Newbie, sort of

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Newbie, sort of

Postby Xenoa » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:03 pm

Hello all,

Finally got registered to this site, after months of trying to read topics and learn (hopefully).

We got my son a beardie back in January as a late Christmas present. Zachius has grown from a little 5" long baby to almost 17" long after 8 months. We give him baths once or twice a week, and feed him crickets and black soldier fly larvae, and collard/turnip greens with cilantro, apples on occassion, or some squash.

I am currently using a 38w Halogen floodlight for his basking spot, and a Reptisun 24" T8 for UVB, and then a CHE on the cooler end running usually in the morning to warm up the tank.

I'm working on getting some tile or something for the floor of his tank. Right now we have been using this rock textured carpet that they sell at PetSmart. I have a little sandbox for him to dig through, but feed him on the opposite end of the tank.

He used to have a voracious appetite, but lately it has slowed way down. He used to eat 50-60 1/2" crickets a day, sometimes more. But now it's 25-30, plus he is not really touching the veggies. He used to spend all day on top of his logs warming himself, but since I went from a compact Reptisun 10.0 bulb to the 24" T8 tube variety, he seems to spend more time under his log in the shade, and is much less active. I have his basking area between 100-106 degrees, and the rest of the tank reads between 88-90 on the warm side to (usually) 81-84 on the cooler side.

Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions on his habitat arrangement, or other areas we can improve on, please let me know. Also, does Zachius look healthy from the pics? Like I said, he has slowed down eating over the past few weeks and went more into laying under his log. Kinda worries me. I've already gained decent knowledge just from coming here over the past months, but I'm always open to suggestions and constructive criticisms! :)
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Thank you!
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:31 am

They tend to slow down on eating but I would suggest getting him some dubia roaches - they kinda burn out on eating the same things --- here is a nutrition website for ideas on vegies
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
how big is the tank? it looks really small - the UVB is running the complete length of the tank - it could be hes trying to escape the UVB rays - compacts are no good and its good you went to a better UVB- for the most part he was getting no UVB rays from the compact and now hes getting quite a bit - I would look at upgrading your tank to a 75 gallon or 120 if you can - he does look a little thin to me - have you checked him for parasites/ worms- they too tend to effect their eating - some others on here might have some ideas as well but I think I would call your vet a reptile vet and see if you cant bring in a fecal sample drop off for testing and go from there-- he is still eating but to me he does look a little thin unless its just the pic --
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby Xenoa » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:48 am

Thank you for the input Karrie. Yes he does seem to have thinned some, and I had wondered about the possibility of parasites or worms, so I will look into a vet visit or at least a drop off of a fecal sample like you suggested.

His tank is a 40 gallon tank - 36 x 18 x 18 I believe are the dimensions. Was not sure if we would need much bigger. The UVB light I have centered above the tank (front to back), and slightly over to the left since he occupies that side more often.

I'd pondered trying to breed Dubia roaches - from what I have read it doesn't seem too difficult. I've bought a few from a pet store about an hour away that carries them and he does seem to enjoy them. He does get an occasional mealworm every few days, that's about it as far as variety lately.
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:27 am

Ok so recommended tank size for adult dragon is a 75-120 gallon- if your taking him out of his tank alot then he should be ok - some wont mind the smaller enclosure but if he spends the majority of his time in the tank I would look at getting a bigger one for him - you can order dubias on line and I usually order 200 at a time - Hiccup does not go thru them that fast - and I keep them in a 10 gallon aquarium and they last a long time --- I feed them dubia food and carrots squash -- in fact some have had babies in the tank and Hiccups tank as well and I just keep them in the 10 gallon w/ the rest - start w / the fecal and see what is going on and go from there - its a process of elimination as far as issue - I would get a weight on him and start tracking - a simple kitchen scale will do that has grams --
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby claudiusx » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:23 am

Welcome to the site! :D
Glad you decided to make an account :)

A 40g breeder (the dimensions of your tank) is about the minimum size for an adult. They do seem to like larger enclosures so if you are able to upgrade in the future I'm sure he would appreciate it I've housed adults in 40gs but they do seem to get a little cramped.

