Hi! Meet Tiger

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adequatelyssa

New member
Beardie name(s)
tiger (tigree)
Hi!! So I just recently got a bearded dragon! His name is Tiger, but my cousins are calling him tigree and i kind of love it. But! he has been previously owned and he was given to me by one of my cousins, im very unsure of a lot of things, and i really want him to be comfortable with me, and i want to be comfortable with him. im unsure how to get over my nervousness on handling him, and bathing him, and to make him a lot less stressed. im still getting him a lot of things, i just got him a 75 gallon tank, and learned 10 minutes ago that walnut substrate or bedding is really not good for them. does anyone have any tips? or anything that could help or just over all be good to know? im planning on getting him something so hes closer to his basking light than he is now. thank you!!!
 

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smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
You came to the right place! Welcome, and glad you found your way here. I'll give you a rundown of everything I wish I had been told when I got my guy.

First off, lighting. Lighting is arguably the most important thing. You want a long tube UVB light, no coils. ZooMed and Arcadia both make excellent fixtures and bulbs, and are pretty much the only brands recommended on here. T5 is best with either a 10.0 Reptisun (ZooMed brand) or 12% Arcadia bulb. Placement will depend on if it is going on top of a screen or not, and if so whether it is a fine mesh like a window screen or has wider holes. UVB is how they synthesize vitamin d3 which allows them to absorb calcium, so getting it right is very important. With insufficient UVB and calcium absorption, they will get something called metabolic bone disease, which causes deformed and weak bones. Extremely painful for them and can be deadly. For the heating, a clear bright white basking bulb is best. No colored bulbs at all, and none that have any kind of coating usually marketed as "daylight" or something similar because they have a neodymium coating that is harmful to beardies' eyes. Temperature is the important thing here, not necessarily the wattage of the bulb. It will be a little trial and error to find the right wattage bulb to get the temps you want. Those temps should be 105-110 F for babies and 95-105 F for adults on the basking surface, best taken with a digital probe type thermometer. Place the probe on the basking spot and wait 10 minutes for it to get up to temperature. Basking is how they digest their food. They are cold blooded and need to warm themselves up to get their metabolism going and their digestion moving. Ambient temperatures on the warmer side should be in the 90s, cooler side should be 80s, and at night the whole tank should be about 65-75. If temps are dropping below 65 at night, use a ceramic heat emitter or deep heat projector since neither of those produce visible light, only heat. Lastly for lighting, a timer makes life so much easier. They should get 10-14 hours of light a day. Some people change it with the seasons and set it longer in the summer and shorter in the winter, some just keep it constant year round. Really up to you.

Now substrate. I would recommend against any loose substrate while babies, especially if you feed in the enclosure. They are not as good with aiming at that age, so they are bound to pick up some of the substrate by accident. That coupled with their digestive tract being much smaller than an adult means the risk of impaction is much more and not worth it in my opinion. Reptile carpet is alright, but it's a pain to keep clean since it does harbor bacteria and pretty much has to be washed every time he poops. There is also a small chance of getting a nail caught in it. Textured nonadhesive shelf liner or slate tile is really good and can be cleaned with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Once he's older, if you wanted to switch to a loose substrate so he can dig, a play sand and topsoil mix works. Petco also sells an Australian desert sand that comes from their native habitat and is really good, but it is a little expensive. Calcium sand is not good for two major reasons. First, it is essentially powdered Tums, so if they do eat it it will lower the acidity of their stomachs and cause poor digestion. It also has a tendency to clump together when it gets wet, meaning large clumps can form in the digestive tract and cause impaction.

Diet: As babies, they need a lot of protein and fat to grow, so more bugs than greens. Should be 70%-80% bugs and 20%-30% greens. As they get to be about a year old and growth slows down, this shifts to 50/50. At about 18 months old when they are fully grown, it flips to 20%-30% bugs to 70%-80% greens. Generally speaking, salads should be offered everyday always. Babies should get bugs 3 times a day, as many as they will eat in 15 minutes each time. 12-18 months when it is 50/50, bugs once a day. Adults over 18 months, bugs 2-3 times a week. Bugs should never be bigger than the space between the dragon's eyes. I'll post a link to another topic on here where someone put together a really good infographic for how to build a salad and what bugs and veggies are safe.

Now for some fun information! They have a third eye on top of their head that sees light and shadow. They use this to tell the time of day and to watch out for predators coming from above. They have four color cones in their eyes vs us humans that have three, meaning they can see more colors than we can! It actually allows them to see UV light. They love to climb, and some of them really like to jump too. Because of their eye placement, their depth perception isn't great and they sometimes misjudge these leaps. They are all unique and develop their own personalities and quirky behaviors. They recognize their owner's voice and touch and will respond to it.

I know that was a lot of info and it can be overwhelming, but once you get the lighting set and a good feeding schedule going, it's a lot easier than it seems. I also realize that you didn't mention an age and I can't really tell from the pics, so some of the info may not even apply to you. As far as nervousness handling him, that just takes a little time and you might have to "fake it til you make it" for a bit. If you project confidence, it will make him more comfortable, which should help you to actually feel more confident. You can get him used to you by hand feeding him, putting your hand in his cage and just leave it there for about 5 or 10 minutes at a time, or put a piece of clothing or blanket or something with your smell inside his tank. By the way, he looks pretty happy and stress free in those pictures so I wouldn't be too worried.

