Xion's New Tank Construction

Shard

Member
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
I'm upgrading Xion's tank, so I'd like to document my progress here! I'm hoping it'll push me to complete it.
I do have chronic pain & fatigue so it might take a bit for the first few steps (I'll need the help of family) but as I already have the larger stuff I will get it done eventually. She's a bit small right now, but her current tank is a foot short so an upgrade is needed!

So let's see where I am right now!
1701916645296.jpg

...not much!

See I'm still in the process of unpacking a lot of boxes, so moving things out of this corner was a MUST. I am a lil worried about it being too small of an area but my family reassured me that it's large enough for the cabinet. Speaking of, that's one of the first two things to put together! First the cabinet, which the box is far too heavy for me to even budge 😅 After that, a pretty standard Dubia 4x2x2! (My mom saw it on sale for black friday and couldn't resist 🤣)
1701916847920.jpeg

I think every bearded dragon owner has seen this thing before...

After that I'd like to sculpt the interior - yes, sculpt! For years I've been inspired by foam carved backgrounds and interiors, and I've always wanted to give it a go! I'll have to wait until its put together to get a sense of scale, but I have a general theming I'd like to go for! Pardon me for being nerdy, but I did name my beardie Xion after all. I'd like to base the interior off of Destiny Islands from Kingdom Hearts!

1701917304457.jpg


Now, a couple issues off the bat. Let me clear that I'd rather go for my beardie's comfort over accuracy.
  • Water. WAAAY too much water for a beardie. The humidity would be THROUGH THE ROOF. I could put her water dish somewhere in there, but the majority of the water space would either need to be nixed entirely or just be foam/tile painted blue.
  • The islands are tropical while beardies live in a more arid environment. If I go the extra mile for plants, they'd have to be suitable for a bearded dragon.
  • The waterfall. AFAIK you can't have flowing water in bearded dragon tanks? I don't remember why, since I also remember they prefer drinking flowing water, but the construction and upkeep of a proper waterfall probably isn't worth just...either making a fake one or just omitting it entirely.
  • Since I'm going for a topsoil/play sand mix, there's no way the substrate's gonna be that light in color 🤣
  • I'm definitely going to need to play around with the scale and proportions to incorporate important structures (basking spot, hides, etc)
Something that'll definitely need to be scaled up is the paopu tree, the singular palm-like tree that grows over the edge of the smaller island
I'd like for it to be her basking spot as she'd spend a lot of time there, and in the games its a key spot where characters gather!
I'm not sure if I should start with a nice thick piece of wood or carve it from foam myself, as it'll likely need to be wiped down often (she seems to like pooping where she basks, and she makes a MESS. Which is also a reason I want to switch her basking spot to a branch of some kind, so she doesn't keep smearing it down a rock with all sorts of crevices I have to clean)
Either way I'd likely make that whole island have a taller base so that the "tree" would be closer to the light, and make the trunk nice and thick so she can securely pancake across it.

1701918119327.jpg


Two other parts I'm eyeing are the tree in the back with a path winding up it and the "secret place" behind the waterfall (hard to see in the pictures but it's a cave beside the water). With how much I already see her attempt to climb everything she might enjoy a background she can climb (as well as a potential hide location at the top if I want to be accurate), and the hidden cave is another potential spot for a hide (unfortunately despite its importance to the plot there's no reason to decorate in there 🤣 any cave is simply a cave to her)

I'm not sure if I want to go full bioactive or not yet. From what I've seen most people don't do that here. There's definitely a lot to consider for if I want to make everything accessible for weekly cleanings or have a whole little ecosystem with live plants and springtails & isopods - supposedly "self-cleaning" but needing a LOT of monitoring to make sure everything's going right!

Either way, this project is certainly ambitious but I'm willing to give it a shot!

