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Refusing Food

bergmite

Member
Hey all,

As the subject suggests, I’m having difficulty getting my dragon to eat. I wasn’t very worried at first because I suspected he was about to shed (It’s been a little over 2 weeks since his last shed) but it’s been 3 days and no change. This is my first dragon and I’m unsure of whether refusing food for that long prior to shedding is normal or not.

There were actually a few things I wanted to ask about, so I apologize in advance if this post gets long and if there’s a lot to keep track of.

TL;DR:
He is just a hatchling. He has been eating 2-4 crickets a day and pooping regularly until 3 days ago. He should be shedding any day now but he hasn’t started yet. He won’t eat greens or crickets. He’s pooped 2 times since he stopped eating and only passed a urate yesterday. There have been no changes in his temperatures or setup.

Tank setup:
-20 gallon, 30x12in
-Reptisun 5.0 compact fluorescent in a 12in hood
-100 watt basking lamp (repti basking)
(It’s worth noting that this lamp has an orange tint— since joining this forum this morning I read that it should be white. Need clarification there, please!)
-Textured ceramic tiles

Temperatures & humidity:
95-111 degrees on the hot side depending on where I point the temp gun. There are shady spots. 79-82 on the cool side.
The humidity fluctuates between the 40s, but is generally at 45%. I’ve taken measures to lower it, including removing the water bowl from the tank and putting a dehumidifier inside, but it doesn’t seem to be working. It might be that the humidity reader isn’t very good(it’s a flimsy plastic analog velcro’d to the wall on the cool side). I’m hoping for suggestions on this as well.

Context:
My husband and I adopted him a little over 2 weeks ago. The store owner told us he had just finished shedding and there was a little left over on his tail. She couldn’t tell us his exact age but we are pretty sure he’s only about a month old now. 5 inches long.
We picked up one of those all-in-one starter tanks and brought him home with it (I know! I’m sorry! It’s come to my attention in the time I’ve been caring for him that that was a poor call and I’m in the process of figuring out exactly what needs to be replaced. The sand has since been replaced with ceramic tiles.)

He refused food for the first 3 days and finally ate a collared green leaf. After that he would eat 2-4 crickets a day, powdered with Repti Calcium. My husband and I have been concerned that 2-4 just isn’t enough after reading about how babies can scarf down 20+, but he just won’t take any more than that. They are generally about half an inch long, perhaps a bit less. I’ve suspected they are just a bit larger than the ones baby dragons eat 20+ of. We’ve given him a warm bath 4 times since adopting him. He’s never pooped in the bath or drank water from it. We also mist him regularly and he’s drank water from his bowl / after pouring some from a bottle in front of him and dotting his nose. I don’t think he’s dehydrated. As mentioned in the shortened story at the top of the post, yesterday he passed only a urate. It was yellowish.

I’ve also been worried about his stress spots. I understand they’re normal for a newly adopted dragon, but what confuses me is that they tend to be more prominent when he’s in his tank unbothered than when he’s being handled. I notice they fade almost entirely when he’s out of the tank with me or exploring. In general, he’s a very relaxed lizard. He’s perky and has jumped around while exploring, but he’s never run from me or spazzed out. The woman I adopted him from said the “batch” he was from was a very “laid-back” one. I just don’t understand why his ovals / beard are so dark when he’s chilling in his tank.

One last thing— ever since adopting him he’s tended to stay on the warm side of the tank all day, usually basking. I’ve only caught him on the cool side maybe once after getting home. I was concerned that basking for most of the day was an indicator of some issue— please let me know if this is something I should worry about.

Thank you so much for reading this far. If you have any questions or need anything clarified please ask, I tried to be thorough but I’m sure I could have missed something. Thank you so much in advance for your help!
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
-Reptisun 5.0 compact fluorescent in a 12in hood is this a coil? If its a coil please get rid of it and get this https://www.pangeareptile.com/collections/light-fixtures/products/zoo-med-reptisun-t5-hood?variant=26907425734756 place the probe thermometer where he sits for basking then get the temp --- please get this ASAP------- your dragon is not going to eat w/ out proper basking temps and UVB --- those are a MUST-- he is going thru relocation stress but he will eventually quit eating all together if this is incorrect--- your humidity is fine
What supplements are you giving? That would be the yellowish poop --- please lay off the baths --- hes going to most of his hydration out of his salads http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html
Get some BSFL from here www.symptonbsf.com DO NOT DUST them order the size no bigger than the space between his eyes length wise feed as many as you want -- use them to lure him to the salad bowl hand feed him a few -- they make a great compliment to his staple feeder -- do not feed crickets bigger than the space between his eyes length wise -- I recommend getting him some dubia roaches they are a better nutritional feeder www.dubiaroaches.com you can get him some small super worms depending on how big he is you can get medium but they must be correct size -- the insects will impact him if they are too big!!!!!!! Stress marks are from relocation and the incorrect lighting -- NO coils for a UVB ---- please get this corrected before he quits eating all together -- if you need more help or have more questions please ask
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Hey Karrie,

Thank you very much for all of the links. I have a few follow-up questions.

