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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 407
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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how do i make a 18x18x36 screened in cage compatible for two

Resolved Question:

how do i make a 18x18x36 screened in cage compatible for two bearded dragons?

opens from the front (like a door)
screen all four sides
pvc plastic bottom

use of three lights (one red heat bulb for night 150w, basking bulb 100w and uvb 75w bulb for day)

two sides have plexi glass screwed in on the inside that are 18x24
climbing and basking accessories stop at 22in tall
(hammock, climbing ladder, 24in vine, 6in vine, 12x4 log)

two feeding bowls (fancy male; pastel female approx. 2 months old)
one large water bowl

feed: strawberries, leetuce, grapes, carrots, squash, apples
canned crickets/live crickets, canned superworms/live superworms, waxworms
canned fruit, pellets, vitamin D, nutrition drops for water and food
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 12 months ago.
Your beardies sound like a cute pair! It's not hard to make your cage compatible, but there are few things you should be careful to do.

You will need substrate in the bottom of the cage. I don't recommend any of the walnut shell/litter/sand substrates, as if your reptiles eat them during feeding, they can cause impaction. I recommend either reptile carpet, or you can make heat zones in your cage pretty easily by lining the bottom with washed play sand, putting heat cable in the sand, and putting mini ceramic floor tiles (like you can get at Lowe's or Home Depot) on top of that. Easy to clean and easy to heat. If you are relying on your lamps for heat, the tiles soak up that heat nicely-- just make sure you have a hot spot (100-105 degrees) for basking. Use a thermometer at the level of the tile to make sure. Hang your lights before adding your reptiles to the cage, and adjust how far they are from the cage to produce the temperature you are going for. As far as the UVB goes, replace it every 6 months even if it's working. The brighter the light, the happier the lizard.

If you find that your beardies are climbing up the screened portions of the cage, you may need to install plexi-glass on the sides that don't have any. Also make sure you have a cover for the cage-- these guys can be escape artists!

In addition to the foods you've described, which sound great, be sure you are adding a calcium supplement and feeding gut-loading nutrients to any insects you are feeding. You can find these at your supply store. Be careful with canned fruit, as it can contain a lot of sugary syrups, and play around with various greens from the produce section (kale, parsley, different lettuces) to see which ones they like.

It sounds like you have a male and a female. Unfortunately, you may need to divide your cage in half, and if so, they may outgrow it. I don't recommend keeping males and females together once they are mature. Breeding can get violent, and you don't want your lizards getting hurt. If you do plan to breed, you should remove the male when they are not actively breeding. 2 females can often live together peacefully, but boys should live alone.

I hope this answers your questions. If I've been helpful, please rate me positively.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
So what i have going is ok?
I should be good after adding ceramic tile and more plexi?

When should i separate the two beardies? When they are mature?
Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 12 months ago.
As long as they are not climbing on the screen (or you add more plexiglass to keep them off the screen) and you have a solid cover, once you add your tiles on the bottom and get your heat adjusted you should be fine. It sounds like you've done a pretty good job getting set up.

They reach maturity between 7 and 18 months, so to be safe, separate them at about 7 months old.
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 407
Experience: Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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