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New owner feeling very overwhelmed

Hello,
As you can read from the header I'm new to this and have done so much reading my heads going to explode. My biggest hangup is lighting. Currently they are in a 20 and their 40 is on the way. Can someone please help explain the lighting set up for a 20g like I'm 5. For some odd reason it's just not clicking with me. I have a basking light but I don't need to buy the pet store ones? He has a normal bulb for light but I'm curious about the under cabinet light I can hang in the tank? If I got that would I still need the other bulb? Also what wattage? How do I know if it's right? I've also got a touch of newbie anxiety. If someone could also explain a normal week routine for a 2 month old beardie that would be amazing. I've read so many different opinions of how often for vitamins and calcium. I will add my beardie eats his greens no issue. Thank you in advance. Sorry this is long and probably explained poorly.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Welcome to the forum! There is certainly a lot of info to grasp at first, but you'll eventually get the hang of it and settle into a good routine. We'll do all we can to help out. The lighting can be especially confusing at first, and there are multiple good options to choose from.

In general, the goal is to imitate natural sunlight. That includes heat, bright visible light, and UVB. The heat and visible light typically comes from a basking bulb. As you said, these don't necessarily need to be from a pet store. You can use a halogen flood light or incandescent flood light from the hardware store as long as they're bright and put out the right amount of heat. This can take some trial and error at first, so don't get discouraged if it takes a bit of testing. The main thing is to get an accurate measurement of surface temperature. Use a digital thermometer with a probe and measure the basking surface. You want that to be around 100f or so. You can change this by using a different bulb wattage, or by raising/lowering the bulb. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo-med-digital-thermometer.html

The other component in this case is UVB. A 20g tank is very small, so it doesn't need a very intense light to achieve the appropriate amount. Since you are upgrading soon, I would keep that in mind and buy something that can be adjusted to the bigger tank more easily. For simplicity's sake, I would get a 24'' Zoomed T5 hood which usually ships with a ReptiSun 5.0 bulb. This should be just about right for a 20g so you can put that right on top of the tank next to the basking bulb. When you upgrade the tank, just upgrade the bulb to the ReptiSun 10.0 and that should compensate for the increased distance between basking site and bulb. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo-med-reptisun-t5-ho-terrarium-hood.html

Please let me know if this helps with getting you started and feel free to ask any further questions you have.
 

Scaredbunion

Member
Original Poster
CooperDragon":39gqh5uy said:
Welcome to the forum! There is certainly a lot of info to grasp at first, but you'll eventually get the hang of it and settle into a good routine. We'll do all we can to help out. The lighting can be especially confusing at first, and there are multiple good options to choose from.

In general, the goal is to imitate natural sunlight. That includes heat, bright visible light, and UVB. The heat and visible light typically comes from a basking bulb. As you said, these don't necessarily need to be from a pet store. You can use a halogen flood light or incandescent flood light from the hardware store as long as they're bright and put out the right amount of heat. This can take some trial and error at first, so don't get discouraged if it takes a bit of testing. The main thing is to get an accurate measurement of surface temperature. Use a digital thermometer with a probe and measure the basking surface. You want that to be around 100f or so. You can change this by using a different bulb wattage, or by raising/lowering the bulb. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo-med-digital-thermometer.html

The other component in this case is UVB. A 20g tank is very small, so it doesn't need a very intense light to achieve the appropriate amount. Since you are upgrading soon, I would keep that in mind and buy something that can be adjusted to the bigger tank more easily. For simplicity's sake, I would get a 24'' Zoomed T5 hood which usually ships with a ReptiSun 5.0 bulb. This should be just about right for a 20g so you can put that right on top of the tank next to the basking bulb. When you upgrade the tank, just upgrade the bulb to the ReptiSun 10.0 and that should compensate for the increased distance between basking site and bulb. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo-med-reptisun-t5-ho-terrarium-hood.html

Please let me know if this helps with getting you started and feel free to ask any further questions you have.


This was a huge help! Took a lot of my worries away and helped me make adjustments. Last question. I have a 55 gallon tank for him, when should I move him? I don't want to stress him out and move him too soon to such a large tank? Which lights will work with this tank? I got the bar light and currently have a 75 watt basking which you were right it ended up being perfect. 50 watt was only getting basking to 91 when I checked with the probe thermostat
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
75 watt for your 20 gallon should do the trick --- the UVB use the 5.0 bulb that comes w/ the Zoo Med fixture it will be perfect for the 20 gallon --- but you must have the fixture unobstructed for now - since its not as strong as the 10.0 bulb of which you will need to swap out when you move him to the 50 gallon tank - you can place the 24" fixture width wise on the tank at one end then butt your screen up to it and place the basking bulb next to it - you will need a piece of decor directly underneath it 6-8 inches -- make sure your getting your basking temps from a digital probe thermometer - basking temps for a baby 105-110--- it will be trial and error w/ the 50 gallon - I would start w/ a 100 watt go from there - how old is the dragon?
 

Scaredbunion

Member
Original Poster
KarrieRee":3icao8zg said:
75 watt for your 20 gallon should do the trick --- the UVB use the 5.0 bulb that comes w/ the Zoo Med fixture it will be perfect for the 20 gallon --- but you must have the fixture unobstructed for now - since its not as strong as the 10.0 bulb of which you will need to swap out when you move him to the 50 gallon tank - you can place the 24" fixture width wise on the tank at one end then butt your screen up to it and place the basking bulb next to it - you will need a piece of decor directly underneath it 6-8 inches -- make sure your getting your basking temps from a digital probe thermometer - basking temps for a baby 105-110--- it will be trial and error w/ the 50 gallon - I would start w/ a 100 watt go from there - how old is the dragon?


Okay, he's about 3 months. Since changing his basking he is eating really well and even likes his greens. I use a digital probe thermometer on his basking spot and on his cool side.
 
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