your buck building a custom enclosure, but I understand not wanting to wade into a project like that if you aren't ready.

It might be worth looking around for a second hand enclosure. Maybe something that is already custom built that you can use as-is or with slight modifications. I'd keep your options open since you have a bit of time and the 40g you have set up looks good.
 

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