(Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

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(Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby Sabotender » Mon May 06, 2019 5:41 pm

I just wanted to say hello to every one and say that I am happy to be part of a bearded dragon forum. I have what appears to be a baby bearded dragon of unknown type. He currently shares a tank with a green anole because they are the same size. He will get a separate tank as he gets larger, because I don't want my anole to eventually become a light snack.

Couple of issues I've noticed, and perhaps you could help me with. The dragon sure is jumpy when I am around. He just doesn't like for me to hold him! He runs away and jumps around in the cage. When I finally catch him, he runs up my arm, to my shoulders, around the back of my neck and then up to my head, where I have to grab a mirror to see where he is. I was wondering if this is normal behavior. When I have him in my hand, he sits very very still, so still that I can hardly see him breathing and his eyes are closed. If I keep him in my hand for like ten minutes without moving, he suddenly (and I mean SUDDENLY) wakes up, comes alive and hops off my hand and tries to hide under a pillow or something.

I was reading that this is classic 'baby dragon' behavior, but I am simply not sure. I have had him for six months, and he is still super tiny. He has shed three times since I've had him, so I guess that is a good sign because he is growing? He eats every day, small to medium sized crickets that have been dusted with complete nurtient powder. Occasionally he will eat a waxworm, but he only eats those if he is desprate. My Anole prefers the worms. I read that dragons were omnivores, but mine absolutely refuses to eat anything that is not moving. He won't eat any fruit or veg! He just walks over and around them, spreading them around and makes a big ol mess. Notice that I used to have a vivarium with live plants. I thought that would help control ammonia and provide fresh air in the tank between cleanings, but he had a BAD habit of consuming the white volcanic pebbles in the tank. It worried me so much that he would become impacted and die that I recently changed to a reptile friendly fine sand made of calcium carbonate. At least, if he eats that stuff, he won't get impacted.

I've seen photos of various dragons online, but I am simply unable to identify what kind of dragon I have. He is so small that I thought he might be a pigmy dragon, but the pattern on his back is different than anything I've seen. So many people I've shown him to thought he was a snake at first because of his patterns. I am 80% sure its a dragon, because he definitely does the push-up thing. I see him do it every day. He has an eye-spot on the top of his head, and his tail does the characteristic 'wiggle' when he is hunting for food and about to lunge at something. Perhaps he is a hybrid? He doesn't have any spikes on his sides and his head is shaped differently than dragons I've seen. He also likes to bury himself in the sand to partially cover himself when its time for him to sleep.

I would be devastated if he weren't even a dragon at all...

Any help would be appreciated.

Oh, a bit of info about my cage. 10 gallon upright cage (it will be changed when he gets larger, I promise, he is just so small at the moment), with a 10.0 UVB compact florescent, cage has two heating lamps, one is a halogen bright white bulb that is on with the UVB bulb during the day, and an infrared bulb (to my horror, it turned out to be RED, I wanted the non-light variety) that comes on at night. There are two timers on the cage to control the different lamps

I have posted an image for your perusal.

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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby claudiusx » Mon May 06, 2019 7:05 pm

Do you have any more pics? It's hard to really see the details of the lizard from the pic you posted.

Your setup really isn't ideal for even a baby dragon. Without proper husbandry and diet they wont grow properly. But it might just be because im on my phone and the pic is hard to see but if it is a bearded dragon, it sure doesn't look like a central bearded dragon to me.

Did you find this guy outside?

And welcome to ther forum! :)

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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby CooperDragon » Tue May 07, 2019 7:49 am

I agree that some additional photos would be helpful. In that photo he looks more like a western fence lizard than a bearded dragon.
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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby Sabotender » Tue May 07, 2019 9:26 am

Do you know what? You are probably right. I googled 'Eastern Fence Lizard' and was presented with a picture that looks exactly like the one I have in my cage. This certainly explains a lot. But he exhibits very similar actions to a bearded dragon, like push ups. He also has an eye spot on the top of his head, like bearded dragons do. I got him at a flea market last year. It was listed as a 'Baby Bearded Dragon'. Guess I got what I paid for because he was only 25USD. I thought it was a steal because they are usually like 65USD at pets mart. At least I know he is not going to get much larger, which means I can probably do without getting a larger cage. I really wanted a dragon though. :-( Oh well. Perhaps sometime in the future.

Here is another picture of my lizards, with the Anole in the shot for scale.

