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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my Bearded dragons viv. Its about 4 1/2 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 1/2 high. I'm trying to go for a more natural setup. I have had him for over a year (got him the day after the Jubilee) as a 12cm long hatchling. Been talking to people down under and they say that the natural habitat is not as arid as we think. They say they are often on clay soil/sand and can be found on the edge of open woodland so I'm trying to make it a bit more natural. He has dug himself a tunnel which is pretty cool. And I have found he is not as lazy. He used to stay on his branch and some days he wouldn't even bother to move of it or even turn around. Now he sleeps on his branch or in his tunnel and runs about climbing and foraging more.

Thinking of planting some Living Stone Plants and Carex buchananii. Would one or two aloe vera plants be ok. He might try to eat it which for him I'm not getting fake plants. If i get plants it will be sometime as there are other things I want to get.
So what you guys think? Cheers:no1:










 

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It looks very unique as far as beardie vivariums go. Having some plants in there would look quite amazing, and it certainly has the 'natural' factor. We generally have plastic plants 'just in case', but as long as you pick non-toxic plants, you should be golden

I think people generally shy away from sand and the like because it's not as easy to clean and is an impaction risk, but our beardies have been on sand for about 5 years and have never had any problems

Adorable beardie, by the way. Beautiful colours :flrt:
 

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Yep, I'd agree that the UV light needs to go up top with a reflector. While you want to have good UV exposure, you don't want it shining directly in their eyes from the side like that as it can damage them over time.

The soil substrate is great. There are a few of us here who do the same. In fact I'd even recommend going deeper. Have you added in any invertebrates for bio activity? Springtails, isopods and earthworms can help with the breakdown on wastes and keep your enclosure healthier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It looks very unique as far as beardie vivariums go. Having some plants in there would look quite amazing, and it certainly has the 'natural' factor. We generally have plastic plants 'just in case', but as long as you pick non-toxic plants, you should be golden

I think people generally shy away from sand and the like because it's not as easy to clean and is an impaction risk, but our beardies have been on sand for about 5 years and have never had any problems

Adorable beardie, by the way. Beautiful colours :flrt:
Cheers :2thumb:
not going to use plastic/silk plants as he once tried to eat some when I had them before. I was able to get him to spit it out but since then don't use them for him just in case. I use it for my snakes and amphibians but not for him.

Had him or reptile carpet when he was young but found it a pain to clean. To me sand/soil is better to clean as I just need to scoop it up when with the carpet it would smear and be disgusting.
Cheers someone said he might be a Tango morph but really have no clue
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep, I'd agree that the UV light needs to go up top with a reflector. While you want to have good UV exposure, you don't want it shining directly in their eyes from the side like that as it can damage them over time.

The soil substrate is great. There are a few of us here who do the same. In fact I'd even recommend going deeper. Have you added in any invertebrates for bio activity? Springtails, isopods and earthworms can help with the breakdown on wastes and keep your enclosure healthier.

Had the UV on the side as I was told it is only effective with in 30cm and after that it’s just light not UV. The log that is about the same high he only uses to go up and down. And the long branch is 41cm away so been told this is ok. Instant it? or was that a load of BS I have been told about its effective range? Only heard of a reflector about a month ago or so. So I assume it’s like at mirror that reflects UV back or something?
And I have added springtails, woodlice, earth worms, isopods, morio worm beetles (i know people say they are bad or what not but I have had them breeding with my common frogs, slow worm for nearly seven years, fire salamander for a year, horned frog for about a year and common toads for ten years and now got them with my cane toad. I have had no problem and find that they help with breaking down rotten wood and leaf litter) as well as small wolf spiders. Have never had a problem using them with my amphibians so won’t have any problem with a lizard. Hope they get established. Tried to get pics but the flash was too strong so screen is white
 

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Had the UV on the side as I was told it is only effective with in 30cm and after that it’s just light not UV. The log that is about the same high he only uses to go up and down. And the long branch is 41cm away so been told this is ok. Instant it? or was that a load of BS I have been told about its effective range? Only heard of a reflector about a month ago or so. So I assume it’s like at mirror that reflects UV back or something?
And I have added springtails, woodlice, earth worms, isopods, morio worm beetles (i know people say they are bad or what not but I have had them breeding with my common frogs, slow worm for nearly seven years, fire salamander for a year, horned frog for about a year and common toads for ten years and now got them with my cane toad. I have had no problem and find that they help with breaking down rotten wood and leaf litter) as well as small wolf spiders. Have never had a problem using them with my amphibians so won’t have any problem with a lizard. Hope they get established. Tried to get pics but the flash was too strong so screen is white
Your invertebrate life sounds great. I dont use morio worms, not because they are particularly problematic for the reptile, but because I have found them to be detrimental to most of the other invertebrate life when they are not fed in plenty. They are pretty voracious in an enclosure and have a tendency to destroy the other bugs. I would say it might be of benefit to you to increase your leaf litter. That should help give the inverts a good substrate in which to really thrive.

As for the light, it looks like that is a T5 HO tube, is that correct? If so, then you were given somewhat incorrect information. With the reflector (very inexpensive) behind it (which reflects the light from the back of the bulb forward, basically doubling the output) you will be able to have a decent UV exposure as far away as 80 cm. A more suitable exposure for these sun loving lizards would be more around 40-50 cm range.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your invertebrate life sounds great. I dont use morio worms, not because they are particularly problematic for the reptile, but because I have found them to be detrimental to most of the other invertebrate life when they are not fed in plenty. They are pretty voracious in an enclosure and have a tendency to destroy the other bugs. I would say it might be of benefit to you to increase your leaf litter. That should help give the inverts a good substrate in which to really thrive.

