Lighting/heat/setup advice

Hello-I've got some lighting/heat questions regarding our current setup. Advice would be greatly appreciated!

We've got a 13-14 month old beardie. Currently he lives in a ReptiZoo 120 gallon 48" x 24" x 24" tank with the black back and sides. We have the Carolina Custom Cages 34" T5HO UVB +Double GU10 Basking light fixture, which has a Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 uvb T5HO 39W 34" tube and 2 of the 75w arcadia bulbs for basking in that fixture. We also have an Arcadia deep heat projector sitting on top of the mesh for cooler nights if needed.

Recently he started having digestive issues and has started glass surfing. It was recommended that we lower the fixture (it was really high in the tank at 18"). I just want to get his temps right and there's so much conflicting info out there. I have been using a Carolina Customs IR temp gun as well as a ZooMed probe. The probe seems to take forever and the screen on it acts crazy at times. The difference between the probe and gun is significant at times and it's hard to tell what's correct. Does anyone have a probe that they could recommend?

Trying to cover his reflection on the black glass has been difficult to put it mildly-any advice on that would also be great if anyone has ideas.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hello-I've got some lighting/heat questions regarding our current setup. Advice would be greatly appreciated!

We've got a 13-14 month old beardie. Currently he lives in a ReptiZoo 120 gallon 48" x 24" x 24" tank with the black back and sides. We have the Carolina Custom Cages 34" T5HO UVB +Double GU10 Basking light fixture, which has a Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 uvb T5HO 39W 34" tube and 2 of the 75w arcadia bulbs for basking in that fixture. We also have an Arcadia deep heat projector sitting on top of the mesh for cooler nights if needed.

Recently he started having digestive issues and has started glass surfing. It was recommended that we lower the fixture (it was really high in the tank at 18"). I just want to get his temps right and there's so much conflicting info out there. I have been using a Carolina Customs IR temp gun as well as a ZooMed probe. The probe seems to take forever and the screen on it acts crazy at times. The difference between the probe and gun is significant at times and it's hard to tell what's correct. Does anyone have a probe that they could recommend?

Trying to cover his reflection on the black glass has been difficult to put it mildly-any advice on that would also be great if anyone has ideas.
The set up sounds good distance for the UVB should be 12-15 inches directly over a piece of basking decor- the Zoo Med should be good for temps most on here use those - try changing out the battery if you think its wonky or go get another one - I have two in my 120 gallon tanks - one for the basking side and one for the cool side of the tank - they are the most accurate - temps for him / her should be 95-100 -- it should take about 10 minutes to get a surface basking temp -- I also use the IR gun as well but go by my probes - you can use magazine pages - construction paper - xmas paper on the outside of the tank to get rid of the reflection - digestive issues is going to be improper surface basking temps -- are you getting undigested bugs?
 

Lumber girl

Member
Original Poster
The set up sounds good distance for the UVB should be 12-15 inches directly over a piece of basking decor- the Zoo Med should be good for temps most on here use those - try changing out the battery if you think its wonky or go get another one - I have two in my 120 gallon tanks - one for the basking side and one for the cool side of the tank - they are the most accurate - temps for him / her should be 95-100 -- it should take about 10 minutes to get a surface basking temp -- I also use the IR gun as well but go by my probes - you can use magazine pages - construction paper - xmas paper on the outside of the tank to get rid of the reflection - digestive issues is going to be improper surface basking temps -- are you getting undigested bugs?
Hi! Thank you for responding. You answered to my post yesterday and we did change the height of the light fixture. It's now 13" from the bulbs to the surface of his basking rock. Are rocks really safe to use? I worry about him being burned. It's just a piece of natural sandstone, not one of those electric ones.

I'll have to recheck temperatures tomorrow and be sure it doesn't need more adjusting. He's sleeping and everything is off for the night. I did change the battery and it still acted the same so I'll need to get new ones.

When I took him out this morning before lowering the fixture, I put him in his old tank, which is a 40 gallon breeder. I still had the old uvb bulb and fixture, so we had that on him even though it's a combo bulb and he did manage to poop after being in there for about an hour-but still no appetite. He has a vet appointment Tuesday that I made before discovering this site. (I was freaking out) Hopefully things will be cleared up from the lighting changes.

