Newbies Guide: What To Buy!

Written by Brandon (aka Claudiusx) on January 1, 2014
Page 2 of 4

Substrate


What do you need?
  • Kitchen tile (textured), slate tile, slate, linoleum, non-adhesive shelf liner, paper-towels, or newspaper.
Check out home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home depot

Extra Info

You do not want a loose substrate such as sand, crushed walnut, etc. I won't get into it here as there is a good guide by Jess here: http://www.beardeddragon.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=132151

Tile is my personal favorite. It looks nice, it is easy to clean, it is cheap, and it will outlast your dragon. $20 is more than enough money to buy enough tile for a whole 4x2x2 enclosure. You do not need to grout it in or seal it, although you can if you wish. I personally leave them in their loose. It makes it easy to clean. And you will be glad you didn't permanently affix them to the tank if the time comes to ever move the tank.

All other recommendations stem from the fact that they are a solid substrate, sanitary, and easy to clean.

Paper-towels and newspaper are a good substrate alternative when you are rehabilitating a sick dragon, or treating a dragon with parasites.

This section has less info than the others due to the fact that this thread: http://www.beardeddragon.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=132151 Covers all the information I could ever imagine to put here.


Tank/Enclosure


What do you need?
  • A 40g breeder tank, or a custom made 4' x 2' x 2'
Extra Info

A 40g breeder tank is a suitable tank for a dragon of any size! Don't house more than 1 dragon per tank!

A 4x2x2 is considered about the best size you can get for your dragon!

Unfortunately, the shipping on any of these sizes will be astronomical. But if you are willing, you can find some very fancy tanks online if you choose.

For a 40g breeder, your best bet is to check out your petshops, craigslist, classifieds, ETC. Petco often has $1 per gallon sales, where you can buy a 40g breeder tank for around $50 said and done. This is how I got all of my 40g Breeder tanks.

You want a 40g breeder tank as apposed to a normal 40g tank because of the dimensions of a 40g breeder.

A 40g breeder has a tank dimension of 36x18x18. A good size and minimum size for an adult. An adult will be happy in this size, so don't mistake the word minimum, for substandard.

Making a 4x2x2 tank could cost you just as much as buying a $50 40g breeder, assuming you have the tools for it.

Here is a good guide on how to build a 4x2x2 sized tank: http://www.freewebs.com/crossfireenclosures/

Why am I recommending only two sizes of tanks? Did I forget about babies? The answer is no. A baby will do perfectly fine in a large tank, I promise you. As long as you are following this guide, and providing proper husbandry, your baby will do fine. Heck, you could house your hatchling in a 1000g tank if you wanted to as long as you provided proper uvb and temperature.

Why buy multiple tanks as the dragon grows, and make the dragon suffer through relocation stress each time. Buy 1 tank, and you don't need to worry about constantly upgrading the size.


Thermometers


Yes, this deserved its own section!

What do you need?
  • An IR Temp gun and/or a Digital Thermometer with probe end
Extra Info

Now, if you spend some time around this site you will find I am a complete thermometer whore. But, for good reason.

Proper temperatures are arguably THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of your husbandry. Without proper temperatures, your dragon is not going to do well.

It is for this reason that it is paramount to KNOW the temperatures you have, and the ONLY way to do that, is with either a IR temp gun, or a digital thermometer with probe end. NO dial stick on thermometers!

I will not get into why not to trust dial stick on thermometers in this thread. Just know that they have been PROVEN to be off by nearly 40 degrees under certain circumstances. If you wish to learn more, check out my thermometer thread here, which is also why this section is shorter:
http://www.beardeddragon.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=167279