My confusing Journey

parkbear

New member
Hello everyone.

We had to put down our cat of 18 years and my son needed a pet to distract him from the loss. We purchased our baby dragon on Oct7th with no clue on what to do and one excited 7 year old boy and 13 year old girl as we took home our new dragon who was a baby. We purchased a 40 gallon tank and purchased everything they recommended. we made a lot of mistakes because the family wanted it now and not wait for dad to over research what to do. from the time the dragon was taken home it never ate. at first we were told it was just stressed from the move and wait. we started with carpet, then changed substrate to these chips. the lighting was all wrong. on day 2, we were told to put 35 crickets in the cage which didn't work. every day it got worse and worse. we tried purchasing the T5 light but it arrived not working. this lizard was not very active the entire time. we gave it a bath and it was a little active for about 5 minutes last week. On monday it started seaking out the cold parts of the tank and ended up in the water bowl and died there.

I am pretty sure it was sick from the store and moving it stressed it past the point of no return. I am sure we didn't help it with our decisions based on the vet and lack of knowledge. in the end it never ate and drank little to nothing.

so now I have a very upset family wanting to go buy another one. I am now going to do research on what we did wrong before I purchase another one.

I am going to throw out the substrate and clean out the cage. since I don't know why it died, I am going to figure this out because I don't think the kids can handle another loss. Not sure what to do and very worried I will screw it up and kill another one.

hoping to get info and prepare because my family needs a victory. I have attached a picture of the cage as it is now. new reptisun T5 with 10.0 bulb is on order. I have a digital therm to monitor temps. we keep house cold so I am going to purchase a ceramic heating to keep warm at night.

any advice is welcome to help prepare for changing the tank setup, buying another, how to choose it, how to determine a sick one at the store and learn from what I did wrong. I am very uneasy and not very confident that I can keep it alive.
 

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Groggyfroggie

Hatchling Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Draco
Hi, I'm sorry you lost your last beardie :( It's never easy dealing with that. I just wanna offer a little unsolicited advice that it might be a great opportunity for the kids to learn how to properly care for a pet too, the responsibility doesn't solely fall on you, with enough research and team effort you can do it! No need to stress yourself out.

This site is super helpful, you can start from the care sheets under the 'Home' tab, other tabs like 'Resources' are great too.

First of all, you may want to look into a reputable breeder instead of a chain pet store- at least NOT the one you purchased your last one from, NOT the people who gave you these horrible advice. You want to learn about the differences between caring for a male and a female too. I'd say refrain from any breeder/store that tries to sell you beardies under a month old, or barely a month old.

Then when they first arrived home, there’s relocation stress, and it’s normal for them not wanting to eat in the first couple days. Which is why we need to make sure temperature, uvb lighting, substrate, the type of food, humidity, hydration, all of these basic needs are met. You can find detailed guides on each topic under the resources section.

The uvb bulb you ordered is great, when it arrives experienced owners on this forum can help you set it up correctly. You’re also gonna need PROBE thermometers because they’re essential to help you adjust the temperature in the tank. Regarding your current set up, I’d throw out the substrate and use a non-loose one, like shelf liners, tiles, paper towels etc. Baby beardies are especially prone to impaction caused by ingesting loose substrate. I’d take the water bowl out too, looks too deep for a baby. You can put a super shallow one in there or just not at all.

Also make sure you have food ready BEFORE your beardie’s home! Absolutely DO NOT LEAVE CRICKETS IN THEIR ENCLOSURE. They will bite and your beardie will get injured. Either monitor each cricket you put in there make sure all are eaten, or have your beardie eat in a separate bowl/bin, only put him back in the tank after eating. Other feeders are generally fine tho. Personally I recommend dubia roaches over crickets. Dubias are easier to keep, more filling, less smelly, also carry less parasites. They won’t bite your beardie. Black soldier fly larvae and silkworms are also great staple feeders.

Babies diet consists of 80% insects and 20% veggies. Collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, endive/escarole, squash (sliced), kale, etc. are all great veggies for them. Avoid foods like spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard cuz they’re high in oxalates. You want a calcium rich diet. There’s a food chart you can refer to but I don’t have the link rn, will link later :D

Last but not least you also need supplements! One calcium supplement and one multivitamin supplement. Dust the insects with calcium before feeding 5-6 time a week. Dust with multivitamin 2-3 times a week for a baby. That’s all I can think about off the top of my head, I’m sure you’ll have other helpful replies soon. If you have any questions feel free to ask! Can never be too prepared 😄
 
Last edited:

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 3
Hello everyone.

