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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:25 am
by SpikeandRoxysMum
Hello everyone. I'm no good at these intro things so be nice!! 🤣

I've known people who have beardies and years ago I was friends with someone who rescued them so over them last 20 years I've read and seen a lot about them but I never got one because I didn't think I was in the right place to take one on. That changed just before Christmas!! 😂

My teenage nephew got a beardie called Spike. For 3 years he took Spike everywhere and cared for him. Then he discovered girls! And poor Spike was pushed to the side.

After nearly a year of caring for Spike, 4 kids and other animals my sister was struggling so I said I'd take him on. But I'm concerned he's far too small!! She said he ate hoppers and rocket, which doesn't seem like much! So I'm trying to introduce new foods and herpitivite powder. Any advice would be gratefully received!!

As for me, I'm Vicki, married, one daughter and a miniature jack Russell called Roxy! I'm disabled so home most of the time which means I can pay attention to the animals, but never together! I was told Spike liked to play with the cats but that seemed odd to me! Especially as he turns black as soon as the cats walk in the room and that with him securely in his tank where they can't get to him!!

I look forward to getting to know you all and learning a lot more about beardies!!!



Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:30 am
by MarlowAndMe
Hi :) welcome to the page and good on you for taking on spike to give him a better home :)
I recently adopted a 9month old ( now coming up 12months) who has stunted growth from husbandry before I got him also.
How long is he nose to tip of tail? Do you know how much he weighs? A great thing to invest in is kitchen scale to weigh him. I weigh my boy weekly to check he hasn’t lost any weight as that can be a sign of a problem.
Herpitivite is vitamins right? I’m in a different country so we don’t have that one but I’m sure I’ve heard it talked about here before as a vitamins
Vitamins for a adult should be given 1-2 times per week Max. He will also need calcium 3 times a week too dusted in his insects (calcium with d3 if your uvb is a t8 and calcium without d3 if you have a t5 ho. If you write on here what is written on your tube we should be able to help you figure it out)
If you post photos of your setup we could help you to make sure everything is right for spike :)
You’re right , Rocket and hoppers is not a good enough diet.
At his age he should be having a big salad daily and then 2-3 times a week a insect meal dusted with calcium powder.
Salad should be made up of a green ( collard greens, mustard greens, rocket, kale, endive) and then topped with some of the other safe items on this food list

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:48 am
by avasgoldfish
Hi! It looks like Marlowandme covered everything so I'm just saying, Welcome! :)

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:10 pm
by SpikeandRoxysMum
Wow!! Thank you!!! I'll look at the bulb and take photos in the morning when the light is better. Yeah, herpitivite is a 'multivitamin for beardies' so it's kind of everything.

Didn't think of scales!! I'll sort some. I'm always obsessing about his weight so it will be good to keep track.

'big salad daily'!!!! Oh I wish!! I've finally got him eating grapes but only 2-4 a day. I gave in and gave him rocket again (I'd stopped it to try and get him eating more variety) he left it there all day untouched!! I'm literally going through the supermarket and buying new veg each week then trying to get him to eat it! I thought I'd try cucumber!!!! He threw it back at me!

I'm seriously worried about his diet and now you've said that I'm even more worried! He has his grapes every day, ever 2-3 days he has hoppers or crickets (I've learned what he's asking for and when now!!) And I've just got him eating dried meal worms! I tried dried crickets...... They went down as well as the cucumber!!!

I know I'm doing things wrong and I'm sure his tank is set up wrong (light, heaters are fine! His toys on the other hand!!) I've pretty much been guided by Spike. I didn't want to change everything too quickly so I stuck to how things were and changed one thing at a time.

The first thing I did change was his tank!! They got Spike as a baby, his rock was the same rock!!!! I know he's small but trust me, he could barely fit on that rock!! So I got him a much bigger rock. He only had a small rock, food bowl and water bowl. So I got him a hanging bridge, wooden bridge, hammock, fake plant (that said was suitable for him!) Small heat mat because it gets very cold at night and a digital thermometer.

