He won’t keep his eyes opened

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He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby PrettyInPunk77 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:33 am

My boyfriends bearded dragon won’t keep his eyes opened, he is a little over a year old. His basking spot it’s around 100F and the cool side is 83F. His humility is 40%. His tank is a 40 gallon. We spray his cage down when he starts sheading to help him shead. He eats different types of lettuce, kale, broccoli, carrots, squash, cucumber, grapes, pineapple, banana, strawberries. We change up what he eats every few days, but that’s pretty much the variety he has. We also add bearded dragon calcium on his food about once a week. He also has meal worms or crickets everyday. He still eats normally and poops normally as well. He don’t seem lethargic or anything he’s still completely normal, he just keeps his eyes closed like a lot. I noticed it mostly when he is basking or just sitting around. I mean this could be normal I don’t know. We had another beardie who passed of old age but I’ve never say her do the eye thing for as long as we had her. So I have no idea.
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Re: He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby EllenD » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:59 pm

This sounds like a lighting issue to me, as everything else sounds okay...

What do you use as the substrate in the bottom of his tank? Is it a loose substrate?

What UVB light (brand/model/wattage/type, meaning long tube, compact, or coil/spiral) do you have? How old is it? How far away in inches is it from his main Basking Spot/Platform? Is it obstructed by anything, like a mesh lid?

What type of Basking Light do you use? What color is it? Is it a normal or compact Basking Bulb or a regular Halogen INdoor Flood Bulb? Is it a coil/spiral bulb? Have you replaced it since he started keeping his eyes closed?

How long has he been keeping his eyes closed?

The only comment I can make about your husbandry as you described is that you need to dust his crickets in calcium or put it on his salad at least 3-4 times a week at a minimum, even though he's an adult 1 time a week is not nearly enough, I recommend at least 3-4 times a week with calcium. Also, you must also dust at least 2-3 times a week with a Reptile Multivitamin as well, if he's never had one of these he could develop several different vitamin deficiencies, the most common one being a Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) deficiency, which has symptoms that mimic the symptoms of MBD almost exactly and that can be very debilitation. Most people use either Herpavite Multivitamin Powder, Reptavite Calcium Powder, or Repashy Calcium Plus Multivitamin Powder.
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Re: He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby Rosedawn » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:54 pm

I hope you don’t mind if I crash this forum lol I have a lighting issue the pet store gave me a 5.0 coil which is obviously a no no so I was wondering what the best build on a low budget would be for a 10 gal tank( tank is temporary)
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Re: He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby CooperDragon » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:57 pm

Rosedawn wrote:I hope you don’t mind if I crash this forum lol I have a lighting issue the pet store gave me a 5.0 coil which is obviously a no no so I was wondering what the best build on a low budget would be for a 10 gal tank( tank is temporary)


It would be very difficult to maintain a proper temperature and UVB gradient in a 10g tank even for a young dragon. I would consider a 20g long a minimum for a young dragon and a 40g breeder would be better. You can get deals at Petco a few times a year and you can save money by building your own tank. If you need something in an emergency you can usually find a big clear plastic bin that would be big enough to provide the needed gradient.

If you have a 5.0 coil and need a replacement on a budget without a fixture I would get a 26w Exo Terra UVB200. That can use the existing screw fixture and provides adequate UVB at about 6-8''. It would be better (and probably cheaper in the long run) to invest in a good T5 fixture and light though.
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Re: He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby Rosedawn » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:36 pm

His temperature stays the way it should and it is only temporary until we build one. His only problem is his UVB light.
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Re: He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby EllenD » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:48 am

Rosedawn wrote:His temperature stays the way it should and it is only temporary until we build one. His only problem is his UVB light.


It's impossible to develop 3 different temperature zones in a 10 gallon tank, it cannot be done. You basically can only get 1 Ambient Hot Temp and then whatever the actual Basking Spot Surface temp happens to be, which is going to be much higher than the Ambient Temp and you cannot even find out what it is unless you have a Digital Probe Thermometer or a Temp Gun.

Basking Spot Surface temp for a baby/juvenile up to a year needs to be between 105-110 degrees max., for an adult over a year 100-105ish. 110 is the max temp anywhere in the tank.

