Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

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Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:21 pm

Here's a picture. Please let me know if this is a normal sleeping position or if I should be prepared to lose my baby.
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Drache613 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:20 am

Hello,

It's hard to tell from the picture but is he sleeping up next to glass or is he sitting there
just with his head up?
Can you review your tank setup with us, such as the type & brand of UVB lighting, the
temperatures & supplementation also?
Also, please take a few more pictures of him & of the setup for us too.

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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:24 am

Tank is a 40 gallon breeder, reptisun 10.0 uvb tube light, basking temp 109f, hot side 92f cool side 79f. She's not against the glass shed smack in the middle of the tank. She doesn't feed herself and has been on a liquid diet of chicken baby food, squash baby food and repta boost. She is also spending most of the day either sleeping or with her eyes mostly closed
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:19 am

Here are more pictures. Uvb is turned off for picture clarity.
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby AHBD » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:29 am

She's definitely not well for some reason. It may be a slight " stargazing" but not full blown. Still, she's not well and right now should be kept in a smaller tank. Does she climb up there by herself ? Here's how I used to set up babies when I was breeding. Cardboard egg crating and/or just one basking branch, not too high off the ground. They thrive in a smaller tank when they are tiny babies, and this is esp. important if they are sickly like so many babies on the forums are.

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _small.jpg

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _small.jpg

A baby is always near the heat + uvb in a smaller tank so they don't feel overwhelmed. If your baby is from a pet store it may have come from a weak mother, have sick clutchmates or just had poor care at the store. It may have a calcium deficiency so be sure to add a tiny pinch of calcium powder to every syringe feeding. Best wishes for your little one.
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:34 am

Yeah, I always mix in some calcium with d3 into the baby food. She is actually believe it or not 10 or 11 weeks old. The pet store still has a couple left from the same clutch as her and they are twice her size. She climbs up there all on her own with no issues and tends to stay near the uvb and heat all on her own. She is going to see the vet as soon as possible unfortunately that's in like 5 days so I'm doing my best to keep her fed and alive until then.
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby AHBD » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:37 am

The ones in the store are usually in a much smaller tank. The mistake that is being pushed on new owners is to put them in a huge tank while they are still stressed. They are overwhelmed many times in that situation + don;t do well. Starting in a smaller tank is almost always best.
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby EllenD » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:43 am

Welcome to the forum, I'm sorry your new baby is not well. Howling have you had her home now? She definitely looks like something is very wrong, hopefully it's something simple that we can help you with or that the vet will be able to (I hope it's an experienced reptile vet and not a general vet or an "exotics" vet, they tend to do more harm than good unfortunately). A lot of times they do come home from both pet shops and breeders as babies with parasites, so if you can get a fresh fecal sample to take with you (collect her poop from the day before and put it in the fridge inside an air-tight container or baggie). Something I will point out to you that is very important is that you should not just put her on any medications for parasites until AFTER you get the results of the fecal test back, because #1) You'll have no idea if she even has parasites or not, nor will you know what kind or the count/load, #2) If she is unnecessarily put on any medications or the wrong medications, not only will they not make her better but they'll likely make her much worse. The same goes for unnecessary antibiotics that vets often put them on "Just In Case" or "On a Guess That She Has an Infection" and so she'll be put on a totally unnecessary round of Baytril for no reason, which will only lessen her appetite. Just an FYI to you, as it seems that a lot of this is going on recently, and it's actually killed a few dragons from this forum.

The other thing to ask before putting her on any medications for Parasites (after the fecal test results come back) is "What was the Coccidia or Pinworm Count/Load?... Bearded Dragons pretty much always have a low to moderate count/load of Coccidia and/or Pinworms, and if her fecal comes back positive for low to moderate Coccidia or Pinworms it's likely not what's making her sick. Most Certified Reptile Vets will not treat either Coccidia or Pinworms in Dragons unless the count/load is moderate to high or "Too numerous to count" because it's unnecessary to do so, and medications will only make it worse. Now any other parasites other than Coccidia or Pinworms is a totally different story...

