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Old 05-07-2009, 05:39 PM
Pendragon Pendragon is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Lol, Hi mate, to be honest, and when I mean honest, I mean Brutally honest, most of the people that have posted on here so far have given good advice, but it is only the tip of the iceburg , so let me fill you in what you have to do to make your viv a beardie viv, because so far it's a bit crap, there I said it, I said I was going to be brutal
It is too tall, the uv tube is too far away, ceramics are bad, there are no/too few/poorly placed vents.

Ok, first off, I never recomend 24" tall vivs for beardies as they are too tall to heat and light properly with "standard" equipment, I am going to show you a picture of my setup, this is a 48"x18"x18", look at the way it is set up, check out the distance between the basking rock and bulb, (nine and a half inches), check out how close my chap can get to his uv tube, (two inches, 10% zoomed reptisun), check out the rocks, wood, climbing, and hiding places, check out the position of the stat probes. None of this has been done by accident, it is all by designe, at the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I have yet to see any other viv on this forum come anywhere close to being as well thought out as mine, it is as close to a perfect setup as you can get, with the equipment I have used. The reason I am labouring this point is because in the past I have gone into detail P.Ming people with the info I am about to give you, and then they go and do the complete opersit,

So Here we go;

Ok, now I am going to go into detail about the lighting and heating;

I had my viv up and running for about a month before I got my chap, so you should give yourself time to let the viv settle in. You want a 4x18x18 or a 4x2x18 viv, (6 sqr2 of floor space min.), You will need a spot light for heat, The trick here is to get the lowest watt bulb that will get the temps you want without the dimmer stat kicking in, have the stat as an emergency backup only, set the stat to kick in at 120f, the reason for this is beardies are sun worshipers, they like it bright, do not be tempted to use, ceramic, moonlight, or red/infra red bulbs. You want to place the spot light holder dead centre of the ceiling and a quarter of the way along, have a gap of around nine and a half inches between the bulb and the basking rock/log. what you are looking to do is create a basking area of around 115f at one end, this should give you a temp. Of around 80f at the other end.

You shouldn't need any heat at night as long as the temp. Doesnt drop below 60f for any length of time. If the temps do drop below that in your home then you might think of putting in another ceramic holder with a ceramic heater in at the cool end to come on at night, if you do this you will need a second stat, or if you think this might be needed in the future you could get a day/night dimmer stat now, they're about a tenner more than a normal stat.

Ok, if you're still awake we'll continue, place the probe for the stat about a quarter way along the viv from the cool end, against the back wall, and about an inch off the substrate, you do this because you need to control the temps. From the ground as this is where bds spend most of their time. if you are having night heat as well on a day/night stat then this will do for both heat sources, if you are going to use a second stat, (for the ceramic on it's own, use a pulse stat), then run the probe along side the other one. Place a digital thermometer in the basking spot, (use the probe as the temp will heat the L.E.D too much and it will become unreadable), turn on your spot, (should be on a timer to come on for about 14 hours in the summer, down to 10 hours min in the winter, there should be NO lights on at night), and adjust the dial on the stat until you get your temps right. Tip here is to set the stat to its max and leave it all day, if it can't get hot enough then put a bigger bulb in, but not so big as to have the dimmer stat permanently dimming the bulb. If it gets too hot turn down the dial 1/8 of a turn, and then leave it until the same time the next day. Keep adjusting until its holding around 115f; this might take a few days of playing around.

Now the UV. If you can, get the Reptisun 10.0%; otherwise go for the Arcadia 12%. You will need a 36" tube with the necessary starter, also fit a reflector as this doubles the UV output. Place The tube dead centre about 2/3 the way up off the floor on the back wall, place wood, rocks, anything he can climb on to get to within a couple of inches of the tube, don't worry if he can touch it, it won't harm him. I have wood placed in the middle and the hot end of the viv, this gives him the choice of where he can get his UV, and I think this is over looked by a lot of people.

Another method of lighting your viv is to use a starter unit that can take two tubes, use one set of sockets to power the 10% uvb tube as mentioned above. Use the other to power a 2% full spectrum tube placed on the roof of the viv. This full spectrum tube will add more light, and is believed to make your beardie more active

Here are some links to a uv guide sheet, these are the three pages you want to read in full to get a basic understanding of why uvb is important, and why your beardie has to be close to his/her uvb light source.

Have a small water bowl in the cool end, to keep humidity down.

I sugest you read ALL the info on the uv guide wedsite, as there is a lot of good info.


What you use is your choice, as far as I know there is no scientific paper to suggest, tile, paper and lino are any better than, sand, wood, carpet. Etc.

Or is there...?

As for me I use sand. The benefits are good stability, kinder on feet and joints up to the shoulders and lets them dig. The only problem is, it needs changing about every 6 months to keep it fresh, some will say impaction is a problem but I can't see it, if we're talking about fit healthy dragons, kept properly without constipated guts already, then I cant see it being a problem, to be honest I don't think they are that clumsy, after all they've been living in arid conditions for 25,000,000 years, I think they might have adapted to their surroundings by now.

As for the rest, I think you can get too tied down with the whole impaction thing, and go overboard, I believe that all, and I mean all, other substrates can do more harm than good, if a beardie can get impaction from sand, then he can get it from woodchip and paper too (at least two topics recently on the subject), and both these have other problems too imo.

So that leaves hard surfaces, lino, tiles. Problems are; slippery, can't dig, bad body posture, long claws, so bad foot and toe posture. For rough surfaces miss out the long claws and slippery. Imo of course.

Now this could lead to joint and bone problems later in life, any vets here?

There are people on here that will say the outback is not all sand, it is hard compacted clay, this is not so, the outback is some 50x the area of England, (2,500,000 mile2, to 50,000 mile2.), out of that 70% is arid, semi-arid, and out of this 35% is desert, there are 11 deserts in total, (642,656 mile2), that is still 12x the total land mass of England, how many bds could you fit in there? The substrate you will not find in the outback is, lino, tiles, paper, or reptile carpet.

The point I am making here is that an animal that has lived in, and adapted to its environment over the last 25,000,000 years, might know a little bit about living on a loose substrate.

To be honest it's a mine field, tread carefully.

Feed your beardie in a tub,

Good luck, if you need more info on what I have said, P.M. me

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