i need advice for a rescued beardie

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i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby slayersmama » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:41 am

hi! pretty much, i came across a couple who wanted to get rid of their 3 year old bearded dragon because they could no longer properly care for him. i wasn’t looking for a bearded dragon and ive never had one, but i took a few days and did a lot of research and decided it would be worth it to take him in. they warned me that he was aggressive, and they didn’t have the right equipment for him so i would have to buy the right things. i was NOT prepared for how bad of condition this bearded dragon was in. i’ve only had him for a day but i feel so lost and i want him to get healthier and enjoy his life.

so, here are the issues:

they had 2 dual dome lamps, but the lamps only had 1 regular light bulb in each. they had one lamp on each side of the tank so this guy had no where to go to escape it, not that they were generating a lot of heat anyway. i’m only using 1 of these dual lamps now and i ordered a reptisun 10.0 UVB bulb for daytime, and a Flukers ceramic heat emitter for nighttime. will those be okay?

the ONLY things in the tank were 1 basking rock and 1 water dish, and some sort of small grain coconut husk substrate. the substrate is FULL of poop and old food. they gave me a HUGE corner water bowl and a cave that’s too small, but neither of those things were in the tank. it was just a rock and a bowl for god knows how long. i decided to clean and add the cave and corner bowl, but i know that the environment change might stress him out. i’m going to be adding more things for him soon anyway, should i be worried about stressing him out?

they told me that he constantly has a dark beard because he’s just mean and angry. they also told me that he doesn’t like being touched, he’s very aggressive and will bite. i haven’t touched him yet, and i want to wait until he’s settled for a few months until i even attempt. any advice for the meantime? i want him to be happy, but i can’t give him any attention or playtime and i feel bad

i kept reading over and over again online to not use sand or loose substrates. if he’s had sand and other loose substrates his whole life, is it okay for me to keep using them?

and here’s my most concerning issue

this morning, i turned on the lamp. he had slept through the night just fine, and was still sleeping when i turned on the lamp. right now the lamp is just a regular bulb, no UVB or heating, but i figured it’s something so i’m still using it while i wait for my real bulbs to ship (only a day). when he woke up a few minutes after i turned on the light, he FREAKED. OUT. he stood up, he went to the glass, started pacing back and forth. i left the room, and when i came back he almost seemed to be waiting for me, staring at the door with his face pressed up to the glass. i swear he followed me around the room, walking in my direction. then it shifted into glass surfing, which i know has to be from stress right now. then he started nudging at the glass with his nose. then he started nudging harder. then he started clawing at the doors (it’s a tank with two doors on the front), and i almost thought he was going to be able to get out because of how hard he was going at it. he did that routine for about 10 minutes before i got up and turned the lamp off, just in case he didn’t want the light on, and he calmed down. i’m SO confused and worried. ANY advice would be helpful

i searched for hours trying to find answers, but i couldn’t find a case like this. i couldn’t find anyone else who had an adult beardie rescue. i’m just trying to do the right thing and i’d appreciate any sort of advice or help, and thank you for taking the time to read all this, i know it’s a lot.
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby AHBD » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:21 am

Hi there, sounds like you have a good heart and now your hands are full. :) Pictures are really important to assess health. It sounds like he's active so not suffering from MBD thankfully , or at least to an extreme degree. Here's how to post pics :

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them

Him being stressed is not unusual, he's in a totally new environment and his whole world has changed. Handling him after he settles in for a week will be good, use heavy gloves + gently but firmly pick him up daily and hold him to your chest even if he struggles. He will get used to it + soon will not be a problem. You CAN keep him on childrens play sand /topsoil mix or you can go with newspaper covered with non adhesive shelfliner. The huge water bowl can be turned over + used as a basking platform and you can add 1 log as well. What is his diet going to be ? Do you know what lights to get ?
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby slayersmama » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:13 pm

AHBD wrote:Hi there, sounds like you have a good heart and now your hands are full. :) Pictures are really important to assess health. It sounds like he's active so not suffering from MBD thankfully , or at least to an extreme degree. Here's how to post pics :

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them

Him being stressed is not unusual, he's in a totally new environment and his whole world has changed. Handling him after he settles in for a week will be good, use heavy gloves + gently but firmly pick him up daily and hold him to your chest even if he struggles. He will get used to it + soon will not be a problem. You CAN keep him on childrens play sand /topsoil mix or you can go with newspaper covered with non adhesive shelfliner. The huge water bowl can be turned over + used as a basking platform and you can add 1 log as well. What is his diet going to be ? Do you know what lights to get ?


thanks for getting back to me!! i’ll upload some pictures tomorrow of what he’s currently living like, without any of the new stuff i ordered for him. luckily i work at a pet store so i have really easy access to most of the things i need, so today i picked up a couple of boxes of live crickets and some super worms for treats. he really livened up when i put in some crickets which was so relieving for me. i’m going to be feeding him daily crickets, weekly super worms and vegetables/greens throughout the week. i ordered a reptisun 10.0 UVB bulb, as well as a 60W ceramic heat emitter. i don’t plan on using both at the same time unless his tank temp gets low and i need some fast heat for him.

