Lighting and heating questions


New member
I just got my first bearded dragon today. I Bought a 40 Gal tank. The Zilla Slimline Desert 50 UVB T8 Fluorescent Fixture for my light and the Zoo Med Repticare 100 Watt Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter. I also bought and under tank heater. The cool side of my tank where the light is stays about 80 degrees and 35-40 percent humidity, on the hot side where the CHU is it gets between 95 and 100 degrees and 20 to 30 percent humidity. Is this acceptable or do I need to change my setup. I also have thermometers and humidity gauges on both sides of my tank to monitor my cool side and hot side. Any help or tips would be much appreciated. :D

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
Welcome to the forum! With a 40g enclosure, the T8 may be a bit too weak for UVB. Do be sure to remove the clear plastic that is in front of the bulb on that fixture because it will intercept all of the UVB. Then it should sit about 6-8'' above the main basking area for optimal output. I would consider moving to a T5 Arcadia Pro 24'' or 36'' for an enclosure that size (and larger) in the long run).

Your CHE is good for overnight heat if needed (if the enclosure goes below about 65 overnight) but for basking you'll want to use a bright white bulb. Halogen flood lights work well. I use either PAR38 or BR40 flood lights from the hardware store which produce bright light and heat. When combined over the basking area with UVB, it helps imitate natural sunlight fairly well. Dragons like it warm and bright =). Shoot for surface temps of about 95-105 in the basking area with cooler spots around that. Down to about 75-80 or so on the cool side during the day and between about 65-75 overnight.


New member
Original Poster
Awesome thank you for that info. I am looking at the t5 and it has 3 options for bulbs. 14% dragon, 12% desert and 6% forest. I am guessing either the 14 or the 12 is what I should get? my tank is 36x18x16. And I will also pick up a basking bulb like you recommended as well.

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
I use a 12% in a tank that size and it works well. The 14% is a good bulb but better suited for a taller enclosure.

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