This is how we do it here at Rainbow Bearded Dragons. All babies and Juveniles that are sold were housed in clear Plastic Totes. If you are putting your new dragon in Glass cages, most of you will. Please cover the sides and back of the cage with white paper towels and just leave the front veiw uncovered. This will allow your new dragon to adjust faster. Please keep your new dragon in his cage for the first few days except for soaking and a few 5-10 minute handlings..This will help him adjust faster from relocation stress.
Can still pet him in his cage. New dragons need to stay calm and settle into his new home before a lot of handling. Settling in, relocation stress can take a few hours most cases to a couple weeks extreme cases. This is normal but mine start eating usually within a few hours of arrival. Eating will increase over the first week of arrival. Be sure to soak your new dragon on second day of arrival and NOT STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. Can soak on first day if weather is hot in your area to hydrate the dragon from shipping and stress later on in the day.
When dragon arrives unbox and place in warm cage with greens and start feeding cricket about 30 minutes later, no meal worms ever. Follow Care and Cage setup instructions below and Enjoy your New Dragon.
Please DO NOT USE COIL UV BULBS ! They are makeing them to strong and they are Burning the Dragons eyes. Breeders are aware of the problem but most of the public are NOT AWARE. If you are using coil UV Bulbs and your dragon doesn't want to bask and has it's eyes closed all the time it's eyes got BURNED. Take out the coil Bulb and replace with the tube type UV Bulbs. Provide the dragon with a hiding spot so it can get out of the UV altogether and let it's eyes heal. It won't be able to see, so you might have to hand feed the dragon . keep the dragon hydrated by soaking the dragon every other day until healed, around 5 days.
Some basic cage set ups for adults.Their Red bricks haven't gone in yet for basking platforms. Aluminum Foil is wrapped around plastic UV housing to protect from the UV light which will cause the plastic to break down and omit fumes..
We use Reptiglo 10.0 UV Bulbs which provide 33% UVA and 10% UVB which I've found is all they need.. Also I use 10 inch domes for heat. The 10 inch domes allow more heat to come down. Add a higher wattage bulb for more heat, less wattage for lower Temp.s Start with a 100 watt bulb for a 40 gal reptile cage with a screen top and go from there. Please don't guess at the temperatures in your cage. Check with a reptile thermometer or Temperature gun to check heat. Temp.s should be around 105 degrees under the basking light and 80-85 on the cool side of the cage. Check basking temp. in the beam of light on the BOTTOM of the cage, not side of cage.
Dragons need to regulate their body temperature and need a cool side as well as a hot... These temperatures are for all size dragons and all size cages... Their lights are on a timer here and come on at 10 am , off at 10 pm which is 12 hours a day...Make sure lights are coming on and going off the same time everyday. Dragons need a set routine.. Do all of your heating from above. No Heat Rocks or heating pads under dragons.
Please don't put dragons under 12 inches in anything smaller than a 20 long REPTILE cage. Do not use a 20 gal aquarium. They are to small and hard to get heat correct in them. Dragons over 8 inches can go straight into a 40 gal reptile cage with no problem. A 40 gal reptile cage will house ONE adult dragon..
Night Time Heat
Okay I get asked this a lot so here it is...Dragons will not need any night time heat unless your home is below 68 degrees at night. This means no lights of any kind or any type of under tank heater. If your house does go below that can use a red bulb sold at pet stores for night time heat. Only need the temp to be around 70-74 degrees IN THE CAGE FOR NIGHT TIME TEMPS. NOT 80'S or 90'S Dragons need to cool at night to stay healthy.
We use paper towels in the baby and juveniles bins . Newspaper and paper towels in our Adult cages. Start your Babies off in a 20 long reptile cage or a 40 gal breeder cage. Paper just needs to go down the middle of the cage and tape the paper down to hold in place. This allows for quick cleaning and a place for crickets to run so dragons can see them to eat. Leave about an inch or two around the paper for the crickets to run around paper and not hide.
