There's a Dragon in the Garage

Shard

Member
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Don't startle the dragon in the garage.

That's what my siblings told one another, probably for around two to three months. Don't go in the garage. But we were moving soon, and I had to go through there to get something outside...

Hey, I'm Shard. I'm technically not new, but I haven't visited this forum in probably 7 years now. Even further back, one day lil 13 year old me was brought into a local pet store. Tale as old as time, go ahead! Pick out a friend! A teeny tiny bearded dragon on sale, maybe 6 inches long if I'm being generous. To say I was unprepared was an understatement. 20 gallon, reptile carpet, maybe a coil bulb if she was lucky. Her name was Alina, after a song I enjoyed. Since what kid in the 2000s doesn't enjoy a bit of Numa Numa? She was missing a couple claws and a toe or two when I got her. Then she lost the use of her back legs. Only months after I got her, she was gone. A shoebox full of pink petals a foot or so under, the second resident of a backyard grave site that would only grow over the years. The other was my brother's anole who he got the same day as I got Alina.

86564-6791620287.jpg
Was this gal even large enough to be sold?

For the rest of our years at that house, I didn't have any more pets myself, as much as I wanted one. (At least, not officially...a bored kid keeps a couple slugs and snails from time to time) But I engrossed myself in bearded dragon research for years after, as if to make up for prior mistakes. I had a whole battle plan drawn out. I'd build the best enclosure, built into a big cabinet. I'd have carved the interior myself with foam and grout. Inside the cabinet would be a dubia roach colony. I had big ideas for a 15 year old, but plans to start were always...pushed off. Year after year, until I graduated highschool. Then community college. Then I went away for my bachelor's, got sick with something and had to call it quits.

That brings us back to the garage.

My brother's friend had left a bearded dragon in our garage for his own personal reasons. I can't say I blame him, but I wish we had at least been told that he wasn't coming back to at least feed her. The day I saw her, she was thin. Her basking light was broken, and a second light was only a strip of LEDs. The day I saw her, I knew I had to do something to help.

oh dear.jpg


I texted my mom first, asking about the beardie and if it was okay to move some things around. The heat rock had to go ASAP. It was broken anyway. I cleaned up the mystery dirt the best I could and offered whatever I could find in the fridge. She didn't seem interested in vegetables, but she took quickly to some crickets we bought. I asked for help in Discord servers, but unfortunately the question channels move a bit too fast. Someone told me to rehome her since I wasn't prepared. A fair assessment, but there was simply no time. We only had a few days to get out of the house. I asked my brother to talk to his friend. He couldn't take her.

With nobody else to take her and no time to find anyone, I had a bearded dragon again.

The first two months were pretty rough to say the least. Most of that was spent at our grandma's house as the new house had some last minute issues that needed fixing before we could move in. My mom refused to buy anything until we moved in proper, I had to practically beg her to get a UVB bulb. (Moments like these really make me want to find a job asap, lol) Needless to say it's been a bit of back and forth trying to show her what to get.

cremesicle1.jpg

Her tank felt so bare at the time that I'd sometimes swap out cardboard tubes.

So here we are, almost 3 months in.

I'd say there's been a lot of progress, but we're not done yet! I'd share a picture but it's rather messy at the moment (I woke up to urate all over the ground, it's due to how her basking spot is positioned...) We've got...one digital thermometer? (Not sure why she didn't just get the 2 pack, lol) There's bags of play sand and topsoil waiting in the car for tomorrow (hopefully, spoons willing) and I've got a big rubbermaid with dubias waiting on the rest of the supplies. Not to mention a cabinet and 4x2 enclosure waiting to be put together. Since she's still kinda small right now, I'm hoping maybe I could build that interior I dreamed of...

I hope she's happier now. I know she can't express gratitude, but seeing how much her colors have popped...I think she's getting better.

wut u lookin at.jpg

Anyone know what morph she is though?
All I was told is that she "cost a lot", which can mean anything.


I've named her Xion (she-on), after a character from a game series I enjoy. In the series Xion was, to put it simply, forgotten by everyone who had ever known her. In a literal sense, she ceased to exist. Yet, piece of her still lived on. With a bit of help, she was remembered again. Able to live again, without past fears, and thrive. In truth I didn't think of all that when I named her as it just came to mind immediately, but I'd like to think it suits her.
(Although I later joked that if I got her a month later I'd have named her Pomni for all her escape attempts)

