Bearded Dragon care

Discussion in 'Sports and Lifestyle' started by viper357, 17 Jun 2011.

  1. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Ok, so I'm bored with my fish :p and am wanting to get a bearded dragon in a month or so's time after I have done enough research. :)

    I will be starting with building my own vivarium, it will be 3ft x 18" x 18", about 90x45x45cm's.

    Lighting, from what I understand, you need a special reptile UVB fluorescent light, plus any normal fluorescent light, then either a ceramic heater or other type of 60w light bulb to heat up one end of the cage, is that right?

    I'm going to be putting in those circular air vent goodies, I'm thinking 2 on each end of the vivarium, so 4 vents in total?

    Anybody got any tips on building it? Got any pics of yours that I can steal idea's from?:)
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I build a cage 2 months ago. 1.2 by .5 by .5

    glass run in sliders. But bottom slider cannot be at the cage bottom. Must get at least 100mm wooden part in the front of the tank under the glass. Else substrate and other things ends up inside the guides of the slider.

    Lights, yes, ione UVB flourescent (for light), and heat lamp and night lamp - both for heat. Night lamp, you get 2 types, black light ond red light. Go for black light as the light will not be as intrusive into the room as the red light. Obviously the tank is darker and you cannot see the beardies at night. But they are sleeping and you should let them be.

    Vents, I got 8. 2 left side bottom, 2 right side top.
    2 lower down in front, 2 higher up.

    I made another cabinet, same footprint as the beardy cage, but only 300mm high. It is under the cage, serving as a storage area for timers, food, crickets in their holder, etc... Where else will you put it?

    Had all dimensions worked out. Cut to size about R750 at Chamberlains. Glass doors, another R180. Lights and fittings at about R500.
     
  4. danimal

    danimal

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    can't go wrong bru, awesome pets :thumbup:

    yup, you need a temperature gradient from one end of the cage to the other, so they can thermoregulate. basking spot should peak at around 40C. UVB should extend across the whole tank, they provide pretty much zero heat, the UV helps them process vitamin D3 for digestion and whatnot.

    so then normal basking lamp at one end, you can experiment with power ratings and positions etc until you're happy. heating pad at night.

    have a look at this thread, there's over 100 pages of pure pictures of different vivariums. you'll get plenty inspiration there.

    good luck!
    Bearded Dragon . org • View topic - Viv pics only thread
     
  5. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    just a warning on heat pads and those ceramic heat lamps.
    The beardy does not feel when its burning. Yes, I know it sounds stupid. So you have to be careful that they cannot come into direct contact with a heat source.

    Also, do not use those green carpets they use for snakes. Their toe nails can get caught in it. Resulting in broken toes or feet.
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    And, if you want a pair, then - especially when growing up - the male MUST BE SMALLER than the female. But they can suddenly start growing like mad. I got a male, 3 months younger than the female. Now, its double the size of the female.

    The males are very agro towards smaller females. Can bite off the end of their tails or even their feet. Been there done that. Had to split them. Got another BIG female and she sorted him out from the moment they got together. Also do not keep 2 males together.

    Still have the smaller, extra female. Still needs to sell her. Just need to convince my sons that she needs to find another home...
     
  7. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    :whistling:
    :lol:
     
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Get an iguana, much better pets and are really cool and interactive
     
  9. viper357

    viper357 Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Had a look at them but nah, prefer a little beardie. :)

    Thanks for the info Riaan and danimal. :thumbup:

    I'm just going to get one dragon, not interested in breeding, life's too busy for that.

    I wanted to go for a 4ft cage eventually but thought I should rather start off small with a 3ft with a baby beardie, then over the next year or so I can work out what I did wrong with the smaller setup and then I can build a bigger setup with hopefully all of my ideas and changes sorted.

    That thread is insane, 110 pages of pics. But this one has really caught my eye, think I'll try work on a design similar to this for when I do the bigger setup. My New Viv Background - Livefood UK Forum

    About the substrate, I've read that sand is a no go for babies especially, what do you guys think of upside down ceramic floor tiles? It will be quite rough which should take care of their nails and also have a bit of a sandy feeling to it?