i also ordered (my store has a small selection of reptile stuff, and it’s more expensive than amazon) a woven reptile hammock, fake bendable vines, extra reptile sand, a sand scoop, and some leafy decorations. i didn’t really trust ordering a cave or a log off amazon since the size is hard to trust. i’m going to go to a physical store to get those because this beardie is HUGE. he’s 3 years old, and roughly 18 inches head to tail. when i post the pictures it’ll be clear that he’s a hefty boy.

i think once i can get the bulbs and i can get his lighting and temperature correct i’ll feel a lot better, right now i just know he’s stressed out and cold
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby AHBD » Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:27 am

O.K, good to hear that he has an appetite and you'll be feeding him a good variety ! A lot of people use dubia roaches if they can get them, even starting sustainable colonies. The Reptisun 10.0 that you ordered, is that a long tube and if so is it a t8 or t5 ? That's the kind you need, the coil + compact don't put out enough uvb. As foe heat, the CHE will be good for night time. For daytime heat you can actually use halogen bulbs from Walmart/Home Depot [ many of us use them, I have for over 20 years ] You can get a 4 pack for aabout 6$ , they come in a variety of wattage like 53 -100 watts so it's a good heat bulb and cost way less than the pet store bulbs.
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby slayersmama » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:16 pm

AHBD wrote:O.K, good to hear that he has an appetite and you'll be feeding him a good variety ! A lot of people use dubia roaches if they can get them, even starting sustainable colonies. The Reptisun 10.0 that you ordered, is that a long tube and if so is it a t8 or t5 ? That's the kind you need, the coil + compact don't put out enough uvb. As foe heat, the CHE will be good for night time. For daytime heat you can actually use halogen bulbs from Walmart/Home Depot [ many of us use them, I have for over 20 years ] You can get a 4 pack for aabout 6$ , they come in a variety of wattage like 53 -100 watts so it's a good heat bulb and cost way less than the pet store bulbs.


i uploaded some pictures. the bulb i bought arrived to i put it in, and it wouldn’t specify anywhere if it was t5 or t8, but it gives off a dim light so i think it’s definitely a t8. i also added another UVB bulb that came with him, which is a reptisun 5.0. i figured that would be an okay-amount of UVB until i can get something better. i uploaded a picture of the lighting setup so you can see that.

i plan on dumping out the big corner bowl and turning it upside like you said, just haven’t done it yet. he seemed to like dipping his feet into the water though. he also likes to sleep on top of the cave, even if it’s too small for him to get inside of it. i think i’ll move the cave under the UVB light so he can bask on it.
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby KarrieRee » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:56 pm

The 5.0 is equivalent to a T8 -- the next time you change out the bulb get the 10.0-- stronger bulb -- the 5.0 will need to be changed out in 6 months- and the basking distance should be 6-8 inches from basking spot-- I would look at getting him a bigger hide -- Petsmart has nice decor for dragons
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby slayersmama » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:58 pm

KarrieRee wrote:The 5.0 is equivalent to a T8 -- the next time you change out the bulb get the 10.0-- stronger bulb -- the 5.0 will need to be changed out in 6 months- and the basking distance should be 6-8 inches from basking spot-- I would look at getting him a bigger hide -- Petsmart has nice decor for dragons
Karrie


okay i definitely will, thank you. i’m going to stop by petsmart sometime soon to get him a big cave (:
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby slayersmama » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:47 pm

KarrieRee wrote:The 5.0 is equivalent to a T8 -- the next time you change out the bulb get the 10.0-- stronger bulb -- the 5.0 will need to be changed out in 6 months- and the basking distance should be 6-8 inches from basking spot-- I would look at getting him a bigger hide -- Petsmart has nice decor for dragons
Karrie


okay i definitely will, thank you. i’m going to stop by petsmart sometime soon to get him a big cave (:
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby slayersmama » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:55 pm

AHBD wrote:O.K, good to hear that he has an appetite and you'll be feeding him a good variety ! A lot of people use dubia roaches if they can get them, even starting sustainable colonies. The Reptisun 10.0 that you ordered, is that a long tube and if so is it a t8 or t5 ? That's the kind you need, the coil + compact don't put out enough uvb. As foe heat, the CHE will be good for night time. For daytime heat you can actually use halogen bulbs from Walmart/Home Depot [ many of us use them, I have for over 20 years ] You can get a 4 pack for aabout 6$ , they come in a variety of wattage like 53 -100 watts so it's a good heat bulb and cost way less than the pet store bulbs.


hey!! i got everything in the mail today that i had ordered and i put everything together!! i uploaded a picture of youd like to take a look and give some feedback. i still need to get him a bigger cave to replace the one that’s in there, and i’m going to add another bowl for food, but for now i think all the decorations and are done.

thank you for all your help, i appreciate it so much. i’m starting to feel a lot more confident about being able to properly care for my new beardie (:
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby Drache613 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:22 am

Hello,

That is so wonderful you took in the dragon, he is very lucky!
I'm glad to hear that you are getting him all set up with the proper UVB lighting.
Where did you upload your pictures to?
I hope that he does well for you & starts to bond with you. It doesn't sound like he has any
major problems like metabolic bone disease.
It sounds like he is enjoying his crickets & worms, too. Definitely keep us posted on his
progress.

Tracie
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Re: i need advice for a rescued beardie

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:34 am

Use this link to upload pics again --https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on XIMG at top of message box and click on pic and it should post
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