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Hello From Queensbury, NY

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by gugny, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. gugny

    gugny Member

    Hi there. We're working on getting our new terrarium perfect for the japalura splendida (neon tree dragon) we're planning on getting. We're very excited!

    The one topic that I'm having difficulty getting a straight answer on is the frequency that we should be cleaning the terrarium.

    I've read every week to every month. I'm talking about removing all of the decorations and all of the substrate; cleaning the bottom thoroughly, then replacing with new substrate.

    Any advice on how often/how deeply would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!

    After scouring the Internet for weeks, this seems like the best forum and I'm glad to be part of it!
  2. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The reason you can't get a straight answer is because it really will be a matter of cleanliness on the enclosures part. I don't own a tree dragon so I am not certain how messy they are. I own several other species of reptiles and they all have different cleaning intervals. I spot clean our bearded dragon regularly and clean his cage furniture once a week. My crested geckos are in planted enclosures and I clean their cage furniture once a month but I clean the enclosure glass every few days (with just water). I haven't emptied those tanks completely for 6 months though because they are heavily planted and the substrate is 'clean'. My snakes are spot cleaned daily and their substrate changed bi-weekly - monthly/ as needed. Their water dishes are cleaned (swapped while the dirty get cleaned) every 2-3 days. My leos get spot cleaned daily and their entire set-up (racks) get cleaned thoroughly once a month. lol If you asked another owner, their schedule would be completely different from mine.
  3. gugny

    gugny Member

    Thanks for the reply, Rich! Another question, if you don't mind. I want to create a basking spot of around 85-90 degrees. I bought 50W Exo Terra Intense Basking Spot bulb. My terrarium is 24" high. The proposed basking spot topped out at about 70 degrees. If I just get the same type bulb at, say, 150 or 200 watts, will that do the trick? For UVB, I have the 13 watt 100 UVB light. I'm thinking of upgrading that, too.

    I want everything to be as ideal as possible prior to introducing the little guy to his new home.

  4. BrownFoundling

    BrownFoundling Established Member

    Yes, using the same type of bulb in a higher wattage will work. I am unfamiliar with tree dragons but judging by the name they are arboreal; as such another possibility would be moving the basking area closer to the bulb. How are you measuring your temperatures? The most accurate way to measure the temp of a basking spot is with an ir temp gun aimed directly at the surface of the spot. That way you will get the reading for how warm that surface is rather than the temperature of the air around it.
  5. gugny

    gugny Member

    Thank you. Since we're still in setup mode, I'm able to put the thermometer right in the center of the basking area, so I'm glad to hear I'm doing it right!!

    Now I have another question! The nighttime temp inside the terrarium is about 10 degrees cooler than I want.

    What do you recommend for night heating that won't make the lizard think it's daytime? Since they are arboreal, I don't know if a mat on the bottom would be a good solutio .
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Hi, and welcome to the forum. Could you give us some other detials of the cage you are putting together, like overall size, type of cage and top, and what your using to measure temps. Much easier for us to make suggestions if we have the whole picture. Now as to your questions.
    Cleaning: Rich hit that on the nose, everyones situation will be different, it depends on setup, occupants, and some other things.
    Basking site temp: These are best read with a temp gun, a digital thermometer probe placed on the basking site is a good second choice. While a larger bulb is a way to increase basking temps, it will often also act to dry out the cage much faster. It's better to move the heat source closer to the basking site, either by moving the bulb or raising the site. A larger bulb also carries the risk of overheating the whole cage while trying to get the correct basking temps.
    Nighttime temps: Skip the heat pad, they do almost nothing for ambient temps. My go-to for night heat is usually a ceramic heat emitter on a thermostat. They are more expensive up front, but they will last practically forever, and produce no light. The thermostat will make sure the temps stay stable regardless of what the room temps do, at least within reason.
  7. gugny

    gugny Member

    Thank you for your response! I've got an exo terra 18x18x24. He will be the only inhabitant. It has a heavy screen top and all I've got are the manual (plastic stick on) thermometer/hygrometer. I will have a reptirain mister (will be shipped by Monday) for humidity and I'm using ecoearth for substrate.
  8. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Ok that helps. Your going to need to get some better devices to monitor conditions. Hate to say it, but the ones they sell at the pet store tend to be very poorly manufactured, and so are often inaccurate. Go to your local walmart and pick up one of the 12 dollar accurite units with the wired probe. You can place the probe on the basking site, and the base unit in the cool side of the cage. This will give you a pretty good reading of the temps and humidity. It also wouldn't hurt to get a infrared temp gun to measure the basking temps, as that will be even more accurate. You may also find you need to cover most or all of the screen to stabilize conditions. I have several of these cages, and have most or all the screen covered on all of them.

    Edit: I forgot one thing. Make sure the bulb your using is a flood bulb and not a spot bulb. Spots concentrate too much heat in too small an area, and can cause burns. Flood bulbs are much safer. And I would skip the petstore bulbs, head to the hardware department and get a similar wattage outdoor halogen flood bulb. Better heat, they normally last longer, and best of all, they are cheaper.
  9. gugny

    gugny Member

  10. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    To be honest, I don't know squat about this species. So if it's truly arboreal, your going to want an elevated basking area anyway. So some sturdy and stable branches will need to be in there, and the basking bulb can be positioned over a branch to create the basking site. You'll wnat to get something 8" or so from the top, then probably start with around a 40w or so bulb. Or go with a higher wattage bulb and wire up a dimmer, so you can dial it down as needed. And bear in mind, these are all rough numbers, things like bulb wattage, room temp, distance to basking surface, and type/color of surface all play a role in figuring it out. But that bulb youmhave now is one of the kind that worry me. At 24" it can't project enough heat, and as youmget closer, the beam gets so narrow the the heat get very intense in a very small spot, often much smaller than the animal trying to use it. Then they sit too long trying to get warm and end up with a burn. Take that bulb back if you still can, and go get a flood bulb.
  11. gugny

    gugny Member

    Followed all of your advice, so thanks to all who've chimed in. The ReptiRain arrived this afternoon. It's all set up now and the humidity is where it needs to be. We'll get our new little guy, very likely, Wednesday so I can make sure his environment is stable. Thanks, again, for all of your help!!!
  12. BrownFoundling

    BrownFoundling Established Member

    Please post pictures once you get him!

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