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New with Lots of Questions

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by SammieLee, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    I am very new to all this.....we don't even own a bearded dragon yet. I am getting one for my son for his birthday. I want to make sure I know what we are doing before we bring it home...my first question is should we get one or two. I am planing on getting babies and I didn't know if they would ways be able to stay together if I get two??? If I'm understanding right when they are babies you can not tell the sex of them. So what happens if I end up with 2 males?? I kinda want to get him 2 of them but I want them to be able to stay in the same cage. 
    Next question I have is about water. I am not finding any where if you have to add anything to it to make it safe...we have city water... Like I have too for our fish and hermit crabs. 
    Hope I'm not asking to much but I really want to make sure I have it all right before we bring it home... I have seen more than one place where it says no sand for babies. But at the pet store they said it was fine. So can you put a baby on sand or not??? If not what do you put the babies on?? Paper towels (saw that on one site)??? How old before you put them on sand?? 
    Have also seen many many different answers on how many times a week you add calcium to crickets.. 
    Also what fruits and veggies can they eat?? O and one more question... I thought you feed them daily (veggies and crickets) but I had one person tell me he only gives his crickets every couple weeks??? And they are still little...sorry I have so many questions.. I'm getting a little stressed reading online when every site tells me something different. Thanks in advance for all your help.   
     
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Glad you joined prior to purchasing a Bearded Dragon :)
    One most definitely! More than one can lead to a lot of problems
    I use city water with no problems, if its safe for us (potable) then its safe for them.
    You can never ask too many questions
    Stay away from sand, they don't come from sandy deserts, they come from places that have very arid hard packed clay. Tiles work great, ceramic, porcelain or slate, this also helps keep their nails filed down. Paper towels are also fine to use and change out when soiled. You never have to put them on sand, they are curious little guys and will lick things to taste.
    Calcium can be used daily as a hatchling, and twice a week a multivitamin. You will also want to use a UVB bulb so they are able to produce vitamin D3 that aids in absorption of calcium.
    As they grow their dietary needs change, hatchlings require mostly protein 80% and only about 20% greens (staple greens)
    Juveniles its about 50-50 ration and adults over 18 months of age it 20% protein and 80% staple greens,veggies, fruit
    Below in my signature there is a caresheet for Bearded Dragons, check it out, you will want to look through and then ask any more questions that you may have
    By the way Welcome aboard! :)
     
  3. justor

    justor Elite Member

    -Bearded dragons should never be kept on any type of sand at any stage in life. Ceramic tiles or reptile carpet are good as well as newspaper or paper towels.
    -They should also not be kept together. It might be alright as babies, but they definitely cannot live together past a few months of age. Two males will almost certainly fight and can cause serious injuries to each other. Males and females may fight also, and theres also the risk of the male trying to mate with the female before she is ready (males mature faster than females). "Fighting" doesn't always mean physical violence either. If kept together one will be dominant over the other and may prevent the other one from eating its fill and basking when it wants to etc. It is a very stressfull situation for a reptile to be kept with another, more dominant, reptile. These are completely solitary animals in nature. They don't play around with each other. They don't care about each other. They live their own lives, and when the time of year comes - they mate, and then they go their own ways again. So to answer your question you should just get one unless you want two seperate enclosures. :)
    -I use plain tap water for my reptiles and havn't had any problems, but my water here isn't too bad. There are water conditioners you can buy if you don't feel safe about your water, but I can't really help with brands or anything.
    -As hatchlings they should eat mostly insects. About 80% insects and 20% greens and veggies. As they become juviniles they will start eating about 50/50 insects/greens, and as adults they will eat 80% greens and 20% insects. I'm not totally sure about calcium supplements for beardies, but probably once or twice a week is good. Make sure you provide them with a good UVB bulb so they can make use of the calcium in their diet.
     
  4. justor

    justor Elite Member

  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, first of all, good for you for wanting to get everything in place before the animal arrives (not a common occurence)! ;)
    Better kept alone, otherwise it can be very stressful for them, undoubtably there`ll be competition for food, basking spots etc, and they don`t need company anyway.
    I`ve always used tap water, never had any problems.
    Sand is definitely not recommended for the babies because of the risk of impaction, so paper towels or ceramic tiles, or reptile carpet.
    The hatchlings need more protein, though you can still offer vegs (approx 80 to 20% protein). I would dust the insects at every feeding (they should be no larger than the space beteween the lizard`s eyes).
    Greens including dandelion, collard, mustard greens, escarole, carrot, etc (all very finely chopped)), plus apple, mango, etc.
    There are only two temperatures you need to know; the lowest ambient (air) in the coollest part of the enclosure @ approx 24c (75f), then the surface temp at the basking site of between approx 40 to 43c (105 to 110f), no other temp is important.
    Can I ask what size enclosure you`re planning to house the dragon in?
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I agree with almost everything you say except it`s perfectly acceptable to use (playsand) in an adult`s enclosure, many keepers and breeders both in Australia and here in Europe do so. They actually live on sand in some parts of their range. ;)
     
