New Bearded Dragon Stress Marks???

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New Bearded Dragon Stress Marks???

Postby Lilypad » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:10 pm

Hi, I just got my first bearded dragon five days ago. I did research before getting one so I made sure I had everything I would need for the little guy.

I got him a hammock (which I keep low to the ground for now because he is small and rather clumsy), a nice little hidey hole on the cooler side, a place to bask, a water bowl, and a food bowl. I of course have all his lighting, digital thermometers, etc. On the bottom I am use a slated tile as well. His temperature on the basking side is usually 100-105 degrees during the day and around 74 degrees at night when it's time to sleep.

I've had him for about five days now. He is extremely young... based on what I've seen online I would guess maybe a month old? I've read people saying their baby beardies eat anywhere from 20-80 crickets a day. I cannot for the life of me get him to eat more than 4-5 and I am sooo scared I am going to kill him due to under feeding him. What can I do to make him eat more?

On his belly and chin as well it seems as if he has permanent stress marks too but I don't know what to do to make him less stressed. I know he can see his reflection and he doesn't like it but I'm unsure how to prevent him from seeing it. Would some stick on tile be okay to put some tile on the back of the tank? Would this help his stress? Or maybe I am handling him too much? I just want him to get use to me but maybe it's too much? Usually the stress marks don't appear too dark but I know sometimes when I am removing uneaten crickets his stress mark colors seem to dark as I move my hand around to get under the hammock. I'm a little worried he doesn't like me?

He is also currently starting to shed as well. He just finished shedding on his face and is now shedding on his tail. He likes to occasionally go splash around in his water bowl as well and seems to be at least somewhat active. He is also pooping regularly.

I'm just not sure what I am doing wrong. Any advice would be very welcome...I would hate it if he died because I was a poor owner.

Oh his tank is currently a 20 gallon I believe? It's this one here: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/zoo-med-bearded-dragon-kit

When he starts to get bigger I am already ready to move him to a bigger tank. I would eventually like to move him to 120 gallon once he's older.

Thank you guys in advance for helping a new beardie owner. I am honestly trying really hard.
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Re: New Bearded Dragon Stress Marks???

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:29 pm

Your temperature gradient sounds good and I'm glad you are using a solid substrate. Which UVB light are you using?

Shedding is a good sign and I wouldn't worry about his appetite too much as long as he's going after something. Their appetites fluctuate depending on their growth cycles so it's OK for them to eat less some days and more others. The dark lines are likely related to his age and darkening so he can bask rather than mood related. This is common with young dragons and I think the term stress marks is misleading. It's not necessarily an indicator of a problem.

Do you already have a larger tank ready to go? You don't necessarily need to keep him in a small tank because he is young. It can often be easier to provide proper UVB and heat gradients in a larger tank as well as provide him with more space to run around and climb.
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Re: New Bearded Dragon Stress Marks???

Postby Lilypad » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:58 pm

I am currently using a 5.0 UVB light. It's brand new and I wrote down the day I bought it so I know when to replace it. Would a 10.0 UVB be better?

It's good to know that his marking don't necessarily mean there is an issue. I was really worried I was doing something wrong. He's still a little jumpy with me but I suppose he'll get more use to me as he continues to see me. He knows what I keep my crickets in now so he gets excited when I bring it to the tank.

I currently don't have the 120 gallon just yet as I'm having a friend make it for me. So I'm currently waiting on it to be finished.
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Re: New Bearded Dragon Stress Marks???

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:30 pm

I would probably invest in a higher quality, higher output UVB light. They last for quite a while and they can be moved to larger tanks later and still be effective. This is the one I use and it's great. http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/22-t-5-ho-fixture-high-output-with-arcadia-d3-12-ho-bulb/
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