Dark colors

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Dark colors

Postby futuredragonowner » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:07 am

Hey everyone,

This weekend I purchased my first dragon, it's a male and he's adorable. He's doing great so far, basking and eating a lot. He's alert and seems to be healthy, I also think he's beginning to shed. However, he's displaying his darker colors than when I purchased him, he also has stress marks. I know the marks aren't really a cause for concern as they're normal, but I worry about his dark colors.

This is my current set-up, if anyone would like to let me know if there's anything I could fix, that would be greatly appreciated!

He's in a 40 gallon tank. The substrate is 3/4 tile with the rest being reptile carpet. I have a Reptisun 10.0 T5 with a sunblaster reflector fixture, sitting on top of the mesh. He's been eating Phoenix worms, and a good amount of them. I'm using a 100W ZooMed basking bulb in a deep dome fixture from the same brand, temps on the basking log mostly coming up as 100-110 (a little less than 100 in some spots). The cool side is around 80, maybe a little above. I'm the 90's on the hot side. Could he be a little cold? I'm thinking this is it. How could I fix this without making it too hot?

Thank you for your help
futuredragonowner
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Re: Dark colors

Postby EllenD » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:19 am

Your temps are good (basking spot between 105-110 for baby, a range is fine...Hot Side between 88-93, and Cool Side between 75-80 degrees...nighttime should drop considerably, and no nighttime heat source is needed as long as the temp is at 65 degrees, even down to 60 is fine).

He's making himself dark not because he's too cold, but rather because he wants to absorb as much heat/light as he can. It's perfectly normal and it's what he's supposed to be doing. The marks on his belly will show up and get darker when he darkens himself to absorb more heat and light, they are not necessarily "stress marks" at all, as many people think, they are just marks on their bellies that darken with the rest of their body when they are basking. Some dragons have a ton of belly markings, some have none. So everything sounds very good with your setup and your beardie, he's doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing?
"Dance like nobody's watching..."
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Re: Dark colors

Postby futuredragonowner » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:50 pm

Okay, thank you so much. I posted because I'd read some things saying that their dark colors mean they're not doing well, and are either cold or sick. My concern now is, I feel like he isn't eating enough. Today he's eaten about +/- 15 Phoenix worms and about three or four Dubia roaches. He usually will only eat one or two at a time. Is this normal?
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Re: Dark colors

Postby EllenD » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:56 pm

That's actually pretty good for only being home for a day or two. They typically take a week to settle in to their new homes, and the relocation stress causes a loss of appetite that lasts for about a week or so. He should start eating more and being more active as the days go on. You're setup looks good, so just keep offering him at least 2 live insect feeding sessions per day (3 is better up to 8 months old), each session lasting between 10-15 minutes, where he's allowed to eat as many live insects as he wants. After his first live insect feeding session of the day (make sure that his UVB and his basking light are on for at least an hour in the morning BEFORE his first feeding session, and they are on for at least an hour AFTER his last feeding session in the evening before turning them off for bed, this will allow him to be warm enough to digest his bugs and absorb his nutrition with the help of the UVB). Offer fresh greens and veggies every day After his first feeding session. He probably won't eat them, babies rarely do, but he needs to be offered them every single day. And offer them after his first live insect feeding session just in case he is a baby that does like to eat greens, you don't want him filling up on greens and not eating his live bugs, protein is what is most important up to 1 year old because he's doing most of his growing and developing during the first year of life.

If his appetite doesn't pick up within 2 weeks of his arrival day then come on back and we'll go over everything again, because the relocation stress should be done by then.
"Dance like nobody's watching..."
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Re: Dark colors

Postby futuredragonowner » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:39 pm

Hey, I have another concern I wanted to ask you about since you seem to be very knowledgeable about them. Thank you for your help by the way, he's eating a lot more now and is doing great in that aspect.

However, I made a mistake. I had his UVB light too close to his basking spot and I believe it's hurt his eyes, but I'm not sure. I've since moved the light away and I've only had him for a week. I'm taking him to the vet as soon as I can. He will sometimes blink one eye and hold it closed for a few seconds. Is this a sign of eye damage?
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Re: Dark colors

Postby EllenD » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:50 pm

It could be, but is he shedding right now, or looking like he's starting to shed? That will also irritate their eyes.

If you have a Reptisun 10.0 T5HO UVB tube (long 18" or 24" tube, not a compact) and it was sitting on top of the mesh lid, it needs to be within 11" of his basking spot to be effective...How close was it? How close is his basking light?
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