Baby beardie not eating

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Baby beardie not eating

Postby cas51 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:20 am

Honestly, I'm not sure how urgent this is, because I'm a complete newbie. My son has a new baby dragon, for just over a week (bought at petsmart on 2/9/20). He and I both did several hours of research prior to bringing "Alex" home. I firmly believed we had our bases covered.
I have been making him salad every morning (zoo med's "dragon food," swiss chard, and apples, carrots, or celery alternating, and 2-3 mealworms) (I live in upstate NY, in a very rural area, there are NO greens other than lettuce, spinach, kale and chard in any store near us; and its Feburary, so no garden) We started by soaking the "dragon food" as recommended, and mixing it with the salad, today I just misted it. The crickets are fed "cricket food" and dusted with calcium/vitamin powder alternate days. He is put in a separate container with the crickets 3-4x/day so he has greater success catching them, and stays in for a few minutes, or until he obviously wants out. He is molting, so we are soaking him daily, which he seems to enjoy and does drink some water at each soak. There is a water bowl on the cool side of his cage. He eats maybe every other day, has gone 2-3 without eating, so far no more than 4 crickets in a single day. I have yet to observe any consumption of salad. Initially, I thought maybe my son had handled him too often (he is extremely gentle, but super excited as it took him a year to "earn" this pet). I have been the only one handling him for 3 days now. This morning, he did eat 3 crickets.
He is in a 40gal "Thrive" dragon kit, has a hammock about 4" down from his basking light (where he ALWAYS is), a UVB strip on top of the screen cover. Humidity is ~32%, Warm side temp is 80, just below the hammock, and cool side is 70-75. I use a reptile warming mat stuck to the side of the cage on the warm side, with a temperature control thermostat to maintain no lower than 70 for overnight when the lights are off.
I would welcome any insight as to where we are missing the mark on care... before we cause any needless suffering. I am a lifetime cow, horse, cat, dog, goat, and chicken caretaker... I'm out of my league.
Thanks in advance.
Charity
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:44 am

Welcome Charity and Alex -- what is the a UVB strip on top of the screen cover.? Brand and bulb please--- next hes going to go thru relocation stress -- that is normal so his eating is going to slow down -- but he should not quit eating all together -- please get rid of the pellets -- feed those to the crickets -- here is a website for nutrition http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html-- kale is good please NO spinach -- please look at the nutrition website to help you out - it will tell you what to feed how often to feed and what not to feed --- his shedding might be affecting his appetite as well and its good that hes shedding that is telling you hes growing -- the daily baths are a little much and its good hes drinking from his baths as well -- I would increase his basking temps to 105-110 that is why he is always there -- you need to take that temp of where is his sitting w/ a infrared heat gun /and or a digital probe thermometer that can be bought at petco or petsmart for $5 - the heat gun from your local home improvement store for like $10-12 --- you will use it believe me-- if your tank is not dropping below 65 at nite your good but if you want to use it to keep the temps to 70 or so that is ok too - we normally recommend a CHE or ceramic heat emitter of keeping tanks at nite warm but as long as he cant touch the heat mat you will be fine - they cannot feel the heat on the stomach they heat from their back and often if these things malfunction the dragon gets burned -- you can order worms / bugs on line and we can give websites for you to order from --- his bugs should be dusted every day 5 x per week w/ the calcium D3 and vitamins 2 x per week -- so the basking temps and the UVB are the MOST important thing in that tank -- they basically control the health of your dragon -- so w/ that being said please tell me the UVB your using - most of the time those kits are junk and contain stuff that is harmful to the dragon and are a waste of money ---
Karrie
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby AHBD » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:04 pm

Hi Charity, along with Karrie's advice , pictures would be very helpful. Something else to consider is the size, insects must be smaller than the space between the eyes of a baby beardie. If they are too large the baby can have a hard time digesting them. As for your availabe greens you have to choose from, go with kale but skip the swiss chard. A bit of romaine lettuce is O.K. as well. Here's how to post pics :

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload pics
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby cas51 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:19 am

Our UVB strip is zoo med brand, with the accompanying bulb recommended by petsmart. (The salesperson helping when we picked up Alex stressed that the small circular light with uvb bulb wasn't sufficient). However, I no longer have the box for more specific info. I believe the bulb is also zoo med brand. The basking light is the one that came in the box with the tank kit.
I did take and upload pics, but i can't see how to attach them here.
My son't bedroom thermostat is set at 60-65, so i was concerned that overnight temps would be to low, and I firmly believe that they need complete darkness at night, as they would get if in their native habitat. Is there another heater that we could use to increase day temps? I know that the heat rocks are bad for them, and this heat pad was the only other option I have found. But I didn't trust it under the tank. Should we change the bulb in the basking light to increase overall tank day time temp?
I am brainstorming how to attach the uvb strip inside the cage, there are no hooks on it, and I can't return it, because we don't have the box anymore (a circumstance I am kicking myself for).
I am confused about your greens recommendation, several videos we saw specifically said no to kale, spinach and lettuce. Could you clarify this point please? Next winter, we will be growing our greens inside...
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:33 am

I reposted the nutrition site on your PM - please post pics of the tank and lighting - you need to click on the XIMG above the message box and your pics that you downloaded will come up click on the pic you want to post and a bunch of #'s and letters etc will appear in the message box and when you submit it the pic should show up --- I am thinking you have a coil UVB -- they are no good once-- you can look on the bulb itself if it says 13 watt that is a coil and they are killer coils
Karrie
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby AHBD » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:40 am

You should def. get a stronger heat bulb, you can even get some like these from Walmart/Home Depot.
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg

For night heat with no light get a CHE [ ceramic heat emitter ] that can also be used to supplement the daytime heat. Without enough heat a dragon has no chance to develop properly.

