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Lighting

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Hi,I'm a newbie to bearded dragons.we recently got one from a pet store.we researched having one for a few days prior.we got a 10 gal started kit.I also purchased a double dome lighting and had to purchase the special UVB light.I also purchased an infrared light for night time heat.now I'm all kinds of lost,researching stuff on google,reading from this website and calling pet store.the person who I talked to at the pet store gave me the vibe like I was being ridiculous in my questions and didn't have the patience to bare w/me.which I don't appreciate.I bought my bearded dragon from there and we made the conscience choice to add to our family.I have 3 kids and 2 cats and whatever the animal,it's for life.all life has meaning and bringing in our lil dragon isn't just to gawk at.I want to make sure we are providing what she needs..we think it's a she,we looked under tail and saw lady lump..
We have the double dome w/basking light and uvb.but I cant get temp higher than 75..if I turn on infrared too..temp gets higher to maybe 82.first 2 nights I had infrared on..temp about 75...it's cold where I'm at..even in our duplex.in fact,snowed this morning.last night I kept infrared off,our temp in house about 64.I turned on all the lights today..basking, uvb and infrared.FIRST time since we got her Friday tank is actually going up to 90.I've read I can just buy a household Hallogen light for basking,thus bringing up temp w/higher wattage.I think one I have now that came w/kit is only 50.I know uvb is very important..but if I have the infrared on as well for the heat..am I messing up the lighting our Zelda girl needs?also the feeding. We have crickets and mealworms..she ate maybe 5 crickets since Friday and will eat the mealworms but not many.I've offered greens,zucchini and cut up a grape.ate one bite of the green.I'm not sure how often she needs to eat.pet store said to just leave pellets of hard food in there all day.also said she doesn't need vitamins and was at store w/o any.I do have the calcium powder.I'm in this for the long haul.we take her out everyday and have her roam the table..she's leaped a few times and last night she nuzzled herself in my hand.so darn cute.in her tank tho..she don't move around much.when free..she'll roam a lil but not much.she just likes chillin on our chest as we cover her up w/our tank top like a blanket.she's pooped sat..sun we gave her warm bath in sink...my dghtr said she pooped in her bath,I was freshening her tank.any info advice is appreciated.the pet store don't seem to be very serious about long term care.I've found this site to be helpful.also I noticed whenever I wear my purple robe,she starts to flare up her lil beard.is the color purple a threatening color?otherwise,w/o my robe she's fine..just chilling,crawls up our hand and finds a nestle spot.or her head will move about w/all the activity around,esp w/the cat.dragon time means cat has to go to laundry rm...I don't wanna scare her w/my purple robe.she's a juvie too.but they didn't tell me exactly how old she is at store.thx
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
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It's unfortunate that the store sold you such a small kit and isn't willing to work with you to provide a proper setup. Unfortunately 10g is too small to even get a correct temperature gradient but either way your dragon will quickly outgrow it. It will be a larger up front investment but cheaper in the long run to build a full size enclosure with proper lighting and let her grow into it rather than making small tweaks and adjustments as she grows. I can help with whichever route you decide to take though.

I'd first replace the tank. You can keep the 10g on hand as it will be helpful for holding crickets or roaches. You'll want an enclosure that is at least 4'x2'x2'. It's most cost effective to build one but if you're unable to do so, you can get them custom built from places like K&M Dragons. This is a popular model to build https://beardies.dreamwidth.org/2145.html.

I would put down a solid substrate such as ceramic tile or non adhesive shelf liner which are the easiest to maintain. You'll want to put in some branches or other "furniture" that will allow for climbing areas as well as hides. As long as you have variety this is mainly up to your imagination and budget. I like to use driftwood pieces because they are soft and flat.

For this size enclosure I would use a T5 UVB fixture which sits about 12-14'' above the basking area. This is the one I use and it is fantastic. http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/22-t-5-ho-fixture-high-output-with-arcadia-d3-12-ho-bulb/

I use a 90w GE PAR38 halogen flood light attached to a lamp dimmer in a dome fixture as a basking light and it works well. There are also reptile specific basking bulbs like the ZooMed Repti Basking Spot light that work well. You may need to try different wattages until you get the proper temperature gradient. You can also hang the fixture from an adjustable lamp stand which allows you to change the height to adjust the temps. I use a combination of both. You'll want to get accurate temperature readings so using a digital thermometer with a probe or an IR temp gun is a good idea. Shoot for about 100-110 on the basking surfaces and about 75-80 on the cool side.

The size of the tank and the lighting are the most important things so I'd begin with that. I know it's a lot of info to take in all at once but it's not so bad once you get it set up and i'm happy to help you walk through the details as you go along.
 

