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Postby xspritex » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:03 am

[TOPIC AUTO-LOCKED DUE TO INACTIVITY]

hi, i'm april. i'm 18, i live in illinois. all my life, i've been wanting to get some kind of lizard/reptile/creature. and of course, all my life my parents have said no. well, now that i'm older, they decided to let me get one, and after seeing my friend's bearded dragon, and reading a lot on this site, i decided to get one. so, first thing on my to-do list tomorrow is go get one. there's a few pet stores around here that have some, so i might take a bit of a look around. petco has a baby one, and theres another store that has a few young ones, and theres another store that i haven't been to where my friend got hers.

at the moment, i only have a 10-gallon tank, but i plan on getting a bigger one very soon. i'm in the middle of getting rid of my old entertainment center, so i want to see how much room i have, and maybe get something fancy with a stand and everything. i have paper towels on the bottom of the tank, my stepdad said to look for some rocks outside, and i need to get lights and stuff...i'm a bit unsure of what else i should get for the tank, any suggestions?
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Postby whiskersmom » Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:03 am

Welcome xspritex :wave: I'm glad to hear that you've made the choice to get a beardie.....in my opinion ~ the best reptile around :D

Have you thought of perhaps buying from a breeder, instead of a petstore? Petstore reptiles may seem cheaper initially, but there has been many, many instances where the cost after purchasing from a petstore becomes alot higher. Petstore reptiles are very seldom given the care a breeder would give and ends up needing veterinary care soon after purchase. Besides, there's nothing like the excitement of waiting for the UPS truck to arrive to hand you your new baby :D

Bearded dragons, although are quite easy to care for, they still need very specific care, so reading any and all material you can get your hands on is advised. They can be quite expensive when raised right and even more expensive when raised wrong (vet costs). For an example, a 10 gallon is not ideal, beardies need a temperature gradient that goes from 105-110 degrees in the basking area to the low 80's in the cool side. A 10 gallon isn't big enough to allow for those different temps. To start and for a very short time, you will at least need a 20 gallon long. Even with a 20 gallon, you will be having to upgrade within weeks.
One of the most important things that beardies need is UVB. These can be bought either in fluorescent tube lights or in the form of a Mercury Vapor Bulb, these also can be quite expensive. There is a ton of info on this forum, your best course of action would be to read as much as possible, make a list of the things you will need and then decide where you want to buy your baby from.
The best of luck to you, I hope you will be telling us real soon that you have your beardie :D
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Postby DracotheDragon » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:45 am

yeah i would recomend getting your dragon from a breeder as well. but with that asside i would also recomend that you hold off in getting your dragon until you are 100% prepared. its best to have the enclosure, with all of the lighting (uvb and heat lights) with the items in side the enclosure all set up and running for a day or more. that way you can make sure the temps are correct and stable before putting a baby dragon in there. the dragon will be stressed out enough as it is from being relocated...you dont want to stress him out anymore by having impoper housing and heat. not to mention if the heat is too low he wont be able to digest food, and its too high you could kill him...especialy in a 10 gallon since there is no where to escape since its so small.

there are some wonderfull breeders out there too once you are ready to get a dragon. many of them have baby clutches right now too. its best to get one from a breeder because you know it was given the best care it could have gotten unlike the care they get a pet stores. not to mention some of those dragons from breeders are absoultly gorgeous.

you should have a great time with a bearded dragon, they are awesome pets.

lastly i would like to say....NEVER LISTEN TO THE PET STORE lol. if you have any questions go on line do the resarch...or come here and ask all the questions you might have. petstores never know what they are talking about, they just know what costs money as they try to sell you products that is mostlikly harmful to your dragon.
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Postby xspritex » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:52 am

yeah, my mom just said the same thing about the tank, kind of...she said if i'm going to need a bigger one real soon, i might as well just buy the bigger one now, instead of buying lights and stuff for the 10-gal, and then needing to buy everything all over again for the 20-gal. so after just moving my tv, that should give me enough room for one. i'll probably keep the 10-gal out since i went through all the effort of cleaning it and everything. i can put crickets in it or something.

as far as going to a breeder instead of a pet store, i may consider that. i kind of didn't really like where petco was keeping their beardies in, cause the little cage-thingy was smaller than my 10-gal tank. but the other stores i'm going to be looking at keep theirs probably in a 20-gal, or at least a decent sized tank, so i think i might get one from one of those stores. the one is just a local store, not a major chain, so that might make a difference. my problem is, i have no patience. almost none at all. when i decide i want something, i have to get it as soon as i possibly can, which is probably why i couldn't sleep last night.
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Welcome

Postby Ozzy's Mom » Wed Jun 14, 2006 8:30 am

Welcome Xspritex! I'm a new beardie owner myself. I can understand what you mean about wanting a beardie now. I am the same way.....and I'm in my 30's..... I've always been one that decides what I want and am not willing to wait.

That's actualy how I ended up with Ozzy. My hubby was buying a snake at a flea market. At one point he had over a hundred snakes when he was younger....and bred them too. Well, being from Alaska and never being around them, I wasn't too thrilled with his purchase.

While he was getting money from the ATM, I made a comment to the breeder that I should get that pokey looking lizard thing to get even with my hubby for buying a snake. The guy then told me the babies were for sale, but not the grown one. Then he took the big one out, told me how gentle and wonderful beardies were, and plopped Ozzy on my shoulder.

I fell in love and decided I was taking Ozzy home no matter what. Luckily my husband was easily pursuaded, but it took some work on the breeder. After my husband convinced him he knew quite a bit about reptiles and we'd do our homework immediately......the guy gave in. He was also in need to make some money as he really wants to open a shop of his own and needs all the cash flow he can get.

Anyway....where I'm going with this is that I ended up being very lucky. The breeder, from what I know now....and what I saw, was doing a great job of taking care of things. My beardie was in excellent health.

I also got very lucky when I stopped by PetsMart on the way home. My hubby and I ran into a girl that worked there that had 6 beardies. I thought she was a little nuts at the time, but she was adamant on exactly the type of lighting and home I would have to provide Ozzy with.

I don't want to discourage your purchase by any means! I love Ozzy and feel beardies are excellent pets. I just wanted to let you know that in my short time on this site, I've read a lot of horror stories and many were not as lucky as I when they purchased their beardie.

From the first day I had Ozzy, I could never imagine losing him to illness. I know how excited you are, but if you could wait a little longer, buy from a reputable breeder, and read all the care sheets during the time while you're waiting on your new beardie, it will help ensure that you get a healthy beardie that's been given a good start. It won't guarantee he won't get sick, but will certainly raise the chances.

Sorry...I know it sounds like I'm in mom mode...... I just know where you're coming from and hoping I can help save you some heartache in the future.

Good Luck!
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Postby Sekhautet » Wed Jun 14, 2006 9:03 am

Since you are in Illinois, you might want to check out the reptile swap they have there. I have had good luck with Tatsu from that swap. He's 680 grams and 24 inches at 3 years and 4 months old. And healthy as can be!

Here is the link to their swap ... They have a swap frequently.

http://www.reptileswap.com/
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