Your husbandry looks pretty good, your temps are spot on, I'll just go ahead and ask what type of thermometer you're using to measure the temperatures with, is it a Digital Probe thermometer or a Temperature Gun? Or are you using stick-on thermometers of some kind? What type of basking bulb are you using there? It's definitely a bright white basking bulb, so that's good, but it looks to be really lighting up only one side of the tank and not the other, like an "Spotlight" bulb would, instead of a "Flood" bulb, which fills the tank with light instead of just focusing light on one single spot intensely. I had an experience once a while ago at the reptile/bird rescue I work at where a Beardie had a Halogen indoor "spot" bulb instead of a halogen indoor flood bulb, and the spot light was causing the Dragon to be basically blind, and this caused some neurological issues and a lack of movement and appetite. It made sense once we figured it out, imagine a bright spotlight in your eyes constantly, you would see nothing but spots, lol. So if that's the case you may want to change over to the same wattage halogen indoor flood bulb from Lowes or Home Depot, that way not only will it still keep her basking spot at the correct surface temperature (since the flood bulb will be directly over top of the Basking Spot) but it will fill the tank with more light, so that the opposite side won't be so dark.


How many hours a day do you have both her UVB tube and her bright white basking light on? They need to be on for at least 13-14 hours every day. Also, I'm assuming that your Reptisun 10.0 UVB tube is a T8, it's awesome you already have it inside her tank and under the mesh lid, but how many inches is it away from her basking spot? The T8 is much weaker than the T5HO version, and needs to be at least within 6" of her, it looks like her basking spot (the rock) is not getting her very high up...Also, just an FYI in case you're not aware, the T8 UVB tubes must be replaced every 6 months, as that's the age when they stop emitting any UVB light at all, even though the tube will not be burnt out and will still turn on and emit just regular light. The T5 tubes last for a year.

****Also, I can't tell from the photo, but is there a metal reflector behind the UVB tube in that fixture? I ask because I have one of those types of tube fixtures and I had to order a separate Slip-on reflector the length of the tube on Amazon, because there was no place in that type of tube fixture for a reflector to sit behind the UVB tube. This is very important, especially with a T8 strength UVB tube, as it will reflect the UVB light throughout the tank and not just directly underneath the tube.

The only other suggestion I would make on the tank setup is that in addition to adding a metal slip-on reflector to the UVB light if you don't already have one, I would definitely move the UVB tube away from the back of the tank, and mount it across the center of the Hot Side of the tank, so that it is right alongside the Basking Light and so that both lights are directly over her Basking Spot, and making sure her Basking Spot is within 6" of the UVB tube. She needs to be able to get both lights at the same time while she's basking, this is how you replicate natural sunlight for her, which is very important. Also, even when there is a metal reflector behind the UVB, if it's right next to the front or back glass of the tank, you're going to lose 50% of the UVB light off of the glass. Right now he's not getting much UVB light while he's on his Basking Spot at all, because the UVB tube isn't at all over the Hot Side of the tank, the Basking Light is taking up the entire Hot Side. So instead of the 2 lights being end-to-end, they need to side by side over the Hot Side and both directly over the basking spot.

The only other question I have that goes along with "How long have you had him home now?" is what were you initially trying to feed him that he refused to eat? What live staple insect were you feeding? Were their size smaller than the space between his eyes? Baby and juvenile beardies eat very little to no greens/veggies at all, they should be offered fresh greens every day so they learn what they are and get used to them, but most won't touch them before they are a year old. They need tons of live staple insects every single day and that's pretty much it. They also typically won't touch any type of commercial beardie pellets or other commercial beardie foods, they just want and need a ton of live insects daily up until they are a year old, as they do over 85% of their growth and development during their first year of life. So I'm just wondering if she was eating while she was in the pet store (if you even know that) or if she was eating at all when she first got home. There is typically a relocation stress period that can last up to 2 weeks, but I'm assuming you've had her longer than that...
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:00 am