You wont regret breeding dubias, at least I never have!

They do tend to slow down as they get older, and sometimes they just go through moods like we do.
I agree he does look a little thin, but it's not too concerning.
How much does he weigh?

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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby Xenoa » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:27 pm

Well, after finding a spider in my cricket shipment for the third time in 6 months - this one being a Widow spider of some variety- I'm looking harder into the Dubia breeding!

Zachius ate 8 crickets this morning, and 3 soldier fly larvae this evening. Doesn't look like he ate any veggies. Trying to wait for his next poop so i can get it examined. I thought I had a kitchen scale, but I was wrong, so I'm going to get one tomorrow so I can weigh him. Would he be dehydrated, or just thinning from not eating much? I can pinch his skin on his side and it doesn't go back into place very well - I had read that can be a sign of dehydration.

I did get some tile to put into his habitat today, and looking into the possibility of building a larger habitat for him in the future. I've seen a lot of very cool designs for such!
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:33 pm

You will haft to supplement the feeders if you decide to go w/ breeding- you can get a 10 gallon aquarium and order a lot of roaches for him from places on line - I order mine from www.dubiaroaches.com - they charge shipping but you can get other worms and such from them like butter worms horn worms BSFL etc.............. all good things for your dragon--
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby claudiusx » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:02 pm

Their skin isn't really the best judge of hydration levels. The urates are. How do they look?

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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby Xenoa » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:38 am

His last one, which was on Sunday, was solid but not hard. It looked like it had a considerable amount of liquid with it at the beginning, though. It was a good sized pile.
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:02 am

Xenoa wrote:I can pinch his skin on his side and it doesn't go back into place very well - I had read that can be a sign of dehydration.

I did get some tile to put into his habitat today, and looking into the possibility of building a larger habitat for him in the future. I've seen a lot of very cool designs for such!


AFAIK, that hydration test applies to mammals. I have no idea if/how it might apply to reptiles, but I sure get a giggle thinking about someone trying it on a snake! :lol:

Habitat Size:
Multiple sources (including but not limited to many threads on this site) say a 40 gal. breeder tank (36" x 18" x 18") is the bare minimum, adding that 48" x 24" x 24" is ideal (Makes me wonder how many of them may have just copied each other... :roll: ), but the bigger you can afford/manage, the better.

Reptile Magazine recommends 75 gal. (~10 cu. ft.) which comes out to (among other combinations) around 48" x 24" x 15". One factor in figuring out dimensions from gallons is the intensity & location of the UVB light; figure out where, and how high, it has to be, and work backward from there.

The exotics veterinarian I asked said 48" x 24" x 24" minimum, and from the dozens of sources I've checked, that seems to be the general consensus among beardie owners/keepers. I'm currently building one 60" x 24" x 24" (because I'm using Baltic Birch) and I've seen some custom jobs that are 96" x 24" x 24", 48" x 48" x 24", and more.

Hope this helps. :)
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:10 am

Xenoa wrote:....he has slowed down eating over the past few weeks and went more into laying under his log.


I tend to agree with those who opined it may be parasites, however I also wonder...
Is it possible he could be brumating?
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Re: Newbie, sort of

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:57 am

I guess anything is possible but mine has slowed down on eating as well AGAIN and is doing more snoozing - he is still basking and will get antsy to get out of his tank as well but he has not been doing a lot of eating so I am back to keeping an eye on his weight again--- my dragon is very frustrating because I cant get him to eat -- I offer him dubias and salad every day and he wont touch either - I did get some horn worms and butter worms in yesterday and fed those to him and he ate 3 horn worms and 1 butter worm and usually he gobbles those down -- I had him in several times to the reptile vet back in March and appts in April and May I believe to have him checked out and we could find nothing- I would maybe take a fecal in to your vet and have them test it if they will do it w / out having to bring him in -- and go from there -- that way you will at least know if that is an issue as parasites / pin worms will cause them not eat as well
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