New Dad Enclosure Questions

Discuss substrates, lighting, heating, enclosure building ideas, share enclosure photos, and talk about any other enclosure-related topics.

New Dad Enclosure Questions

Postby DexDad » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:15 pm

New bearded dragon dad here. Dex is ~5 months old from what we were told at the reptile store. I have some questions about his set up. I've read a few books after I got him, and have found information contradicting the store, so want to get an opinion on what I'm doing.

I have Dex in an ExoTerra 40 gallon 36 x 18 x 18 enclosure, with a 100W MVB resting on the screen on the hot side, and a Reptisun T8 24" UV lamp on the rest. The MVB is 10-12" above the highest point of his basking spot. They are on a timer for 14hrs of light/heat daily. No light or heat at night. I live in NY so the AC is on now but I've closed the vent in his room and leave the door to the room mostly closed to stop cool air from coming in.

I have a hide on both sides. I'm using calcisand right now (I know!!! Example of book information contradicting the supposed reptile experts at the store).

My temps per digital temp gun are 95-105 on hot side baking area, vs 75-85 cool side. I'm feeding him BSFL for live 2-3x daily, and collard/mustard greens with some mango. He gets calcium/D3 2x weekly and reptivite 3x weekly. He is have feed and fed in a dish. We have a separate water bowl he never uses, and I mist him twice daily. He appears to be eating very well (50-100 medium to large worms daily) and pooping every other to every day.

So here are my questions:

1. He never leaves the hot side really except occasionally, and only for short moments - is that normal?

2. He has been home with me for two weeks now and still has stress marks. They're sometimes very light, sometimes darker, but never gone. Is this a concern?

3. I want to switch substrate to tile. Any concerns with doing that? He likes to dig at night to set up a bed area for himself - can I replicate that within the tile area?

4. He still is pretty skittish with trying to hold him, somewhat less with petting, and he comes right to you when feeding time. Should I stop trying to hold him if he is skittish?

5. Similar to 4, I have tried to give him a bath twice with no luck. Water temps at 90-95, but he just freaks out so I abandon it. Any suggestions?

Thank you all for your help!

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Re: New Dad Enclosure Questions

Postby KarrieRee » Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:14 pm

Welcome--- your T 8 needs to go inside the tank--- the clear plastic cover needs to be off the fixture-- this is extremely important- distance needs to be directly over the basking decor 6-8 inches-- the stress marks could be still from relocation stress or not enough uvb---what is the brand of the mvb your using? Yes please ditch the sand asap even if you haft to.use paper towels for now-- tile you want textured slated ceramic something w/ texture but not too coarse- cut to the size of thank inside measurements- mine is not grouted or sealed for the purpose of being able to pull those tiles if needed- I use a thick blue shop towel from Walmart under the tiles- it catches the watery urate- you can use vinegar and water 50 50 solution to clean--- please start dusting the insects not the BSFL 5 x per week w/ calcium D 3-- he will start eating that sand if he's not getting enough calcium-- you do not want that - - yes that is normal.for basking but get your T 8 situated and watch his behavior-- I would move the UVB to the middle of tank set up another dome on top w/ a regular household bulb NO LEDS and get another basking temp there of 90's-- see what he does-- 40-60 watt-- watch your temps- put a piece of decor under it 6-8 inches--- you can put a dig box in the tank but use playsand- no baths for now -- he will get moisture thru his salads if he's eating them --- use your bsfl to lure him to the bowl and do not feed anything on the sand--
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