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-   -   Lighting & heating Bearded Dragon (https://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forums/lizards/1271357-lighting-heating-bearded-dragon.html)

Joey02 24-08-2019 01:42 PM

Lighting & heating Bearded Dragon
 
Hello all,


Im awaiting delivery of a vivarium (4 foot). I have read the sticky guide for bearded dragons but im still confused. I gather I need 3 different bulbs.



1, UVB tube type
2, Basking light
3, heating bulb for night time use


What wattage and UV % is recommended for a young Dragon? Different brands seem to have different rating systems.



I would prefer to buy a Kit so are there any places that sell a bearded dragon lighting and heating kit? If not how do I go about sizing up a bulb that fits its housing etc?


Lastly is it expected that you must drill out holes in a vivarium to fit these lights and heating bulbs. Its not an issue If I have to I just want to make sure its the done thing



Thanks all

Tortoise Man 24-08-2019 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey02 (Post 13313703)
Hello all,

Im awaiting delivery of a vivarium (4 foot). I have read the sticky guide for bearded dragons but im still confused. I gather I need 3 different bulbs.

1, UVB tube type
2, Basking light
3, heating bulb for night time use

What wattage and UV % is recommended for a young Dragon? Different brands seem to have different rating systems.

I would prefer to buy a Kit so are there any places that sell a bearded dragon lighting and heating kit? If not how do I go about sizing up a bulb that fits its housing etc?

Lastly is it expected that you must drill out holes in a vivarium to fit these lights and heating bulbs. Its not an issue If I have to I just want to make sure its the done thing

Thanks all

You will have to drill holes into the top panel of the vivarium in order to fix the holders in place, but most premade vivariums will have holes on the back to route cables through, just make sure there is enough space.

For heating, you only really need one bulb assuming both the room that the vivarium is in and the vivarium will not get too cold. You want a standard white spot lamp pointed onto a piece of natural rock, such as slate. This needs to be attached to a thermostat, the type is up to you, but dimming thermostats will increase the life span of the bulb compared to a standard on/off thermostat. If the tank itself gets too cold either during winter or at night you should supplement with a ceramic heat emitter or radiator to increase air temperatures during cold periods. Again should be attached to a thermostat, but this can be on a on/off thermostat.

You are aiming for a 45C surface basking temperature and as most thermostat work by measuring air temperature you need to get an IR temperature gun to measure accurately and then work out what setting you need to have the thermostat. A digital style thermometer should be positioned in the cool end to make sure temperatures don't drop below around 18C, if it does this is when you should supplement heating.


For normal bulb fitting, assuming in the UK, the most common type of fitting is the E27 fitting which is your standard screw fitting. Most holders designed for reptiles will be this standard fitting and will say on the product information what fitting it is. There isn't really any kits for heating bulbs as there are so many different options to have. For what wattage you need is really does depend on many factors, and you may have to play around with it, I think a good start is 100W. However if it can't get up to the correct temperature you would have to go up, and if seems to be always off drop the wattage down.



UVB tubes the best option is to look at the Arcadia T5 bulbs, they have a specific bulb that is 14% UV index for bearded dragons (and other desert species), the wattage will vary upon the length of the bulb. So for a 4ft enclosure you will be aiming for around a 24" bulb. These come in two all in one kits that will contain every apart from a timer, one slimline and one normal.

https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/arc...kit-dragon-14/
https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/sli...opy-14-dragon/


If you have any other questions, just ask

TM

Azastral 24-08-2019 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey02 (Post 13313703)
Hello all,


Im awaiting delivery of a vivarium (4 foot). I have read the sticky guide for bearded dragons but im still confused. I gather I need 3 different bulbs.

1, UVB tube type
2, Basking light
3, heating bulb for night time use

What wattage and UV % is recommended for a young Dragon? Different brands seem to have different rating systems.

I would prefer to buy a Kit so are there any places that sell a bearded dragon lighting and heating kit? If not how do I go about sizing up a bulb that fits its housing etc?
Lastly is it expected that you must drill out holes in a vivarium to fit these lights and heating bulbs. Its not an issue If I have to I just want to make sure its the done thing

Thanks all

You will need UV and a basking bulb, so TWO bulbs.
You would only need a third (which would be a ceramic) if the vivarium drops below 16c all the time during the night, which is very unlikely.
This would be in much colder climates and normally mean no central heating.
That third bulb then sets a base temperature during the night.

In a 4ft viv you will need a UV tube roughly two thirds the length of the viv and a basking bulb (which a wide variety of bulbs would suit).
How you setup the inside of the viv and the actual distance inside the viv from the bulb to the basking platform level and groud level is how you then choose which UV strength you need.

10.0 is a 10% bulb, the rating systems are all the same really, only a couple of companies have better tech bulbs and you then get 12% and 14% (12.0 and 14.0)

You can do witha 10.0 bulb, but it has to be positioned closer than what you want really.


