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Help, so many questions :(

783 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Joe Fish
So I am currently building an enclosure in my room for a Chinese water dragon. I have a 75 gallon long that will be sitting on 4x4s. I want to build a cage around it that is either plywood or plexiglass on the sides and back, with a mesh front that has a door and a mesh top. Am I completely off on that? Any other suggestions?

I bought a hanging light fixture for the full-spectrum fluorescent lightbulbs I have, which I would hang from the ceiling above the cage. I'm going to buy heat lamps but I have NO idea where to put them, which ones to buy, etc. There's so many options and I feel overwhelmed because I haven't done this before and I want to make the best decisions. Are there ones that can go in the enclose, since its going to be tall and I want to make sure the lower levels are warm enough?

The tank is going to be half water, half land, with a removable pool for easy cleaning and two waterfall features, one which is also a mister. There will be plenty of sturdy things for him to climb on (the enclosure will be around 6' high). I plan on using live plants.

For the substrate I was thinking of doing a sterilized soil/spaghnum/charcoal/coconut fiber mix. It will have a drainage system at the bottom, with charcoal, then moss, and then the substrate.

Any opinions, suggestions, advice, help? Especially with the whole heat lamp thing. I am so lost on how I will incorporate that
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For something in the size I'm imagining from your description, you'll need supplemental heat at the ground level. The basking heat lamps could be mounted to the top with the basking location underneath. The bulb could be covered by mesh to keep your dragon away from direct contact. I wouldn't build it with mesh, either. That will let too much heat and humidity escape. If you run AC in the summer, stick to small vents for air exchange.
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