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Discussion Starter #21
If you are finding it difficult to reach the desired hotspot then move the thermostats probe away from the heat. Remember the thermostat is reacting to the temperature of the probe, so if it's at its maximum and the heater you are using is very capable of providing the required hot spot temperature then moving the probe towards the cool side by a few inches will result the thermostat driving the heater harder and thus increasing the temperature. The use of a digital IR temperature gun is is ideal for taking readings and "calibrating" the set up. Conversely if the heater is easily heating the area to the point that its too hot, then move the probe closer to the heat source. If you have the probe directly under the heater then you'll have more precise control. It's really a case of trial and error and ideally best done before the reptile is placed in the enclosure.

Oh and don't get too hung up on getting that "perfect" sweet spot. Provided the reptile has access to a hotspot that is +/- 3 degrees of whatever the care sheets tend to agree on is fine. No two days in the wild have exactly the same temperature each day. I'm sure your lizard won't mind it being 50c if the caresheets all suggest 48c. All the reptiles have the ability to thermo-regulate and it will move away once that internal thermostat is triggered and he needs to cool down, either slightly as it wants heat but not as intense, or to the cool end so it can cool down more.... Learn to read your animals. If they spend all the time at the cold end, even at night then the hot side is too warm. Just because the care sheets state 48C for this lizard or 32c for this snake doesn't mean they all like it that hot. Some of my snakes will spend all day at the cool side until dusk and then go and warm up before being active. But having eaten all will sit under the heat. Another splits his time form hot and cold side in the day...

Heating only becomes an issue when the cold end is excessively hot and the hotside is blisteringly hot and way over that +/- 3C range....Provided you offer a suitable range for the animal in question then you'll be fine
Very well put. Ye most say 38-46 but then a vet told me to use a site which says 33-38 for basking spot then other people say 40 then others say 42-46. So I aim for at least 38 and no more than 44 ideally.
 

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Very well put. Ye most say 38-46 but then a vet told me to use a site which says 33-38 for basking spot then other people say 40 then others say 42-46. So I aim for at least 38 and no more than 44 ideally.
33 to 38C is likely air temperatures... This is what creates a lot of confusion, basking temps should be surface temps, cool ends are airtemps, not everyone works to that same format, or states what format they are giving the temps in.. older sites are then a combination of both, using air temps for everything and using old info for setup and health advice...

And trust me, ive met -plenty- of vets who give out info but dont actually know... and more often than not its from an old husbandry sheet. You want a proper reptile vet with real knowledge and experience with them, not just a guidesheet being read back to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
33 to 38C is likely air temperatures... This is what creates a lot of confusion, basking temps should be surface temps, cool ends are airtemps, not everyone works to that same format, or states what format they are giving the temps in.. older sites are then a combination of both, using air temps for everything and using old info for setup and health advice...

And trust me, ive met -plenty- of vets who give out info but dont actually know... and more often than not its from an old husbandry sheet. You want a proper reptile vet with real knowledge and experience with them, not just a guidesheet being read back to you.
This is a proper vet who specialises in reptiles haha. Everything is confusing, I'm doing my best off the info I have and I sort of go in the middle. She is happy and active and has a good diet mixing of Rocket, sugar snap peas, kale, watercress and soon to add mangetout.

Her insects are fed one day then miss a day then fed again and so on and consist of mainly locust, some crickets and mealworms once a week. I need to look at other things to feed her as she'd probably get bored of locust all the time. Crickets ain't that big so gave her 20 tonight as they was medium and about 15 meal worms.

Some people I know give a lot mess than what I feed her and some people give way more.
 

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This is a proper vet who specialises in reptiles haha. Everything is confusing, I'm doing my best off the info I have and I sort of go in the middle. She is happy and active and has a good diet mixing of Rocket, sugar snap peas, kale, watercress and soon to add mangetout.

Her insects are fed one day then miss a day then fed again and so on and consist of mainly locust, some crickets and mealworms once a week. I need to look at other things to feed her as she'd probably get bored of locust all the time. Crickets ain't that big so gave her 20 tonight as they was medium and about 15 meal worms.

