New Beardie Owner Here - Have Questions :)

Shotty.Sub

Member
Beardie name(s)
Fiona
Hi!

New bearded dragon owner here! We adopted a 14 month old Beardie. They were sexed as male at a young age, but we think they might be female. Taking to the vet to confirm. Wanted to share my tank setup and routine and see if I should tweak anything. One or two questions about substrate as well if you have any thoughts.

1654968381602.jpg


Vet Visit
-About 16 inches long, 16oz in weight
-Vet didn’t call out any health issues, though I wish they had of been more thorough in their check ups
-Did a fecal test, no parasites

Tank
-120 Gallon Tank

Lighting
-Lights are on 8am to 8pm
-Two “T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB, 24 Inch, 17 Watt” Bulbs. No Screen.
-150 Watt Heat Lamp Bulb

Temperature (Fahrenheit) & Humidity
-Varies slightly, but usually 100-106 on the basking spot and 78-81 on the far cool side of the tank.Using a IR thermometer, but also keep a general stick on that is around 80-85 most days.
-Humidity stays around 35% though at night it sometimes goes up to 42%.

Hygiene
-Bathing once every 1-2 weeks. Several times a week when shedding with a light toothbrush.
-Spot cleaning poop. Planning to gently wipe down everything every few weeks once we finish a new substrate.

Substrate
-Previous owner used a bioactive tank set up. They did their research, but I want to switch to something without particles that is easy to clean so I can keep it sanitary and worry less about impaction.

Diet
-4-6 crickets, 6x a week. Collards every day. Blueberries and hornworms as treats.
-Calcium 4x a week, Calcium with D3 2x a week, Multivitamin 1x a week
-Feeding crickets in large separate container for exercise and sanitation.
-Previous owner was feeding gut load super worms, collards, and occasional blue berries.
-Poops have a tinge of green (eating lots of collards) , been a bit wet with a tad bit of slime, but have been firm with white/ting of yellow urates. Urate is mostly soft, one small hard piece, but try reducing calcium. They’ve been drinking well and eating well. I looked online at “healthy” bearded dragon poop pics and it looks pretty similar.

Enrichment
-Stays in my office where I work remotely, so lots to watch.
-Let him sit in the window mid day
-Let him run around the office a bit if he seems like he’s glass surfing a lot
-After lights beardie snuggles

Questions
-Recommend any specific cleaning products? How long do they need to be out of the tank after a wipe down?
-I really need help with substrate. Want to get this bioactive dirt out of here. Looking into tiling the base with my dad, but worried about toxic substances? Also looking at shelf liner with some tiles placed in the tank, but again worried about putting in VOC plastic. Want to avoid reptile carpet because I don’t like that it’s spongy and could soak up poop bacteria. Any recommendations for safe shelf liner or tile grouts?
-We made a custom lid for the enclosure (the old one was busted) and painted the wood frame. Letting it off gas for 1-2 weeks. Is that long enough?
-How much should I dust food with supplements? Not sure what’s too little or too much?
-Do I need to give D3 with my setup? Finding mixed answers online.
 

Beardie_dad

Member
Beardie name(s)
Dagnus
They're so pretty!!
-With cleaning products, it kind of depends on the substrate, but with the walls and furniture, I usually wipe it down with a Clorox wipe or use dishwasher soap and let it dry. Oh, and a mini vacuum is helpful, too!
-Depends on what supplements, if it's calcium then a pinch once a week should be enough, if it's multivitamins then a pinch once every other week should be good. (At least that's what I do).
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
Hi!

New bearded dragon owner here! We adopted a 14 month old Beardie. They were sexed as male at a young age, but we think they might be female. Taking to the vet to confirm. Wanted to share my tank setup and routine and see if I should tweak anything. One or two questions about substrate as well if you have any thoughts.

View attachment 71032

Vet Visit
-About 16 inches long, 16oz in weight
-Vet didn’t call out any health issues, though I wish they had of been more thorough in their check ups
-Did a fecal test, no parasites

Tank
-120 Gallon Tank

Lighting
-Lights are on 8am to 8pm
-Two “T8 ReptiSun 10.0 UVB, 24 Inch, 17 Watt” Bulbs. No Screen.
-150 Watt Heat Lamp Bulb

Temperature (Fahrenheit) & Humidity
-Varies slightly, but usually 100-106 on the basking spot and 78-81 on the far cool side of the tank.Using a IR thermometer, but also keep a general stick on that is around 80-85 most days.
-Humidity stays around 35% though at night it sometimes goes up to 42%.