So that's my story, and the beginning of hers. I hope to help her thrive for years to come!
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Alright, that was a lot! Couple of questions on my mind, but I'll probably have more later!
  1. Does she look like she has any health issues that should be immediately addressed? Her bottom eyelid sometimes droops, which I'm concerned about.
  2. Can anyone identify the morph and if it could pose any potential health issues? I'm thinking maybe normal hypo from the clear nails?
  3. How old do you think she is? She's about 11 inches from nose to tailtip, though I'm not sure if she's stunted due to past care...she's been shedding a lot, I feel she's grown a lot already! She's a big eater with a seemingly bottomless appetite when it comes to bugs, and has grown to love greens! Currently she's getting escarole & butternut squash as my mom accidentally grabbed that instead of endive and my grandma grows squash.
  4. I got topsoil/play sand because the Discord servers I'm in recommend it over tile (especially since she keeps trying to dig into her hide). Any suggestions to keep it fresh aside from regular scooping?
  5. Why does she keep trying to lick my fingers? :LOL: This is a new development after she stopped hissing at my hands.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
She does look to be a normal hypo, although i can't see her nails well enough to say for sure. She also looks like she may be a blue bar as well. She is certainly beautiful though.
Over all she looks pretty healthy. It wouldn't hurt to collect a poop sample and drop it at the vet for testing though.
Under no circumstances, do not let them do an enema on her. It almost always ends in tragedy.
They lick to test their surroundings, it's the equivalent of a dog sniffing the air. They have a jacobs organ in the front of their mouth that they touch particals on their tongue to.
She is probably 7 to 10 months old, but there is no way to know for sure, their growth dependson husbandry.
Welcome back to the forums btw, don't hesitate to ask about anything we are all here to help beardies thrive!
Maybe hit up @KarrieRee for advice on getting your lighting on par, she very good at it.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Alright, that was a lot! Couple of questions on my mind, but I'll probably have more later!
  1. Does she look like she has any health issues that should be immediately addressed? Her bottom eyelid sometimes droops, which I'm concerned about.
Droopy eyelid could be just genetic-- as far as health how long was she w/ out UVB? Do you have proper UVB now? NO coils please
  1. Can anyone identify the morph and if it could pose any potential health issues? I'm thinking maybe normal hypo from the clear nails?
Xp29 would need to answer about the morph
  1. How old do you think she is? She's about 11 inches from nose to tailtip, though I'm not sure if she's stunted due to past care...she's been shedding a lot, I feel she's grown a lot already! She's a big eater with a seemingly bottomless appetite when it comes to bugs, and has grown to love greens! Currently she's getting escarole & butternut squash as my mom accidentally grabbed that instead of endive and my grandma grows squash.
What are you feeding for insects? She needs calcium D3 dusted on those insects---- and its good she is eating salads--- as far age its hard to say and yes their growth can be stunted w/ out proper surface basking temps and UVB -- those need to be spot on - digital probe thermometer for accuracy and long tube fixture for a UVB --- Zoo Med Arcadia Pro T 5 or a Sunblaster Nano Tech are the ones recommended
  1. I got topsoil/play sand because the Discord servers I'm in recommend it over tile (especially since she keeps trying to dig into her hide). Any suggestions to keep it fresh aside from regular scooping?
  2. Why does she keep trying to lick my fingers? :LOL: This is a new development after she stopped hissing at my hands.
Substrate is good but I am not really sure how to keep it clean --- others on here would know more about that --- @AHBD -- she is licking because she is tasting you -- familiarity I am thinking -- they all do it
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Droopy eyelid could be just genetic-- as far as health how long was she w/ out UVB? Do you have proper UVB now? NO coils please

What are you feeding for insects? She needs calcium D3 dusted on those insects---- and its good she is eating salads--- as far age its hard to say and yes their growth can be stunted w/ out proper surface basking temps and UVB -- those need to be spot on - digital probe thermometer for accuracy and long tube fixture for a UVB --- Zoo Med Arcadia Pro T 5 or a Sunblaster Nano Tech are the ones recommended
Unfortunately I'm guessing with her previous owner she never had UVB given her only lighting was a burnt out basking light & a weird strip of red & white LEDs. I was never told how old she was - really I wasn't told anything about her or her prior care. I'm glad I kept the boxes for her current light though, it's an Arcadia ProT5 12%. IIRC her basking light is a ZooMed 75w basking bulb but I'm worried it's not getting hot enough as the warm side is only 69F and the basking spot 94F (probably about 6 inches from the bulb, I can't get it any closer and I'm already stacking things 😬 also I need a proper temp gun, I've been using a meat thermometer lol. Wondering if I should just make a list of everything I still need and send it to my mom)