Hot Side Ambient (air) temp between 88-93 degrees max

Cool Side Ambient (air) temp between 75-80 degrees max. This is very important that he has this zone to go to at all times to cool off, and you cannot achieve this in a 10 gallon tank at all. As Cooper already mentioned, you need to get at the very least a 20 Gallon LONG tank ASAP, a 40 Gallon Breeder tank is ideal and will be necessary by 6 months if he grows appropriately.

Check Craigslist, you can usually find a bunch of 40 Gallon Breeder Tanks with lids cheaply.
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Re: He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby Rosedawn » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:08 am

I have the right thermometer and his temperatures are correct. I check it so I think I would know. His cool side is 75-85 his hot side is 85-95 and his basking spot is 100-110. I’ve talked to others on here and they all said that was correct so again your the only one that is saying it’s impossible. Obviously it’s not if his temps are correct and yet again I say IT IS ONLY TEMPORARY. Now that I know his problem is his UVB light that is the only thing I needed to know.
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Re: He won’t keep his eyes opened

Postby EllenD » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:06 am

Rosedawn wrote:I have the right thermometer and his temperatures are correct. I check it so I think I would know. His cool side is 75-85 his hot side is 85-95 and his basking spot is 100-110. I’ve talked to others on here and they all said that was correct so again your the only one that is saying it’s impossible. Obviously it’s not if his temps are correct and yet again I say IT IS ONLY TEMPORARY. Now that I know his problem is his UVB light that is the only thing I needed to know.


No, 2 of us have said that it's impossible to get those 3 temperature ranges in a 10 gallon tank, not that those ranges are incorrect. They are correct, but I'm sorry, there is absolutely no way you are getting 75-80 degrees on one side of a 10 gallon tank and then 88-93 on the other, with a basking spot surface temperature between 105-110. Think about that, it's impossible, that's why both of us have commented as such. Not that the ranges you're listing are incorrect, but rather that you cannot achieve those contrasting temp ranges inside such a small tank...

Let's say we're wrong and you have somehow managed to do what you're saying somehow, okay, but that still doesn't change the fact that a 10 gallon tank is far too small for a bearded dragon of any size, and as Cooper already mentioned, the minimum size for even a baby dragon is a 20 gallon long. I don't believe anyone on this forum has told you that a 10 gallon tank is an appropriate size tank, not for a minute. I think you misunderstood what we were saying, not that the temp ranges you listed were incorrect for a bearded dragon, obviously we know that, but rather that in a tiny 10 gallon tank it's impossible to achieve those drastically different temp ranges, there's no space to do so!

Anyway, forgetting that, we're here to try to help your dragon, so when you are able, you really do need a larger tank, and since by 6 months old he'll need at least a 40 Gallon Breeder tank at a minimum, you're better off money wise all the way around to just skip the 20 gallon long tank and go right to the 40 gallon breeder tank, because remember that you'll also have to up the wattage of bright white basking bulb when you go to a larger tank as well, so better to not have to go through buying 2 more tanks and 2 more basking bulbs, etc. I'd also look on your local Craigslist pages for the best deal, every time I look on Craigslist in the "Community-Services-Pets" section I see multiple 40 Gallon Breeder tanks, with lids, for a fraction of what they cost new. I believe they cost around $100 new without a lid at all, then another $30 or more for a lid. It's ridiculous, when you can find a slightly used one with a lid for under $50, even much less than that if you get lucky and are willing to look in surrounding town's Craigslist pages. I've seen practically brand new ones with lids for $30 on Craigslist, people just want them to be taken away, as they take up space. The other thing to always check for is a large size of glass Exo Terra with the front-opening doors, they are very expensive new, but I've seen the large ones that are appropriate for a juvenile beardie that are 36"x18"18" for under $100 on Craiglist as well. Also on eBay, if you search for "Local Pickup" sales that are close to you so you can go pick them up and not pay ridiculous shipping charges for them. Just be sure to fully disinfect any pre-owned tank you buy in very hot water and either bleach or F10 disinfectant before using it.
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