1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

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1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby Bruinsguy55 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:44 am

Image

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OK, I have been reading some posts so before I begin let me confess, we got our bearded dragon at PetCo.

I have been back a few times (for crickets almost daily) and have talked with a few different employees picking their brains for tips and info.

I have also done some extensive research on-line since, so I am not totally clueless (decision to purchase from PetCo excluded for that evaluation).

We did the "starter" tank :banghead: that so many suggest NO ONE DOES (but it was purchased and set up before we brought Puff Daddy home, so there IS that).

The UVb light and heat light do actually seem to be doing fine for now, temp is about 95 during the day. At night we DID fall for the "here, buy this red light" BUT Puff REALLY seems to like laying under it as soon as it is turned on, so maybe the other heat light isn't allowing him enough basking heat?

Now, here of a few of the mistakes I now realize I have made thus far (yes, other than PetCo).

When we first got Puff home I let him get acclimated to his new surroundings and then put about 12 crickets as well as calcium covered fresh kale in his tank. He did not seem to be ready to eat and the crickets just sort of hung out. A few hours later he did eat about half of the crickets.
I left the remaining crickets in with him thinking he will eat them when he gets hungry, which he did the next day. Should we NOT do that?

I am not sure of the age of Puff but he was larger than the others they had and was in his own tank so I am going with Juvenile, safe assumption?

We went and got another 25 crickets, coated them in calcium and dumped them in his tank yesterday afternoon (his 2nd day with us) and he devoured ALL 25 quickly, good sign?

I am keeping fresh calcium coated Kale in his dish at all times and his water is being changed daily as well (using bottled spring water - wife thinks I am over doing it but better safe than sorry).

We have had him out a few times how to play with him and hold him and he seems very "chill" when we are handling him. The only advice we got was NOT to try and handle him (at least I THINK it is a him - found the "how to sex" info on here today, will find out for sure when I get home tonight) if he he is puffing his beard at all. Is that accurate and are there any other times / signs we should look for not to bother him/her?

OK, now MORE questions and I do apologize if these have been answered elsewhere:

CRICKETS:
Instead of buying them daily what will I need to buy them in bulk? (and how do I convince my wife they won't "get out" of whatever we keep them in?
Are there other "live" insects that are easier / better for Puff Daddy instead or in addition to crickets?

BATHING:
Me and the boys are going to do the Puff Daddy bath on Saturday. I have read up on this and know to use warm water. Would using spring water warmed up (bot not HOT) be OK? I am assuming I do NOT want to use warm tap water but correct me if I am wrong.
I also know not use any soap or stuff, but is there anything I can use to promote a healthier skin for Puff?
Would using a warm hairdryer to dry him / her off and warm up after the bath be OK or will the warm air dry out the skin too much?

PLAY TIME:
How long can we keep Puff out of his tank to hang out with us? I am concerned about him staying warm (we live in the Northeast USA). The house is usually around 70 degrees, but are there any signs or indications Puff may give us that he / she is ready to go back to his / her tank?
Any suggestions or warnings about play time activities? Me and the boys (with mom a distant observer) have used a large box to see if he would run around or anything. Mostly it has been just us taking turns holding him / her and rubbing his / her head.

Any other advice / suggestions / criticism is much welcomed.

(EDIT: figured out the image thing and also realized Puff Daddy is not all that unique of a name :roll: )

Thank you
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Re: 1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby Aaradimian » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:01 am

Welcome! I can answer a few questions as I'm about a year and a half along in my beardie ownership journey & have made plenty of mistakes that have been corrected thanks to the generous help of others on this forum.

CRICKETS:

Ugh. They are the worst. Reasonable feeders, but such a pain with their stinking & chirping & dying. If you have to stay with them, get a cricket keeper and some food for them at Petco. They die quickly, so plan on a max of about 4 days worth of feeders/purchase. You can feed dead ones to beardies just fine. I leave them in the dish with greens. Just make sure you clear out any live ones from the viv before beardie bedtime because they can & do bite dragons at night while the latter sleep.

If you have a reptile store near you, dubia roaches are a staple that, when dusted with calcium (always) and reptile vitamins 2x/wk, are excellent food. There's also black soldier fly larvae, which I can't source where I am, but comes well recommended here. Superworms, mealworms, and horn worms are treats, but for babies the advice is to pass on them because they are harder to digest. Also, never feed your dragon any insect larger than the space between their eyes because they can become impacted, paralyzed, or even die if it gets stuck.

BATHING:

Unless you are trying to wash something off of your beardie like poop when they step in it, lessen the irritation of a shed, or get them to poop when they're stopped up, bathing is not necessary. You can keep them hydrated by taking a syringe and dripping water on their snout. If they are thirsty, they'll lap it up, and I just keep dripping until mine turns their head as if to say "no more". I give mine a small dish of standing water, but more for humidity. Theoretically, the moisture content in greens and feeders should be adequate as long as you keep an eye out for signs of dehydration and/or do the syringe trick.

