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    I'm getting ready to purchase a bearded dragon for my sons b-day. we've had other reptiles but never this kinds, when setting up the aquarium, what kind of live plants can i use(if any) any suggestions would be appreciated [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img]

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    You should really look up info on these guys before going out and buying them. Anyways, I'm sure zach, slizarus, and a few others from the forum can help you. I really don't think plants are needed for bearded dragons [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    thanks spec...been checkin around and looking it up for a while now..just couldn't get any info on plants...so again thanks

  4. #4
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    A1 Reptiles
    Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

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    Make sure a shallow water dish is available at all times. Adult bearded dragons may be fed once daily. Their diet should be varied and may consist of crickets, madagascan hissing roaches, king mealworms (zophobas) and newborn mice. Vegetables and fruits should be offered twice weekly. The vegetables and fruits should be chopped up and mixed together as a salad. Fruits and vegetables may include kale, collards, carrots, mustard greens, apples and bananas. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be added to the salad mixture. All prey animals should be dusted with a high calcium supplement. During the breeding season it is very important that females be given a diet rich in calcium and vitamins to maintain good health following egg laying.
    A basking light should be provided at one end of the cage. The temperature at the basking area should reach 90 degrees F. There should also be a cooler area in the cage around 75 degrees F.

    Exposure to natural sunlight, whenever possible, is important. Make sure the enclosure you provide outside for your bearded dragon allows for good ventilation so that the animal is not overheated while being exposed to sunlight. You should also provide a shade area inside the enclosure. Ideally exposure to the sun should be three times weekly with a minimum of thirty minutes each exposure. Indoor enclosures should have a high quality full spectrum light. These full spectrum lights do not however, take the place of natural sunlight.

    A substrate which I like to use is Canadian sphagnum peat moss. Peat moss makes a good substrate because it is a natural substance which is totally digestible, maintains moisture and naturally absorbs odor. Mix the peat moss with water and rub the two between your hands until the peat moss has absorbed all the moisture. Firmly pack the peat moss in the bottom of the cage and let it dry in the sun or under a heat lamp for a couple of hours until all moisture has evaporated. The peat moss will dry to a hard surface.

    Male dragons have a larger and wider head than that of the female. Males also tend to be larger than the females. The preanal and femoral pores are larger in the males. The throat area of the males becomes dark during breeding season. The females may also show some darkening in the throat area but will not get as dark in color as the males. I have found that sexing this species is difficult. The technique of "popping of the hemipenes " should not be attempted on this species as you may very well injure the animal. I have seen some breeders sex this species by pulling back the cloacal opening just slightly with the opening on the males being significantly larger.

    When I started to breed the bearded dragon I bought four animals hoping to have a pair and I was lucky and had two pairs. If you plan to breed bearded dragons I would suggest buying three or four hatchlings and wait for them to pair off the next breeding season. My animals have bred at ten months. Providing you have a pair the others may be sold off as adults for a much higher price.

    The females abdomen will expand quite considerably when carrying eggs. If you suspect your female is carrying eggs it is important to make available an egg laying site in her cage. Failure to provide an egg laying site may result in egg binding of the female which may result in death. Make a box about two feet by two feet and about eighteen inches deep. Fill the box with a mixture of potting soil and sand. Make sure you keep the potting soil damp. If you notice the female digging watch for her appearance to change. If she becomes thin overnight you know the eggs have been deposited in the soil.

    Carefully remove the eggs for incubation. I use a chicken egg incubator, commonly known as Hovabator, to incubate the eggs. Temperature inside the incubator should be maintained at around 85 degrees F. Incubation time is around sixty days.

    Bearded dragon hatchlings should be fed two to three times daily. Crickets are a good first food for the hatchlings. Size of the crickets is critical. Hatchlings should be fed 1/4 inch crickets or smaller until they gain a little size. Feeding prey that is to large for the hatchling may result in what is known as hind leg extension (partial paralysis). If hind leg extension occurs the animal usually will die. Finely chopped vegetables and fruits should be offered twice weekly and consists of the same salad mixture as the adults.

    Buying feeder insects from a pet store can become very costly. I would suggest buying your feeder insects from a supplier such as Fluker Farms 1-800-735-8537. You can purchase crickets from this supplier at a cost of $13.50/1,000.

    I would also suggest that you soak your dragon once a week in about 1/2 inch of warm water for about twenty minutes. This helps to rehydrate the animal along with cleaning feces off of the animals body that has accumulated during the week.

    If you intend to house hatchlings together it is IMPORTANT to maintain their feeding schedules as they will not hesitate to bite a hand or tail of a cage mate when hungry.



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    Hi - Welcome to the forums! Here is a site I found that should provide some practical care. Feel free to post questions! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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