New BD mom questions

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New BD mom questions

Postby GGuy » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:32 am

Good morning ! I am new to having a BD I thought I researched enough to be confident but I seem to always be nervous. It is pretty small prob like 4-5in long.. So here are my questions.
1. I have a 15 gallon tank with a ceramic heat light and a 5.0 tube for the UV which is laid on top of the tank screen and he has branches that he can get pretty close to the screen if needed. I keep the ceramic on 24 hours but I turn the UV light off at 8pm and turn it back on at 7am. Is that right? Is the UV light ok at 5.0 or should I go to 10.0.
2. I got him 4 days ago and since then I have only seen Him eat 3-4 crickets and have not seen him eat in the last 2 days. Should I be completely panicked at this point. All I see when I read is baby dragons eat ALOT. But not mine. 2 of them I got him to eat by separating him into a carrying container but that doesn’t even work anymore. Is it normal for them to go days without eating when they first come to a new home. Are there any tricks I could try.
3. Should I switch to the BSFL maybe ? Or any other insects that might encourage him to eat?
4. How often should I be holding him to get him use to me. I read 15 min twice a day but he seems to be super aware of when someone comes in the room and it seems to make him nervous.
5. Any other new mom advice you could give would be sooooo appreciated. Thanks everyone !!!
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Re: New BD mom questions

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:18 am

A 15 gal enclosure is pretty small. It's more difficult to maintain heat gradient with those. He is likely to outgrow it soon anyway, so I'd start planning to build or buy a full size (4'x2'x2' or larger) enclosure over the next couple of months.

Are you using just the CHE for heat? He will need bright light to bask under, so I'd use a halogen bulb or perhaps incandescent. That way it will produce bright visible light along with heat (surface temps should be about 100-105 on the basking area, surfaces around that in the 90s, and cool side around 75-80 or so). Using a digital thermometer with a probe (or two) is helpful for determining the surface temps. CHE is good to add supplemental heat if needed, or to use overnight if the enclosure temps drop below 65 or so. Shooting for overnight temps of around 65-75 is a good range. In a lot of cases, houses stay in that range overnight, so no additional heat is needed.

For UVB, is your bulb a T8 or a T5? A T5 5.0 bulb should be OK in a 15 gal if it's about 6-8'' above the main basking area. You'll want to move to a 10.0 bulb when you get a larger enclosure though. If it's a T8, those have a lower output and I'd move to a 10.0 now. A T8 10.0 has about the same range as a T5 5.0 at around 6-8''. The T5 10.0 is stronger with an optimal distance of about 10-12''.

As far as handling goes, I'd base it on his reaction. If he is acting afraid, then just spend some time next to the enclosure. Try hand feeding some treats (BSFL are a good choice to try out) and just let him get used to you being around. If he is OK with handling or shows signs of wanting to get out, let him out for a bit and let him explore a safe area. They are very curious by nature so I encourage letting them explore if it's safe to do so (no other animals around, no small bits on the floor that can be ingested, areas they can get stuck in are blocked off, etc).

It can take time for them to settle in and that includes their appetite. Their eating habits change over time as well. They tend to eat more around growth spurts, and less at other times. Just keep offering a couple of meals per day and let him take what he wants at a given time.
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Re: New BD mom questions

Postby GGuy » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:34 am

Thanks ! I just checked and it’s a T8 5.0 so I’m on my way now to the store to correct that. Of course the lady at the store is the one that gave me that light so that’s a bit frustrating but I’m going back to fix that. I will also figure out getting more of an Incandescent light for him to bask under? So ur saying it should be the ceramic for heat, the UVB 10.0 or T5 5.0 and another incandescent light ? Is that right ?
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Re: New BD mom questions

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:50 am

If you've got a T8 fixture I'd at least get a 10.0 bulb for it for now. Ultimately you'll want a T5 fixture and bulb that you can transfer to a larger enclosure when you have it.

I would just replace the ceramic bulb for now and use it only if you need heat overnight. Use something like the ZooMed Repti Basking spot or even just a halogen bulb from the hardware store for basking. It may take some trial and error to find one that gets the temps just right. Using an adjustable lamp stand to hang the fixture from can be helpful for adjusting the temps by raising/lowering the light fixture.
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