I don't keep Beardies, so some of this may be redundant.
1. If I get a book on bearded dragons, can I follow the advice on housing etc, and everything, apart from food? (have been told that is the case, but wanna be sure)
More or less, but as has been said, a hotter basking spot is required. 120-130 is a good temp for the basking spot, even up to 140 but depends on the animal. Ours is lower because he's a baby at the mo. Provide plenty of climbing things (highest point should be at the basking spot), and also places to hide so he can escape the heat if he wants.
2. I want him/her to be comfortable, so what size housing would you recommend?
4x2x2 is recommended.
3. Best places to buy cheap equipment in London area?
Don't know, sorry. Not from there!
4.Is it better to take a friendly adult, than a skittish baby, as am a beginner? Or are the babies easy to tame?
The advantage of having a baby is that he will bond with you. Generally Ackies are great, very handlable and have very mild temperaments. A baby will be skittish for a while but should settle down quickly. Better that than buying an adult who doesn't like you, imo. My ackie is even tamer than my geckos lol.
5. Any other advice to keep an ackie healthy/happy?
A deep substrate is needed as they like to dig. So up to 12 inches substrate as adult, but to be honest, not many people can manage that. If you can't, several inches will do. They like to have enough subtrate to make tunnels and burrow into. If you can't provide that, I'd recommend buying a good long tube hide which will mimic a burrow.
We spray our viv a few times a week to create some humidity. From my (minor) experience they can suffer bad sheds, so this helps for that too.
They will use their whole viv. They are very active, run around a lot, and like all monitors, are very intelligent. So you have to give them a lot to do or they may get bored. So at the risk of repeating myself, plenty of branches, slate cuttings, anything which will entertain him. We have a mini 'tree trunk' which he loves climbing. It's vertical. They are semi-arboreal, so don't NEED to climb vertically, but will if you provide for that.
AH.. one more thing. Make sure you 'earth' these climbing things. Put them right on the bottom of the viv, rather than on top of the substrate. Otherwise they WILL dig underneath them and risk squashing themselves. LOL
Any more questions, PM me. I'm a bit infatuated with Ackies.
Originally Posted by Repta
Incy attention and massive boob type structures.
0.1.0 Leopard Gecko - Perdy
1.0.0 Crested Gecko - Gaudi
0.1.0 - Retired Greyhound - Chrissie