As for the light, it looks like that is a T5 HO tube, is that correct? If so, then you were given somewhat incorrect information. With the reflector (very inexpensive) behind it (which reflects the light from the back of the bulb forward, basically doubling the output) you will be able to have a decent UV exposure as far away as 80 cm. A more suitable exposure for these sun loving lizards would be more around 40-50 cm range.

Would have had more leaf litter if I didn’t run out. That was the last I had as I used it on the common frogs, horned frog and the salamander also needed a top up too. I’m also intending of increasing the depth to as deep as the base with the side he made his tunnel to be deeper so it slopes up. But I ran out of play sand and coconut fibre. Your right on the type of bulb and found it interesting on what the reflector did. As I have never had it explained and thought maybe it increased the intensity but not its range. So will look into getting one at some point. What I’m thinking of doing is getting the tomato frog (got the basic setup waiting) and if still available get a pair of blue tailed fire bellied newts. Then concentrate on making my bearded dragons viv better (more with the plant side and the reflector. Which will mean I can have the UV light on top which is actuary what I wanted as it looks better with the light coming down but was told it wouldn’t reach the BD) then plant up my horned frog tank a bit more, get stumpys larger home ready for an up grad for him and his friend, put the Exo Terra Faunarium flat large in storage and get a tank of about the same size for my fire salamander so it can have plants and will look better. Get a light for my cane toad to make the setup look better. Something I’m strongly considering is getting a 90cm*45cm*45cm exo terra and putting my slow worm and common frogs in that and make a British community. Get some more frogs, a couple more slow worms so I can have a total of 3-5 slow worms (leaning more to 3 but will see) 5 common lizards, a group of smooth newts and if I find any if I go down south on holiday then some wall lizards (doubt I could catch some though lol And I know they aren’t native but are cool) and make it like a banck in a broad leaf wood land maybe with a decent water area for the newts and if they want it frogs (though I have found they panic in deep water) gone off topic but what you think of the idea?
 

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Would have had more leaf litter if I didn’t run out. That was the last I had as I used it on the common frogs, horned frog and the salamander also needed a top up too. I’m also intending of increasing the depth to as deep as the base with the side he made his tunnel to be deeper so it slopes up. But I ran out of play sand and coconut fibre. Your right on the type of bulb and found it interesting on what the reflector did. As I have never had it explained and thought maybe it increased the intensity but not its range. So will look into getting one at some point. What I’m thinking of doing is getting the tomato frog (got the basic setup waiting) and if still available get a pair of blue tailed fire bellied newts. Then concentrate on making my bearded dragons viv better (more with the plant side and the reflector. Which will mean I can have the UV light on top which is actuary what I wanted as it looks better with the light coming down but was told it wouldn’t reach the BD) then plant up my horned frog tank a bit more, get stumpys larger home ready for an up grad for him and his friend, put the Exo Terra Faunarium flat large in storage and get a tank of about the same size for my fire salamander so it can have plants and will look better. Get a light for my cane toad to make the setup look better. Something I’m strongly considering is getting a 90cm*45cm*45cm exo terra and putting my slow worm and common frogs in that and make a British community. Get some more frogs, a couple more slow worms so I can have a total of 3-5 slow worms (leaning more to 3 but will see) 5 common lizards, a group of smooth newts and if I find any if I go down south on holiday then some wall lizards (doubt I could catch some though lol And I know they aren’t native but are cool) and make it like a banck in a broad leaf wood land maybe with a decent water area for the newts and if they want it frogs (though I have found they panic in deep water) gone off topic but what you think of the idea?
Im not wanting to sound harsh mate, but I think you might have that in the wrong order. Fix the enclosures you do have first, then consider the extra animals if you have further funds/time. Youre doing a pretty decent job, but just need to fine tune it a bit. Those will have real effects on the health of your lizard, so should be done first rather than after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Im not wanting to sound harsh mate, but I think you might have that in the wrong order. Fix the enclosures you do have first, then consider the extra animals if you have further funds/time. Youre doing a pretty decent job, but just need to fine tune it a bit. Those will have real effects on the health of your lizard, so should be done first rather than after.

Just thinking it would be ok as up to Wednesday he was on shallow play sand about 5cm deep or so figure it will be ok as it would all be done within 6 months and he has been there for over a year and is healthy and only started this to look nicer and if he did some digging it would be a plus
 

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I hear what you are saying, but its a pretty simple fix for the reflector and placing the bulb correctly. The depth of substrate can wait of course, no issues there. Again, totally your call. I just like to always recommend that people make sure their enclosures are as good as can be before taking on new reptiles. You never know what surprises may come with the new animals and their enclosures, that may preclude you from then fixing the old ones. New reptiles can be some pretty crazy unpredictable animals! :lol2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hear what you are saying, but its a pretty simple fix for the reflector and placing the bulb correctly. The depth of substrate can wait of course, no issues there. Again, totally your call. I just like to always recommend that people make sure their enclosures are as good as can be before taking on new reptiles. You never know what surprises may come with the new animals and their enclosures, that may preclude you from then fixing the old ones. New reptiles can be some pretty crazy unpredictable animals! :lol2:
Oh that what your meaning. I'm intending on the reflector and moving the bulb as soon as I got the money. I thought you wanted the substrate and everything like that done as soon as possible which I'm planning on holding off till after I get the next two animals. While I was thinking that as its acceptable to keep them on carpet with a shelf I was getting a little annoyed thinking you was having a go at me for wanting to wait to top up the substrate and what not. Miss understand sorry :oops:
 
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