First time beardie owner, tips please.

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First time beardie owner, tips please.

Postby fefft » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:29 pm

Background:
I got my little guy from a family who can no longer take care of him. He's 9 months old and raised by a family with kids, lost the tip of his tail from co-habitation but overall heathy. Diet consists of cricket, woodies and greens.

Enclosure:
We build this enclosure from a vintage jewellery display cabinet, H62cm x L151cm x D45cm. I am using pet friendly fake grass as substrate with a lot of rocks on the surface for resting. He's got his own hide and a dig box with loose substrate (organic coconut coir). I feed him away from the digbox to prevent impaction.

We are using 22" Reptisun 10.0 T5 as UVB mounted on top of the tank, basking spots are within the 40-50cm range from UVB. Heat bulb is currently using the Exo Terra intense basking spot 100w from his previous owner.

Temperate on basking spot is 38 - hottest 42 Celsius and the cool side is area 22 - 24 celsius. Inside his hiding spot is around 19-20 celsius. I don't use heat at night as I live in Victoria, Australia, we use home heater during this winter and the indoor temperature won't drop below 19 celsius.
Here is a photo of his enclosure.
https://imgur.com/fJVM2ZE

My Questions:

1. Is my temperature and light source distant optimal for a 9months old dragon?
2. He is with me for nearly a week now, on some days he eats well (4-5 woodies and 10+ medium crickets), but most days he barely eats 3-5 crickets and sleeps alot. What can I do to help him adjust better and boost his appetite? What is an ideal amount of food for beardie his age?
3. So far I only see him eats his greens once or twice, how do i get him to eat more?
4. He is pretty used to handling but I can tell he is still trying to get use to my touch, how do I make him less stress with he's hanging out with my husband and I.
5. One of the days he slept all day and the next morning he opened his eyes when I checked on him so I took him to his basking spot. Is he brumating even though I did not let the temperature drop under 19(currently is winter in Australia). If yes, should I make him bask after feeding to help with digest? I have read horror stories about brumation with undigested food and parasites.
6. He doesn't drink much water from his water bowl, I am thinking of removing it in fear of rising humidity. How do i get him to drink water and make sure he's hydrated?

Any help is appreciated, we just want the best for our little buddy. :)
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Re: First time beardie owner, tips please.

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:38 am

I'm glad to see he has found such a good home with you. It sounds like you're very much on the right track. Your lighting and temperatures are good and the enclosure looks excellent. It may just take more time for him to adjust to his new home and that's OK. For the most part I'd let him do what he wants regarding food and sleeping. Sometimes they slow down a bit seasonally (not necessarily a full brumation) and it doesn't always seem to correlate with the weather (it's about 38C outside here and my guy is acting very sleepy). The amount he eats will vary and that's normal. Just give him a bug meal or two per day and let him take what he wants within about a 10 minute(ish) window. He may not want veges much yet and that's pretty common. Make them available so they are familiar as an option and hopefully he will start in on them as he gets older.
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Re: First time beardie owner, tips please.

Postby blue11 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:35 am

Hi!

Congrats on your dragon!

About the water bowl .... I’ve never had a water dish in my girls viv - and she’s 8.5 years old! She drinks from baths that I give her a few times a week - and it’s the only place she poops too - so it’s like the whole “two birds with one stones” thing. The first thing she does is take a drink - then moves around the sink for several minutes - then like clockwork - ( if she has to go) - poops. So for me personally - I would take the bowl out .... you’re correct it raises humidity and also - from what I’ve seen of water bowls I tanks - they get pretty icky pretty fast!

As long as your beardie is getting regular oral hydration, I don’t think it’s needed 😀 - I mean that’s just me tho! But yep!

Also - I wouldn’t worry too much about the greens issue - it’s seems super common with dragons - especially at the age yours is - to go thru a phase of being defiant! That juvenile rebellion stage - teen angst! 🤣

Honestly, it took my girl a few YEARS before she would willingly touch her greens - and even more strange to me is that she didn’t actually seem to even crave/choose greens over her supers or dubia until about 3 years ago. I never thought she would make it to this point. So you are all good for now! Your little sweetheart is still young and if anything like mine - it will be a long road of rotting greens Innyour fringe. They come around when they are ready to come around - you know how it goes! Also the relocation may play a factor in it as well - so time will hopefully work itself out 😀😀
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Re: First time beardie owner, tips please.

Postby fefft » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:05 am

Thank you all so much for the reply! Really appreciate it. :D

I don't know if I am a little too overly nervous about him as he as been going to sleep pretty frequently. It's in the middle of winter in Australia (Victoria state) where temperature can drop to single degree. But I never let my house drop below 20. Is he a little too young for brumation? Should I try to wake him up or let him sleep?
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Re: First time beardie owner, tips please.

