New here and seeking advice

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New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:40 am

Hello everyone, new here and looking to get educated (feeding schedule, portions ect.), as well as get some help on adjusting my initial setup (which I had from a previous pet). We recently bought a 6 week old male (according to the vendor) at a local reptile show for my daughter, who affectionately named him Draco. I think he is a Citrus Tiger morph but someone can correct me if I’m wrong. Now on to the setup.
My setup is as follows: 20 gallon high tank, 18” HO 10.0 tube bulb, 50 Watt Repti sun bulb (I bought some 50 or 53 watt halogen flood light bulbs to try), repticarpet, digital thermometer with wire probe, as well as a few other odds and ends that will be shown in the picture.

My cool side reaches around 75 with this setup and I’m having a little trouble with the basking side. In the following pictures I have the Reptisun bulb in and when I measure there is a very small area that reaches around 101-107ish, but immediately outside this small area it gets in the mid 90’s. I am thinking of trying the Halogen flood bulb to try and get a wider basking spot, as well as raising the cage temp. overall. Any thoughts or adjustments? Also does he look healthy for 6 weeks? Thanks.
Last edited by Repti44 on Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Repti44
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:41 am

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:14 am

I had tried a 75 watt bulb but it got up into around 130 degrees at the floor level (granted I was taking a reading on the brown carpet) where he laid down and lifted his legs up off the ground, which I took as being too hot. Heat is one of my biggest concerns right now. Thanks.
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Linzloohoo » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:27 am

I’m not an expert as I’m a new owner myself but it looks from the pictures that the hide on the left is taller and has a wider sitting area. I would try switching the hides and see what the temp gets to then. 107 is a good temp, but the one with the stairs has a really small top area.
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:29 am

If you can take the screen off the top and place the UVB width wise and the basking bulb attach a clamp to it -- the screen is blocking a lot of the UVB he needs -- I am assuming its a T 8 -- I would use a 75 watt bulb and make sure your getting a temp w/ a infrared heat gun -- or a digital probe for accurate temps--- here is a pic of mine when I had Blaze in his 20 gallon long tank --
[Click image to enlarge]

He has since been moved to a 120 gallon now ---
Karrie
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:46 am

KarrieRee wrote:If you can take the screen off the top and place the UVB width wise and the basking bulb attach a clamp to it -- the screen is blocking a lot of the UVB he needs -- I am assuming its a T 8 -- I would use a 75 watt bulb and make sure your getting a temp w/ a infrared heat gun -- or a digital probe for accurate temps--- here is a pic of mine when I had Blaze in his 20 gallon long tank --
[Click image to enlarge]

He has since been moved to a 120 gallon now ---
Karrie


Thanks for the advice on the UVB, I will make some hooks so I can hang the UVB on the inside. Was your bulb an incandescent or halogen? I tried a 75 watt halogen and the temp was 130ish at the carpet. (The carpet is brown so I don’t know if it was Just the color absorbing properties but it seems like all the decorations would get that hot as well. Just the color absorbing properties but it seems like all the decorations would get that hot as well. Thanks.
Last edited by Repti44 on Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:47 am

Linzloohoo wrote:I’m not an expert as I’m a new owner myself but it looks from the pictures that the hide on the left is taller and has a wider sitting area. I would try switching the hides and see what the temp gets to then. 107 is a good temp, but the one with the stairs has a really small top area.


I will try that to see if it helps. Thanks.
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:56 am

It's an exo Terra bulb and it was raised higher - w/ it sitting on screen it's closer than the way I had mine set up - you can drop to a 50 watt and take temps- make sure your UVB is 6-8 inches from basking+- I would feed vegies- in morning FIRST before bugs w/ 3 small super worms on top along w/ 6-8 bsfl on top - make sure he sees you putting them on salad that will draw him to bowl-- after 45 minutes or so feed him his bugs
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:16 am

KarrieRee wrote:It's an exo Terra bulb and it was raised higher - w/ it sitting on screen it's closer than the way I had mine set up - you can drop to a 50 watt and take temps- make sure your UVB is 6-8 inches from basking+- I would feed vegies- in morning FIRST before bugs w/ 3 small super worms on top along w/ 6-8 bsfl on top - make sure he sees you putting them on salad that will draw him to bowl-- after 45 minutes or so feed him his bugs
Karrie


Awesome. What does bsfl mean if I may ask? Thanks. So I shifted the larger basking area over under the 50 watt bulb and unfortunately the temperature measured 130+ (verified with a infrared heat gun), so I will try to find a wider basking spot with the same height. Is 75-77 an ok cool side temp? Thanks.
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:24 am

Also, the booth owner said not to hold him for 4-6 weeks after bringing him home. Is this true?
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:39 am

No--- please handle him a little at a time --- get him used to your hands in the tank --- put a piece of cloth or clothing or fleece blanket in his hide / cave something w/ your smell on it -- also hand feed him once in a while so that he sees your hand as not a threat- I am still working w/ my baby hes 9 weeks old - approach him from the side if not from above - he will think your a predator-- and approach slow--- it will take a while for him so just be patient - BSFL are black soldier fly larvae-- its a staple feeder but they are real small --- also known as calci worms or phoenix worms- full of calcium- I feed Blaze those as well as dubia roaches - that is his main staple diet for protein -- 75-77 is good for nite time but you want it a little warmer in the day around 80's or so ---- 130 is way too hot - you want temps for basking 105-110--if you haft to change your decor piece all together --- thats why I said take the screen off and lift the basking bulb higher -- you will need to upgrade your tank here soon -- he wont be in that 20 gallon long --- I would look for a 75-120 gallon tank w/ front doors - you can try FB marketplace or craigslist -- for used tanks - or you can buy new -- its up to you -- if you get a used tank make sure you find out what was in it and how long ago and if it died from what if they know -- you will need to sanitize it good -- like bleach/ water a few times -- I just bought some F10 I think chewy.com sells it but I cant remember -- stuff last a long time and it kills pretty much everything---
Karrie
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:08 am