  7. justor

    justor Elite Member

    Thank you for correcting that. Would you actually recommend playsand over tiles or repti-carpet for an adult?
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    No, I just think it`s important to point out that adults can have a playsand substrate if that`s what the keeper wants (even if in just part of the enclosure), no different than a soil/sand mix, otherwise the bush would be full of dead impacted lizards of many species ((it isn`t as far as I`ve seen)!
    As I mentioned, I don`t recommend it for the youngsters, much safer with a non-particulate.
    By the way, when you have a little time to spare, take a look at the "Lizard Kings" film here a tHC, you can see for yourself (not sure which segment it`s in). Dragons on sand! (Shhhh) ;)
     
  9. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Thank you all so much. I am planning on getting the zoo med bearded dragon kit that comes with a 20 gallon. That way all the lights and everything are all together and I don't forget something. Then I will get a bigger tank when it is needed. Was thinking a 40 gallon breeder tank ( I think that's what it is called). 
    A question about calcium...since I will have a light for UVB do I need a calcium with d3??? 
    I read the link once but off to read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything :) 
     
  10. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Please don't get that kit!
    Pet stores try to sell those kits and they are full of things that aren't reliable!
    You will need a much larger enclosure by 1 year of age he will be full grown, they grow very fast. Ideal size for a bearded dragon is 4'x2'x2'.
    Also those kits thermometer are not accurate, you need to get a digital thermometer with a probe. The probe must be touching a surface to get an accurate reading.
    You will want to have a heat gradient of 105-110 on the basking spot and a cool side temp of 75. This will be very hard to achieve with a 20 gallon long. Go as large as you can!

    As long as you use UVB bulbs, and it is changed every 6 months, you will not need the calcium with D3! Just the 100% calcium and the multi vitamin! (I personally like to use it with D3 once in a while)
     
  11. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    I had read somewhere that you should not put a baby in a full size cage... Is that not correct??
     
  12. skelly98

    skelly98 Elite Member

    well, i don't own a beardie, but i can tell you that i put all my reptiles in adult enclosures early, with the exeption of some snakes.
     
  13. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Just think of all those hatchlings in the wild, as long as there are hides to escape to for protection.
    It's good to keep them active and hunting for their food is natural. They will explore every inch you give them, great stimulation if you ask me. But most important is to achieve a proper heat gradient!
     
  14. mrsplumbfitt

    mrsplumbfitt Well-Known Member

    It is ok to put them in the larger aquarium. They grow rapidly if everything is done right. I have two beardies! I would check out craigslist or whatever for a good deal on the aquarium.
     
  15. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Also picking out a healthy dragon is so important. You will want to look for one who is alert, curious, no missing digits, clear eyes, clean vent area, no signs of discharge coming from eyes, mouth or vent. One the is well socialized will be just as interested in you as you are in him and will come up to you, lick (taste) you. Stay away from one who is lethargic or signs of being ill. Make sure the enclosure that they come from is clean, well as clean as one days worth of use. What kind of substrate they are keeping them on and are the feeders too large for their size. Also bearded size is important, stick with one that is at least 6 inches in length, most reputable breeders will not sell unless they are 6 weeks and 6 inches long total length.
     
  16. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Good point!! You guys just saved me over $100 on having to buy 2 tanks!! Thanks!!

    Going to start checking Craigslist tonight :)

    Thank you!! I will read these right before we head to the pet store!
     
  17. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Make sure that you have an enclosure up and running at proper temperatures prior to purchasing the little one! This will be less stressful on both of you.
    Good luck and don't forget photos of your set up first :) sometimes a photo can show a lot.

    If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask, that's what we are here for
     
  18. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Since I have decided not to buy a kit what brand of lamps and stuff should I purchase?? Is there a good online site to get this stuff or is the local pet shop the best.
     
  19. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I use exo terra heat bulb like this, wattage really depends on you house temps and enclosure size.
    Exo Terra : Intense Basking Spot

    For UVB I use exo terra Repti Glo linear desert 10.0 , length will depend on enclosure size.
    A few member have been using Arcadia brand for the UVB, I'm not familiar with those ones so hopefully someone will be by to shed some light on them.
     
  20. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Does the UVB Need to be the length of the tank?? Or just the length of the basking side??
     

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