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Old 17-09-2012, 12:43 AM
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bluemoon1502 bluemoon1502 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Manchester
Posts: 341

Hi, i am no expert myself but my friend used to breed beardies but stopped about 2 or 3 years ago. Since then i have been fascinated by them and read pretty much everything on the internet about them! I got my first beardie 3 weeks ago and went through the same kind of thing as you the first week i had him.

First of all, what gorgeous colours.. You dont find colours like that in many pet shops in Manchester, I got mine from a private (licensed) breeder.

To me it sounds like your little juvenile is starting to shed, this is why he is rubbing his face.. Mine did the same thing. If he isnt afraid of being handled you should bathe him for a couple of minutes a day in luke warm water no deeper than his 'knees'. This will help him/her stay hydrated and it will also help the dead skin come away. Whatever you do, dont try and pull it off or rub it because this could damage the new skin underneath. If yours is anything like mine was it will still be a bit skitty and you wont be able to pick him up because you dont want to stress him. If thats the case then try and mist his back, tail and toes with bottled water a couple of times a day to help. Be carefull not to spray too much though because his viv will become too humid and this (over time) could lead to resperatory problems.. About 3 or 4 squirts 4 times a day is what i did.

Regarding the light.. You need a 10% UVb sitting between 10 and 12 inches from your beardie, this should be in the centre of your viv. The reason for this is that bearded dragons' have excellent protection on their eyes to stop too much UV light going into their eyes but because it comes from the sun in their natural habitat, this protection is at the top of their eyes and doesn't realy protect as well from light coming from the sides.. It sounds like you have this already though?

For heat i use a 75w light bulb bought from B&Q.. Apparently these work just as well as any other heat lamp bought from a pet shop! Be sure to get the clear ones because your beardie needs to get UVa from the light and the other colours block out some of this. You should have the heat lamp no closer than 10'' away from the highest point of your basking spot to avoid burning your beardie and it should be on through the day time with your arcadia tube for about 12/14 hours a day, this way your beardie will be able to get as much UVa+b as he needs. During the night, you shouldnt let your temps drop below 16C but during the summer most houses dont get that cold so he should be fine. I have a ceramic heat lamp linked up to a pulse thermostat set to 17C so if the temps do drop that low then it will kick in. I wouldnt have my heat lamp on as their parietal eye will more than likely be able to see it as it is photosensative and may stop him sleeping? Most bearded dragon breeders suggest you stay clear of heatmats/heated basking rocks as they can burn your beardie but at temps of 16-18C i doubt this will be the case.

I hope this has answerd your question and if anyone reads this and disagrees i'd like to know because at the end of the day, i am also new to owning a bearded dragon.. Can i give a few pointers on your set up though? I dont mean to sound condescending or as if i am picking out points but most experts advise against loose substrates at such a young age. If any of it gets swallowed your little dragon will have trouble digesting it and it may cause impaction leading to death. I use clean lino or you could use paper, kitchen towels etc.. When they get older it will be fine to use childrens play sand or repti sand but not just yet.. Another cause of impaction would be a basking area that isnt hot enough. For babys people reccomend 40 and 46C surface temp on the basking spot but for adults this can be between 36 and 43. The beardie should also have a cool end of the viv because they are cold blooded, they thermoregulate meaning they will switch from the warm end to the cool end to maintain a steady temperature. The cool end of your viv should be between 25-29C. This might be hard to get in a 3ft viv as it wasnt easy in my 4ft one so you may need to make some more air vents in the cool end. All temps should be measured with a digital thermometer or IR thermometer. I bought a digital themometer with a probe for about 15 and keep the probe in the cool end while the main unit is in the basking end. Both temps are checked twice a day and im constantly monitoring the warm end's temp. If you put a probe on your basking spot and the unit on the wall of your viv.. Once you get the temp right on your basking spot, check what the unit says on your wall and work out the difference between the two. This will give you a rough guide of the temp on your basking spot without having to measure it all the time.

Like i said, i am no expert so if someone reads this and disagrees then please say so. This is how i have my set up and my little 'baby' is thriving.. I'm sorry if this sounds like i am picking at holes in your set up but i'm not, I just know that there is a lot of different advice out there and i wanted to share what is working for me. Pet shops, even established ones, are notorious for giving bad advice. I've found that you can get a lot of sound advice on this forum from people who actually know what their talking about so stick with it and everything will be fine!
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