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New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:25 am
by menagerie1
Hi all,
I warn you I have a lot of questions so this is long post. Thanks in advance for your advice!

My daughter decided she wanted a bearded dragon and I have done a lot of research both before we got our dragon and constantly in the two weeks that we’ve had him.

First, lighting: we bought a 100 watt MVB and a ceramic heat emitter for heat gradient and night heat. But I have been researching a custom enclosure for him as he gets bigger, and all of these enclosures seem to be built with a heat bulb and reptisun tube uvb bulb, both inside the enclosure (ours our mounted above the screen top of the terrarium). Can I use the MVB inside an enclosure if the minimum distance of 12” is maintained? Or is it better to have UVB and separate heat source? And why (helps if I know the reasoning rather than just recommendations so I understand the circumstances).

Also, we bought our beardie from Petco (I know that may not have been the best place but didn’t know about any local breeders prior and we wanted to be able to hold the dragon first.) He seems to be in good health and is personable. He is 7 inches long. The first week transition was difficult because he didn’t eat much and then started to shed. Now he is eating, but avoiding veggies. Here’s our routine:

Salad bowl in morning. He doesn’t eat any of it but we leave in all day. One hour after waking we feed 10-15 Dubia before he is disinterested. (He will not even look at crickets and I have 1000 Phoenix worms that he also turns his nose up at). We get home from school and seems like he eats a few bites of veggies during the day but not much. Feed 10-20 Dubia.

At 7:30-8:00pm another meal of 10-15 Dubia. 1 hour later is lights out.

So questions: I have read forum after forum and articles to books but nothing I try gets him to eat greens. Tried hand feeding, tried putting Dubia in with greens (he picks out the Dubia), tried a couple pieces of cut up blueberries with greens (he picks out the fruit, leaves the greens), tried bearded dragon salad dressing (liquid vitamin supplement flavored like strawberries), tried a variety of veggies (only thing he has eaten a few pieces of is zucchini; avoids carrots, peppers, collards, kale). He is very disinterested in any food that isn’t animated and won’t eat moist dragon pellets, dried insects or dragon treats. We powder all Dubia with Repashy all-in-one.

Also, any way to interest him in the BSF larvae? These are much more convenient and cheaper than the Dubia and require no care. Or, thinking about getting Dubia colony started at home to save $50/week on Dubia shipments.

Other notes: he is very skittish when we pick him up. He does calm down and likes to explore eg: daughter’s bed, climb on shirt, etc. I’ve watched a hundred videos and the dragons are all super chill; will ours calm down when handled? Is it a juvenile thing?

Heat gradient is good 102-110 on his basking log. 90s under climbing tree. Shallow water dish side is about 85. Far corner 78-80. Nightly temps are about 78-80 where he usually sleeps. Goes down to about 73 on coolest section. Our current tank is 30x12x12. I am planning on investing in a custom tank 36x24x18. Thoughts?

Finally, we’ve been giving dragon bath about three times per week and keep shallow dish in his cage. He seems to like sitting in it.

We are a pet family and have two dogs and two cats. I am caretaker of all, but am teaching my daughter to also do feeding and maintenance of dragon too. Really want to get off to a good start so we have a happy and healthy dragon that likes being handled by his family.

Thanks so much for advice!

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:58 am
by KarrieRee
Did you buy a kit? Please take pics of tank and lighting and your little one-- we can go from there on advice and help thank you
Karrie

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:27 pm
by menagerie1
Did not buy a kit. Had a terrarium in storage; was always planning to upgrade. Bought all equipment after some research. Have thermometers/humidity gauges in both ends for ambient temps. Use infrared temp gun for spot checking. [Click image to enlarge]

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:51 pm
by KarrieRee
Tank looks good other than the fact you need a good UVB for good health for your dragon--- it is crucial and we all recommend this for the UVB -- Reptisun 10 T5, or the Arcadia D3 12% or 14% T5 tube, both of which are very good. You will need a T5 light fixture also. Since you are upgrading this would be a good option for upgrading to -- the T 5 is a stronger bulb than a T 8 and only needs to be changed out once per year versus the T 8 every six months- depending on the screen mesh on top of tank the T 5 can go on top - if its a fine mesh it would need to go inside as the screen filters out alot of the UVB rays-- you need a different basking bulb -- the dubia colony sounds good they are a little spend to get started and are way better health wise for your dragon- it sounds like the dragon is pretty young and your lucky hes eating greens at all -- their main diet now is bugs --- 80 % bugs and 20 % vegies--- but keep offering the vegies every day-- have you tried looking at Amazon for the roaches - alot of shippers offer free shipping-- the BFL I dont know how to get him to eat those -- some dragons are different - mine wont eat super worms- he loves the butter worms and horn worms but wont touch the supers- yeah as far as pellets I am surprised he would even eat them at all -- I have never fed pellets to mine at all -- as far as the upgrade thing I would go w/ as big enclosure you can get or afford -- we recommend a 75 gallon or 120 gallon for the dragons full growth potential -- for a substrate a lot of us recommend non adhesive floor liner or slated ceramic tile- both are cheap and can be purchased from Home Depot Lowes or your local hard ware store-- the tile would need to be cut to tank size so I would recommend you wait till you upgrade -- best thing about this stuff its a snap to keep clean - I have slated ceramic tile in mine and clean up w/ vinegar / water in a spray bottle - I put paper towels under it to catch the watery urate and replace when cleaning -- if you have anymore questions please ask we are all here to help
Karrie

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:58 pm
by Drache613
Moved by Moderator from General to Health

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:59 pm
by menagerie1
Thanks so much. I really appreciate the advice. Will get the tube light with new setup as soon as possible.

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:23 pm
by BeardedMabel
i just wanted to chime in because i saw you feed an hour before lights out, they need at least two hours basking to properly digest food.

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:28 pm
by KarrieRee
Also the cats please be careful w/ them-- they can attack and kill your beardie
Karrie

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:42 am
by SandP
I don't have any experience with mvbs so I'm not sure about distance required to make sure your dragon is getting enough uvb from it. But you asked if it is better to have a uvb bulb and a separate heat source. I wouldn't say it's better but I would say it's easier. With having 1 bulb do everything it can be a bit difficult making sure it's close enough to provide the needed uvb but also make sure the temps are correct. Having the che helps while it's cold out and the extra warmth is needed but what about as the seasons change and it's too warm even without the che being used? You would be left having to move the mvb further away or using a weaker bulb. Times like these are when it's easier having 2 separate bulbs. That way you can provide constant uvb and the correct distance but can adjust the basking bulb by either moving it, changing to a different wattage or what I do, dim it. I have my basking bulbs in a dome with a built in dimmer. Some people even use thermostats where they can set it and basically forget it and it will adjust the bulbs for them.

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:02 am
by KarrieRee
The distance for the Reptison s mentioned should be 10-11 inches for the T5 and 8 inches or so for the T 8--
Karrie

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:10 pm
by menagerie1
Good news, he is seems to like squash! Cats are locked up in another room when Spike is out. Will make sure he gets two hours after eating before lights out. Thanks!

The custom enclosure builder/breeder I spoke with has a 5-month waiting list. Any recommendations for where to find custom setups about 48x24x18 and between $400-$500?

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:18 pm
by KarrieRee
Zen Habitats -- they are 120 gallon for $269 free shipping- here is a pic of mine
[Click image to enlarge]
-- only put slate tile in it cuz the bamboo floor is so slippery
Karrie

Re: New beardie owner needs advice

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:33 pm
by menagerie1
Thanks Karrie! I’ll check it out!