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Humidifiers and Lighting

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by Runningmom, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    I don't have a dragon yet. I want to understand what I will probably need before I run out buying the wrong thing, or the right thing but it doesn't work with the type of enclosure. Leaning toward the idea of converting an armoire into an enclosure as soon as I figure out how!

    I have seen different misters and humidifiers. Even saw a Vicks humidifier that's exactly like one I already have:). I could get one like that. I guess there is no reason to spend hundreds on the humidity :)

    Or is a waterfall thing also something you can have to make it "misty" and humid? Do I need a water heater?

    Lighting- for my turtle, I had a zoo med 75 watt light, that looks like a small flood light. And a repti sun 10.0 UVb for a terrarium hood. I figure that isn't exactly the same thing a water dragon needs? I want to write things down so I know what to go find online or at a store. Some things are available in stores and some aren't. :). And sometimes it is just easier to buy and have them send it lol.

    People have all kinds of different lights so it is really hard to know what is best.

    The enclosure will be 5 or 6 ft tall. Probably more like 6. Will I need light over the water? What kind? A heat emitter? How do I keep the lizard from burning itself if this is the case?

    Sorry- 20 thousand questions. I am trying to absorb all the info. This is why I didn't go buy one yet.
  2. OEW

    OEW Elite Member

    First of all, good for you for doing intense researching before you run out and buy a water dragon!

    Now, you could use a regular cool mist humidifier. If your enclosure is big enough you could have it inside, if you want to save space or have it look more natural you could connect a hose or pipe to the output of the humidifier and run it into the enclosure. If you go to the "humidity" section on the forum under the enclosures category, there's a sticky thread explaining how to do this (I'd link you right to it but I'm on my phone which makes it difficult lol). A waterfall would definitely help with humidity as well if you'd like to do something like that. You could get fancy and make your own within the enclosure or you could buy one (I got an exo terra one on clearance).

    The 75 watt basking light would technically work but in a large enclosure it probably wouldn't be enough heat. I can't tell you what wattage will work because a lot of factors go into that, such as the room temp and the size of the enclosure. You might be able to get away with a 75W as a basking bulb but will probably have to add more heat with a ceramic heat emitter. You could mount the lights on the top, with a hole cut out just big enough for the lamp, or if you mount them inside you could build a cage around it so the dragon won't burn itself. There's another thread on here explaining how to do that, but I'll have to go find it and link it later.

    The repti sun 10.0 would actually work for this application (for a shorter enclosure, a 5.0 is probably best). But if you used it for longer than 6 months, I'd just buy a new one. Even if it still works, the UVB output is probably significantly reduced, as it diminishes over time and the bulbs should be replaced about every 6 months.

    You don't need lighting over the water specifically, but a water heater would probably be best in order to keep the water warm enough for them to enjoy. To prevent accidental burns from the dragon touching it some kind of cover should probably be used, or it should be blocked off so they can't get to it. Or you could use one of those tetra turtle water heaters that comes with a cover on it... A filter might also be nice so that the water stays clean longer, since they like to poo in the water...

    I think that might have answered all your questions? I think haha.
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, the UVB tube should be almost as long as the enclosure, what`s the size of the one you have now? A 5-0 is sufficient, but a10-0 will work, too.
    The wattage of the heat bulb will obviously depend to some extent on the temps in the room the enclosure will be in, so what are the usual ambient (air) temps during the day and night?
    If you`re having a relatively large water container you may not need a humidifier, and yes, the water should be heated to the high 70`s to the low 80`sF.
  4. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Thanks:). I am a researcher. I have actually looked into a bearded dragon a few years ago. I was set on getting one until I saw a Chinese water dragon in the pet store and I have been wanting one since! I still want a bearded dragon too. One at a time. I have the Red eared slider turtle and now I am slightly more confident in owning a reptile since I have one lol. She is in a 125 gallon with an above tank basking area that we had custom made. I would have bought a 220 gallon but I literally missed out by minutes on an awesome deal. But just a few days or so later, the same seller had a pretty decent deal on a 125 gallon plus stand and I snagged it. And then a month or so later some guy was selling his 125 gallon with the stand for 125$! Of course I didn't pass that up and had to figure out what to do with a second tank. It is in the bedroom with fish in it.