Sorry!!!! I'm typing as I think!! That's another issue, I think the tank is way too cool. I got a stronger bulb to heat it up to what everyone said to put it at and he went spare. It's around 24oC/75oF at the hot end. I've read it should be nearer 30oC!!! Is that true????

I'll stop now! Before I think of something else!

Thanks again for your advice!!! As you see I'm going to need it!

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:21 pm
by MarlowAndMe
Yep as an adult you want his basking spot to be around 37c
What are you using for a basking light? I’ll wait for the photos and go from there :)

Herpivite won’t cover calcium though if it’s a vitamin , he will need calcium 3 times a week

Rocket is fine as a staple green and bulk of his salad. just try adding a little of the other veges on that link I gave you, mix it amongst the rocket in his bowl and he will get used to some. Pumpkin and squash usually are accepted well so I would start there :) capsicum/ pepper are also hits often with beardies
Fruit should only be a small tiny amount 2 x a week max so I would cut the grapes right back , your keeping his rocket so he should be ok and not too upset by it :)

Try to follow at least half his daily salad as a green ( mustard, collard, rocket, kale) the other half pick two or three from that link I gave you to add to it ( squash , pumpkin , sweet potato I’d start with)

Then fruit 2x a week max - that list tells you which ones are safe and not
And insects 2-3 times a week.

Heat mats aren’t very good for beardies as they don’t sense heat well under their bellies which can lead to burns. If your house doesn’t drop below 65f you won’t need an night heat. If it does I recommend a ceramic heat emmiter instead

Dried insects aren’t good , especially meal worms. Even live meal worms are very hard to digest for a beardie and not recommended anymore. Live Black soldier fly larvae or Dubais are much better. I can’t easily get insects here so I’m using a product called Repashy Grub Pie which you make by mixing the powder with water and it sets like jello
It’s made with black soldier fly larvae and a lot of beardies love it - you can safely use that 2-3 times a week in place of the 2-3 times a week insects until you figure out where to get your insects or start breeding them. It is a much better option than dried insects

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:30 pm
by MarlowAndMe
The key to the veges is variety. It’s important for their diet to have a wide range in it of veges.
Here’s a link to how we get the most out of the veges we buy him so none is wasted

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:35 pm
by SpikeandRoxysMum
Couldn't figure out how to post photos so I've put them on my Flickr account.

I cant get the bulb details until morning as its too hot!!😂

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:45 pm
by SpikeandRoxysMum
Thanks, I've ordered Repashy Grub Pie and the veggie burger one. Hopefully i can get him to eat that. Do you put it in a bowl and let him help himself?

See, this is what im worried about! The tank is WAY too cool but he hated it hotter! He got really stressed. I dint know what to do? It cant be good for him but thats what he's used to. The veg, he wont like but I can live with that but the heat thing..... Surely stress is worse???

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:38 pm
by CooperDragon
What are the dimensions of his tank? It looks too small for him to move about much. It looks like he can get pretty close to that basking light too. Maybe it's just the photos though. How far is the basking light from him when he's on the log ladder?

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:51 pm
by MarlowAndMe
Cooperdragon helped me a lot on my setup so he’s a good one to get help from on that side of things :)

As far as the Repashy Grub Pie questions - you mix one tablespoon of the powder to 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water then stir quickly before it begins to set as it sets fast. Then pour it into ice cube moulds and let it set :) then you can store it in the fridge. On the days you are going to give it (2-3 days a week) bring out one ice cube and let it warm to room temperature before feeding. I then cut the cube into little strips like worms and put ontop of his salad. Some will only eat it if you wiggle it like worms near them until they know what it is

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:39 am
by SpikeandRoxysMum
I'll get Steve (other half!) To help me measure the tank and post it later (disability suck!)

I've taken a photo of the light bulb, I then remembered I have the stronger heatbulb still so I photoed the box. He has that bulb but it's a 50 watt

I think the tank is too small too. I'm worried I've made it worse by putting too much in it?? He seems to love the bridge and hammock, he's never on the floor!!! 😂 But it does make it too crowded.

