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RE: Sick Beardie!

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Posted by: PHLdyPayne at Wed Jan 5 16:21:00 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHLdyPayne ]  

100 watts is alot for a 10 gal tank... In fact a 10 gal tank is utterly useless for even newly hatched bearded dragons. Its just too small to provide a proper heat gradient.

What worries me most about your setup at this point, is you are only getting mid to high 90's for the basking temp. How are you measuring these temps? Are you using a digital thermometer with probe, with the probe placed directly on the basking spot, or just a stick on thermometer on the side of the tank? If the latter, then most likely all you are measuring is the air temp and air temps in the high 90's is too high.

Head off to a department store (walmart, home depot etc) and pick up a digital thermometer with probe, a 20 gal long tank (a 35 gal would be will give you more time to save up or build the adult cage, which needs to have a floor space of at least 4'x2'). You can also look for a temperature gun, which can be found in auto supply stores or departments....just make sure it measures temperatures with a range low enough...between 50F-200F is don't need it to go higher than 150F or lower than 50F.. Pro Exotics has temperature guns designed for reptiles but these are based on the temp guns used with cars to determine engine heat.

FOr the tank cover you want something that is solid except for an area big enough for a hooded light fixture. I find it easier to make my own. It doesn't cost much to buy a small piece of 1"x6" board at any hardware/lumber store (ie Home Depot) or even just picking up a short shelf (melamine shelf, usually 5/8ths thick which is fine). Walmart carries these. And some aluminum screen for windows. This comes in all kinds of sizes...but you don't need much. A short length of 1"x1" board will be needed as well. A bag of small wooden dowels/pins and wood glue is also needed. Finally, buy an undercabinet florescent tube fixture... a 18" one is good...pretty sure a 20 gal long glass tank is over 18" long. I also know UVB florescent tubes come in 18" as well. For either a 20 gal or 35 gal long tank, the 18" uvb tube will work, though you can get a 24" fixture/tube for the bigger tank.

FOr glass tank top I measure the dimension of the inside lip of the tank (inside frame, so the home made cover sits inside the tank, instead of just sitting ontop...where its easy to slide off). Cut the 1"x6" length of board to fit. Measure and cut the 1"x1" board to serve as the other end pieces and long side. Drill two small holes to both ends of the short pieces of 1"x1" which will be large enough to fit the wooden pins/dowels. Line these up with the 1"x6" board and drill corresponding holes. Glue pins into the board and line up with pin holes into the side pieces. Finally, drill holes on the last length of board and clue wooden pins and join with the other section.

Now this should fit snugly into the inside frame of the glass tanks. I screw in two pieces of left over 1"x1" to the top sides of the wide board, to use as handles. Finally staple screen over the open section for ventilation. Mount the under cabinet fixture (after removing the cover over the bulb and replacing the florescent tube it comes with, with the UVB tube) so its inside the tank when the cover is on. Feed the cord from the under cabinet light under the screen so its out of the cage and can be plugged into a power bar, along with the cord from the basking light hooded fixture. Plug the power bar into a heavy duty interior timer (basically has a three hole plug..if you are just using a normal extension cable to plug the lights in, a regular interior timer works fine. I just like having the ground plug option in my setup.)

Secure the hooded lamp so it isn't likely to be knocked over...Metal clips can be used or clamps.

With the basking light on the outside, it may require more wattage to ensure the basking spot gets enough heat...but for the most part, it shouldn't be needed. Unless the room the tank is set up in is very cold...with day temps below 70F.

Forum Princess


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