To rig your uvb inside , use some fishing line or similar thin but strong nylon or wire like I have here :
https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg

As for the greens, only spinach + swiss chard have very high oxalates which can prevent calcium from being absorbed. Here's more info :

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=252256

I wish that old nutrition site would be corrected that Karrie referred you to. It was written long ago when people were misinformed about kale but sadly the misinformation continued to spread. Many of us long time beardie owners feed kale .
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby cas51 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:01 am

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Here are the pics of our set up. Thanks soooo much for all the advice. The uvb bulb looks like a fluorescent bulb. How can I be sure? Or maybe it will say in product description on website?
I hadn’t thought of fishing line!!! Duh moment over here. 🤦‍♀️
Charity
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:13 am

You need to look on the UVB tube light and tell me what it is a T 5 or a T 8 Iam thinking its a T 5 but need to make sure for distance -- if its a T 5 it can stay on top of the tank but your decor piece needs to sit directly under it and it looks like the screen is a wide hole ? I cant really tell if its like a fine mesh like screen door mesh it can stay on top but decor piece would need to be 6-8 inches from decor piece --- I would move it inside the tank and have it approx 12-15 inches from basking decor --- at this point those pics are telling me hes getting NO UVB or not much as he cant get to it -- I also would get some more decor pieces like this from petsmart
https://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/PetSmart/5290971 All Living Things sells one just like this - you can still find them in some of the stores - this one is a Thrive one -this piece is great for providing a gradient heat source under the basking light --
https://s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/PetSmart/5290969
You would be surprised on how these dragons utilize these fixtures to sit on them
But you most definitely need to get the UVB moved so he can get those rays
Karrie
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby AHBD » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:02 pm

It's a nice set up, but sometimes babies can't get enough heat + uvb because there's only 1 heat bulb and the uvb is often too far away in such a large tank. If his hot side is in the 80's it's much, much too low and needs to be fixed before anything else. If you can't get another heat bulb right away, even today, then it's best to set him up in a simple set up that is smaller + lower sided and will allow him to get enough heat + uvb. I can't stress enough how important it is, and I raised 1,000's of these guys. Here's a smaller set up that babies would thrive in. A smaller plastic tote with lights rigged on top. A small low branch , a medium sized rock and even cardboard egg crating will do fine as cage decor.

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby cas51 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:07 pm

Ok. UVB is a T8, and is now mounted under the top screen. Thanks to some wire and pliers 😀. I moved my temp probe over to his basking spot and it’s reading 93. Alex seems to prefer being not quite in the most direct heat spot of the basking light, I think that may mean he is warm enough? Or is it more likely he wants to be higher and the warmest spot is center if the hammock?
He ate a total of 8 crickets today, and was hanging out on the back of my son’s neck for the duration of the tank remodel.
I feel like we’re making progress. I have looked at CHE bulbs... I have the second bulb holder that came with our kit, it is ceramic base, E26 socket type. Max 120v, 150w bulb. There are 5 bazillion bulb choices on amazon, May I have some guidelines on which to buy? And some reviews say dimmer switch needed...?
Thanks again, I’ve gone from panic to attentive concern.
Much better. [Click image to enlarge]
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby AHBD » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:21 pm

Well that's some good progress, and 8 crickets is a decent amount compared to previous amounts that you mentioned. :) So are you looking for a CHE ? Get a 100 watt if so but no more. And if you need plain heat bulbs just get these, many of us use them. Pet store bulbs are a rip off, these here come in a 4 pack for a lower price than one pet store heat bulb.

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby cas51 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:31 pm

Wow, really, just a regular bulb is all I need? Would that work for basking too? So I can just up the wattage in the basking light to provide increased heat?
I was looking at CHE bc they were recommended for additional heat, but if I can get the daytime temps up with a basking light, then that’s easier. The heat mat in the side of the tank seems to be adequate for preventing overnight temps too low.
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:42 pm

You need to up basking temp to 105-110- what wattage are you using now for basking bulb?
Karrie
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby AHBD » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:47 pm

Yes you can. I've raised dragons for over 20 years with these bulbs for heat.
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Re: Baby beardie not eating

Postby cas51 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:52 pm

I’ll sneak in my son’s room tonight before bed to check the heat lamp. It doesn’t turn off until 9, so needs time to cool off. 😂
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