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Somebody talk me into or out of a bearded dragon, please

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  • Somebody talk me into or out of a bearded dragon, please

    I REALLY want a bearded dragon. Currently, I have 5 cresties and I am currently working on a project to convert all their terrariums into live planted vivariums, which I am thoroughly enjoying doing. I love my crested geckos immensely. BUT, I cannot shake this desire to have a beardie that will be awake during the day, seems to be more desiring of a hands on relationship, and just overall more interactive. What I cannot seem to get past is the seemingly daunting task of lighting for this, lighting for that, lighting for another thing, heat, cool, day/night temperature, salad, bugs, supplements, substrate, poop scooping..........they really seem like a LOT of maintenance. And, I dont mind maintenance but I am really working hard on my planted vivariums and trying to get all that accomplished. I would love to hear from some beardie owners who will be totally honest. If you complain, I will understand that you love your beardie despite all the work, but if it really is a LOT of work, I want to know what I am getting into before I take the plunge. I am not the person who falls in love with something for a minute and then re-homes it. I research and make sure it is the pet for me. I have a parrot that I purchased as a hatchling and he will be 17 years old on Thursday. I will have him until one of us keels over. I made that committment 17 years ago and I will keep it. So, I really dont want to get a pet that I wont enjoy because the task of it outweighs the joy of it. So please be honest. If its easier than it seems, let me know. If its a huge pain in the rear, let me know. If its a huge pain in the rear but its worth it and it becomes an easy routine, maybe its for me, just not this minute. Just looking for some feedback. I shopped this weekend and talked myself out of it when I started looking at lighting and heating and such. I decided that until I looked into the situation further, I should hold off. So, let me have it.........the good, bad, and the ugly!
    Denise

    1.2.2 Rhacodactylus ciliatus

    If you have men who exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. St. Francis of Assisi

  • #2
    It's hardly that much work. Our adult gets salad twice a day, and sometimes needs a little encouragement to eat it, and locusts every 2-3 days. Okay, the poop is some of the worst i've ever had the misfortune to smell, especially if something's wrong and she has an upset stomach, but i wouldn't have called them 'high maintenance'. And they do have tonnes of character. The only other thing is they need their claws trimming, every 3 weeks or so as an adult.
    2.5.1 leopard geckos, 1.1 bearded dragons, 1.1 crested geckos, 0.1 Madagascar day gecko, 1.1 tokays, 1.0 cave racer, 1.1 corn snakes, 1.1 northern pine snakes, 1.0 royal python, 1.1 Everglades rat snakes, 1.0 gargoyle gecko.

    https://www.facebook.com/SwampysReptiles

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    • #3
      FOSTER! Find a reptile/beardie rescue and offer to foster one of their adoptable beardies! Then see if it's too much work/too big. AAAND, if you get attached to that particular animal, they'd let you adopt it!
      1.1 Dogs (Luke & Lily)
      1.0 Cat (Parker)
      1.1.0.2 Crested Geckos (Emerson & Ellie)
      0.1 Mississippi Map Turtle (Orville)
      Various African Cichlids
      1.0 Husband

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      • #4
        What about a still diurnal alternative that's not as complicated? I've heard good things about steppe runners (also desert lizards)
        0.2.2 Crested geckos- Nox, Vesper, Ghidorah, Pitaya
        2.0 Gargoyle geckos- Ridley and Serris
        1.0 Rosy boa- Mojave
        1.0 Leachianus- Helios
        0.0.1 Japanese Toad- Fushigibana
        A ton of bugs

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        • #5
          Soli, I was gonna mention steppe runners if you didn't!
          1.0.0 Leopard Geckos (Odie)
          0.1.1 Crested Geckos (Zero, Unnamed)
          1.0.0 Cat (Charlie)

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          • #6
            Never thought about a rescue..........I will research that. And never heard of Steppe Runners. I will research those! Thanks for the suggestions.
            Denise

            1.2.2 Rhacodactylus ciliatus

            If you have men who exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. St. Francis of Assisi

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            • #7
              Bearded dragons can be high maintenance actually, so make sure you're prepared to put in the effort before deciding on one. I've worked with bearded dragon rescues and owned dragons myself, and have had to contend with issues such as incredibly stubborn eaters, poor brumators, problem drinkers, poor baskers, and ones with digestion problems. While they're a great, entertaining, personable lizard, they aren't without their potential difficulties, and many people mistakenly think this is an always-easy beginner reptile. They also require a financial investment - larger enclosure size, expensive lights, plenty of food (they can be voracious eaters), etc.

