Getting into the first step

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Getting into the first step

Postby FOXYBEARD » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:59 am


Good morning everyone,
i am glad to have found this website/forum, plenty of great information and look like help from passionate people.

My daughter after years of negotiation with the wife manage to have the okay for a bearded dragon, but both my daughter and myself didnt want to just go buy one with the basic set up petshop sell and have an unhappy little friend.

I have few questions, hopefully people will help to answer for us to be able to start on the right track.

Having a limited budget and trying to have the best for our future family member:

Enclosure: i have an old 2*2*2 fish tank, i read the best is 4*2*2, but to start will that be enough? How long before he outgrow it?
we live in ireland in europe and on our budget, the biggest will be be 48″(L) 14.57″(D) 15.75″(H)

Lighting: I have the ballast from the fish tank ( 4*24 t5) the tube were for planted tank (2*10k white 2* growth 9that one go for sure), i think i will have to change them (what is the best set up bulb wise)

Heater: is one CHE (not sure if its the right term, but its what i was reading on one of the page) will be enough in the corner? What position will be the best?

Any advises and tips will be welcome.

Thanks a lot to have a nice forum like this
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Re: Getting into the first step

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:50 am

Welcome to the forum and thank you for asking first before spending money on junk stuff :D
First off what is recommended for a tank for a full size beardie before a year is a 75-120 gallon tank -- you can start off w/ something smaller like a 40 long tank but he/ she will outgrow it-- here are some places for enclosures you can look at -- boamaster-- carolinacages-- zenhabitats- -- are many more on the enclosure board under the great big list of enclosures --- look there as well --
next the lighting needed is this
Which UVB light should I use?
The best UVB light is a ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent tube HO (Or Arcardia 12% in the UK). Compact or coil bulbs do not emit the proper amount of UVB light for a bearded dragon, and should not be used. Other brands, such as the Zilla Desert Series and ReptiGlo have been known to cause eye problems and other health issues with bearded dragons, and should be avoided. The reason that some UVB lights (Zilla, ReptiGlo, coils/compacts, ect.) are considered dangerous is because the wavelength of UVB that they emit is shorter and more intense than the wavelength of the "safe" lights (ReptiSun, Arcadia).
UVB lights should be replaced every 6 months. The T5’s are a strong bulb and only need to be replaced once a year – the T 8 every 6 months--- where as the T 8 are not as strong—they need to be placed inside the tank the T 5 10.0 bulb approx 10-11 inches from basking spot – the T 8 approx 8-10 inches from basking spot—the cover needs to be off the bulb for full effect of the UVB rays--
Next you need a good white basking bulb that will keep the basking temps to 100-110 for a baby-- as they get older not as warm but 90-100 or so -- NO colored bulbs - they hurt the beardies eyes- a CHE is recommended for temps at nite below 65 -- you want the cool side of the tank around 80's during the day 65 and above at nite-- the CHE and basking bulb would be a trial and error thing-- CHE's come in 75 and 100 watt I believe--
Substrate paper towels for smaller tanks like 10-20 gallon --- anything bigger recommended is textured non adhesive shelf liner or a slated ceramic tile - both are cheap and can be purchased at your local home store --easy to clean w/ vinegar/ water 50/50 and in a spray bottle -
Temps should be taken w/ a infrared heat gun - they are the most accurate - a digital probe should be placed in the tank like on the cool side -
Feeding - I recommend dubia roaches - they are better for them easy to keep and they dont stink or chirp - they can be bought on line and suppliers offer free shipping from crickets tend to give parasites/ worms- they should be dusted w/ calcium D3 5 x per week along w/ vitamins 2 x per week - this would be the main diet till about a year and then its going to switch to mainly greens or salad --- w/ the bugs offered 2 times per week--- here is a website for nutrition -- you can also check out the feeding board as well --- I am sure I have not gotten everything and its a lot of info - some others can chime in on this as well
Gives you some info to start w/ good luck and please ask if you have anymore questions
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