Quick question? Can they go through delayed puberty??!!! The last few days he's started head bobbing and puffing. I'm not sure if it's sexual or just a toddler tantrum pushing the new owners boundaries??!

Thanks again for your help and advice. I want to get everything right for Spike and there's so many site that claim to know what's best. I'd rather speak to actually owners who can help me,

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am
by MarlowAndMe
Ok so the uvb is only a 5% which is not suitable at all for a bearded dragon. Also he will pretty much get nothing from that uvb and if it’s older than 6 months it will no longer be providing any uvb at all
The t8s (10%) only provide enough uvb for 6months so the tubes need replaced 6monthly. Also the placement of it being in the back wall is not a good position for it.

Recent years with technology advances the t8s are fading out of use by beardie owners and t5s are now the recommended tube
However if the photos are not deceiving height wise you will need to upgrade your vivarium and get the new uvb fitting and bulb to fit the new viv so you don’t have to upgrade again.
A 4ft x 2ft is the size needed for a adult beardie, and height of at least 18”. The t5 uvb tube needs to be attached under the roof of viv in the middle , 12” from the dragon.
The basking bulb also needs to be further away (12” is recommended) and then you can go up in watts on the basking bulb to get your tank warmer in the basking spot.

The good news is you sound like you are in the uk I’m guessing ? ( the use of the word rocket)
You will have access to things that in little New Zealand I have to order overseas
Here’s a photo of mine and I’ll link you to the items that I’ve mentioned and use myself in the next comment :)

[Click image to enlarge]

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:19 am
by MarlowAndMe
With a t5 you want one around half the length of your viv ( no more than 3/4s the length of length ). The reason for that is because it provides so much more uvb compared to t8s that you don’t need it over the whole tank. Also it leaves the cool end so he can get away from uvb when he needs too ( they are very good at knowing what they need themselves )
If you get a 4ft by 2ft viv with either 18” or 24” height then the t5 needed is : ... desert-12/ choose the 24w one as that one is about half the length of a viv that size - thats what I have :)
That’s the entire kit for a t5 AND the tube. Also these tubes last a lot longer than a t8 tube and only need replaced yearly
For basking there are a lot of options so I’ll just link the one I know , use and trust here ... lar-flood/ I use a 75w in my 4ft x2ft by 18” high viv. But the watts may vary for you in your viv and may take trial and error with a couple of different watts to find the one that works in your setup.
My basking spot is the grey ramp in my photo . I have my basking spot 12” away from the t5 prot5 kit uvb and same away distance from the basking bulb ( my basking bulb is in one of the domes ontop of my viv in the photo)

The other dome I have on top of the mesh of my viv is a ceramic heat emmiter - which you won’t have to worry about if night time at yours doesn’t drop below 18c (65f)
If it is that cold there at night then let me know and I can help with that too :)

Re: Hello!

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:09 am
by SpikeandRoxysMum
First, sorry it's taken so long to reply. Had a few family issues!!

Second, wow thanks guys! You've really helped!

The tank is 3ft long so too small. I'm looking into replacing it but it's going to take time.

As for Spike, he 18 inches from nose to tail which I'm assuming is too small? He looks too small. I've not managed to weigh him yet. I need a tub to sit him in because he won't stay on the scales!!

The UV light. I asked my sister and she says it's the original bulb! So it's 4 years old!! I'm going to order a replacement as soon as I finish typing this.

Yes, I'm in the UK, and yes it gets down to 15oc in my living room on a cold winter's night so I'm going to get a ceramic bulb and cage too.

I tried upping his heat bulb to a 75 watt and he hates it! What do I do?? Has he just got used to it being cooler?? I can get it to 28oc in his basking area and that's it. But saying that it's less than 12 inches from him so maybe the intensity overweight it???!

If anyone is near North Wiltshire and they want to swap a 3ft tank for a 4ft tank please get in touch!! 😂