I've been feeding her small dubias dusted with calcium D3 daily.
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Unfortunately I'm guessing with her previous owner she never had UVB given her only lighting was a burnt out basking light & a weird strip of red & white LEDs. I was never told how old she was - really I wasn't told anything about her or her prior care. I'm glad I kept the boxes for her current light though, it's an Arcadia ProT5 12%. IIRC her basking light is a ZooMed 75w basking bulb but I'm worried it's not getting hot enough as the warm side is only 69F and the basking spot 94F (probably about 6 inches from the bulb, I can't get it any closer and I'm already stacking things 😬 also I need a proper temp gun, I've been using a meat thermometer lol. Wondering if I should just make a list of everything I still need and send it to my mom)

I've been feeding her small dubias dusted with calcium D3 daily.
Replace the UVB bulb w/ another Pro T5 12% bulb-unless you know its under or around 10-11 months old -- please get 2 digital probe thermometers and start w/ a 100 watt Exo Terra basking bulb --- you need to go by surface basking temps of 95-100-- you dont want the basking bulb any closer than 6" -- the UVB needs to be inside the tank for a fine mesh screen distance 12-15 inches -- top of screen that is a wide hole type 8-10 both w/ the basking decor directly under it -- IR guns are good but not as accurate as the digital probe thermometer
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
It's really nice that this little spikey friend fell in to your care ! I'm sorry about your first baby that passed years ago, as for your Q about whether it was too small to be sold the answer is no so there's no telling why it happened. The dragon you have now looks about 4-5 mos. at most, it is some version of a normal/standard but different colors may pop like the smoky blue/grey sidebars. It may be a hypo as well. I don't really see droopy eyes, she looks bright + alert. BTW are you sure of her sex ?
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Replace the UVB bulb w/ another Pro T5 12% bulb-unless you know its under or around 10-11 months old -- please get 2 digital probe thermometers and start w/ a 100 watt Exo Terra basking bulb --- you need to go by surface basking temps of 95-100-- you dont want the basking bulb any closer than 6" -- the UVB needs to be inside the tank for a fine mesh screen distance 12-15 inches -- top of screen that is a wide hole type 8-10 both w/ the basking decor directly under it -- IR guns are good but not as accurate as the digital probe thermometer
The UVB bulb was purchased in october! Also are you saying the bulb should be inside the tank or it is fine sitting on top of the metal mesh top? If the former, how should I affix it to the inside?
Here's what the lighting setup looks like right now. (The thermostat isn't very helpful, it has a max temp of 108F and the lamp doesn't get hot enough anyway)
1701902349204.jpg


BTW are you sure of her sex ?
The base of her tail it pretty smooth with no sign of the two bumps a male would have. Unless she hasn't developed them yet?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
The UVB bulb was purchased in october! Also are you saying the bulb should be inside the tank or it is fine sitting on top of the metal mesh top? If the former, how should I affix it to the inside?
Here's what the lighting setup looks like right now. (The thermostat isn't very helpful, it has a max temp of 108F and the lamp doesn't get hot enough anyway)
View attachment 85784


The base of her tail it pretty smooth with no sign of the two bumps a male would have. Unless she hasn't developed them yet?
Basking bulb can stay on top of screen but you want those digital probe thermometers I recommended - the screen looks to be of fine mesh its had to tell tho--- if it is the UVB needs to be unobstructed w / no screen blocking the UVB you can take the screen off of where its placed and have the basking decor piece directly under it 12-15 inches -- post a pic of the dragon on a kitchen table w/ vent facing camera tail in the air if your unsure of sex
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Basking bulb can stay on top of screen but you want those digital probe thermometers I recommended - the screen looks to be of fine mesh its had to tell tho--- if it is the UVB needs to be unobstructed w / no screen blocking the UVB you can take the screen off of where its placed and have the basking decor piece directly under it 12-15 inches -- post a pic of the dragon on a kitchen table w/ vent facing camera tail in the air if your unsure of sex
Like cutting a hole in the mesh? I think I'd need power tools for that 🤔

Also she did NOT like being held like that (understandably!) 🤣
1701908908012.jpg

She got a waxworm for the trouble, lol
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Like cutting a hole in the mesh? I think I'd need power tools for that 🤔

Also she did NOT like being held like that (understandably!) 🤣
View attachment 85794
She got a waxworm for the trouble, lol
Can't tell - she needs to be flat on a kitchen table vent facing the camera tail in the air- wire snips would work to cut the screen-
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
Uh oh, that's not the correct position . Hopefully she'll be O.K with you trying this.

Scroll to the pics :
 

Shard

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Xion (she-on)
Uh oh, that's not the correct position . Hopefully she'll be O.K with you trying this.

Scroll to the pics :
Whoops! That makes a lot more sense, she was much more calm with me doing this.
1701911545344.jpg

Looks like there's a bit of leftover shed from a few days ago
 

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