Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Discuss topics of food for your beardies here.

Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby BrandiP » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:54 pm

Could feeding Hornworms as a staple feeder for just a few weeks cause my beardie to gain a lot of tummy weight very quickly?

I don't know how to post a picture to show his size ☹️. If anyone can explain how I'd be eternally grateful!!

Snowflake is a 4.5 month old Snow morph, and we are not 100% positive on sex. Breeder thought female, vet suggested might be male based on femoral pores size.

Here's what happened: When I ordered my Silkworm eggs from Mulberry Farms, they had a buy 2 get 1 free deal on Hornworm cups, so I naturally ordered 3 cups. They arrived just fine, and Snowflake LOVED them, so I ended up ordering 3 cups again. But, since HW grow SO FAST, we ended up feeding them to him every day for several weeks, before they could grow too big and end up wasted. As a result his insect diet was about 50% BSFL and 40% Hornworms & only 10% dubia for approximately 3-4 weeks. (We ended up pupating an entire cup of the second HW order because they did get too big to feed).

Here's my first question: I've read how beardies grow EXTREMELY fast the first year, but it seems now that his tummy looks A LOT more "plumpy" and round... almost bloated looking, than it did just a few weeks ago. Could this be from the Hornworms? Or is it just normal weight gain and as he grows more it will balance out with his length again? (He's not getting HW nearly as often now, they're an occasional treat instead of a staple.) He's definitely growing in length, but I'm worried that he gained mass too fast because of the quantity of HW he ate.

Second question: If he DID put on too much weight too fast, should I reduce his insect feedings to balance it out, or will that happen naturally over time as he grows since we have cut back on the HW already? I don't want him to end up with fatty liver disease or overweight health issues as an adult.

Final Question: Does the following plan seem like a suitable diet to keep him healthy? I've read SO MUCH about how variety in bearded dragon diets is the key to long healthy life in captivity. We want Snowflake to THRIVE, not just survive. 😊

Here is his current feeding regimen:
Protein/Insects: 2x per day
Silkworms every day- usually about 20-30 total med-large worms per day. Worms fed exclusively only fresh Mulberry leaves (I ended up with over 800 worms from that egg order 😳)
Some days the second/supplemental feeder insect is Dubia roaches, (med size, about 5-10 of them, gutloaded with Flukers cricket food) and some days it is BSFL (large size, he can usually put away around 25-30 of those during his 10 minute feeding. No gutloading on these). Hornworms as a treat occasionally now (1-2x per week). We did give him about 7-8 butterworms over the course of about 2 weeks as well, but since he likes the HW better I never re-purchased the butterworms. I've heard Silkworms and BSFL are the best for staple insects, so that's what we have tried to focus on. Dubia are included too because I've heard they are also a very healthy feeder and have good fiber and protein.

He eats salad every single day. Here's a breakdown of that:
Greens: Collard, Mustard, Turnip Greens, & Endive mixed up. I usually buy 2 one week and then switch to the other 2 the next week, and he gets 2 different ones each day. That way there's all four offered/rotated on a regular basis each week. Always fresh and organic too if available. He also gets a few cilantro leaves or fresh mulberry leaves added in several times per week, and I usually spiralize carrot or yellow squash or diced red/yellow bell pepper or butternut squash on top to give the salad color. VERY small amounts of those. Very rarely (1x week) I may add blueberry, mango, or strawberry instead as a treat. We dust with calcium 4x-5x week and Calcium +D3 2-3x week. I also often dust with bee pollen powder. He's a VERY good salad/greens eater, as he gets offered that first and then insect feeders an hour or two later. His salad stays in the tank all day, but we take him out of the tank to feed him the insects.