This should tell you what strength/positioning you need:
https://www.arcadiareptile.com/light...l-sun-baskers/

4ft viv means you are unlikely to be able to fit a 14% as you wil not have the height, you are looking at a 12% T5 set at about 14/15 inches from basking, which should also then be several inches higher than ground level.

Joey02 24-08-2019 07:06 PM

Ok thats clears thing up for me. Thank you for the information. Im in Ireland so similar climate to the UK. So I really need to sort a basking platform before positioning the light.

Azastral 24-08-2019 07:21 PM

Firstly, you need to know the full dimensions of the viv, then you can plan how you are going to set it up.

Do you intend to use a substrate layer, if so, how thick.
Do you intend to put natural stone in, or cork, or branches ?(what do you want to use in the viv).

If you arent buying "kits" for the basking lamp and fixtures etc, you need to source parts.

The UV controllers/starters are complete things, and you just need to buy a bulb (no wiring etc to do). Its also advisable to buy a reflector for the bulb you get, so you get the most out of the bulb output.
You can buy "kits" to put the basking lamp in with, none are particularly great or cheap for what they are.
I did my own, at about half the price, but remember if you do this then the basking lamp will need a suitable socket (cant use plastic fittings, need ceramic/porcelain so they dont melt). Wire, plugs all pretty cheap from a diy store, you can buy ceramic/porcelain bulb sockets for a few quid.

Decide how youre gonna provide a platform (you can buy some things, again not cheapest option and also wont give biggest size either...) A lot of people look at making things out of plaster, kingspan, slate... all sorts.
I made basking areas out of natural slate tiles and also large flat rocks ive found. Eveen built platforms out of slate tiles broken up and glued together with aquarium silicon... lots of ways to do it.

Have a look in the habitat section on here.
And yes, Its unlikely you would need night time heating in ireland.

Joey02 24-08-2019 07:27 PM

The height of the vivarium is 14.5 inches. So would a 6% bulb suit better?

Tortoise Man 24-08-2019 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey02 (Post 13313733)
The height of the vivarium is 14.5 inches. So would a 6% bulb suit better?

What is the full dimensions of the tank, that sounds very shallow. No matter the bulb UV strength you want to be aiming for around 12"-18" distance between the bulb and the basking spot. You will struggle to achieve this when you include things like substrate and decor.

TM

Azastral 24-08-2019 07:30 PM

You've bought a 4ft long viv, but its only just over a ft high?
Dude... you cant use that...

Azastral 24-08-2019 07:34 PM

That isnt high enough to give anything for the animal to climb on, any kind of raised area or even to have the bulbs youll need for the basking temps, lot alone the UV...

Minimum size is 4ft long, 2ft deep 2ft high, this is not just for the floor space they need, but they instictively climb as well.

The viv choice is unsuitable, you need to look at changing it. It would last a young dragon up to about 3 months old before it then has issues with how shallow it is.

Joey02 24-08-2019 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Azastral (Post 13313731)
Firstly, you need to know the full dimensions of the viv, then you can plan how you are going to set it up.

Do you intend to use a substrate layer, if so, how thick.
Do you intend to put natural stone in, or cork, or branches ?(what do you want to use in the viv).

If you arent buying "kits" for the basking lamp and fixtures etc, you need to source parts.

The UV controllers/starters are complete things, and you just need to buy a bulb (no wiring etc to do). Its also advisable to buy a reflector for the bulb you get, so you get the most out of the bulb output.
You can buy "kits" to put the basking lamp in with, none are particularly great or cheap for what they are.
I did my own, at about half the price, but remember if you do this then the basking lamp will need a suitable socket (cant use plastic fittings, need ceramic/porcelain so they dont melt). Wire, plugs all pretty cheap from a diy store, you can buy ceramic/porcelain bulb sockets for a few quid.

Decide how youre gonna provide a platform (you can buy some things, again not cheapest option and also wont give biggest size either...) A lot of people look at making things out of plaster, kingspan, slate... all sorts.
I made basking areas out of natural slate tiles and also large flat rocks ive found. Eveen built platforms out of slate tiles broken up and glued together with aquarium silicon... lots of ways to do it.

Have a look in the habitat section on here.
And yes, Its unlikely you would need night time heating in ireland.




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.

Tortoise Man 24-08-2019 07:36 PM

Quote:

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

Quote:

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,
TM

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


https://www.pet-bliss.ie/product/sli...ium-small-2ft/ ( 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 provivs.co.uk

https://provivs.co.uk/120cm-x-60cm-x...m-4ft-73-p.asp 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

Quote:

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.

TM

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

Tortoise Man 25-08-2019 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey02 (Post 13313855)
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

Honestly I haven't bought reptile specific substrate ever for any of my animals. I use a mixture of organic topsoil and play sand, with the additive of crushed charcoal for bioactive tanks and orchid bark/spag moss in high humidity enclosures. Generally speaking it is 50/50 mix will do of soil to sand, but for a more desert species like bearded dragons i'd say up it to 60 sand/40 soil.

