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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm new to reptile forum as have recently got my first reptile, a baby beardie. I'm not sure of his age although he is around 7 inches long and 15 grams in weight. I bought him about 3 weeks ago and his feeding habits have been very up and down, I'm trying to work out if I'm doing the right thing as I seem to have tried everything now. I started off feeding him locusts but as they don't move around much he didn't seem to even notice them so I started having to hand feed them to him which he would take around 5-6 twice a day. Then I tried him with crickets and he seemed to love them as would dive into the box before I got a chance to remove the lid!

The last few days he hasn't really eaten anything, around 2-3 crickets in total. I have tried putting him in a box with the crickets away from the viv but he just wants to escape and ignores the crickets. I have tried hand feeding them to him and he just looks at it for a second then closes his eyes! If I leave the crickets in the viv he doesn't find them and I end up having to remove them which is a massive pain in the butt.

I give him veggies every morning which I haven't ever seen him touch although from what I have read on here that can be normal when they are babies so I keep offering each day anyway.

I have been giving him baths twice a week which he seems to enjoy and will happily drink water from a syringe. He seems to be pooping ok, I would say usually twice a day, little brown pellets with the white stuff on one end. Sometimes I've seen just the white stuff with no poop.

One thing that seems strange to me is that I hardly ever see him on his basking spot, he spends nearly all of his time on a branch in the middle of the viv and might have a couple of 5 minute bursts of energy where he has a wonder around.

So about the viv - its a 4x2x2 with 100w basking lamp, and a full length 12% UVB light. I have 2 digital thermometers, one on the basking spot which measures around 110-115f at its hottest. And the other in the cool end which is usually around 80f. I have the lighting on a timer which is on 8am-8pm.

For the substrate I have tiles, he has a few bits of furniture, bark for hiding (which he never seems to do!) and a couple of branches for climbing on.

I have been trying to dust his live food with calcium 5 times a week and multi vit twice a week but this is quite hard to regulate at the moment as I never know when he is going to eat! I'm not sure when or how to tell if he may be shedding (I don't notice any difference at the moment) and whether this could be a factor?

Any advice on why he might not be eating would be gratefully received and please let me know if I'm doing the right things? Sorry for the rather long essay...just wanted to get all the info in there!

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you have done some good research on your enclosure, which is great. It may also help if you could get a couple pictures of your set up so that we can see it in action. That will give us an idea of how your lights are mounted and other possible issues.

My first thought, as your temperatures all seem good, is that it simply may be that it is being handled too much for a new lizard. They usually take a bit of time to settle in and with frequent handling this can make the issue take longer to resolve than normal. At three weeks it should have acclimated by now, but some take longer than others.

Do you have a reptile specialist vet in your area? Its always good with a new animal to go get a quick checkup with a reptile vet. That way you dont have to worry so much about past care and the present state of the animal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello and thanks so much for your reply. I haven't checked out a reptile vet yet but is something I will do asap. I've uploaded some pics at the link below - I've done a shot of the whole setup and then a closer shot of each side - as you can see where my beardie is sitting now is where he spends 99% of his time! Please let me know if you think the setup is ok?

Thanks

Postimage.org / gallery - Viv1, Viv2, Viv3
 

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Looks like a very nice enclosure, lots of room and youve made use of varying horizontal aspects too. Just one suggestion I would make really, that being to move the fluorescent tube so that it is located all the way over to the right, next to the basking light. Youre dragon in the wild gets both heat and UV together with their visible light, so that you want to have them getting a good dose of all of that when they bask too. You also want to make sure there is an area to the left of your enclosure where there is no UV exposure so that they have a way of escaping it should they need to.

Its not too surprising that your dragon chose the branch to hang out on most of the time. They will usually pick a higher position to hang out on when available. I think it makes them feel safer as they have the ability to survey a larger area.

Aside from that, I would say leave him be for a week or so without holding or messing with him. A week without baths wont be a big deal, and will allow you to see if that is the issue or if its something else. Again, if you can find a good reptile vet then that is also a good idea.

As you have been, make sure the veggies are in there at all times with him. That way if he really needs it, he has food there when you arent. Looks like you might want to try a bit more variety as well. Make sure they are cut up nice and small for the little one. That also ensures you wont have any problems with any crickets you might not find after feeding.
 

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Agree with Jarich.

Only two things I'll add.

Lift those thermo probes to around 4 inches off the ground. It gives you a better idea of the temps at the hights the dragons hang out at...they don't really sit on the floor that much.

I can't see where your basking spot probe is.

Also I'd move his water bowl over into the cool side, its in a fairly warm place there and will evaporate and increase humidity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice, its much appreciated. I'll move the temp probes and the water bowl and leave him alone for a bit and see if that makes a difference. The UVB tube I have is the whole length of the enclosure so I cant really move it anywhere - I did try and make a shady area for him in the cool end but would you suggest getting a smaller UV tube?
 

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I would have to disagree with that. Probes are not meant to show you what temp your dragon likes. They are there to monitor the extremes of your temperature gradient. Therefore you want one on your basking area (showing hottest temp) and one at the bottom of the cool side (showing coolest temp). The dragon will decide where it wants to go within that range. All other temps are somewhere in between and largely inconsequential, for a new keeper especially. If you want to know what temp your dragon likes best, a simple piece of kit called an infrared temp gun (about 15 quid) will show you instantly with a lazer pointer.

As for the humidity, it will be unlikely that the position of the small water bowl will increase overall humidity and there is no evidence that slight increases in humidity cause any health issues anyway.
 
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