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First time Dragon Mom with some questions.

Syerra

New member
Original Poster
Hello everyone!

A bit of background:
About a week ago, my hubby and I became the proud parents of a male beardie, named Apollo, who was being rehomed. His previous dragon dad was a teenager who had lost interest in caring for him. He came to us in a 36x18x18 Zoo Med cage (which we plan to upgrade as soon as finances allow) and very little by way of cage enrichment - he had a basking rock, a climbing branch, and a climbing hide, most of which he has significantly outgrown. He has properly sized replacements ordered and on the way, plus lots of extras. He came with a 22" Reptisun t5 5.0 uvb lamp, which I know is not enough for him and so he has a 10.0 high output arriving this week. He has had his salad dusted with calcium with d3 three times in the week we've had him to help make up for it.

We were told that he was purchased from the pet store in June 2021, so we're estimating by that and his size (he's around 16-18" from nose to tip of his tail, give or take) that he may be just shy of a year old. He hasn't seen his new vet yet, so I don't have a weight for him, but he seems a healthy size for his length.

I've been doing tons of research on what I need for him to give him the best life possible, but the thing that continues to elude me is food amounts.

Apollo is a very good boy and eats his daily salads without a fuss. He gets a blend of greens and herbs, and really seems to enjoy the squash and carrots tossed in. (A few times a week he even gets a tiny bit of apple mixed in as a treat.) I have also been told that he is an oddity because he knows his water dish and will sip from his it when he feels the need - he has done it three times since he's been with us.

So, now that you know what I've learned about him, my question is this:

Given that he is so good about eating his salads, how much should he be getting in terms of feeders? I know his previous family gave him mealworms, but I don't know the frequency. I want to switch him to healthier bsfl and dubias, but I want to be sure of how much he'll need and how often, since he eats his daily salad without trouble.

Any information would be greatly appreciated and thanks for this amazing site and all of its resources!

(Apollo thanks you too!)
 

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Solution
Hello everyone!

A bit of background:
About a week ago, my hubby and I became the proud parents of a male beardie, named Apollo, who was being rehomed. His previous dragon dad was a teenager who had lost interest in caring for him. He came to us in a 36x18x18 Zoo Med cage (which we plan to upgrade as soon as finances allow) and very little by way of cage enrichment - he had a basking rock, a climbing branch, and a climbing hide, most of which he has significantly outgrown. He has properly sized replacements ordered and on the way, plus lots of extras. He came with a 22" Reptisun t5 5.0 uvb lamp, which I know is not enough for him and so he has a 10.0 high output arriving this week. He has had his salad dusted with calcium with d3...

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Hello everyone!

A bit of background:
About a week ago, my hubby and I became the proud parents of a male beardie, named Apollo, who was being rehomed. His previous dragon dad was a teenager who had lost interest in caring for him. He came to us in a 36x18x18 Zoo Med cage (which we plan to upgrade as soon as finances allow) and very little by way of cage enrichment - he had a basking rock, a climbing branch, and a climbing hide, most of which he has significantly outgrown. He has properly sized replacements ordered and on the way, plus lots of extras. He came with a 22" Reptisun t5 5.0 uvb lamp, which I know is not enough for him and so he has a 10.0 high output arriving this week. He has had his salad dusted with calcium with d3 three times in the week we've had him to help make up for it.

We were told that he was purchased from the pet store in June 2021, so we're estimating by that and his size (he's around 16-18" from nose to tip of his tail, give or take) that he may be just shy of a year old. He hasn't seen his new vet yet, so I don't have a weight for him, but he seems a healthy size for his length.

I've been doing tons of research on what I need for him to give him the best life possible, but the thing that continues to elude me is food amounts.

Apollo is a very good boy and eats his daily salads without a fuss. He gets a blend of greens and herbs, and really seems to enjoy the squash and carrots tossed in. (A few times a week he even gets a tiny bit of apple mixed in as a treat.) I have also been told that he is an oddity because he knows his water dish and will sip from his it when he feels the need - he has done it three times since he's been with us.

So, now that you know what I've learned about him, my question is this:

Given that he is so good about eating his salads, how much should he be getting in terms of feeders? I know his previous family gave him mealworms, but I don't know the frequency. I want to switch him to healthier bsfl and dubias, but I want to be sure of how much he'll need and how often, since he eats his daily salad without trouble.

Any information would be greatly appreciated and thanks for this amazing site and all of its resources!