I guess I'll open this up by asking if anyone has their favorite resources and/or supplies for anything mentioned here! I've been doing research myself, though with all the little variations I feel some opinions would help! I also tend to have gaps in my memory, so whenever I try to remember a list of supplies a couple things fall through. The first part will definitely be the hardest as I lack the physical strength to put together the cabinet by myself (Definitely going to be grabbing a second set of hands). Wish me luck!!
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
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Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
That should be fun and look great 👍 👌, can't wait to see the process and the finished product 😀
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Kingdom Hearts themed? Count me in!!

What an awesome idea, hopefully you can get it looking how you envision.

Since this thread is more a build thread, I'm going to move it to the DIY section where it fits better. Check out the other threads in the DIY section, you'll get lots of good tips and ideas to incorporate into your build.

-Brandon
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
It's been a busy 2 weeks, but we finally got the cabinet put in!
And hey, the colony fits inside! Ma said it wouldn't, lol
1703106920069.jpg

It was seriously a pain to get it in the corner like that (Couldn't go the other way, window in the way)
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Woah! A 4x2x2 is much larger in person than pictures & video made them look!
1703117779195.jpg

I haven't hammered in the top since I have a feeling once I put in the doors it'll be near impossible for me to get them out. I'm thinking it'll be easier to make the backdrop without doors in the way.

That was a lot of progress in one day lol
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Going to need to wait for various supplies to arrive so progress has been more focused on Xion right now and her poop problems. Thermometer arrived today & the CHE should be arriving soon!

Have a meme in the meantime :]
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Good! Let us know how the temperature turns out.

-Brandon
85F on the basking spot and 65F everywhere else 🤨
Hoping the CHE can bump that up, otherwise...I don't think the double 75watt bulbs are gonna cut it.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Did you leave the probe in place for 5-10 minutes to allow it to get an accurate temperature? Right on the basking spot?

If so, yes definitely low, and would be contributing to the poo issues.

You should be able to get by with one bulb, likely you are using the wrong type of bulb or it could be your fixture too. Can you post a picture of the fixture and what type of bulb you are using for heat?

-Brandon
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Did you leave the probe in place for 5-10 minutes to allow it to get an accurate temperature? Right on the basking spot?

If so, yes definitely low, and would be contributing to the poo issues.

You should be able to get by with one bulb, likely you are using the wrong type of bulb or it could be your fixture too. Can you post a picture of the fixture and what type of bulb you are using for heat?

-Brandon
When left in place it rose to about 89F
Unfortunately I can't find the box the bulbs came in but I took a picture of both.
1704308439774.jpg
1704308455916.jpg

The fixture allows the bulbs to be individually dimmed, however both have been cranked up all the way.

My mom has a habit of "doing her own research" and buying things without asking me about specifics, so I have no clue what site these came from.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Yeah, most likely the issue is going to be your fixture. Most heat lamp fixtures are domed to help direct the heat downwards towards what it's aimed at.

Unfortunately, you're going to either need to go back to the internet to buy some things, or to your local petstore or feed store.

You can buy a pretty cheap dome reflector fixture at most feed stores or even home improvement stores. They are sold for raising chickens, so they are pretty cheap. Or you can go to your local petstore and pick one up. It will make a big different. You can try the bulb you are already using in your new fixture, that might be enough heat. But if not, I'd look at a reptile basking bulb that still around 75 watts. You really should only need 1.

-Brandon
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Yeah, most likely the issue is going to be your fixture. Most heat lamp fixtures are domed to help direct the heat downwards towards what it's aimed at.

You can try the bulb you are already using in your new fixture, that might be enough heat. But if not, I'd look at a reptile basking bulb that still around 75 watts. You really should only need 1.

-Brandon
I was previously using a dome with a zoomed 75w, so I've swapped back to the dome with the new bulb to see if it makes any difference.
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
It's been over a month since I sent my mom a list of supplies, might need to take matters into my own hands and open art commissions or something. I usually don't since my health is unreliable but Xion's growing fast!
 

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