Habitat:
He's in a 90 gallon aquarium. Ceramic tile substrate with paper towels. Two 18 inch Reptisun 10.0 UVB lights mounted inside. Natural rock, wood, and a vine hammock/wall as decorations/climbing/basking/hide areas. A felt bed made by my daughter and a small stuffed toy. 😅 A pretty decent sized water dish (he often climbs inside it, lol). One heat lamp 75 watt, one basking bulb 100 watt, and a 150 watt ceramic heat emitter for overnight warmth. Multiple hygrometers inside... Cool side usually 85-90°, mid tank around 99°, and hot side 103-107 with his basking spot around 110-112°. He's got lots of places to hide and if the hot side of the tank gets up to 110° I usually cut off one heat lamp for a while. Humidity around 30% throughout. It's been a bit of trial and error to get the temps right in such a large tank. He frequently climbs up to bask and gapes his adorable "smile" for us.

He seems to be doing well overall but my biggest concern is that big ol' tummy he's got now. I feel like it plumped up super fast. It's so much more round and almost looks like he's bloated now. He does poop/urate multiple times per day, and gets baths 2x week, so I'm not thinking he's impacted. I'm pretty sure he's getting decent UVB light for digestion. The UVB bulbs are about 2.5 months old. He can run/walk easily, but his tummy touches the floor unless he really extends his legs up all the way.

I'm asking for advice/input on both the big tummy issue, as well as his current diet. Are there any changes I should make to improve his habitat? Am I overdoing it on the salads/greens while he's still a juvenile? Should I cut back on his worms until the tummy evens out with his length?

Thanks in advance for any advice/input. This site has been such a help when I have worries or concerns, everyone is so helpful and informative! I'm sorry this post got to be so darn long. Snowflake is our first Beardie and we love him to pieces so I just want to give him the absolute best chance and a happy, healthy, long life!

Have a wonderful day!
~Brandi
BrandiP
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:14 am
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:20 am

I am going to flag your post to AHBD ---- but I am gonna say we need to sex your dragon first to see if possible eggs-- so we need a pic of her https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ click on XIMG at the top of the message box then click on the pic it should post please get a pic of her butt w/ tail in the air so we can see the vent
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 9867
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby AHBD » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:11 am

Hi there, it sounds like your dragon is living like a king. :) I would love to see pics of him + his palace, he definitely has good servants + wait staff caring for him. :lol:

You probably could cut way back on the butter + hornworms and no matter what we feed them it's best for them to not be perpetually stuffed as an older juvenile and going in to adulthood. One more thing, cool end would be best at 78-82 . Other than that and the slight over feeding everything sounds great. :)
AHBD
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 24963
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:20 am

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby BrandiP » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:17 am

KarrieRee wrote:I am going to flag your post to AHBD ----
Karrie

I'm sorry, I don't know what AHBD stands for.

Thank you for instructions on how to upload the photos as well. The first Exotic vet I took him to upon arrival said it was female, she checked with a light? But I switched to an Exotic vet a little further away from home that specializes in herps and she thought he was make based on femoral pores size. (She didn't confirm for sure with any kind of light or invasive exam, simply said that was an educated guess.) The breeder had hee listed as female as well. Is it possible for a 4.5 month old dragon to be gravid? I thought that couldn't happen until they were at least a year old for that?

Here are photos:

[Click image to enlarge]


[Click image to enlarge]


[Click image to enlarge]


[Click image to enlarge]


AHBD wrote:Hi there, it sounds like your dragon is living like a king. :) I would love to see pics of him + his palace, he definitely has good servants + wait staff caring for him. :lol:
:)


He definitely does live like a king! He was originally purchased as an emotional support animal for my 12 year old daughter's anxiety, but Momma fell in love with him/her pretty much instantaneously! Since I am a bit of a science nerd, I have done as much research as I possibly can to try to give him the best possible environment and diet. We are establishing colonies for all the staple insects to feed (Dubia, Silkworm, BSFL, and also Hornworms).

We got him on 4/28, and he's been to the vet twice already because I tend to get paranoid at every little issue/concern that pops up. The first visit was simply a health check up on arrival from the breeder, and concern that he wasn't eating enough right away. The second vet visit was concern over runny, smelly stool. Both vets did fecal tests that came up clear of parasites.

