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New Owner trying to start off on the right foot.

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
Hi Everyone, I am new to bearded dragons. It is amazing how much technology has come along. I spent hours last night learning about UVB.

20220809_193947.jpg


We got him last night and of course the petshop started me off wrong with this setup for lighting:
20220809_194312.jpg

After my research last night I bought all these goodies:
20220809_194611.jpg

They did not have a 14%kit so I had to buy the kit and another bulb to get the 14% UVB.

And our new friend is basking away under the new lights.

I have this controller on the way:
Screenshot_20220809-194828_Chrome.jpg

I used a metal probe meat thermometer to check the temperature of his basking area while waiting for the controller to arrive, it looks like he can go up and down his branch to go from 105F down to 90F. He is resting in the 90F area right now.

He ate a cricket when we first got him in the setup last night, as well as a bit of Flukers Crafted Cuisine. He has not eaten at all today, I am hoping the better lighting will help with his appetite.

He did get quite a bit of attention today. My daughters had him out of the enclosure maybe ten times today for five or so minutes each time. My wife said he would get darker the longer he was out, then he would lighten up again when placed back under his light.

I plan to setup the ceramic heater after lights out tonight and use the dimmer to get ambient temps as close to desired levels as possible. It gets down to 65F in the house here at night.

Here is a shot of his entire setup. Let me know if I am missing anything. If he refuses to eat tomorrow, what should my next steps be? Does he look like a healthy critter?

20220809_200519.jpg

20220809_200544.jpg


20220809_200537.jpg

Thanks for reading!
 

KeBEARDIE

Hatchling Dragon
Messages
31
Hi Everyone, I am new to bearded dragons. It is amazing how much technology has come along. I spent hours last night learning about UVB.

View attachment 32533

We got him last night and of course the petshop started me off wrong with this setup for lighting:
View attachment 32534
After my research last night I bought all these goodies:
View attachment 32535
They did not have a 14%kit so I had to buy the kit and another bulb to get the 14% UVB.

And our new friend is basking away under the new lights.

I have this controller on the way:
View attachment 32536
I used a metal probe meat thermometer to check the temperature of his basking area while waiting for the controller to arrive, it looks like he can go up and down his branch to go from 105F down to 90F. He is resting in the 90F area right now.

He ate a cricket when we first got him in the setup last night, as well as a bit of Flukers Crafted Cuisine. He has not eaten at all today, I am hoping the better lighting will help with his appetite.

He did get quite a bit of attention today. My daughters had him out of the enclosure maybe ten times today for five or so minutes each time. My wife said he would get darker the longer he was out, then he would lighten up again when placed back under his light.

I plan to setup the ceramic heater after lights out tonight and use the dimmer to get ambient temps as close to desired levels as possible. It gets down to 65F in the house here at night.

Here is a shot of his entire setup. Let me know if I am missing anything. If he refuses to eat tomorrow, what should my next steps be? Does he look like a healthy critter?

View attachment 32537
View attachment 32538

View attachment 32539
Thanks for reading!
Great job improving your care I think it’s wonderful that you did that for your Bearded Dragon but I think you should replace the reptile carpet with a tile base or even a bioactive substrate as it’s much easier to clean and just looks nicer in general I’d also suggest to not use those little orange cubes as they aren’t very good for the bugs from what I’ve heard probably use fresh fruits or veggies when it comes to gutloading. Also it is perfectly normal for some Bearded Dragons to not eat on the first day when they come home, they could honestly just be stressed from just being taken from one place to another. If you got him from a big chain store such as Petco or PetSmart there isn’t a guarantee he’s going to be super healthy I’d give him a look just to be sure.
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
8,584
Hi Everyone, I am new to bearded dragons. It is amazing how much technology has come along. I spent hours last night learning about UVB.

View attachment 32533

We got him last night and of course the petshop started me off wrong with this setup for lighting:
View attachment 32534
After my research last night I bought all these goodies:
View attachment 32535
They did not have a 14%kit so I had to buy the kit and another bulb to get the 14% UVB.

