Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

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Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby marhvee » Wed May 01, 2019 5:52 pm

Hi, everyone! I've been dreaming of having a beardie for a very long time, and now was finally the right time and place to get one. My new baby is a 6-month-old hypo trans male, with German Giant in him, so he is a big boy! I haven't properly measured him yet but he looks to already be 12 inches. I love him dearly and want to do the best for him. Here are pictures of him and his current setup!

[Click image to enlarge]


[Click image to enlarge]


His tank is a 40 gallon breeder from Exo Terra (36x18x18). I have a 100 watt Exo Terra basking bulb (attached to a lamp stand) and a 10.0 Reptisun UVB bulb, both of which are sitting on top of his enclosure. The right side is the cool side, with a hide and a small blanket of mine, which I figured would help him familiarize with my scent. There's a water bowl in the middle which I take out at night, so that he doesn't end up sleeping in it on accident. The right side has a log and a hammock propped up on the log as his basking spot, which provides a gradient of temps from 98 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool side is about 80 degrees, fluctuating depending on the time of day. He is shedding at the moment on his leg and I believe on his beard as well, so I'm hoping the water bowl will help with that even if he doesn't drink from it or go potty in it. (I put posters on the sides of his tank to try and block reflections that might freak them out -- please ignore that they're Chinese lesson charts, lol. I do plan to put a background that covers the back and the sides in the future, but I don't want to mess around too much in case I stress the baby out more at the moment.) I plan to also accessorize his tank a bit more to give him more fun stimuli, but again, I want him to settle in first.

I'm still trying to figure out a feeding schedule for him, since there seems to be quite a bit of debate about what the proper schedule is for a juvenile like him. The store (a pretty reputable reptile store) I got him from suggested I feed him bugs one day, then greens the next, but I was a bit wary of that. I'm trying to follow something similar to the one on Bearded Dragon Care 101 here: https://www.beardeddragoncare101.com/be ... -schedule/

He's been home with me for 2 nights and 2 days, including today. Apparently he wasn't fed the day that I got him, so he was a voracious eater yesterday, downing 19 large dubias and most of his salad (made up of collard greens). Today, trying to stick with the feeding schedule I mentioned above, I tried to focus him on salads. He ate some salad in the morning, then 5 large dubias in the afternoon, munched on the salad again in the late afternoon, then 5 more large dubias at dinnertime. Is this too little/too much for him? What kind of feeding schedule would you recommend, given that he's on large dubias rather than the small/medium ones?

I should also note that he hasn't pooped yet, which I read was pretty normal due to relocation stress. He also still has stress marks on his belly, which clear up from time to time (usually when he's basking). How worried should I be about these stress marks, and how soon should they go away?

Thanks so much for going through this too-long post -- I'd love to hear your advice to make sure my baby is happy and healthy!
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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 01, 2019 6:21 pm

Hi there and welcome!

Your setup sounds and looks fine.
One thing you should do though is move your uvb over to the basking area. Currently you have it pushed over to the cool side, you should have it starting on the hotside. That way the coolside has a temp, and a uv gradient. This is much more natural. Plus, it allows him to be a bit closer to the UVB at his basking site.
is your reptisun the t8 or the t5 HO?

How you are feeding him sounds just fine. Salads every day and live insects twice a day.

In regards to how worried you should be over the stress marks - not worried. :mrgreen:

Do you have a name for him?
Curiously, does the petstore you bought him from breed dragons? or was this just a dragon they got in?

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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby marhvee » Wed May 01, 2019 7:15 pm

Awesome, thank you so much! The UVB I use is a T5. I've moved it over so that it's slanted across the hot and cool sides -- does this look better?

[Click image to enlarge]


I wasn't sure how much to feed him insects-wise, since I've seen suggestions of feeding them as much as they want within 10-15 minutes as well as in more moderation with a set number of insects to offer. He started to slow down and take his time catching his dubias at around the 4th one, and ran up to his basking spot before coming down to catch his 5th. He probably could go for more if I offered, but I wanted him to eat his veggies as well. Should I offer him more dubias at a time or nah?

