The UVB tube should cover at least 50–66% of the tank's length. Fix T5 at 12" (30cm) and T8 at 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) above your dragon. Place it near a basking light so that your dragon may absorb UVB while bathing. Mercury vapor bulb-light and UVA/UVB; not ideal because it does not power the enclosure. Battery-operated UVB lamps are available but give off almost no visible light which is necessary for photosynthesis.
A small, fluorescent UVB lamp can be placed on the floor of your terrarium to provide additional radiation. These are useful for sterilizing insects that may otherwise prey upon your dragon. They should be turned on for about 20 minutes per hour during daylight hours.
Bearded dragons require between 10,000 and 15,000 milliwatts per square meter (mW/m2) to meet their needs. A standard T5 fluorescent light bulb produces 2,700 mW/m2 so you would need two of them for full coverage. However, many captive specimens receive more than this amount of radiation from natural sunlight so you would want to increase the number of bulbs accordingly. For example, if your bearded dragon only receives 4,500 mW/m2 in the summer sun then you would only need one T5 bulb for full coverage.
It is important to note that UV radiation can also be harmful to humans so please use caution not to allow children to play with unshielded lamps.
This lamp will give appropriate UVB coverage for a modest to medium-sized bearded dragon setup. This 26-watt compact fluorescent UV bulb, like other 26-watt compact fluorescent UV bulbs, will penetrate 7 to 10 inches before the UV light begins to fade. The size of this bulb distinguishes it from the Zoo Med ReptiSun. It is also smaller than most of the other bulbs available on the market today.
Bearded dragons are small, scale covered reptiles that were originally collected in South America but are now found everywhere in the world where there are large numbers of people who keep them as pets. They can be kept as a pet if they are given proper care and exposure to the outdoors. These animals require a habitat at least 1/2 yard by 1-1/2 yards in size with a block wall or similar structure at least 4 feet high. They also need a substrate such as wood shavings or shredded paper for bedding. Bearded dragons are not recommended for homes with children or cats because they tend to fight each other during mating seasons or when competing for territory or females. However, with proper housing and supervision, these animals make excellent companions for an adult or older child. They are active during the day and night, so a light should be turned on to indicate that you are home even if you aren't there.
The best UVB light bulb for your bearded dragon for the money is the Zoo Med T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Lamp. This light has a similar name to the Zoo Med compact lamp but is larger, more cost-effective, and uses a different type of bulb. The T8 offers ten times more light than the Zoo Med compact lamp and lasts longer too! It's ideal for a reptile cage or terrarium.
Bearded dragons are nocturnal lizards that rely on sight to find food and mates. Thus, they need a source of ultraviolet B (UVB) light to produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. The lack of this vital nutrient in their natural habitat causes beardies to depend on owners to provide them with this necessary ingredient by keeping them inside during sunnier days.
However, indoor bearded dragons should not be left in complete darkness because this would lead to stress and illness. Therefore, a UVB light bulb is needed to simulate early morning sunlight. These bulbs do not emit any heat so they are safe for reptiles of all sizes.
Indoor bearded dragons like other reptiles need to have their cages or tanks cleaned out regularly. This helps remove any dead skin cells that may accumulate in the enclosure. Cleaning also prevents bacteria from accumulating in the cage which could cause diseases such as pneumonia or chlamydia.