My first beardie; say hello to Ruby!

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Hey, everybody. New to the forums and new to bearded dragons. My name is Shane, and my little gal's name is Ruby. Two days ago, I bought my very first beardie. To be honest, the shop in which I got her from employs either a liar or someone who knows nothing about the dragon. I had a deposit put down on the dragon and was told by one guy that it was a "he" and it was just a little under one year old. Upon going back to the store on Thursday, it was the owner who handled the deal and I found out that not only that "he" is actually a "she"... but that she's also two and a half years old. I might not get the longer life span I was hoping for, but I will give her the best home and the best care and make her life worth while.

To be honest, I'm just glad she's out of there and into my care. She will get a lot more attention from myself and I feel like I'll do a way better job of looking after her than her previous "home". She's in a 60 gallon tank, all heating and lighting up to perfect specifications and so far enjoying a diet of pretty much 50% live crickets and 50% greens and fruit. I did a bucket load of research on what she can and can't eat, so no worries on that front. I also give her the odd worm as a treat. She loves them.

Took my a while to come up with the name, was going to go for either Izzy (mother's STRONG suggestion) or Sandy. Eventually, Ruby crossed my mind and I've never looked back since. I shall end here, keeping this post as brief as I possibly can -- to be honest, I could rattle on about her for ages, all I've been thinking/talking about since I got her. Without further ramblings, here's the little woman herself.

This is her yesterday afternoon, out of her vivarium enjoying the company.

This is her on the first day I met her, in the shop a few weeks back.

morphmom Addict
Ruby is a true gem. Congrats and Welcome :mrgreen: We all rattle on, how could you not talk about a new baby? My adopted adult Myah came to me as a Melcolm! :shock: Thanks to this site, 'Dooter' (a lovely member with alot of experience) saw my pics and thought girl. She called it without an under the tail pic! My vet later confirmed this and now I love saying 'my little girl' :D You get a BIG pat on the back from me for taking in an adult when babies are so cute and easy to obtain. We don't get their baby pics and baby mile stones, what we get is the earned respect of an animal that understands good care from poor care. Your dragon is still young and you two should have many happy years together. Cheers to you. :wink:


Hatchling Member
Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy us here. Don't be afraid to ask questions as we are always here to answer them! Welcome Shane and Ruby!



Original Poster
Thanks to all who have replied so far (especially morphmom, your comments were truly appreciated!) and all the feedback. Ruby has settled in nicely, tomorrow will mark her first week in her new home. As far as I can tell, she's loving it so far. I captured some quality pictures over the last week and I shall upload the best of them; more than likely later on this evening. However, I have a few questions that I'd like answered -- research has given me numerous different answers, almost always contradicting each other. So hopefully you guys can give me some answers I've yet to grasp!

~ First off, Ruby's substrate. Anyone who read my opening post will know that the pet store I got Ruby from weren't all that clued in on her OR bearded dragons for that matter. She was housed with two other reptiles (both the same species, can't remember exactly what they were but were longer than ruby and had a "snake" like head) in wood chipping substrate. I was recommended by them to use the wood chippings so I bought two bags and laid them in our own vivarium for Ruby. She has awful trouble catching her crickets in her tank, so I've been feeding her on my bed. She hasn't ingested anything other than her food as of yet, but I've seen where she's she tries to catch a cricket and catches a chipping instead, spitting it out once she notices. The bottom of her vivarium is just plastic. Would I be better off taking the substrate out and just have the bottom of the vivarium bare until I find a more suitable substrate? any recommendations on what to use?

~ In the last couple of days, Ruby's head has turned much lighter in colour. I will post pics later on, as I mentioned. Is this shedding or has it something to do with her climate? I have the correct heating on both sides of the tank and I measure it frequently to make sure it's just right. what could this be?

~ Another thing, is I'm not quite sure how many Morio worms (Superworms) I can feed Rubes a day. She absolutely loves them and I haven't gone above maybe 5-6 so far over the span of the day. I feed her crickets once in the morning, a smaller amount once during the day, then if she'll eat at night, I'll allow her eat as many as she wants. However, she seems much more interested in the superworms than her crickets; which she gets a substantial amount more than the worms. How many is a-okay for her in one day?