              While I wouldn't ncessarily say they're a lot of work (especially once they're established and older), they can be challenging. The very act of brumation can be stressful for a lot of first time owners, and even seasoned owners when their dragons act differently from year to year. I'm not trying to deter you as I like them myself, and do recommend them to people who are interested...but I have to say that both of my dragons (bearded and water) are the highest maintenance reptiles I have by far. Just be prepared for the potential challenges.
              ~Cassi

              www.facebook.com/NaturesAuraPhotography

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              • #8
                Thanks Cassi. This is the kind of info I am looking for. I want to be totally prepared before I make a decision on this or any pet. As I was looking at all the equipment, lights, and large enclosure, I felt my anxiety about it start to creep in. And I want to be 100% committed to it, not going into it with trepidation already. Please keep the info coming, so I can continue to research and take all scenarios into consideration.
                Denise

                1.2.2 Rhacodactylus ciliatus

                If you have men who exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. St. Francis of Assisi

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                • #9
                  I rescued my bearded dragon several years ago and she is certainly a lot of work! They require weekly soakings, the lighting can be expensive and is very important to get right. They need at least a 40 gallon tank, but honestly it should be bigger than that. Their diet can be complex, brumination can be frustrating, and egg laying is also stressful if you get a female. They will lay eggs even if they are not mating and some can experience egg binding. They can have problems with shedding, tail rot, metabolic bone disease, and parasites. They need to get regular fecals at the vet to check for parasites.

                  All of that said... I LOVE my bearded dragon so much, she has so much personality. Out of all my reptiles she is probably my favorite to take care, because she is more work. There enclosures can be a lot of fun to play around with. My beardie has a hammock and pillow that she loves. You can put them on leashes and sometimes they like to watch TV. They do require a lot of work so I would definitely be sure you are ready for the commitment!!

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                  • #10
                    Excellent info..........this is what I need to hear! Thanks so much phayrei! I am not letting it deter me, I am just thinking maybe there is a better time to add a beardie to the family. I enjoy taking care of my pets, but since I have so much going on with the geckos right now, getting their enclosures just right, maybe a beardie would be a good project once I have them all squared away. They certainly do seem like a very enjoyable little pet!
                    Denise

                    1.2.2 Rhacodactylus ciliatus

                    If you have men who exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. St. Francis of Assisi

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                    • #11
                      I loved my beardie, but consider the differences between them and cresteds. They need a much larger cage. The lamps aren't a big deal to operate, but they are very necessary, and the heat lamp can raise the temp in the room quite a bit in the summer. The poop must be cleaned up, because desert substrate is too dry for springtails or pillbugs. I would definitely get a male, just because of my own experience. I had a single female that laid well over 120 eggs per year in her later years. Eventually, she became so obsessed with laying that she dug almost constantly, injuring her feet badly. On the plus side, she loved being held and carried, and would beg to come out. She had a big personality, very sweet. So, all in all, a larger animal with more requirements, but far more interactive.

                      Noelle

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                      • #12
                        The heat is a big concern, as you mentioned. I try so hard to keep my office/gecko room nice and cool and adding heat lamps would work against me on that, I think. And at the moment, its the only room I have to keep my reptile babies. And the egg situation sounds like a nightmare, poor girl. It is definitely sounding like an addition for the future. I am loving all the good points everybody is making. It does not make me think they are bad pets at all, just more committment and maintanence than I have the inclination for right now.
                        Denise

                        1.2.2 Rhacodactylus ciliatus

                        If you have men who exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. St. Francis of Assisi

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I got my beardie before I got into geckos. I researched for a good 6 months and then got a rescue. Sprocket the Wonder Dragon is an amazing, interactive (seemingly intelligent) pet and I could never regret picking her up. That being said, geckos are SO much easier IMO. But when you fall in love with a beardie, there is no going back! Good luck with your decision!

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