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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and thanks for takin time to read this, i am new to the lizard scene and would love to do the best possible for my future pet so would love some advice, i am debating on either a leopard gecko or either a green iguana or the bearded dragon, i dont know which would be great to buy and have as a new family member, i dont have a problem with time and have enough funds but this is all new so wouldnt want a "lizard" which i am going to cause harm to for a silly mistake so any advice would be great thanks mat
 

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Iggys get massive, u'd never a very huge enclosure for it and they can be quite nasty if u dont manage to tame it. if u have the time and devotion then they can be good pets, people have had them as first lizards with no problem but the gecko and bearded dragon are much simpler
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well i have time because i wont be back at work for another year, but i wouldnt want one which is going to attack for no apparent reason, so..... i have enough room and can get my hands on a 48" x 24" x 24" vivarium with uv lights and heat mat and so on, id just like to know what is the extent of a schedule and the best possible way to care for it
 

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mmm then i wouldnt go for an iggy just in case as they are known to have a nasty temperment at times.

i'd get a beardie if thats what set up your going to get. they grow just over 20inch, very friendly, easy to care for.
 

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A viv of that size will not last an iggy very long as they can get to 6 feet long, it would be perfect for 1-2 bearded dragons, only get either two females or a male and a female, two males will fight, make sure that they both have a basking spot aswell, its a bit too big for leos, so i would go with the BD with that viv, if you want an iggy there is an excellent care sheet at www.anapsid.org
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the advice, if i do go for the beardy could anyone give me any help on whats the best way to care for one by people who have actually cared for them, im thinking maybe go for one at the beginning because im thinking it would be a lot easier, if i do go for just the one what sex would be the best to get first then introduce the opposite at a later time? and what would be the best way to set up the viv.
 

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I keep mine in a 48x24x18(wdh) inch viv, it has a 100 watt reflector bulb to provide a basking temp of 105-110 F and a ambient temp of 85-90 F, it has a 8% uv tube at 36 inches long which is replaced every 6-9 months, she has a rock formation to climb on and some branches aswell, the lights are run on a habistat dimmerstat and a timer set to 12 hours on 12 hours off at this time of year, in the summer the time will gradually be increased to 14 hours on and 10 hours off.
I offer her veg evry day and crickets.locusts,meal worms, morio worms and lobster roaches as a variety is better than one food type.
I added some pics to give you an idea

uv light should be a max 12 inches away, i like to put mine closer

the branch from the last pic isnt in this one, but it runs the length of the viv under the uv tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
your beardy looks great mate :D i was just wondering if a 8% uv bulb was vital or could it be a little higher or lower if finding one exact was a hassle, and i was looking at a 300w dimmerstat and was wondering if it was powerfull enough because i was reading i needed a heat mat aswell on the same stat and if that was true or not
 

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UV can be higher/lower i had a 5% first but changed to 8% from personnal preference, you can run a light and mat on a 300 watt dimmerstat so long as you dont exceed the 300 watt maximum, i dont use a heatmat myself because its only really needed for nighttime heat and my house is always quite warm.
 

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dont go lower than the 8% and try and get a 10% if u are going to use a uv tube, it has to be withing 6-8 inches of his fav basking spot as they give off only a little uv and not over much distance.

There are other means of giving UV but i think its best you start with a tube as they are "safe" which is why ppl use them..basically no rep could ever get overdosed on them even if theycouldnt get shelter away from it..whereas we all know higher uv outputters like the sun..will harm if u cant get out of the rays.

If you just get one... just pick one..u prolly wont be able to tell the sex as a young one anyway ,once its older and u have got used to the 1st one you should then be able to tell its sex and if u choose to introduce a friend.

A 100watt reflector bulb positioned about 6 inches from one end and situated slightly towards the back will prolly be a great starting point, it will prolly be on all the time [although use a stat incase until u know for sure] without any chance f overheating the cool end.
A heat mat taped to the back, or undedr the substrate [both options inside the viv onot outside] also on the stat [or if your bulb is on the stat it doesnt have to be as it wont anywhere near heat the viv fully anyway]
will also be required...mostly cos u can keep this on the stat at night and turn it down to 70 degrees to keep night time temps right as u cant have the light on when the beardies are trying to sleep ofcourse.

for a 4ft viv yourd want a 3 ft mat [thereabouts] also on the warm end so one foot of the cool end would have none.

For temps you want a basking spot, where directly under the bulb where the beardie will bask temps will be between 105-120 degrees.. from there it will steadily decrease for a few inches before rounding off at around 90 in the overall imediete area.
with the farest collest end getting between 80-85 degrees.

Remember heat rises, glass lets out heat, caves are cool.. so coolest points are gona be the front end near the glass..anywhere sheltered and lower down to the ground [unless heat mat on floor..in which case make that lower to the ground where the heat mat is no ie cool end]

As long as you have the hot..and then the cool... ur ok to be honest so dont worry too much if u cant get it perfect..just ask to check its all ok.