Other than that, we seem to be getting on just fine. She's taking a much greater liking to me over the other occupants of the house. She's relatively okay with my mother, but doesn't seem to want to know my step-father o my girlfriend for that matter. Kind of funny. Her vivarium is placed at the end of my bed and is level with the bed's surface and if I open it up (I have double slided glass windows at the front) and call her name, she'll come running toward me and climb up onto my lap. Anytime she hears my opening the box I store her crickets and worms in, she'll run to the glass and start licking her lips. Her interest in veggies has declined a little over the last couple of days, but she's still eating a decent amount.

Very quickly becoming my entire life; but 'tis what I expected! Only been a week here, but at this early stage I'd be lost without her! Little one owns my heart. :laughing6:

morphmom Addict
Ok, any loose bedding is a no go. Lots of options though. Paper towel, shelf liner, tile, repti carpet, etc. I combine paper towel and tile as Myah likes to mess on something soft :lol: (good girl) Beardies get what many call 'happy colours' They turn lighter when they're relaxed. She maybe going through a shed, but my guess is happiness :D I asked the same question about the live food. The round about answer was about 25 correct sized bugs a week. Supers are ok but mix it up with other worms like Butter, Horned, Silk, Pheonix, Repti, etc. Soft bodied worms. 80% Veggies, 20% live food. It's the reverse of a baby's diet. As far as being 'Owned'... Welcome again! :mrgreen: That's why we're all here. Hope I helped a little, post the pics of Ruby's colour change when you get the chance so we can have a better answer. BIG hug to Ruby, she training you well :lol:


Original Poster
Hey, again. Been a while since I've posted, really just enjoying watching Ruby settle in; and oh, how she has! Little girl has the run of the place and it seems she won't have it any other way. She's brightened up nicely since I've brought her home, t'was three weeks ago yesterday she entered her new home. As far as I can tell, she's loving it. Learned a lot about her behaviour in the last couple of weeks. She's a "prima donna" and sulks when she doesn't get her own way. Little missy always finds a way to get what she wants, mind you...

Anyway, as I said, she's settled in a lot faster than I would have expected. She loves coming out of her vivarium for a roam around and would stay at the window sill looking out for hours if I let her. Yesterday I had her out on my bed and she was doing laps, chasing her shadow around. It was so cute. She kept looking at me like "why can't I catch it?" -- was absolutely adorable.

I've since taken out the wood chipping substrate; annoyed at the act that I ever put it in in the first place. It was what she was brought up on, mind you; she was in the same shop since she was a few months old. She seems to enjoy taking strolls around her viv now that it's gone. It was almost like she didn't want to have to step on it. It makes cleaning her poop a lot easier, too.

She's still eating veggies like a horse and nomming up her crickets at meal time. I did not think a beardie of almost two and a half years old could have such a strong appetite! It's reasuring, though. Rubes also had a treat this week; four locusts which she absolutely went NUTS for. I have never... EVER seen her chew so fast. Been misting her twice daily, she seems to really enjoy that. I'm not sure if she's ever haven a bath in her life before I rescued her from that shop and the few times she's been in it, she runs around like mad, splashing. It's the only time I've seen her drink. I can't have a water bowl in her vivarium; the humidity in Ireland is atrocious with all of our rain and I don't want to add to it. I have a hard time keeping it at the right levels as it is! Also, I upgraded her UVB to a ReptiSun 10.0. The guy in the shop mentioned that she wouldn't need as much as that, but I thought it better to be on the safe side.

I'll leave you now with some pictures until my next update; these were taken just a few minutes before posting this, so extremely fresh, as it were. Enjoy and peace out 'til next time.

See how much she's lightened up? Makes me a happy daddy...

"Wait... whuts up there? Up der in da sky?"

I absolutely ADORE the colouring of her beard...

