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Roberts926

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Good evening, my name is Robert. I have recently purchased my second bearded dragon. My first one passed away right before Christmas 2021. His name was Zeus and he lived to be 12 years old. Samson is my new beardie and he is approximately 8 months old. I never had any issues with Zeus, however I probably didn’t provide the best home for him due to lack of knowledge. I am trying to do my best with Samson. I have done a ton of research but would like any and all feedback that you all can give me. Samson is in a 135 gallon enclosure. I originally had half reptile carpet and half sand. I was using a red heat lamp 24 hours a day in the basking area (it kept it at about 80 degrees F) along with a canopy coil UVA/UVB light and then a household LED bulb just for light on the cool side. This is all different than how I raised Zeus however it’s what the reptile store recommended. After about a week or two of having Samson, he developed an eye issue which prompted further research. I read that the eye issue could be from sand, or poor UVA/UVB lighting. This research led to a lot of changes…no more sand and different bulbs. I now have full reptile carpet, a 250W incandescent heat lamp on a dimmer for basking which keeps it at about 110 degrees F that is on 14 hours a day (about 12 inches above basking area), a 22” Reptisun T5 HO 5.0 (will buy 10.0 in 6 months) mounted inside the tank (about 10 inches above basking area), and still the LED bulb for light on the cool side which stays at about 75-80 degrees F. His eye is still bothering him. It was getting crusted shut however I bought Terramycin a few days ago and have been putting a warm compress on his eye every morning and terramycin 2-3 times daily for the last 3 days. It’s not getting crusted any longer, however I can tell it’s still bothering him as it’s very wet and sticky and he frequently closes it. He also has some black lines on his belly which I would guess are stress lines. His diet is combination of meal worms and dubias dusted with calcium. He pays no attention to veggies. I let him soak for 15 minutes or so every other day. I’ll post pictures of his eye (hard to tell there’s anything wrong from the image), his belly, and his enclosure. Any feedback you can give regarding anything, but especially his eye and stress marks would be greatly appreciated. If there are any other questions, please ask but I tried to be as thorough as possible. Thank you so much.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Good evening, my name is Robert. I have recently purchased my second bearded dragon. My first one passed away right before Christmas 2021. His name was Zeus and he lived to be 12 years old. Samson is my new beardie and he is approximately 8 months old. I never had any issues with Zeus, however I probably didn’t provide the best home for him due to lack of knowledge. I am trying to do my best with Samson. I have done a ton of research but would like any and all feedback that you all can give me. Samson is in a 135 gallon enclosure. I originally had half reptile carpet and half sand. I was using a red heat lamp 24 hours a day in the basking area (it kept it at about 80 degrees F) along with a canopy coil UVA/UVB light and then a household LED bulb just for light on the cool side. This is all different than how I raised Zeus however it’s what the reptile store recommended. After about a week or two of having Samson, he developed an eye issue which prompted further research. I read that the eye issue could be from sand, or poor UVA/UVB lighting. This research led to a lot of changes…no more sand and different bulbs. I now have full reptile carpet, a 250W incandescent heat lamp on a dimmer for basking which keeps it at about 110 degrees F that is on 14 hours a day (about 12 inches above basking area), a 22” Reptisun T5 HO 5.0 (will buy 10.0 in 6 months) mounted inside the tank (about 10 inches above basking area), and still the LED bulb for light on the cool side which stays at about 75-80 degrees F. His eye is still bothering him. It was getting crusted shut however I bought Terramycin a few days ago and have been putting a warm compress on his eye every morning and terramycin 2-3 times daily for the last 3 days. It’s not getting crusted any longer, however I can tell it’s still bothering him as it’s very wet and sticky and he frequently closes it. He also has some black lines on his belly which I would guess are stress lines. His diet is combination of meal worms and dubias dusted with calcium. He pays no attention to veggies. I let him soak for 15 minutes or so every other day. I’ll post pictures of his eye (hard to tell there’s anything wrong from the image), his belly, and his enclosure. Any feedback you can give regarding anything, but especially his eye and stress marks would be greatly appreciated. If there are any other questions, please ask but I tried to be as thorough as possible. Thank you so much.
Please get the the 10.0 bulb ASAP- stress marks are relocation - distance for the 5.0 is good when you get the 10.0 it will need to be 12-15 inches- directly above the basking decor--he's 8 months I would get your basking temps down to 95-100 and those are basking surface temps - please lay off the bathing he doesn't need that many baths it dries the skin out- what insects are you feeding?
 