And our new friend is basking away under the new lights.

I have this controller on the way:
View attachment 32536
I used a metal probe meat thermometer to check the temperature of his basking area while waiting for the controller to arrive, it looks like he can go up and down his branch to go from 105F down to 90F. He is resting in the 90F area right now.

He ate a cricket when we first got him in the setup last night, as well as a bit of Flukers Crafted Cuisine. He has not eaten at all today, I am hoping the better lighting will help with his appetite.

He did get quite a bit of attention today. My daughters had him out of the enclosure maybe ten times today for five or so minutes each time. My wife said he would get darker the longer he was out, then he would lighten up again when placed back under his light.

I plan to setup the ceramic heater after lights out tonight and use the dimmer to get ambient temps as close to desired levels as possible. It gets down to 65F in the house here at night.

Here is a shot of his entire setup. Let me know if I am missing anything. If he refuses to eat tomorrow, what should my next steps be? Does he look like a healthy critter?

View attachment 32537
View attachment 32538

View attachment 32539
Thanks for reading!
The 14% bulb is very strong - what kind of screen is on the tank? Fine mesh or a wide hole type- this is going to determine placement and distance - ease get 2 digital probe thermometers for accurate surface basking temps-- 105-110- please no more handling - the dragon is stressed enough w/ the move - he needs time to adjust to his tank and surroundings- the dragon may only eat a little for the next week or two but he needs time to learn to trust as well- if he stops eating all together there is a issues- but we need to get surface basking temps and uvb spot on- once he starts to acclimate to the tank his appetite will increase- but please no more handling for now-- what are you feeding?
 

KeBEARDIE

Hatchling Dragon
Messages
31
Great job improving your care I think it’s wonderful that you did that for your Bearded Dragon but I think you should replace the reptile carpet with a tile base or even a bioactive substrate as it’s much easier to I clean and just looks nicer in general I’d also suggest to not use those little orange cubes as they aren’t very good for the bugs from what I’ve heard probably use fresh fruits or veggies when it comes to gutloading.
The 14% bulb is very strong - what kind of screen is on the tank? Fine mesh or a wide hole type- this is going to determine placement and distance - ease get 2 digital probe thermometers for accurate surface basking temps-- 105-110- please no more handling - the dragon is stressed enough w/ the move - he needs time to adjust to his tank and surroundings- the dragon may only eat a little for the next week or two but he needs time to learn to trust as well- if he stops eating all together there is a issues- but we need to get surface basking temps and uvb spot on- once he starts to acclimate to the tank his appetite will increase- but please no more handling for now-- what are you feeding?
I believe he’s feeding Crickets.
 

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
I bought this pack:
20220809_223717.jpg

I also bought a jar of dead insects and such, that I read tonight he probably will not touch. We have a few crickets in there. He ate one cricket and a couple peices of the bag food last night. He was offered strawberry and romaine lettuce today but showed no interest.

I have a 12% bulb. The fixture is over fine wire mesh. The Arcadia website says the wire mesh can reduce uv output by 30%, which should make my 14% bulb the equivalent of a 10% bulb? Unless the math does not work that way.

The digital temperature controller arrives thursday, I could not find one local. It has two probes and two outputs, as well as day and night modes, and can control 300 Watts per channel. I am not sure if it will also be able to control the UVB. I am a big fan of automation, I have a saltwater reef tank that is almost fully automated, I still have to manually do the water changes.

I removed the large water bowl after learning that it could raise humidity too much. I added a small ball, small stuffed animal, the tube from a paper towel roll. I filled the large water bowl with some digging material. I added more hiding areas.

Do you have links to the tile base or bioactive substrate? I read not to put anything on the bottom they might ingest, I was told sand can be bad because they can end up eating it by accident and get sick. What makes the carpet a bad idea?

