Heating/Lighting 30g terrarium for anole
I have searched through the posts, but unfortunately it seems that even though there have been many questions like mine, they are all for slightly different circumstances. So I am hoping no one will be upset by my post. I do need some help so I will give detailed explanations of my situation and see if anyone can help me out.
I currently have a 30gallon regular aquarium that I have set up as a terrarium. I do not have any creatures in there, but will obtain an green bahaman anole I am taking second-hand from a friend.
I have been working on this setup for almost three months due to continuing problems and budget.
Here's the basic setup of my tank. I built a rock wall going the width of the tank about 8 inches from the right wall. This separates the land from the pond with mesh and sphagnum moss. The land is made up of jungle bed. I currently have plants that have been in there since the initial setup. They are growing very well. They could be better, but they are tall and beautiful. As a ground cover I am using creeping ficus. I will have some tropical moss soon as well. In the pond, I have one of those waterfalls that come with the carbon filters. Outside of the water is a log of wood and slate rocks. The water comes up about 3-4 inches. There is no room for thermostat in the water. I wanted to make sure nothing could drown in there, plus I don't feel comfortable knowing that water can evaporate very quickly when all you have is a few inches square of it.
I had two extra fish hoods for 10gallon tanks so I used those over the tank for the first two months, spread out a little to cover the tank. They both took regular 18" flourescent strip lights, 15w each.
I got a zoomed combo hood. I do not recommend this to anyone. I returned it almost immediately. First, they don't have multiple cables for day/night timing. I know there's another combo brand out there with multiple cables but I haven't tried it. I used a 60w incandescent over the pond portion and in about an hour, the grass growing out of the water was burnt to a crisp. I figured this meant I couldn't use such bright incandescents.
Anyway, as I'm working on a budget, I had to mail it back and wait about two weeks for the refund so I could get something else. I had done a lot of testing of temps/humidity levels. I'm not concerned with the humidity towards the top, cuz I know the anole will go up and down as he'll see fit, and there will always be plenty of humidity at the bottom. However, I need to get the temperature at the top to get in the high eighties (I concluded this after reading through MANY anole caresheets).
I figured, since two smaller flourescents brought the temperature to 81 degrees, that perhaps I should just get a 30" double strip light fixture. I went ahead and ordered that with two reptisuns 5.0. The hottest I could get it once I received these lights was 82 degrees! I guess this must be due to surface area dimensions I wasn't considering before. I figured 30w came in at 81, so 40w must sure raise it up a few extra degrees. But no...only one degree. Not good enough.
I got a clamp lamp with a 75w bulb. This clamp lamp was 8 and 1/2" in diameter with a dimmer. Unfortunately, the top of the tank isn't wide enough for the fluorescent fixture AND the clamp lamp. I fixed it so that the clamp lamp was on the right side, the pond size with considerably less plants. I used the dimmer to raise and lower the temp until I got a good 88 degrees going. I was talking to a friend when suddenly I heard a loud sound. I went running to the terrarium to find the side glass cracked! Luckily, the crack goes from the top middle of the tank and goes down only about halfway toward the outside. It's well enough above the water.
I just can't believe this! I'm going to have to silicone the crack because I just can't transfer everything...I mean, I could...but I don't want to. I'd have to rebuild the rock wall and the let the plants reacclimate after such great root growth.
I just don't know what my next move should be. I was considering purchasing two clamp lamps that are only 5 and 1/2" in diameter, and sitting these in front of the fluorescent fixture. On top of the tank.
I am currently using a glass top, not a screen.
Also, the color of the reptisuns 5.0 doesn't seem to be bright enough. I was also considering using only one instead of two and just use a regular fluoresecent and only 1 reptisun.
Anyway, I would really appreciate any help I could get. Please keep in mind that I am on an extreme budget. I know this hobby is pricey and you shouldn't get into it unless you can afford it...but I love it so I just try and take my time...hence the three months setting up a 30 gallon setup.
I'm just sorry for my friend, cuz it's always a different excuse as to why I can't take the anole yet...but I refuse to put a creature in a setup that is not perfect. True, I could have just done a simple setup...but I love the looks of a fully planted tank...and if I can't have a setup that I find pleasing and beautiful and that its inhabitants aren't comfortable in, it's just not worth it. Sure, I'll have a nasty crack, but hopefully I'll be able to hide it a little with plants...inside and out.
Okay...well, thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and offering any help/advice you could give.