You attached 2 UVB bulbs, one I should get now and one I need to upgrade to later on. I was wondering if I can just go straight to the upgraded one?

I will lay off the baths— thank you for letting me know. I was wondering why exactly, and if I should just continue offering water in a bowl and misting for his hydration. He is refusing greens at the moment so I want to make sure he’s hydrated until he starts to eat those.

Unfortunately dubia roaches are illegal where I live, I wanted to switch to them as well. Do you think silk worms would make a better staple instead? I absolutely despise the crickets.

Thank you so much.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
The 10.0 bulb is going to be too strong for the 20 gallon tank -- you can purchase it now if you want just dont use it on the 20 gallon tank --- make sure your gut loading the insects before feeding usually its best to feed them at nite so they eat all nite that is when my roaches come out and eat - then on the days I feed the insects they are good a gut loaded - I would drop water on his nose every few days to see if he will drink -- he needs time to acclimate to the tank and surroundings -- the stress marks will eventually go away but he does need time and w/ correct lighting and basking temps he will adjust quicker -- get your hands in his tank as much as possible so he gets used to them -- hand feed him those BSFL so he can adjust to your hand as well -- pet him -- those BSFL are going to draw him to the bowl -- the movement will get his attention -- silk worms are expensive the BSFL are a good staple for a baby but they are small --- are you in Florida?
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Haha, yes I am. I love it here but it’s a shame they don’t allow dubias. I suspected it had something to do with preventing them becoming invasive.
I will try BSFL and replace his lights ASAP.

Thank you very much for your help! I’ll post an update if the thread doesn’t get locked in a while.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Hey, quick update:

Thankfully my local reptile store had both of the lights you recommended in stock and I just got home with them. I’m going to set them up now and offer some food. They didn’t have BSFL or the roaches so I’m going to order some tonight— the cashier was very helpful and recommended a local supplier I can order from which will arrive soon.

Thank you again for your help.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Also, I noticed that the business for discoid roaches you linked is based in Jacksonville, Florida. I’m not sure if that’s a coincidence or not but thank you very much! The local supplier I was directed to was http://www.lindasgonebuggie.com

It appears to have silk worms, BSFL, and discoid roaches. Just wanted to share incase you want to recommend it to any other Floridians! You seem to be very helpful and active on this forum.
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
This might be a silly question, but I’m unsure of whether or not the basking lamp is “white”. The one the tank came with had a clear / white bulb but the light it was emitting itself was warm and yellowish. When I went to the store today, I double-checked with the cashier on whether the light was white and she reassured me it was. Everything is set up now, but the new bulb doesn’t seem to be any different in color. I’ll attach an image for reference:
https://imgur.com/gallery/qgqjSV6
https://imgur.com/gallery/X6vBSck
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Alright. I really appreciate your help.

I had the lights set up for a good bit before I sent my previous message. I offered a cricket last night and he wouldn’t have it, and he isn’t touching his mustard greens still today. I dropped a cricket in a few minutes ago and he ignored it as it walked in front of him, so I took it back out. He’s moving around the tank a bit today so I think he’s alright.
How much longer should this strike last before I should get worried about something else? Does he just need some time with the new UVB light?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Is he sitting under the uvb ? Make sure the distance is correct and there is no clear plastic cover over the bulb if there is one-- he should start showing different behavior
 

bergmite

Member
Original Poster
Yes, he’s moved around today but is mostly staying under it. I took the plastic wrapping off the bulb when I unpackaged it, so that’s not the issue. I’m pretty sure the distance is correct but what do you mean by that?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
He is basking thats good -- just watch his behavior keep offering food --- as long as temps are good and his UVB is good thats all you can do for now---- if his appetite doesnt pick up here I want you to get a weight on him kitchen food scale weigh in grams and watch the poop --- if hes got parasites going thats going to effect the appetite - a fecal taken in to the vet may be in order -- NO ENEMAS ---
 
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