Tomorrow I will buy meal worms and I have an old ten gallon I can use to try and breed the mealworms in. I need to get some grocery shopping done, the humans are low on fresh veggies also
 

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
My planted fresh water tank 6 months ago:

20220304_231115.jpg


Fresh water planted tank now: ( actually I just did a pruning and need a new photo, my Amazon Sword is twice that size now.)
20220505_114027.jpg




My Reef Tank:


20211104_184230.jpg
 

KeBEARDIE

Hatchling Dragon
Messages
31
I bought this pack:
View attachment 32540
I also bought a jar of dead insects and such, that I read tonight he probably will not touch. We have a few crickets in there. He ate one cricket and a couple peices of the bag food last night. He was offered strawberry and romaine lettuce today but showed no interest.

I have a 12% bulb. The fixture is over fine wire mesh. The Arcadia website says the wire mesh can reduce uv output by 30%, which should make my 14% bulb the equivalent of a 10% bulb? Unless the math does not work that way.

The digital temperature controller arrives thursday, I could not find one local. It has two probes and two outputs, as well as day and night modes, and can control 300 Watts per channel. I am not sure if it will also be able to control the UVB. I am a big fan of automation, I have a saltwater reef tank that is almost fully automated, I still have to manually do the water changes.

I removed the large water bowl after learning that it could raise humidity too much. I added a small ball, small stuffed animal, the tube from a paper towel roll. I filled the large water bowl with some digging material. I added more hiding areas.

Do you have links to the tile base or bioactive substrate? I read not to put anything on the bottom they might ingest, I was told sand can be bad because they can end up eating it by accident and get sick. What makes the carpet a bad idea?

Tomorrow I will buy meal worms and I have an old ten gallon I can use to try and breed the mealworms in. I need to get some grocery shopping done, the humans are low on fresh veggies also
I wouldn’t use lettuce or strawberrys you can feed fruits occasionally but they are high in sugar and aren’t good for feeding all the time I would suggest feeding stuff like Dandelion Greens or Collard Greens as they make for good staple feeders and as for UVB if you want to automate it to turn on and off I’d suggest getting a timer they sell some for a fairly moderate price at Home Depot or Lowes that you can buy or even consider getting a Solarmeter so you can have a good idea of when to replace your bulb. As for substrate you just want a standard laminate tile at Home Depot or Lowes and for the bioactive route there‘s a ton of good options there’s some commercial and home made blends that you could choose from. The carpet isn’t a terrible idea it‘s just you’ll be paying a lot more to replace it or clean it when you could just be using a tile or substrate base.
Mealworms aren’t the best for Bearded Dragons as they lack much nutritional value I’d suggest probably something like Dubia Roaches Black Soldier Fly Larvea Silkworms etc.. there’s a ton of great feeders out there but that’s just to name a few. There are a couple links down below for some bioactive substrates and beautiful aquariums by the way.