Thanks to everyone who is helping me to make sure Snowflake us happy and healthy!

~Brandi
BrandiP
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:14 am

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby AHBD » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:29 am

Hi Brandi, he/she looks fine. :) I was imagining a really huge belly but Snowflake does not have one, and maybe Karrie missed the age but yes, 4.5 months is too young to be gravid. To get a better pic of the rear ens arch the tail back a little further like in this pic.:

https://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/sexing/

And BTW, nice set up ! Just wondering if the uvb tube lights are on the back wall or suspended from the screen overhead ? The lights should be mounted overhead. If the bulbs are t8 you'll need them to be about 9-10" away at the most. A t5 bulb can be 12-14" away.
AHBD
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 24963
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:20 am

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:32 am

I am sorry I am not seeing any reflectors on your UVB's --- one you only one good UVB but it should have a reflector - as of this moment they are not doing any good --- if you dont want to get a reflector you need to move it directly over the basking decor approx 4-6 inches ---- if you want to get a reflector you can order one from here www.http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/miscel ... s-new-hot/
I would look at getting this ASAP--- we need to see a direct straight shot at the vent w/ tail in the air -- its hard to tell from the angle he/ she is at :)
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 9867
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby AHBD » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:45 am

Reflectors are good but even without them you would not need any light at 4-6".
AHBD
BD.org Sicko
 
Posts: 24963
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:20 am

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:58 am

Yep I missed the age --- so what is the distance for a UVB w / no reflector? I read from some where at some point a while back it would need to be that distance to do any good --
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 9867
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby BrandiP » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:45 pm

The UVB lights are T8, in standard 18in plug in fixtures from The Home Depot (so no reflectors I'm guessing?). I can get the reflectors if that would help. They are mounted inside the tank on the back glass at the top, below the lid grate, at about 20" distance from the bottom of the tank. The plastic covers are not on them, so the light is direct. Depending on where he is, he can be as close as 6" to one. He loves to climb up the vine and literally hang out under the one on the left side. That puts him about 6-8" away. On the hot basking/right side, when he's up on top of his cave rock (his other favorite hangout) he is approximately 14-16" from the right UVB light. We did have them mounted lower before with a different layout, and he was getting within 4" so we switched it around because I was worried he was too close.

Any advice on how to improve his set up us greatly appreciated! Thank you all! 😁♥️

~Brandi
BrandiP
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:14 am

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:53 pm

The reflector intensifies the UVB making it better UVB- I would get the reflector it will benefit him and I would move one of them directly above his basking decor-- you dont need two UVB's- distance from basking decor 6-8 inches-- T 8's need to be changed out every 6 months
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 9867
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby BrandiP » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:29 pm

So I was just discussing moving the UVB fixtures to be mounted on the underside of the grate that's over the top of the tank, and she pointed out that the heat lamps would melt the plastic light fixtures because the top grate is metal and the heat lamps heat it up considerably. So on the glass is the best option I think. We did have one on the side of the tank mounted at an angle right next to his basking rock, but again he was REALLY close to it there as well. How close is too close?
BrandiP
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:14 am

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby KarrieRee » Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:43 pm

You don't need the UVB to be next to the heat bulb it is optimal but sometimes it can't happen my UVB for both my tanks are not in the same area- you can put it in the middle of the tank as long as he can get directly underneath approx 6-8 inches - he will go to what light he needs-
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 9867
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby BrandiP » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:57 am

Ok, so sorry I've been MIA. We traveled for a wedding on 7/9 and upon arrival back at home, 4 of the 5 family members tested positive for Coronavirus. 😬 Ugh. So things have been tough around here for the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, everyone is on the mend now, but there were definitely days that only the bare minimum got done because I was so sick. 🤢🤒😷

First, based on the photos link, I'm now seriously thinking Snowflake is a female dragon. Definitely only one bump above the vent. I'll try to get a better pic in the morning. Doesn't matter to me either way, I just worry about possible egg binding in the future.

