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Enclosure Too Tall?

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:03 am
by ekswhyzee
Hi there, I'm currently preparing an enclosure for a BTS that I will be getting in a few months, and I am a little worried that my aquarium is too tall for the UVB lighting. I have a 75 gallon which is 22 inches high. It has a screen top. I got it because the floor space was perfect, but is this too high for my guy? I'd rather know now and search for a new tank than find out my dude isn't getting the correct UVB requirements. I was planning to get a Mega-Ray Mercury bulb 160w to double as his basking light. Please help!

Re: Enclosure Too Tall?

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:27 am
by mb606587
Use a deeper level of substrate. 7-8 inches of substrate and then a raised basking platform and your skink will be in a great spot to get both the heat and UVB. I've never used that light so you can experiment and adjust accordingly until you find the perfect distance your skink should be for optimal temperatures. And your skink will appreciate the burrowing capabilities.

Re: Enclosure Too Tall?

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:37 am
by ekswhyzee
mb606587 wrote:Use a deeper level of substrate. 7-8 inches of substrate and then a raised basking platform and your skink will be in a great spot to get both the heat and UVB. I've never used that light so you can experiment and adjust accordingly until you find the perfect distance your skink should be for optimal temperatures. And your skink will appreciate the burrowing capabilities.


That's easy enough! Thank you so much for the help! Follow up question: I noticed while combing through threads that many keepers set up the substrate depth on a gradient. So, for instance, would it make sense if I had his basking spot at 7-8", then reduced the depth of the colder area to the regular 2"? It seems some people also decrease the substrate depth in the front of the tank to only a few cm! I can see how it would save money on substrate, but what are your thoughts on that?

Re: Enclosure Too Tall?

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:40 am
by ekswhyzee
Also, may I ask what you personally prefer as lights for your set-ups? There are so many different variations and I'm still trying to parse it all out.

Re: Enclosure Too Tall?

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:36 pm
by kingofnobbys
22" tall for an enclosure is fine for a BTS.

Shallower tanks for BTS is mainly so more tanks can be stacked in breeding racks.

Just means you can provide some opportunities to climb for it ( a bit of driftwood log say or a nice boulder ( fake or real )) .

Just means you'll need a higher wattage basking globe to achieve the required basking spot temperature and warm zone air temperature, and higher grade UVB source ( maybe a t5 12% UVB or t5 14% UVB tube to get the require basking spot UVB flux ).
Basking globe maybe a 120W halogen or Neodynium flood-globe on an inline lamp dimmer circuit ( simplest approach ) , just dial down the wattage until you get the desired temperatures.

Re: Enclosure Too Tall?

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:01 pm
by mb606587
ekswhyzee wrote:That's easy enough! Thank you so much for the help! Follow up question: I noticed while combing through threads that many keepers set up the substrate depth on a gradient. So, for instance, would it make sense if I had his basking spot at 7-8", then reduced the depth of the colder area to the regular 2"? It seems some people also decrease the substrate depth in the front of the tank to only a few cm! I can see how it would save money on substrate, but what are your thoughts on that?


My thoughts on that are it won't last for long. Your skink will end up kicking substrate all around and you'll constantly be having to adjust it. As for what I use personally, it varies by enclosure type. All of mine are custom built and not aquarium styles. I don't use UVB at all for most, just a 50 watt bulb. For the ones I do use UVB lighting for, that is the only source of light and then heat tape underneath. My skinks are approximately 8" from both heat lamps and UVB (5%) in each style enclosure.

Re: Enclosure Too Tall?

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:26 am
by ekswhyzee
This is all such helpful information. Thank you both so much! I'm going to fiddle with my set up until it's perfect for my future dinosaur. I'm going to stick with the aquarium for now, but maybe one day I'll have enough gumption to make a custom to upgrade it.