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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Im Martin and 17years old, living at home just outside of Cambridge...
I currently go to college and therefore am not at home the whole day, however there is normally somebody in the house.
Although we have a number of pets between us (cat, hamsters, previously owned dogs, rabbits, guniea pigs, budgies etc.) we hav never owned a reptile.

Anyway,
For the past few weeks ive been looking at buying a Bearded Dragon, however after reading up about them ive found that they grow a little too big for me to house (an average of 19inches).
Although after looking for a little longer i stumbled across the "Dwarf Bearded Dragon" or "Rankin Dragon".
Due to living at home the dragon shall be kept in my bedroom and because i love my beauty sleep a way of keeping the vivarium warm without light by night would be best.

Ive spent a fair amounts of time reading about the requirements of these creatures, prices, bedding (substrates), plants, feeding etc etc and have found many posts have answered the questions however as so many of you seem to be wise to this area i would greatly appreciate it if you were to just check what im considering buying and sending some feedback...

To Buy List:

36"x18"x18" Vivarium, wooden, with glass sliding doors
Reptisun 5.0 18" UVA tube (will this need to be on at night?)
2 Thermostats
Basking Bulb (blue, during day (swithced off at night))
11"x17" Heatmat (to keep the temp up at night)
Cermaic Heater (is this necessary with heatmat and basking bulb??)
Hide
Water Bowl
Substrate (probably not sand, i dont want to take the risk, maybe bark)
Log to climb on
Food (veg and live stuff)

Also what aged Rankin would you suggest to buy?

Any opinions on what i plan to buy would be greatly appreciated, i normally think that negative feedback is always more useful as long as an alternative is supplied.

Thanks for reading
Martin

P.s. Does anyone know of a supplier of Rankin Dragons near to Cambridge as im finding it very hard to actually find one
 

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i've never kept rankins before but do own a bearded dragon and i believe there care to be similar.

i don't think you need to have so many heat sources you won't need a ceramic heater if you have a basking lamp and i'm not sure you'll even need a heatmat to be honest as like bearded dragons they detect heat from above and not through their bellies like some other lizards but i'm sure if i'm wrong about that someone will correct me.

the uv and heat will both be on timers so they won't be on during the night. although you could keep the heatmat and use it at night but they don't really heat the atmosphere.

i'd also maybe go for the reptisun 8.0 24" but again if someone disagrees please feel free to correct me. make sure that you dragon can get within 12" from the uv light.

you'll also need to get a supplement calcium and vitamins to put on the crickets.

i'd also probably go for sand in my personal opinion over bark.

a thermometer is also a good idea so you can monitor the temps at both ends of the tank.

the rest of what you said seems fine. the tank size is plenty big enough for one but you could easily have a pair in there.
 

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I deffinatly agree with dtaylor on the sand, I had my beardie freya on bark for a long while because of the cost of sand, she wasnt a very happy dragon. the day i filled her cage with sand she jumped right off her log and started running around she was much happier and still is.
 

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i'd also maybe go for the reptisun 8.0 24" but again if someone disagrees please feel free to correct me. make sure that you dragon can get within 12" from the uv light
I'd go for a repti-glo 10.0
Even better again :D
 

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i use a ceramic heater at night for my beardies. No light and its a good heat source.

I've got two 60 watt bulbs for basking lights, and a reptiglo 10.0 UV tube.

A stack of corkbark for them to climb on and hide under. Also a big log that goes right to the top of the viv, so they can climb as well. a few plastic plants just for appearence and a little cover for the lizards. Water bowl, and food bowl. oh and a few rocks to help keep their claws trimmed.
 

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Hiya mate.

Firstly, welcome to the forum and well done for asking these questions before you purchase, likewise, well done on looking at info yourself before asking.

For Uv light Go for the repti 8% instead of the 5% as it gives of higher UVb which is what you want with dragons, the higher the better.

You will ofcourse need a starter unit for this too.

A basking Bulb and heatmat
You will probably find 100watt to be the best for the viv size.
It doesnt have to be a reptile brand one either, just a normal reflector bulb.. AND IT SHOULD BE WHITE, not blue.

A heatmat the size u mentioned is good, best to tape that to the back [inside] and lower down as possible.

A dimming thermostat.
To plug both the mat and bulb into, at night you can just unplugg the bulb and leave the mat on the stat and then turn it down for night time temps.

You could use 2 stats, makes life easier [only the one with the bulb would need to be the more expensive dimming variety though, the one for the mat can be a much cheaper mat stat] you could then set both stats on timers and not have to do anything manually.

** oh about the uv tube** repti 8% previously mentioned, you want one thats basically the length of the viv.
and you might aswell put that on a timer too.

Substrate... im not even going there lol.. i think start with simple kitchen towel if its a baby and go from there [we are always here later to help in more depth]

You want a few logs, hides, fake plants etc.

Digital thermometer.
Humidity guage [not hugely necesary as ur gona just keep the humidity as low as possible for a dragon anyway]
you can get digital thermometers that read humidity too for a price.