    So back to the water dragon obsession- I don't have anything yet. I was trying to figure out what enclosures to get. And I am mulling ideas. The shower idea is really neat, but might not be as easy to convince my husband that it is perfectly fine to put it in the dining room (which no eating takes place there). I saw the armoire converted to an enclosure idea and this might be easier to place in the dining room or somewhere in our main living area. So I would have to find one and have the dimensions. That might be immensely more helpful.

    These explanations have helped a lot. Thank you. I know it is difficult to explain to someone who has no enclosure lol. I suppose I should look at finding something and then figuring out how I will drill holes and add lighting and stuff.

    The humidifier on the outside is a great idea, except I have small children. So maybe some sort of fancy little waterfall will be better in this case. I know there are several ways I can go with that. I was thinking of using a cat pan or a pre formed small pond if I can find a small enough pond.

    I wish I could have a huge one- like the size of a double refrigerator or something.
    Oh- one more question. I assume that the 6x3x5 or six is adequate for one dragon. Is it possible to have two? Or should it be a little bigger for two? I read somewhere they are kind of solitary but it seems like lots of people have 2. I don't think I would want any more than two...

    The cage around the lighting is a good idea. I am still trying to figure out how to make the top so the lights fit etc.

    Thanks for answering. I have tried to read and see if others have asked these questions:) still finding stuff since I just joined a few days ago.:)
  5. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    The cement mixing tub for a pond is a good idea. Would a round pond liner that is about 35 gallons be too much? Maybe a smaller round or fun shape would be different. I like those reptile waterfalls. I had seen those and thought I would try to have one in my turtle tank but she likes to uproot everything. And they need a Lot of swimming area. So it wouldn't work for the turtle. But it could work with the turtle heater that looks totally submersible and the water fall.

    I think it is earth crusher who had a really neat water feature in his tank.

    Some of this will be trial and error I suppose...until I figure out how to secure things so the animal doesn't get squashed!
  6. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    http:// hope thAt link works

    Something like that someone suggested or the other one they have which is a taller waterfall but I can't tell if it is also a filter.

    Are CWDs as dirty as turtles? Lol. Turtles are awesome but man, they are dirty!!! I have a fluval fx5 for my turtle and my husband ended up getting another one for the fish. Lol. The canister filters are a pain to clean though. But necessary for the water to not be nasty. Nasty lol
  7. OEW

    OEW Elite Member

    Yeah, their water can get pretty nasty pretty quick, they poop in it, and then while swimming the poo gets kicked around and breaks up and gets everywhere! I'd imagine a turtle's water gets messier, though I wouldn't know since I've never had one, and at work their tank has commercial grade filtration so..I never see mess. Lol
  8. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    It is disgusting. I have the fluval fx5, and it is for 400 gallon tanks. I have a 125 gallon lol. It works pretty well. I need to clean it out soon but with the old one I had in the 55 gallon it was not working well. It wasn't very efficient and the water was gross. Fluval filters are expensive but worth it in the end because you aren't spending lots of time cleaning them all the time. And. I mean All the time lol

    She is happy in the 125. More swimming, more room. It does not have a ton of decor because she moves stuff around. Lol. She is probaboy 10-12 years old, and she is somewhere in the range of 8-10 inches (carapace). Red eared sliders are funny turtles.
  9. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Turtles are definitely dirtier than CWDs.

    Also my tank has a 75watt bulb which during the winter is perfect but now it is making the basking spot about 105 so I will be switching to a lower watt bulb for the summer.

