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Bearded Dragon Advice please!!!

Discussion in 'Lizards' started by Jingle Bells, May 21, 2010.


  1. Jingle Bells

    Jingle Bells PetForums Junior

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    Hi,

    I have been researching for quite a while now regarding Bearded Dragons and have a few questions.

    Conflicting advice on the net..

    1) Do they need a red bulb at night time?
    2) As they get bigger does the enclosure need more height than floor space? (Planning on a custom build)
    3)Do they or don't they need a water bowl in their enclosure?

    And for the last question....I would rather buy from a Private breeder and not from a Pet shop, so does anybody on here know of any breeders in the Aberdeen area/Aberdeenshire. I am prepared to travel but not overly for the welfare of the Dragon.

    Many thanks for your help.

    Jingle Bells. :thumbup:
     
  2. serpentseye

    serpentseye PetForums Member

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    please don't buy from [email protected] when i answer your questions! a responsible breeder!!! just look at my thread [email protected]@HOME - should be in the lizard section.

    build/buy a 3ft viv - r u in scotland? if so on particularly cold nights bury a heat mat under the substrate (DEEP or they might burn themselves) and turn that on at night. For very young dragons use kitchen roll/newspaper as a substrate, but for older dragons sand is great and looks fab!

    REMEMBER THE UV!! - never ever ever never leave a beardie without a uv bulb! my uv is 22% uv and they love it
    60 watt heat lamp!


    just give them a big enough enclosure to begin with. my breeding male (full grown) is enjoying is 3ft by 2ft - the same one he's had sinc he was an ickle hatchling. I gave him a lovely branch for climbing from the rep shop - don't use sticks from outside! if they don't have the branch they get really bored - once i took the branch away to wash it ( the can be very dirty lizards at times...) and he started digging - seemed to be digging back to australia lol

    i give them a waterbowl - depends on the dragon whether they will drink from it or not. my male will only dring in the bath, my female drinks anywhere.
     
  3. Jingle Bells

    Jingle Bells PetForums Junior

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    Hi

    Thanks for the reply.

    I would never buy a Pet from Pets at Home....as they are not well educated in the husbandry of their poor furries/fish. I just go in for dog leads etc.

    Yeah, I know about the UVB 10% etc cheers.
    Now about the Heat mat...I have read that these are not good for Beardies as the potential of burning is high, also they take their heat from above rather underneath. Would an encased Ceramic bulb not do as a time time heat? (on a themastat) Our House is quite warm as I have other pets that need heat etc.

    Personally, I thought about leaving a water bowl in as there would be fluid when and if Beardie fancied it.

    Apart from using Nutrabol for dusting food do I also use Limestone as well?

    Sorry for all the questions but I do believe in trying to get it right. I do not bring a pet into my house until I feel comfortable that I know enough to offer a good healthy home.

    Jingle Bells.
     
  4. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    The problem with light bulbs is people use them for heating, and to prevent them from having to put up with 24 hour light, they put a red light in because it is said reptiles cannot see red in the light spectrum and it gives them a feeling of night. To tell the truth it would be better to have your heating and lighting completely separate.

    There not the best climbers and more floor space would be better for them.
    Most vivariums are usually too small and the bigger you can make it, the better it will be for your dragons.

    Yes you must have fresh water 24 hour a day with them. It's the law even with species which hardly touch water.

    Your last question about buying from a breeder? I'm sure there must be a breeder somewhere in your area. Even if you just went onto Google and typed in Bearded Dragons breeders and keepers in your area. I would be surprised if you didn't find someone. Someone to give you further advice too.
     
  5. MissG

    MissG PetForums VIP

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    Congratulations on your choice of lizard - my personal favourite!

    No, no need for any bulb at night time. It will only disturb their sleeping patterns. You might be thinking about that from a heat point of view, but a drop in temperature at night is just what you want. As long as it doesn't go below 60f, there is no need for additional heat at night time.