Growing dragons need to be feed crickets everyday. No Limit On Crickets Or Greens. They can have as many as they want.Also no time limit on eating! Under feeding will stunt their growth as well as not soaking the dragon weekly.Feed the New dragons in the cage they are housed in...This is how they are used to eating here.Clean cage first before feeding. Putting them in different cages to eat isn't necessary and will only stress the new dragon out more. So please don't do this. They won't eat that way.Also need to increase the size of the crickets as the Dragon grows,very important for proper growth.
Under no conditions should you house a dragon under 14 inches on Sand and NEVER USE WALNUT SHELLS . Walnut shells are like rocks and can't be digested. This will kill a small dragon quicker than anything. I can't stress this enough, use paper or reptile carpet ONLY. Keep it bare as crickets like to hide and come out at night to nibble on your dragon. Never have something a NEW DRAGON can hide in or under in the new cage. I want the dragon to adjust .Hiding will only make the dragon more timid and will take a lot longer to adjust. HIDING IS A BIG NO NO...
We feed greens in the morning. . No water bowls are needed in the cage or misting. My dragons aren't used to and don't get misted here. They get soaked.
Feed bugs in the afternoon and evening. Be sure to dust your crickets with calcium that has D3 in it the first feeding of crickets everyday..The rest of the day don't need to be dusted.
Babies up to 10 months of age need calcium Daily with D3 in it as they are still growing. . A few times a week for older dragons. We use Zoo med calcium with D3 because they are indoor dragons. The Zoo med calcium seem to stick better to the insects... and Repcal Herptivite a multivitamin twice a week. Soak your Dragon in warm water to drink and hydrate once or twice a week for 10-20 min. I do not recommend more than that.They are not water dragons LOL. Dragons will drink from their bath water at bath time. This is perfectly fine and good for your dragon. If it poops however in the water , Drain it out and put fresh warm water in.
Keep your dragon and cages clean and your dragon will stay healthy. Dragons do need to be fecal checked by a vet. at around 10-12 months of age and will need their first worming then if needed. I don't recommend worming a dragon younger than that unless the dragon has been sick and ordered by a vet.
If you Still feel you want to use sand after they have adjusted a couple months to their new home and cage and have reached 14 inches you can do so... But it will not be as healthy for the dragon as paper. There is no way you can get all the fecal out of the sand and the dragon will ingest this when it is eating and catching insects. Will also be breathing in the dust from the sand and ammonia from the fecal waste and so will you! NOT GOOD!
Please be sure to feed you new dragon the right sized food. Greens and insects should NOT BE BIGGER THAN THE SPACE BETWEEN THE DRAGONS EYES WIDITH WISE. The dragon can choke on large food items OR GET IMPACTED. Babies and Juveniles are fed 60 % Mustard greens , 20 % Collard greens cut very thin with 20 % grated yellow squash with peel on all mixed together...
Babies eat Lots of crickets, NO MEAL WORMS ever. They can get impacted and die on those things. We don't feed meal worms at all here . If you still have any questions feel free to ask. Better to be safe than Sorry.
How To House And Care For Crickets
Hungry Lizard is a great place to buy crickets from that DOES NOT HAVE THE CRICKET VIRUS! This is the some place I get my brown crickets from. They are very friendly and have great customer service. Crickets always come in alive, healthy and with a good count. Their web site is below.
Buying your crickets from a cricket breeder will be much cheaper then a pet store. You will need at least a 18 gal tote from Target or Wal-Mart whatever you have around in your area. Put some holes in the lid of the tote or leave it off all together. Don't worry they can't climb the side of the tote as long as it is smooth.
Crickets will be delivered in a box with egg crate. Open box and dump crickets and egg crate into the tote you bought.Lean the egg crate against the side of the tote for cricket to climb on. Try to keep crickets in a warm place such as your reptile room. Feed crickets a good nutritious food and water gel. We use Organic chicken layer crumbles here. It's healthy , cheap and lasts a long time. Make sure to buy the Chicken laying crumbles and not the pellets. Pellets are to big for the crickets.
Place empty paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls in a couple corners to get the crickets out and into your dusting bag. Crickets will crawl up into the rolls and you just shake the rolls into your bag to get the crickets out. Make sure to Dust your crickets with calcium D3 and multi vitamins as needed.
How To House And Care for Superworms
DO NOT REFRIGERATE SUPERWORMS
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