Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

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Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby Mackelyn » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:40 am

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I don’t really blame the fact that I’m doing everything wrong on myself. I’ve never had a bearded dragon, so it’s all new to me. The owners before me didn’t really care about her either. They would feed her green beans from the can and only give her 50 crickets a month. Now, I know there are worse things. At least they weren’t feeding her mice, right? Well, anyways, ive learned a lot through this website and all of you and I will forever be grateful for it. She has crushed walnut in her tank and has her entire life as far as I can figure. She has somehow not been seriously impacted, but I’m still gonna take it out and put newspaper in so I know nothing will happen. There’s a red light in her tank, which I was told is supposed to be on 24/7. I have started turning it off at night and now she doesn’t run around and glass surf into the early hours of the morning. The basking light the previous owners got is crap. I have since replaced it with a somewhat better light. I’m going to get a proper light set up this weekend. She’s been improperly fed, had improper lighting, and had an improper enclosure for what I assume her whole life so far. I going to correct it all and give her the proper care that she needs. I am just grateful that she hasn’t had any serious health problems from the lack of care she has received. I will make sure to update as I improve her living situation.
Last edited by Mackelyn on Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby Shidohari » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:49 pm

Thank god she has you in her life.

I'm sure venusandsaturn will give you her guide later for feedings and lighting, because hers is VERY good and she's shared it with every new bearded dragon owner that visits this forum.

I would suggest you go to LIGHTYOURREPTILES and purchase an T5 HIGH OUTPUT 22 inch fixture when you have the finances to do so. I did and I've been very happy with the results of the UVB lighting. Both the Arcadia 12% and reptisun 10.0 HIGH OUTPUT T5 fixtures will fit in that fixture.

I've just recently upgraded to a Exoterra LARGE/WIDE enclosure that opens in both the front and the top. The basking bulb I use is a 100W exoterra intense bulb.

Pictures of the updated viv setup when you can she's very pretty. Do you have a name yet?
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Re: Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby VenusAndSaturn » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:18 pm

You can also use paper towels, non adhesive shelf liner, and then tile (my preferred choice).
Other than just causing impaction the substrate she is currently on can also cut up her eyes, feet and insides as its actually quite sharp.

Particle substrates can also cause fungal infections, eye infections, scale rot, joint issues, sometimes stained scales, prolapses, death and it also provides a place for bacteria to breed so even with spot cleaning its never clean.

Definitely get rid of the red light, beardies see in color so having it on disturbs their sleep. If it drops below 65 during the night then you can use a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) as this produces only heat.
For during the day make sure you have a bright white non colored regular basking bulb. You can also use halogen and flood lights instead of reptile branded bulbs.

Temperatures should be monitored with a temp gun or a digital temperature gauge with a probe.
Basking spot 100-110.
Warm side 88-95.
Cool side 70-85.
Night time temps 65-85.

Make sure at minimum she has a 75 gallon. 40-50 gallon tanks don't exactly work for adult dragons, after all they usually are 18-24 inches in length and are semi-aboral and active lizards.

With 40-50 gallons you provide a place for food, basking, sleeping and thermoregulation... but thats about it, they don't have much room for exploring or climbing or multiple basking areas.
With a 75 gallon or larger enclosure however you provide a sleeping place, basking area or areas, food area, thermoregulation, climbing space, and exploring space. You also can provide a better variety of UVB levels in a larger enclosure.
Luckily 75 gallons aren't too expensive if you go to petco during their one dollar per gallon sale. They're usually about 97 dollars.

This is a little list of UVB bulbs and fixtures. I'd recommend getting a 34" bulb and fixture and a 10.0 at the very least. However the 14% bulb would be a bit stronger.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013R ... UTF8&psc=1
^ 46" T5 HO Fixture

https://www.amazon.com/Reptile-T5HO-Sta ... ho+fixture
^ 34" T5 HO Fixture

https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-26062-Re ... Src=detail
^ 34" T5 HO 10.0

https://www.amazon.com/ZooMed-Zoo-Med-R ... 08VVS6YN6C
^ 46" T5 HO 10.0

http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/arcadi ... p-34-inch/
^ 34" T5 HO 14%

http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/arcadi ... p-46-inch/
^ 46" T5 HO 14%

Feeding guide.
All life stages eat 10-20 bugs a feeding.
1-4 months 3x a day.
4-12 months 2x a day.
12-20 months once a day.
20+ months twice a week at the least, every other day at the most.