    Also the heat pad, where does that go, I assume not on the cooler side of the tank? Does it have to go underneath something, will it work underneath a tile?

    Thanks guys.
     
  10. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Like mine? [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    The crickets SHOULD NOT be able to run up the sides. So bare press wood is a no no. Any wood that the crickets can run up is not good. They run up and park of in safety upside down on the ceiling.

    Yes, agree, that background looks awesome. But its not so awesome listening to cricket love songs at night. (Dancing on the ceiling...)
     
  12. Ishtak

    Ishtak

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    I empty out ANYTHING the crickets can hide in when I feed my dragon. Night serenades by the crickets hiding in the tank is NOT fun :)

    When he/she gets older you can start feeding him meal worms. They don't make a noise and can be kept in a tub and fed every second day or so and makes sure he/she gets veggies/salads daily. That's how they get most of their liquids, although my female has now started to drink from her water bowl ... only took 2 years :)

    I used reptile carpet for my guys when they were small and moved them over to corn cob when they were about a year old. I also keep my 2 red tail boas on corn cob so I'm a little biased ;)

    Check out http://www.sarepitles.co.za It's pretty much like this and the TASA site but for reptiles and snakes :)
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2011
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Here they are, lights out, time to sleep, male on top, female down below (behind the bowls)
    [​IMG]
    Silicone a small glass piece, to be a "doorknob" on the front glass. Do not do it on the back glass, it will hit the other pane one day and break it.
    Sliders glued in all around opening. So that the smaller crickets cannot escape between glass and frame. all ventilation covers are double, inside and out.
    Substrate is chicken raising meal, "groeimeel", at least it is digestible. But a bit dusty. Also it helps to dry out the poo very quickly. Once a week I use a small sift and remove all solids.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jun 2011
  14. Michael Bubb

    Michael Bubb

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    @Mista orange, very nice red iggies you got their.

    @viper357, beardies are a excellent choice, bear in mind they eat stax, varied diet is best and avoid too much mealworms.

    I see way too much fatty liver disease now days.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. danimal

    danimal

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    iggies are awesome too, but I find that unless they get several hours worth of interaction every day they grow up to be VERY cranky. long whip tail + long claws + razor sharp teeth = ow.

    beardies are a handful when they're young, but calm down once tamed. and they can't really hurt you - teeth aren't sharp enough. IMHO much better choice - especially for beginner reptile owners :)

    for a substrate I use tiles - easier to clean, helps keep claws trimmed. used to use sand but heard a few horrow stories about impaction, never thought of using chicken meal though - good idea, @RiaanP.

    the heating pad should go underneath, and on the warm side. I have mine set up on a reverse cycle to the lights - it it is on at the same time things get too warm. but it depends on your setup.

    good luck, they're super rewarding!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. danimal

    danimal

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    here's one of my hatclings - about a month old now, fast asleep on my hand last night :)

    [​IMG]
     
  17. viper357

    viper357 Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Thanks for the info guys, note taken about the crickets climbing up the walls, lol.

    @danimal - cool pic, can't wait to get my little dude. Are your tiles upside down? And is the heatpad underneath the tiles? Is it strong enough to radiate heat up through the tiles?

    Thanks for the link iishtak. :)

    Riaan, what wood did you use, is it varnished inside? I have a lot of white contiboard lying around so am thinking about using that, but it is white so I think I will have to put one of those vinyl backgrounds inside as I'm sure all the white will hurt their eyes, what glue could I use that is safe for them, normal contact adhesive? I need to use something that will spread nicely to avoid any gaps for the crickets to get behind.
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2015
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Cannot think of the right name now.
    Its the standard boards as used in kitchen cabinets. Bought at Chamberlains. Its basically press wood, with a layer on it. Too smooth for the crickets. Cut to size by them, so its square. Used Dowel sticks and wood glue. No varnish inside.

    I will not put a heating pad directly under the "substrate". But rather under a tile. Actually I prefer a night light instead of heating pad.
     
  19. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Thanks Michael I waited for them for a long time but eventually got them last year & they are 2yrs old already. love them to bits!!!!

    I find that around breeding time the male get's cranky & yes they need lots of attention but awesome little buggers.

    I agree with beardies or even gecko's for 1st time reptile keepers.
     
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