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New with Lots of Questions

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by SammieLee, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    I've heard on other forums and sites that the Repti Glo bulbs can cause eye problems in beardies? Something to do with the wavelength of the UVB from them, or something? Before I got my beardie I did a ton of research and most people were of the consensus that the only proven safe UVB bulbs for beardies are the Arcadia and Zoo Med Reptisun 10. I use the Reptisun myself. Can anyone shed a little more light on this (no pun intended)?

    As far as length of UVB, correct me if I'm wrong, but I always heard it should go about 2/3 the length of the enclosure. So in my 40 breeder I have a 24" bulb.
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    With a fluorescent tube, it should stretch the length of the tank. The UVB from a tube isn't very strong so the more they are under it the better. The animals should also be able to get within 8-10 inches of the bulb itself.
     
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I haven`t used the compact fluorescents, though I know there were some reports of them causing eye problems, I believe that it was due mainly to the bulb being set too close to the animal/s. (I know you didn`t specifically ask about the compacts), but I just wanted to clarify). I have used the Reptisun tubes previously with no problems (both the 5-0 and 10-0), and as we speak I have an Arcadia, but it` a MVB (excellent product).
     
  4. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Ok I'm not getting this kit now but here is the one I was looking at...
    REPTIHABITAT™ Bearded Dragon Kit
    So I was trying to use that as a set for how manyight fixtures and what kind of lights... But I'm starting to think that is wrong. So I feel lost....do I need a double dome lamp fixture?? Or would a single one be good?? Do i need the infrarde light too?? Then the kit I saw at the store had a heat pad for the bottom of the tank. And then I know I need the UVB light also. I just feel like every thing I read and everyone I talk to says something different. It is so confusing. I am so thankful you guys are helping me out. You have saved me buying 2 tanks now please let me know where is the best place to get lamps and bulbs?? Thank you all so much....sorry for all the questions...but thank you so much for your time answering them. I know when I finally buy everything and go get my son his bearded dragon he will be so thankful I spent all this time reasearching. One last question right now... Has anybody made a chart for a child to make sure they take all are or it correctly and everything gets done that needs done??
     
  5. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    After talking to a few pet stores I'm a little worried to go buy the stuff there and ask for there help with picking it all out. I've had them tell me so much stuff that is opposite of what I have read. I don't want to spend a lot of money to find I out bought the wrong lights and stuff.
     
  6. Rakoladycz

    Rakoladycz Elite Member

    If you use a UVB bulb that also emits heat you should not need any other heat source. If you use a tube florescent you will need an addtional source of heat, whether it is a lamp, heat tape, whatever. You will only need an infrared light or other heat source if your house is too cool over night.

    Proexotics has a tracking card that you can download free that lets you document feeding, shed, waste. Pro Exotics Reptiles, the Nation's finest captive bred Snakes and Monitors, your source for Infrared Thermometer, Temp Gun.

    Hope this helps!
     
  7. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    That helps a lot... Thank you. So what bulbs are better for UVB?? The ones that emit heat or he ones that don't??
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, mercury vapour bulbs emitt both heat and light (UVA/B), so it`s an "all in one", though some of them have a minimum enclosure size, and they all have a minimum distance from the surface of the bulb to the surface of the animal when basking; 30cm (12inches).
    The flourescent tubes only emmit a small ammount of heat, and most need to be within a maximum of 25cm (10 inches) of the animal, though it`s fine to have them closer; a 5-0 or 10-0 could be within 15cm or less (6 inches).
    Assuming this is a relatively small tank, I think the tube would be best.
    EDIT: What`s the usual ambient (air) temp in the room the enclosure will be in during both the day and night (that will obviously effect the wattage of the heat bulb)?
     
  9. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Right now our living room (thats where we will keep the tank)is staying at about 79F in the winter it is colder and at night I know it gets cooler.
     
  10. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I agree, unless your enclosure is large enough for a MVB, I wouldn't use one.
     
  11. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    I'm trying to find a 40 gallon breeder or something a little bigger if i can. I've been watching Craigslist and I'm going to start searching other used sites....if I don't find one soon I'll just buy a new one. Just thought I'd try to save some money first.
     