Hygiene
-Bathing once every 1-2 weeks. Several times a week when shedding with a light toothbrush.
-Spot cleaning poop. Planning to gently wipe down everything every few weeks once we finish a new substrate.

Substrate
-Previous owner used a bioactive tank set up. They did their research, but I want to switch to something without particles that is easy to clean so I can keep it sanitary and worry less about impaction.

Diet
-4-6 crickets, 6x a week. Collards every day. Blueberries and hornworms as treats.
-Calcium 4x a week, Calcium with D3 2x a week, Multivitamin 1x a week
-Feeding crickets in large separate container for exercise and sanitation.
-Previous owner was feeding gut load super worms, collards, and occasional blue berries.
-Poops have a tinge of green (eating lots of collards) , been a bit wet with a tad bit of slime, but have been firm with white/ting of yellow urates. Urate is mostly soft, one small hard piece, but try reducing calcium. They’ve been drinking well and eating well. I looked online at “healthy” bearded dragon poop pics and it looks pretty similar.

Enrichment
-Stays in my office where I work remotely, so lots to watch.
-Let him sit in the window mid day
-Let him run around the office a bit if he seems like he’s glass surfing a lot
-After lights beardie snuggles

Questions
-Recommend any specific cleaning products? How long do they need to be out of the tank after a wipe down?
-I really need help with substrate. Want to get this bioactive dirt out of here. Looking into tiling the base with my dad, but worried about toxic substances? Also looking at shelf liner with some tiles placed in the tank, but again worried about putting in VOC plastic. Want to avoid reptile carpet because I don’t like that it’s spongy and could soak up poop bacteria. Any recommendations for safe shelf liner or tile grouts?
-We made a custom lid for the enclosure (the old one was busted) and painted the wood frame. Letting it off gas for 1-2 weeks. Is that long enough?
-How much should I dust food with supplements? Not sure what’s too little or too much?
-Do I need to give D3 with my setup? Finding mixed answers online.
I would get down to one UVB a 24" fixture or 36" w/a 10.0 T 5 bulb-- I use a 24" in my tank two tanks - works fine-- the T 8's are not strong enough for a 24" height - they should be directly above the basking decor 6-8 inches - a T 5 would need to be 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor
also I recommend getting 2 digital probe thermometers they are the most accurate and IR guns will not read off of certain materials- ex hammocks --
As far as substrate I am using tile in both of mine - its a slated ceramic tile w/ some texture to it - you can use both textured NON adhesive shelf liner and a combo of pieces of tile to keep the nails down - I would not grout or seal it --cut it w/ a tile saw - that prevents jagged edges -- and not sealing makes it easier for pulling it if you haft to for deeper cleaning - on that subject vinegar/ water 50/50 makes it for a good clean up and the smell dissipates fast -- I use a thick shop paper towel from Walmart under my tiles - it catches the watery urate and easy to replace for clean up if you haft to -- if you go w/ tile then you want to run your hand over the pieces your looking at you dont want too coarse to cause abrasions on the dragons stomach or feet and you dont want smooth so hes slipping all over the tank -- also I would get some F 10 to keep on hand - its a vet disinfectant and kills most every thing especially parasites / worms - its also a concentrate
With the T8's being used you would need to give D3 the twice per week - for a T 5 it is not used as often - the salads your feeding are good here is a website for more nutrition ideas ignore the kale thing its a great staple feeder Nutrition Content
Please dust the insects - lightly coated 2-3 times per week - is he eating large crickets? He doesnt need the calcium 4 x per week -- only when fed the insects I recommend switching over to dubias - they are a cleaner feeder and easier to keep - they can be purchased on line alot of people use www.dubiaroaches.com - they have nice horn worms and the best super worms I have found are from Fluker Farms - Order Live Crickets, Mealworms, Superworms they will come in a tube so you will need to get a container for them along w/ the meal worm food they eat and you can use carrots or potatos for hydration -
As far as the lid I would think that is long enough to let it sit-- can you smell anything now?
 