 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hi!! So I just recently got a bearded dragon! His name is Tiger, but my cousins are calling him tigree and i kind of love it. But! he has been previously owned and he was given to me by one of my cousins, im very unsure of a lot of things, and i really want him to be comfortable with me, and i want to be comfortable with him. im unsure how to get over my nervousness on handling him, and bathing him, and to make him a lot less stressed. im still getting him a lot of things, i just got him a 75 gallon tank, and learned 10 minutes ago that walnut substrate or bedding is really not good for them. does anyone have any tips? or anything that could help or just over all be good to know? im planning on getting him something so hes closer to his basking light than he is now. thank you!!!
Good advice from Smaug --- please get rid of the walnut shells as soon as you can --------- they are toxic to the dragon --- if you need help w/ your UVB please ask -- distance and placement is key here - I can help you get it set up
 

adequatelyssa

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
tiger (tigree)
You came to the right place! Welcome, and glad you found your way here. I'll give you a rundown of everything I wish I had been told when I got my guy.

First off, lighting. Lighting is arguably the most important thing. You want a long tube UVB light, no coils. ZooMed and Arcadia both make excellent fixtures and bulbs, and are pretty much the only brands recommended on here. T5 is best with either a 10.0 Reptisun (ZooMed brand) or 12% Arcadia bulb. Placement will depend on if it is going on top of a screen or not, and if so whether it is a fine mesh like a window screen or has wider holes. UVB is how they synthesize vitamin d3 which allows them to absorb calcium, so getting it right is very important. With insufficient UVB and calcium absorption, they will get something called metabolic bone disease, which causes deformed and weak bones. Extremely painful for them and can be deadly. For the heating, a clear bright white basking bulb is best. No colored bulbs at all, and none that have any kind of coating usually marketed as "daylight" or something similar because they have a neodymium coating that is harmful to beardies' eyes. Temperature is the important thing here, not necessarily the wattage of the bulb. It will be a little trial and error to find the right wattage bulb to get the temps you want. Those temps should be 105-110 F for babies and 95-105 F for adults on the basking surface, best taken with a digital probe type thermometer. Place the probe on the basking spot and wait 10 minutes for it to get up to temperature. Basking is how they digest their food. They are cold blooded and need to warm themselves up to get their metabolism going and their digestion moving. Ambient temperatures on the warmer side should be in the 90s, cooler side should be 80s, and at night the whole tank should be about 65-75. If temps are dropping below 65 at night, use a ceramic heat emitter or deep heat projector since neither of those produce visible light, only heat. Lastly for lighting, a timer makes life so much easier. They should get 10-14 hours of light a day. Some people change it with the seasons and set it longer in the summer and shorter in the winter, some just keep it constant year round. Really up to you.

Now substrate. I would recommend against any loose substrate while babies, especially if you feed in the enclosure. They are not as good with aiming at that age, so they are bound to pick up some of the substrate by accident. That coupled with their digestive tract being much smaller than an adult means the risk of impaction is much more and not worth it in my opinion. Reptile carpet is alright, but it's a pain to keep clean since it does harbor bacteria and pretty much has to be washed every time he poops. There is also a small chance of getting a nail caught in it. Textured nonadhesive shelf liner or slate tile is really good and can be cleaned with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Once he's older, if you wanted to switch to a loose substrate so he can dig, a play sand and topsoil mix works. Petco also sells an Australian desert sand that comes from their native habitat and is really good, but it is a little expensive. Calcium sand is not good for two major reasons. First, it is essentially powdered Tums, so if they do eat it it will lower the acidity of their stomachs and cause poor digestion. It also has a tendency to clump together when it gets wet, meaning large clumps can form in the digestive tract and cause impaction.

Diet: As babies, they need a lot of protein and fat to grow, so more bugs than greens. Should be 70%-80% bugs and 20%-30% greens. As they get to be about a year old and growth slows down, this shifts to 50/50. At about 18 months old when they are fully grown, it flips to 20%-30% bugs to 70%-80% greens. Generally speaking, salads should be offered everyday always. Babies should get bugs 3 times a day, as many as they will eat in 15 minutes each time. 12-18 months when it is 50/50, bugs once a day. Adults over 18 months, bugs 2-3 times a week. Bugs should never be bigger than the space between the dragon's eyes. I'll post a link to another topic on here where someone put together a really good infographic for how to build a salad and what bugs and veggies are safe.

Now for some fun information! They have a third eye on top of their head that sees light and shadow. They use this to tell the time of day and to watch out for predators coming from above. They have four color cones in their eyes vs us humans that have three, meaning they can see more colors than we can! It actually allows them to see UV light. They love to climb, and some of them really like to jump too. Because of their eye placement, their depth perception isn't great and they sometimes misjudge these leaps. They are all unique and develop their own personalities and quirky behaviors. They recognize their owner's voice and touch and will respond to it.

I know that was a lot of info and it can be overwhelming, but once you get the lighting set and a good feeding schedule going, it's a lot easier than it seems. I also realize that you didn't mention an age and I can't really tell from the pics, so some of the info may not even apply to you. As far as nervousness handling him, that just takes a little time and you might have to "fake it til you make it" for a bit. If you project confidence, it will make him more comfortable, which should help you to actually feel more confident. You can get him used to you by hand feeding him, putting your hand in his cage and just leave it there for about 5 or 10 minutes at a time, or put a piece of clothing or blanket or something with your smell inside his tank. By the way, he looks pretty happy and stress free in those pictures so I wouldn't be too worried.

Thank you so so much!!! definitely learning more and more every day!! and the lighting information was insanely helpful!!! thank you thank you!
 

adequatelyssa

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
tiger (tigree)
Good advice from Smaug --- please get rid of the walnut shells as soon as you can --------- they are toxic to the dragon --- if you need help w/ your UVB please ask -- distance and placement is key here - I can help you get it set up
yes!! thank you so much!!! i will be watching more videos and looking more on this sight to get the right lighting and lighting!!
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
yes!! thank you so much!!! i will be watching more videos and looking more on this sight to get the right lighting and lighting!!
Please post for help w/ your UVB they have certain placement and distance - it will depend on the screen
 
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