You will want a digital thermometer with a probe, if u have a maplins near u they sell a good one for a tenner.

Beardies can be difficult to get to drink..but dont worry, there are ways and theres loadsa ppl here who can help once u have decided on your pet and got him home.

Beardies will NEVER bite.... ok cant say never..OK I WILL..THEY WILL NEVER BITE... im 99.9% confident of that.

Anyway back to original quessie... id still go for the beardie but IGUANAS are brilliant too...
i wouldnt expect an iggy to atack without reason, the reason may just be hes a grumpy shit... but its a reason.. and i think they are plenty predictable enough... the bad press has come from ppl who seem to think they can stick there hands all over a 6 foot beast without any thought for the animal and not get any come back.
But you would need the 4x2x2 [w,h,d] for a year or so... then something prolly 4x5x3 [whd] for another 2 or 3 years with a final adult enclosure of about 8x8x4 for the next 15-20 years of life.
Its a huge comitment but if urv got cash and a big house... go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thankyou very much for that. well to let you know ive been on to a local pet store and ive decided to get a beardy, he said to get a ceramic heater and just the uv bulb he recommended a 10% and didnt say anything about a heat mat, he said ill definatly have to get a 2 foot high viv for the heater and he said if i get a baby ill have to section off the viv but im wondering why because it would give the baby more places to run about and explore which ive read is good for them so any help with that would be great thanks
 

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hi mate...
id ask you to please not get a ceramic heater and instead go for a normal reflector bulb [dont buy this from the pet shop either, no need to get a reptile brand one] and a heat mat.

Also about sectioning it off... BOLLOCKS... i mean it might be an idea but not nececarily needed...if the guy is litterally a hatchling..like under 5 inches long the maybe.. but...
 

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Just wondered - why no CHE? I have always used CHEs for my lizards to create the ambient temp - then bulbs for basking temps.

I put my 3 rankins in a 4x2x2 when they were just juveniles, and they did fine.
 

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Razaiel said:
Just wondered - why no CHE? I have always used CHEs for my lizards to create the ambient temp - then bulbs for basking temps.

I put my 3 rankins in a 4x2x2 when they were just juveniles, and they did fine.
Beardies associate light with heat so therefore will not see the heat as CHE's dont give off light.If used with a light for a basking spot then there shouldnt be any problems, but you will have to have a pulseproprtional stat for the CHE and a dimmerstat for the light, waste of time and money to have both IMO.
I put my BD into the viv in the pics when she was only 5-6 inches long and she loved chasing the crix around, damn lazy now though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
thanks mate great help there, i was starting to worry about how to know what size n everything there, so could you give me any advice on what to use exactly for a baby, im getting the 4ft viv but could you tell me what u use for the floor and evertyhing, i like the branch's aswell and havent seen any for sale ive seen bits of driftwood but they have all been small, the viv i am getting though has vents where the floor is and im worried because as ive read the viv must be humid so was worried if the vents would cause the viv to dry out, i know i could block them up but was wondering if it was necessary or not, and by the way the help is great its giving alot more knowledge than just reading the net, so thanks alot
 

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Paper towelling or newspaperon the floor is perfect for small young beardies, is you use sand or substrate at that age they have a higher risk of gut impaction and is not advised.

as for humidity around 40% is fine they are from a hot dry desert so do not require high humidity, spaying them once/twice a day is usually enough and placing a small shallow bowl in the viv when are a little bigger helps them get the moisture/drink they need(if placing water in a baby beardie viv always make sure is shallow enough that the babies cant drown.

make sure there is plenty of hides and branches for the babies to run about on,

also .....never feed prey that is bigger than the gap between the beardies eyes, also help prevents impaction i always fed mine dead mealworms even when older as beardies just chomp and swallow rather than chew.
offer up a selection of fruit and veg daily(rocket ,squash,papaya,dandelions(washed)blackberries,strawberries are tasty aswell as the crickets but never iceberg lettuce


agree with dean and trese uv light should be about 6-8" from beardies at all times diagonally placed in the viv is usually the best way
 

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a couple of pics of my viv







and it had a cage fitted around basking lamp after pics

i made the interior myself and they loved it :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks for that, im loving the help, the set up you have looks great i like the big hiding spot you have, just on asking does anyone know how far i could travel with a baby before it started to cause any damage, and if i have to heat the container i bring it home in how would i do it, should only be a couple of weeks before i have it so really trying to find out everything possible, and by the way is there anything i have to take the beardie to the vets for when its a baby except the regular 3 times a year ive read, any injections it requires or anything like that, just asking cos want the best for it thanks
 

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as for travelling i havnt a clue the most i travelled was 60/70 miles but stopped half way through to check him and offer some water as for keeping them warm i used hot water bottles wrapped in a towel and placed under the box
 
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