New to this group and new beardie parent!

flyaries1979

Member
Beardie name(s)
Jeffy
Hello everyone! I recently adopted a what I believe to be a three year old male bearded dragon. My son and I named him Jeffy. He his 22 inches long from head to tail. I am looking to purchase a 120 gal tank. If it should be bigger, please let me know. I want to provide the best environment for him to thrive in. I have the correct UVB lighting, and basking lamp, however, I am receiving mixed information when it comes to diet. Some say kale is ok, others say to avoid it. His live animal protein is Dubia roached, and he gets about 4-5 of them daily along with his greens. The roaches I bought on the small side prior to getting him, because I wasn't sure what his size was at the time, and didn't want them to be too big. He is a darling, and I love seeing the little personality that devoting now that he is in a home with someone that has the time to care for him. I have had him for about two weeks and I have given him a bath twice already, because I don't believe he had ever been bathed with his other owners. Same with nail care; I don't believe his nails were ever cared for either. We are taking it one step at a time, and making sure that he gets what he needs....and lots of love. Any suggestions or questions are welcome. I do have some knowledge when it comes to beardie care, but I welcome any advice from people with more experience.
 

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KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hello everyone! I recently adopted a what I believe to be a three year old male bearded dragon. My son and I named him Jeffy. He his 22 inches long from head to tail. I am looking to purchase a 120 gal tank. If it should be bigger, please let me know. I want to provide the best environment for him to thrive in. I have the correct UVB lighting, and basking lamp, however, I am receiving mixed information when it comes to diet. Some say kale is ok, others say to avoid it. His live animal protein is Dubia roached, and he gets about 4-5 of them daily along with his greens. The roaches I bought on the small side prior to getting him, because I wasn't sure what his size was at the time, and didn't want them to be too big. He is a darling, and I love seeing the little personality that devoting now that he is in a home with someone that has the time to care for him. I have had him for about two weeks and I have given him a bath twice already, because I don't believe he had ever been bathed with his other owners. Same with nail care; I don't believe his nails were ever cared for either. We are taking it one step at a time, and making sure that he gets what he needs....and lots of love. Any suggestions or questions are welcome. I do have some knowledge when it comes to beardie care, but I welcome any advice from people with more experience.
Welcome to the forum- 120 gallon tanks are the most optimal for a full asize dragon - links can be posted for you if you want them-- he should be able to eat large to extra large roaches- he doesn't need them daily- 2-3 times per week - he should get salads every day- I can post a website for nutrition and yes kale is a good staple- please go over your surface basking temps they should be 95-100 take w/ a digital probe thermometer- uvb a long tube fixture-- please No coils-
 

flyaries1979

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jeffy
Welcome to the forum- 120 gallon tanks are the most optimal for a full asize dragon - links can be posted for you if you want them-- he should be able to eat large to extra large roaches- he doesn't need them daily- 2-3 times per week - he should get salads every day- I can post a website for nutrition and yes kale is a good staple- please go over your surface basking temps they should be 95-100 take w/ a digital probe thermometer- uvb a long tube fixture-- please No coils-
I would love any information, thank you so much! He has a UVB tube style lighting, reptisun 5.0, and his basking area is between 90-100 degrees. He has that on for 12 hours a day. Thank you for the info on the roaches...he'll be disappointed lol, those are his favorite.
 

J4ckdaw-

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Leo
Hello everyone! I recently adopted a what I believe to be a three year old male bearded dragon. My son and I named him Jeffy. He his 22 inches long from head to tail. I am looking to purchase a 120 gal tank. If it should be bigger, please let me know. I want to provide the best environment for him to thrive in. I have the correct UVB lighting, and basking lamp, however, I am receiving mixed information when it comes to diet. Some say kale is ok, others say to avoid it. His live animal protein is Dubia roached, and he gets about 4-5 of them daily along with his greens. The roaches I bought on the small side prior to getting him, because I wasn't sure what his size was at the time, and didn't want them to be too big. He is a darling, and I love seeing the little personality that devoting now that he is in a home with someone that has the time to care for him. I have had him for about two weeks and I have given him a bath twice already, because I don't believe he had ever been bathed with his other owners. Same with nail care; I don't believe his nails were ever cared for either. We are taking it one step at a time, and making sure that he gets what he needs....and lots of love. Any suggestions or questions are welcome. I do have some knowledge when it comes to beardie care, but I welcome any advice from people with more experience.
Hi there, welcome to the forum!

First, let’s address enclosures. 120 gallons (4x2x2) is the minimum for an adult bearded dragon (unless severely stunted) though larger enclosures such as a 200 gallon (5x3x2) recommended.

A quick question, what substrate are you using? I’d strongly advise against using reptile carpet as it is a breeding ground for bacteria and the material can catch on his nails and cause injury.