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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby CooperDragon » Tue May 07, 2019 10:35 am

It's too bad that they sold a wild animal to you =/. I'd normally say he would be better off released into the wild, but if you've had him for over a year now then he might be better off in captivity. They are arboreal so you'll want to build your tank to have plenty of places to climb. A tall tank is probably a good idea. Try to replicate woodland/forest while providing an area to bask and get some UVB. They may not need UVB that is as intense as a bearded dragon, but this is just a guess based on trying to replicate the woodlands in the Southeast US. Temps may not need to be quite as high either. A range from around 75-95 during the day (cool side to basking area) is probably about right. They bask on fence posts and rock outcrops and hide in rock crevices or underground at night. Small bugs like crickets and roaches and black soldier fly larvae are probably still appropriate feeders for him. I'd continue reading more about their specific needs to make sure you're providing the best environment possible for him.
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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby Sabotender » Wed May 08, 2019 6:46 am

This is severely disappointed me. Don't misunderstand, I love my lizards, I just really wanted a bearded dragon. I am going to buy a new tank, 40 gallon kit which is all I have space for, and will buy a dragon from a breeder. I don't care about coloration or anything like that, just want to make sure I get one that comes from a line of calm temperament. There are some 40 gallon kits that are on special at pets mart for around 150USD, I will pick up one of those, since it comes with everything already to get my started. just about the only thing I will get for it is tube UV lighting for better coverage (I noticed that the kit only comes with a small compact florescent which is only really good for 10 gallon tanks). Do you have any dragon recommendations that I should keep my eye out for?

or...

should I just grab one at Pets Mart
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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby claudiusx » Wed May 08, 2019 7:11 am

If you get those kits definitely get the tube fixture and bulb. The cfls aren't even really suitable in 10g tanks.

I would suggest investing some time first into reading these forums for a week or so, and then buying what you need. Investing some time into researching on this site will end up saving you a lot of money and trouble in the long run.

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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby KarrieRee » Wed May 08, 2019 7:41 am

I agree w/ Brandon--- the "kits" at Petsmart are not recommended -- I was in looking at them yesterday when getting another basking bulb and whats in those kits is a lot of junk!!! People on here can recommend what to get and save you from throwing money away on stuff you dont need --- please ask and we can help--- besides that stuff they sell in those kits are harmful to the health of the bearded dragon -- it is like they are setting you up to fail in my opinion
thanks Karrie
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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby Sabotender » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:44 am

Greetings!

I hope this post is not too old to be resurrected, I just did not want to start a new one when I wanted to give an update on the same subject.

So good news! I purchasted a new bearded dragon about a month ago from PetsMart while they were running a special on them. This guy was usually 59.99, but got it for 39.99. I chose the one that seemed to have the best colouration...which was this rust colour. All the other ones were pretty drab looking.

Today, I ordered a 40 Gallon cage for him as I noticed he was growing quite quickly. Right now, he is still in the smaller cage because I noticed that he doesn't really care to chase after live food, so I purchased some 'buffet blend' which contains mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers...an 'omivoire blend', which contains green vegetables such as peas with crickets, grasshoppers, etc and a large jar of mealworms. All of my lizards love this stuff. That sagebrush lizard ignores the vegetables, and eats the grasshoppers and crickets, but that's to be expected.

I am going to read over the 'what to buy' guide to see what else I should be getting for the 40-gallon, but I already have in the list a 120W Mercury Vapour bulb which provides UV AND Heat. I wanted to get those tube florescent lamps, but those thigns are ridiculously expensive. I am sorry, but I am not spending 70USD on the fixture alone, sans bulb, when I can buy a giant Mercury lamp and holder for a lot less than just that fixture. I will still need to get some ambient lighting for the cool side because I don't want a cage thats bright on one side and dark on the other, so I might reuse some of those CFLs that no longer produce UV, but still give plenty of visible light. Its a lot better than just throwing them away, IMO. I also am getting some reptile carpet, because I HATE reptile sand. That stuff sticks to the glass, and it keeps getting in their water dish and I am constantly filtering it out. Sure, it gives the cage a nice desert look, but its more trouble than its worth. I haven't had any issues with impaction though. I haven't seen them eat any besides the inital 'trial taste' when I first introduced it to them.

My main goal is to give the cage a nice, clean look. I don't want it to look crowded, but I also don't want it to look boring and sparse, either.

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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:12 am

I'm glad you are going to be making some upgrades! I'm sure the extra space and improved lighting will be appreciated.

As far as MVB goes, which brand are you thinking of getting? They aren't all made with the same quality so it's important to use a trusted model, especially if you don't have equipment to measure the output independently. I like the 100w MegaRay and the 100w PowerSun bulbs. They have a decent output at around 12'' or so. The 160w models are more powerful and should be around 16-20'' above the main basking area. The downside to MVB is that you can't control heat and UVB output independently and they need to be mounted at appropriate distance for UVB output. Using a T5 tube lets you set that at appropriate height while adjusting the basking light independently. I find this to be a bit easier to set up in the main enclosure.
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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby Sabotender » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:15 pm

I am probably going to go for the "Exo Terra Solar-Glo High Intensity Self-Ballasted Uv/Heat Mercury Vapor Lamp" from Amazon. Speaking from experience, a higher priced item doesn't guarantee high quality, so I am going to go for a lamp that is mid-range in price. I am planning on having a nice temperature gradient going on with the old CFL used on the coolest side since it gives off no heat. I might go for a small incandescent for the middle section just so it won't be so dark.
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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby claudiusx » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:30 pm

Well our recommendations aren't based on what's the most expensive, it's based on what has been proven to work. Unfortunately, lots of bulbs are not suitable for our dragons, including some expensive ones.