I went to order the reflectors as suggested, but I wanted to ask some advice on my lighting before I do please. So my confusion is this: Do I only need one UVB for Snowflake's tank? I thought that I had read somewhere that the UVB light should be 2/3 the length of the tank. So if my tank is 48" long, then only one 18" UVB would be less than 1/3, right? (18" was the only non-wired fixture I could get at Home Depot). I want to be sure that Snowflake is getting enough UVB because we definitely do not want MBD issues. She goes outside often as well, but not every day.

Before, we had her set up where one of the UVB lights was on the side of the tank near her basking platform, at a slight angle, and she was getting within 4-6 inches of it.
(sorry this is the only pic I could find with the light on the side of the tank. We have since switched her from that plastic basking platform/hide to an actual rock cave).

[Click image to enlarge]


Another time, we had her vine carpet hanging on the back wall of the tank, with the UVB light at the top, and she would climb up the vine and get literally within 2 inches of the light (so we moved the carpet down a bit to put her about 4" away).

[Click image to enlarge]



So how close is too close to the UVB? Should I only have 1 UVB? Should it be in the middle, or closer to her basking rock? I'm just concerned that with a tank this large (90 gallon/48x24x24), that 1 UVB won't give her enough exposure if she doesn't hang out directly under it. Honestly, right now I took one out so I have only one in there, it's the one that was on her cool side, above her vine carpet. She seems to hang out there most often, on the vine just below the UVB. I'd say she's about 6 inches away from the light most of the time. She does go to her basking rock periodically throughout the day though.

I'll order a reflector. I'll order two if I need 2 UVB's in a tank this size. If I don't need two, well maybe that's a good excuse to go towards another habitat for a second Beardie 😅 (Yeah, my hubby is definitely rolling his eyes at me now). But they're so cute and adorable!! 🦎❤️

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank y'all so much for everything! 😊♥️

~Brandi
BrandiP
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:14 am

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:07 am

I would get rid of the Home Depot light fixture all together and get a 24" fixture w/ reflector -- an 18" fixture is too small for a 90 gallon tank -- you can get this one just do not use the bulb that comes w/ it it is not for reptiles https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/t5- ... xture.html you need this bulb https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo ... vb-t5.html a 22' or this one this is a great bulb https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arc ... -bulb.html also a 22" -- I would get this stuff ordered ASAP-- she is trying to get to the UVB rays that is why she is climbing to the top of that tank -- I would get her out in the sun as much as you can till that UVB comes
Karrie
KarrieRee
BD.org Addict
 
Posts: 9867
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:24 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Can his big tummy be from Hornworms? Good daily diet ?s

Postby BrandiP » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:36 am

Right now I'm using ZooMed T8 bulbs. The link you sent is for T5 fixture & bulbs. I'm looking online and it seems T8 are much more widely available so I'd really be more comfortable sticking with those, just to ensure I have multiple options when reordering. (Chewy, Petco, PetSmart, etc. all have T8) Is there a specific reason why you suggested T5? I'm not opposed to switching to T5 if it's better, just wondering if there's a difference.

What about this T8 fixture/hood? I could mount it on the inside of the tank in the center (there's a plastic divider in the top that I can attach it to)

https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/rep ... -hood.html

Also, would it be better for me to go with the larger fixture, if I'm only doing one? I don't mind spending the extra money on the larger size (36 or 48 as opposed to 24) since ultimately I will be saving money overall by only having to purchase one replacement bulb every 6 months instead of two.

Here's the photo of her behind. What do y'all think, male or female? (The look she gave me when I positioned her for this picture 😂😂)
[Click image to enlarge]



Thanks for all the advice and help! Snowflake and I appreciate you! 😊
[Click image to enlarge]

~Brandi
BrandiP
Newbie Poster
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:14 am
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Next

Return to Feeding

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users