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New with Lots of Questions

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

  1. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I personally don't use or recommend any type of sand for a dragon enclosure. Its always an impaction risk.
    The amount of crickets used will depend on the size of the crickets as well as the size of the lizard. But baby dragons eat a lot of crickets.
    And keep in mind that the total lifespan of the crickets are 8 weeks so they grow fast. If you order in bulk, order a bit smaller than what you need or they will quickly grow larger than your dragon can eat.
    And breeding crickets is a hassle! I much prefer the dubias and mealworms!
  2. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Ok if I went with a reptile carpet... How do you clean it?? I'm trying to find the easiest for my son to clean and still be safe. With a reptile carpet do you need 2 to switch out while one dries?? Where online can you order crickets??
  3. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    You may want to go with paper towel for a little while, Beardies are eating and pooping machines and you will be doing several washes a day with the carpet.
    How old is your son?
    If you do go with carpet you will need at least 2 of them, and switch them out daily for clean dry ones.
  4. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    My son will be 9 in oct. and the bearded dragon is his birthday gift.. That is the only thing he wants :)
  5. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    Instead of carpet you could also use non-adhesive shelf liner. I just got a roll of it at Wal-mart for five dollars and cut it into a few pieces to swap out. You can find it in all different widths so I just got the proper width for my tank and didn't have to cut it width-wise, just long ways. It's easy to wipe down and disinfect and when it gets too messy I put a new piece in. I like it a lot better than reptile carpet. I think it's easier. That said, I plan on putting tiles in soon, because the downsides to the shelf liner are that it's pretty smooth (so it doesn't wear down nails like tile) and it looks cheaper than tile does.
  6. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Years of personal experience, but with what bulbs? Based on my testing Arcadia bulbs perform very well, and while they aren't as powerful as full mid-day sun in a desert environment they can produce plenty of UVB at relatively comparable levels. Arcadia 12% bulbs can produce upwards of 200 uW/cm2 at ~8", which is only ~100 uW/cm2 less than mid-day sun here in NY. Still, this should be enough UVB exposure to convert healthy levels of D3. The idea is to start with a good bulb to begin with and then to set that bulb and basking sides at a proper distances in order to create a good UV gradient. The animal should have access to high UVB levels+high heat, high UVB levels+moderate heat, lower UVB levels+low heat and areas that cover the full thermal gradient with no UVB at all. That is all that matters. It's important to understand my comment wasn't designed to offend anyone, rather to shed light (no pun intended) on new and improved lighting options.
  7. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Ok with the tile are talking about floor tiles??? Do u just lay it in the bottom of the tank?? What about in the cracks between the tiles?? Do you just wipe it off or do you need to clean it with something??
  8. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    I would recommend cut to fit non-coated ceramic/porcelain tile instead of reptile carpet. The stuff not only looks great but is very easy to clean. Also, while I tend to agree with avoiding particulate substrates (primarily for hatchlings and juvies) I do believe it can be used safely as long as there is a way to keep food items separate from said particulate. For instance a raised eating platform for greens or a sectioned off area for feeders.
  9. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    GE I 100% silicone without mold inhibitors. Just one or two small dime sized dots on the bottom of each tile (to fix them to the tank floor) and a flush bead around the perimeter and between each tile (joints) will do the trick. Don't go overboard with silicone on the bottom of the tiles--a little bit goes a long way. If you put too much on the bottom you may never be able to get them out.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Granted my experience is with Zoo Med fluorescents, whic h is one of the most widely used Bulbs. I have never seen the Arcadia bulbs used by anyone in this country except for yourself. They seem to be more prevalant in the UK. Therefore my recommendation is based on the commonly available bulbs.
    And since the cost of a 2ft bulb is little to no difference than a 4 ft why not just go for it. This gives you options for placing various basking spots throughout the enclosure.
    But how many newbies have a basking area 8" from the bulb. How often often do we have to point out that a bulb 18 inches over the bottom of a cage with no raised levels is not doing any good
    No offense taken!
    We are both trying to get people on the right track.
  11. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Which is precisely why I, and a few others, have been attempting to get the word out--these bulbs are truly great. I'm hoping to get a hold of various UVB bulbs (MVBs, fluorescent, CFL) in order to test and compare them to Arcadia's very soon. From what I understand Arcadia was well established here in the 70's but pulled their products out of the North American market due to a lack of interest and high competition. Todd from saw an opportunity to reintroduce them and took it, and boy am I glad he did.

    Sure, you can spend the extra money and get a longer fixture--my point was that a shorter fixture, when set up properly and cage components, can be equally effective :) Like I said, you don't necessarily need a fluorescent fixture to span the entire length of the enclosure/tank and that not ALL UVB fluorescent bulbs are weak. That's all.