The UVB bulb is about 6 months old-is it time to get a new one? I have some of those uv sensor cards for checking lamps, but I honestly don't know how reliable they are.

The sides and back of his tank are black and can't be seen through, so unfortunately the usual backgrounds aren't able to be used. I've not been successful in finding backgrounds that would stick on the inside and new facing the right way 🤦🏼‍♀️ My kid picked the black sided one and we didn't realize how challenging this might be
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hi! Thank you for responding. You answered to my post yesterday and we did change the height of the light fixture. It's now 13" from the bulbs to the surface of his basking rock. Are rocks really safe to use? I worry about him being burned. It's just a piece of natural sandstone, not one of those electric ones.

I'll have to recheck temperatures tomorrow and be sure it doesn't need more adjusting. He's sleeping and everything is off for the night. I did change the battery and it still acted the same so I'll need to get new ones.

When I took him out this morning before lowering the fixture, I put him in his old tank, which is a 40 gallon breeder. I still had the old uvb bulb and fixture, so we had that on him even though it's a combo bulb and he did manage to poop after being in there for about an hour-but still no appetite. He has a vet appointment Tuesday that I made before discovering this site. (I was freaking out) Hopefully things will be cleared up from the lighting changes.

The UVB bulb is about 6 months old-is it time to get a new one? I have some of those uv sensor cards for checking lamps, but I honestly don't know how reliable they are.

The sides and back of his tank are black and can't be seen through, so unfortunately the usual backgrounds aren't able to be used. I've not been successful in finding backgrounds that would stick on the inside and new facing the right way 🤦🏼‍♀️ My kid picked the black sided one and we didn't realize how challenging this might be
Uvb needs to be changed out at 10-11 months - those sensor cards are unreliable - get your probes and get your surface basking temps-- sandstone rocks can get hot so watch your temps on those and the IR gun may be off w/ that material - are you getting undigested bugs? As far as the reflection is he still getting the reflection? Please post a pic of the tank
 

Lumber girl

Member
Original Poster
So I replaced the wonky temperature probe and had to adjust all the lighting again. It was too hot. Now we've got these readings:

Cool side 78.3⁰F

Warm area 86.2⁰F

Basking area 110⁰F

I've attached a picture-don't mind the little bit of a mess where he ran through the salad (still not eating anything). I'll offer him more salad and crickets today, but I might feed him some repashy beardie buffet as a slurry with a syringe if he's still not showing interest. I did this a few days ago and can say this stuff smells so bad from going in to coming out the other end. That's black construction paper around the sides and back where the glare was causing behavior issues. Not sure what else to do about that. I did reach out to the manufacturer and can buy clear panes to replace the black sides and back but it's pricey...

I decided to not have the sandstone rock in there any more. It was getting too hot. The log-type hide (bigger one in the pic) was reaching 125⁰F under the basking bulbs, so the small one that's actually wood is under the basking bulbs now. I can't move the light fixture much higher so it's not too hot, and we really can't put any taller basking furniture in without it being far too warm. I assume this is where we would get lower wattage basking bulbs? There are two 75w arcadia bulbs in there now.

Any suggestions on what to ask the vet when we go on Tuesday? I've never been to an exotics/herp vet so I have no clue what to expect. I also had no clue that it's so hard to find someone who will take an animal for a first visit as a sick visit.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
So I replaced the wonky temperature probe and had to adjust all the lighting again. It was too hot. Now we've got these readings:

Cool side 78.3⁰F

Warm area 86.2⁰F

Basking area 110⁰F

I've attached a picture-don't mind the little bit of a mess where he ran through the salad (still not eating anything). I'll offer him more salad and crickets today, but I might feed him some repashy beardie buffet as a slurry with a syringe if he's still not showing interest. I did this a few days ago and can say this stuff smells so bad from going in to coming out the other end. That's black construction paper around the sides and back where the glare was causing behavior issues. Not sure what else to do about that. I did reach out to the manufacturer and can buy clear panes to replace the black sides and back but it's pricey...

