surfing is a major behavior change

CrossHouse

New member
Original Poster
Richard is Adopted from my son 4 months ago. I think he has been depressed since my son left for college. He is alone in his room.
He doesn't like me, pulls away after I pet him a little. I try to hold him a little each day, but never far from his cage, afraid he will scamper and jump. This last week he started to surf the glass quite frequently. He seems nervous, but I did notice his head stays yellow (normal color). I think his head turns grey when he needs more basking or letting me know he is not happy with whatever I am doing. He started to poop on his basking rock, and it seems to be runny, or I am just catching it early. He has always seen his reflection so the surfing is new, wondered if he is maturing hormonally and thinks it is a girl. We have considered moving his tank downstairs to be around us more, worried about the TV being too loud and on after his bed time. Could we cover his tank at night, would he get enough air?
Covering the glass on the outside doesn't make sense to me, the glare and reflection will still be there.

Specs: tank 40 gal, 1 100W basking lamp with rock top 9 inches away from lid @107 degrees, 1 UVB lamp 18" 15 W T8 10.0 (getting harder to find), other end of tank 85 degrees with lower rock 11 inches below lid. Both bulbs are about 3 months old.
Richard is 9-10 months old, 12.5 oz, 16.5 inches long. He has gained about 4 oz and 1/2 inch since February. Up until recently he has had what seems like healthy poops daily, in the same place within the tank. He has had a salad of kale, collard, endive and his favorite green beans daily for 4 months with rare addition of carrot or strawberry or blueberry. My son gave him meal worms daily, I stopped that as the worms were not digested. For 3 months I have given him crickets every other day, spinkled each time (3 times week) with ZooMed ReptiCalcium and adding in 1 time week Rep-Cal Heptivite multivitamins.

Glad to take any advice, we want him happy.



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smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
T8 should be inside the enclosure 6-8 inches from the basking spot. They aren't strong enough to go through a screen. Since you also mentioned the bulbs are getting harder to find, I would suggest upgrading to a T5 fixture. Bulbs last a year vs six months and they are stronger. ZooMed and Arcadia both make good ones. I would go with a 24". If/when you upgrade the tank that size is good up to 120 gallon. The ZooMed comes with a 5.0 bulb. You want a 10.0 or Arcadia 12%. This is one possible explanation for change on behavior.

Could also be that he is bored and wants to come out and explore. Decor is a little sparse, not much for him to climb on or explore, so that would make sense. Seems a little bit young to be sexually maturing, but not out of the question. He could just be getting old enough to see his reflection as a threat now. Covering the outside lessens the reflection and gives something else to focus on. Also beardies see more colors than we do, so changing up the look and how the light is reflected changes what they see differently to how we see it.

The runny stool could be a sign of parasites, or that he is well hydrated. Was it runny like diarrhea, or well formed with a puddle of liquid? Did it smell worse than normal?
 

CrossHouse

New member
Original Poster
T8 should be inside the enclosure 6-8 inches from the basking spot. They aren't strong enough to go through a screen. Since you also mentioned the bulbs are getting harder to find, I would suggest upgrading to a T5 fixture. Bulbs last a year vs six months and they are stronger. ZooMed and Arcadia both make good ones. I would go with a 24". If/when you upgrade the tank that size is good up to 120 gallon. The ZooMed comes with a 5.0 bulb. You want a 10.0 or Arcadia 12%. This is one possible explanation for change on behavior.

Could also be that he is bored and wants to come out and explore. Decor is a little sparse, not much for him to climb on or explore, so that would make sense. Seems a little bit young to be sexually maturing, but not out of the question. He could just be getting old enough to see his reflection as a threat now. Covering the outside lessens the reflection and gives something else to focus on. Also beardies see more colors than we do, so changing up the look and how the light is reflected changes what they see differently to how we see it.

The runny stool could be a sign of parasites, or that he is well hydrated. Was it runny like diarrhea, or well formed with a puddle of liquid? Did it smell worse than normal?
Thanks, I will address the light. Should the basking bulb be above his basking rock or the UVB bulb?
I will order some paper to cover his glass.
 

smaugthebeardie3756

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Smaug
The positioning you have is alright with the basking bulb directly over the main basking spot and the tube offset from it a little. Maybe try to center it a little when you hang it and make sure the smaller rock on the cool side is directly underneath. Some more decor will also provide a little more of a gradient with areas of more or less light so he can choose where to go to get what he needs. One of the additional things they see is UV light, so he can literally see where he needs to go.
 
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