Some people I know give a lot mess than what I feed her and some people give way more.
Hi, find a "proper" vet that has more knowledge when it comes to suitable basking surface temps for Bearded dragons. A basking surface temp ranging between approx 38 to 45c is perfectly acceptable, the easiest way to create that range is by using a relatively large basking area combined with the most suitable "basking" bulb/s. I suggest a par 30 or par 38 flood beam halogen (depending on enclosure size and type, maybe use 2 placed a few cm apart) these bulbs can be fitted with a dimmer switch to make adjusting the surface temp easier, or obviously you can raise/lower the bulb/s or basking object.
Can you show a few more photos of the dragon, and can you say how deep the substrate is and what the humidity range is?
 

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I have a probe on the surface decor arch and that's 41 which the one in picture bottom left prove is now touching the arch. Problem is if she fully climbs on, she'll cover it up if it's too close to where he spot is.
I`ve already responded, the probe only reads the air temp, not basking surface.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Hi, find a "proper" vet that has more knowledge when it comes to suitable basking surface temps for Bearded dragons. A basking surface temp ranging between approx 38 to 45c is perfectly acceptable, the easiest way to create that range is by using a relatively large basking area combined with the most suitable "basking" bulb/s. I suggest a par 30 or par 38 flood beam halogen (depending on enclosure size and type, maybe use 2 placed a few cm apart) these bulbs can be fitted with a dimmer switch to make adjusting the surface temp easier, or obviously you can raise/lower the bulb/s or basking object.
Can you show a few more photos of the dragon?
349916
349917
 

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With feeding, especially with an adult, watch its body shape. Levels of activity and husbandry make a big difference, if its constantly out and running about free then more live food will get burnt off, those that are more in the viv arent going to do that... so monitor it from how its storing the fat (is it just growing a gut or is the fat going on slowly and to the base of the tail/back of head as reserves and evenly elsewhere)

With the diet, try adding things like lambs lettuce, frisee lettuce and spring greens (chop out thick stems/viens), can also add butternut squash but needs peeling and chopping into thin sticks or slices.
Dont go ttoo heavy on pea varieties, I wouldnt use them as a staple more an occational/frequent.

If you have a morrisons near you, try a bag of the herb salad, a bag of "Florette" crispy mix and a bag of rocket all mixed up....very easy cheat method and gives a very good mix of staple greens.
With one dragon you'd get a week out of it too and its prob about £4 each time (dig to back of shelfs for freshest bags, store in a plastic bag with seal on it, try and seal air in and keep the salad in it -very- lightly damp, not wet, give it a good shake about every few days)

Going from the pics, I'd also try getting some water into it on a regular basis. It does look a little dehydrated. Can try spashing about in a waterbowl to try and catch its interest or use a small syringe/pipette to drop water on its snout or gently feed it. I would also look at repositioning the basking bulb slightly to bring it forward/little into the viv so its coming down over the front of the root branch rather than directly on it, and see if you can get a decent sized thick slate tile or rock to lean up against the root midpoint, create a basking spot over that with the lamp directly overthe stone (towards the top end of it and where and it sits on the root)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
With feeding, especially with an adult, watch its body shape. Levels of activity and husbandry make a big difference, if its constantly out and running about free then more live food will get burnt off, those that are more in the viv arent going to do that... so monitor it from how its storing the fat (is it just growing a gut or is the fat going on slowly and to the base of the tail/back of head as reserves and evenly elsewhere)

With the diet, try adding things like lambs lettuce, frisee lettuce and spring greens (chop out thick stems/viens), can also add butternut squash but needs peeling and chopping into thin sticks or slices.
Dont go ttoo heavy on pea varieties, I wouldnt use them as a staple more an occational/frequent.