    Beardies are terrestrial lizards, not aboreal, meaning they are generally ground dwellers, not climbers in the sense that Chameleons are, so they need more floor space than height.
    The minimum size for a vivarium is 48 inches x 24 inches x 24 inches.
    A smaller viv for a juvenille is better as it can stop them form feeling stressed if there isn't enough places to hide and it also helps them catch their food a bit better. Simply put a partition up for a few months.

    No need to provide water. Being animals from an arid climate, there is seldom lying water around. They are well adapted to not need much water - their needs are met by the fruit and vegetable they eat.
    I do occasionally offer some to mine, but he usually refuses.
    And why give yourself something extra to clean out that simply isn't needed? You can bet your bottom dollar, it's either going to get pooed in, drown crickets/locusts and get split everywhere.

    I don't personally know of any breeders, but get registered on the reptile forums and in the Lizards section under classifieds, have a good look through or make a wanted thread. You are sure to find someone as it's a very busy forum.
     
  6. MissG

    MissG PetForums VIP

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    If you house stays above 60f, don't worry about extra heat.
    If you were to use one - you don't put it under any substrate you may have. You attach it to the side of the vivarium simply to warm the air.

    Yes, limestone/calcium powder must be given on every feed, and Nutrobal 2 days out of a week. Be very careful with Nutrobal as it can be overdosed.
     
  7. MissG

    MissG PetForums VIP

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    Jingle Bells - Have you decided which substrate to use yet? I am sure you have seen the amount of conflicting information on the net!
     
  8. Jingle Bells

    Jingle Bells PetForums Junior

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    Hi,

    Wow thanks for all the info peeps, keep it coming ;o)...as I said there is so much conflicting advice on the net/books, and I do want to get it right.

    I love these Lizards and have done for a long time. I know have the room for one...yeahhhh

    Substrate wise, I will use tiles or Lino.

    I have Googled Breeders and it has only came back with Gumtree and Preloved. I really do not want to buy from a Pet shop and WILL NOT BUY FROM PETS AT HOME grrrrrr.

    So I think I am at the point now of setting out to get the viv/uvb etc....then start hard hunting for a beautiful Beardie.........ooo can't wait ;o)))

    Jingle Bells :thumbup:
     
  9. MissG

    MissG PetForums VIP

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    Perfect choice. I use floor tiles.
    Don't just search on google, sign up to the reptile forums

    Reptile Forums UK - Care, Pictures, Classifieds & More
     
  10. Jingle Bells

    Jingle Bells PetForums Junior

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    Hi

    I am already a member on RFUK. I have also been reading through all of the beardie posts and cross referencing with what info I have gathered.

    Starting to dream of words words and more words hahaha.

    Thanks for help...if you think of anything else that I might have missed, please feel free to post.

    Jingle Bells.
     
  11. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    Miss G has provided you with some very good advice. The only word of warning I would give is although what she is correct about the water. The local RSPCA if ever decide to visit you, will chastise you for not having provide them with water and if need be try to use it against you.

    The problem with the RSPCA they don't know anything about exoctic animals and often help to perpetuate false information about them.
     
  12. serpentseye

    serpentseye PetForums Member

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    the RSPCA are useless. i'm ten years old and know more about herps than them.
     
  13. MissG

    MissG PetForums VIP

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    The RSPCA are against keeping exotic animals as pets. They have very limited knowledge of them and I would just laugh in their faces should they say I am not looking after my animals properly.
    After all, my living is teaching children the correct husbandry of exotic animals.
     
  14. Paul Dunham

    Paul Dunham PetForums Senior

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    That's the problem Miss G. You would make an excellent RSPCA officer. But they would not employ you in a million years. Because they think your cruel.
    The real cruelty happens because their inept inspectors cannot spot cruelty when they see it and allow it to continue.

    serpentseye,
    I've read your post's and even I can see at the young age of tens years old you know more than any RSPCA officer I've ever met.
     