I decided to not have the sandstone rock in there any more. It was getting too hot. The log-type hide (bigger one in the pic) was reaching 125⁰F under the basking bulbs, so the small one that's actually wood is under the basking bulbs now. I can't move the light fixture much higher so it's not too hot, and we really can't put any taller basking furniture in without it being far too warm. I assume this is where we would get lower wattage basking bulbs? There are two 75w arcadia bulbs in there now.

Any suggestions on what to ask the vet when we go on Tuesday? I've never been to an exotics/herp vet so I have no clue what to expect. I also had no clue that it's so hard to find someone who will take an animal for a first visit as a sick visit.
Ok 110 is still too hot please get a lower wattage like a 50 watt you want it down to 95-100 - how long is he sitting there to bask at that temp? How far is the uvb to the decor he's sitting on? You want it 12-15 inches directly under the uvb - No enemas- please-- take a fecal w/ you - get copies of all your test done - why are you taking him in?
 

Lumber girl

Member
Original Poster
Ok 110 is still too hot please get a lower wattage like a 50 watt you want it down to 95-100 - how long is he sitting there to bask at that temp? How far is the uvb to the decor he's sitting on? You want it 12-15 inches directly under the uvb - No enemas- please-- take a fecal w/ you - get copies of all your test done - why are you taking him in he's
 

Lumber girl

Member
Original Poster
I didn't see him basking at all and decided to check the temperature again-the probe read 123! I am headed out to get two 50w bulbs and hope to get it closer to where he needs.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there , he looks very healthy and your set up looks good. He'll feel better after you get the temps. under control. If he was too hot it could have caused the digestive issues sand lack of appetite. Make sure to keep him hydrated, he should be fine.
 

Lumber girl

Member
Original Poster
Thank you for all the replies. At this point I think we've got his basking spot stabilized. It's at 95.7⁰ and he's in it but looking sleepy and his beard is darker than usual. Is that to be expected? The light had to be moved higher and dropped to a single 50w bulb (from the two 75w) to make it work. Not sure if this is ok or if the basking bulbs need to be closer?

Vet appointment tomorrow. I made the appointment because he wasn't eating (and still isn't unless given something in a syringe-its been about a week since he really had an appetite), glass surfing, not pooping, just generally seems not himself. This is our first reptile and I may have overreacted with making the appointment. Is this normal for beardies? The vet had me pay for the office call already since they have a lot of people who don't show up, so we're keeping the appointment. Got a 45 minute drive each way for this. First trip in the car for him so hopefully he does well.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Thank you for all the replies. At this point I think we've got his basking spot stabilized. It's at 95.7⁰ and he's in it but looking sleepy and his beard is darker than usual. Is that to be expected? The light had to be moved higher and dropped to a single 50w bulb (from the two 75w) to make it work. Not sure if this is ok or if the basking bulbs need to be closer?

Vet appointment tomorrow. I made the appointment because he wasn't eating (and still isn't unless given something in a syringe-its been about a week since he really had an appetite), glass surfing, not pooping, just generally seems not himself. This is our first reptile and I may have overreacted with making the appointment. Is this normal for beardies? The vet had me pay for the office call already since they have a lot of people who don't show up, so we're keeping the appointment. Got a 45 minute drive each way for this. First trip in the car for him so hopefully he does well.
What ever you have done DO NOT have a enema done---- my guess the basking temps have thrown his appetite off and all the changing around will effect his behavior as well ---
 

Lumber girl

Member
Original Poster
I read a lot of the posts on this forum about enemas. Scared me right away from that.

I forgot to mention he's got an area on his tail that doesn't look like any pictures of tail rot. He shed about 2 weeks ago, not sure if it's related. There was a piece of shed on it that fell off, and the tail hasn't gone back to its usual color. Another reason I wanted someone to take a look at him.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I read a lot of the posts on this forum about enemas. Scared me right away from that.

I forgot to mention he's got an area on his tail that doesn't look like any pictures of tail rot. He shed about 2 weeks ago, not sure if it's related. There was a piece of shed on it that fell off, and the tail hasn't gone back to its usual color. Another reason I wanted someone to take a look at him.
His tail is fine --- tail rot can be from a bite a pinch or a injury --- tail will get brittle and black --
 

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