EDIT: Oops, I forgot to mention! I don't have a name for him yet, I'm still trying to gauge his personality. :lol: I technically got him from a dragon breeder who is also an employee at this petstore -- my beardie in particular wasn't up for sale at the store, I just asked the breeder to bring him into the store so I could see him in person!
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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby CooperDragon » Wed May 01, 2019 8:33 pm

That looks like the same tank I have. The mesh top is pretty fine so it will intercept quite a bit of UVB (OK in this case with that T5 hood and bulb). You have the 10.0 rather than the 5.0 that comes with that hood? I would move it over the front left quadrant right next to the heat bulb. That way you will provide higher UVB on the main basking area and allow for some space away from UVB and heat as an option.
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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby marhvee » Wed May 01, 2019 9:20 pm

Sounds like a great idea! I figured the mesh along with the support beams running across would intercept quite a bit of the light, so I replaced the 5.0 that came with the hood and just bought a 10.0. Thank you!
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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu May 02, 2019 3:56 am

Regarding UV shading effect of mesh screens : viewtopic.php?f=34&t=235210&p=1809330#p1809330
that mesh top I can see will be blocking 45 -50% of the UV, so it essentially cancels out the effect of a good reflector hood.

Regarding getting the UV gradient and thermal gradient right : viewtopic.php?f=34&t=235611

For a juvenile (under about 12 months old) , I suggest two (2) feeds of live high quality insects per day + offer salad daily.
A juvenile is not fully grown or fully matured / developed and needs the insect proteins and fats provided by 2 meals of insects per day.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby marhvee » Thu May 02, 2019 2:06 pm

Thank you for linking me to the research, it's very compelling to read and I'll definitely be keeping it in mind! I had no idea that there even was so much research on beardie husbandry!

I'm still working out his feeding schedule, since I do want to anticipate what schedule I'm on once I start attending grad school in the fall (I'm currently not in school, so I can keep a closer eye on this little guy for now). Since it is approaching summer here, I have his lights on from 7 AM to 10 PM, but this can be changed if it seems too long! Here is his approximate feeding schedule at the moment:

7 AM: Lights go on. I'm a night owl, so I wash his veggies and put in a fresh salad before I go to sleep so that his breakfast is ready. I'm also doing this because I anticipate that I might not have time to make a fresh salad in the morning once I'm in school. His salad stays in his enclosure all day, and I remove it when his lights go out.

12 PM: First insect feeding -- I offer him as many large dubias as he wants to eat within 10-ish minutes or when he loses interest. He seems to lose interest at around the 10th one.

6 PM: Second insect feeding -- same as above, feed within 10-ish minutes/until he loses interest.

10 PM: Lights go out, and I remove his salad.

I've considered ordering some Phoenix worms, to give him some variety. I was thinking about making the Phoenix worms the second insect feeding of the day, which might help him to (accidentally) eat some more of his salad as well. How does this sound? :D
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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby marhvee » Thu May 02, 2019 3:36 pm

Sorry for the double post, but something else has come to my attention -- I checked my basking temps again today (which was slightly colder), and his temps seemed to max out at around 102 degrees F. However, I've noticed that he tends to stay mostly on the lower end of his hammock, which is usually in the low 90's, as seen here. (I use a temp gun to measure.)

[Click image to enlarge]


His colors brighten up like they do in this picture, and then he runs off into the cool side and wanders around the tank for a while before returning to his hammock. He seems to have a pretty good amount of energy, doesn't look lethargic at all. I know that he thermoregulates on his own, but I'm just worried if his basking temperature preferences in the low 90's is sufficient for his digestion. He hasn't pooped yet since he came to me, so it's been about 3 or 4 days. Any thoughts?
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Re: Anxious New Beardie Owner -- advice/check my setup?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu May 02, 2019 10:50 pm

marhvee wrote:Thank you for linking me to the research, it's very compelling to read and I'll definitely be keeping it in mind! I had no idea that there even was so much research on beardie husbandry!

I'm still working out his feeding schedule, since I do want to anticipate what schedule I'm on once I start attending grad school in the fall (I'm currently not in school, so I can keep a closer eye on this little guy for now). Since it is approaching summer here, I have his lights on from 7 AM to 10 PM, but this can be changed if it seems too long! Here is his approximate feeding schedule at the moment:

<< 15 hour for a photoperiod is fine.

7 AM: Lights go on. I'm a night owl, so I wash his veggies and put in a fresh salad before I go to sleep so that his breakfast is ready. I'm also doing this because I anticipate that I might not have time to make a fresh salad in the morning once I'm in school. His salad stays in his enclosure all day, and I remove it when his lights go out.

12 PM: First insect feeding -- I offer him as many large dubias as he wants to eat within 10-ish minutes or when he loses interest. He seems to lose interest at around the 10th one.

I'd swap the first two feedings , insects 7am , salad left after he's eaten them

6 PM: Second insect feeding -- same as above, feed within 10-ish minutes/until he loses interest.

10 PM: Lights go out, and I remove his salad.

I've considered ordering some Phoenix worms, to give him some variety. I was thinking about making the Phoenix worms the second insect feeding of the day, which might help him to (accidentally) eat some more of his salad as well. How does this sound? :D
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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