Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

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Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby wrestlingwookie » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:51 am

So I've had ranger for about a month now, and I think his behavior is pretty good, some days he still runs away from me when I go to pick him up, some days he's fine with it. Well this weekend he molted, like in one day just poof! I gave him a bath and removed the loose skin without pulling anything still attached, and today he just seems really not happy. I took a pic, because he's not going full black beard on me, but I'm not sure if his color lines are so dark because he just molted, or because he's stressed. Any advice?
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby claudiusx » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:03 am

It could be both. Those are stress marks, but he could be stressed from shedding, if that makes sense. You dont need to pull the shed at all. It's a very natural process and it's best to let it come off on it's own in most cases.

We can go over your setup to make sure there isnt anything that could be bothering him. From the picture it looks like you have a red bulb? These really aren't suitable for dragons.

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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby wrestlingwookie » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:10 am

Sounds good, so some clarification, I dripped water on him like a bath and just let it kind of come off that way so it would soften up, I read that pulling it off can be painful for them, so I was trying to avoid that by just getting him wet. It didn't all come off, so I just let the rest come off on it's own. As far as my set up, I have a pic to add, but here's what I've got going on, it's a 55 gallon tank, so pretty big, I keep a 250 watt red lamp on for heat 24 hours, and a 150 watt repticare ceramic for additional heat , and a 48" reptisun 5.0 uvb during the day 6-6, the temp on the thermometer you can see on the right stays between 80-90 during the day with both on. He basks on the hammock on the right, where his skin temp is about 90 with an ir temp scanner. It stays much cooler on the left side of the tank, around 78-82 with both heat sources on. Food wise he's going through about 12-20 medium crickets a day, I also keep veggies and some dehydrated bugs in his dish that he eats now and then, calcium powder with d3 on the crickets, vitamin spray for the veggies. I also keep a water dish with a little water in it just in case, humidity stays around 20% even with it in there. I try to get him out first thing in the morning, around lunch, and in the afternoon, normally for at least 15 minutes.
My three concerns are; 1. He is fine with my hand in the tank, even sitting right next to him, but when I try to pick him up he generally tries to run. Should I keep my routine up, or let him be for a bit? 2. Am I getting enough heat for him, and if the red bulb is not good, what could I try because the ceramic doesn't put off enough heat. I've read both ways about red lamps being good and bad. 3. What else could be stressing him? I'm a first time owner, so you could say I'm probably going a bit overboard, but I want him to be a good class pet. Oh, yeah, I'm a teacher, so I have tons of high school kids in and out of my room all day. That may be a stressor too. Here is the pic:
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby claudiusx » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:22 am

Hi thanks for being so thorough with your description, that helps a lot! :)

Firstly, the red bulb should go and you shouldn't leave any type of light on 24/7. He needs darkness at night to sleep. He very well could be stressed out because of the light at night disrupting his sleep.

Dragons have an extra cone in their eyes compared to humans. This allows them to see much more of the light spectrum then we can. So just imagine, if you can see the light, your dragon most definitely can and most likely in a much stronger and vivid manner.

So no lights at night.
You only need to have supplemental heat at night if your house gets below 60 degrees. Otherwise your good to go with no heat neccessary. And if you do need it, your che will be fine.

Those dial thermometers are wildly inaccurate. plus they dont tell you the most important temperature, your basking surface. I strongly suggest you pick up a digital with probe end. Luckily they are really cheap nowadays. You can usually find them for 10 bucks or less at every petstore.

Once you get that, you can measure your temps and see what they are.
You want a bright white basking bulb. You can use a regular household bulb, or a reptile basking bulb. The key is that is gives you the temperature you need. A lot of us use regular household incandescent bulbs. And you probably wont need anything over 100w. I use 55w bulbs in my tanks. But, you wont know until you get an accurate way to measure your temps.

As for your reptisun, it would be beneficial to upgrade to the 10.0 instead of the 5. The 5 puts out less uvb as it's designed mainly for tropical creatures while the 10.0 is designed with desert creatures in mind.
What do you mean by the 6-6?
For your lighting you should have your basking bulb, and your reptisun, and they should be on for 12-15 hours a day. A timer helps with this. And then complete darkness at night.

