Lighting and bathing questions

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Lighting and bathing questions

Postby Cris80 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:42 pm


My son has had a bearded dragon whom we have not taken care of properly, only due to our own ignorance. He got sick last week and I started doing some research and realized that we were not very good beardie parents. I posted in Beardie ER and received some great advice and we’ve made some changes. When he was not feeling well, he wasn’t eating, wasn’t moving or eating. This was only for two days. We used to have sand in his tank, were not bathing enough and not loading his food with calcium nearly enough. I have changed his whole tank, he is in a 40 gallon with newspaper. We have added a 100 Watt Mega Ray Mercury Vapour Bulb. He is getting baths daily and we are trying to feed him calcium/vitamin covered crickets.

My questions are:
He is still not moving much. He walks very little in his tank but not when he is outside the tank. He does bask a lot. How long before he should have more energy.

We have put in crickets for him to feed, and he is hungry but he can’t catch them. He seems super slow, sticks out his tongue so slowly they see it coming and jump. Is this part of the calcium deficiency?

His new mercury bulb is not heating the tank to proper temp, only about 86 to 88 degrees, so I added his old Zoo Med 100 watt basking light, and that has brought up the temp. Is this ok?

He is not drinking water, are the daily baths enough?

I’m sorry about the book but we really want to make sure we are doing the best job we can going forward.

Thank you!

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Re: Lighting and bathing questions

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:45 am

I'm glad you are making these improvements. They can take quite a while to show an effect though so be patient. The 100w MegaRay should sit about 10-12'' above the main basking area for proper UVB output. It's fine to add the old regular basking light to bring temps up if needed. You could even set them apart slightly so he can have heat and intense UVB or just bask under the heat lamp if you have the space to do this.

To help him hunt, try hand feeding him for a while. You can also slow crickets down by putting them in the refrigerator for a few minutes before feeding. They slow down with cooler temps.

If you are giving him fresh veges and the crickets are feeding on fresh veges then they should be pretty well hydrating on their own. You can drip water on his nose and see if he wants to lick it up but he may be getting enough water from his food. If he likes baths it's OK to offer them, but if he tries to get out and doesn't seem to like them, they aren't worth the stress and should be reserved for only when he is soiled/smelly.
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