New "Bearded Dragon" Rescue Day... and the husband :O

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Juvie Member
So... A week ago I answered a craigslist ad. It was a post about a bearded dragon and tarantula that needed a new home. I wasn't going to pay anything for another dragon but sent an email. I explained that I understand they are looking to recoup some of their costs, but if they couldn't find someone to take their beardie I would be interested. I didn't think my husband would mind so much. Well when the woman emailed me and said she'd give them to me free, he was a little perturbed. ANOTHER mouth to feed... And if we wanted to go on vacation the dragon would be too much (three as opposed to two????? I thought???) Okay... So my neighbor was interested. She was out at a BBQ and did NOT want the tarantula. I said I would get the Beardie and find a home for tarantula or take it to the pet store for her. First of all I can't believe they were housed in the same tank... with a divider, they need completely different type habitats...

Well we pick it up. Low and behold. It's not a bearded dragon. It's a Chinese Water Dragon!!!!!

It was on bark... loaded with dead crickets, pinhead crickets--I think they were breeding in the tank as it was just teeming with crickets. I swear I wish I took pictures, I just had to get him OUT of there as quick as possible. He was so lethargic. Well. My husband picked him up and that was it. They chose each other. My husband was like, "We should keep him."

I told my neighbor about it being a water dragon, that he will be anywhere from 24" to 36" and needs a very large enclosure. That he likely needs a vet visit if the fecals don't provide info, heck he probably needs one anyway. She was like OMG.. I think it all sounded overwhelming to her. I explained what needed to be done to his tank and what I was doing and she was like wow... I said we want to keep him and she was like OKAY!!!! hehehe...

He is BROWN not green. Although he has turned more green since we first got him. I ran out and got a UVB light for him as he did not have one and he is a few months old. I am sure he needs to have fecals done, I bet he has parasites. His first poo tomorrow I will do a fecal on him. He did do a tiny pooh in his bath.

So much it took 3 hours to get everything squared away. My dragons are nuts and jealous. I have their views blocked off but they KNOW something is going on. My husband was talking to Gimpy and said, "Remember how you felt so icky when Mommy first brought you home and she took care of you? Well that's what we need to do for this guy." It is so damn cute!

So the dragon and the tarantula were being housed in the same 40 gallon breeder with a divider. I took the tarantula to the pet store and he was happy to take it. Tarantula scared the HECK OUT OF ME.... Yes I am a chicken. I bought the UVB light.

Got home, took the bark out... NASTY... NASTY... All the while we had him in a sterlite container with the UVB over him and a basking light pointed his way. He went from brown to some green. He has a bit of retained shed on his head and under his eye. Once we got all the nasty bark out (I put it in a garbage bag and then in the freezer to kill anything in there then it will go into the trash), my husband rinsed out the tank outside and then brought it in and I used the professional cleaner on it. Dragon still lethargic. Once we got the tank sterilized and dried out we gave him a warm bath. Suddenly there is LIFE! He perked up, got more green and held his head high. My husband dried him off. There were brown goo all over his tail and we put him back in the bath and washed it off again gently. Then he did not want my husband to put him down into his clean tank. He climbed back up my husband's arm. By this time... the husband is really taken with the little guy.

After his bath, we got him in the tank and I got some greens and squash for him. He didn't really look interested in them. I did get some dubia nymphs for him and he voraciously ate them. I was afraid to give him too many, so I gave him 7 that weren't to big. I will see how he does and give him some more tomorrow. He didn't seem to even want to eat the crickets in his bark. I think I'll order some Phoenix worms for my dragons and for him to share.

Before bath:

Untitled by ynevar, on Flickr

Bath Time:

Untitled by ynevar, on Flickr

This is from his tail after the bath... we put him back in and got more grime off him. I will rebathe him tomorrow. I didn't want to stress him out too much with a vigorous scrubbing.

Untitled by ynevar, on Flickr

After bath, he is green!!! WOW!

stanley by ynevar, on Flickr

Hubby loves this lil one already! Who ever would have thought. Hehehe... cute!!!!!!

stanley2 by ynevar, on Flickr

Thanks for listening to my new dragon story... I will share this in the water dragon discussion forum too... but wow... My dragons are wondering what's going on!
I'm always so happy to hear stories like this. Sounds like he might have had to go through a few rough months but I think those months might have been worth it to end up with some folks like yall that really care for thier lizards needs.


Juvie Member
Original Poster
You can check out my "Beardie" Rescue thread in general discussion if you want....

Turned out to be a water dragon (they had no idea what they even had) poor baby...

