New Bearded Dragon Unhappy and General Care Assistance

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CaspertheFriendlyDragon

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Casper
Hello!

I recently adopted a juvenile bearded dragon. His hatch date was 9/24/2021 and we received him on 3/30/2022.

Overview:
When he first arrived at our home, he did not seem to be unhappy at all and was eating veggies for me. His left leg shed and sluffed off super easily, but not long after his right leg turned white. He was also doing some eye bulging and face scratching. His right leg has been white for about a week and his head has not shed and does not look like it is going to shed. He no longer wants to eat his vegetables but will sometimes catch his bugs. I alternate d3 and regular calcium throughout the week (1 dusting per day) and he gets Herpivite on weekends. I also give him a daily soak with a shed aid added everyday right now to help, but I bought a spray on shed aid that I will try later today since the soak isnt working.

His temps were not getting quite where I needed them to be, so over the last week I have been adjusting stuff in his tank. I bought him a new hide and changed the halogen bulb over to a regular bulb, as his basking spot was too hot and his air temps were not hot enough. Now that I have made the adjustments, his temps are almost where I want them, but he is extremely upset. He basks most of the day (but on his favorite tree spot, not on the actual hide that I bought him to bask on). He stank eyes/watches me when I am in the room, which is often because he is by my desk and I work from home. He also does quite a bit of glass surfing/zooming around periodically. He black beards/flairs his beard at me whenever I open his tank, but he will let me pick him up. When I get him out of his tank and spend time with him, he will eventually lighten up. He is also mostly light bearded when he is just hanging out in there, minus some minor stress marks.

I'm just not sure what I am doing wrong. His care seems well enough and I've done a TON of research over the last year and a half. His lighting and temps are good from my understanding. He almost always has a fresh salad/greens available in his tank, and I keep an escape proof dish with BSFL in there for him (although I usually have to deliver the bowl to his face for him to eat them, and they seem mostly undigested in his poo). He has a water dish in his tank that I saw him drink from the first few days he was here (but havent seen him drink from it since, although I dont think he is dehydrated).

Temps: 93F warm side, 85 middle, 80 cool side, 100-130F basking surfaces (still getting a little too warm at the highest point, will likely add a dimmer to the basking light soon) 20% humidity, light timer 8AM-8PM
Salads: Squash, collard greens, dandilion greens, sweet peppers, zuccini, yellow sqaush, carrots, ocassional blueberry that he wont eat (breeder did not feed fruit)
Bugs: Crickets (mainly), Superworms, BSFL
Poops daily, mostly normal looking

Things that I think 'might' be the reason for the bad mood:
I have caught cats looking in his tank to watch him, but he doesn't black beard at them. Just kinda gets zoomy and runs around at the doors.
I made a lot of changes and I need to leave his decor alone (which I plan to now that its correct, unless I add a new driftwood peice)
I'm bothering him too much (i'm definitely being a helicopter parent)
He is having trouble shedding
He is still getting use to his new home and just needs time
He wants me to let him out to run

Questions:
Is he going to be okay on the days that he doesn't want to eat for me? Is this going to cause calcium deficiency?
Is it normal for shed to take so long to come off?
Are my temps/tank setup correctly?
Is it normal for him to scratch at the walls of his tank/glass surf?
Is there a substrate that would be better? I do not want reptile carpet because it harbors bacteria, but people have told me to use non stick shelf liner or 50/50 topsoil and playsand.
Is there anything you would recommend I change with his care/routine?

I have linked photos of him and his tank!

Tank (there are 3 digital thermometers and the probe, they just aren't visibile in the pic. UVB slightily angeled towards basking areas):
278113871-303688005075098-6563422618218564316-n
Him up against the door:
His shedding leg:
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hello!

I recently adopted a juvenile bearded dragon. His hatch date was 9/24/2021 and we received him on 3/30/2022.