Roberts926

Member
Original Poster
Please get the the 10.0 bulb ASAP- stress marks are relocation - distance for the 5.0 is good when you get the 10.0 it will need to be 12-15 inches- directly above the basking decor--he's 8 months I would get your basking temps down to 95-100 and those are basking surface temps - please lay off the bathing he doesn't need that many baths it dries the skin out- what insects are you feeding?
Thank you for your prompt reply. I do plan on getting the 10.0, I’m just not sure how soon I can. It will be my next purchase. I figured the stress marks were probably relocation; how long can I expect them to be present? I’ve had him for about 3 weeks now, however it has probably been a stressful 3 weeks for him since I’ve had to reconfigure everything. I’ll work on getting basking temps to the range you stated however I don’t have a laser to get surface temps but his basking area is a hammock so being that it’s not a solid material, I would think that the surface temp would be very close to the ambient temp. I have the probe tied under the hammock in one of the open spaces so it is getting an exact reading of where he basks. I was only bathing as often as I was because I thought he may be dehydrated since he isn’t eating veggies so I was hoping he’d drink bath water. But I’ll back off to about twice a week for baths. I primarily feed him meal worms but only while I let my Dubia colony build up. I mainly used dubias for my previous beardie and had good success so I wanted to do the same for Samson but I need to establish a thriving colony first. He hasn’t been eating a whole lot though. He didn’t eat hardly anything yesterday and today he ate probably 8 meal worms. Any advice for his eye?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Thank you for your prompt reply. I do plan on getting the 10.0, I’m just not sure how soon I can. It will be my next purchase. I figured the stress marks were probably relocation; how long can I expect them to be present? I’ve had him for about 3 weeks now, however it has probably been a stressful 3 weeks for him since I’ve had to reconfigure everything. I’ll work on getting basking temps to the range you stated however I don’t have a laser to get surface temps but his basking area is a hammock so being that it’s not a solid material, I would think that the surface temp would be very close to the ambient temp. I have the probe tied under the hammock in one of the open spaces so it is getting an exact reading of where he basks. I was only bathing as often as I was because I thought he may be dehydrated since he isn’t eating veggies so I was hoping he’d drink bath water. But I’ll back off to about twice a week for baths. I primarily feed him meal worms but only while I let my Dubia colony build up. I mainly used dubias for my previous beardie and had good success so I wanted to do the same for Samson but I need to establish a thriving colony first. He hasn’t been eating a whole lot though. He didn’t eat hardly anything yesterday and today he ate probably 8 meal worms. Any advice for his eye?
Yes get rid of the coil basking light -- you want a solid clear bright white bulb like a Exo Terra Intense basking bulb or a Zoo Med Repti basking bulb- those are examples but the coil your using is a good cause for the eye irritation - you cant use a IR gun on the hammock it wont read the probe your using is the best one to use for all surface basking temps -- suggestions please get him some more decor for climbing on check out Petsmart they have great decor for dragons - and its easy to clean too -- I would also in vest in another digital probe thermometer one for your cool side -- IR guns are nice to have but to spot check temps - your probes are the best for accuracy -- it may take a while for him to adjust and meal worms are not a good staple feeder -- please get him some BSFL or get some dubias to feed him - its going to take a year or longer to get your colony going crickets are a option silk worms as well
websites to shop
www.symtonbsf.com order large and he will eat alot of these they are a good staple feeder you will need a bowl like this to keep them in
https://www.amazon.com/MACGOAL-Rept...uGQB&pd_rd_wg=tLkwE&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_d
www.dubiaroaches.com great roaches nice horn worms they also have nutrigrubs which are the BSFL super worms
www.reptilianarts.com silk worms they come in a cup w/ food or bulk 50 you need to order food
feed your salad first thing in the morning w/ the BSFL hand feed him some of those and then drop them in the bowl in front of him do not dust them use them as lures as well as the horn worms they are a good hydrating worm they usually grow really fast but I have gotten 2 orders and they did not grow they were teeny tiny things dont know what was going on there -- but dubia was notified and they are aware of the issue you can feed as many as want of the BSFL / nutri grubs but please get him on a regular staple feeder --
 