I hope this lil guy turns out okay.


Juvie Member
Original Poster

Thank you. I know it was the right thing to do and I am so happy we got him/her... Stanley.

Lots to learn for this new baby... but will be worth it.

My beardies were jealous and needed extra love tonight.


Juvie Member
Original Poster
So when we got up this morning Stanley was sleeping soundly. He woke up when we turned the lights on. My husband took him out and held him a bit to warm him up. Stanley hung out on my husband's chest for a bit. He is warming up under a disposable box, I am not putting the wood they gave us into his tank, first of all, it was from the woods, I don't think they treated it and honestly I want to get the fecal done first before I put anything in there.

Gimpy continues to be stressed...

stressed gimpy by ynevar, on Flickr

Gimpy was totally stressed first thing this morning. I took him out and held him and that eased him a bit. Boy... I never thought my baby would be so stressed!!!!!! I have them blocked off so they can't see each other, but he KNOWS that there is another creature there.

Stumpy doesn't care so much...

Untitled by ynevar, on Flickr

I am going to work on shed issues today. Stumpy has what I think is retained shed on his head, and I am going to gently rub some olive oil on it after a bath.

Stanley has that big piece of retained shed on his head which I will do the same. I will also gently rub under his eye, there is a bit of retained shed on there too.

I am about to feed the babies. I really need more dubia nymphs for this guy. I think he is traumatized by the crickets. He wouldn't even chase the dubia that were walking but ate each dubia that I dropped into the green dish that I offered him. I just don't know if he is so weak or what. He is moving a lot more today though.

Thanks for all the great replies.



Sub-Adult Member
Aw, your new rescue is really adorable! I love that after bath picture of his face! I've always been interested in Water Dragons, they're really beautiful!
Thank goodness you came to the rescue! I know the rest of his life is going to be amazing and that he's going to be really loved. Thats so funny how him and your husband just kind of "clicked". I wish my boyfriend would become attached to my beardie like that.. (but then again, I'd probably get jealous if Norbert became TOO attached to someone else. Haha. )

Anyway, congrats on your new baby! And good luck with your learning! Im sure you're going to do great for him!


Gray-bearded Member
ynevar":120cugy2 said:
My husband was talking to Gimpy and said, "Remember how you felt so icky when Mommy first brought you home and she took care of you? Well that's what we need to do for this guy." It is so damn cute!
awww... i want to hug something now. *grabs Mr Dargon*

Chinese Water Dragons need... WATER! they are supposed to have a humid environment. Poor thing!

So glad you came to it's rescue.


Juvie Member
Original Poster
So.... we gave Stanley a bath today, got more gunk off him. Some of the retained shed came off. He passed only urates and a small amount of mucous in the tub. I hope he is not having issues with the tiny dubias we are giving him. He is starving because he ate 10 tiny dubias today after he warmed up after his bath. I think I will give Stanley another bath to see if he goes pooh in a while. I hate to think the dubias impacted him. He passed a small pooh yesterday so I am probably just being paranoid, someone tell me I am being paranoid. I am worried he ate some bark before we got him... oh the worries we have!

Stumpy and Gimpy were going crazy while we were getting the dubias and were a bit miffed that we gave Stanley dubias first. In fact, Gimpy "wrecked his room" moved his paper towel all around and made a mess of things in general LOL... He wanted them first. I made sure he got an extra juicy dubia or two and he was super cute when he finally got them.

Bunnyrut---I know right???? Super cute... I totally loved on Gimpy this morning. He was way stressed and the whole thing is just sweet.

I need to figure out how to keep Stanley's tank more humid. I have a big water container for him... the kind that has the sloping step so he can climb in... I also put a damp cloth on part of the tank screen to increase the humidity. I don't want to do soil until I know what his fecals are...

Hubby is already imagining a big viv for him... It's funny how the expense of a waterfall is "not bad" when it's for his water dragon but my guys.... ha... I think he knows how I felt now when I wanted to get them stuff. That and a fogger and branches and live plants and and and... I LOVE IT!



Gray-bearded Member
One way is to put towels over the top of the tank and mist lots make sure u leave room for air to get in an out though try that and see if it works also paper towel and moss hold it really good to


Juvie Member
Original Poster
Okay... should I panic? I just read somewhere that a new reptile should be in quarantine for at least two months. Separate air space from other reptiles.

I have him in the SAME room as my beardies. I am freaking. I have no other place to put him...

Okay... I am just going to take a breath and hope some others pipe in here. What to do... what to do... I hope all the babies are okay...

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