A great commercial substrate blend: https://www.thebiodude.com/collections/bioactive-kits/products/terra-sahara-bioactive-kit-40-breeder
Here’s how to make your own bioactive substrate blend for beardies:
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
8,584
Please do not leave any crickets in the tank -- your going to have a hard time feeding him w/ him in such a large tank and him being so small - I would look at putting him in a smaller tote w/ the crickets to feed -- dragons need time to acclimate to their surroundings - proper UVB and good surface basking temps will help but they need to learn to trust --- hand feeding them some BSFL is a good way --- Please NO meal worms --- the exoskeleton on them can cause impaction --- it is too harsh on the digestive system for them - it has not fully developed -- I would recommend feeding dubia roaches for a staple feeder and BSFL - also fresh salads every day w/ the BSFL used as lures to get him to the salad bowl - please rinse the greens before serving - this is how they get most of their moisture --- you can also drop water on his nose to see if he will lick - keep dropping till he stops licking
here are some websites for insects and a nutrition one
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html ignore the kale info its a great staple feeder
www.dubiaroaches.com you can get BSFL or nutrigrubs here - please go by the chart on the website for ordering roaches - please do not get any roach bigger than the space between the eyes- feed as many BSFL as you want they are a good staple feeder and a good compliment to the roachs -- please do not dust the BSFL but dust the roaches w/ calcium D3 5 x per week ONCE per feeding / day and vitamins w/ beta carotene 2 x per week ONCE per feeding / day - roaches are a better feeder cleaner-- crickets are a pain in the neck and they stink -- you can get some small super worms to feed as well on top of the salads once or twice a week 1-3 - they are a good lure to the salad bowl as well -- https://www.amazon.com/MACGOAL-Rept...uGQB&pd_rd_wg=tLkwE&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_d
you need a digital probe hygrometer if you dont have one already https://dubiaroaches.com/products/exo-terra-digital-hygrometer?_pos=1&_sid=ac857912b&_ss=r
it should be placed on the center back wall of the tank--
you can also get some textured NON adhesive shelf liner cut to the size of the tank --- Walmart or your local home improvement store - clean w/ vinegar/ water 50/50--
if you go w/ ceramic tile you want something w/ texture but nothing coarse to cause abrasions on the feet - I recommend you go to the store and rub your hand over the tile - that will help you - you dont want something to smooth either for slipping - the tile needs to be cut w/ a tile saw so your not getting jagged edges as well
 

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
Please do not leave any crickets in the tank -- your going to have a hard time feeding him w/ him in such a large tank and him being so small - I would look at putting him in a smaller tote w/ the crickets to feed -- dragons need time to acclimate to their surroundings - proper UVB and good surface basking temps will help but they need to learn to trust --- hand feeding them some BSFL is a good way --- Please NO meal worms --- the exoskeleton on them can cause impaction --- it is too harsh on the digestive system for them - it has not fully developed -- I would recommend feeding dubia roaches for a staple feeder and BSFL - also fresh salads every day w/ the BSFL used as lures to get him to the salad bowl - please rinse the greens before serving - this is how they get most of their moisture --- you can also drop water on his nose to see if he will lick - keep dropping till he stops licking
here are some websites for insects and a nutrition one
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html ignore the kale info its a great staple feeder
www.dubiaroaches.com you can get BSFL or nutrigrubs here - please go by the chart on the website for ordering roaches - please do not get any roach bigger than the space between the eyes- feed as many BSFL as you want they are a good staple feeder and a good compliment to the roachs -- please do not dust the BSFL but dust the roaches w/ calcium D3 5 x per week ONCE per feeding / day and vitamins w/ beta carotene 2 x per week ONCE per feeding / day - roaches are a better feeder cleaner-- crickets are a pain in the neck and they stink -- you can get some small super worms to feed as well on top of the salads once or twice a week 1-3 - they are a good lure to the salad bowl as well -- https://www.amazon.com/MACGOAL-Rept...uGQB&pd_rd_wg=tLkwE&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_d
you need a digital probe hygrometer if you dont have one already https://dubiaroaches.com/products/exo-terra-digital-hygrometer?_pos=1&_sid=ac857912b&_ss=r
it should be placed on the center back wall of the tank--
you can also get some textured NON adhesive shelf liner cut to the size of the tank --- Walmart or your local home improvement store - clean w/ vinegar/ water 50/50--
if you go w/ ceramic tile you want something w/ texture but nothing coarse to cause abrasions on the feet - I recommend you go to the store and rub your hand over the tile - that will help you - you dont want something to smooth either for slipping - the tile needs to be cut w/ a tile saw so your not getting jagged edges as well
I watched this video last night and this breader warned me that I would be told not to feed mealworms.


He looks like a pretty successful breader so it is hard not to trust the information in the video. My wife is going to try and find the Dubia Roaches, Black Soldier Fly Larvea, or Silkworms while she is out, but until so.eone links a scientific paper that says do not feed bearded dragon mealworms we will proceed with the meal worm aquisition and breading.

