Another Beardie Newbie joins the clan... with a few Qs
Hi One and all
We've very recently become owners of a Bearded Dragon pre-named Godzilla - he's about a foot long and about 4 1/2 - 5yrs old (so we've been told) - guessing that makes him more of an adult rather than a juvenille ! He's had 2 previous owners as far as we now - so possibly a CB rather than wild guy.
He came with his own contiboard vivarium with glass doors - 35x24x15 cm - hopefully big enough ? - with a 30 inch UV tube across the back near the top/ light fitting / temperature guage/ heat mat and thermostate/ 2 long branches/ half log (very light)/ sand/ fake green stuff / Calci pure insect dusting powder and Nubrol calci/multivitamin powder.
We did do some research prior to accquirement - and ended up slightly confused over some conflicting advice - hence the posting (Also totally new to forums....this is the 5th attempt at trying to post/reply)
Questions as follows (apologies if really obvious/typical 'newbie' ones)
Vivarium: Hopefully above size is okay ?
We've added a couple of black crystally flat rocks (no loose bits) - well washed/ scrubbed/ dried and one small/medium one from the garden - also well scrubbed/ dried and a smallish piece of bog wood - also well soaked/brushed - to get rid of the tanin colouring and loose bits - if I can work out how to add pics - will add.....
On arrival we also took out all the sand and sifted - and wiped the entire tank/heat mat with very diluted disinfectant - before placing sand back....
however the tank still has a 'distinct' odour...would this disappear if we use 'fresh' sand on each monthly big clean ?
Also seen conflicting reports re: Play sand - is it fine to use and could it be mixed with the pre-packed desert sand ?
Lighting: In the extra light fitting we tried a clear 60W household bulb - which raised the temperature to just over 100F - so we switched it to a pearlised 40W household bulb - and temp is just under 100F - is this enough for heating/basking - or do we have to have an additional one purely for heat - as I've read that the ideal max temp should be around 100F ?
Nightime temp (lights out) with the 40W drops to about 80F - not sure how to get it lower to the 60F as recommended...
Heating Mats: -
Thermostat is a Habistat 300W with min temp 64F(well covered with good bit of sand) currently on that setting (although not actually coming on as temp seems to be at 80F at night)- it seems to be mixed views - although possibly more not in favour - but wondered if we should keep it as come Winter in UK -our house will be very cold as we have no heating (we'll be drawing straws for the vivarium )....
Exercise: When we get a 'British Summer' LOL :0D - we have thought of making a long run - but wasn't sure if this is a good idea - as I've not read anything about this. If okay - should we add a base or will he be okay on the grass once it's dried out of course! (bearing in mind we have sandy soil and aware that they may burrow)
Bathing: Again mixed views - and having read a recentish thread about the native habitat - water is a scarce commodity - and he has the option of a small water dish...but should an occasionally bath be offered or a fine spray all over him of just the stones ?
General Health: Apart from shakes - are there any age-related disease to be aware of ?
Claws: Do they ever need to be trimmed ?
Shedding: What age - is he likely to - and what steps to help?
Just checking - I've understood this right...
Veggie food: A great salad food list posted by another member - just checking due to the variety of powders available - the one we were given - Nubrol high potency calcium and multivitamin powder - is this okay to dust the veggie bits with ?
Have also read that adult Beardies ought to be having higher percentage of veg to live food...so a daily feed of the green stuff ?
Live Stuff: Adults - 1/2 cricket every other day - maybe couple of small meal worms as a treat..?
UK Local insect/wildlife: Is it safe ? (We don't use pesticides - but obviously the critters could come from anywhere !)
'Summer season' - local crickets/ grasshoppers
All the year round - spiders/ slugs/ flies - as we have quiet a few especially the slugs/flies - be good to put them to some use !!!
Think that'll do for now - and hopefully he'll survive with us for the next 6mths and then we'll be able to stop 'worrying' - like all 'new parents'
As always many thanks to anyone who can offer reassurance/ guidence to us newbies - Thanks b d
As this is the 5th attempt - copied from a Word doc - but lost smilies along the way
Hiya just a few answers, you should upgrade to a 4ft tank atleast but at 12 inches I'd doubt he was an adult just to let you know unless he has severe stunted growth.
You should let the vivarium air out because the fumes of bleach may cause issues.
Offer quite a shallow waterdish at all times filled with bottled or water thats been treated and bath every day if you like for 15 or so minutes in lukewarm-warm water not too hot at all you can bath not as often but bathing is a primary source of hydration.
The sand may be an issue as they sometimes eat quite alot of it when messing around and it can cause impactions but some people succesfully use it. I use slate tile from B+Q and I don't need to cut mines nails as it wears them down when he's running about.