Postby blue11 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:05 am

fefft wrote:Thank you all so much for the reply! Really appreciate it. :D

I don't know if I am a little too overly nervous about him as he as been going to sleep pretty frequently. It's in the middle of winter in Australia (Victoria state) where temperature can drop to single degree. But I never let my house drop below 20. Is he a little too young for brumation? Should I try to wake him up or let him sleep?


Hey!

So I know my girl goes down I’m the fall and sleeps through winter - which is about September - Jan .... she slows down late September and is out like a light for 4 or 5 months. She goes into FULL

SO - this is a similar situation to your beardie! She actually went in to burnation “early” ... she was born in Feb of the year, so she was only about 8 months old when she went to sleep for winter - I know a lot of people say that they shouldn’t be doing they really until they are after a year old - but honestly - it depends on what month of the year they were born in, therfore it can be totally appropriate!!!!

If he is healthy - and you don’t let him go to sleep with food in his tummy - then (me personally) - would let him. They certainly know more about their internal clocks and bodies and behavior than we do ya know? 🤣 ... so yep my girl was 8 months and now shes 8 years old - and burmates about the same time/lengths for 8 full years.

I need to go back and read your original post to make sure I’m not missing any details or red flags ... but from what I see - if your dragon is doing well otherwise, I would let him do what comes naturally to him 😊 ....

Also I noticed you mentioned loose substrate - if you’re into changing that - I would recommend tile or paper towels ... that way you could rule out impaction as a reason he is overslept slowing down/appetite going down. Not to push this on you anything - but it’s so much safe for them, tile holds heat well, it looks awesome - and just overall safer and SO much cleaner in my opinion. I can DM you pics from my girl Blue’s viv if you want!!! I’d LOVE to!

- Em
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Re: First time beardie owner, tips please.

Postby fefft » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:26 pm

blue11 wrote:
fefft wrote:Thank you all so much for the reply! Really appreciate it. :D

I don't know if I am a little too overly nervous about him as he as been going to sleep pretty frequently. It's in the middle of winter in Australia (Victoria state) where temperature can drop to single degree. But I never let my house drop below 20. Is he a little too young for brumation? Should I try to wake him up or let him sleep?


Hey!

So I know my girl goes down I’m the fall and sleeps through winter - which is about September - Jan .... she slows down late September and is out like a light for 4 or 5 months. She goes into FULL

SO - this is a similar situation to your beardie! She actually went in to burnation “early” ... she was born in Feb of the year, so she was only about 8 months old when she went to sleep for winter - I know a lot of people say that they shouldn’t be doing they really until they are after a year old - but honestly - it depends on what month of the year they were born in, therfore it can be totally appropriate!!!!

If he is healthy - and you don’t let him go to sleep with food in his tummy - then (me personally) - would let him. They certainly know more about their internal clocks and bodies and behavior than we do ya know? 🤣 ... so yep my girl was 8 months and now shes 8 years old - and burmates about the same time/lengths for 8 full years.

I need to go back and read your original post to make sure I’m not missing any details or red flags ... but from what I see - if your dragon is doing well otherwise, I would let him do what comes naturally to him 😊 ....

Also I noticed you mentioned loose substrate - if you’re into changing that - I would recommend tile or paper towels ... that way you could rule out impaction as a reason he is overslept slowing down/appetite going down. Not to push this on you anything - but it’s so much safe for them, tile holds heat well, it looks awesome - and just overall safer and SO much cleaner in my opinion. I can DM you pics from my girl Blue’s viv if you want!!! I’d LOVE to!

- Em


THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR REPLY EM! Please dm a picture if you can, I'd love to see your setup.

My little guy has been waking up and looking pretty energetic after a few hours of basking. I think he's just slowing down. He doesn't live on loose substrate, his substrate is currently a huge pet-friendly fake grass carpet. The only loose substrate in the tank (loose coconut fiber) is in the dig box where he sleeps in and cools down. I feed him outside of his tank in a little container to prevent impaction, it makes life easier for him too as he doesn't need to chase his bugs around his tank.

I add in a CHE in the tank which hooks up to the thermostat to make sure his nighttime temperature stays around 19C - 24C as it's currently winter in Australia and it gets pretty cold. He's been eating and pooping well which is such a relief (never thought watching a lizard eat will make me this happy :P). I measured and weighed him ytd as well, he lost his tail due to co-habitation when he was a baby so he's only 10.5 inch, he's currently 234g which I am not sure if he's on the smaller side or not.

Here is a photo of him, he does look pretty healthy and chunky to me: https://imgur.com/UPQ7PRa
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