Mostly beardie newb


New member
I recently inherted a beardie we're guessing to be about 8 months old. I said no at first, but when it became clear they were moving out from their current apartment and the beardie would be left behind if I said no I had to say yes. We were then given a very scrawny and timid little guy and a broken tank filled with some weird yellow "sand." He now has a new 4x2x2 Zen Habitat (the same as our other beardie, more on that in a minute) and a new name: Rogelio. I took him to the vet two days ago and he has degenerative bone disease. They gave me suppliments ad he's shockingly easy to give them to him.

Now I need to figure out the best ligthing setup as I know what we have now isn't it. Our "free" lizard so far has an almost $800 price tag and is my office mate and little buddy and I just want him to be healthy (and maybe a little less bitey).

We do have another beardie in the house, a 4 year-old female that is a perfectly healthy little lump. She belongs to my oldest who did all her research on how to care for her and she's aleady helped me with his shedding, but ultimately he's mine to care for so I need to learn a lot quickly.


Sub-Adult Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Poor little guy. You already got a good reptile enclosure. Now what you need to learn is lighting. Heat and UVB. Enough heat and UVB are both needed to allow your bearded to absorb the supplemental calcium. Using a thermostat to regulate the heat, which should have a built in timer too, will automate lights on and off.

A HerpStat2 thermostat is generally good model. There are other brands. This is an added expense. Why I recommend the HerpStat2 or a similar product is because it can control 2 light sources, your heat bulb and UVB on the timer. It will dim the heat bulb to prevent overheating. The"2" in thermostats for reptiles denotes how many devices can be controlled. So it is not necessary to get a HerpStat4 unless you have 4 electronics to attach for example.

Does the zen habitats have a screen top? Off the top of my head that's what I recall. The screen will block some UVB light. Try an Arcadia T5 12% UVB tube light with reflector. Or Zoo Med Reptisun T5 HO 10.0. In UVB lights the "T5" is the most modern florescent tube technology, the circumference is 5cm which is how it was named. These new bulbs are smaller and brighter than T8 styles. I really recommend getting the strong UVB from Arcadia. 12% versus 10.0 both mean the percentage of UVB released from the bulb, 12% or 10%. The bulb should be about 2/3 the length of the enclosure, ***correction 32 inches*** length bulb for the Zen habitats.

Lighting with heat and UVB has a steep learning curve, but the health of your animal depends on it. It seems the first home failed to do this. I hope he can turn around. Getting the heat and UVB right also allows your bearded to act normal and express the full range of behaviors which make them such good companions

***I mathed wrong before the edit
Last edited:


Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
For that enclosure (same one I have), the 24" fixture would be sufficient or you can do the 36". I have a 48" which is fine, it just doesn't fit inside the enclosure so has to be set on top. With the screen top that comes with the Zen habitats, the T5 can be placed on top of the screen at a distance of 8-10" directly above the basking spot. If you put it inside, the distance increases to 12-15". Arcadia also makes a 14% bulb that has an effective distance of 12-16" on top of the screen or 18-24" unobstructed. I would recommend putting that one on top if you get it, it is a little powerful to go inside. Heating is much more trial and error finding the right wattage bulb to get your temps right. Basking spot surface temp should be 95-100, warm side ambient temps should be around 90 and cool side ambient should be around 80. Nighttime should be cooler, but no cooler than 65. Use a ceramic heat emitter or deep heat projector at night if your temps are too low as they don't emit any light and so won't disturb his sleep.

Also, welcome to the club! I'm glad this little guy is getting a good home with you!

Members online

No members online now.

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

The basking side of my tank isn't getting up to the suggested 100degrees. Does that mean I need to get a new basking light?
does her poop look healthy?
In your perspective does my baby bearded dragon look healthy or unhealthy? Does she look bloated? she is active and eats very well also she is in her basking spot all day
you know that feeling when you want to change your profile picture, but like you don’t want to lose the good one you have? That’s me, right now

Forum statistics

Latest member
Top Bottom