UVB/UVA Light Fixture Sizing

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Hello all, trying to set up a new tank for my daughter for Christmas. I’m racking my brain about sizing of the lighting. Thankfully I found this forum before I purchased a “kit”. I’m all about doing it correctly now, as opposed to learning from a mistake. Tank purchased is the Exo Terra 36x18x18

#1) I will get the low profile T5 Reptisun hood. Do I get a 30” length with a 22” bulb mounted in tank or the 36” length with 34” bulb mounted on top since it probably is too long to go inside or... 30” on top since it’s a T5. Seen so many conversations of this topic but nothing that discusses length as proportioned with tank size/length.

#2) Dome sizes?? I thinking of purchasing 3 total. One for basking (not sure if I need a 6” deep mini or 8.5” deep) for this?) also not sure on what wattage to start with? Second (I’m guessing the smaller 6”deep) for a low watt bulb for extra lighting on cool side. Third, wire style for a CHE bulb (60 watt?) thinking of installing it on a monitored probe thermometer set at 65 degrees that I seen made by Zoo Med.

Excited for the day after Christmas when I get to take her to pick out her new beardie after she opens this! She’s been begging to get a dragon for months. A setup tank will be a huge surprise. Any insight would be appreciated, thanks.


I wish I had answers for you. Am posting because I'm interested in reading the replies and don't see how to "follow" a thread.

Your daughter is going to be sooo excited! Definitely take videos. :)


Juvie Member
For a 36" long terrarium, you should only need the 22" T5 Reptisun set in a 24" terrarium hood. T5 bulbs are also strong enough that they do not need to be installed inside of the enclosure, which is a nice convenience.

As for the domes, you should only need 1 large 8-10" dome. The basking bulb should be on the far left or right side of the terrarium (depending on where your basking spot will be), next to the Reptisun. For an 18" tall enclosure, you'll probably need a 75-100w halogen floodlight bulb to get the right temps, depending on the height of the basking spot and whether you plan to get an adult or baby beardie. If the cool end gets cooler than 75 degrees during the day or below 70 degrees at night, then you may need to use a CHE to boost temps.

I would check your plans for equipment with this bearded dragon care guide: https://www.reptifiles.com/bearded-dragon-care-packet/ It has a lot of product recommendations to help make setting up easier.
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