Staple feeders - Crickets, locusts, grasshoppers, silkworms, black soldier fly larvae, dubia roaches, turkish roaches, possibly earthworms.

Treat feeders - Waxworms, hornworms, superworms, mealworms, butterworms.
Wax worms - once a week, 4-5 max.
Hornworms - every other day to every two days, 4-6 max.
Mealworms - every other day to every two days, 5-10 max. Only for beardies above 6 months.
Superworms - once or twice a week, 3-4 max. Only for beardies above 12 months.
Butterworms - once or twice a week, 3-4 max.

Daily greens- Turnip/collard/mustard greens, endive, and kale if added to a mixture of the other staple greens mentioned.
Fruit once or twice a week - Banana, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, red raspberries.
For more food items -

You want two supplements at the very least, a calcium and a multivitamin.

Generally beardies below two years need calcium 5x a week and multivitamins 2x a week.

However beardies above two years or at two years of age need calcium only 2-4x a week with
multivitamins 1-2x a week.
This depends on how your adult beardie is with diet, health, just laid eggs, is laying eggs, etc.

And care sheet,
https://docs.google.com/document/d/18Pf ... sp=sharing
1.2.0 CBD, Saturn 30 Months, Venus 30 Months, Neptune 19 Months.
0.0.1 IBTS, Turtle 17 Months. 0.1.0 BP, Spice 14 Months.
0.1.0 LG, Delilah 15 Months. 0.1.0 Ultra Purple Tegu, Oreo 13 months.
-Former scaley family members-
1.0.1 CBD, Lilly (died due to impaction, 1-2 months), Lola (Originally thought to be female, 5-10+ years, possibly died of impaction)
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Re: Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby Mackelyn » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:52 am

Her name is Dee (was Demetrius but then I found out she might be a girl). And thank you guys so much. I am glad to see that I am at least on the right track. I have been able to change one of her lights so far and I have noticed that her behavior has changed since then. She sleeps better at night since I found out all the lights need to be off. She seems like she’s getting happier. I’ll share the progress with you guys as I change her enclosure and other things. Thank you again. You guys are helping me give her a great life.
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Re: Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby dezismom » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:43 am

Welcome to the forum! We love to hear that it has helped someone new--there is alot to learn, and it can be a bit overwhelming, but it certainly sounds like you are on the right track!

Only 50 crickets a month, and red light all night?! Poor Dee! Thank you for rescuing her! I know they are expensive to set up properly, but these remarkable creatures are well worth the effort. She will give you many years of love (and snuggles!). I would not have believed anyone who told me that a lizard could be so affectionate, intelligent, and make such a wonderful companion, until I "accidentally" got DeziLu in my life. Now, I cannot imagine life, without him!

I have used a 24" zoomed reptisun 10' in Dezi's 40 gal. beardie tank with very satisfactory results...Dezi is now three and a half years old, and a healthy, happy (and handsome! sorry, had to brag on my boy.😊🐲) fellow. Just be sure to always change what ever UVB light you choose promptly every six months. They begin to lose effectiveness from the moment you turn them on; by six months they are still providing light, but no UVBs to speak of.

I also like the feeding guide that venusandsaturn provides...I fed baby Dezi more often, since I was home all day, and we both enjoyed the bonding of our hand feeding. He has grown up big (24"!) and strong. Do not be overly concerned, if Dee wont eat her veggies-- it is not uncommon, and they need the live protien more during their fast growing period, which is about a year old.How old is Dee? She is a lovely Beardie.She has fabulous spikes around her face!

Do not hesitate to ask any questions that come up-we are happy to help out a fellow Beardie owner.

Dezi says welcome, Dee!
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Re: Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby Mackelyn » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:40 am

Dee has been through about 3 owners before me, so I’m not positive exactly how old she is. I figure anywhere from 5-8 years old. She actually really likes her veggies, which is good. I know it’ll probably cost me a couple hundred to get her set up right, but once she is then it will be worth it. She’s not particularly fond of me yet, bu I chalk that up to a poor environment that stresses her out.
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Re: Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby Drache613 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:08 pm

Moved by Moderator from General to Health
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Re: Learned that I’m doing everything wrong

Postby Drache613 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:11 pm


We all definitely can learn something new each & every day! One thing I have learned is that
the more I know, the more I realize that I don't know.
You are on the right track & everything should be fine with all of the changes you are making.
Let us know how things are going!

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