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Old 17-02-2013, 04:21 PM
Egg
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 10
Default Bearded dragon help and advice!

Howdy folks,
I would just like to say firstly thank you for reading and if you reply all advice would be very grateful.

I have just recently gotten my self a beardie. My next door no longer want her and iv wanted one for years. Im not too sure how old she is, but is at least 17inch's. The viv I got with her is 3ft long by 15inch by 15inches. From everything I have read over the past week to do with a bearded dragon. She should be in a bigger viv. So I have ordered a 4ft x 2ft x 2ft for her.

So from there I moved onto everything I should have in a viv (not saying she hasnt got everything she needs now, cos she has. I just want to buy all new stuff). Which after reading alot of caresheets and looking a starter kits, was an easy thing to do.

So I ordered the following:

Lighting
1 x Arcadia T5 D3 Reptile Lamp 12% 39W, 34inch
1 x Arcadia T5 Reflector 34 inch
1 x Arcadia T5 Electronic Controller 24-39W

After that I got a little lost and confused.

Some people say use 2 basking lamps, some say use 1. Some people say use hologen as gives same heat but cheaper to run. I know they should have a basking temp of around 95-105F and down the cool end around 80-88F. That shouldnt be to hard to sort out.

At night again i get a bit lost again, saying the hot end should be around 80F and the cold end getting no colder that 65F. So to sort this problem use a Ceramic heater with a temp thermostat to control the hot end and keeping it at 80F.

With all that in mind wouldnt you use a temp theremostat on the basking lamps to ensure that they dont go above the set temp aswell as the ceramic heater?

There is so many types of thermostats im not sure on which one would be best for me to use. The other thing that causes me a headache, is placement of the probe from the thermostat. Iv read down that best place is 1/3 of the way down from hot end 3inched from floor.

Iv already got the rocks. logs and plants aswell as a nice hammock. She is on calci-sand. She does eat it and does eat any while catching her hoppers. Aswell as she likes to dig at it, so keeps her happy.


So all advice would be greatful so i can order the last few bits i need. Then move her into her new home.

Thanks Somsumi
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 17-02-2013, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somsumi View Post
Howdy folks,
I would just like to say firstly thank you for reading and if you reply all advice would be very grateful.

I have just recently gotten my self a beardie. My next door no longer want her and iv wanted one for years. Im not too sure how old she is, but is at least 17inch's. The viv I got with her is 3ft long by 15inch by 15inches. From everything I have read over the past week to do with a bearded dragon. She should be in a bigger viv. So I have ordered a 4ft x 2ft x 2ft for her.

So from there I moved onto everything I should have in a viv (not saying she hasnt got everything she needs now, cos she has. I just want to buy all new stuff). Which after reading alot of caresheets and looking a starter kits, was an easy thing to do.

So I ordered the following:

Lighting
1 x Arcadia T5 D3 Reptile Lamp 12% 39W, 34inch
1 x Arcadia T5 Reflector 34 inch
1 x Arcadia T5 Electronic Controller 24-39W

After that I got a little lost and confused.

Some people say use 2 basking lamps, some say use 1. Some people say use hologen as gives same heat but cheaper to run. I know they should have a basking temp of around 95-105F and down the cool end around 80-88F. That shouldnt be to hard to sort out.

At night again i get a bit lost again, saying the hot end should be around 80F and the cold end getting no colder that 65F. So to sort this problem use a Ceramic heater with a temp thermostat to control the hot end and keeping it at 80F.

With all that in mind wouldnt you use a temp theremostat on the basking lamps to ensure that they dont go above the set temp aswell as the ceramic heater?

There is so many types of thermostats im not sure on which one would be best for me to use. The other thing that causes me a headache, is placement of the probe from the thermostat. Iv read down that best place is 1/3 of the way down from hot end 3inched from floor.

Iv already got the rocks. logs and plants aswell as a nice hammock. She is on calci-sand. She does eat it and does eat any while catching her hoppers. Aswell as she likes to dig at it, so keeps her happy.


So all advice would be greatful so i can order the last few bits i need. Then move her into her new home.

Thanks Somsumi
Firstly and well done on doing the initial research and purchasing the correct equipment, you won't regret purchasing the T5 I can assure you. I assume you know to mount it in the hot end to create a photogradient (Light & Shade)? Click the link for more info if not.

It seems you have your temps slightly confused. You want a basking spot of 105-115 roughly, depending on the dragon. You then want a hot end of 90ish and cool end of 80ish, I'd recommend a little lower which you should be able to achieve in a 4x2x2. You will only need a single bulb for this and I would recommend roughly a 50w halogen on a dimming stat.

