Advice Needed

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Advice Needed

Postby aritashakkori » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:22 pm

Hey y’all, new beardie owner here!

Prepare for a long post, I want to make sure i’m doing everything right.... I “rescued” my female beardie from a class at my school, she was in a tiny tank with no temperature monitoring/uv light, had no water and was only fed mealworms, no greens. She was also put in sand and she would eat it sometimes. Before she came to the class wasn’t much better either, I don’t think she was receiving proper care.

Now that i’ve brought her home, she’s doing a lot better. I have her in a 40 gallon (36x18x20ish) tank with eco carpet. The first few days I gave her warm baths to rehydrate, and now she has a water bowl (treated with water conditioner) that she likes to sit in sometimes.

For lighting, I have a 250W red heat bulb over her hammock, and towards the middle I have a 10uvb dome light sitting on the screen top. I also bought a 100w white basking light but I haven’t used it because the red light is hotter. At night i’ve been using a 60w ceramic heat emitter that clamps onto the tank, but it doesn’t get very hot especially through the screen.

Temperature wise, the left side of her tank gets around 75/80 degrees and the basking area is about 110. At night it’s usually 70/75 around the hide where she sleeps, but when I touch her in the morning she’s cold which idk is normal. I regret not buying a higher wattage heat emitter, but I don’t have enough money for another one.

For food, I’ve been feeding her a variety. Usually some baby kale, chopped carrots/bell peppers, freeze dried mealworms/crickets dusted in calcium, zilla fortified pellets, and canned papaya from the pet store. I sprinkle reptivite over all of it as well. She isn’t terribly interested in food but she usually eats some of it, especially if I put it in her mouth while she has it open.

Before I brought her home she wasn’t eating much so I took her to the vet, he said she looked great and got her to poop (he said she was impacted from not having any greens). Also, she yawns sometimes and it makes a weird crunching noise, which scares me. I’m still worried that i’m doing something wrong, so any advice on what to change would be great!!

(I don’t know how to include pictures but I have them if someone can explain how)
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:47 pm

Ok so pics--- go to User Image Uploader at top of this page-- down load pics-- click on reply at top of message box click on XIMG - pics should post let the page refresh and check your message you should see pics----- next PLEASE get rid of the red bulb----- it is not good for their eyes and can cause long term damage---- next you need a Infrared heat gun - you can get them from Walmart Home Depot or Lowes for around $10--- they are the best way to get accurate temps--- the CHE the bulb can go higher like a 75 or 100 watt - it sounds like you have the fixture already just make sure the dome can handle a higher wattage --- the carpet is good - when you get better situated you can go to a non adhesive shelf liner from one of your local home improvement stores - its cheap and easy to clean w/ vinegar / water in a spray bottle - but for now the lighting is the most important factor---- the white basking light is what you need NO COLORED--- as for the UVB for best health and what is recommended on here and what she needs right away is this ---- Which UVB light should I use?
The best UVB light is a ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent tube HO (Or Arcardia 12% in the UK). Compact or coil bulbs do not emit the proper amount of UVB light for a bearded dragon, and should not be used. Other brands, such as the Zilla Desert Series and ReptiGlo have been known to cause eye problems and other health issues with bearded dragons, and should be avoided. The reason that some UVB lights (Zilla, ReptiGlo, coils/compacts, ect.) are considered dangerous is because the wavelength of UVB that they emit is shorter and more intense than the wavelength of the "safe" lights (ReptiSun, Arcadia).
UVB lights should be replaced every 6 months. The T5’s are a strong bulb and only need to be replaced once a year – the T 8 every 6 months--- where as the T 8 are not as strong—they need to be placed inside the tank the T 5 10.0 bulb approx 10-11 inches from basking spot – the T 8 approx 6-8 inches from basking spot—the cover needs to be off the bulb for full effect of the UVB rays-- please put that on your priority list ---- its going to make a difference in her behavior and her over all health----
How are you getting the cool side ambient temps-- the best way for that is the digital probe - no dial they arent accurate and often give the wrong temps --- it is normal for them to be cool in the morning - they sleep better at nite --- temp at nite should be no lower than 65 and 70's or so is good - so you need that IR gun to determine that before you get a different CHE bulb--- all lights in tank should be white w / the exception of the heat emitter no light at all ---- I am no vet but that crunching your hearing could be MBD-- caused from no UVB at all and improper diet----- when you post pics some others on here will be able to tell ---- she isnt interested in food because of the improper lighting--- once that gets changed out you will notice a difference in her behavior that is why I said priority!! Please try feeding her bugs w/ calcium D3 and vitamins--- how old is she-- ? I am guessing she is an adult- usually by then they are on a strictly vegies diet and less bugs --- I am hoping someone on here can instruct you on what to do w/ the calcium thing --- but please post pics thats going to help --- that UVB is going to need to go into your tank so she can start utilizing the UVB rays -
Karrie
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby aritashakkori » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:39 pm

