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Tortoise Man 24-08-2019 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by Azastral (Post 13313739)
You've bought a 4ft long viv, but its only just over a ft high?
Dude... you cant use that...

Honestly I am confused by the measurements, hopefully OP can clarify, I can't think of any tanks that are made at 4ft long but only 1ft high.

Tortoise Man 24-08-2019 07:40 PM


Originally Posted by Joey02 (Post 13313743)
The viv I ordered is 48″(L) 14.57″(D) 15.75″(H)

I plan on just getting a substrate from a local pet store just to keep things simple whilst starting out. I never considered depth. Would 1 inch be standard?

Would a patio slab be an option for a basking stone?

I dont mind going down the diy route but ill leave that to a later stage.

Honestly, that tank will not last long. It is generally advised to have several inches of a sand/soil mixture to allow the beardie to dig and burrow. Combine the actual depth of the bulb you'll be running it too close. A lower UV % bulb won't help with this too much.

Patio slabs are generally made out of concrete and aren't the most efficient. However if you can find a natural stone one that will be fine.

Part of the reason why it is recommended that 2ft depth is needed is to take into account substrate + decor + distance to bulb for both UVB and heat.

Sorry its not good news,

Joey02 24-08-2019 07:48 PM

So I have 2 options. Send the Vivarium back or choose a smaller reptile:blush:

Ill change the Vivarium. I wish I had of found this site before ordering the vivarium. Ok thanks for the info so far. Tortoise man the viv is this one ( large one )

Azastral 24-08-2019 08:20 PM

The viv you have ordered is more suited to a Leopard Gecko, its not big enough.

A Bearded dragon can easily reach 18 inch tail to snout, the viv is neither deep or high enough as a living space, please look at cancelling that order/returning it and buying one thats big enough fot he animal you want to put in it.
Try looking around a bit, a good site is for example.
Be warned, prices are going up, that same viv was £90 a few years back, so shop around.

Joey02 25-08-2019 01:45 AM

Azastral thanks a million. I just spent a few hours looking into a diy option but the vivarium u posted is a much better option. I'll return what I ordered and try go for the one you linked. I may as well get the lights from them also. I can't find info on oversea deliveries but heres hoping they deliver to Ireland

Azastral 25-08-2019 03:25 AM

Email and ask, there are places like swell reptiles and reptilecentre that are worth checking out delivery for a well.
Swell will charge extra (£6 NIRE £13IRE) but it looks like that per shipment, so if you were able to get several things its best to list everything before you buy anything specific.

Once you know the items you want even worth amazon i suppose, but compare prices. Their websites should say where they send to, or at least have an email you can ask.

Now is the time to plan and pick stuff, before you get the animal, so use that time to look around if you can. Even once its all in and setup, run the viv and check on temperatures and timers, it takes a few days to warm up properly and its easier to adjust stuff without an occupant, a lot easier.

Joey02 25-08-2019 02:24 PM

Ok have emails a few places and I am awaiting replies.

Is a thermostat controller a must have from the get go? Could someone explain the difference between a dimmer and pulse version? Which is better suited?

Tortoise Man 25-08-2019 02:37 PM


Originally Posted by Joey02 (Post 13313833)
Ok have emails a few places and I am awaiting replies.

Is a thermostat controller a must have from the get go? Could someone explain the difference between a dimmer and pulse version? Which is better suited?

Yes a thermostat controller is needed for any heating element going into the tank as it controls the element to make sure it doesn't overheat the enclosure and the animal. Also higher end ones have separate surge protection to help protect your electronics more from surges and prevents bulbs blowing more.

Thermostats come in three main variations. On/off, dimming or pulse. The all work based upon how the thermostat sends power from itself into the heating element to switch it on. Fairly obviously and on/off has two states it can switch the heating element, on or off. For a dimming it will allow a variable amount of voltage to pass through into the heating element so you would get the element turning on at different strengths, i.e. if the temperature is significantly over the target amount it will turn to 0%, if it is only slightly over it may reduce it down to 50%. Where as a pulse thermostat works by leaving the heating element on until it reaches the targeted temperature and will maintain this temperature by pulsing power into the heating element, turning it on and off rapidly.

Now each of the different variations will have different uses, for example you can't use a dimming thermostat with a combined heat and UVB lamp as UVB lamps need a high amount of energy to start the initial chain reaction and most reptile ones are not designed with a dimmable electronic ballast. But also heating elements that are designed to only have on or off states such as radiator style heating elements as they require cool down and heat up times.

Pulse thermostats can be generally attached to the types of heating elements that have only on or off states, but don't require cool down and heat up times so they can be more efficiently controlled. While you can use spot lamps and the likes on pulse thermostats, I would advise against it as the most stressful time for the bulb is turning it on and off, especially at higher temperatures. So by pulse power through you can significantly reduce the lifespan of the bulb, this is more apparent in cheaper or more poorly designed bulbs, like own-brands and Exoterras.

For the standard white spot lamp used for beardies it is best suggested to go for a dimmer thermostat as it prolongs the life of the bulb and can be more efficient. One thing to note is the fact that all thermostats measure air temperatures via their sensors and do not measure surface temperature. So while you are targeting the basking surface temperature of 45C, if you set up the thermostat to be 45C you will risk it going well above that temperature. Hence why it is best to pick up an IR temperature gun as well and in the set-up phase of the tank work out what the correct setting is for the thermostat in comparison to the surface temperature. In my old bearded dragon set-up it was set in its location for 22C and on the slate surfaces temperature went up to 46C.


Joey02 25-08-2019 02:47 PM

Thank you TM that explains thing better.

Joey02 25-08-2019 04:40 PM

A local place stocks this substrate

''Arcadia Reptile EarthMix Arid is a potent and eco-friendly, Bio-Active ready planting medium. It has been specifically formulated by the world’s leading reptile care and plant growth experts and contains organic compounds and worm manure to be easily assessable for plants of arid origin''

How much substrate will I need for a 4x2x2 foot Viv? They do a 10L bag

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