Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

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Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:26 am

Hello! I've been looking at this forum for a while and just signed up.
I'm Ella, I'm 15 and getting my first beardie tomorrow :blob5: (so excited!)

So, I've been keeping frogs for many years and have been so excited to get into the reptile hobby. My options are fairly limited, being in Australia, but I decided to get a beardie for my first reptile, because of their great demeanour and interesting personalities.
I've been researching their care, diet, personality, etc for a good five months, I hope I've got everything right.
I plan on getting a juvenile beardie, so I can watch it grow and bond with it (I know you can bond with adults too!)

So, aside from introducing myself, I'd like to check that I have everything right before the big day. I set up the tank 2 days ago.

So, the setup:
Vivarium: 4x2x2 foot melamine (Me and my dad handmade it.)
Heat: Heat Mat and 100w Basking Lamp. Measured temp with digital thermometer and probe.
Basking Spot: 41-42 Celsius (105-107 Fahrenheit)
Cool end: 26-27 Celsius (78-80 Fahrenheit)
Lighting: 10.0 Uvb tube

The tank has two hides (one at the cool end and one on the hot end that doubles as a basking spot)
A goldvine branch for climbing, that allows beardie to get within 15cm of UVB light.
A few fake plants (That are quite green... the setup isn't very 'desert-y' it looks more like a forest but it provides all the adequate needs for my dragon. I hope this is ok?)
Fake grass is what I use as a substrate, cut into 30x30cm squares so when one gets messy, I can replace it with my spare.
Also a small water dish (around the size of my hand and only a few cm deep)
And a food/salad dish.

Planned Diet: I plan on feeding the salad with a few Calci-worms on top, and crickets separate. I plan on pre-making the salads each week, and zip-lock bagging them in the fridge, so it's easy to make and feed.

Salad - I'll mix up between all these things, with a minimum of one item from each category. This is a plan but may change.

Greens (all daily) Note: As I'm in Australia, I struggle to find dandelion, collard or mustard greens. These are the best I've found.
* Bok Choy
* Chinese Broccoli
* Rocket

Vegetables
* Butternut pumpkin
* Green Beans
And one of the following daily:
* Celery
* Alfalfa sprouts
* Red Capsicum

Fruits (1 daily)
* Apple
* Blueberries
* Grapes
* Peaches
* Strawberries
* Watermelon
* Papaya
Note to self: DO NOT FEED AVOCADO, RHUBARB, TOMATOES, SPINACH AND BEET GREENS.

Protein / Insects
* Staple: Crickets
* On salad: Calci-worms
* Sometimes treat: Silkworms
Note to self: DO NOT FEED MEALWORMS, ANYTHING CAUGHT OUTSIDE OR MEAT

Schedule
As I'm in school, I'm not home for the majority of the day, so here is a schedule I've devised. Will I feed him enough?

Morning
7 am
- lights come on
- Pre-maid salad with calci-worms
- Replace water
- Clean faecal matter
Night
7.30 pm
- Feed dusted crickets in separate tub
- Clean food and water dishes (give leftovers to crickets)
- Replace water
- Clean faecal matter
- Spend time out of the enclosure
- Use this time to check health and shedding
9pm - lights turn off

Weekly
- Bath
- Take outside for some sun
- Prepare weeks salads in ziplock bags
Monthly
- Clean all aspects of the tank with watered down white vinegar and let dry in the sun.
Annually
- Take to vet for a check-up

I think that's everything I've planned. Thanks for the long read :study:
I didn't think it'll be this long :lol:

If there's anything that's wrong or needs revising, please tell me!
Thanks again! :wave:
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
I like lizards
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby ARandomGuy312 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:10 am