I ordered 2 x 10lb bags of the Australian Sand, I will use that as substrate for some of the bottom, and keep his food bowls free of sand.

Some are saying not to handle him, leave him in his tank to acclimate, then I am being told take him out of the tank to feed....I think we will try putting some food in the tank and if he does not eat it in 15 minutes, remove it and try again later.

He was nice and active this morning after his morning basking session. My wife says he was exploring all the new toys and hiding places in his enclosure. I swapped the 14% bulb out for the 12% bulb. What meter should I buy to measure the UVB strenght?

Morning exploration:
received_373029995011369.jpeg


Morning Poo:
20220810_075456.jpg
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
8,584
I watched this video last night and this breader warned me that I would be told not to feed mealworms.


He looks like a pretty successful breader so it is hard not to trust the information in the video. My wife is going to try and find the Dubia Roaches, Black Soldier Fly Larvea, or Silkworms while she is out, but until so.eone links a scientific paper that says do not feed bearded dragon mealworms we will proceed with the meal worm aquisition and breading.

I ordered 2 x 10lb bags of the Australian Sand, I will use that as substrate for some of the bottom, and keep his food bowls free of sand.

Some are saying not to handle him, leave him in his tank to acclimate, then I am being told take him out of the tank to feed....I think we will try putting some food in the tank and if he does not eat it in 15 minutes, remove it and try again later.

He was nice and active this morning after his morning basking session. My wife says he was exploring all the new toys and hiding places in his enclosure. I swapped the 14% bulb out for the 12% bulb. What meter should I buy to measure the UVB strenght?

Morning exploration:
View attachment 32549

Morning Poo:
View attachment 32548

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Mealworms?

Mealworms should not be fed to baby bearded dragons. The high fat and low protein of the mealworms is not good for the growth of a bearded dragon.

When a juvenile bearded dragon reaches 6 months old, a couple of mealworms per week is fine. They should be small in size and young. This is due to the freshly hatched ones having a softer exoskeleton. This will reduce the risk of impaction for the bearded dragon.

During their first year they will generally refuse to eat greens. They will prefer to eat an abundance of insects. The best option is phoenix worms which are highly nutritious, low in fat, and high in protein.

You should feed your bearded dragon insects everyday in the first year. How many? As many as they can eat! They can eat up to 200 crickets per day.

This should be done 3 times per day for the 8 months of a bearded dragon’s life. You should then switch to twice per day. Each mealtime should last around 15 minutes and let them eat as much as they want.
I think I already said something about the exoskeleton on the meal worm -- please do not feed them - the substrate in the tank the wood chips are not good --- if he were to ingest one that had a sharp edge its going to cause internal injuries --- I would not use it --- another thing sand is not good as well - if he eats enough of it not intentional he will get impacted -- they cannot digest sand and it builds up in the digestive tract --- babies lick everything --- here is the site I found this at https://www.totalreptile.com/mealworms-for-bearded-dragons/ but I have also read about meal worms from other places too -- I personally would not feed the bagged dried food -- it will / can dehydrate them - fresh is best ---
 

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
We found a really nice reptile store in Boulder CO today. They had silk worms and roaches. He recommended the roaches for the most nutritional content. We bought 1 pack of mediums for feeding, and two packs of large to get a colony started. We need to fi d some egg crate for the roach housing. I will blackout my 10 gallon tank to store/breed them in.

They had a nice controller in stock, so I cancelled my amazon order and picked up this:
20220810_160819.jpg

They had some neat lizards in stock, here was one I had never seen before:
20220810_153203.jpg


I will add a photo of the roaches when I get home.

As far as feeding him as much as he will eat 3 times a day, is there no worry about overfeeding?

