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Bearded Dragon Newbie Questions.

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by Blitz, Apr 10, 2009.

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  1. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    I'm getting a bearded dragon soon, and other than a turtle about a year ago, I have no reptile experience. I've been reading up on them though, so don't think I'm going into this in ignorance. I am going to be keeping the beardie in an aquarium(not filled with water, of course!), and I have read that there should be a heated side and a cooled side. Will the side my heater is on naturally be a little hotter than the other, or do I need something else? I was thinking about putting reptile carpet on the heated half, and tile on the cool half, because tile is usually pretty cool to the touch, but I'm not sure if that'll do it...

    Also, can I find a bearded dragon at any old pet store, like, for instance, Petsmart?
     
  2. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

  3. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    Yes, I saw the care guide, and will the fluorescent light I once used for my fish suffice as a UVB? Thanks for recommending a light, but could you maybe recommend a heating source? I have an aquarium heater, but I thought about it, and I don't think that will work, being that it's so far from the ground of the tankl, and I'm scared to put it in the bottom, because he may burn himself....
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The answer to both questions is no. You need a specific UVB reptile light. An aquarium light won't do it.
    And the aquarium heater, used out of water will break. You can heat with a Ceramic heat emitter or an ordinary household light bulb.
     
  5. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    Much obliged
     
  6. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    New question: whats the recommended wattage of the UVB bulb? Thanks again, for the link, shwknight
     
  7. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    The wattage would all depend on the size of your enclosure.

    I bought a 160W to make sure I can get the proper basking temp at 20 inches from the light (if I have to go closer to the light I can but its not recommended to get closer than 12 inches from the light)

    And I'm happy to help :)
     
  8. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    The tank is a 20 gallon. And yes, I understand that, should he grow to be a certain size, he will need a bigger tank. So....160 good enough for a 20 gallon?
     
  9. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    He'll need a bigger tank as soon as you put him in it just about :p

    A 160W would be WAY to hot for that size tank but might be ok for a 3'x2' that the caresheet says is the minimum for an adult BD. You could go with a 160W if you have some way to keep it far enough away from the tank to not cook your beardie.
     
  10. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    You want to use the megaray for his basking spot and you don't want the light any closer that 12 inches at the CLOSEST, 18 inches is the preferred distance per the manufacturers recommendation.
     
  11. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    Yet ANOTHER new question, hehe...how big they they get on average?
     
  12. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    The dragons or the megarays?? :p LOL

    The BD can get 20 inches
     
  13. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    Well, I can't afford him a bigger home right now, just buying him and the bare necessities is overbearing, so he'll just have to be content with his little "closet" of a home for a bit, hehe. Perhaps I can construct a home made reptile cage with some 2 x 4's and rabbit wire....
     
  14. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    I wouldn't use rabbit wire, to much chance of getting a toe cut off. But, you can make one out of plywood with glass doors on the front. Take a look at the herp habitat section, there are a lot of really good enclosures that might give you an idea ;)
     
  15. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    I'd prefer cage to glass, as it would cost less. I'm 18 and on a budget, Xd haha. Any type of wire that's safe? I know there are commercially available reptile cages, what kind of wire is used for them?
     
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You may prefer it, but it isn't practical.

    The wire will pose injury problems as well as making it extremely difficult to heat. And without proper heat the dragon will die.

    That 20 gallon is not going to be big enough for very long. I would suggest looking at building a wooden "box" with a glass front door. Or even going around on big trash pickup days and finding an old dresser or bookcase to convert.

    And the costs don't end there. There will be UVB lights to replace every 6 months to a year depending on type.

    I understand being stretched for money but if you are unable to provide a fitting enclosure perhaps you need to reconsider getting a beardie and go for something a bit smaller that could be comfortably housed in your tank.
     
  17. dannigd

    dannigd Elite Member

    I would have to agree with Merlin. Not only do you have to replace there bulbs which are expensive. The bearded dragon also needs to eat which can be expensive too if you are on a tight budget. I would really think about the animal first before your own needs and make sure you can properly take care of him/her.
     
  18. Wildflowernw

    Wildflowernw Elite Member

    Just wanted to mention that wether carpet or tile, even though one feels cooler than the other. They are the same temp. or should I say the temp of their surroundings.

    The only way to find out what wattage works is to try it. Get a temp gauge and try some different wattage light bulbs. A lot also depends on your home temps and how much that fluctuate I use different wattages or add an extra between winter and Summer and if I know we're going to have a hot day have even cut it down to nearly nothing. You can also make difference by the distance the bulb/heat source is from the floor of the tank.
    Good luck!
    Linda
     
  19. Blitz

    Blitz Elite Member

    I know someone with an old dresser I could use to convert...and my budget isn't THAT tight, but it's tight enough hat if there is a cheaper effective solution, I'll go that route. No wire, huh? If I use the dresser, then all I should need is one piece of glass anyway, so, shouldn't be a problem. thanks for all the help, guys.
     
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    But you will need to seal the inside with a few coats of polycrylic.
     
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