Time for upgrade! Tell me about yours!

Mattie V

Member
Hello! So I'm learning daily about my beardie. He's growing great and very friendly now. However he's about 4 months. He's currently in a 20 long I had for my daughter's leapord gecko. I know I need to upgrade but do not want to spend 1k on a tank.

Where did yall get your enclosures? How much did it cost and do I absolutely have to have a 120 gallon?? I'm thinking 40 may be too small as I have a ball python in one and see the comparison. I'm thinking about meeting in the middle. Also pretty sure our beardie is a male as there are obvious hemipenal bulges.

Thanks in advance!
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
40g breeders (36x18x18) are considered the minimum for an adult dragon. 4'x2'x2' is a size most end up going with.

I've always either used 40g breeder tanks (can be found on sale at petstores for 40-60 bucks) or i've made my own 4x2x2s (or similar sized)

If you want to buy a 4x2x2, the zen habitats are popular.

-Brandon
 

Mattie V

Member
Original Poster
I'm not cable of making my own lol but that's awesome! Thanks for the response. I looked up the zen habitat and it's very nice option!

I will need to upgrade the lighting. What do you use for the uvb and basking for that size? Also will the uvb need to be installed inside or above? Also as far as climbs, what are the best/safest options? I will need to replace everything with the upgrade. Thanks
 

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
I have a Zen 4x2x2. It's great, lightweight, sturdy and easy to keep clean. I got a 48" ZooMed T5 fixture that sits on top of the screen because it doesn't fit inside. I would actually recommend a 24" or 36" fixture mounted inside instead. Best fixtures and bulbs come from either ZooMed (Reptisun) or Arcadia. The ZooMed fixture comes with a 5.0 bulb, but you want either the 10.0 bulb or Arcadia 12%. Distance inside the tank for those would be 12"-15" above the basking spot. I just switched to the 14% bulb personally because it is on top of the screen, but under the screen that one would be a little strong with a recommended distance of 18-24. Doesn't leave much for the poor guy to get away from it if needed.

Basking light is just trial and error to get the correct temps. I use an 80W deep heat projector for the main basking spot and a 100W ExoTerra intense basking for a secondary spot in the middle. Before that I was using a 150W basking light over the main spot and a 150W CHE in the middle that was used as needed to increase ambient temps.
 

Mattie V

Member
Original Poster
I have a Zen 4x2x2. It's great, lightweight, sturdy and easy to keep clean. I got a 48" ZooMed T5 fixture that sits on top of the screen because it doesn't fit inside. I would actually recommend a 24" or 36" fixture mounted inside instead. Best fixtures and bulbs come from either ZooMed (Reptisun) or Arcadia. The ZooMed fixture comes with a 5.0 bulb, but you want either the 10.0 bulb or Arcadia 12%. Distance inside the tank for those would be 12"-15" above the basking spot. I just switched to the 14% bulb personally because it is on top of the screen, but under the screen that one would be a little strong with a recommended distance of 18-24. Doesn't leave much for the poor guy to get away from it if needed.

Basking light is just trial and error to get the correct temps. I use an 80W deep heat projector for the main basking spot and a 100W ExoTerra intense basking for a secondary spot in the middle. Before that I was using a 150W basking light over the main spot and a 150W CHE in the middle that was used as needed to increase ambient temps.
Thanks for the info. The lighting suggestions sound good. I didn't think about the possibility of needed two different heat lights to accommodate the size.

What do you use for the basking spot? Should I do stone? If so what kind?

Also is the inside of the zen habitat easy to clean since it's wood? I'm using vinegar/water now for the glass tank to clean. For my python I use chlorhexadine to clean.
 

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
Thanks for the info. The lighting suggestions sound good. I didn't think about the possibility of needed two different heat lights to accommodate the size.

What do you use for the basking spot? Should I do stone? If so what kind?

Also is the inside of the zen habitat easy to clean since it's wood? I'm using vinegar/water now for the glass tank to clean. For my python I use chlorhexadine to clean.
It's bamboo veneer over wood and very easy to clean. I have the Zen mat for substrate and just use disposable wipes that have the same ingredient as Wipe Out for spot cleaning and take everything out and use Wipe Out on the whole thing about once a month and disinfect the decor at the same time. I use like a molded plastic or resin cave for his basking spot. Doubles as a hide. I haven't used stone but I know a lot of people on here do. The only thing is to make sure your surface temps don't get too hot since it holds heat really well.
 

Jacqssss

Member
It's bamboo veneer over wood and very easy to clean. I have the Zen mat for substrate and just use disposable wipes that have the same ingredient as Wipe Out for spot cleaning and take everything out and use Wipe Out on the whole thing about once a month and disinfect the decor at the same time. I use like a molded plastic or resin cave for his basking spot. Doubles as a hide. I haven't used stone but I know a lot of people on here do. The only thing is to make sure your surface temps don't get too hot since it holds heat really well.
I'm not cable of making my own lol but that's awesome! Thanks for the response. I looked up the zen habitat and it's very nice option!

