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Old 31-08-2009, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2
Default Newbie advice

Hi All

Im Mick from Huddersfield,just to introduce myself.

Ive just surfaced from the seriosly wallet diminishing hobby of marine fish keeping some 12 months ago,and on reflection at the second hand tank market being on its backside,ive been toying with the idea of a bearded dragon for several months,having read books ,and internet forums ,both this and others ,asked in pet stores /shops for advice ,some good some not so good and some conflicting i have to say.

Which brings me to my first ,no doubt of many questions about vivs and the general welfare and husbandry of these fascinating little critters i hope to own soon.

I have from the fish keeping days still got my aquarium some 48 long x 18 deep x 20 inches high ,could this be used as a viv ?,with the construction of a made to masure cover ,the obvious downside to this is the lack of front sliding glass doors ,and the only access being from the top.
I have looked at the comercially available covers ,which do appear quite expensive for what they are,i work next to a sheet metal fabricating company within our business complex ,who would make a cover for me no worries The shop ones appear to have a central glass aperture for access with one end solid tin with hole for the heat lamp ,and the other end mesh covered for i assume oxygen and general air circulation

The top of the tank has some glass strengthening bars all round the internal perimiter which would support the cover, and 2 back to front ,which split the length or the tank into approx 1/2 and 2 x 1/4 these would hold the stickers and clips for the UV tube ,

The 2nd query i have is on the sand /substrate ,Ive seen smallish bags of "desert sand " which again appear expensive for the size ,what depth of sand should i have in the viv ? as to cover my tank to an appreciable depth would take many bags.

Is silver or river sand an alternative ? generally used for brick and stone pointing,very fine ,but im led to believe the so called desert sand is "treated" and as to the purity of silver sand im not too sure but i dare hazard a guess if it was heated through in the oven to 200+ it would kill any parasites that may have been lurking.

Any advice would be appreciated guys

And anyone within striking distance of my place that would like to give me any advice on a personal level locally would be also welcome

Thanks in anticipation

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 31-08-2009, 02:10 AM
jools's Avatar
Oh God - not her AGAIN
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: On top of a mountain near Shrewsbury
Posts: 9,565

Hi Mick and Welcome! Firstly I don't keep beardies atm but here are a few responses to your post. The floor area recommended for adult beardies is 8 sq. feet so the tank is a little small for a permanent home. Also at 20" high you would have to find a way to drop the uv tube lower - the beardie needs to be within 12" of the tube max. Also you will find that glass tanks do not hold the temperatures as well as a wooden viv. The other slight issue might be that beardies particularly do not like being approached from above as this is very threatening to them.
Secondly sand. You will find no end of debates on here about substrates. The general concensus is that if you are going to feed your beardie in the viv then sand is a definate no-no for babies - use tiles, slate, lino or paper. Sand, especially reptile or calci-sand, can cause impaction which can be fatal - it is coarse and clumps in the stomach. For adults then many ppl still find a non-particulate substrate easier to keep clean. If you do wish to use sand then the best is childrens play sand which you can get from Argos or Tesco for example. It is finer, clean, non-clumping and cheap. Just bake it in the oven before use if it is too damp.
After all that I hope you enjoy your beardie - it will give you hours of pleasure.
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