  12. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Where do you live?
    Are you handy, you can always build one out of 3/4 " plywood, paint and seal it with polycrylic! :)

    That is the only thing with some of these reptiles, the initial cost can be a lot.
     
  13. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Yea that's why we are starting now.. My sons birthday isn't until Oct.... I wanted to give us a enough time to get it all together. I couldn't make it but I'll have to see if my husband could. That's a great idea. Thanks! We live in MO.
     
  14. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

  15. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

  16. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Ok great news..... Going to pick up a tank it's lights next weekend!! It is all falling together so nice. I will have lots of time to get the tank temps right before its time to bring my sons little bearded dragon home. I only have a few questions left. How many crickets should I buy at a time?? How long will they last?? About how many should we feed a day at first?? Do I need to put food or anything in with the crickets??? Also I heard some people just breed there own crickets.... Is it worth it with only one animal eating them?? 

    I have seen a few things that say you can use play sand in the tank (not until adult age though)... So what about reptile sand? 

    Thank you all so much for all your help!! 
     
  17. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    There seems to be a lot of generalities and misconceptions being made in reference to uvb bulbs here. First and foremost uvb fluorescent lighting does not necessarily need to run the full length of the enclosure. I have 22" fixtures in my 4' enclosures and they offer plenty of range for a proper uv gradient. I also use Arcadia t5 12% fluorescent that produces excellent uvb levels. Secondly mvb's will create heat but you may very well need a secondary heat source to get basking temps to where they need to be--there are a lot of factors at play here. This will also allow the animal to bask without uvb exposure. Personally I'd go with a standard 65-75w outdoor halogen, a 10-12" work light housing with ceramic fixture and a dimmer switch/cord to use for basking. The outdoor halogen will create a lot of heat per watt and the dimmer will allow you to adjust output to dial in temps accordingly. For uvb I would go with a 22-36" t5 HO fixture with Arcadia t5 HO 12% uvb bulbs to match (lightyourreptiles.com). For cool end ambient I would add a 23-30w daylight rated (6500k) compact fluorescent in a similar housing as the halogen.
     
  18. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Anyone??
     
  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    My recommendation of having the UVB tube running the length of the enclosure has nothing to do with misconceptions. It is based on years of experience.
    The UVB output of tubes is comparatively weak. There isn't a tube out there that will come anywhere near the strength of sunlight. And since UVB absorption is cumulative, having the animal always exposed to the tube's UVB radiation enables it to build up more of the previtamin D.
    Plus people tend to have taller tanks and put the fixtures so high that except cases where the animal can climb up close to the bulbs the UVB is weakened further. If the animal doesn't tend to climb, it doesn't get much UVB. By having the tubes stretch the length of the enclosure the exposure is increased.
     
  20. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hatchlings should be fed several times a day as many crickets as they will eat at each feeding! This is when they do their majority of their growing. Place a few crickets at a time, adding more as they eat them, when it looks like they don't want anymore then take out any uneaten ones. Do a morning feeding, after the enclosure has warmed up, another feeding around noon and another feeding at supper.
    You can leave a little saucer of finely chopped greens and grated squash in the enclosure during the day in between meals.
    I usually would take my girl out in the morning while her enclosure was warming up and would give her a soak in shallow bath/sink. Then I would cuddle until and dry off and when the temps were good I would put her back in the enclosure for her feeding. You also don't want to feed them anything 2 hrs prior to lights and heat being shut off for the night.
    For the first 9 months I would roughly go through about 1000 crickets ever 3 weeks. I ordered mine online, its much cheaper to buy in bulk once you get an idea on how many your little one eat at a time.

    As for sand, I'm against sand at all ages, I like ceramic, porcelain or slate tiles. It much easier to keep clean, easier to walk on and won't harbour bacteria. Tiles can be wiped down or taken out for a thorough cleaning.
    Some of the sands that they sell for reptiles is very bad, it contains calcium and they will eat it and that can lead to an impaction, which can lead to prolapse, paralysis and even death.

    Hope this helped!
     

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