I will need to upgrade the lighting. What do you use for the uvb and basking for that size? Also will the uvb need to be installed inside or above? Also as far as climbs, what are the best/safest options? I will need to replace everything with the upgrade. Thanks
Hi there so I converted a 5x2x2 fish tank and made my own wooden lid and mounted his lights to the roof of wood and made him shelves and levels to climb on, under and put hammocks up and went to the local beck and got half a tree and cleaned it and same for his basking rocks and put them in also and now I'm looking for ideas to turn it into his forever home. Altogether costs 200.😉
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Zen Habitats are really popular I have 2 of them you can look here as well
www.dubiaroaches.com
www.carolinacages.com
 

Mattie V

Member
Original Poster
Hi there so I converted a 5x2x2 fish tank and made my own wooden lid and mounted his lights to the roof of wood and made him shelves and levels to climb on, under and put hammocks up and went to the local beck and got half a tree and cleaned it and same for his basking rocks and put them in also and now I'm looking for ideas to turn it into his forever home. Altogether costs 200.😉
Oh wow that sounds great! I ended up getting the zen habitats 4x2x2. He loves it but it is huge lol. I don't have the guts to use wood I find but really want to! How do you sterilize it? I'm about to go to an aquatic store that has a ton of affordable rocks, stones etc so would love to see others set ups!
 

Mattie V

Member
Original Poster
Zen Habitats are really popular I have 2 of them you can look here as well
www.dubiaroaches.com
www.carolinacages.com
I saw that tank today while looking up bugs to order. It is $250 which isnt too bad. I paid $400 for my guys zen habitat, which is steep but we really like it!
 

xp29

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
To sanitize wood from outdoors just bake it in the oven for an hour or so at like 250 degrees. Just make sure its in there long enough to get it to temp to the core. Also don't use pine or cedar they are toxic.
 

Rocky2022

Juvie Member
Beardie name(s)
Rocky
I too made this switch from a 40 g- no regrets for me or my beardie. I thought it would be too much but he adapted well. Some people use a divider in the middle if you find he has a hard time transitioning.
@smaugthebeardie3756 said, you have to figure out the light adjustment after the upgrade but it wasn't hard. @KarrieRee is the light expert so if there was no additional information- you are all set. I will say that Rocky act like I set him on fire when I moved the uvb light inside the enclosure. I wasn't sure if it was because he can see it. I tried a couple of times, used my temperature gun and worked to make sure he was okay.
As far as the basking light, that was easier for me - I still have a dimmer on it and I forget to cut it back up and it's too low in the mornings, Rocky will continuously look up at the light. This is my first beardie so I don't know if that's typical or not- (@xp29 may know) but I recommend paying attention to your beardie's behavior - any changes could indicate signs.
Best of luck and enjoy this journey! I appreciate you putting in the work and seeking assistance despite your knowledge of geckos or pythons!
I saw that tank today while looking up bugs to order. It is $250 which isnt too bad. I paid $400 for my guys zen habitat, which is steep but we really like it!
 

Mattie V

Member
Original Poster
I too made this switch from a 40 g- no regrets for me or my beardie. I thought it would be too much but he adapted well. Some people use a divider in the middle if you find he has a hard time transitioning.
@smaugthebeardie3756 said, you have to figure out the light adjustment after the upgrade but it wasn't hard. @KarrieRee is the light expert so if there was no additional information- you are all set. I will say that Rocky act like I set him on fire when I moved the uvb light inside the enclosure. I wasn't sure if it was because he can see it. I tried a couple of times, used my temperature gun and worked to make sure he was okay.
As far as the basking light, that was easier for me - I still have a dimmer on it and I forget to cut it back up and it's too low in the mornings, Rocky will continuously look up at the light. This is my first beardie so I don't know if that's typical or not- (@xp29 may know) but I recommend paying attention to your beardie's behavior - any changes could indicate signs.
Best of luck and enjoy this journey! I appreciate you putting in the work and seeking assistance despite your knowledge of geckos or pythons!
Thanks for the reply! It makes me sad to hear so many people get bearded dragons only for them not yo thrive because they don't get informed. This has definitely taught me a lot for sure!
My ball python is very easy compared to my beardie. Just keeping them moisture right is the only struggle I had.
I put the light inside as KerrieRee suggested and he acts like hes being set on fire too lol. He seems to be getting more adjusted though. I also found out the hide I have for him is made of pine so I'm ditching that and looking for another. Trial and error, I will get there!
Thanks for the info!
Us beardie lovers are on a different level for sure!
 

Darwin Jr.

New member
Hello! So I'm learning daily about my beardie. He's growing great and very friendly now. However he's about 4 months. He's currently in a 20 long I had for my daughter's leapord gecko. I know I need to upgrade but do not want to spend 1k on a tank.

Where did yall get your enclosures? How much did it cost and do I absolutely have to have a 120 gallon?? I'm thinking 40 may be too small as I have a ball python in one and see the comparison. I'm thinking about meeting in the middle. Also pretty sure our beardie is a male as there are obvious hemipenal bulges.

Thanks in advance!
Reptilesupply.com
 

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