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 Post subject: Lamps and sunbathing!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:51 pm 
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EGG
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Hello.

As a Beardie virgin, I need help.

Have just taken delivery of a starter kit, as recommended on here, and all is well. the only issues I have are that firstly the kit has come with two dial thermometers, which I am told are not particularly accurate.

Also, I have no clue how to set up the lights. I have had suggestions that they do not need the ceramic lamp, but mostly from people in countries that are far warmer than northern UK. I am guessing I should put the ceramic lamp in roughly the same spot in the viv as the basking lamp, so that I can have a cool(er) spot at the other end of the viv. Am I right?

If I am... positioning anyone? The ceramic has a particularly big heat guard with it which has to be screwed to the roof of the viv, so I would perfer to do it once.

Is it also a good idea to put a sheltered spot (artificial roof type thing) in the viv so he can get even cooler should his needs demand? Perhpas this would also act as a sort of shelter at night.

I hear lots of comments about putting the (presumably UV strip) light on a timer. Can't I just switch it on at 8am and switch it off again at 8 or 9pm? The only timer I have is for the dimming thermostat, which I am guessing is for the ceramic lamp.

Which leads me to my last question... Shoulc the probe for the ceramic lamp thermostat be on the ground roughly in the middle of the viv? Assuming the two lamps (basking and heat) are together...

Sorry for what must appear like a barrage of stupid questions, but I want to get it right.

Thank you
Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Hi Tony,

Ill try and help you as much as I can as I think it was me that recommended it :)

The ceramic bulb will only be needed if the temperature drops below 16 at night. You will need to buy another thermostat as well for it. I dont actually use a night time ceramic as my viv stays ok. I would say to put it in the middle of the viv (someone may recommend differently.. Rick hopefully will see this soon) If you place it in the middle of the viv that way it will help keep the whole viv at 16 in the evenings instead of just one end. If you decide to use it you will want to set the thermostat to 16 and place the probe on the floor underneath it so if the temp does drop too low it will kick in.

The dial thermometers are pretty useless as they can be out by as much as 5c at times. Its probably best to get onto ebay and buy digital ones on there. they are only a couple of pound each.

I dont use a timer for my lights (but will do soon as going on holiday) I switch mine on at 0800 in the morning and turn them off at around 8pm. A timer would be easier but im too lazy to sort it out (i have 3 sat in the cupboard)

Is it a bit of bark you have that they can hide under (habba hut i think they are called) these can be used but arent recommended for beardies under a year old as they need as much exposure to the uv as possible. Once they get older you can introduce one. I know a few people who use them as basking logs.


Thats all I can remember you asked but if I missed something let me know

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:35 pm 
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Oh the dimming thermostat you got with it will be for the basking spot as that needs to stay at a constant temp of around 105.
Ther probe for that should be placed directly under the basking light along with a digital thermo probe so you can keep an eye on it. Ive found though in my viv that a 100w basking bulb gives the perfect temp of 104. When it gets warmer outside and we hit summer I usually swap it for a 75w.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Hi Daniel

It was you indeed! Thank you for that...

The 'hide' was only intended to be a sort of second floor in the viv that he would also be able to get under if need be.

Thank you very much for your help..... again!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:44 pm 
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If you need anything else let me know

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:49 pm 
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EGG
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That said, I now have further confusion... sorry.

The kit came with a 100w bulb, so will most likely give me the 104 ish that they need to bask.

How can I regulate the night temperature with the ceramic? Another thermostat? also, If I put the ceramic in the middle of the viv, will that not reduce the chance of a cool spot? Or is cool in their terms mediterranean in ours???


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:02 pm 
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The cool end isnt required at night. As long as the viv doesnt drop below 16 anywhere in the viv then its ok.
If I was to use a night time ceramic id put it in the middle. The best thing to do would be to use a dimming thermostat on it and turn it on when you turn your other lights off at night. that was it will kick in if the temp drops and keep it at a constant 16. then turn it back off at night.

The stat it came with I beleive is for the basking spot as most people do use them

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:49 am 
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Just to confirm Daniel's remarks about overnight heating. You just need a steady 16C with no cooler spot - so a centrally placed ceramic is OK.

Rick

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Thanks for all of that, Fellas.
One last thing... somebody in a shop where I was talking about the availability of live food said the basking temperature for babies should be no more than 85f... is this right? I though it was 104. Utterly confused now. Would I be better using a 60w bulb on a dimming thermostat? Am going to use the one I have with the ceramic lamp and just bought another one for the basking lamp. Overkill you might say, but want to get it right. Damn viv is looking like something out of a NASA control lab now!!!

If the log on which he can bask gets hot, will he burn himself if he has no feeling in his stomach?

Am I going on too much?


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 6:17 pm 
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The temp needs to be higher then 85! Stick with 104 (or as near to it as you can) with a gradient down to high 70's at the cool end, and your beardie will find the temp that he needs.
The basking log or stone will be fine under the bulb. We have 2 thermostats as well, a dimming one for the basking spot and a pulsating one for the ceramic heater which is set to come on between 12midnight and 6am IF the temp falls below 16. We set it up a few years ago when we had a poorly beardie in the middle of a cold winter and have just left it on :D

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Bearded Dragon:
Felix born 5/11/08
Bob born 25/12/07 Died 17/1/09 RIP
Hubby and 2 children: Ian, Sophie and Emily
Cats: Suzie and Sheba
Corn snake: Maxxie born 6/8/11

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Thanks, kathryn,

As luck would have it, the basking spot is currently reading 103.5... pretty close!

The 'cool' end, however, is 84, without any help whatsoever. Should I think about a small fan maybe?


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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Dont worry about a fan. As long as you get the basking temp spot on and there is a gradient towards the cool end it will be ok. If your worried it might be too hot in the cool end maybe add 2 additional vents that end to help with the air flow?

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:28 am 
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Sorry to be a pain, I know I am asking a lot of questions, and thank you all for you patience and help. But...

Should the temp at night be no less than 16, or a contant 16? The reason I ask is that I have just checked the night time temp on both digital thermometers after the lights being off for nearly four hours and they both ( at each end of the viv) say 22.7C. Is that too hot for him or is it ok?

He arrives on Tuesday, so want it to be right.

Thank you again.


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 1:08 am 
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That's a nice early summer night time temp 8) The 16C is a suggested minimum requirement not an absolute so as long as there is a drop overnight he'll be OK.

Rick

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:46 am 
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Thanks, Rick.

Thanks everybody, and thank you for your patience.


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