Night temps should not need to be provided, they don't need a temp range (hot and cool end) at night and there will naturally be one for most of the night due to the heat bulb, your bd will decide where to sleep. Aslong as night temps don't drop below 10c you will be fine, anything between 12-18c is great in my opinion. Too cool (below 10c could bring on brumation and too high will disturb your dragons sleep, be uncomfortable and stressful. A night time temp drop is a natural occurrence and beneficial.

State probe placement is subjective and people differ in their opinions. I personally prefer my towards the cool end to maintain an area that the dragon always has to retreat to if need be, no chance of overheating and dehydration. See what works best for you.

Calci sand, i assume you meant she doesn't eat it? I personally wouldn't recommend calci sand. Firstly all loose substrates can be dangerous especially calci sand as your bd will possibly be attracted to the calcium and ingest it which can lead to impaction. I will stress however that if your husbandry is correct then they shouldn't be attracted to the calci sand and any ingestion (unless major and constant) should pass without issue. If however your husbandry is off then loose substrates can be very damaging.

I think I've covered everything you've asked and everything I wanted to say. Sure someone will comment if they disagree or I've missed anything. This place is a wealth of knowledge!
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Old 17-02-2013, 04:39 PM
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Sounds like she's going to be getting the best! Which is very nice to hear

That UVB setup sounds great, as good as you can get!

Regarding the basking lights. Only one is needed, having 2 will likely heat up the cool end too much. You can use halogens, spot bulbs, household bulbs, it's up to you. Halogens are cheaper to run and get warmer at a lower wattage than most normal bulbs. The light bulb (which ever one you choose) should go on a dimming thermostat. Even if you get the temperatures spot on without one, it's there as a safe guard, mostly to prevent overheating. The basking spot can be upped even more than that, around 105-115F. Bare in mind that these are just a guide, the best way of determining temperatures is to watch her behaviour. She should only bask for 5-10 minutes at a time, then run off and do lizardy things. If she basks for longer than that, the temperatures aren't quite high enough. Remember to get some digital thermometers too if you haven't already. The dial ones that are commonly sold are rubbish.

You shouldn't need any night time heat at all, so no ceramic and no extra thermostat. They need cool temperatures at night for them to 'switch off' properly. If it's too warm they won't sleep and this will cause problems in the long run.

Everyone seems to have different ideas about where thermostats should go. Personally I would put the probe in the middle so that it can sense quicker if the cool end is going to be compromised. There are instructions with the thermostat that says the probe should go in the cool end, but in my mind it'll begin to compromise the cool end before the heat is lowered.

I would change that calci-sand to normal play sand. The problem with calci-sand is that it is not digestible, the calcium in it promotes them feeding on it. If they eat too much then it can cause problems as it forms very solid clumps when wet, which can get stuck and block the digestive tract. Normal play sand is not digestible but also does not form clumps and can pass through relatively easily if it is eaten.

Didn't see it mentioned so I was wondering about your supplements? Did you get given any with her? A very highly recommended brand is Repashy Calcium Plus, this can be dusted on to the live food.
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Old 17-02-2013, 05:09 PM
Egg
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcannon View Post
Firstly and well done on doing the initial research and purchasing the correct equipment, you won't regret purchasing the T5 I can assure you. I assume you know to mount it in the hot end to create a photogradient (Light & Shade)? Click the link for more info if not.

It seems you have your temps slightly confused. You want a basking spot of 105-115 roughly, depending on the dragon. You then want a hot end of 90ish and cool end of 80ish, I'd recommend a little lower which you should be able to achieve in a 4x2x2. You will only need a single bulb for this and I would recommend roughly a 50w halogen on a dimming stat.

Night temps should not need to be provided, they don't need a temp range (hot and cool end) at night and there will naturally be one for most of the night due to the heat bulb, your bd will decide where to sleep. Aslong as night temps don't drop below 10c you will be fine, anything between 12-18c is great in my opinion. Too cool (below 10c could bring on brumation and too high will disturb your dragons sleep, be uncomfortable and stressful. A night time temp drop is a natural occurrence and beneficial.

State probe placement is subjective and people differ in their opinions. I personally prefer my towards the cool end to maintain an area that the dragon always has to retreat to if need be, no chance of overheating and dehydration. See what works best for you.

Calci sand, i assume you meant she doesn't eat it? I personally wouldn't recommend calci sand. Firstly all loose substrates can be dangerous especially calci sand as your bd will possibly be attracted to the calcium and ingest it which can lead to impaction. I will stress however that if your husbandry is correct then they shouldn't be attracted to the calci sand and any ingestion (unless major and constant) should pass without issue. If however your husbandry is off then loose substrates can be very damaging.

