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Keeping Reptiles In A Fish Tank /w Glass Lid?

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Karmataurus, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. Karmataurus

    Karmataurus Member

    Hello! I apologize if this is not the correct place to post this, but I have a possible issue and would like input on it.

    Right now I have a plated lizard that lives in a 40 gallon terrarium with a wire-mesh lid and want to get him a bigger enclosure. Most pet-stores and pet conventions in my area don't sell anything bigger than that, but to my surprise a local store has recently purchased a 120 gallon tank! I planned on getting it to upgrade but I am worried about one part of it.

    The lid of the enclosure is made of glass, as it is intended for large fish and not reptiles. I asked the employees if it would be acceptable to put heat lamps and UVB lights on the top (The display already had a pair of UVB hoods on it), and I was assured it would be fine.

    I went online and I here incredibly mixed reviews on them. Some say that if you put a heat lamp on the glass it will cause the insides of the enclosure to bake, others say that it's actually preferable to have a glass lid because it prevents the heat from escaping as readily.

    So then, would it be acceptable to purchase this tank and use it for reptiles, or is it too dangerous.
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Glass will act as a filter, removing much (if not all) of the UVB that actually reaches the interior if your cage.

    Having a glass lid essentially turns the cage into a greenhouse, and it will retain heat and humidity much better. You will need to find a way to mount the UVB inside the cage however. In this situation, it becomes more important for everything to be run on a thermostat to prevent overheating.

    There is also the concern that normal heat-induced expansion/contraction of the glass could cause it to break (generally less of a problem with tempered glass)

    In general, fish tanks are hard to adapt to be efficient for reptile needs. Not to say it can't be done, but it will be work.,
    Darkbird likes this.
  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    You would really be better off making your own lid out of sealed plywood or something. Much easier than trying to adapt the glass lid. But honestly, for what you'll likely spend on the tank and all the mods needed to make it suitable for a reptile, you might be better off just building the entire cage. If you don't have the skills/tools, you might know someone who does. I usually only use fish tanks when I need to set up something quick, and I usually end up making the kids myself due to the complete lack of anything decent in the retail market.
    Dragoness likes this.

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