General rule of thumb when dealing with substrate 1000 litre is equal to 1 cubic meter. I.e. 1mx1mx1m. Now we don't need that much but we can use maths to work out how much we need. Assuming you are going for a standard enclosure they normally have a 10cm high front panel on the bottom so substrate depth goes up to that mark. 4ft into meters in 1.2m and 2ft is 60cm. So we have a volume to fill of 120cmx60cmx10cm which roughly 0.072 cubic metres. So you will need roughly 72L of substrate to fill the tank.

Now buying the Arcadia mix will cost you around £80, where as visit your local B&Q or equivalent and for two 25L bags of topsoil and three bags of 15kg soil will roughly come to £15.

Now if you do want to go for a bioactive enclosure with plants and a clean up crew. The addition of crushed charcoal will help supplement the clean up crew, and if you need additional drainage the addition of crushed pumice is perfect addition.

TM

Joey02 25-08-2019 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tortoise Man (Post 13313857)
Honestly I haven't bought reptile specific substrate ever for any of my animals. I use a mixture of organic topsoil and play sand, with the additive of crushed charcoal for bioactive tanks and orchid bark/spag moss in high humidity enclosures. Generally speaking it is 50/50 mix will do of soil to sand, but for a more desert species like bearded dragons i'd say up it to 60 sand/40 soil.

General rule of thumb when dealing with substrate 1000 litre is equal to 1 cubic meter. I.e. 1mx1mx1m. Now we don't need that much but we can use maths to work out how much we need. Assuming you are going for a standard enclosure they normally have a 10cm high front panel on the bottom so substrate depth goes up to that mark. 4ft into meters in 1.2m and 2ft is 60cm. So we have a volume to fill of 120cmx60cmx10cm which roughly 0.072 cubic metres. So you will need roughly 72L of substrate to fill the tank.

Now buying the Arcadia mix will cost you around £80, where as visit your local B&Q or equivalent and for two 25L bags of topsoil and three bags of 15kg soil will roughly come to £15.

Now if you do want to go for a bioactive enclosure with plants and a clean up crew. The addition of crushed charcoal will help supplement the clean up crew, and if you need additional drainage the addition of crushed pumice is perfect addition.

TM




Wow 72L is alot. Ill go the top soil and sand mix route. I understand that spot cleaning is needed when the dragon goes to the toilet but how often would you change the entire substrate?

Tortoise Man 25-08-2019 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey02 (Post 13313863)
Wow 72L is alot. Ill go the top soil and sand mix route. I understand that spot cleaning is needed when the dragon goes to the toilet but how often would you change the entire substrate?

If you go bio-active route it isn't that often, but just whenever the substrate is really bad, could be 3 months, or 6-12 months.

TM

Joey02 19-09-2019 12:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hello all. Just a little update. The viv arrived yesterday. I'll be collecting the dragon next week. I added my top soil and sand mix. I'm a little concerned on the dampness of it hence the fan running. How moist should the substrate be? It not dripping water or anything and it's not so dry as if it will flow through your fingers like sand on the beach. Is there a correct texture? It's a 35 litre bag if top soil and 25kg bag of sand. I might need to empty some out and add more sand.

Azastral 19-09-2019 02:11 PM

When you first put a substrate layer in (particularly homemixes) its often a bit more damp than it should be, and will take a few days of the viv running to bring it down.

Its good youve got a week to put it together, get the viv all setup and the substrate all patted down and let the viv run.
It will have a few days getting rid of the immediate moisture, and retain some underneath where its been compacted a bit, and then once thats done the viv will begin to settle over the next few days.

You occationally mist in the viv, so daily/every other day just to refresh it a bit, not soak it. and the basking lamp will then provide a drier area and theres a little humidity in the cool end, which should then also have shade and some hiding areas

Joey02 25-09-2019 03:17 PM

Ok I'm a little concerned. I picked up the baby bearded dragon a few days early. I have him/her since Saturday evening. I understand that it will take time to settle in and get used to it's surroundings etc. But I'm not happy with it's feeding. It's eats crickets now and again. Under 10 a day. Maybe 2 wax worms per day and it has not touched veg or water yet.

I have tried dripping water on it's snout etc but it does not lick it off as suggested. I have kept handling to a minimum so far. It's a little skittish. I put it in a shollow basin today for 3 mins and misted it.

It is slowly getting more accustomed to it's surroundings but I would like to see it feed more.

The basking flood I'm using is only getting to 38,39 degrees do I'm picking up a better spot bulb tomorrow that should get it to 45 degrees.

Any advice ?

Joey02 25-09-2019 03:52 PM

3 Attachment(s)
just some pictures and just to add the thermometer is reading 30 degrees and the humidity is at 70. It shed some skin yesterday and it is 8 weeks old.

Azastral 26-09-2019 09:36 AM

Not eating is a classic sign of relocation stress, especially with young beardies. If its the same in a week then start worrying


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