Walter, the Bioactive beardie

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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby BrightStar » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:21 pm

Should I be worrying he’s getting overweight? At his age, he’s having at least two feedings a day.

Yesterday we misted his cage, replanted the zebra plant, and added more cleaner crew and worms (for the soil). Walter thinks the cleaner crew were some sort of gourmet beardie buffet - he spent over three hours hunting and eating as many as he can find. So I think that totals 50 for the cage, and 250 for Walter!

I brought him some crickets to try yesterday. I’ve never fed crickets before, and oh my!!! NASTY! I don’t think I’ll be buying them again. I think already a few dozen escaped into the house whilst I was trying to get them in the feeder bin, and later into his food dish. Walter didn’t seem too impressed with them, so I’m secretly hoping he doesn’t become a fan.

I measured him today and he is already over 15” (nose to tail.) His hatch date is 7/7, which makes him a little over 4 months, 2 weeks old. Seriously? Is this normal?

Today I got some pictures whilst he was out exploring. Enjoy!

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BrightStar
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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby Claudiusx » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:38 pm

He's definitely growing quick! :)
How much does he weigh?

-Brandon
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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby BrightStar » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:28 pm

As of today, he is 291 g and a little over 16 inches from nose to tail tip.

His appetite seems a bit down this week, and he lost 2g in a week (last Sunday he weighed 293g). Although he decimated his cleaner crew last Thursday, overall he’s not been so keen about his feeders this past week. He didn’t eat anything at all on Friday (except maybe a few more of the cleaner crew), and yesterday he only had one meal - and then only because I hand fed him. He is pooping okay, but the sudden lack of weight gain and reduced appetite Is making me nervous. Should I worry? He seems active, alert and happy. No stress marks or black beard. He is getting calmer, so is his energy needs just reduced because of that?
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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby BrightStar » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:06 pm

Hi, everyone. I’m sorry I haven’t updated Walter’s topic in a while. My husband and I are small business owners, and sometimes work gets so hectic that I don’t have much time for posting online.

But, here I am with the latest update.

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I’m wondering what age dragons reach the beardie version of the “terrible twos”? Walter has developed quite the wilful personality.

His bioactive setup is going great, and we’ve somehow got a small colony of dubias breeding under a rock in there. Walter is keeping their numbers under control. His plants are all looking quite sorry for themselves, and once the weather brightens up I plan on replenishing plants and cleaner crew, and planting more grass. He hit a bit of a growth standstill through November and December, though started shedding since then. He’s well over 17” and getting huge. His beard is very saggy and he has some very prominent jowls. I read this is a sign he’s going to be a giant! I feel he’s big enough to safely eat super worms, so I’ve offered him a few as occasional treats. I know they’re not the best staple diet, and Walter is still a baby at just under seven months old now. But he goes nuts for them, so it’s nice to have something to treat him with. He continues to refuse the fruit and veggies I put out for him every day. Won’t even look at them!

One downside to a bioactive setup is that he does get very dirty. Walter was brown today after spending yesterday on a digging rampage, so I thought I’d give him a bath. Not the first time he’s had a bath, but it’s been a while. First time was a challenge, this time was a battle. I think I lost. At least the bath water was dirty by the time I got him out, so I guess he’s a bit cleaner. But he kicked and squirmed and struggled the whole time. I kept the session short. My hands and arms look like I had a fight with a thorn bush, and poor Walter was very stressed and breathing kinda loud after. After I dried him up, he got to bask and then had a tasty worm . I think he’s feeling okay now, but I’m still getting over the ordeal. I think I’d better work on him with bath time a bit more.
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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby DragonPete » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:25 am

He is unbelievably handsome! And I love his viv!
I don't know how you find time, being a business owner, but glad you could update.
-Dee
-Dee
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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby BrightStar » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:46 pm

He is indeed a handsome boy, and he knows it.

Today I did a bit of renovating to his Bioactive setup. There have been two issues so far with his setup. Lack of moisture in soil, and him getting stressed out because he can see his reflection on the sides of his viv.

The moisture issue is happening because I’ve yet to find a way to water the substrate as well as it needs to maintain live plants and cleaner crew. Walters cage is so large and the substrate needed deep, so the standard sized water sprayer I brought isn’t working very well. I’m using filtered water which we have delivered in 5 gallon bottles, and it’s taking a lot of time to get the water from the dispenser into a smaller spray bottle. I’ve ordered a water pump which should fit straight into one of the 5 gallon bottles so we can water his substrate properly. So far, humidity has been very low at under 9%. Rising briefly to 38 - 49% after watering - I’ve been surprised just how little humidity has been an issue.

The reflection issue has been quite a headache to solve. The back and sides of his viv are black acrylic, and seem to be super reflective. Walter has gotten very territorial, and whenever he sees his reflection he attacks it constantly until I have to physically remove him and distract his attention. When Rybel was in the tank, I covered the sides with reptile carpet and never had an issue. But with Walter’s setup, i want to keep things as natural as possible, and am concerned that as I need to water the cage, constant wetness on fabric could be a problem. Originally, I brought a whole load of plants with suction attachments and attached those to the walls, but Walter has gotten big, heavy and destructive. He keeps pulling them down.

So, time for a new plan. I brought some privacy clings to cover the sides. Unfortunately, they didn’t cling well to the cage sides, so I fixed them in place with these little suction fixtures with small clips attached. (They were originally intended for securing sunscreens to car windows.) they seem well attached, and above the cling, I hung a load of new plants and vines. Walter is mad at me for fussing with his tank, but I think it’ll work better. I’m going to try it out for a few days, and then order more plants so I can do the other side.

After the brief renovation, I gave his viv a spray. Walter once again got himself covered in dirt, so I sprayed him as well. The water running off him was brown! He looks nice and clean though, so maybe I can do that instead of a bath. My arms and hands are still scratched up and sore from the last bath time.
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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby Claudiusx » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:23 pm

Just a thought but what if you buried a drip line under the substrate. Like what you would do in a flower bed. With a bit of ingenuity im sure you could rig up a way to connect the line to a water source or even your 5 gallon containers so that all you need to do is simply open a valve.
Or get super cool with it and set it up to a timer like a sprinkler system.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
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Re: Walter, the Bioactive beardie

Postby BrightStar » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:19 pm

That’s an interesting idea. I looked into misting systems, but they were expensive and required a reservoir which I’d have to have mounted on top of the enclosure. The idea of electricity and water all on top of the viv scared me silly. But i never thought of a drip line idea - would itstll need a reservoir that would have to be mounted above the viv though?

More pictures of the little prince.

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And here’s some of the improved side wall.

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You can just see some of the purple on the cling peeking out behind one of the artificial plants.
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