Update: I switched out the red basking light for a soft white one, and ordered an 18in T8 Reptisun Bulb with a fixture that I will mount in my tank. However, the new basking bulb I am using does not make the tank hot enough, and I dont have any more money to spend on that. What is the cheapest option for a basking bulb? Should I leave the red light in for now or will she be okay with inadequate heat. Right now the thermometer reads 85 and I'm going to put a heat emitter in as well.
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:48 pm

No try a 100 watt household white bulb--- no LED--- do you have something to take temp w/ ? Like a digital probe thermometer- that's better than nothing--- but please get rid of the red bulb-- lights need to be off at night-- 12 hrs on 12 hrs off-- I know others on here use household bulbs for basking-- how far away is she from basking area? You can also try a 75 watt - really need something to get the temp-- you don't want it too hot -- 90-105 is good--
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby aritashakkori » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:03 pm

I have a stick on thermometer, I'll use that for now. She's pretty far from the light fixture so it's hard to get enough heat. 100w basking light is what she has and it still isnt hot enough. For tomorrow I'll use the CHE as well.
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby Drache613 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:37 pm

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Re: Advice Needed

Postby Drache613 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:41 pm

Hello,

The stick on type of thermometers are ok at reading humidity & ambient air temperatures, but
not good at reading direct basking spot temperatures.
How far away from her basking light is she?
That is good you have changed out the red light to a bright white one. That will make a big
difference for her, so it is brighter & will stimulate a higher activity level.
She would appreciate some live insects such as crickets or roaches (dubias), & some worm
varieties such as silkworms, superworms, or phoenix/calcium worms. They love live prey most
of the time.
Does she eat her greens/veggies at all?

Tracie
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby aritashakkori » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:26 am

Okay so right now I have a zoo med 100w basking light and a heat emitter and it’s getting the temp to around 95 (or that’s what it says on my probe thermometer). She does eat her greens but not very much, hopefully that will change with the adjustments i’m making. And yes, i’ll try and get her some live insects :)
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:57 am

Ok good so her basking temp is there -- when you get the new UVB you will see a difference in her behavior--- what did you do w/ the tank did you add a blanket or anything to get the temp up - I was thinking too you could always raise her basking spot up closer to the light but if you got it at 95 that is good -- is that w/ the heat emitter too?
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby aritashakkori » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:03 am

I didn’t even need to insulate, after a while the heat emitter brought the temp up. I might be getting an exo terra intense 150w depending on how this works
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:18 am

Ok so you still need to get that IR gun when you can -- just so you can get a accurate temp-- what are your temps running at nite? Are you leaving the heat emitter on at nite? Temps should be around 70 or so at nite w/ all the lights off and not below 65 -- if its going below 65 you want the heat emitter left on-- you can always put some sort of top on the tank to keep heat in as well -- not completely covered up but some thing to block a lot of the heat from escaping -- like wood board-- etc....
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby aritashakkori » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:45 am

It’s reading 75 when I wake up in the morning, hopefully that’s accurate. I should be okay until winter!
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Re: Advice Needed

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:52 am

yep that is good for the floor--- and yes it will need to come off the floor for winter other wise your going to be fighting temps to keep them up---
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