How many times a day are you feeding him? And what are you feeding him? are you feeding vegies ? I have some tips on feeding vegies and getting them to eat them if you would like ---- he looks ok could use some weight on him --
Karrie
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:12 pm

KarrieRee wrote:No--- please handle him a little at a time --- get him used to your hands in the tank --- put a piece of cloth or clothing or fleece blanket in his hide / cave something w/ your smell on it -- also hand feed him once in a while so that he sees your hand as not a threat- I am still working w/ my baby hes 9 weeks old - approach him from the side if not from above - he will think your a predator-- and approach slow--- it will take a while for him so just be patient - BSFL are black soldier fly larvae-- its a staple feeder but they are real small --- also known as calci worms or phoenix worms- full of calcium- I feed Blaze those as well as dubia roaches - that is his main staple diet for protein -- 75-77 is good for nite time but you want it a little warmer in the day around 80's or so ---- 130 is way too hot - you want temps for basking 105-110--if you haft to change your decor piece all together --- thats why I said take the screen off and lift the basking bulb higher -- you will need to upgrade your tank here soon -- he wont be in that 20 gallon long --- I would look for a 75-120 gallon tank w/ front doors - you can try FB marketplace or craigslist -- for used tanks - or you can buy new -- its up to you -- if you get a used tank make sure you find out what was in it and how long ago and if it died from what if they know -- you will need to sanitize it good -- like bleach/ water a few times -- I just bought some F10 I think chewy.com sells it but I cant remember -- stuff last a long time and it kills pretty much everything---
Karrie


Ah I see. Yeah I switched back to the Reptisun bulb and the temp is now back to 110ish. As far as a new tank, I will be picking up a 5 foot long dresser that I will be converting into an enclosure with vinyl flooring on the floor and walls and polycarb doors (don't want to keep buying the next size up so I said heck with it lol). I bought a few foam poster boards that has a black paper covering on both sides that I taped to the outside of the glass to give him more privacy (which made him see his reflection that much clearer lol :banghead:) which I will be moving to the inside instead, and place a panel outside on the bottom of the cage, which should help the cage retain heat better. I am also thinking of switching the lamp out for a 8" or 10" diameter lamp to see if that will disperse heat more evenly around the cage. Would this be a good idea? Thanks.
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby Repti44 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:22 pm

KarrieRee wrote:How many times a day are you feeding him? And what are you feeding him? are you feeding vegies ? I have some tips on feeding vegies and getting them to eat them if you would like ---- he looks ok could use some weight on him --
Karrie


1-2 times a day. Dubia roaches for the insects (I am going to buy more until the adults start breeding). As far as veggies, I bought mustard greens, dandelion leaves (store bought fresh), butternut squash, and bell pepper. (the latter two I have not prepped as of yet). He ate some of the mustard greens with gusto the first time, but hasn't touched any more of that or the dandelion leaves. I would definitely appreciate those tips, thank you! I also need help determining the portion size for the veggies and the ratio for all the ingredients, as I want to try and make a weekly batch at a time to save time. I am also going to calcium dust every third day unless told otherwise (the dust has D3). Thanks!
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Re: New here and seeking advice

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:38 am

Ok the background your using is black ? I would not use black its gonna make your tank very dark- I understand the wanting to insulate but I would use something w/ a lighter color and it should go on the outside of tank --I had the same issue w/ the reflection but Blaze was not in the tank long enough for me to worry about it - I would cover the black up w/ newspaper or wrapping paper something w/ color- the ratio does not matter w/ the food - if you mix it up w/ variety w/ your greens that would be good - the bell pepper I would not give very often here is a website for nutrition http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html-- depending on the UVB is determined on calcium- if you get the T 5 bulb you could give the D3 every other day as the T 5 is a good bulb- if your using a T 8 I would recommend every day- make sure your giving vitamins 2 x per week - I use the Reptivite as it has beto caratone and not synthetic Vit A--- also if you feed your staple feeders carrots dont feed your dragon carrots -- too much Vit A- tips on feeding --- feed him vegies FIRST in morning - take about 3 small super worms and 6-8 BFSL and put on top of salad - make sure he sees you put the bugs on the salad so he can see movement - this will get him to the bowl - if you use a good size bowl he will get into the bowl - [Click image to enlarge]
like this - this will get him to start eating vegies - a good size salad it is your choice as to what you want to feed him you will find stuff he likes and doesnt like - let him pick and eat for around 45 minutes or so long enough for him to eat the bugs and some vegies - then feed him his dubias - Blaze is eating 2 times per day now w/ around 24 or so small dubias - I feed only bugs in the afternoon- dusted - this will get him to start eating vegies -- if he doesnt eat alot that is ok at least hes eating them - his main diet is protein at this point -- it is trial and error w/ bulbs--- you want the cool side of the tank around 80's during the day and not below 60-65 at nite --
Karrie
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