Just like her daddy, she loves to play video games. :laughing6:

"DADDY... stop taking pictures and play the game with me!

morphmom Addict
Ruby! :mrgreen: Tell daddy you wanna play 'just dance' on the game system..! :lol: Aw, She's stunning! Baby might do better in the bath if you put down a non-slip mat. Myah likes a firm grip in the tub. I also put a paper towel over her back so she stays nice and warm and feels safe. You'll have to forgive me for always jumping on this thread. :oops: There is just something about Ruby that draws me in. I love all of the beardies here, and 9 out of 10 of the people here but Ruby, well, I just can't stay away. She comes off as a youthful dragon with an old soul. I just see so much knowledge in her eyes. Truely, you are both very blessed. She looks 100x's happier, Great job Beardie daddy. :D


Original Poster
Very kind words, morphmom and greatly appreciated; by myself and Ruby! I took your advice and laid down a grip in the bath. She seemed to like that a lot compared to not having anything there. She sat on it for at least ten minutes until she started scurrying... then pooped. Had to take her out then but she seemed to enjoy bath-time much more this time around! To be honest, I get the same vibe about Rubes and you're most certainly not wrong; she seems to just love taking in the world. I'm so glad that I stumbled upon Ruby and now manage to provide her a good home. It hurts when I see those little eyes looking up at me, having to think about the two or so years she spent in that pet shop with the two MASSIVE skinks and poor living conditions. Oh well, at least she's safe and happy now! I guess that's what counts. Anyway, thanks again morphmom. It's nice to hear you also think Ruby is, as you said, "a gem". :wink:

Over the past few days, Ruby has shed her entire head and also most of her four legs. There's a pattern running along her mouth that I had yet to see; obviously, this is her first time shedding around me. It's like spotted orange and white the whole way around her chin under her mouth, reaching down to her beard. It's absolutely stunning. Her upper-under body (make sense? Probably not) has also gained an orange tone as have the base of the spikes along her sides. Said it before, but after the shed it's crazy how much she's lightened up. If I thought she was beautiful when I first brought her home, I didn't know what was coming! She is the most adorable little girl.

On a bad note, I was extremely panicky and worries the day before yesterday when I went to our local store to pick up some crickets. Rubes had run out that morning and when I went to pick 'em up, I was a little afraid when they didn't have any in stock. They told me they would have the delivery by the end of the night and to come back in the morning. I did as told and went back the next morning. To no avail, mind you, as the delivery still hadn't arrived. Meanwhile, I got Ruby to polish off TWO bowls of greens yesterday... felt really bad about her lack of protein, so I chopped up a bit of apple and garnished her salad with it as a treat. I think that may be the reason she gobbled it all down, as she seems to LOVE apples. Unfortunately for beardies though, the old saying "an apple a day, keeps the doctors away" does not apply. She'd eat 'em all the time if she could. So, after trying the store again llate afternoon, still no crickets. Hoping for the best, I made the journey again this morning and thankfully they had gotten the delivery in... picked up a box of small locusts as well. Gave her two today as a treat along with her cricks. Wow, did she devour them!

Just a quick update tonight; I'll have pictures posted tomorrow, just have to upload them from my phone and I'm way too tired for that kind of thing right now. Caught some really, really cute pictures of her today, which will all be up probably in the morning. 'Til then, folks; have a good one! :wave:

-- Shane

morphmom Addict
ShaneHanley":3d9wsti8 said:
felt really bad about her lack of protein
LOL! oh my, spoiled little baby! :lol: Many people on this site only give live food everyother day. What ever you're doing is showing in Ruby in a positve way. Can't wait for more pics! :blob5:


Original Poster
Can't seem to get the photos I wanted off my camera yet, so here's some I have spare. Once I get the others up, I'll post them here. In the meantime, Ruby is doing fantastic. Really started to chow dow on her greens and is eating a lot more of them; seem to have gotten the ratio right between that and live food. She came down from basking to the glass looking to get out last night, then ran up my bed and snuggled up to me. Stayed there cuddling, tucked under my arm until it was bed time. :D

Got her some new things for her vivarium; in addition to her rock, log and box trio for her basking spot; I have a new log on her cool side which has a tunnel under it, so if she's feeling adventurous when she's cooling down from basking, she can go explorin'. :lol:

I'll get those other pics up soon, but for now...

Out of her viv, having a ramble; looking bright and orange!

I don't know if you can see it or not, but she looks really youthful in this pic. Taken just before bed time and she looks like she's cheekily grinning at me. My favourite pics yet.



Original Poster
Here are more recent pictures of Ruby! :laughing6:

Big cheeky grin...

Lighting 'aint great for these, but this was straight after I took the first pic...

Looking down on Rubes!

She wanted to show her pretty face...

Classic Ruby... greens on her beard. :eek:
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