Food bowl, water dish, calcium supplement, multivits such as nutrobol.

and yeh like u said food.. :)

i know you had this pretty much down i just find it easier to go through the hole lot sorry.

Good luck mate.

EDIT: LOL YES A 10% TUBE IS BETTER :) Dont know why i didnt mention, lotsa ppl have trouble finding them yes, and also i didnt mention that uv tubes only give off uv at close range but theres time for all that later.
 

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Okies,

Well The same care for a Beardie really goes for a Rankin too.

Your viv size is perfect!
As for UV, I normally use a Repti-glo 8.0 tube, For a 36" viv your need a 30" tube! And the tube must be placed half way down the back wall so they are at least 10" away from it at all time. UV will need to be 12hours on 12 hours off for a baby.

A normal esp screw in Reflector spot bulb is perfect! You can get them in homebase, B&Q etc... For a 3ft viv, Get a 40-60watt spot bulb. or you could just get a ceramic lamp, but they are more pricey.

As for night time, you could switch off the basking bulb and use a heat mat. Or you can do what i do and just turn down the thermostat to 75.

Also, Thermostat! make sure you get a Dimming Stat for a Beardie/Rankin.

Another issue is what subtrate to use?? for babies under a year old, use only kitchen paper, newspaper, tiles etc. Do not use any Reptile subtrates including SAND!.

And most important!! Temps! Your want a basking temp of 100-110 with an ambient air temp of 90. The cooler end in the 80's. It's important that you setup the vivarium a week or two before you get your Dragon. This way your know if the equipment is working o.k and also that the temps are spot on as this can have a bad effect of your new addition.

Then theres the branches, rocks, bowls etc. And Livefood/Greens.

If your gonna get you Rankin from a pet shop then i strongly recommend that you take someone with you who knows more about there requirements or read everything you need to know, As many shops know sod all and just try to sell you stuff you don't need.

Rankins are very hard to come by. Your have no trouble finding a Beardie but a Rankin is another story not to mention that Rankins are more expensive.

Heres a site for you, cheap too, but then your have courier cost ontop!

ReptileBreeder.co.uk

I'm expecting Vittikin dragons (Rankin/beardie cross) in feb but due to them being a mix i cannot guarentee that they will stay small.
 

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Your viv size is perfect!
As for UV, I normally use a Repti-glo 8.0 tube, For a 36" viv your need a 30" tube! And the tube must be placed half way down the back wall so they are at least 10" away from it at all time. UV will need to be 12hours on 12 hours off for a baby.
Not picking, its just wording but just to clarify, why we all mean is the tubew needs to be at least as CLOSE as 10 inches, closer the better, no further or it wont get any.
bare in mind the tube gives off the uv in all directions from all sides so ideally the very best place for the tube would be to have it magically suspended perfectly central on all axies... but thats not possible ofcourse but hope that helps u get what is meant.
 

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Hey all,

Im Martin and 17years old, living at home just outside of Cambridge...
I currently go to college and therefore am not at home the whole day, however there is normally somebody in the house.
Although we have a number of pets between us (cat, hamsters, previously owned dogs, rabbits, guniea pigs, budgies etc.) we hav never owned a reptile.

Anyway,
For the past few weeks ive been looking at buying a Bearded Dragon, however after reading up about them ive found that they grow a little too big for me to house (an average of 19inches).
Although after looking for a little longer i stumbled across the "Dwarf Bearded Dragon" or "Rankin Dragon".
Due to living at home the dragon shall be kept in my bedroom and because i love my beauty sleep a way of keeping the vivarium warm without light by night would be best.

Ive spent a fair amounts of time reading about the requirements of these creatures, prices, bedding (substrates), plants, feeding etc etc and have found many posts have answered the questions however as so many of you seem to be wise to this area i would greatly appreciate it if you were to just check what im considering buying and sending some feedback...

To Buy List:

36"x18"x18" Vivarium, wooden, with glass sliding doors
Reptisun 5.0 18" UVA tube (will this need to be on at night?)
2 Thermostats
Basking Bulb (blue, during day (swithced off at night))
11"x17" Heatmat (to keep the temp up at night)
Cermaic Heater (is this necessary with heatmat and basking bulb??)
Hide
Water Bowl
Substrate (probably not sand, i dont want to take the risk, maybe bark)
Log to climb on
Food (veg and live stuff)
Firstly, basking lights should be in a white light: BDs associate bright light with heat. A heatmat should not be needed unless your temps drop below 60F at night, this is the same for the ceramic bowl. Bark is just as risky as sand, if ingested both can cause major impactions and generally aren't worth the risk for either.. i'd go for a non particle based substrate such as reptile carpet, tiles, lino etc. They are cheaper, cleaner and safer.

Also, be prepared to spend a lot of money on livefood. A juvenile dragon can eat up to 200 crickets a day.
 