Hi Ella,

I think what you set up is perfect for your new little friend! As a fellow Australian I can relate on the difficulty on finding greens but I found that Kale and Endive are a really easy to find and nice green to feed! (My Beardie jumps down from her basking spot just to grab the kale out of my hand) And as a side note: be careful when taking he/she outside, she may run unexpectedly and that won’t be too ideal! Then again all Beardies are different so yours might not be as squirmish. And be sure to replace the UVB bulb every 6 months! (Not sure if you know that already, you did not say it so..) Also I noticed you said that you are adding a water bowl. Be prepared to clean a lot of ***** out of that! My Beardie ALWAYS poops inside of her water. If you get the feeling that he/she is not drinking out of it the misting should keep her hydrated. You can tell if he/she is dehydrated if he/she’s eyes are sunken in. Other than that. Good luck!

- Best, A Random Guy!
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby claudiusx » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:30 am

Welcome!

Looks like you really did your research, your setup sounds great. I'd ditch the heat mat though, it's not necessary and poses a slight burn risk.

Cant wait to see pics of your dragon once you get it! :)

-Brandon
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:30 pm

ARandomGuy312 wrote:Hi Ella,

I think what you set up is perfect for your new little friend! As a fellow Australian I can relate on the difficulty on finding greens but I found that Kale and Endive are a really easy to find and nice green to feed! (My Beardie jumps down from her basking spot just to grab the kale out of my hand) And as a side note: be careful when taking he/she outside, she may run unexpectedly and that won’t be too ideal! Then again all Beardies are different so yours might not be as squirmish. And be sure to replace the UVB bulb every 6 months! (Not sure if you know that already, you did not say it so..) Also I noticed you said that you are adding a water bowl. Be prepared to clean a lot of ***** out of that! My Beardie ALWAYS poops inside of her water. If you get the feeling that he/she is not drinking out of it the misting should keep her hydrated. You can tell if he/she is dehydrated if he/she’s eyes are sunken in. Other than that. Good luck!

- Best, A Random Guy!

Thanks! I'll be cleaning water bowl minimum twice daily, and I'll be sure to keep the possibility of crap in it in mind!
I'll be replacing it every 6 months, however, it did say on the box that the UVB should last one year. Should I just replace it every 6 months anyway, just in case?
I'll add Kale and Endive to my list.
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
I like lizards
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:35 pm

claudiusx wrote:Welcome!

Looks like you really did your research, your setup sounds great. I'd ditch the heat mat though, it's not necessary and poses a slight burn risk.

Cant wait to see pics of your dragon once you get it! :)

-Brandon

Hello!
Without the heat mat, I struggled to get the hot end up to desired temps. It could only reach a maximum of 38 degrees in the basking spot (100 Fahrenheit) and 24 Celsius in the cool end (75 Fahrenheit)
It is also heading into winter here, so I plan on only using it during the cold months.
However, the dragon won't be able to rest upon it, it's actually attached to the inner wall and heats up the air. I'd read it wouldn't do that, but it seems to be working great!
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
I like lizards
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:14 pm

I would recommend a Ceramic Heat emitter w/ NO light---- its great for winter either a 75 or 100 watt - I use a 100 watt on my 120 gallon tank and I recommend ditching the heat mat-- you can always raise basking spot for higher temps or get a higher wattage bulb
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby claudiusx » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:19 pm

What you are doing sounds OK.

Like Karrie said, you could raise your baking spot a bit, or lower the bulb a bit closer. I personally don't really care about the hot side temp as a whole, I only care about the surface temp where the dragon will be basking.
But if adding that heat mat increases that surface temp to where you need it, it should be ok. Although you'd save a bit on electricity with one of the other suggestions mentioned above.