    Regardless of experience level any capable human being can come up with a way to set up their lighting properly, especially with the help of people here. There are plenty of inventive members around to guide them :)

    OK, good. We all know how impersonal the internet can be--I just wanted to ensure my post wasn't misconstrued in any way.
  12. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I just but the tiles up against each other without a gap, depending on the inside size of the enclosure you may or maynot need to cut any. If you do need to cut a couple of pieces, some tile places or hardware store may cut for a small fee, or if you know anyone with a tile cutter it's a bonus.
  13. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Michele, both Home Depot and Lowes will cut tiles purchased in store for free :) All the OP needs to do is bring interior dimension measurements for the tank. Just make sure to leave a little play to the the tiles in and out if need be--1/4" total would be good. So, for example, say the interior dimensions were 24x48, cut the tiles so that they are 1/4" shorter than the overall dimensions. In this case, when laid out, the total length and width of the tiles should measure 23 3/4x47 3/4.
  14. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Going to get our tank tomorrow!!! I can't wait... I have been reading and I saw somewhere that you can put a blanket in with them... Is that something they like?? If so what should it be made out of?? Also what is the best way to keep crickets?? I like the cricket keeper but is it big enough if I order 1000 at a time online?? What is the best site to order crickets from??
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, are you asking if you can put a blanket in the tank for the dragon (you could, but there are many other types of hide).
  16. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    No the cricket keeper is only good enough for about 50-100 depending on the size of the cricket. You would be better off going with a rubbermaid garbage can, like the one below on the far right.

  17. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    Our tank is here and waiting to to set up :) I need to get a new UVB as is came with a zilla one. I do plan on using the zilla light fixture however. I am still trying to decide on substrate though... I have a little time still though. Im not going set the tank up for a few weeks still. I am having trouble deciding where to get our little dragon from..... My plan at first was to just get one from Petland...but now I'm second guessing my self. Should we order online from a breeder... If we should order online where do I order from?? Or does anybody know of a local breader in Kansas city MO area??
  18. SammieLee

    SammieLee Elite Member

    I had a diet sheet that I had found... I went to print it and now i can find it... Can somebody please post the link?? Thanks!!
  19. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    New bearded with lots of questions

    Welcome to the forums! I am still fairly new to them also and I haven't had beardies too very long myself so perhaps I can give some noobie tips ;) Although 2 dragons seems nice - one is a handful to start with. Especially babies. I find my little guy does better if I feed him throughout the day (I usually aim for 4 times a day and manage 3 times) because they have such a high metabolism that they really need fed throughout the day. I started my little guy in a 20 gallon tank but quickly realized it was a little too small for him (they do grow very fast!)

    As for water? There are mixed opinions on this so what I do to be safe is just leave a gallon in a glass jar for 24 hours. That way no chemicals to worry about at all. Chlorine seems to settle out of it after about 24 hours. For bathwater I just leave a couple gallons in clean empty milk jugs and heat it up. Seems my little guy enjoys his baths a great deal (perhaps because he sheds so oftren?) I also use the water in the misting container that I use a few times a week on him.

    Sand is a no no no no. Baby beardie poo is not like big dragon poo and doesnt tend to stink as bad or be as messy. Paper towels are a wonderful option for babies. To be honest I don't even keep my adults in sand, I use eco carpet because honestly I find it easier in the long run. I just have 2 for the tank and just change them out. Washing them is a breeze really with some vinegar and water and air dry.

    As for feeding? I don't use a great deal of crickets now but when I did I found my little guy would eat 4 or 5 crickets at a sitting (dusted with calcium) and gutloaded 3 or 4 times a day. I use the green in small rinsed pieces to get him used to me. I just take a small piece of collard, mustard or turnip green and put my hand in front of his face and wiggle the greens. He may only take a bite or 2 but I have noticed it has gone a long ways in making him easier to handle.

    I do know my little guy loves Phoenix worms. I give him maybe 2 or 3 a day? And he's about 8 inches now so I started with some smaller butterworms as well. Wax Worms are like candy and always give them sparingly. I don't feed meal worms at all to him because he is just really too small and I worry about impaction. And by the way? crickets cannot molt in a way to use the calcium so if you overload them in calcium they die very quickly. So if you use crickets - make sure and dust them.

    I have also noticed with my little guy that he has to be warmer then my bigger beardie. He seems to reach optimal basking temp at about 100 - 105 degrees. When he has that temp he does seem to eat more and be all around happier.

    My little guy came from petsmart and after a vet visit - I did have to leave him alone other then feeding him for a few days to settle in. He still gets upset really easy but as I said before, making sure he knows that he depends on me for food has gone a long ways in making him easier to handle. Babies are really fast and can jump for any/no reason.

    Good Luck!

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