I think I've covered everything you've asked and everything I wanted to say. Sure someone will comment if they disagree or I've missed anything. This place is a wealth of knowledge!
Thanks for you reply.

In regards to the lighting, I know it goes down towards the hot end, but will cover most of the viv as, a 4ft which is what 45inched long and the and light is 34inches. she will have shade from the light if she wish's by the use of silk plantes and such creating shaded area's.

With heating, ok one hologen should be fine then to create the basking spot for her. But at night you say they will natually be one at night, but if im correcting in saying the heat light will be turned off at night correct?

Also what would the dimming thermostat do differently to a temp thermostat? As you said use a dimming one.

In response to placement of thermostat sensor, so say if i put it 2/3 of the way down maybe half way (2ft), this should ensure that the cool end doesnt get too hot correct?

Yer iv read alot of different thing on sands and calci sand. Her hoppers get calcuim sprinkled on them prior to feeding and she also has bearded dragon pallets which also contain calcium, so she doent tend to eat it at all. Just loves digging it. It was what she was on when i get her, so atm she still on it in her old viv untill new one fitted correctly. Also the calci sand comes in some nice colours she got black and blue. Looks fab.
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Old 17-02-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somsumi View Post
Thanks for you reply.

In regards to the lighting, I know it goes down towards the hot end, but will cover most of the viv as, a 4ft which is what 45inched long and the and light is 34inches. she will have shade from the light if she wish's by the use of silk plantes and such creating shaded area's.

the one you have is the perfect size for a 4ft viv, I just mean place it against the hot side wall so the cool end drops off in to shade.

With heating, ok one hologen should be fine then to create the basking spot for her. But at night you say they will natually be one at night, but if im correcting in saying the heat light will be turned off at night correct?

It will be turned off you're correct however the temp will stay in the viv for a fair few hours (unless you open the doors) and in this time there will still be some sort of gradient, however as mentioned a warm/cool side isn't necessary aslong as your ambient temp is between 12-18c.

Also what would the dimming thermostat do differently to a temp thermostat? As you said use a dimming one.

Im not quite sure what you mean by a temp thermostat, the usuals for heat sources other than mats are dimming, pulse and on/off stats, I'd assume a temp stat is an on/off stat. This will simply turn the power off when it reaches temp whereas a dimming stat will dim the bulb.

In response to placement of thermostat sensor, so say if i put it 2/3 of the way down maybe half way (2ft), this should ensure that the cool end doesnt get too hot correct?

In theory yes. You should be able to maintain a steady temp throughout the viv with placing the probe there, however I suggest you see what works best for you as people and situations differ.

Yer iv read alot of different thing on sands and calci sand. Her hoppers get calcuim sprinkled on them prior to feeding and she also has bearded dragon pallets which also contain calcium, so she doent tend to eat it at all. Just loves digging it. It was what she was on when i get her, so atm she still on it in her old viv untill new one fitted correctly. Also the calci sand comes in some nice colours she got black and blue. Looks fab.
Unnaturally coloured sand will dye your dragon and is very very difficult to remove, taking at least one full shed to disappear. If Calci sand works for you then that's fine there isn't an issue, I would just be wary and be sure to monitor it.


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 17-02-2013, 05:29 PM
Egg
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vgorst View Post
Sounds like she's going to be getting the best! Which is very nice to hear

That UVB setup sounds great, as good as you can get!

Regarding the basking lights. Only one is needed, having 2 will likely heat up the cool end too much. You can use halogens, spot bulbs, household bulbs, it's up to you. Halogens are cheaper to run and get warmer at a lower wattage than most normal bulbs. The light bulb (which ever one you choose) should go on a dimming thermostat. Even if you get the temperatures spot on without one, it's there as a safe guard, mostly to prevent overheating. The basking spot can be upped even more than that, around 105-115F. Bare in mind that these are just a guide, the best way of determining temperatures is to watch her behaviour. She should only bask for 5-10 minutes at a time, then run off and do lizardy things. If she basks for longer than that, the temperatures aren't quite high enough. Remember to get some digital thermometers too if you haven't already. The dial ones that are commonly sold are rubbish.

You shouldn't need any night time heat at all, so no ceramic and no extra thermostat. They need cool temperatures at night for them to 'switch off' properly. If it's too warm they won't sleep and this will cause problems in the long run.

