Rio Reptiles
Rio Reptiles - A Rescue Resort

 

 

 

Housing & Enclosures Size Guide
Up to 3 Months 10, 20 or 30 Gallon Aquarium or a Large Plastic Bin  
Baby to Juvie Rough Tile, Reptile Carpet, Towels or Paper Towels for Substrate - No Loose Particles!  
  Climbing Branch, Rocks & Hiding Spot  
  Proper Lighting & Heating, Probe Thermomter or Temp Gun  
  Clean daily, disinfect monthly.  
  Please do not use any fine calcium type sands with your bearded dragon  
Over 3 Months Ideal Size 6 to 8 Square Foot of Floor Space or 36” x 18” to 48" x 24” and 18” to 24” in height. This may seem large at first but a full sized adult dragon will accomodate it well.  
Juvie to Adult Natural Stone Tile, Shelf Liner, Reptile Carpet, Dish Towels, Well Sifted Play Sand  
  Climbing Branches, Basking Rocks, Hiding Spot  
  Large Salad Dish  
  Proper Lighting & Heating, Probe Thermomter or Temp Gun  
  Clean daily, disinfect monthly.  
Lighting Proper lighting can be done a couple different ways depending on preference.  
  Fluorescent Linear Tube UV Bulb With Additional Basking Bulb for Heat  
  If you decided to use a fluorescent bulb to provide UV, you will need to provide an additional bulb for basking.  Keep in mind fluorescent bulbs must be span the entire enclosure and be within 12" of your dragon at all times. They also must be replaced every 6 months, their phosphors degrade quickly and don’t provide the proper output after this time.  The basking bulb can be an incandescent spot light or household bulb from 45 to 100 watts, depending on ventilation and distance, as long as the temperatures are correct in the area directly beneath the bulb.  It is also essential to provide a bright light source that can be directly related to the heat since that is how the dragons interpret a hot sunny day in the desert.  
  Acceptable Bulbs  -   Zoo Med Repti-Sun 10  
  When using a fluorescent bulb, it is important to use a calcium supplement with added D3.  
  Please, NEVER use any coil or compact flourescent UV bulbs, they can be insufficient or harmful.  
  Mercury Vapor UV Bulb - Combination Heat & UV  
  If your set up will accommodate a mercury vapor bulb, their UV output is more similar to the sun itself, therefore provides better UV and heat for basking.  MVB’s usually come in 100 watt and 160 watt depending on the distance it will be located from the basking area.  It is important to pay close attention to the manufacturers specifications for distance so that your dragon is safe and comfortable.  Typically, 100 watt bulbs have a minimum distance of 12” from the animal and the 160 watt should be at least 18” away from the animal.  Again always refer to the manufacturers specifications for proper distance requirements and be sure there are no quality issues at the time of purchase.  
  Acceptable Bulbs  -  PowerSun, Megaray and T Rex working on Fix  
  When using a mercury vapor bulb, it is important to use a calcium supplement with out added D3.  
     
Temperature

When setting up the lighting it is important to be able to achieve stable temperatures in the basking area from 100ºF to 110ºF.  These high temps will allow your dragon to digest their food properly.  If it gets too hot or too cold, it can adversely affect the health of your dragon as well as their moods.  It is also necessary to have an area for them a cooler area around 80ºF or less so that they can retreat somewhere to cool down and regulate their body temp.  Just be careful to not let the temperature get too hot or to get below 65ºF. Please make sure your temps are stabilized before putting your dragon in the enclosure.

To figure all this out can seem fairly complicated, but a trip to Wal Mart for a digital thermometer with a remote probe sensor on the end is all you need.  There is a small model of the household Accutemp thermometer that displays indoor temps, outdoor temps and humidity levels.  If you position it on the cool side of the enclosure, you can put the probe in the basking area and display both temps where you can easily read them at any time. There are other alternatives available from reptile supply stores as well.   It is also a good idea to be able to spot check areas with a laser digital thermometer.  These range in price from $24 up and can be ordered online or picked up at Lowes or auto and hardware type stores.

 
  Do not use stick on or cheap dial thermometers in the basking area as they tend to be unreliable and inaccurate.  

 

 

© 2009 Rio Reptiles. All Rights Reserved