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All the advice given is good - personally I use a mixture of newspaper and folded up kitchen towels for mine (I have a fear of sand in case of impactions). My rankins actually like to hide under the top layer of paper towelling. I use CHE for ambient temps (which is on all the time) and ordinary household (white bulbs) for basking on a 12/14 schedule.

Probably been said but you need something under the basking lights which they can climb up onto to bask (but not actually touch the bulb).

In a 3x2x2 you could even put 2 females in together - I have 3 in a 4x2 viv and they get along well. I let mine soak in a bath once a week.

Would Northampton (Northampton Reptiles) be accessible? - it's where I got mine from and they have them in every year. Mine will be 2 this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the feedback, im really impressed by the speed of response!!!
im glad i wont need the ceramic heater, theyre pretty expensive for what they seem to do...

interesting comment about the heatmat, i hadnt realized that Rankins take heat from above... i assumed it was through theyre belly.

ive added the vitamin supplements to the list as well as the sand.

any thoughts on the age of Ramkin dragon i should be looking for?
is it best to have one a year old or one that is only a few months?
also, would the vivarium be too big if i were to buy a juvy/baby ramkin?
 

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get one nice and young if you can, they tame down easier. But you can get friendly adults. They grow pretty quick, so the tank should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
sorry, my last post was a bit lame, not to mention i double posted it so now im trying to edit it to make it look as though i hadnt doubled up but its not working........... :p

i think ill give the sand a miss for the time being and just stick with something like lino or reptile carpet, until im more confident and established with the reptile...

thanks for the added tips about potentially having 2 females in the specified area, quite a nice future idea.
would it be possible to mix a young female with an older female or do problems arise over territory etc

also what is the general price range for a Ramkin... the Bearded Dragons i saw in the last reptile store were about £40 each or so and about 1year old.

Vitikin Dragons sound interesting... make sure you post pictures and things about them :)
and northamptonshire is quite a trek but when i start to drive, which will hopefully be soon i may go for a bit of a ride up there :)
 

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you should aim to get another one the same size as the first rankin otherwise they'll fight and the bigger one will bully the smaller one, so its not a good idea to have a young rankins and an older one together.

i agree with mike515 get a baby easier to tame.

i think they cost a little bit more than bearded dragons between £40 and £80 i'd say
 

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Ours cost £60 per dragon, they were 4 months old and sisters from the same litter (if that word applies to dragons LOL!). They went straight into the big viv with no problem - lots of room to run around.

But I do really think (what do others think?) that a CHE would be better than a heat mat for the dragons though, as lizards in the wild bask in the sun above them - heat mats (IMHO) are better for snakes that like the belly heat and often live in burrows.

Northampton's a pretty cool reptile store to visit they always have lots of stuff in there and it is all in good condition and well looked after every time I've been in there.
 

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£40 is VERY CHEAP for a shop price.
Beardies around here are £70-£80 for babies and £100-£140 for adults when they come about.
I think a good price for a baby rankins from a breeder is about £50.

Wish you all the best getting your set up and dragon mate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks All!
Youve helped a great deal with the little things which i couldnt find else where :)
Depending on how things go ill definetly consider buying a CHE, because Razaiel, your point seems very valid.

IF i do get my dragons, ill return, hopefully with pictures and any information which others can use.

However my dad and most other older men (40+) seem to be fairly against the idea of keeping reptiles so this may never happen.
They're arguments tend to be that reptiles are very expensive to house and feed, can be very complicated especially when ill, and the live food can be a problem (if they escape they can breed and cause all sorts of issues).

but yeah, i shall try and argue my point to the best of my ability so if anyone has any points that they wont be to put theyre way then shout it out nice and loud :razz:

Thanks for all of your help once again...
Martin
 

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i dont agree atall about the CHE..
you have the basking light for the heat from above...
a heatmat at night is just to keep the chill off... a che is expensive and to an extent dangerous and unecesary for sure to just provide backround heat.

if we are going into "in the wild" What heat comes from above at night in the wild?
 

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the so called 'rankins dragons' are not the true rankins dragon.....they are the pagona henrilawsonii, for some reason they have become the common name rankins....but in truth they are nothing alike!!!!

i would say, go for a 3'x2'x2' at least, and a clear basking bulb, as most juvenile dragons assosiate bright white light as a form of heat, for the ambient temps, i would use the reptile heat plate, as they need most heat from above, the heat mat is not recomended, they are a basking dragon, not a sleeping dragon!!!! U.V, this should be as high as you can have, there is a 10% bulb on the market now, and used with a desent reflector, this would be ideal. Give them plenty of branches and bits of rock to climb on and keep them busy. i use astro turf for my b.d's, and they are fine on this. as for the feeding.....just get hold of a breeding colony of roaches and your off!! keep the big adults as a breeding lot, and feed the babys at the size you want, just keep them topped up with fresh food, and this only needs to be leftover veg's...sorted. and don't forget to dust with the appropriate vitimins!

Good luck, they are a great reptile to own!!:razz: :razz:
 

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what is the scientific name of the proper rankins dragon?
 
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