If you want to go with an mvb you can. But I would nix the idea of using the CFL at all. Cfls also put off very glaring light, which is harsh on their eyes (and ours, just look at it lol)

The reason we recommend the tube + basking bulb combo is because of what cooper already mentioned, with an mvb you cant always get the bulb in a position where you get both proper temps and proper uv exposure. Usually you sacrifice for one with an mvb. This can be remedied of course, but it's one of the reasons we recommend the Arcadia tubes and reptisun tubes with a heat bulb. In fact, some people use an mvb and a tube, simply because a lot of times to get the uv exposure you need, the bulb needs to be a certain distance. And that distance can make it too hot depending on your setup.

Good luck! :)

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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby Sabotender » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:11 pm

I appreciate all the suggestions I have received thus far.

I have been reading a lot of conflicting information regarding CFLs and it seems to be that when they first came out on the market they were really bad and put out really terrible wavelengths that were bad for reptiles. The new ones on the market have corrected this flaw and are perfectly safe.

The problem is that because of this poor introduction with the new product has turned people off them and they still assume they are a bad choice.

Any bright light will produce a glare, whether it be from a CFL or from a MVB or even a halogen (which is many times brighter than anything a standard CFL can produce), but you don't see many people saying halogens are bad. I mean, I can easily put that CFL in a diffuser, since I am only going to be using it for ambient lighting.

I think I am going to stick with science and the many reviews I have read online regarding them and classify them under the 'safe to use' category.

I think I am going to go with the CFL + Incandescent + MVB evenly spaced out. From what I have read, dragons like it bright, it stimulates appetite.

One thing I have been wondering about...this reptile carpet seems little more than either felt fabric or astroturf. I wonder if I can just go buy some bulk artificial turf from the hardware store and cut that to size.

I am not really on a budget per-se, I just like to keep things in prespective and I don't want to be overly wasteful where money is concerned.

Just so you know, I have a UV meter on the way. I already have a dual electronic thermometer/hydrometer that has been tested with a mercury themometer (which is supposedly very accurate) and the readings matched. The cage I purchased came with one of those stick on themometers which I actually threw out because the readings were off by ten degrees.
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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby claudiusx » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:34 pm

You are correct, when they first came out some phoso products in the bulb made not only the wavelengths it emit harmful and not suitable for Vit d3 synthesis, but we were also seeing conjunctivitis and other eye issues.

We are very well aware and keep up to date with these types of things, and we are aware that those initial issues have been fixed. What still hasn't been fixed with CFLs is the fact that the UVB rays that they output, diminish rapidly as distance from the bulb grows. They have to be placed very close to the dragon to be useable as a uvb source, which isn't really feasible for most setups, which is 1 reason we recommend against them.
Additionally, Glare and lumen output are not the same. Their is no denying that staring at a CFL is harder on your eyes than a halogen. It's just the nature of the bulb. However, if you were to place a difusser like you suggested, you would get rid of this issue. :)

So, as long as you're not using it for a uv source, and as long as you're using it with a diffuser (you can also mount it sideways, this has been shown to cut down on the glare) then you should be fine.

For what it's worth, what's said on paper doesn't always translate over too well to what experience shows.
All my intents are is to share mine (and this boards) experience with you, so that you can make your own decisions. And I encourage you to gain your own experiences yourself! :) Watch your dragon, note it's behavior. If you see him developing eye issues, or seeming to hide from the bulb, you can deduce that the bulb might be causing an issue. If you don't, then you don't and that's great! :D

Ultimately, the goal here in regards to help, is to provide as much info as possible, and as much experience as possible and allow you to make your own informed decision.
So, I wish you good luck in your journey, and if any other questions come up, we are here. :mrgreen:

FWIW, Arcadia actually does make a CFL I believe that is somewhat decent i've heard. I haven't used it personally so I don't speak of it from that standpoint, but we aren't anti CFL's here, we just know what has worked well and that's what we like. :D

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Re: (Newcomer) Help Identifying Dragon

Postby claudiusx » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:47 pm

I will add though, since based on your response I think you might have thought we were coming at you a bit hard over the CFL, that wasn't the intent. In the grand scheme of things, it's not something that's gonna make or break your dragon :) and if (big if) an issue arises from you using it as a light source, you'll know and be able to remedy it very easily before anything happens.

Personally thats why I also like the tubes, more light across the whole tank. I've used LEDs in the past also with decent success. I no longer do though.

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