Mario's Super World

Taking inspiration from other members, I figured this forum would be a good place to catalogue the life of Mario!

Obligatory picture of cuteness
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Background
Mario is my daughter's dragon. She has been wanting one since Christmas, but I did NOT feel comfortable about keeping a creature in a box for our entertainment. My wife and I agreed that if she could prove herself responsible from the new year until her 10th birthday, we would get her a beardie with the understanding that she would be the one feeding it, bathing it, and cleaning out its enclosure. In the meantime I would do the research to talk her out of getting a reptile.

How valuable research is! We discovered this amazing community of helpful folks that eventually changed my mind about these awesome creatures. The images of sad, sick lizards in tiny boxes that I remembered my friends having in school were quickly replaced by amazing tales of companionship among beardies and their servants (the humans!)

It turns out my daughter was serious about getting a BD. She cleaned her room without asking, did chores without complaining, and helped her younger siblings, all with a smile on her face. About a month ago I started the real research of husbandry and laid out the roadwork for our new family member.

Mario's 1st Friend
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Mario's 2nd Friend
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So we got him! Knowing that this was quite a lot to take on, my wife and I budgeted all the supplies over 4 pay periods. We slowly built a collection of roaches, building supplies, lights and fixtures, and other accouterment. It has all been worth it, as you can see!

Exploring His New Home
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He's starting to settle in nicely and doesn't seem the least bit phased about the chaos in our house. He lives on top of a bookcase in a highly traveled area, basking right near the window so he can keep an eye on us!

Keeping an Eye on His Subjects
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Mario has eaten twice. Yesterday afternoon, about 18 hours after bringing him home, he gobbled 12 Dubia roaches in about 1 minute! He went very dark, scrambled onto his rock, and basked there until the lights went out. In the morning he was in the exact same place! :lol:

Collard Greens, Squash, and Cucumber
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This morning my daughter started his regular routine. Again, he scarfed down 12 roaches in about a minute before climbing onto the hammock and eyeing the food bowl. After 5 minutes or so of this he decided he was full and scampered over to his basking spot.

Mario's "Murder Pit"
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Post-Feeding Posing
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That's all for now! My daughter will try bathing him tomorrow, and while he is out and about we're going to weigh him again. Let's see what the math looks like...6 grams + ~50 roaches = :?:
 

SHBailey

Gray-bearded Member
It looks like you have a nice enclosure set up for him too.

BTW, what kind of a thermometer do you have? Those kind that stick on the wall are usually inaccurate. Hard to tell from the photos if that's what you have in there.
 

MariosDad

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Wow! It's been a while!

Mario is getting HUGE! He is 13 inches and 122 grams.
The most he's eaten so far is 435 bugs in 1 week, about 62 bugs a day! :shock:
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Roach breeding is going well, but the 1/2 inch bugs are elusive! We ended up getting a 3rd container so we can get the tiny babies out of the big bin and grow them in a different one.
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He's also big enough now to roam around the living room under CLOSE supervision. And, his first set of wings almost fits!
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Also, dubiaroaches.com is still (IMO) the best place to order bugs from. Mario eats dubias, BSFL, and mealworms for treats. I've never had a problem with them, and their Instagram is hilarious and transparent when it comes to their business practices. Can't recommend enough. :headbang:

Hope everyone else is doing well!
-Ian
 

SHBailey

Gray-bearded Member
Sounds like Mario is doing a good job eating and growing. :blob5:

..And it also sounds like you are doing a good job raising your own roaches. We played around with the idea of doing that but decided against it -- not sure how it would have worked with a breeding colony and one beardie, so we're still buying our roaches at the pet store, as well as crickets and the occasional hornworm splurge. They don't always have everything, but they usually have something that he'll eat. :)
 

SHBailey

Gray-bearded Member
probably larger than the one he grew up in, huh?

That's a nice salad too. Does he eat it? It's hard to get our beardie to eat any greens at all unless we hand feed them to him, and even then he's not too enthusiastic about it. :roll: Lately he seems to prefer crickets and squash. You're lucky if yours eats greens like they're supposed to. :)
 

MariosDad

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
SHBailey":3rpz8mzf said:
probably larger than the one he grew up in, huh?

That's a nice salad too. Does he eat it? It's hard to get our beardie to eat any greens at all unless we hand feed them to him, and even then he's not too enthusiastic about it. :roll: Lately he seems to prefer crickets and squash. You're lucky if yours eats greens like they're supposed to. :)

Yeah, we're really lucky. He's been munching greens since he was about 6 months old! :D
The first tank I built was 48 gallons, this one is 120. Big upgrade!
 

SHBailey

Gray-bearded Member
That's about the same size as the one we have for Puff. He was at least almost fully grown when we got him, so we started out with the big one -- a ready made aquarium. Took two guys to haul it in here.

I don't know much about how he was raised for the first year of his life, but from his condition when he came to the rescue, as they told me, it wasn't too good, but at least they kept him alive.

I hear that if you don't start them with veggies when they're young, they don't always take to them when they're older. So you did a good job with Mario. :D
 

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