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HID vs Tube? Both?


So, I’m working on a 100 gal tank for my beardie when she’s older. For now she is in a 40 gal but is just 4 months old. She’s growing like a weed and has a 12% arcadia tube and 75w basking spot.
I got a seconhand 100gal melamine tank and I’m fixing it for her. However, the basking spot has a ballast system for a solar raptor HID (european brand, quite good from what’ve heard and quite expensive at that)

I was planning to mount my beardies arcadia tube inside. Should I use the HID instead? Can I use both or that will be too much uvb? I like that the basking spot already has a system in place. I would have to drill holes for the tube but that’s no problem.

Thanks! Both will be mounted inside the tank, no mesh. The tube would be at 4-5 inches from the beardie. The HID, the same distance, maybe more like 3-4 inchew but it’s a spot light so the area under it is smaller that the tube.

Anyone has a similar system? Opinions? Thanks a lot!


Staff member
I think your Arcadia will serve you well even in the new enclosure. A metal halide bulb can be quite powerful and it may be tough to balance the heat produced with the UVB output. Either way, I think that the distances you're planning for are much too close. A heat source should be at least 12'' or so above the main basking area. This is to keep it out of reach (prevent burn risk) and to increase the diameter of the basking zone in order to allow for even basking.

If your Arcadia 12% is a T5 bulb with a reflector, it should be about 12-14'' above the main basking area for optimal output. A T8 should be 6-8'' or so away, but A T5 is a much better fit for a 40g enclosure or larger. The basking light/heat source should be at least 12'' up, but the height and wattage really depends on the surface temperature readings so this can take some trial and error. The temps vary a lot between enclosures so you'll need to test it out and adjust based on the temp readings you get.

I find that metal halide and mercury vapor bulbs are best used for free roaming setups, or for very large enclosures because they can be quite powerful for a small space and the heat gradient is easier to maintain in a larger space.
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