We had to put down our cat of 18 years and my son needed a pet to distract him from the loss. We purchased our baby dragon on Oct7th with no clue on what to do and one excited 7 year old boy and 13 year old girl as we took home our new dragon who was a baby. We purchased a 40 gallon tank and purchased everything they recommended. we made a lot of mistakes because the family wanted it now and not wait for dad to over research what to do. from the time the dragon was taken home it never ate. at first we were told it was just stressed from the move and wait. we started with carpet, then changed substrate to these chips. the lighting was all wrong. on day 2, we were told to put 35 crickets in the cage which didn't work. every day it got worse and worse. we tried purchasing the T5 light but it arrived not working. this lizard was not very active the entire time. we gave it a bath and it was a little active for about 5 minutes last week. On monday it started seaking out the cold parts of the tank and ended up in the water bowl and died there.

I am pretty sure it was sick from the store and moving it stressed it past the point of no return. I am sure we didn't help it with our decisions based on the vet and lack of knowledge. in the end it never ate and drank little to nothing.

so now I have a very upset family wanting to go buy another one. I am now going to do research on what we did wrong before I purchase another one.

I am going to throw out the substrate and clean out the cage. since I don't know why it died, I am going to figure this out because I don't think the kids can handle another loss. Not sure what to do and very worried I will screw it up and kill another one.

hoping to get info and prepare because my family needs a victory. I have attached a picture of the cage as it is now. new reptisun T5 with 10.0 bulb is on order. I have a digital therm to monitor temps. we keep house cold so I am going to purchase a ceramic heating to keep warm at night.

any advice is welcome to help prepare for changing the tank setup, buying another, how to choose it, how to determine a sick one at the store and learn from what I did wrong. I am very uneasy and not very confident that I can keep it alive.
Please get rid of the loose substrate -- babies eat everything and lick everything- we dont want him impacted -- you can get some NON adhesive shelf liner cut to the size of the tank - insects cannot get underneath it -- clean w/ vinegar/ water 50/50 then use a clean wet cloth to wipe out the smell from the vinegar - please show me a pic of the screen on your tank -- this is going to determine placement and distance for the UVB --- make sure your using two digital probe thermometers in the tank for actual surface basking temps- you want the other one on the cool side of the tank - for a healthy dragon you need the good UVB you have and correct temps in the tank --
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
It's a very sad and traumatic thing your family has gone through, I'm sorry you experienced that. That being said you CAN do it. That baby was very likely sick when you got it, it wasn't your fault. Healthy beardies are really hardy little scrappers. Work with Karrieree on your lighting and feeding, she is phenomenal at it, Groggyfroggie gave great advice also. Once you get your habitat set up correctly things just kind of fall in place. Their care is not all that hard but it is EXTREMELY specific.
Don't be discouraged, they are very much worth the effort. And like Groggy said maybe get your next one from a breeder, they will be able to tell you the gentics, morphs, ect. You will know way more about your new beardie and the quality will be way better of the pet you get.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Hi there, I'm so sorry that your family had to deal with these very sad + traumatic events. :( The baby dragon was no doubt sick to begin with. You set up a beautiful tank for the little one but it's good that you threw out the substrate. Be sure to sterilize the cage decor. You can either bake it all in a preheated oven at 250F for an hour or wash + it in very hot soapy water with a bit of bleach in it, then rinse + let dry. Wash the tank out very good as well. I agree with getting a baby from a breeder, you can usually find decent sized, healthy ones from this very reputable breeder and they JUST posted new ones for sale today. These will go fast and this breeder has one of the best reputations, being in business for 25 or 30 years.

 

parkbear

New member
Original Poster
Hi there, I'm so sorry that your family had to deal with these very sad + traumatic events. :( The baby dragon was no doubt sick to begin with. You set up a beautiful tank for the little one but it's good that you threw out the substrate. Be sure to sterilize the cage decor. You can either bake it all in a preheated oven at 250F for an hour or wash + it in very hot soapy water with a bit of bleach in it, then rinse + let dry. Wash the tank out very good as well. I agree with getting a baby from a breeder, you can usually find decent sized, healthy ones from this very reputable breeder and they JUST posted new ones for sale today. These will go fast and this breeder has one of the best reputations, being in business for 25 or 30 years.

Thanks for the link. I am working on the tank and getting environment setup and buying what I need.
 

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