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Reptiles/lighting and heating


In March I am going to get a Chinese water dragon. i had bought mini-combo dome. With it i am going to put an infrared bulb that is 75 watt and a basking bulb that is 75 watt as well. I also bought a deep dome lamp and i am going to put a bulb that is both uva and uvb (10.0). this bulb gives 10% uvb and 30% uva. My room is often very cold even in the summer. Is what i had bought(the bulbs)enough to keep the right temperature? Do i have enough uvb lighting fro the Chinese water dragon. Both infrared and basking bulbs are going to be in the same lamp (meaning they will be right next to each other while being held in the same lamp), will the infrared bulb do anything to the basking bulb? perhaps increase the basking temperature. Can anything bad happen from putting both infrared and basking bulbs in the same lamp(mini-combo-dome lamp)? If not what would happen. OH! Am i suppose to turn off the uvb bulb at night or not? PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!! Thank you!!!

Hi Amali,

That is smart of you to be researching and preparing the enclosure well ahead of acquiring your CWD.

The first consideration when choosing bulb strength (wattage) is safety. You need to be certain that your fixture is rated for the amount of wattage of the bulb/bulbs you intend to use.
There should be a small sticker right near the bulb socket that states the maximum wattage to be used in each socket/fixture.

Most ceramic fixtures are rated for 100 to 150 watts so the 75 watt bulbs you are using should  be fine, but verify it first.

The infrared and the white basking bulbs are both heat producing bulbs so you will have 150 watts of heat production. The only difference is one produces light in the visible range and the other in the less visible infrared range. They can be used together with no harm to each other. Infrared bulbs are sometimes used at night to keep nightime temperatures above a minimum level.

You need to provide a basking area temperature under that dome that reaches to the 90 - 95 F range which should be possible with 150 watts. It will be influenced by the temperature of the room (which you mentioned is cool) and how far away the bulbs are placed from the basking branch. You may have to alter the level of the branch inside the enclosure until you get the right range. You can just tape a thermometer to the branch while you experiment or alternately use a temperature gun to measure it.

It sounds like the UVB bulb you have is the compact/spiral type. The UV amount listed is sufficient but be aware that the compact UVB bulbs have caused some eye problems with reptiles in the past. Because they are compact, the brightness of these bulbs is concentrated in one spot and that was having a "snow blindness" affect with some species. The UV range was also not correct but manufacturers have moved to correct that.
Keep an eye on your dragon and if you notice any eye issues then you should switch to a long tube type of UVB bulb instead.

The UV bulb and the white basking bulb should be off at night to give your dragon a normal day and night period, 12 hours on and 12 hours off is the standard recommendation. Putting the bulbs on a timer will make that much easier. If your room temperature drops to below 72F at night then you may need to keep the infrared on during the night.

I'm linking two sites for you. The first talks about the problem with compact UVB bulbs from a few years ago and the second is Tricia's Water Dragon Care site which is the best site on line for the care of CWD's. Good luck with your new pet.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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