Alrighty, I'll try to answer all your questions from memory. No, there is no reflector behind the uvb, I'll order one today. The uvb light is exactly 7 5/16 inches away from her basking spot. The heat lamp is a 150w basking lamp I forgot the brand. I had her on meal worms for awhile but then found out she could get impacted so I switched to crickets and just ordered phoenix worms hoping that she will take to feeding herself again. I've had her for almost 5 weeks. I use a snap on infrared temp fun that is spent mucho dollars on because I wanted to make sure my readings were accurate. Temps are taken from 2-3 inches away from any given spot. I'm actually going to bring her to the vet on Friday instead of Monday despite the madhouse black Friday is gonna be at the pet store. The vet is a reptile specialist.
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:35 am

On a side note I'll take a picture of the boxes of the lights and fixtures I have, I saved the boxes for just such an occasion. (Drives my wife nuts because I refuse to throw away boxes until the item that came in it does or is replaced)
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby EllenD » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:59 am

LOL, it's good to keep the boxes, in fact it's awesome that you do because NO ONE ever knows what lights they have on here at all, though just as an FYI most bulbs actually say the brand, model, wattage, strength, etc. right on the tube. Like the Reptisun UVB tube you have, it should say "Reptisun 10.0 or 5.0 and T8 or T5HO" right on it, along with "15 watts" or "24 watts".

The "brand" of basking bulb you have doesn't really matter, in fact most experienced bearded dragon owners and breeders don't use a reptile specialty basking bulb at all, meaning the type you'd buy at a pet shop or a reptile shop that is ungodly expensive for no reason. The only thing that matters with a beardie's basking bulb is #1) It's bright white only, not any color like red, blue, yellow, green, purple, black, "moonlight", etc. (beardies see in full-color just like us, and any colored bulbs, including nighttime bulbs (which you don't need at all anyway and it should be pitch black in her tank at night anyway), you're trying to replicate natural sunlight as closely as possible, so it must be bright white in color, and #2) That is't the correct wattage to keep all 3 temperature zones within the correct temps. Most of us actually buy our basking bulbs at Lowes, Home Depot, or Tractor Supply, and they are just regular old household, Halogen Indoor Flood bulbs, the Par38 type. They are all bright white in color and are exactly the same thing as any of the "reptile specific" basking bulbs.

My only concern about your basking bulb (it is bright white, so that's good) is that is does not look like a "Flood" bulb at all, it's focusing light on one specific spot, meaning it's a Halogen "Spot" Light, and that's why it's so bright on the Hot Side of the tank and so dark on the Cool Side of the tank. Plus, if it's a "Spot" Light and not a "Flood" Light, the light being so intense on one spot could be hurting her eyes.

The only serious issues you have with your husbandry that I can see are #1.) The UVB tube is up against the back of the tank and is in the center of the entire tank, rather than being centered over the Hot Side of the tank and right alongside the bright white basking bulb, so that she gets BOTH LIGHTS at the same time, and then #2.) There is no metal reflector behind the UVB tube to reflect the UVB light throughout the tank...HOWEVER, even with a slip-on metal reflector added behind the tube, you still need to move the entire UVB tube Fixture from it's current location and located it directly over the Hot Side of the tank, and then move the Basking Bulb over a bit to make room, so that BOTH LIGHTS are side-by-side over the Hot Side. You'll need to attach the fixture to the underside of the mesh lid on the Hot Side somehow, I don't know how you have it attached now, but if it's attached right now to the underside of the mesh lid instead of the back glass, then just move it directly over the Hot Side and attach it to the underside of the mesh lid over the Hot Side the same way. If you look at the photo you closely you'll see exactly what I mean, the photo captures the problem perfectly. She's sitting on her main Basking Spot and she is directly under her Basking Light, which is good, but even if you had the UVB tube turned on and even if it had a metal reflector behind it, she would still only be getting residual, much weaker UVB rays from it because it's not directly over her head. After you relocate the UVB tube Fixture to being located over the Hot Side of the tank and then you move the Basking Light right alongside it, you may need to move her basking rock a little so that it is located directly in the middle of the 2 lights, so she'll be sure to get both lights at the same time...this is very, very important...

