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Bearded Dragon and Rankin's Dragon?

Discussion in 'Non-Aquatic Reptiles' started by fishperson100, Dec 5, 2018 at 2:01 PM.

  1. fishperson100

    fishperson100 New Member

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    Hello all!

    So, I just had a few questions about keeping a bearded dragon or a Rankin's Dragon (well, a lot actually:)) So I will try to make this as short as possible.

    1. How big of a tank do bearded dragon's need? - I've heard it should be at least 36x18x12 in. or 4x2x2x ft. I do not have room for a 4 foot long tank, only the 3 ft. Can they live in a tank of that size, or is that too small?
    2. How much and what and when do bearded dragons eat? - I know they are omnivores so they eat both plants and insects. How often do you feed them, and how many crickets do they eat in a sitting?
    3. Does a Rankin's Dragon need as much space as a bearded dragon? Or can they be in a smaller vivarium?

    Thank you!
    - fishperson100

     
    #1 fishperson100, Dec 5, 2018 at 2:01 PM
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 2:09 PM
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You can keep reptiles in smaller enclosures if you let them out each day for a run around. I had a friend that kept his snakes and lizards in cages when he was at work and opened the cages when he got home. He did the snakes and lizards separately so they didn't eat each other but they got an hour or more of running around the house each day. Quite often his lizards and snakes would be all over the house for most of the time and he would be sitting on the couch with a couple of lizards on the top of the couch watching tele with him.

    As long as the enclosure is big enough for the animal to move about and not knock its water container over, the smaller enclosure should be sufficient if you let the animal out each day for a run around. Try to confine them to one room and keep the door shut when you let them out. Otherwise they can get injured if they find something bad to eat (poisoned bug), soap, cleaning products, etc, or chew on power cables.

    You can have climbing branches in the enclosure and your room. These can be branches from any non toxic plant, or you can make something out of wood from the hardware. Have lots of branches in the aquarium and it gives them more areas to hang out.

    You can also make platforms or different levels in the enclosure. Use wood or Perspex legs and put a shelf on it so if gives them another level to hang out on.

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    Feed them a variety of foods including earthworms (make a worm farm and grow your own), crickets, cockroaches, mealworms (make a farm for them too), etc. Wingless fruit flies get eaten and can be cultured in plastic containers. Aphids can be collected from roses during spring and autumn. Weevil larvae and moths can be cultured in buckets or flour or rice. Basically, if it moves and is not poisonous, they eat it.

    If the weather is warm you can feed them each day, but if it's cool, you only feed them once or twice a week. They need warmth to digest their food so if you keep them warm, you can feed them more often.

    We use to chuck a handful of crickets into the cages and they ate as many as they could and the remaining crickets hid in the tank until they got eaten. However, their enclosures were kept warm, so don't feed them as much in cool weather. One or two crickets per week might be sufficient in cool weather but you might feed 20 crickets per week in hot weather. Some lizards will eat more than others too so offer a few at a time and wait until they have been eaten before offering more. If in doubt, err on the side of less is best. They don't need feeding everyday unless you are trying to grow them, bring them into breeding condition, or they are recovering from an illness and you are trying to build them back up.

    You can sprinkle a reptile vitamin supplement on the food before offering it to them.

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    You can use the same tank for both lizards. The smaller one (Rankins) likes water so have a bigger water container for it.

    If you are limited to space, get a double or triple tier stand and get aquariums that are 3ft long x 18inches wide x 18inches high. Make sure there is at least 8-10inches of space above the tank so you can work in it. Have a few branches and a shelf in there and that will give them heaps of room. :)
     
  3. fishperson100

    fishperson100 New Member

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    Thank you for the info! I probably could let it out, but we have a dog, so I guess I'd have to keep them separate.
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Most dogs are pretty smart and if you tell them its not food and they can look but don't touch, they usually learn. My dogs use to watch the canaries in the cage and would sit there staring at them but wouldn't touch it. However, if the bird got out it was fair game and so was any other bird outside.

    When my dogs first encountered lizards (bobtail/ shingle back) they stopped and sniffed and I stood there while they checked it out. They were definitely cautious of it and after about 30 seconds the lizard opened its mouth and hissed at the dogs, they jumped back and left it alone. They have come across snakes out in the bush too and they know its something different and stop before getting too close. Then I call them back and we go around it.

    Small dogs like Jack Russels like to hunt small things and small lizards might get picked on or attacked, but if you monitor them you should be able to see if the dog is going to go after the lizard. If there is a chance that will happen, just tell the dog No!.. If the dog continues to try to get the lizard then keep the dog out of the room when the lizard is out.

    If you are really desperate for a bigger enclosure, you can make something out of wood and cover it in steel mesh/ flywire. You can make it 3ft long x 2ft wide x 5 or 6 ft high. You can make a frame out of wood or metal and cover it in wire. You can even buy metal stands from most hardware stores and they don't cost much. I get some that are galvanised with 4 shelves and they cost about $12.00 each. They come in kit form in a box and you simply bolt them together. You can make them as big as you like and add a couple of brackets in the corners to keep it square, add some wire and you have a nice reptile enclosure that can have a pot plant or branches in it for them to climb up.
     

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