Your temps should be ok, but your better off with it just over 100 than just over in my opinion 110+F for an adult is a no-no in my books though.
Heatmats shouldn't be used as beardies detect heat from above using their "third eye" so you may want to get a higher basking bulb I find a drop to room temperature at night to be no problem myself.
Don't feed food from outside a guy I know of had his beardie who died. Ater eating native grasshoppers and becoming hooked on them, he was unable to keep them breeding and was forced to hand feed and he refused until the point where they had him put down.
Dusting with nutrobol is fine but do it twice a week and use a pure calcium every other time, I don't use powder on my veg as he won't eat it with powder.
Your better off just taking your beardie out in the summer than letting him in a run I suppose you could setup a small one but always keep an eye on them because they WILL try to eat bees and wasps! In asda they sell mixed salads from 50p-£1 I use those for my beardie they normally have escarole, endive etc in them just check the back. I offer greens every other day or unless he has finished them give insects around 3 times a week if hes actually an adult but at 12" I'm not sure.
www.beardeddragon.org that's a great forum to join up with!
hope this all helps a little, feel free to send me a Private Message any time for help.
Last edited by ex0tics; 10-08-2009 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: added info
I will try and answer most of your qu's but no expert but im sure other people will fill in the gaps. But first of all to RFUK =)
I'm no good with conversions but im thinking a 4ft viv would be big enough for his age.
Its proberly better to use fresh sand each monthly clean and you can get animal safe disenfectants that can be used for cleaning the viv out.
I think it needs to be just a bit higher than 100F, I think it is about 110F in the hot end (please will someone correct me if im wrong). In the wild it does get quite cold during the night, i read (on here) that many people switch everything off - but i would wait for someone to come and correct this.
Heat mats are not really a good idea as beared dragons cant sense heat beneath them and it can cause them to burn them selves - if a heat mat is needed putting it on the side of viv outside might be better.
You can let him outside when its sunny, but when letting him obv. never leave him alone. many people can see it as risky as there is a chance that he could catch some dieases, but i shouldnt see a problem as long as no pestiside as in the garden (again someone correct me if im wrong)
You could bath him once a week?, especially if he has walked in his poo!
I dont know of any age related dieases but im sure someone will have more knowledge than i do
The slates you have put in the viv should trim down the nails with out having to worry about it, if you have to i would advise taking them to a vets or someone that has experiance doing this, as you may cut too far down where a vien is.
it all depends on the rate of growth of the dragon just keep an eye on him and make sure there isnt any left over skin, especially on the tail and toes.
Calcium powder should be dusted on the veg 5 days a week and then nutrobol multivitamin 2 days a week, veg shouold be given everyday dusted.
For crickets you can fed more than 1/2, i would think about 7/8 depend son how interested he is - again if this is not corr3ect then someone will correct me
As you said they could come from anywhere so there is a risk of pestisides. There maybe some sort of of wildlife you could have but im unsure!
Sorry if ive not been the best of help but i hope i have answered most of your questions! Let us know how you get on!
Oh.. and here is a link to a thread telling you how to put pictures on :
Hope this helps
Keep us updated
EDIT: someone has beat me to it
I Have 3 Rats =D
3 Hairless Ladies: Talulah, Penelope & Maya
R.I.P Jubille, Cloud & Axel
just to add on the general health part, would be a good idea to get him checked out by a vet, plus take some poo for inspection too to make sure he is in good health after his previous owners
Last edited by Hellcat; 10-08-2009 at 06:23 PM.. Reason: my spelling sucks
Hi Charlotte (hope I've sent this to the right person - apologies if not - still learning)
Many thanks for the tips - and link for photobucket - we'll try and give a go
Last edited by BeardieG; 11-08-2009 at 11:35 AM.. Reason: posted on wrong member
Some really great stuff - apparently he measure 15" - so does that mean he's adult sized ? - hmm local wildlife - maybe not - now that we've got sourced supplies today (had to use the local ones due to him arriving just before the week-end - and no deliveries until week-days)
Will think of re-building the vivarium - might be a bit slow going - so hopefully it be okay for a few months....
Take it they like to be handled fairly regularly ?
Many thanks BeardiG
He could definitely be an adult then mines 18" and still growing though Unfortuneatly Local wildlife isn't worth the risk to be honest buy live food from www.livefoods.co.uk definitely the best if you order first thing in the morning you can expect it next day great prices too and they sell EVERYTHING except roaches.
Yeah the vivarium should suffice for now, but a 4ft is definitely your next thing on the list! have you got a 10%/12% UVB tube?(says on the bulb)
Yeah they love to come out and about, I have mine running around the bathroom whilst I'm in the shower or bath and in my bedroom every other night for a run around and get him out most days if its hot enough out sit or lay out in the sun with him he should happily stay still
I guessed you meant inches no worries dear
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