Overview:
When he first arrived at our home, he did not seem to be unhappy at all and was eating veggies for me. His left leg shed and sluffed off super easily, but not long after his right leg turned white. He was also doing some eye bulging and face scratching. His right leg has been white for about a week and his head has not shed and does not look like it is going to shed. He no longer wants to eat his vegetables but will sometimes catch his bugs. I alternate d3 and regular calcium throughout the week (1 dusting per day) and he gets Herpivite on weekends. I also give him a daily soak with a shed aid added everyday right now to help, but I bought a spray on shed aid that I will try later today since the soak isnt working.

His temps were not getting quite where I needed them to be, so over the last week I have been adjusting stuff in his tank. I bought him a new hide and changed the halogen bulb over to a regular bulb, as his basking spot was too hot and his air temps were not hot enough. Now that I have made the adjustments, his temps are almost where I want them, but he is extremely upset. He basks most of the day (but on his favorite tree spot, not on the actual hide that I bought him to bask on). He stank eyes/watches me when I am in the room, which is often because he is by my desk and I work from home. He also does quite a bit of glass surfing/zooming around periodically. He black beards/flairs his beard at me whenever I open his tank, but he will let me pick him up. When I get him out of his tank and spend time with him, he will eventually lighten up. He is also mostly light bearded when he is just hanging out in there, minus some minor stress marks.

I'm just not sure what I am doing wrong. His care seems well enough and I've done a TON of research over the last year and a half. His lighting and temps are good from my understanding. He almost always has a fresh salad/greens available in his tank, and I keep an escape proof dish with BSFL in there for him (although I usually have to deliver the bowl to his face for him to eat them, and they seem mostly undigested in his poo). He has a water dish in his tank that I saw him drink from the first few days he was here (but havent seen him drink from it since, although I dont think he is dehydrated).

Temps: 93F warm side, 85 middle, 80 cool side, 100-130F basking surfaces (still getting a little too warm at the highest point, will likely add a dimmer to the basking light soon) 20% humidity, light timer 8AM-8PM
Salads: Squash, collard greens, dandilion greens, sweet peppers, zuccini, yellow sqaush, carrots, ocassional blueberry that he wont eat (breeder did not feed fruit)
Bugs: Crickets (mainly), Superworms, BSFL
Poops daily, mostly normal looking

Things that I think 'might' be the reason for the bad mood:
I have caught cats looking in his tank to watch him, but he doesn't black beard at them. Just kinda gets zoomy and runs around at the doors.
I made a lot of changes and I need to leave his decor alone (which I plan to now that its correct, unless I add a new driftwood peice)
I'm bothering him too much (i'm definitely being a helicopter parent)
He is having trouble shedding
He is still getting use to his new home and just needs time
He wants me to let him out to run

Questions:
Is he going to be okay on the days that he doesn't want to eat for me? Is this going to cause calcium deficiency?
Is it normal for shed to take so long to come off?
Are my temps/tank setup correctly?
Is it normal for him to scratch at the walls of his tank/glass surf?
Is there a substrate that would be better? I do not want reptile carpet because it harbors bacteria, but people have told me to use non stick shelf liner or 50/50 topsoil and playsand.
Is there anything you would recommend I change with his care/routine?

I have linked photos of him and his tank!

