Hello group, my first post here Emotion: smile
I've got a nice bearded dragon baby. I've read the docs online for a long time before I got it, and I'm pretty sure I'm handling things OK so far Emotion: smile

Today I moved him into a large wooden enclosure I built myself. The enclosure is 6' W x 2' H x 2' D. I plan to close off half of it for a while until the critter grows into it. Here's a picture of it:

One of the things I've read is that the temp needs to stay around 100~110 F in the basking spot during the day and no lower than 70F at night. The daytime lights are no problem, I can adjust, buy more or whatever. The trouble is the nighttime temp. I have the box in the basement and the temp frequently drops to the mid 60s at night, however, I can't really buy more lights and disturb the dragon's naptime Emotion: sad The one black-light I have doesn't warm anything.
Anyway, the container is wooden with a sand substrate and I'd like to ask about heating options. The heat rock I have does diddly-squat and the dragon doesn't seem to want to sleep on it. How can I keep the entire enclosure warm without causing a fire-hazard? And I don'twant to end up heating the rest of the basement Emotion: smile
Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
Grey
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I'm completely new to this, so bear with me - but can't you cover the box - at least partially? I would think that would keep the heat from the rock in.
Also, try keeping the box raised using phone books if need be Emotion: smile. The concrete under that carpet is cold! Maybe then a small space heater under the box would do the trick? What about standard under tank heaters?
I'm dealing with a similar problem (see my previous post "firbelly toad home temp").
I can't really buy
more lights and disturb the dragon's naptime Emotion: sad The one black-light I have doesn't warm anything.

Three words: ceramic heat emitter. Emotion: smile
Hello group, my first post here Emotion: smile I've got a nice bearded dragon baby. I've read the docs online for ... Idon'twant to end up heating the rest of the basement Emotion: smile Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Grey

Ceramic heat emitter at top, and some heat tape on the bottom should go a long ways towards a satisfactory temp.
Second thought, after viewing the pic, heat tape likely would have no effect on wood - Might be able to lay some plexiglass on one side,place the heat tape on it, then cover it with substrate. You would need to drill a hole for the electrical cord though.
For an enclosure that large you would likely need 2 high power ceramic heat lamps, hung about halfway down, one on one end and one in the middle - And an enclosure for the top to retain the heat.
You would also need 3 or so thermometers placed about the enclosure to satisfy yourself that hes getting the proper heat range within his environment.
I can't really buy

more lights and disturb the dragon's naptime Emotion: sad The one black-light I have doesn't warm anything.

Three words: ceramic heat emitter. Emotion: smile

The only way to go as the basking heat supply, wired via a thermostat to prevent tank overheat. Day and night temps are not important and if the dragon
has a hide up the cool end, he'll soon learn to use it. UTH is not necessary as they absorb most heat through the back. Also using party blacklights of the "blacklight blue" (BLB) type can cause eye damage over long periods so it's best to use a specific UVA - UVB reptile fluoro.
I can't really buy Three words: ceramic heat emitter. Emotion: smile

The only way to go as the basking heat supply, wired via a thermostat to prevent tank overheat. Day and ... type can cause eye damage over long periods so it's best to use a specific UVA - UVB reptile fluoro.

i never use night time heating, in the wold night temps drop like a stone.
Hello group, my first post here Emotion: smile I've got a nice bearded dragon baby. I've read the docs online for ... Idon'twant to end up heating the rest of the basement Emotion: smile Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Grey

I can't believe no one's said it. Get rid of the heat-rock, or unplug it. Those things have been known to cause thermal burns. The ceramic heat lamp that the others have mentioned works really well, I have one in my lizard's tank that provides a nice heat gradient. You will be able to leave it on day and night, since as warrigal said they don't need that variation in temperature. Hides at the warm and cool end of the terrarium will allow him to choose how warm he wants to be.
Gloria
Anyway, the container is wooden with a sand substrate and I'd like to ask about heating options. The heat rock ... I don'twant to end up heating the rest of the basement Emotion: smile Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Grey

I have several issues to raise from looking at that pic.
1) I can't see any sort of lid on it. Heat rises and will escape so anyattempt to heat the enclosure without a lid is futile. You need to be providing a thermal gradient across the whole viv and not just provide a hotspot under a heatlamp.
2) I can't see any form of UV lighting, unless it is housed in the longblack box across the front, which in that case is of no benefit to your beardie whatsoever. It needs to be placed within 6"-12" of his reach for him to gain any benefit from it.
3) You mention you have a heat rock - GET RID OF IT - the heat is notdistibuted evenly and can cause severe thermal burns to your beardie.
4) You appear to have a light attached at both ends, which isn't goingto give a satisfactory thermal gradient. All heating devices need to be at one end, creating a basking spot of ~100F and an ambient temp of 85-90F dropping to 75-80F at the cool end. Night time temps can safely drop to 65F and don't usually need extra heat unless your home is particularly cold at night.
5) I don't see any thermometers in there to monitor temperatures. Ideally you would place one at each end and one in the middle to monitor properly.
My recommended form of heating would be with a ceramic heat lamp, attached to a dimmer or pulse thermostat to control the heat output (don't use on/off type thermostats with ceramic heating). You can then set this to achieve both day and nightime temps, turning it down at night to keep some background heat if neccesary. You would probably need a 250W bulb for a viv of that size.
Beardies (and many other reps) tend to associate heat with light, so you would still need a spot light to create a basking spot placed lower down, or above his favourite basking log or whatever, but make sure you place it on the same side as the ceramic.
And for the lid - you need to keep some ventilation so my advice would be to make a frame with one half of the lid solid wood (ideal to attach lamps to) and a wire mesh covering the other half.

HTH
Thanks for the advice everyone Emotion: smile
Just to defend myself a little:
1) The enclosure is in the basement because a) it's one of the few placesin the house with enough room and b) because it's the only one of the places in a) which I can close to door to my brother's felis domesticus Emotion: wink
2) I just finished building this thing yesterday so the light and heatsetups aren't final. I'll be double checking temperatures and light distances during the day to make sure everything is cosy.
3) I don't know what anyone has against heat rocks, but the one I have iselectronically controlled and doesn't even get above 90F. The lizard would have a better chance of getting burned by sleeping in my hand Emotion: smile
Originally I wasn't going to cover the box, but now with the temp problems at night and because of the advice you've all given, I see that it's probably best. I'll probably get a 4' x 2' piece of plywood to lay over 2/3 of the top with the open space for maintenance and air. Is that an okay covering, or should it cover more?
I'll also look into these ceramic heating lamps. Are these lamps something I can get at the pet store? My enclosure is a big one and I can't help thinking that anything I buy at the "pet store" will be too small or weak. Are there bigger substitutes I can buy at, say, Home Depot?

Grey
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