Just bought 2 bearded dragons - could use some best practices

Ski407

Member
Beardie name(s)
Hamburger and French Fry
I purchased 2 bearded dragons a few weeks ago. Well I bought 1 initially for my youngest son along with the 20g Zoo Med habitat kit. My older son also wanted one so went back the next day and purchased the second. I setup the tank and then found a used 65g tank (18x24x35) that they both are in now. The size is a big difference. The light it came with had a 75W and I changed it to a 100w. This is my current setup but am reading up on more setups and not sure if this is the best for them now. Any suggestions thoughts would help. Thanks!
 

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Longfellow777

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Frey'ja
I seen some instances where housing dragons together works out but in most cases it doesn't I would think about housing them separately. What are you using for uv-b?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Yes please separate them as soon as you can --- dragons do not do well together at all -- one will become dominant over the other one and if they are males they will fight and it does not end well
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hi there,

Welcome to the world of beardies.

Nice looking setup. For best practice, I'd recommend spending some time reading through all the sections on this forum. There is a lot to learn and a lot of information out there if you are willing to look or ask.

I do agree with the above posters though, co-habiting dragons should only rarely be done, and only be experience owners, not owners that are new to the hobby and don't know the signs and symptoms to look out for. Dragons are much happier in their own spaces as they are territorial by nature. They don't benefit from cohabitating, the benefit is usually solely for the owner.

-Brandon
 

Longfellow777

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Frey'ja
Lucky kids! Bearded dragons are amazing, ours are totally part of the family. They cuddle watch tv and get along with all of our animals. They can do just about anything. You had asked about some practices? what is it you want to know friend? diets, supplements,baths, temps day and night? also heres a link to what you want to feed all the time (staple foods) or otherwise. This list is great and accurate.


Uvb is hands down the most improtant thing in the enclosure. The dragon will. not function properly physically without proper uvb. Alot of kinds out there and most dont do the job and sadly enough most pet stores misinform and sell you things you cant use. So what kind do you have at the moment? id say hands down smartest thing we invested in was our own dubia colony. Saved us loads of money and very easy to do. They eat alot 😆. Crickets we do every once and awhile from a reputable source like joshsfrogs or there are many others. Crickets carry parasites and things like that if not took care of well. Most petcos or petsmarts (large pet chains) dont take care well. The dead all at the bottom and nasty its just no bueno. Thats why we started colony we were spending so much on dubia. Well anyway we hope to hear back and the tank looks great by the way alot of stuff for to be active and stimulated.
 
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Ski407

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Hamburger and French Fry
I seen some instances where housing dragons together works out but in most cases it doesn't I would think about housing them separately. What are you using for uv-b?

Currently using the uv-b that came with the original 20g setup but think with the bigger terranium might need to get a longer one. Im still learning as you can see :)
 

Ski407

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Hamburger and French Fry
Yes please separate them as soon as you can --- dragons do not do well together at all -- one will become dominant over the other one and if they are males they will fight and it does not end well

Thanks for the advice, first how can I tell if they are male or female? Secondly, they seem to be liking each other in there as they were both in the same tank at the reptile store when I bought them. I figured a bigger tank would give them the room and separation. One is definitely a bit bigger than the other one so I will monitor them and potentially put the smaller one in the original 20g tank for now.
 

Longfellow777

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Frey'ja
Yeah I would seriously consider the move once they get hormones and things like that they'll become territorial they won't be able to help it. There's a trick with a flashlight you can do you use to sex I'll post the picture below. Without the proper uv-b index they cannot digest the food process calcium they will not have a complete D3 cycle this can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease poor eating discoloration the list goes on and on. I will also post a link of uv-b you will need. You want the uv-b to be the length of at least half to two-thirds of the enclosure it needs to be a fluorescent tube. The small coil bulbs have been proven to not work ? not enough uvb output and they actually cause eye problems. So making that uv-b switch is very important. The link to the site I'm sending you has all kinds of different size fixtures and their package deals so they come with the bulb when you choose the bulb you want to aim for a 12% bulb they are good from 12 to 18 in that's inside of the enclosure If you're putting it over a screen top you definitely want it 12 inches above the Basking area there is also a option for a 14% bulb this can be a good choice if it's going through a screen or if you have a very tall enclosure a 14% bulb is very very strong I run a 12% and I have a 4 by 2 by 2 enclosure but I have mine inside.

