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Hey, Another New One!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Skunk, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    Hey there!

    My name is Lexxi, and I keep Bearded Dragons, well, singular at the moment as we had a bit of a sexing mix up a few months ago resulting in two males together, eep!

    Luckily, just a day later and my usually docile little Olly is acting like the big dog and running about and being awesome :). Sad to see Stanley (yes, Stanley and Oliver, Laurel and Hardy) go, but took him back to the rescue centre (couldn't bring myself to buy from trade) and Anthony (the rescue centre owner) was happy to see him, and I'm now just awaiting the arrival of a suitable female so Olly can have some companionship.

    I think the biggest headache that I've had has been with substrate, for the first few months they were on play sand with no problems and regular check ups at my local herp specialist vet. Then when it came to changing the substrate completely, I decided to just go for paper towels as I found sand a bit smelly, even with daily spot cleaning (was very religious about this as beardie poo=eww)

    Yesterday I considered putting Olly on Calci-Sand, till I paid a visit to Anthony and discussed it with him, apparently the calci-sand in pet shops is limestone from a local quarry (i.e. water +limestone=acid), and a bit of trawling on the internet showed some quite awful horror stories. So, now my baby (in his 4'x2'x2' viv, with mercury vapour bulb and ceramic bulb) is on 1/2 Play sand and 1/2 natural sandstone slabs where he is fed. And he seems to absolutely love this :D

    I know each substrate has its pros and cons, and thats why it's been so hard to choose something that will look really nice, be natural and minimise any stress or impaction.

    Also, I want to see your opinions on water in a beardie's tank. From my point of view, the temp inside should mimic desert temps, and so evaporate, making the environment humid and giving the poor lil thing a respiratory infection :( However, everywhere I go I see water in their tanks, and I'm like wuhh? they don't need water :( they get it from food and their weekly bath? Even when asking the staff, they talk to me like I'm dumb, "err, all animals need water?"...:|

    So, opinions?

    Also, hi!


    Lexxi/Skunk xx

    Attached Files:

  2. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    They need access to water so they can drink! You can put the water on the cool side to minimize the evaporation if you'd like, but they need more water than just the food and baths. I know with some animals that need a very low humidity like the sand boa people take out the waterbowl but are sure to put it in every day.

    On the sand honestly there is still risk of impaction, if I was you I would go with all slate and earth colored tiles for safety and looks!
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    They aren't found on sand in the wild, but hard packed earth and rocks. I would ditch the sand all together and use just slate.

    I know some people who just spray their veggies with extra water. Its really all they need.
  4. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Welcome to HC, I too would ditch the sand. We put a waterbowl in with our beardie maybe every other day just to let him play. But we do water the veggies when we feed him daily.
  5. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Welcome to HCN! I love the names you had picked out for your guys. Stan & Ollie- I was a big fan of their re-broadcast movies on TV and think they were comedic geniuses.

    You mentioned you were waiting for a suitable female for your male- I have no experience with them but most reptiles are solitary animals and do much better housed separately.

    Please enjoiy your stay here and keep the pictures coming.
  6. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    Thanks for the warm welcomes and hellos guys :)

    From seeing what humidity does to little beardies I just leave it to damp/watered veggies and their baths. Again, my boy gets regular check ups so I can keep on top of any problems, nothing so far *crosses fingers*.

    Also, I'm very worried about possibilities of impactions, and I do keep a close eye on my Olly's health, so any changes are watched closely. I've got good experience that sand is ok for them, and allows them to burrow, and as long as feeding is done away from sand, impaction is low. Again, I know about the hard earth that they're used to, just I want to encourage natural digging behaviours, so, hence sand. I'll keep a close eye on him as always :)

    In addition, I've seen food grade Maize being used as a substrate, but I'll bring this up as a discussion in the other section, just wanted to say hi here :)

    Also, pic of his new set up, which he seems to be loving, including nommed veggies :D (After Stanley left, we moved the viv down stairs so he gets more interaction from family during the day, as he was up in my room before and didnt get to see much life, he gets to see the garden now :))


    And also one of the little guy, himself :) Aww, bedtime?

    Attached Files:

  7. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Maize/millet molds really bad when they poop/pee on it. Not a good idea. Its also very dehydrating if they eat it.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, there is some humidity in the air even in the drier parts of Australia, they are NOT a desert species. A level of 30 or 40% is fine, as far as the sand is concerned, many keepers in Australia DO use play sand in their adult dragons enclosure, but I would certainly not put it in the babies/juveniles set up. I can`t see a hide in the tank, or am I mistaken?
  9. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    Yeh, the guy in this pet shop (that I just found, they also have raccoons...) said it absorbed urine well, I didn't take that as a positive, though I think he does :p
  10. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    A hide is drying as we speak, made from the exco-vate sand that hardens when mixed with water :)
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    That`s good! Just to mention, if it ever gets warm enough (does it EVER get warm enough over here)?? you can let him have exposure to some natural unfiltered sunlight, that`s one of the best things for them.
  12. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    Ha, well, it was very warm today, but seeing as it was a first day in a newly arranged viv I just wanted him to chill, after an hour or so he seemed very happy (So pleased about as Stanley was a bit of a bully :( and making Olly very sad).

    If I was to let him out, what kind of enclosure should he be in, as I don't want him free to run around the garden, fear of losing him is too high :(, so, rabbit run kinda size and structure?
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    We obviously have completely different interpretations of the words "warm today"!!??
    Yes, a rabbit type enclosure would be o.k, making sure there`s a shaded part for him to go to, but not if the ambient temp is below 72f. Is that a Powersun lamp you have, and can you give the warm and cool side, and basking area temps? Thanks!
  14. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    Well, where I was it was very warm, and a mimimum breeze, but only around 60F, so maybe in a few months, certainly something I'll invest in :)

    Also, anything else you could suggest to add into his viv, certain safe dessert plants, branches etc, curious whether it has to be certain wood to be safe?
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    You don`t need desert plants as in cacti (if that`s what you mean), but if you have real live plants, make sure they`re non toxic, because he will surely try eating them! This species (P. vitticeps), come from fairly arid arid stony type habitats, but there are shrubs and trees there too, I would put a stout, firmly fixed branch in there, on an angle, large enough for him to rest his body and legs on, (I see you already have a smallish one), and making sure he can`t get too close to the heat lamp, they do like to climb, although not as expert as some lizards.
    At the end of the day, the most important thing is getting the conditions inside the tank correct, and ease of cleaning is most important, but it can still be pleasing to the eye for you. (He won`t mind)... The wood should not be from pine trees because of the resin, I use sycamore branches, but there are others too which are perfectly safe, oak, or willow for example.
    Make sure you don`t cause damage to the tree of course!
  16. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    Yeh, non toxic of course, shrub type plants.

    And more wood, k :D

    The branch that is in there is large enough for him, but yeh, as he gets bigger.

    Thanks for all of the advice :)
  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Thanks for joining the website and asking questions, isn`t that the only way to learn what`s best for the animal/s?! :)
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Actually you have it backwards. Limestone mixed with water is alkaline, the opposite of acid. Think antacid like the medicine used for heartburn in humans.
  19. Skunk

    Skunk Active Member

    True, I got it wrong, it does produce an alkali, which is Calcium Bicarbonate, which I wouldn't want around my beardies anyway :p

    CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O → Ca(HCO3)2

    It's just dangerous stuff anyway and really shouldn't be sold.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You got that right!;)

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