If you have a morrisons near you, try a bag of the herb salad, a bag of "Florette" crispy mix and a bag of rocket all mixed up....very easy cheat method and gives a very good mix of staple greens.
With one dragon you'd get a week out of it too and its prob about £4 each time (dig to back of shelfs for freshest bags, store in a plastic bag with seal on it, try and seal air in and keep the salad in it -very- lightly damp, not wet, give it a good shake about every few days)

Going from the pics, I'd also try getting some water into it on a regular basis. It does look a little dehydrated. Can try spashing about in a waterbowl to try and catch its interest or use a small syringe/pipette to drop water on its snout or gently feed it. I would also look at repositioning the basking bulb slightly to bring it forward/little into the viv so its coming down over the front of the root branch rather than directly on it, and see if you can get a decent sized thick slate tile or rock to lean up against the root midpoint, create a basking spot over that with the lamp directly overthe stone (towards the top end of it and where and it sits on the root)
Ye I bathed her today as well and bathed her on Friday too.

I don't know how I'd move the basking bulb unless I drilled a new hole?

Ye the root thing seems to be a bit shit as she can't really lie on the spot it's mainly hitting which is where I have the sensors so try get them a bit hotter so the surrounding area is hot for her.
 

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Bathing isnt hydrating them...and you shouldnt do it regularly, they arent designed to frequently soak in water, and swimming is a survival response for them.
Old husbandry, and myths about them taking water in through their vent, led to a lot of people doing it, its something that you should only do for specific need (covered in poop/vet instructed as part of care during treatment etc).

If they drink while in the bath (given age and past care they may well have got her used to doing this) then you should have more luck trying to get her to drink from the waterbowl.
Raising the substrate level and bedding the bowl down into it so the lizard can see over/into bowl when stood next to it (its a bit like a wall at their eye level otherwise). and spash your fingers about in the water, or feed water directly/drop onto snout. I would do it daily for a week or so. About a cm or two deep of water in the bowl.
Remember to rest the water for a good few hours or overnight, dont use straight from tap.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Thanks for the photos... If you`re sure you have a female, what are you providing in terms of suitable nesting and do you know when "she" was last gravid?
The previous owner said she is female as took her for annual check ups but in the 5 years she has never laid eggs.
 

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“I'm trying to do my best, I got her meal worms, locust and crickets but the crickets seem to be dying as after 4 days I had like 40 dear so not used them since so don't know what to do with the ones alive.”

I was finding the same as you; I got my first reptile 5 years ago. When I bought bugs I was told to ‘gut load’ (feeding the bugs greens & veggies to get the nutrients into the reptile) however they they died. Since I done a bit more research on my feeder bugs, Locusts as an example - are a desert bug usually in Africa, meaning they have very high temps (32-42c) and low humidity. So keeping them at ‘room temp’ was what was killing them; they can’t digest food at low temps. So I continued to gut load and placed the bugs on my Viv where it’s a lot warmer and they stay alive for 4+ weeks.

You’re doing a great job, the fact you’re on here seeking advice instead of just ‘letting things be’ shows a willingness to learn, and that you care which is what it’s all about really!
 

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Ye I've found the locust to be ok actually, by room temp is usually about 25 but can drop to about 21-22 but I keep them in enclosed wooden space in the TV unit. It's the crickets which seem to be dying whether they was just an old batch or something. Locust have been fine but only had them a week nearly so will keep eye on them. Thanks :)
 

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I was finding the same as you; I got my first reptile 5 years ago. When I bought bugs I was told to ‘gut load’ (feeding the bugs greens & veggies to get the nutrients into the reptile) however they they died. Since I done a bit more research on my feeder bugs, Locusts as an example - are a desert bug usually in Africa, meaning they have very high temps (32-42c) and low humidity. So keeping them at ‘room temp’ was what was killing them; they can’t digest food at low temps. So I continued to gut load and placed the bugs on my Viv where it’s a lot warmer and they stay alive for 4+ weeks.

....Not entirely true...
Lower temps their digestion slows down significantly, but that wont be what kills them within days.
Crickets have a huge intolerance for humidity, and once one dies, they tend to release ammonia which is then lethal to other crickets.
When kept in the small tubs still any food like carrot, apple etc all significantly increases humidity (so not transferred into a proper pen, as a guide, one tub needs 4 or 5 times the space they actually come in....).

Its the humidity that kills them, then starts a chain reaction with the rest.
Locusts, temp does have a little more impact, but another species that needs a lot of ventilation

There were some excellent guides in the feeder section on here, aimed at people breeding their own feeder insects, worth a read.
 
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