Roberts926

Member
Original Poster
Yes get rid of the coil basking light -- you want a solid clear bright white bulb like a Exo Terra Intense basking bulb or a Zoo Med Repti basking bulb- those are examples but the coil your using is a good cause for the eye irritation - you cant use a IR gun on the hammock it wont read the probe your using is the best one to use for all surface basking temps -- suggestions please get him some more decor for climbing on check out Petsmart they have great decor for dragons - and its easy to clean too -- I would also in vest in another digital probe thermometer one for your cool side -- IR guns are nice to have but to spot check temps - your probes are the best for accuracy -- it may take a while for him to adjust and meal worms are not a good staple feeder -- please get him some BSFL or get some dubias to feed him - its going to take a year or longer to get your colony going crickets are a option silk worms as well
websites to shop
www.symtonbsf.com order large and he will eat alot of these they are a good staple feeder you will need a bowl like this to keep them in
https://www.amazon.com/MACGOAL-Rept...uGQB&pd_rd_wg=tLkwE&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_d
www.dubiaroaches.com great roaches nice horn worms they also have nutrigrubs which are the BSFL super worms
www.reptilianarts.com silk worms they come in a cup w/ food or bulk 50 you need to order food
feed your salad first thing in the morning w/ the BSFL hand feed him some of those and then drop them in the bowl in front of him do not dust them use them as lures as well as the horn worms they are a good hydrating worm they usually grow really fast but I have gotten 2 orders and they did not grow they were teeny tiny things dont know what was going on there -- but dubia was notified and they are aware of the issue you can feed as many as want of the BSFL / nutri grubs but please get him on a regular staple feeder --
I just ordered 500 BSFL from the site you recommended. Today I fed him the small dubias I have and I’ll hang on to the large dubias to build by colony. I appreciate all of your help. His eye is looking better but I am still applying the terramycin.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I just ordered 500 BSFL from the site you recommended. Today I fed him the small dubias I have and I’ll hang on to the large dubias to build by colony. I appreciate all of your help. His eye is looking better but I am still applying the terramycin.
Ok keep me posted when the lighting is situated- you want a solid clear bright white basking bulb
 

Roberts926

Member
Original Poster
Ok keep me posted when the lighting is situated- you want a solid clear bright white basking bulb
I have a solid clear General Electric incandescent 250w heat bulb for basking that seems to be doing well. Before purchasing that, I was using the same thing but 125W and it was only getting my basking surface temp to 80 degrees F. The 250w keeps surface temps around 100 most times. It has hit 105-110 but typically closer to 100. I think the only light I need to change is upgrading from the Reptisun 5.0 to the 10.0.

Also, how many BSFL is an adequate amount for the 8 month old? I thought I was feeding him good but then I read other posts where some are eating 50+ crickets for example and then I feel like I am under feeding. I have been giving mine approx 8-10 meals worms and 4-6 medium dubias…but please advise on an adequate amount for when I receive the BSFL.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
I have a solid clear General Electric incandescent 250w heat bulb for basking that seems to be doing well. Before purchasing that, I was using the same thing but 125W and it was only getting my basking surface temp to 80 degrees F. The 250w keeps surface temps around 100 most times. It has hit 105-110 but typically closer to 100. I think the only light I need to change is upgrading from the Reptisun 5.0 to the 10.0.

Also, how many BSFL is an adequate amount for the 8 month old? I thought I was feeding him good but then I read other posts where some are eating 50+ crickets for example and then I feel like I am under feeding. I have been giving mine approx 8-10 meals worms and 4-6 medium dubias…but please advise on an adequate amount for when I receive the BSFL.
Are you getting those temps w/ a digital probe thermometer-? You want surface basking temps-- I never fed bsfl as a staple I mainly fed dubias for the staple and the bsfl were a compliment to his diet and that was as a baby--- I would keep offering them to him and for a 8 month old I am guessing 100 - I would get large dubias now those will fill him up so it's possible he won't eat that many+ and I would also offer super worms and horn worms too
 

Roberts926

Member
Original Poster
Are you getting those temps w/ a digital probe thermometer-? You want surface basking temps-- I never fed bsfl as a staple I mainly fed dubias for the staple and the bsfl were a compliment to his diet and that was as a baby--- I would keep offering them to him and for a 8 month old I am guessing 100 - I would get large dubias now those will fill him up so it's possible he won't eat that many+ and I would also offer super worms and horn worms too
Yes, those temps are measured with a digital probe. And large dubias aren’t too big? I have full size adult ones that are over an inch long and fat. I have previously heard that you should not feed them anything bigger than the distance between their eyes or it could cause digestion issues…is this not true? And really? 100 larvae?! That seems like so many but I’ll give it a shot. I must really be under feeding.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Yes, those temps are measured with a digital probe. And large dubias aren’t too big? I have full size adult ones that are over an inch long and fat. I have previously heard that you should not feed them anything bigger than the distance between their eyes or it could cause digestion issues…is this not true? And really? 100 larvae?! That seems like so many but I’ll give it a shot. I must really be under feeding.
Ok post a pic of the dubia next to his head and yes it's true you are not supposed to feed any insect bigger than the space between his eyes length wise- if the insect is too big don't feed- I am guessing the 100 but we can ask about those
@CooperDragon
@AHBD
 