PLAY TIME:

It's good to interact with your beardie to gain their trust, but don't force them if they're really not having it. Mine sit out with my wife & I (out of view of one another) for an hour or two at night. Just make sure they get at least 12 hrs of light & UV a day. Mine get around 15, but do ditch the red bulb as it can hurt their eyes & disrupt their sleep. If you need to warm up their viv, there are things called CHE's or under-the-tank heating pads that can be used. Don't use a basking rock, because apparently beardies can burn themselves on one. Basking spot should read around 105*F and temps should taper to around 80-85 on the "cool" side. At night, as long as temps don't go below around 65*, they'll be fine.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by Aaradimian on Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:04 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:20 am

Ok I will chime in on this -- first-- starter tank ? What kind of UVB did you get I couldnt see any of the lights--- second--- advice often given from Petco or Petsmart employees is usually bad advice--- you have come to a great forum to get the proper care for your baby--- third --- the dubia roaches are a way better choice for your baby --- you can call and see who in your area as far as pet store private ones carry them or you can order them on line from suppliers from Amazon.com the suppliers often have free shipping - they can be kept in a plastic tote or 10 gallon aquarium and you can feed them dubia food and / or carrots apples sweet potato squash etc............ the will get the nutrients and water out of the food / vegies - usually we recommend that the UVB is inside the tank -- 6-12 inches from baby- we recommend either the Reptison 10.0 T 5 or 8 - T 5 is better or the Arcadia T 5 - 12-14% UVB rays- here is a website that offers that - Lighting place to get UVB
www.lightyourreptiles.com
Reptisun 10 T5, or the Arcadia D3 12% or 14% T5 tube, both of which are very good. You will
need a T5 light fixture also. If you have any more questions please ask

thanks Karrie
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Re: 1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby vrenee1018 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:40 am

First off, congrats on your little guy/girl!!!

Looks like the others have chimed in regarding lighting, handling, feeding, etc., but I can suggest a website for you to order feeders. I believe the best feeders for your baby are dubia, phoenix worms (Soldier fly larvae), and silk worms (when her/she is a bit bigger). I've had great luck with purchasing phoenix worms from a site called RainbowMealWorms (http://www.rainbowmealworms.net) and they have dubia roaches as well, but they do not sell silk worms. They do sell the aforementioned hornworms (when he/she is bigger) and they are great treats for your baby. They're mostly water, so I use them when my little girl, Tampico, hasn't gone poo in a while or when I don't think she's eating enough of her greens to retain some water.

Also, if you're worried about it being too cold at night for the little one and your house drops below 65 degrees then, a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) is a wonderful tool. It provides heat without light and is used to also keep humidity down as well. Speaking of humidity, did you buy a hygrometer or just a plain ol' thermometer? The hygro measures both temp and humidity. Basking side should be between 95-110 for the babies and the cool side should be around 75-80 (that's how my girl likes it, but I'm sure others have different preferences). An infrared gun is the best to gauge the temp everywhere in the tank, but the hygrometer will always stay in the tank to measure it all. The humidity should be kept between 30-40%, but a little higher at night shouldn't be a problem. If it starts getting in the high 50s-60s, I'd most definitely purchase a CHE, even if your house temp doesn't drop below 65 degrees.

Let us know if you have any more questions! There are tons of other experienced beardie owners on here and never hesitate to ask anything! Also, if you look to the right of the website in the gold/green columns under the "Articles" section, there are several articles for new owners and such.

Good luck!!!!! :blob8: :blob5:
Image Ohhh myyy little Taaam-piiico <3
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Re: 1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby Bruinsguy55 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:17 am

Thank you all for the tips, suggestions, and welcoming words.

Found out Puff Daddy IS a boy (which works out well, or else we would need to change the name to Puff Mommy).

Looking forward to making memories with Puff and this forum as well.

:D
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Re: 1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby Drache613 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:27 am

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Re: 1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby Drache613 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:02 am

Hello,

Puff Daddy is definitely a little cutie, congratulations! :D I hope you are enjoying your new
little one & having fun on the forum, too, at least you know for sure then. LOL
It looks like you have a good hold on your tank setup & feeding right now. It is a good amount
of work to get it all working for him.
Which type/brand of UVB are you using now? As suggested, most of us on here now will
recommend the T5 tube bulbs as they are very good bulbs, emit excellent UVB emissions
& last awhile, too.
Let us know how things are going & if you have more questions.

Tracie
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Re: 1st Beardy in our family - meet Puff Daddy!!!

Postby HerpGirl » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:29 pm

vrenee1018 wrote:First off, congrats on your little guy/girl!!!

Looks like the others have chimed in regarding lighting, handling, feeding, etc., but I can suggest a website for you to order feeders. I believe the best feeders for your baby are dubia, phoenix worms (Soldier fly larvae), and silk worms (when her/she is a bit bigger). I've had great luck with purchasing phoenix worms from a site called RainbowMealWorms (http://www.rainbowmealworms.net) and they have dubia roaches as well, but they do not sell silk worms. They do sell the aforementioned hornworms (when he/she is bigger) and they are great treats for your baby. They're mostly water, so I use them when my little girl, Tampico, hasn't gone poo in a while or when I don't think she's eating enough of her greens to retain some water.

Also, if you're worried about it being too cold at night for the little one and your house drops below 65 degrees then, a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) is a wonderful tool. It provides heat without light and is used to also keep humidity down as well. Speaking of humidity, did you buy a hygrometer or just a plain ol' thermometer? The hygro measures both temp and humidity. Basking side should be between 95-110 for the babies and the cool side should be around 75-80 (that's how my girl likes it, but I'm sure others have different preferences). An infrared gun is the best to gauge the temp everywhere in the tank, but the hygrometer will always stay in the tank to measure it all. The humidity should be kept between 30-40%, but a little higher at night shouldn't be a problem. If it starts getting in the high 50s-60s, I'd most definitely purchase a CHE, even if your house temp doesn't drop below 65 degrees.

Let us know if you have any more questions! There are tons of other experienced beardie owners on here and never hesitate to ask anything! Also, if you look to the right of the website in the gold/green columns under the "Articles" section, there are several articles for new owners and such.

Good luck!!!!! :blob8: :blob5:


Rainbow Mealworms all the way!!!1 :wink:
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