  15. Jingle Bells

    Jingle Bells PetForums Junior

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the advice. Regarding the RSPCA, they are more than welcome to enter my home...with my permission, and they would leave when I say ;o))

    I had a real busy body of a neighbour a few years back (Woman that had her nose into everyone else's buisness but her own) anyway to cut a long story short, she called environmental health at the council and complained that I had a Black Rat that was running riot!!!! (yup dear Bertie so cute, and yes she was rather a large Girl..Brown and certainly not allowed outside duuuhhh).

    The bloke came to my door and asked if I had a Rat...said yes...opened my door wide and said "please come in and check my domestic Rat and her cage!!!

    He did not come in and look but
    left very quickly. I take great care in my Pets and give them what they need. They give so much and yet ask for so little.

    So My Beardie (when I get one) will be well catered for and get what he/she needs ;o)

    Thanks for the info...no doubt I will be back asking more questions ;o,

    Jingle Bells.
     
    #15 Jingle Bells, May 22, 2010
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  16. Jingle Bells

    Jingle Bells PetForums Junior

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    Update people

    Hi all,

    My Viv arrives today as will the other bits and pieces...in one piece I hope!

    I have managed to source a rescue Beardie but will be having to travel quite a way for it as there are no Breeders up near me at all. I will be collecting him/her next Sunday as I want to make sure the viv is up and running for a week...just want to get temps sorted out first.

    So excited......I am going to call him/her "Pork pie"

    Jingle Bells.
     
  17. kimc1395

    kimc1395 PetForums Newbie

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    hello there,

    i have a almost 1 year old bearded dragon for sale plus vivarium and lights, he is a very friendly wee thing and loves being handled and he has a very good and healthy diet, give me an email if you are intersted [email protected]
    also he can only be picked up and it would be from Alloa Clackmannanshire!

    Kim Currie
     
  18. XtrmJosh

    XtrmJosh PetForums Newbie

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    A late responce, but non the less questions must go answered.

    Ok, so first off the myths about heat mats / stones burning your pets.

    If one were to burn your pet, the company who made it would be liable. You'd take them to court and they'd be forced to stop making the product. It's happened before, yes, but I'm quite sure if you buy from a company such as ExoTerra, you won't have this problem. However, I don't reccomend it as it's not needed.

    Bearded dragons are popular pets, handlable etc, and they are lively, compared to most reps.

    Let me give you guidelines to a basic setup:
    Basking lamp (150 watt is a good starting point)
    UV Bulbs (You know the minimums...)
    Vivarium (If it's cold in the house, go for wood, if not, you can use glass)
    Substrate (Use loose substrate for animals, and set substrate for babies, it could cause impaction which is fatal)
    Wood (They need this under the basking lamp, to climb onto to get warmer)
    Water/Food dishes (You should have a bowl of shallow water, and a bowl of leafy lettuce NOT ICEBURG!!! at all times)
    Thermostat (Yes, get one for the basking lamp, but get a pulsing one)

    So let me explain.

    Basking Lamp:
    It's used to provide a daytime light for your reptile, it gives off similar amounts of heat to the sun. It's basically the same strength light/heat your rep would get in his natural habitat.

    UV Bulbs:
    Beardies need UVA and UVB lighting to help them digest their food and extract nutrients from it. Most people reccomend a long UV strip, I don't have anything against individual bulbs, as long as they have a mirror behind and are set by manufacturers instructions (and ofc they are designed for the job!)

    Vivarium:
    Important one, it should be wood if your house is cold, to keep the heat in. If your house is warm a glass one will not do any harm. That's the only downside to glass, it's less insulative. It does, however, give you freedom to see your beardie from all angles! It have at least 8 square foot of ground surface area. This provides enough walking area for a fully grown adult beardie. Any less and he'll feel uncomfortable, and you'll see it in his behaviour. Of course you can tier it and start off smaller, work your way up, but if you keep his viv small, he won't reach his full size.

    Substrate:
    Most people suggest kitchen paper, lino tiles, etc for young beardies. I have no problem with what I use. It's a soil type substrate, it's resistant to causing impaction, and it is digestable by the dragon. He will eat very very small amounts of it from time to time, but nothing lethal. If you're using a substrate try stick to stuff that's calcium based, so he can digest it. Also try feed him on a solid surface (aka a heat wave rock, if you have one).