    As far as UVB look at

    Humidifier I use the Vicks cool mist as it was the cheapest and I just stick it directly in the cage as I didn't allow room for any external parts when I built the cage, and it fits inside so I don't worry too much about it. If you don't like the look of it MERLIN had suggested using one of those fake rock covers you see for outdoor speakers and electrical boxes and just drilling holes to allow the fog to escape.
  10. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Ps. Yes the preformed pond liners work wonders. I use it for Tai's cage and even with it being oversized (50-60 gal I think, it takes up the entire floor) I still have to use the humidifier once a day to maintain adequate humidity.
  11. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    How deep is the 50-60 gallon? I saw the 30, or whatever and it looks like a big salad bowl lol. I was trying to think of something that would fit, but give a spot to hang out in. The Vicks is a great idea, same with the rock hide for it! I do like the idea of the filter too. I might see what the Home Depot has as far as small pond equipment and filters...

    Do you have "land" for Tai? I was thinking I would leave a little space for land area and space for pond at the bottom...trying to keep in mind the area will be sort of small unless I find a really big armoire. All the ones I am seeing are not good for a,lizard. Either they are way too nice...something I would want as a nice tv thing-one was from Pottery barn! And some were the MDF junk and I know it is bad. Isn't it toxic? As well as cheap junk? And doesn't hold up to humidity.

    Which leads me to a question- if I use an armoire, do I coat the inside with a waterproof substance or line it with ply wood and coat the plywood? With all the humidity I don't think wood would hold up...what do people use agin? Water based poly urethane?
  12. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member


    Craigslist ad- It is an armoire that is huge...and 800$. Lol. It is nice though. 19.5 deep isn't very deep but if I could find something about as wide but deeper, it would be about perfect! I think I will end up with a standard tv one though...or just be patient and wait. I have a hard time with that.
  13. Heidi01

    Heidi01 Active Member

    I've got a cheap humidifier from Maplin 5 litre unit that happily brings the humidity up to 92% and keeps it there at whatever temperature I choose.
  14. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

  15. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    The one I have is about 2.5-3feet deep on one end and then slopes up to a shallow end.
    Tai has a little land area around the pond, ledges under the windows, and a large planter box for his land areas
    Wood is fine in cages. Mine is full wood you just need to use a few polyurethane coats.
    As far as the armoire it depends on what it's made of. It's best if you find a really heavy one, one made of real wood then you only need to poly it and it should be fine
  16. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Ok. And I know it has to be aired out/cured.
  17. RomanLA

    RomanLA Elite Member

    For that much, you could pickup an enclosure from a builder.
  18. RomanLA

    RomanLA Elite Member

    If you setup a nice water feature, you may find that you don't need a humidifier. If you do need one, check out the Safety First Ultrasonic Humidifier.

    This lighting guide will give you a good description of how to setup your bulbs in your enclosure. If you end up going with T5 High Output lighting, you probably won't need much of a basking light. At 18 inches, my basking spot is 90F+ from just the T5 HO lights. I have a 45W halogen flood in a dimmer lamp to get my basking spot to 95F+. I have a 150W CHE hanging off the bottom of my basking shelf on a thermostat to keep the upper part of my enclosure at 85F. It all shuts down at night. I ran it about a week to let the UVB bulbs burn in and to dial in my temperatures, before moving my dragon into it.

    As Thalatte mentioned, Todd at Light Your Reptiles is awesome!
  19. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Even with July oversized water feature I use the humidifier and I keep the humidity at the lower end of the gradient (about 60-70%) .
    It is best if you plan for the humidifier and then if you don't end up needing well you have an extra one for the house.
  20. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Exactly. That one was nice. Nicer than I want for this project. I found one today for 95$ and the dimensions were about perfect! My husband said it was ugly and I said- heard of paint? Lol. And the doors would be replaced any way. So I probably missed it but there wil be more. He wants me to finish painting the dining room. Hahaha

    I am trying to learn about those T5 lights.

    Good idea on humidifier. They aren't a huge expense and I could use another if I don't end up needing it.

    The turtle cliff is neat because it is the waterfall and has a filter. And the heater with a cover in it isn't all that much.

    I picked up some fake plants at the store. But a pothos (live) would be neat. I will see what works when I get the enclosure. :)

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