Zelda1Jasmine

Member
Original Poster
Yay..cooper..thx for reply.yeah,all the stuff I got is zoo med stuff,except for uvb light.was another brand.I'm also lost in how to set lighting.the zoo med kit has a mesh screen and I just set the dome lights on top of that.today is first day temp is even in 90s,approaching 100..but infrared light on as well.I just have one thermometer in middle of tank that came w/the kit.guess I need better thermometer. ..idk what the cooler side is.one side has basking light where the other side is infrared.I have put 2 sticks in there,kinda crossed and going up on the side so our Zelda can climb and bask.she has a hut and a cow skull.dghtr picked it,desert right?I'm all for building an enclosure..but I'm not crafty and don't even have a decent screw driver,I have a hammer tho.I'm a hands on person,so seeing other set ups are helpful but I need step by step someone's help.pet store had her in tank smaller than one I got w/one other lil beard in there too.wouldve taken it home too...but,we're newbies.I wanna keep this one w/long healthy life.she's out alot.we had blanket on floor next to our space heater and she just soaked it up.I didn't want her brain to cook,so I kept moving her away,then she scurried.she was on our couch and just crawling about,jumped on blanket pile.she pooped today.does lighting affect their poop too?I've heard people at pet store say how easy they are to take care of..just dust the bugs...keep it warm..there ya go.but in reading and trying to gather more info,it's like..wow.any other tips for feeding?do they need bugs everyday?pet store said every other and just leave pellet food in there.she's the size of my entire hand.from very tip top of finger down to wrist counting her long tail.plus,she changes color,dark in her tank then a light Sandy color when we have her out.thx for responding.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
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Check out the link I posted for a step by step of building your own enclosure. If you can't do it, that's OK, you can order one. I had to order one. I got an exo-terra 36x18x18'' glass tank and I'd get a bigger one if I had to do it over.

For temperature I'd get a couple of these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0017N8W90/ and put one on each end of the tank on the basking surface, or one of these https://www.amazon.com/Nubee-Temperature-Non-contact-Infrared-Thermometer/dp/B00CVHIJDK

The darkening in the tank is because she's basking and trying to absorb heat and light. They turn lighter when they are satisfied and not basking. This is normal.

The little ones need to eat a LOT of bugs. Offer her as many crickets as she wants within about a 10 minute window, 2-3 times per day. Dust the crickets with calcium supplement. Repashy Calcium Plus is a good all in one option that I recommend. You'll likely need to buy them in bulk to keep up with demand in an affordable way which is why I recommended keeping the 10g tank as a cricket keeper. Just fill it with cardboard tubes and order 1000 crickets in bulk online.
 

Zelda1Jasmine

Member
Original Poster
Thx very much cooper dragon. ..all info appreciated.can't help but just fall in love w/our Zelda girl.she explored alot yesterday...had her crawling on top my bed and my comforter a brown and tan w/black stripes and leopard pattern..lol,she blended in and man did she book it.kept trying to jump from my hand when I got her from going to close to edge.never had a reptile pet before.just amazing how dawn of time hasn't changed much.she's definately a learning experience and for such a lil thing,she's got us captivated.thx again.also, does she need lil reptile vitamins?another thing I'm not sure on and I do dust her creepy crawlers w/the calcium.maybe I need to find different bugs.could be tired of crickets?I know mealworms not the best,so a buggin I need to go.thx
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I would pick up some Repashy Calcium Plus. Just dust the crickets lightly and evenly (I just shake them in a cup a few at a time) at every feeding. It's good to offer variety so ordering some silk worms and some black soldier fly larvae to offer in addition is a good idea.
 

Zelda1Jasmine

Member
Original Poster
Ok..lots of good info...thx so much.I think my game plan is definately get better thermometers..change up the lighting.I do have uvb light but for now I have a halogen white light.guess I'm to find a uva light as well.and a variety of bugs.stupid question tho..I get my mail via post office box. .these sites for bugs send packages to the post office?I've had random other packages via ups that delivered to my physical address but last time I ordered something...nightmare in tracking it cuz driver couldn't find my house and got send back.ugh.I rather just pick up from post office.should've done better hw on my behalf so as to be more prepared and have all the proper things needed.I did look up on care and habitat..made couple calls to different stores to see what's available.kinda asked around about maintenance.I'm in this for the long haul.our zelda already apart of our family.then,we're newbies too,just takes plain experience and learn as u go too.thx for helping guys.we'll get there.
 

CooperDragon

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I think you can specify to have packages held at the post office and then a notification sent when it arrives so you can pick it up. Using a halogen flood light is good for basking lighting. I use one and it works well. Nice and bright and it can be dimmed as needed. A good UVB Light will also put out some UVA so I'd invest in a nice T5 tube and fixture. The combination of the two should work very well (and is what I use).
 
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