Dragon seems restless.

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Dragon seems restless.

Postby cptndunsel » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:23 pm

I bought a baby beardie from Petsmart about a month ago. (This is not the best place to buy animals from I know, but this baby seemed to be so active in his habitat. I thought he seemed healthy enough, and didn't want to pass him up.) So far I think he has been mostly healthy, he eats his insects and his veggies and he poops every day, but he also seems really restless. He spends a good amount of his time glass-surfing, and he often bobs his head at seemingly nothing in particular. At first I thought he was upset at his reflection, and so I have covered the sides of his terrarium with cardboard (a temporary measure) but his behavior has not really changed. I am not really sure what else could be bothering him, or if there is anything else in my terrarium that I could really change.

To give you all an idea of my set up, he is in a 40 gallon terrarium with reptile carpet, two fake trees, and a small water dish. Temperatures in his basking spot range from 103 - to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, and he has an 22" 10.0 Reptisun UVB Light (no reflector) inside his terrarium that rests at about 8 inches from his basking spot. Humidity usually ranges from 30 - 45%. (I live in a very humid area, and so I have a dehumidifier which I use to keep this under control.)

I also hold him for about 15-30 minutes each day, and while I would not say he seems particularly aggressive or scared, he still seems very eager to run around. Is there anything that I can do to improve my dragon's mood/behavior? Thank you to any who respond.
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:54 pm

Please get a reflector-- it will benefit him in the long run - the reflector will direct the rays downward to him and intensefie them-- as far as glass surfing the UVB controls behavior and his overall health-- if you need a website to get a reflector please ask--are you taking temps w/ a digital probe thermometer?
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby cptndunsel » Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:11 pm

I have a reflector I could use on standby, but I am concerned that this would make the UVB too powerful, based on the distance from his basking spot. I was lead to believe that a reflector would basically double the fixture's output, and I definitely don't want to cook the little guy. I am getting my temperatures and humidity from digital probes.

I primarily used this chart to inform me on how to set the distance for his UVB. [Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:24 am

Your reflector will help him - this is why distance plays a role in the tank --- you want the reflector most on here all have reflectors --- please get one --- the distance for your T 5 should be 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor piece --- as of now those rays are going all over that tank and basically doing him no good -- http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/miscel ... s-new-hot/
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:27 am

The chart you're referencing is a good one. It was made by a member of our forum a few years ago. At 8'' without a reflector, you're probably offering UVB in the low end of the recommended range. Adding a reflector would concentrate the output and increase effective distance as mentioned. I wouldn't worry too much about "cooking" the dragon as long as you build a good gradient around the enclosure and offer areas with little to no UVB. Look at the photo of her setup and how the T5 is sitting to the side and is up high over a shelf. That allows areas of lower UVB toward the other side, and lower in the enclosure. The gradient created is the key. Keep in mind her enclosure is much larger (4'x2'x4' if I recall correctly) which gives more options for a gradient along the height dimension. In a 40g enclosure you could set the UVB over the basking side but toward the front or rear of the enclosure to create a gradient along the depth. It will also create an area of little to no UVB exposure over the cool side of the enclosure when using a 22'' bulb in a 40g enclosure.
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby cptndunsel » Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:54 am

I have made adjustments based on the suggestions made on this thread. I put the reflector into the UVB light fixture, and I went out and bought him a new basking spot so that he wouldn't be so close to the fixture. The new distance between his basking spot and his UVB is 10-11 inches by my measurements. I am still figuring out the temperatures of his new spot, but it seems to range between 104 and 107 degrees.

So far, I have not seen any real changes in his behavior. He still seems restless, but I imagine this could be because of the changes that I made in the terrarium. I will watch him for a few days. In the mean time, is there any other advice that people can give to try and calm him down?
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:12 am

Is the UVB in the tank or on top of screen? Depending on the screen it can sit on top and distance would be different from inside the tank -- the restlessness could be him exploring etc-- how long does he do this?
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby cptndunsel » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:20 am

His UVB is inside of his tank. He glass surfs fairly frequently, and a few times a day he will bob his head at seemingly nothing in particular. I would also like to add that he only seems to glass-surf in one particular spot - on the cool side of his terrarium. Usually he will basks for half an hour, then run across his terrarium to go glass-surfing.
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby KarrieRee » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:25 am

😆 lol-- is he seeing his reflection- the head bobbing is a mating sign and is a sign of dominance-- hormones-- distance inside the tank should be 12-15 inches--
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Re: Dragon seems restless.

Postby cptndunsel » Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:12 pm

I don't think it was his reflection, as I have tried covering that up before. That said, he seems alot calmer than usual today which makes me think that changing his lighting/basking area may have fixed the problem. Thank you for your replies @KarrieRee and CooperDragon, I will post back here if I still have concerns, but I appreciate the advice.
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