(Apollo thanks you too!)
the 10.0 T 5 bulb is a excellent UVB -distance for the UVB should be 12-15 inches inside the tank directly above the basking decor piece-- you didnt say anything about a basking bulb -- it should be a clear bright white bulb -you want a basking bulb NO daytime bulbs please example of the bulb would be like a Exo Terra Intense bulb -- - basking temps should be 95-100 taken w/a digital probe thermometer - probe should be placed on the decor piece for approx 10 min -- he should be getting insects every day and the choice of BSFL and dubias is great - I would be dusting the insects everyday w/ the D3 calcium and vitamins w/ beta carotene 2 x per week both lightly coated --that is great hes drinking from a water dish most do not--- when he turns a year old I would cut back on the D3 and not give the vitamins so often especially w/ him eating his salads --- hes going to get those vitamins thru them -- I would look at getting him some regular calcium w/ no phosphorus and give a few times a week on the insects - those too should be slowing down to 2-3 times per week -
 
Solution

Syerra

New member
Original Poster
the 10.0 T 5 bulb is a excellent UVB -distance for the UVB should be 12-15 inches inside the tank directly above the basking decor piece-- you didnt say anything about a basking bulb -- it should be a clear bright white bulb -you want a basking bulb NO daytime bulbs please example of the bulb would be like a Exo Terra Intense bulb -- - basking temps should be 95-100 taken w/a digital probe thermometer - probe should be placed on the decor piece for approx 10 min -- he should be getting insects every day and the choice of BSFL and dubias is great - I would be dusting the insects everyday w/ the D3 calcium and vitamins w/ beta carotene 2 x per week both lightly coated --that is great hes drinking from a water dish most do not--- when he turns a year old I would cut back on the D3 and not give the vitamins so often especially w/ him eating his salads --- hes going to get those vitamins thru them -- I would look at getting him some regular calcium w/ no phosphorus and give a few times a week on the insects - those too should be slowing down to 2-3 times per week -
Thank you, KarrieRee!

He has a basking bulb which we just replaced (a ZooMed 100w basking spot lamp) so it's fresh and we got him a CHE for overnight and when the temp drops, since we're in Massachusetts and heading into winter. I've ordered two digital probe thermometers to leave in place, one for his basking area and one for the cool side of the tank - I read that that's a good way to do it. Those should be in tomorrow, so I'll be better able to adjust his temps. Right now, he seems to be thermo-regulating well, moving between zones throughout the day and even gaping in his basking zone.

I'll make sure he gets daily feeders and pick up some of the vitamin supplement as well and then adjust him in a few months when we think he'll be hitting the one year mark. I really appreciate all of the info!
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Thank you, KarrieRee!

He has a basking bulb which we just replaced (a ZooMed 100w basking spot lamp) so it's fresh and we got him a CHE for overnight and when the temp drops, since we're in Massachusetts and heading into winter. I've ordered two digital probe thermometers to leave in place, one for his basking area and one for the cool side of the tank - I read that that's a good way to do it. Those should be in tomorrow, so I'll be better able to adjust his temps. Right now, he seems to be thermo-regulating well, moving between zones throughout the day and even gaping in his basking zone.

I'll make sure he gets daily feeders and pick up some of the vitamin supplement as well and then adjust him in a few months when we think he'll be hitting the one year mark. I really appreciate all of the info!
Sounds good ---- the CHE you will need when the temp drops below 65 ambient at nite -- I would place it center of tank on top of your screen - I use a 100 watt on my two tanks and I am in MN so when temps drop outside below zero mine are on then - for the most part unless its really cold days/ nites they are only run at nite and my house is kept at 70 and the tanks stay around that range --
if hes gaping that is good hes adjusting his body temp --
 

Syerra

New member
Original Poster
Sounds good ---- the CHE you will need when the temp drops below 65 ambient at nite -- I would place it center of tank on top of your screen - I use a 100 watt on my two tanks and I am in MN so when temps drop outside below zero mine are on then - for the most part unless its really cold days/ nites they are only run at nite and my house is kept at 70 and the tanks stay around that range --
if hes gaping that is good hes adjusting his body temp --
Our house is over 200 years old (it was built in 1810), so it can get drafty when winter rolls in. I'll be keeping an eye on temps during the day, just in case, but he definitely needs the extra heat at night. Even with our furnace running, the house can get pretty chilly once the sun goes down. Gotta love old houses.

He really is a good boy and despite the stress of all these changes, he seems to be happy and active overall. :)
 
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