Tank (there are 3 digital thermometers and the probe, they just aren't visibile in the pic. UVB slightily angeled towards basking areas):
278113871-303688005075098-6563422618218564316-n
Him up against the door:
His shedding leg:
Hes got a nice set up -- I would however turn your UVB so its facing downward please -- 12-15 inches directly above his basking decor piece -- hes going to go thru relocation stress so hes eating is going to be off till he acclimates to his tank -- as long as hes eating hes good its when they stop completely eating then there is problem -- yes shed will can take some time let it do its thing -- when he becomes dry and crackly take and mist him then take a baby soft toothbrush and gently brush him to get the loose stuff off NEVER pick or pull and please tell you children that it can damage the scales / and or make them bleed causing infection -- temps in the tank should should be cool side 80's during the day -- middle of your tank 90's and surface basking temps 105-110 - 130 is way too hot -- I would feed the superworms every couple of days on his salads 1-3 - take your BSFL and drop on his salads so it lures him to the bowl -- those are good for hand taming as well -
I would keep the cats away they will stress him out -- please do not let him out he is too little and you can lose him in a heartbeat -- let him get used to his tank and surroundings - you can hold in him in the tank for like 5 min at a time so he gets used to you -- place a fleece blanket or some sort of clothing in his hide so he gets used to your smell --
As far as diet please dust his main insect w/ calcium D3 5 x per week ONCE per feeding lightly coated along w/ vitamins w/ beta carotene 2 x per week ONCE per feeding lightly coated - the UVB is a Arcadia pro T 5 ? That is a very good UVB --
Substrate I would use only the textured NON adhesive shelf liner for now - the topsoil stuff is loose and he may decide to eat it so for now keep to something non loose - when he gets older then if you want to use it do so then - hes a baby and you dont want him eating anything hes not supposed to -- I hope I answered all your questions if I didnt repost them --
 

CaspertheFriendlyDragon

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Casper
Hes got a nice set up -- I would however turn your UVB so its facing downward please -- 12-15 inches directly above his basking decor piece -- hes going to go thru relocation stress so hes eating is going to be off till he acclimates to his tank -- as long as hes eating hes good its when they stop completely eating then there is problem -- yes shed will can take some time let it do its thing -- when he becomes dry and crackly take and mist him then take a baby soft toothbrush and gently brush him to get the loose stuff off NEVER pick or pull and please tell you children that it can damage the scales / and or make them bleed causing infection -- temps in the tank should should be cool side 80's during the day -- middle of your tank 90's and surface basking temps 105-110 - 130 is way too hot -- I would feed the superworms every couple of days on his salads 1-3 - take your BSFL and drop on his salads so it lures him to the bowl -- those are good for hand taming as well -
I would keep the cats away they will stress him out -- please do not let him out he is too little and you can lose him in a heartbeat -- let him get used to his tank and surroundings - you can hold in him in the tank for like 5 min at a time so he gets used to you -- place a fleece blanket or some sort of clothing in his hide so he gets used to your smell --
As far as diet please dust his main insect w/ calcium D3 5 x per week ONCE per feeding lightly coated along w/ vitamins w/ beta carotene 2 x per week ONCE per feeding lightly coated - the UVB is a Arcadia pro T 5 ? That is a very good UVB --
Substrate I would use only the textured NON adhesive shelf liner for now - the topsoil stuff is loose and he may decide to eat it so for now keep to something non loose - when he gets older then if you want to use it do so then - hes a baby and you dont want him eating anything hes not supposed to -- I hope I answered all your questions if I didnt repost them --
He finally shed his leg and he seemed like he was happier for a little while but he is still mad.

I did angle the UVB down, hopefully since it has a reflective hood the UVB rays are still reaching his different basking spots? That was why I had it angled, but you are right. It could end up blinding him a little.

Because the Arcadia UVB is a +D3 I swap between calcium and calcium d3 every other day, and I do the mutivitamin on Saturday and Sunday.

He actually seems to be pretty happy when he is out with me at night. He will cuddle up with me and he relaxes quite a bit. I'm not sure what in his tank is causing him to be stressed.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
He finally shed his leg and he seemed like he was happier for a little while but he is still mad.

I did angle the UVB down, hopefully since it has a reflective hood the UVB rays are still reaching his different basking spots? That was why I had it angled, but you are right. It could end up blinding him a little.

Because the Arcadia UVB is a +D3 I swap between calcium and calcium d3 every other day, and I do the mutivitamin on Saturday and Sunday.

He actually seems to be pretty happy when he is out with me at night. He will cuddle up with me and he relaxes quite a bit. I'm not sure what in his tank is causing him to be stressed.
Relocation stress - he needs to get used to his tank and surroundings- he will be that way till he's used to it- please give him his insects dusted w/ the calcium d 3 every day till he's a yr old then the ratio w/ the d3 and regular calcium needs to be given - we recommend not getting them out till they are older and adjusted to the tank--
 
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