If anyone has this controller, I would love to hear about how you set yours up.
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
8,584
We found a really nice reptile store in Boulder CO today. They had silk worms and roaches. He recommended the roaches for the most nutritional content. We bought 1 pack of mediums for feeding, and two packs of large to get a colony started. We need to fi d some egg crate for the roach housing. I will blackout my 10 gallon tank to store/breed them in.

They had a nice controller in stock, so I cancelled my amazon order and picked up this:
View attachment 32551
They had some neat lizards in stock, here was one I had never seen before:
View attachment 32552

I will add a photo of the roaches when I get home.

As far as feeding him as much as he will eat 3 times a day, is there no worry about overfeeding?

If anyone has this controller, I would love to hear about how you set yours up.
Make sure your feeding salads - if you don't start now your going to have a very hard time when he gets to be 6 months old or so -- I would get some bsfl to lure him to the salad bowl - silk worms can be used on top as well- only dust one staple feeder
 

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
The petshop attendant recommended we offer him only salad in the morning until he eats some, then offer the insects. We bought some pre made salad from the store.

20220810_193945.jpg

Dubai Roaches, yum yum. I set up my small 10 gallon as a breeder for now, added some wet towels, some of the pre made salad, and some hiding spots. I put the light on a timer so they still get a circadian ryhthem and sealed the outside of the tank with tinfoil so they are not bothered by external light. I ordered a sponge waterer as a more permanent solution for hydration and humidity.

20220810_193913.jpg
 

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
The controller is all set up now. I put his basking lamp on the dimming controller, the UVB light on a timer, and the ceramic heater on the on/off heat controller. At night the basking lamp temp is set lower then the ceramic heater temp in hopes that the basking lamp will stay off all night long as the ceramic heater maintains temps.

20220810_202821.jpg

Setup was fairly easy, I just wish they had the option to make both temp circuits dimming style circuits. I was surprised at how low the basking lamp is set to maintain 105F at his basking spot. I feel like this controller is a must have if you want to maintain specific temps.

I think that is it for now. I added a hammock, and have some Australian sand on the way for substrate.
20220810_203414.jpg


He seems like a very happy dragon right now. He ate two more crickets while I was at work. We have another poo, and he is basking away before bed time.

20220810_203404.jpg

Thanks for all the help!
 

Sadie

Bearded Dragon Veteran
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
8,584
The controller is all set up now. I put his basking lamp on the dimming controller, the UVB light on a timer, and the ceramic heater on the on/off heat controller. At night the basking lamp temp is set lower then the ceramic heater temp in hopes that the basking lamp will stay off all night long as the ceramic heater maintains temps.

View attachment 32555
Setup was fairly easy, I just wish they had the option to make both temp circuits dimming style circuits. I was surprised at how low the basking lamp is set to maintain 105F at his basking spot. I feel like this controller is a must have if you want to maintain specific temps.

I think that is it for now. I added a hammock, and have some Australian sand on the way for substrate.
View attachment 32556

He seems like a very happy dragon right now. He ate two more crickets while I was at work. We have another poo, and he is basking away before bed time.

View attachment 32557
Thanks for all the help!
I recommend the bsfl - if he eats that salad w/ out lures I will be surprised - he will hold out for insects- I would take everything you hear from the pet store w/ a grain of salt - lots of bad advice from pet store people - if you don't get him eating salads now or even a little bit you will have a very hard time when he gets older
 

Kayanarka

Bearded Dragon Egg
Messages
20
I recommend the bsfl - if he eats that salad w/ out lures I will be surprised - he will hold out for insects- I would take everything you hear from the pet store w/ a grain of salt - lots of bad advice from pet store people - if you don't get him eating salads now or even a little bit you will have a very hard time when he gets older
Bsfl is Black Soldier Fly Larvae? I ordered a small bag of dried BSFL, and also a jar of beardie buffet, hopefully these will encourage him to eat his veggies.

He did like the Flukers Dragon diet so I could use that as a lure also maybe?

20220809_223717.jpg
 

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