    Wood:
    In the wild beardies are more active, they will climb to get more heat, and hide in shadows to get cooler. In your viv it's hard to imitate this. You should use a piece of wood under the basking lamp, so he can bask when he wants! It's also nice to have as decoration. Beardies have no actual thermo control system in their bodies. If they get to hot they will open their mouths, but that's about it. This is just thermoregulation though, it should happen. They should open their mouths but only when basking.

    Water/Food dishes:
    You should always provide water and veg for your beardie. He will eat it from time to time, and although a lot gets wasted, he likes what he eats of it. Try provide him with fresh food and water each 24h. You can also use the food dish for feeding livefood if you like, if you have a substrate it's probably best.

    Thermostat:
    It's an absolute requirement. You should never let your viv get too hot or cold. Put your basking lamp on, stick the sensor at the SAME HEIGHT THAT YOUR BEARDIE BASKS AT, under the lamp, as close as possible to where he/she is (don't let him/her closer than 6" to the light itself, or they could reach it and get burnt etc...) If you get a pulsing one it won't turn the light off when it gets too hot, but simpley reduce the power to the bulb, creating less heat.


    I also reccomend getting the ceramic bulb. It's not a requirement but it helps. If you really want to make sure your pet is safe, put it to a minimum of 20C at night, and 30C in the day. It should rarely turn on, and the bulb should last a long time, so it's not so expensive in the long run. Thing is, if you ever have a freak bit of weather and need to keep it warm, it's a bloody good method. Also it's better to be safe than sorry. Of course you can use either a pulsing stat or the other type (the one that turns it on and off at each temperature). If you get an advanced one (about £60 - by my research), it will allow you to program times for the bulb to be at each temperature...

    As for a red bulb, it's a complete NO GO AREA!!! Don't touch the things. They are designed for certain lizards (not sure which ones), but it's not bearded dragons. The idea of red bulbs is that some lizards can not see the red light, so it provides heat but not light... Not the case with our beardies. They will be disturbed by it.

    Remember, you only need your lights on 10-12h a day. Any more and your beardie gets stressed, any less and he gets malnutritioned. That's all of your bulbs on for 10-12h a day, and off for 12-14h a day.

    Hope this info helps someone, even though the thread is 6 months old now, I feel an "absolute" answer was required. All the questions need to be answered.

    Also theres no problem with shopping at pets at home, just don't take their advice.
     
  19. Jingle Bells

    Jingle Bells PetForums Junior

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the post :thumbup:

    Florence has settled in with us so well and is a much better looking Dragon from when we first got her. She's a big Girl and eats like a monster.

    I pretty well much got everything under control regarding the lights etc early on.....I was puzzled at the begining as some much information which is incorrect etc.

    I have been looking into Ceramic bulbs for night time as we do get very cold up here. So I shall be getting one tomorrow, I have got a pulse propotional thingy for the bulb.

    I have Lino down which works a treat but thinking of using tiles as I hate it when there is a kink in it and the beasties crawl and hide under it.....:mad2:

    I have not kept a water dish in her Viv as the Vet advised me not to....she has Crypto....so the two would not equate to a good combo.

    I am enjoying Florence very much and as I have said before....wished I got her ages ago.
    She such a funny girl, she's not so keen on her veg though little monkey, nontheless it goes in everyday.

    Many thanks again,

    Jingle Bells.
     
  20. XtrmJosh

    XtrmJosh PetForums Newbie

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    Good to hear things are going well... Just bare in mind the advice people give on the net is just that, advice. Always remember that advice isn't fact. It may be based on fact, but 90% of the time it's just the way someone thinks something should be done. Lot's of people will say "Never put a beardie in a glass viv"... Whilst others will say it doesn't matter. If you go through some actual facts (about the beardies history, and its natural habitat, you'll soon find that glass, wood, fibreglass, plastics, or even paper mache'd (sp?) vivs are all good, the only thing to be careful of is the heat from the lamps, make sure it doesn't burn/melt your viv!
     
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