I hope we are helping 😁
 

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RangoRocky

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Rango Rocky Balboa
Personally, I wouldn’t leave mines in the 2nd tank long. As they’re growing the space become small inside. To save time and money, if your considering upgrading the tank tbh I would look for a tank that is at least 75 gallons but 120 is best. The bigger they grow the more space they like. Don’t get me wrong I brought my first beardie in Oct and he was in a 20g tank. Not even 2 weeks later I had to upgrade to a 40g. He started hiding and glass surfing. Once we got him the bigger tank he stopped. That is until he started running out of room in the 40g. He was 9in when purchased in Oct and now he is 19in. Last week my husband and I purchased a tv stand from fb marketplace and the dimensions were that of a 120g (48x24x24) but a lil bigger and converted into a tank. If you don’t want to build once I suggest watching fb marketplace, Amazon or wayfair. Dubia.com has the cheapest 120g at $249 but they are currently out of stock. I’m attaching a photo of how he’s grown as well my newest setup. I hope this helps because if someone had told me this it definitely would have saved me some money. If you want to see other pictures I can show you.
 

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Ski407

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Hamburger and French Fry
Yeah I would seriously consider the move once they get hormones and things like that they'll become territorial they won't be able to help it. There's a trick with a flashlight you can do you use to sex I'll post the picture below. Without the proper uv-b index they cannot digest the food process calcium they will not have a complete D3 cycle this can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease poor eating discoloration the list goes on and on. I will also post a link of uv-b you will need. You want the uv-b to be the length of at least half to two-thirds of the enclosure it needs to be a fluorescent tube. The small coil bulbs have been proven to not work ? not enough uvb output and they actually cause eye problems. So making that uv-b switch is very important. The link to the site I'm sending you has all kinds of different size fixtures and their package deals so they come with the bulb when you choose the bulb you want to aim for a 12% bulb they are good from 12 to 18 in that's inside of the enclosure If you're putting it over a screen top you definitely want it 12 inches above the Basking area there is also a option for a 14% bulb this can be a good choice if it's going through a screen or if you have a very tall enclosure a 14% bulb is very very strong I run a 12% and I have a 4 by 2 by 2 enclosure but I have mine inside.

I hope we are helping 😁
Thank you so much for this insight. I will purchase the bulb today and go with a 14% given the size of the tank and it going over the screen. I did notice some dull color on the bigger dragon from the head to tail and I thought it was a shedding pattern.

Just so I understand correctly, towards the top right I have the dual lights (uvb and 100w bulb), I should leave that the way it is and then to the left of the tank have the new UVB? with 14% correct? They are always hanging out on top right under those bulbs probably due to the heat coming down. Should I take the uvb out of the dual housing and add another 75w bulb or is that too much heat?
 

Longfellow777

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Frey'ja
If you decide to go 14% bulb even through a screen I would make sure it's at least 12 in away from the basking Zone those are very strong bulbs in my opinion it's easier to go to 12% and raise your basking decor its easy to raise basking Decor then to lower it. Especially when you have things like hammocks did you can raise it up. It's also very easy to mount a 12% inside of the tank using zip ties or Velcro or shoestring I mean whatever you can. If you go 14% make sure the decor is not any closer than 12 in and make sure you have plenty of spots where they can get away from it. You need to keep that coil bulb in no matter what until you get the other one and I would make sure they can get like 6 to 8 in. of it. That may have a lot to do actually with them wanting to hang out so close to the light they're trying to get sufficient uv-b. What are your temps how are you measuring then? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you got analog stick on thermostat those are not accurate friends on here I ran tests and they're usually about ten degrees off. you need ir gun or they make digital probes like this ZOO MED Digital Combo Reptile Terrarium Thermometer Humidity Gauge - Chewy.com
You may be able to find it elsewhere for different prices but something like this is what you need a probe at the end of The Wire this one happens to have a humidity gauge to. As far as where you put the uv-b you want it next to the basking so when they sit under their basking spot to getting both UVA and UVB the idea is to give them less and less uv-b as they get to their cool side this is what they call the shade to light method
 