I'm going to just assume that you have a Reptisun 10.0 T8 UVB tube, an 18" one, it's a very common UVB light and a good one as long as it's within no further than 6" away from her while she basks, and as long as it is replaced once every 6 months like clockwork, because the T8 tubes discharge their UVB very quickly, assuming that you have it on for at least 13-14 hours every single day, this again is extremely important for a dragon. I don't know if you've ever had a dragon before or any other type of "Desert" reptile, but they are totally different than the tropical reptiles or other reptiles that don't have near the light and temperature requirements that the Bearded Dragon does. They only come from the Australian Deserts, which consist of hard, rocky terrain with scattered vegetation, and plenty of high rocks to climb onto to bask under the intense, direct, natural sunlight for long hours every single day. Without 13-14 hours of adequate UVB light every single day and a correct temperature gradient that includes a correct Basking Spot Surface Temperature, Bearded Dragons cannot digest any food, absorb any nutrition, or process/use any nutrition. Improper UVB lighting, improper temperature zones, and improper diet, in that order, are the main causes of health issues in dragons, they are always called "Beginner Reptiles" by pet shop employees, ironically though those employees know absolutely nothing about properly caring for a Desert Reptile, and as a result most new owners are sold bad lights, improper lights, colored lights, crappy thermometers, no UVB light, they are often told that dragons don't need any UVB light, etc. It's really a serious issue in the US.

One question I do have just based on my own experience and the general experience of others is about you temperature zones related to your Basking Bulb wattage....you said you have a "40 Gallon Breeder Tank", which is the most popular enclosure size for new Bearded Dragon owners (and is a perfect size tank for her for the first year or so of her life), but as it is such a popular and common size tank for dragons, I'm kind of worried about your temperatures being accurate, as you said that your Basking Bulb is a 150 watt bulb...are you certain of that wattage? Please, please double check the Basking Bulb wattage, look right on the bulb please, just to be absolutely sure it's a 150 watt bulb.

The reason I'm worried about this situation is that most all of the dragon owners who use a 40 Gallon Breeder Tank, including myself (that's the tank I have for when they first come home up until they are 6 months to a year old) usually only need a 100 watt basking bulb to achieve a Basking Spot Surface Temp between 105-110 max (for a baby/juvenile, after a year old bump it down between 100-105), a Hot Side Ambient (air) Temp between 88-93 max, and a Cool Side Ambient (air) Temp between 75-80 max. (Maximum temperature ANYWHERE inside a Bearded Dragon's tank should never be higher than 110 degrees, anything higher can be lethal and stressful). I've always used a 100 watt bright white Basking Bulb over the Hot Side of my 40 Gallon Breeder Tank, it is housed in a Deep-Dome fixture that sits on top of the mesh lid over the Hot Side of the 40 Gallon Breeder Tank, right alongside an 18" Reptisun 10.0 T8 UVB Tube/Fixture that is attached to the underside of the mesh lid with large, plastic Zip Ties. This setup achieves the proper temperature zones, and as I've been a member of this forum and others for a long, long time and have seen literally hundreds of people who use a 40 Gallon Breeder Tank (that's how common it is for Bearded Dragons), most all of them use a 100 watt bright white Basking Bulb. In fact, it's not uncommon for people to buy a 150 watt to start off with and then have to return it the next day for a 100 watt bright white Basking Bulb because the 150 watt was way too hot and put the temperatures way too high. So that's why I'm concerned.