Here is a list of substrates to use and substrates to avoid…

Use:

Non-adhesive shelf/cabinet liner -
I personally use this (though I do intend to change soon) and I’ve got very little bad to say about it. It’s cheap, easy to clean, and completely safe. Only issue is crickets will eat it some times, lmao 🤣

Loose substrate mixture - this is the most recommended substrate as it allows bearded dragons to take part in their natural behaviours such as burrowing or digging, a 50/50 mix of play sand/sand substrate and reptisoil is what you should go for.

Tile/slate -
never used this one but I hear good word about it. It’s relatively cheap, easy to clean and totally safe. Make sure it is waterproof (mandatory) and stain proof (optional) to avoid damage or messes.

Zen mats - these are a pretty great product. Unlike reptile carpet, it is a type of plastic (I think) that is easy to clean, won’t cause injury, and is completely safe.

Avoid:

Reptile carpet -
as I mentioned a bit ago, reptile carpet is not the way to go. It is a breeding ground for bacteria, it stains easily, it takes FOREVER to dry and the material can catch on a bearded dragon’s nails.

Reptile bark - absolutely never use this stuff. Not only does it attract fungi and mold it also raises the humidity to a level unfit for bearded dragons. Need I say more?

Plain sand - just plain sand won’t cut it. In the wild a bearded dragon’s substrate is a mix of sand, soil, gravel, clay, and many other components. It is also more likely to catch on a bearded dragon’s tongue during feeding time and cause stomach problems

As for diet, let’s take a look?

A bearded dragon over the age of 12 months should be eating a salad/salads with a variety of greens and veggies daily and can eat 3-6 bugs 2-3 times a week. But how about staple greens? What should you use?

Kale

(Kale is completely safe. I’ve been using it for quite a while without issue.)

Collard greens

Mustard greens

Turnip greens

Cauliflower greens (not the head)


I hope this cleared a few things up, good luck to you and your son!
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Nutrition Content ignore the kale info it is outdated and is a good staple feeder
tanks --
www.zenhabitats.com
Main - Carolina Designer Dragons these are all glass and very heavy - I dont like the way they have the UVB and basking bulb connected together- if you haft to adjust for temps you really cant do that
DiyCages.com ... Your online solution for Herp Cages and Supplies I am not sure about these I dont know of anyone that has gotten one of these
www.dubiaroaches.com -- these are black and dark but there are a few on here that have gotten them
www.symtonbsf.com same w/ this one --
Animal Plastics Cages and Racks I dont know of anyone on here that has gotten from this site
Remember you want a 24" height tank - nothing under 18" and I recommend a 24" tank - heating becomes a issue w/ too low of tanks and too high of tanks -
Your UVB needs to be upgraded to a 10.0 bulb -- 5.0's are more for aquariums-- where is the UVB placed now? If its on top of the screen hes not getting much UVB those are not strong enough to go thru screen
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I agree with everything said above. I just bought a Zen habitats meridian series. The ONLY con i found was when i got it there was a big ole made in china label 🏷 💀 otherwise it assembled in 15 minutes. I cut a window into mine and framed it in because my boy loves to look outside.
The Zen mat is 100,0000,000,999% bettet than anything I've used before, and believe me I've used it all.
It has built in cushioning so they don't get hip damage and what ever the top layer is made of, poop absolutely don't stick to it. I'm ordering them for my other guys this weekend.
As far as feeders, don't stick to just one. Mix it up. Superworms, hornworms (great hydration) silkworms (great staple), black soldier fly larvae, mealworms, crickets.
Hydration is important also, they get most from food, but they still need water every 4 or 5 days. The best way I've found is using an eyedropper to drip it on their snout. They should lap it up. Go at their pace, never force it, you could aspirate him if you do. If he won't drink you can add in a little none citrus fruit juice or punch to give it flavor. Be sure to use a wet cloth to wipe away any that runs down their chin. No need to take a chance on causing bacteria or fungus to start in their scales from the juice.
Beardies will use all the size you can give them 4x2x2 is minimum for an adult.
It's hard to find big habitats. Zen offers extenders for theirs. You can add in 2 foot or 4 foot sections. (If you have the room)
As far as nail maintenance, give him a flat stone, nothing wuth sharp edges, sandstone,limestone,basalt,granite, ect. He will take care of his nails himself.
Welcome to the forum, you've come to the right place for the correct information. Ask anything at all, the only stupid question is one not asked 🙂
Your dude is handsome btw 😀
 

flyaries1979

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jeffy
I am going to purchase a new UVB set up right away and attach it to the inside of the enclosure. I’m gonna try the Zen mat, I feel that would work much better. The setup he came with included a reptile carpet and they are a pain to clean. Thank you so much for all this info. I’m so glad I joined this group!
 

J4ckdaw-

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Leo
I am going to purchase a new UVB set up right away and attach it to the inside of the enclosure. I’m gonna try the Zen mat, I feel that would work much better. The setup he came with included a reptile carpet and they are a pain to clean. Thank you so much for all this info. I’m so glad I joined this group!
I’m glad I could help! Sounds like your handsome little boy is in good hands!
 

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