Once you make these changes you should see a big improvement with your little guy! :)

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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby wrestlingwookie » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:11 pm

Thanks for the info! So my lights are on a timer, from 6-6, so twelve hours a day, except the red light. I'll switch out the red light for a standard bulb and add it to the timer, the t10 is the hard one, I haven't found one at any shops near me, so I'll have to see if one will survive shipping. That's why I went with a t5 for now. And I have that cheapo thermometer, but I've been checking temps with an ir laser thermometer to get accurate readings. Other than that I think it's mostly just that I've only had him for about 3-4 weeks, so I'd imagine he's not used to it yet.
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby Drache613 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:24 pm

Moved by Moderator from General to Health
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby wrestlingwookie » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:05 am

Just a quick update on Ranger, I've changed his red light to incandescent, got everything set up on the timers correctly, and ordered a 10.0 bulb. The first bulb was broken in shipping, but I have another one on the way. I've noticed that it seems like the stress marks go away when I get him out of his cage, and he only gets dark when I put him up. I'm wondering if he's just doing this to maybe absorb more light? Either way the set up is almost fixed, so hopefully that helps. Thanks for the advice!
Oh, is it a normal thing for them to like to jump? Ranger likes to play this game where he's on my shoulder while I'm sitting at my desk, then he'll run down my arm and try to jump to my desk. If I try to set him on the desk he just runs back up to my shoulder, then runs back down to jump once I go back to work. Just wondering if that's normal? haha! AGH! He just pooped on my desk! maybe that's why he wanted off my shoulder so bad! hahaha
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby claudiusx » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:56 am

That's great that you are making the changes! :)
Too bad about the first reptisun though.

What did your temperatures end up at? If they are still not in range it could be bothering him.

Once everything is good to go just give him a week or so to get used to the changes.

wrestlingwookie wrote:AGH! He just pooped on my desk! maybe that's why he wanted off my shoulder so bad! hahaha

See, he was just trying to be polite! Haha.

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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby wrestlingwookie » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:26 am

My temp in the hot side is high 80's and the cool side is mid 70's, but I don't think he's getting warm enough basking wise. I have a 100 watt incandescent for him, but I'm wondering if I should add a second or change to an incandescent spot light. I just don't think he's getting warm enough, he tends to stay in the hammock on the right, and he only leaves to eat, at least when I'm around.
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:43 am

Trail and error w/ bulbs and his basking temp should be around 105-110 ---
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby claudiusx » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:05 am

Did you get a new thermometer like I mentioned the other day?

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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby wrestlingwookie » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:35 am

So do you guys think adding a second bulb would be best, or just a higher wattage? I had a 250 watt red heat lamp that was getting better temps and keeping the humidity down, so should I just get a non-red heat lamp?
Brandon, I still need to get another thermometer, I'm using an ir laser thermometer to get my temperatures now, and I know i'm getting good temperature readings from it, I just don't have something to show constant temps. His skin temp is normally right around 90 when he's under the incandescent light, and that's where he stays most of the time.
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:38 am

A good bright white basking bulb - I would try getting a 100 watt Exo Terro to start w/ and get a temp if its still not hot enough you can try a 150 watt -- if you can either make the spot higher or lower depending on temp-- a digital probe would be good from the pet store to keep an eye on the temps - I have a stick on that I use for ball park figure on the hot side but its only for ambient and the basking spot I use a Infrared heat gun-- and I have a digital probe on cool side --
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby JumpinJellyfish » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:50 pm

KarrieRee wrote:Trail and error w/ bulbs and his basking temp should be around 105-110 ---
Karrie

Basking *surface* temps - please be clear about that. People often take "temps" to mean ambient temps.
Never knew I could get so happy about poop, or so comfortable with bugs. :-D
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Re: Is my Beardie stressed or just colorful?

Postby wrestlingwookie » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:02 am

So just to be clear, what should the temps be? I got a new thermometer and my cool side is about 78, my warm side is around 86, and his basking surface is about 91. How should I adjust them?
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