Shotty.Sub

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Fiona
I would get down to one UVB a 24" fixture or 36" w/a 10.0 T 5 bulb-- I use a 24" in my tank two tanks - works fine-- the T 8's are not strong enough for a 24" height - they should be directly above the basking decor 6-8 inches - a T 5 would need to be 12-15 inches directly above the basking decor
also I recommend getting 2 digital probe thermometers they are the most accurate and IR guns will not read off of certain materials- ex hammocks --
As far as substrate I am using tile in both of mine - its a slated ceramic tile w/ some texture to it - you can use both textured NON adhesive shelf liner and a combo of pieces of tile to keep the nails down - I would not grout or seal it --cut it w/ a tile saw - that prevents jagged edges -- and not sealing makes it easier for pulling it if you haft to for deeper cleaning - on that subject vinegar/ water 50/50 makes it for a good clean up and the smell dissipates fast -- I use a thick shop paper towel from Walmart under my tiles - it catches the watery urate and easy to replace for clean up if you haft to -- if you go w/ tile then you want to run your hand over the pieces your looking at you dont want too coarse to cause abrasions on the dragons stomach or feet and you dont want smooth so hes slipping all over the tank -- also I would get some F 10 to keep on hand - its a vet disinfectant and kills most every thing especially parasites / worms - its also a concentrate
With the T8's being used you would need to give D3 the twice per week - for a T 5 it is not used as often - the salads your feeding are good here is a website for more nutrition ideas ignore the kale thing its a great staple feeder Nutrition Content
Please dust the insects - lightly coated 2-3 times per week - is he eating large crickets? He doesnt need the calcium 4 x per week -- only when fed the insects I recommend switching over to dubias - they are a cleaner feeder and easier to keep - they can be purchased on line alot of people use www.dubiaroaches.com - they have nice horn worms and the best super worms I have found are from Fluker Farms - Order Live Crickets, Mealworms, Superworms they will come in a tube so you will need to get a container for them along w/ the meal worm food they eat and you can use carrots or potatos for hydration -
As far as the lid I would think that is long enough to let it sit-- can you smell anything now?
Hi Thank you.

Substrate
  • What shelf liner do you recommend? So paranoid of getting something that'll release too may fumes or crack and he'll ingest it. Was thinking I'd do shelf liner with some textured ceramic tiles in the tank to help with shed. My dad is going to polish the edges.

  • Lighting
    How often would I give D3 if I switched to a T5 bulb? Was planning on replacing these at 6 months (they're 4 months old), so I could easily swap it then.

    Vitamins+Diet
  • Not sure what is considered a large cricket. They're the width between his eyes. They vary between 1/4inch to 1/2inch.
  • So dust crickets with calcium 4x a week. 2x with D3 until I switch to T5 bulb? Should I feed crickets less often? Even if it means he doesn't eat that day?
  • I'm currently buying crickets from a local pet store, they get them from a third party breeder. I'll find the name. Been buying a weeks worth and rinsing out the cricket container before putting in new ones. Now sure how crazy I need to be about cleaning
 
Last edited:

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
Hi Thank you.

Substrate
  • What shelf liner do you recommend? So paranoid of getting something that'll release too may fumes or crack and he'll ingest it. Was thinking I'd do shelf liner with some textured ceramic tiles in the tank to help with shed. My dad is going to polish the edges.

  • Lighting
    How often would I give D3 if I switched to a T5 bulb? Was planning on replacing these at 6 months (they're 4 months old), so I could easily swap it then.

    Vitamins+Diet
  • Not sure what is considered a large cricket. They're the width between his eyes. They vary between 1/4inch to 1/2inch.
  • So dust crickets with calcium 4x a week. 2x with D3 until I switch to T5 bulb? Should I feed crickets less often? Even if it means he doesn't eat that day?
  • I'm currently buying crickets from a local pet store, they get them from a third party breeder. I'll find the name. Been buying a weeks worth and rinsing out the cricket container before putting in new ones. Now sure how crazy I need to be about cleaning
You want to feed him protein 2-3 times per week - on those days dust your crickets lightly coated w/ reg calcium alternating the D3 on one of those days - when the T 5 is put in its going to go to at least once w/ calcium D3 and the other feedings reg calcium - the T 5 is going to help him w/ the D3 - I would look at getting switched over to dubias - and buying on line is cheaper
the NON adhesive shelf liner will or should not release any type of fumes that is why we say NON adhesive - I dont use it so I really cant give any recommendations for what brand - a lot of people on here use the shelf liner --
 

RangoRocky

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Rango Rocky Balboa
This is what I have down in both of my tanks. It was purchased at Home Depot. I think I brought 2 feet of it and it cost $25. You may not need as much. It easy to clean and keep clean. Once I get it home I cut it to accommodate the tank. With the extra I have I change it out every 4-6 months.
 

