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Posted by -ryan- on May 04, 2003 at 10:41:27:
In Reply to: first timer has a question posted by Tatoe on May 03, 2003 at 16:58:23:
Either just one male if you just want one pet, or two females, since you 2 males will fight, and a male and female will breed. I personally went with the single male, because I just wanted one pet, and I didn't a huge tank like you would need with two beardies (even though I think I am going to get a bigger tank anyways). You could also get a single female, I don't think it really makes a difference, I just heard from a book or something that males have a little more personality than females (I'm not sure how true it is though). So, if you get one, the basic requirements are you need, at the very least, a 40 gallon breeder sized tank (36" long, 18" wide, and 18" tall), but a standard 75 gallon is much better (48" long, 18" wide, 20" tall). 40 gallon breeder is the bare minimum though , you can't go any smaller for an adult. For a baby, you can start them in a cage as small as a standard ten gallon, but you have to move him/her into the bigger tank as soon as it gets to be about 10" long. I think it's easiest just to start out with the big tank. Other than the tank, you need a substrate, lighting, and furnishing. Substrate for a baby should be paper towels. Once the baby gets around 10-12" in length, you can move it up to sand, but I don't even house my adult male on sand. I had him on sand, but I didn't like knowing that it can impact and kill him, so I keep him on repti-carpet normally, and right now he is on paper towels, but I have to put rocks all over the paper towels or else they just slide around when he moves around. For lighting, you need two things. UV lighting (don't go for anything less than a repti-sun 5.0 by zoomed, I have a cheaper one in my tank right now, but I don't trust it, so I'm getting the repti-sun) and it should cover at least half of the tank, over the basking site. you also need a heat lamp. The heat lamp for an aquarium should be a dome lamp (don't get the cheap ones) that sets on top of the screen. I have this fancy lamp stand for mine. you don't need it, but it makes getting in and out of the tank a lot easier. For wattage, well, it really depends on the bulb, and your house. I used to need a 150 watt bulb to get the temperatures high enough, then I switched over to this zoomed bulb that focuses the light better, and I only need a 100 watt bulb. You need the basking spot to be around 105, and about 110 for babies, and on the ground it should be in the late 80's and early 90's on the warm side, and late 70's on the cool side. Now, for furnishings, you need something for the lizard to bask on. You can use either a branch (it's easiest just to buy something, instead of finding one and soaking it in bleach), or somesort of rock thing. Or both. Just make sure that it gets to the right temperatures at the top, and it should get the lizard about 6-9" or less from the UV light so that the little guy/girl gets the right amounts of UV. They don't usually need a hiding spot, but if you have a big enclosure, you should just put like a big half log hide in incase the beardie wants to hide.
If you go for the two females, it's basically the same thing, except you need a bigger enclosure. The bare minimum for 2 is a 75 gallon, but you should really have something bigger, like a custom built enclosure that's 48" long, 24" wide, and 24" tall. Also, when you feed your dragon(s), just try to give it as many crickets as they can consume in about 10 minutes. you should feed them in a seperate tank (like a big rubbermaid thing, they cost about $6). Just put some indoor/outdoor carpetting in the bottom (not the stuff with the loops, the stuff that's just like reptile carpetting), and I taped the edges down so that the crickets can't get under it. For veggies, give the beardie(s) greens (like collard, dandelion, or kale), plus some other stuff, like pelleted bearded dragon foods (soak them in water for a few minutes if they're the hard kind), and mine also really likes the little frozen peas and carrots (to defroast them put them in a glass of hot water, you can soak the pellets in the same water).
I think I've told you pretty much everything by now, and you probably knew it already. Also, remember to take your beardie to the vet, and get a book called "The Bearded Dragon Manual".
:i plan on getting my first lizard and i was wondering if these are good. any info would help alot and are they good socially cause i would want to get 2 so they dont get lonely while i go to school
:thanx very much