I know you said you bought an expensive Temperature Gun to measure your temperatures with, and I'll be the first person to admit that I've never once used a Temperature Gun, so we need some input here from someone who has experience using one, because I'm a bit concerned here that you're temperatures are incorrect as you've measured them. That would certainly explain her not having an appetite at all and being extremely lethargic, as you've listed her Basking Spot Surface Temperature as being 109 degrees. If that's correct then it's perfectly fine, but you have that Basking Bulb right directly overtop of her basking spot, that rock, and it would surely absorb a lot of light/heat without an issue, and again it is definitely a "Spot" light instead of a "Flood" light, so the light is focused very intensely on her basking spot. I just can't help but think that a 150 watt Spotlight Basking bulb directly above her basking spot in a 40 Gallon Breeder Tank would put the Basking Spot Surface Temperature way too high, as well as the Hot Side Ambient and the Cool Side Ambient temperature too...

Anyone else here with 40 Gallon Breeder Tank experience (should be about everyone on this forum, lol), can you please chime in on what wattage of bright white Basking Bulb you use to obtain proper temperature zones for your Dragon? I'm pretty certain that the highest wattage of Basking Bulb I've ever heard of anyone using over a 40 Gallon Breeder Tank has been at most a 125 watt, and that's extremely rare. In fact I just spoke to another member a couple of weeks ago that had their 6-7 month old in a 40 Gallon Breeder Tank and was having a custom wooden enclosure (4'x3'x2') built for her, so she went out and bought a 160 watt MegaRay MVB for the upcoming new enclosure. She tried putting the 160 watt MVB over the 40 Gallon Breeder Tank that her dragon was currently in and removed her old UVB tube and 100 watt Basking Bulb, and the 160 watt MVB sent the 40 Gallon Breeder Tank temperatures soaring up over 130 degrees! So that's where I'm coming from...

Again, I may be totally off-base, especially since I know that typically Infrared Temperature Guns are very accurate and I've never even used one before, but I also know that it's easy to use a Temperature Gun incorrectly. So I need some other opinions here on both using a Temperature Gun correctly, and on whether anyone else uses a 150 watt Basking Bulb over a 40 Gallon Breeder Tank without the temperature zones going sky high...

In the meantime, please double check the wattage of the Basking Bulb by looking right on the bulb to make sure it is in fact 150 watts, and then try taking just the Basking Spot Surface Temperature again with the Temperature Gun.
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:21 am

Yes I am definitely moving her lights today as soon as I get home from work. I had it set up like this because I was afraid of the fluorescent fixture melting being so close to the heat lamp. The temp fun I use is the same one I use in my auto mechanic shop and I get them calibrated monthly (they are rated to be used by NASA on the space shuttle when it was in service and now on the space station). I'm 100% positive the basking bulb is a 150 and the hottest I've ever seen the basking temp get was 115f. I'm going to stop at Lowe's on the way home as well and gee a 100w flood lamp and a second small light fixture with a low watt bulb to keep the cool side at the proper temperatures of I need to bump them up a bit. Right now the uvb is secured to the lid about an inch or so away from the glass.

I forgot to mention that she still goes poo but, I'm guessing due to the liquid diet she's been on, it is very beige in color. The urate is bone white.

P.s. I am a professional auto mechanic and have been using temp guns for various readings for years so I am confident I am using it properly. Not trying to sound like a ***** about it if that's how it comes off lol.
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby AHBD » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:53 am

It may be slight impaction from the mealworms but she's clearing it now with the good baby food diet. Hopefully she'll perk up soon. Try getting a 1/4" cricket [ that's the size she needs, no larger ] smash it a bit until the guts come out and rub it lightly on her snout.....sometimes that wrks to stimulate the appetite.

Your baby, and all babies would do much better in a smaller plastic tub like I posted, not in a huge tank where they may be too weak or disoriented to find their food, best basking spot, etc. Your scenario is very common, of course you're trying to provide what you think is best and some babies do O.K right from the start in a 40 gal. breeder but as someone who has not only raised 2-3 pet dragons, but has raised many clutches of babies I can tell you that a smaller, shorter enclosure is easier for you and for the baby.