Attachments

  • 017E93CB-01E8-45BD-A577-9E05BD190B02.jpeg
    017E93CB-01E8-45BD-A577-9E05BD190B02.jpeg
    308.5 KB · Views: 59
  • 5F8E622F-98A6-413E-ACA9-E8A04BF286AA.jpg
    5F8E622F-98A6-413E-ACA9-E8A04BF286AA.jpg
    89.6 KB · Views: 70

RangoRocky

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Rango Rocky Balboa
Also, my beardie started off with crickets but I switched to roaches. They offer more nutritional value and don’t die as quickly as the crickets 🦗 did. They also doesn’t stink like the crickets. What I do with the left over greens 🥬 in his bowl is feed them to the roaches along with roach food. Thas how I gut load mines. My #1 goto for roaches is www.betterthancrickets.com. They ship really fast, prices are excellent and they’re true to size. My #2 that has everything is www.dubiaroaches.com.
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
When i use a shelf liner i try to find food grade. Way less likely to emit fumes or chemicals. They can be hard to find, but usually with some patients i can get them at home depot or lowes.
 

Shotty.Sub

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Fiona
You want to feed him protein 2-3 times per week - on those days dust your crickets lightly coated w/ reg calcium alternating the D3 on one of those days - when the T 5 is put in its going to go to at least once w/ calcium D3 and the other feedings reg calcium - the T 5 is going to help him w/ the D3 - I would look at getting switched over to dubias - and buying on line is cheaper
the NON adhesive shelf liner will or should not release any type of fumes that is why we say NON adhesive - I dont use it so I really cant give any recommendations for what brand - a lot of people on here use the shelf liner --
Thank you! With the T5 bulb only covering 24inches of my 60 inch tank, is that ok if it's over the basking area?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
Thank you! With the T5 bulb only covering 24inches of my 60 inch tank, is that ok if it's over the basking area?
Yes that is optimal -- as far as the shelf liner I am not familiar w/ it -- you might want to start a new post under enclosures asking for recommendations of shelf liner and see what kind of response you get
 

Shotty.Sub

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Fiona
Yes that is optimal -- as far as the shelf liner I am not familiar w/ it -- you might want to start a new post under enclosures asking for recommendations of shelf liner and see what kind of response you get
Thank you! So, just curious. Why wouldn't you cover the whole tank in UV light? Do they need a break from it?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 3
Thank you! So, just curious. Why wouldn't you cover the whole tank in UV light? Do they need a break from it?
Yes it is not recommended only 2/3 of the tank - they need to be able to sit in the tank w/ out having to hide from the UVB -- mine is 1/2 the tank -
 

Shotty.Sub

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Fiona
Also, my beardie started off with crickets but I switched to roaches. They offer more nutritional value and don’t die as quickly as the crickets 🦗 did. They also doesn’t stink like the crickets. What I do with the left over greens 🥬 in his bowl is feed them to the roaches along with roach food. Thas how I gut load mines. My #1 goto for roaches is www.betterthancrickets.com. They ship really fast, prices are excellent and they’re true to size. My #2 that has everything is www.dubiaroaches.com.
Unfortunately I live in Florida so I can't have Dubai roaches. I can have discoids though. We live right by a pet store that sells a weekly cricket container from a third party breeder. I'll find out the brand. They don't have horn worms tho. May order a few of those for hydrating snacks!
 

Shotty.Sub

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Fiona
Yes it is not recommended only 2/3 of the tank - they need to be able to sit in the tank w/ out having to hide from the UVB -- mine is 1/2 the tank -
Thank you for the input. It's a 60inch tank. With two 24 inch T8 bulbs.

They're due an upgrade in two months. At that time I'll switch him to one t5 bulbs over his basking rock (from the roof about 20ish inches from rock) and give him d3 once a week.

I wonder if I could put a regular non uv bulb in the other light fixture two help with heat/humidity
 

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

you know that feeling when you want to change your profile picture, but like you don’t want to lose the good one you have? That’s me, right now
HELP WITH MY BEARDIE EGGS DONT WANT THEM TO DIE
lol i feel like i ask so many questions on this site but i just love it here!
so many questions & not enough days

Forum statistics

Threads
152,998
Messages
1,228,245
Members
74,843
Latest member
viviannahodges
Top Bottom