Everyone seems to have different ideas about where thermostats should go. Personally I would put the probe in the middle so that it can sense quicker if the cool end is going to be compromised. There are instructions with the thermostat that says the probe should go in the cool end, but in my mind it'll begin to compromise the cool end before the heat is lowered.

I would change that calci-sand to normal play sand. The problem with calci-sand is that it is not digestible, the calcium in it promotes them feeding on it. If they eat too much then it can cause problems as it forms very solid clumps when wet, which can get stuck and block the digestive tract. Normal play sand is not digestible but also does not form clumps and can pass through relatively easily if it is eaten.

Didn't see it mentioned so I was wondering about your supplements? Did you get given any with her? A very highly recommended brand is Repashy Calcium Plus, this can be dusted on to the live food.
Thanks for your reply.

Yer iv only had her a week but im going to ensure she gets the best. Now iv got her I wouldnt mind getting some more. Its good how I got given her or id still be stitting here in yrs to come and never got one.

I dont want to breed at all, so im not gona put a female with a male, but again different views on this can you put two females together?

I do plan on upgrading the thermonitors to digitals one when pay days comes along, was thinking off having one in hot and one in cool end of viv. Going on what you said and the other person il just have 1 light using a holgen. Putting it hanging from the top in the middle a few inches from them edge of the viv.

I covered the supliments in the last reply aswell as the sand.

Thanks Somsumi
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Old 17-02-2013, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somsumi View Post
Thanks for your reply.

Yer iv only had her a week but im going to ensure she gets the best. Now iv got her I wouldnt mind getting some more. Its good how I got given her or id still be stitting here in yrs to come and never got one.

I dont want to breed at all, so im not gona put a female with a male, but again different views on this can you put two females together?

I do plan on upgrading the thermonitors to digitals one when pay days comes along, was thinking off having one in hot and one in cool end of viv. Going on what you said and the other person il just have 1 light using a holgen. Putting it hanging from the top in the middle a few inches from them edge of the viv.

I covered the supliments in the last reply aswell as the sand.

Thanks Somsumi
Two females is the only pairing I would suggest if you want to cohabit however even two females cannot work and must be closely monitored. Be sure to have a spare viv in case separation was needed. I'd also recommend a larger viv for a pair, atleast 6x2x2 in my opinion.

Digital thermometers should be at the top of the list, without these its impossible to accurately measure your temp gradient which is obviously of great importance.
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Old 17-02-2013, 06:11 PM
Egg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcannon View Post
Two females is the only pairing I would suggest if you want to cohabit however even two females cannot work and must be closely monitored. Be sure to have a spare viv in case separation was needed. I'd also recommend a larger viv for a pair, atleast 6x2x2 in my opinion.

Digital thermometers should be at the top of the list, without these its impossible to accurately measure your temp gradient which is obviously of great importance.
How many digital thermometers would you suggest and placement for them? Oh and they are top of list next to my heating for the new viv. Hopefully next weekend ill have it all done.

Yer i have been watching her during the week to see whats she is like with the sand. I might look into the playsand. What about the desert sand i see being sold?
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Old 17-02-2013, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Somsumi View Post
How many digital thermometers would you suggest and placement for them? Oh and they are top of list next to my heating for the new viv. Hopefully next weekend ill have it all done.

Yer i have been watching her during the week to see whats she is like with the sand. I might look into the playsand. What about the desert sand i see being sold?
Brilliant, fair play to you. 2 at least you want. 1 for the basking spot, and one for the cool end/hot end, you can use 1 for both of these if you don't want to buy 3. Placements are basking spot - directly under the bulb (hottest part of viv). Hot end, an inch off the floor on the hot side wall, cool end, an inch of the floor, cool side wall.

I don't know of the desert sand? I use sand/desert bedding (is this what you mean?) mix but most of my floor isn't substrate.
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Old 17-02-2013, 06:53 PM
Egg
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Originally Posted by tomcannon View Post
Brilliant, fair play to you. 2 at least you want. 1 for the basking spot, and one for the cool end/hot end, you can use 1 for both of these if you don't want to buy 3. Placements are basking spot - directly under the bulb (hottest part of viv). Hot end, an inch off the floor on the hot side wall, cool end, an inch of the floor, cool side wall.

I don't know of the desert sand? I use sand/desert bedding (is this what you mean?) mix but most of my floor isn't substrate.
Iv just been looking at ya builds. Bloody amazing, i would love something like that in a 6ft viv, so then they still have plenty of space to roam around. How much would something like that cost?
I have added you to facebook also.

Im guessing the 3rd would be placed in the middle an inch of the floor attached to back wall?

The desert sand ---desert sand

Thanks for all you help today been a great help.
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