Roberts926

Member
Original Poster
Ok post a pic of the dubia next to his head and yes it's true you are not supposed to feed any insect bigger than the space between his eyes length wise- if the insect is too big don't feed- I am guessing the 100 but we can ask about those
@CooperDragon
@AHBD
Thanks so much for your help and to the others that you tagged. I just really want to provide him with the best possible home especially because even though my last one lived to be 12 years old, I feel like I did a very bad job with him. I will post a picture of the large dubias by his head tomorrow AM.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Wow, that's a beautiful big palace for Samson, it's obvious that you are taking great care of him ! His diet sounds good, just be careful that the dubia
are not too large like Karrie said. He looks good, don't worry about the little stress marks, that's normal for a lot of dragons. If his eye keeps bothering him you can use a bit of unpasteurized honey mixed with a tiny bit of lukewarm water, it helped my beardie that had an eye problem. It's a natural antibacterial/antibiotic.
 

Roberts926

Member
Original Poster
Wow, that's a beautiful big palace for Samson, it's obvious that you are taking great care of him ! His diet sounds good, just be careful that the dubia
are not too large like Karrie said. He looks good, don't worry about the little stress marks, that's normal for a lot of dragons. If his eye keeps bothering him you can use a bit of unpasteurized honey mixed with a tiny bit of lukewarm water, it helped my beardie that had an eye problem. It's a natural antibacterial/antibiotic.
@AHBD thank you so much. I am trying my best, as I previously stated I feel like I didn’t raise Zeus (my 12 year old BD) properly. It’s going on a week of using the terramycin and as I said it looks to be helping however if it’s still bothering him come Friday, I will switch over to the honey and see if that changes anything.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I think that sounds like a good plan, keeping up with the terramycin for a bit and switching to honey if it doesn't help. As far as roaches go, you can feed the big ones to an adult dragon since they're able to chomp them down pretty easily. Smaller and medium sizes might be easier for a smaller dragon to chew up. You can save the larger ones for later or to keep a colony going.
You've made some really good improvements and I think you will see positive results soon (and especially in the long run). I'm surprised a 250w incandescent is only hitting 110 at 12''. Those are pretty powerful, but I'm sure they vary between manufacturers. Go with what your basking site probe is telling you. If you find that the bulb is being dimmed a lot to reach those temps, you might try a 125w version and see how that goes. If it is staying nice and bright, keep it as-is.
I think that when you are able to move to the 10.0 bulb (or you can use an Arcadia 12% - it will fit the same T5 fixture as long as it's the same length as your current bulb) it will be the last major improvement needed for a while. Keep up the great work!
 

Roberts926

Member
Original Poster
I think that sounds like a good plan, keeping up with the terramycin for a bit and switching to honey if it doesn't help. As far as roaches go, you can feed the big ones to an adult dragon since they're able to chomp them down pretty easily. Smaller and medium sizes might be easier for a smaller dragon to chew up. You can save the larger ones for later or to keep a colony going.
You've made some really good improvements and I think you will see positive results soon (and especially in the long run). I'm surprised a 250w incandescent is only hitting 110 at 12''. Those are pretty powerful, but I'm sure they vary between manufacturers. Go with what your basking site probe is telling you. If you find that the bulb is being dimmed a lot to reach those temps, you might try a 125w version and see how that goes. If it is staying nice and bright, keep it as-is.
I think that when you are able to move to the 10.0 bulb (or you can use an Arcadia 12% - it will fit the same T5 fixture as long as it's the same length as your current bulb) it will be the last major improvement needed for a while. Keep up the great work!
@CooperDragon I appreciate your positive feedback. I was and am extremely perplexed by the 250W bulb as well. When I was researching using household bulbs versus “reptile branded bulbs” alot of people said they were using 65W. I started with that and it didn’t warm hardly at all. Then I switched to the 125W and it’s only got it to 80 or so. Thats what I bought the 250W…it’s not even dimmed at all currently and sitting at 102. It makes no sense because I don’t keep my house cold; usually at about 70 degrees. I can’t explain it, buts it’s working well. I will get that new UVB as soon as I can.

One question on feeding…do you think around 100 BSFL per day is a pretty accurate estimation? I just want to be sure he is getting enough to eat.
 
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