-Brandon
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:01 pm

KarrieRee wrote:I would recommend a Ceramic Heat emitter w/ NO light---- its great for winter either a 75 or 100 watt - I use a 100 watt on my 120 gallon tank and I recommend ditching the heat mat-- you can always raise basking spot for higher temps or get a higher wattage bulb
Karrie

Hello, nice to meet you!
I'll definitely be considering a ceramic heat emitter, however, it is quite an expensive initial cost. As the surface temp is on the basking spot is good for now, I think I'll stick with it. If there's at all any problems or issues that arise with it, I'll switch to a CHE.
Chances are I'll ditch the heat mat anyway, as over winter I have my entire room heated for my frogs/fish, and I won't need it for summer.
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
I like lizards
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:14 pm

I would also suggest getting a infrared heat gun for accurate temps in the tank
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:23 pm

KarrieRee wrote:I would also suggest getting a infrared heat gun for accurate temps in the tank
Karrie

Sure! WOuld this kindof thing work? https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/8-Type-Non- ... 2992979489
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:26 pm

Probably but I would go w/ the gun type
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:47 pm

Guess who just arrived home :blob8:
He/She (Imma say he to make things easier, but I don't know yet) got home about 1/2 hour ago and has been super active. Very alert and interested, He's been running all over the tank. Right now he half-sitting in the water bowl. He looks like he's going to become a yellow/orange colour, that was the colour of his parents. He also has orange spots behind his ears, on his fore-legs, and his back.
He's super cute!
He's about 20cm from nose to tail and insists on licking everything :lol:
I can't decide between the names Popcorn or Peanut. What do you think?
I've also put one of my t-shirts in, so he can get used to my smell.
Here he/she is:
[Click image to enlarge]

(S)he's so goddam cute!
[Click image to enlarge]

Looking out the tank.
[Click image to enlarge]

His/Her first time on the goldvine branch.
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
I like lizards
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:29 am

Okey dokey, Update time!
He utilises the entire tank, runnings from one end to the other.
And, he had his first feeding!
Using a 'termite mound cricket feeder,' I got crickets to come out one by one, and he was able to hunt them down! As they came out slowly, there were very few that 'escaped' and I din't think there are any left to nag him overnight.
He ate like a pig, chased down every single cricket excitedly. It's so cute to see them run!
Ate like 30-ish in total, after 15 minutes and looked like he could've kept eating.
he's now sitting under the basking light.
I do believe there are some stress markings on his belly and chest, grey sort of spots/blobs. Like the pattern on a python or leopard. Are these stress markings, and is it because of relocation?

I'm going to try to give it's first salad tomorrow, the aquarium he came from didn't give the babies salad.
The salad consists of:
Bok-choy, watercress, capsicum, carrot, sweet potato and cilantro and tiny amounts of basil and spearmint.
Is this a good salad?
Once I get my live feeder order, I'll be putting calcium worms on top of the salad too.



Also, Popcorn or Peanut? I can't decide.
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
I like lizards
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby Aquilist » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:08 pm

I've decided on Popcorn!
So far so good, survived the night so that's a plus.
I'm just letting him get adjusted to his new tank, so just sitting beside it, not pestering him too much.
However, when I put my hand in to feed crickets or change the water, he often hisses at me.
I presume it's because it's a new environment and he's still a bit stressed?
Is this normal?
How many days do you suggest until I can start 'interacting' with Popcorn, I was planning on waiting a few days and then starting to attempt to hand-feed him? Would this work?
Until then, whenever I do homework or anything, I do it outside his tank.
Any suggestions?
Giving my grades up for adoption, because I can't raise them myself.
I like lizards
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Re: Hello! Newbie and getting my first beardie tomorrow!

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:40 pm

Popcorn is a cute name! Everything you said sounds great -- let him adjust especially put your hand in the tank and let him get used to it being there -- it may take awhile for him to adjust but just be patient-- he is so cute --- and yes hand feed him by all means that is one way for him to get used to you and your smell --- he will eventually come around but hes little and he needs a little time to adjust--- hiccup was the same way -- he would hiss and run he was around 3 months old -- but I just ignored him and did my thing cleaning his tank and feeding him his roaches - I hand fed him a couple of time -- we held him as well and he squirmed but he eventually got over it---
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