Ski407

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Hamburger and French Fry
If you decide to go 14% bulb even through a screen I would make sure it's at least 12 in away from the basking Zone those are very strong bulbs in my opinion it's easier to go to 12% and raise your basking decor its easy to raise basking Decor then to lower it. Especially when you have things like hammocks did you can raise it up. It's also very easy to mount a 12% inside of the tank using zip ties or Velcro or shoestring I mean whatever you can. If you go 14% make sure the decor is not any closer than 12 in and make sure you have plenty of spots where they can get away from it. You need to keep that coil bulb in no matter what until you get the other one and I would make sure they can get like 6 to 8 in. of it. That may have a lot to do actually with them wanting to hang out so close to the light they're trying to get sufficient uv-b. What are your temps how are you measuring then? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you got analog stick on thermostat those are not accurate friends on here I ran tests and they're usually about ten degrees off. you need ir gun or they make digital probes like this ZOO MED Digital Combo Reptile Terrarium Thermometer Humidity Gauge - Chewy.com
You may be able to find it elsewhere for different prices but something like this is what you need a probe at the end of The Wire this one happens to have a humidity gauge to. As far as where you put the uv-b you want it next to the basking so when they sit under their basking spot to getting both UVA and UVB the idea is to give them less and less uv-b as they get to their cool side this is what they call the shade to light method
Thank you again! I think I am going to go with 12% (14" inches) and make sure I take the left hammock down (I marked 12 inches from the top and have about another 6 inches from the top of there little rock thing. I also have a heating pad underneath that little area to the bottom left that came with the kit. with the 12% UVB should I still keep the heating pad underneath? That stays on all the time while I turn off the top right light off at night and back on in the morning. Wow who knew so much science goes into this lol

In regard to therm, I have a stick on that I put in the middle of the tank. currently it shows 75 degrees (green bar) and 70 degrees (blue bar). I shot an IR gun on the top of the wire and it hits 117 degrees above the ceramic portion.
 

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Ski407

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Hamburger and French Fry
Personally, I wouldn’t leave mines in the 2nd tank long. As they’re growing the space become small inside. To save time and money, if your considering upgrading the tank tbh I would look for a tank that is at least 75 gallons but 120 is best. The bigger they grow the more space they like. Don’t get me wrong I brought my first beardie in Oct and he was in a 20g tank. Not even 2 weeks later I had to upgrade to a 40g. He started hiding and glass surfing. Once we got him the bigger tank he stopped. That is until he started running out of room in the 40g. He was 9in when purchased in Oct and now he is 19in. Last week my husband and I purchased a tv stand from fb marketplace and the dimensions were that of a 120g (48x24x24) but a lil bigger and converted into a tank. If you don’t want to build once I suggest watching fb marketplace, Amazon or wayfair. Dubia.com has the cheapest 120g at $249 but they are currently out of stock. I’m attaching a photo of how he’s grown as well my newest setup. I hope this helps because if someone had told me this it definitely would have saved me some money. If you want to see other pictures I can show you.
Wow what a cool setup! I think I will definitely be making some changes on the tank based on my research and what I have seen. I have sand in there now and think I am going to take it out and put tile like you have. My current tank is 18x24x35(65 gallon), I will look into the 120 gallon. Since I have 2 beardies, do you recommend having 2 120gallon tanks? one for each and separate them? My current one is High 35", maybe I need to think more about longer length vs height?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Wow what a cool setup! I think I will definitely be making some changes on the tank based on my research and what I have seen. I have sand in there now and think I am going to take it out and put tile like you have. My current tank is 18x24x35(65 gallon), I will look into the 120 gallon. Since I have 2 beardies, do you recommend having 2 120gallon tanks? one for each and separate them? My current one is High 35", maybe I need to think more about longer length vs height?
Yes make sure the tile is a textured slated ceramic nothing to coarse to cause abrasions and nothing to smooth for slippage + it needs to be cut w/ a tile cutter so you don't get jagged edges- I have mine in there laid loosely so it can be pulled for good cleaning - I use a thick shop paper towel under it to catch the water urate -
 

Longfellow777

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Frey'ja
All that in regards to uv-b sounds great when it comes to the temperatures do not rely on that stick on use the IR gun get some probes and you can cuz if nothing else they helped just know the ambient temperatures the IR gun you can use to do floor temperatures like how hot the floor is the dragon will be laying on for babies they like 105 to 110 directly under basking light once they get older they start liking it more like 95 to 100 I keep my enclosure 95 to 102 I know right the science behind it LOL there is a lot more to it than I realized Karrie above has helped me alot in the beginning of our journey. As far heat pads don't know of many people that use heat pads there's just no need for them and if nightime temperatures below 65 at night you can look into getting a DP projector or ceramic heat emitter
 

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