We've got Ourselves a New Bearded Dragon!
;) Ok, so we got ourselves a new pet Bearded Dragon, I haven't taken any pics *yet*, but i'll give you some of another bearded dragon, which isn't ours. And, we are now getting ourselves a new light so that this lizard won't suffer the same as our Blue Tongue Skinks did.
~Here's the 1st pic~
~Ok, i'll add you guys another pic (or two :D !)~
This one lets you see their size nicely :) .
~Another nice one~
I love Beardies.
Be aware though, that despite the claims you may read, so-called "reptile bulbs" are no real substitute for sunlight.
The sun produces a lot of UVB, enough that we are advised to limit our exposure to it, and to wear sunscreen ..because it's dangerous and can cause skin cancer in the long run.
If you get a UVB source that doesn't have warnings like that on it, it is no substitute for the sun. What is available in the pet trade are very toned down. They need to be very close to the animals ...say a foot or so from the primary basking spot, and need to be replaced every six months. After that, they are practically useless.
You should still supplement with a good reptile vitamin, one that contans D3 and calcium.
Beardies like it warm, I don't have to tell an Aussie how hot your desert is. Most keepers will recommend you use a heat source from above, no under tank or hot rock heaters. I like the ceramiic infra-red emitters. They screw in to a standard light bulb socket, but emit no visible light, just infra-red (heat). They cost less to use than light bulbs, and you can leave them on all the time withouth interrupting the day/night cycle. You can aim it at a good basking spot to keep it extra warm. That way the dragon can thermoregulate on its own, like it will do naturally.
Because gut impaction can a problem with dragons, you might also want to assess what kind of substrate you are keeping him on. Sand is a bad thing. They can ingest enough over time that some dragons will get impacted and need surgery or die.
Lots of folks use newspaper. I think that's kind of boring, I prefer rabbit pellets. Whereever the dragon defecates, the pellets act like clumping cat litter so you can just spot clean it. Also, if they happen to ingest some of the pellets, no worries, it's good for them. I have also heard of foks using crushed oyster shell. The advantage there is that if they ingest it, they just digest it and derive come calcium from it. Sounds logical, but I don't know how long it takes to digest, so I've never tried it.
Mygala ~ Thanks a MILLION! You are so helpful. Would you think it'll be allright for him to live in our budgie cage outside throughout the daytime? Our budgie cage has wiring 1cm X 1cm, and has a plastic mat on the bottom. It is about 1m off the ground too. We have stumps and rocks in there, but don't know if it'll be suitable for the BD. I really thought that a UV light would have been good enough. Those pet stores really aren't helpful at all. The owner said that they keep their's in UV lighted cages and their's are fine, but they didn't mention ANYTHING, about replacing the bulb every 6months. That is just outrageous concerning the prices we've got to pay for those lights, and I still think that our Dragon will be much better off if he gets natural sunlight.
If you know of any good websites for BDs please post us the link. Thanks
I don't know how big your dragon is, or how small your budgie cage. Just make sure he can't overheat, and has cool water available to dip in. Mine loved to swim, bask, swim, etc.
If you put him outside, make sure that all or part of the enclosure is in the shade THE ENTIRE TIME. Overheating is a killer!
They still get enough UVB even when not in direct sunlight. I would think an hour/day would be plenty. Some get by with much less, especially in the winter.
Also, be careful of predators outside. I never leave animals unattended outside the house.
As far as websites, there are plenty, google, or look up some archival stuff on this forum. There are some VERY experienced dragon keepers here, who can tell you far more than me.
As far as the helpfulness of the pet stores, ..that's like asking an insurance salesman if he thinks you need insurance. Some stores are more concerned with the bottom line than your animals.
Use the internet and forums like this to double check everything. It'll save you money and possibly your animal's lives.
As long as you have the basics covered, I'd give it a trial. Put them out there on a day when you can check on them every hour or so, and see that they don't get them selves into trouble on the mesh, or something that you haven't thought of.
As a "watering hole", I let my dragons have a large, shallow dish, that was originally designed as a bird bath. I put a rock in the center that they could climb up on to bask and dry off. Mine loved to swim. I can't imagine they'd get much chance in the wild, but, who knows.
As for food, you might also want to check out this discussion from earlier here on PT:
In that discussion, there are some good sites listed, and if you go there, there are other good links to visit.
You might PM some of the folks involved for more info, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to help on any subject concerning your dragon.
Be very proactive, go out and ask folks, don't rely on just one person or site as a source. Everyone does things a little different, that doesn't mean they are wrong, they just have differing circumstances. Find out what's best for your situation. The more info you get, the better off everyone is.
Thanks, I think it should be suitable for them. Would you know what the coldest temperatures are for them to endure during the nightime? It does often get pretty cool at nights, but our budgies are fine outside, and I think a lizard would be too.
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