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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:05 am 
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EGG
EGG

Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:39 am
Posts: 6
Hi,

I’m totally new to bearded dragons.
I used to have a few reptiles when I was younger (corn snake / Leopard Gecko / Chilean Red Rose Tarantula / Emperor Scorpion).
I’m married now with two kids and have finally talked the wife into allowing me to get a reptile.
I’ve obviously chosen the Bearded dragon.
I have a few questions:
1. I’ve been looking around at vivariums and think I’ve decided upon the vivexotic Viva range (medium). I ideally would like the terrestrial tank, but have seen the Arboreal too.
The Arboreal is nearly double the price, and double the height.
My question is, do I need the Arboreal for the dragon? If I bought the terrestrial tank, would I have room for the Basking light?
Terrestrial: Width 862.5, Depth 490, Height 434
http://www.livefoods.co.uk/product_info ... nut-p-2121
Arboreal: Width 862.5, Depth 490, Height 915
http://www.livefoods.co.uk/product_info ... nut-p-2139

I’ve also seen the Bearded dragon specific tank in this range, but it only comes in oak and my living room is Dark wood, so would need the Walnut finish tank…plus it’s a bit bigger than I can get away with (It’s going next to a 3 foot tropical aquarium, and I’ve been told no bigger than that).

2. What is the best Basking light to get for the dragons? And what’s the best fitment? Would I need to cut a hole in the top of the viv?
3. What other lighting do I need?
4. Is Reptile carpet ok for the Dragon?
5. I intend on getting a baby/juvenile dragon. Would this tank be ok? What should I be looking for when purchasing it? Health problems to look out for? I don't want to have to change tanks as it gets bigger.
6. I live in Essex (Thurrock), can anyone recommend any decent reptile shops to buy the dragon from? I used to use Wiltons reptile shop in Pitsea. It’s still there but not sure how good it is anymore
7. Lastly, am I likely to see a substantial rise in my electric bill? I notice you need the basking light on all the time

Anymore advice for a total newbie to this scene would be much appreciated.
Just for info, my two sons are 6 and 3 and both looking forward to their new pet (although my wife isn’t ;-)

Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:35 am 
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EXPERT
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:13 am
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Location: Victoria Australia
1/ Size of viv really needs to be 1200mm x 600mm x 600mm (4' x 2' x 2') or as near as possible height is not as important as floor area which needs to be near 8 sq. ft. As an adult can grow to 52cm and just won't fit comfortably in anything much smaller.
2/ Basking light just needs to be an ES ceramic fitting with a 60 or 75 watt RO80 household spotlight - much cheaper than the "approved" reptile ones and does the same job.
3/ You also need a UV supply and a 2' or 3' tube at 12% with a reflector is best (Arcadia are very good).
4/ Reptile carpet is OK but you need a second one so that you can be washing/cleaning one whilst the other is in use. For babies kitchen paper works best and once they can hunt accurately then some substrate can be applied - personally I prefer a mix of sandstone and playsand.
5/ You may want to consider a 6 month old juvenile - much less stress settling in for both of you. You want a bright inquisitive dragon and if possible one that you've seen feeding and that has been brought up eating veg.
6/ Can't help here - I'm in Aus
7/ You're running an extra spotlight for 12 hours plus a neon/strip light so there will be an increase but it shouldn't be too much.

Hope this helps.

Rick

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Beardies from an Australian point of view.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:21 pm 
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EGG
EGG

Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:39 am
Posts: 6
Thanks for the advice Rick. If I get a 6 month old as you suggest, can I still just get the reptile carpet?
I want to keep the cleaning as easy as possible...I also have a tropical fish tank AND 4 chickens. This is why my wifes a bit hesitant on me getting another pet as they already take a fair chunk of my time.
Do I need an area with substrate such as sand?

And have talked the wife into letting me get a 4 foot tank ;-)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:13 am
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Location: Victoria Australia
They do like to dig at times and there's little difference in maintenance between sand/sandstone and rep carpet. With either you need to scoop any droppings up as soon as you can but with the carpet any sloppy stuff will sink in whereas with sand it's just shovel out the messy bit. The carpet will be OK with a 6 month old guy as they are hunting and feeding accurately by that time.

Rick

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:50 am 
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EGG
EGG

Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:39 am
Posts: 6
Thanks Rick. I've also read that kitchen tiles are a good flooring for the BD...is this a no?

Also, Would you advise against buying the dragon online if I cannot find a decent reptile shop locally?

Another question is how long can I expect a 6 month old to be? (Just so I have an idea when looking around)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:00 am 
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 10:13 am
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Location: Victoria Australia
You can use lino, tiles (not high gloss - dragons need to get some traction), or other hard surface items as substrate but do try and also provide an area of soft surface to help exercise his feet. As for size somewhere between 20 and 30 cm depending on parents, feeding and general husbandry. Where-ever you get him from just make sure you see him first. Buying direct from a breeder at least lets you see the conditions he's been kept under.


Rick

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