As for eating greens, it's not as important as insects by no means, but all my hundreds + hundreds of babies ate greens every day. Some breeders + stores feed them no greens so they never get used to them as a food item, but if you raise them right most of them will munch on greens starting as early as 2 weeks old.
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby EllenD » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:58 am

No no, you're fine, as I already admitted I have never even used a Temperature Gun, so I don't have anything to say about them, and had I known you were a mechanic I wouldn't have questioned it. I have been working as a Salesperson, Finance Director, and Sales Manager in the Car Business for almost 15 years, lol, I know how hard it is to find a good mechanic to begin with, let alone to hang onto them long-term, and you certainly know how to use a Temp Gun then, lol. It's funny, I have been customizing/repairing my own cars since I was 16 years old (I just turned 38 today, lol), I even took my 2001 BMW Z3 2.5i apart, put it up on jack stands in my garage, and installed an Active Autowerks bolt-on Supercharger kit on it over the span of a month or so (I'd work on it a little at night when I got home from work and on the weekends, and sent the ECU out to the Active Autowerks to have them flash it to run with Supercharger modifications and on 93 octane), then I road-tuned it (I installed an AEM EMS) myself with my laptop, making my own MAPS...And I'm on EVO #2 right now (totalled my first one, lol, that sucked). I was the sales manager of a VW, Audi, Volvo, and Mitsubishi store for almost 4 years, and the owners hated Mitsu and wanted to sell it, and did after 8 months, but that was long enough for me to buy a 2011 Evo X GSR extremely cheaply, lol). so far I've done OZ 19" 3-piece rims, a Tannabe turbo-back exhaust, a Tein Coilover system with height and dampener control, upgraded the entire fuel system to an AMS system with a Walbro and 1000lb. injectors, installed custom leather and heated seats over the Sparco Racing Seats front and back (those seats are the most uncomfortable seats ever made), and redid the entire sound system by ripping out the Rockford Fosgate 6-disc headunit, all 6 speakers, the amp, and the subwoorer, and replaced the head unit with a Pioneer touch-screen computer system, a Kicker 8-speaker system and upgraded the subwoofer enclosure from an 8" to a 10" and put a Kicker in there, and put in a new JBL amp. Right now it's sitting in my driveway with the front bumper, grills, and fenders removed (I just put in new smoked LED tail lights and headlight lenses over the stock HID system, but my front bumper has finally been cracked apart, the damn car is so freaking low that I feel like they are disposable front bumpers). I figure it's a 2011 and only has 35,000 miles on it, and since I was upgrading the headlights anyway I'd leave the front bumper/grilles off until I figure out what I want to do to replace them, I'll most likely just order another stock replacement, it has the stock Mitsu Body Kit on it and I hate those goddy aftermarket body kits)....ANYWAY, my point is even so, I've never used a damn infrared temperature gun, lol...

When you run out to get the new Basking Bulb, be sure to get a "Flood" bulb and not a "Spot" bulb, I made the same mistake once at Lowes (seems to be the best place to buy the Par38 Halogen Indoor Flood bulbs, they have a much larger selection of wattages than Home Depot does, even Tractor Supply has a ton of them, and I actually recently bought a 2-pack of 75 watt Par38 Halogen Indoor Flood Bulbs at Tractor Supply on sale for $5!)

It's a good idea to do the lower wattage main Basking Bulb over the Hot Side and then get a secondary low-wattage basking bulb over the Cool Side, I have the exact same setup on mine, just to brighten it up...I think the basking bulb that's over my Cool Side is only a 40 watt, as anything higher that I tried put the Cool Side over 80 degrees.

Other than that, as long as your UVB tube is the Reptisun 10.0 T8 and it's not older than 6 months, your husbandry looks very good. So it may very well be parasites. Yes, if he's eating only slurries then his poop will definitely be watery and off-color, that's normal...
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Re: Is this stargazing or normal sleep?

Postby Deathruin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:59 am

Unfortunately I am not very well off with money at the moment so I can't really afford to buy a smaller setup. I was thinking of walking off half of the 40 gallon I have now to shrink it that way. I'm really hoping she takes to the phoenix worms that just came in today. Regardless she's going to the vet on Friday. Thoughts on shrinking the tank with a wall?
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