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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11434
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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Hello, I have a 3 month old Bearded Dragon of which I am

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I have a 3 month old Bearded Dragon of which I am sure is male (two bumps with hour glass shape in between on base of tail). He has grown very quickly, eaten like a total monster, always been very active, pooped and shed regularly until now.
As of 3 days ago he seems to have stopped eating entirely. No greens, no insects. He seems to constantly be displaying a black beard of which he hasn’t done until now as well as 99% of the time sitting under his basking lamp. He will quite often lick (taste, feel identify?) any food sorts I place in the vivarium but doesn’t go as far as eating. There are no signs of aggression, if anything maybe a little more lethargic than usual.
I have been bathing him every day just in case of compaction, he seems to still be regular with passing stool in the water but I believe he has now run out of anything to pass and I am only seeing the hard, white urine.
I will try to give information on how I am keeping him:

Wild rocket, dandelion leaves, very rarely spinach leaves, basil, mint leaves, squash leaves, thyme and other herb leaves (fresh only).

Crickets, Locusts, the odd wax worm and meal worms for live food. I understand that the worms shell can cause compactions but he only seems to enjoy them when they have turned into pupa.

All food gets dusted with calcium every other day.


40W spot bulb
18” Reptiglo 10 (desert) apparently UVA and UVB.

Substrate and décor:

I have some logs to climb on of which he will use to sit closer to the UV strip
Reptile carpet to prevent any accidents
Large water dish
Dish for vegetation.

I am not entirely sure of the wattage but a ceramic bulb for heating. In the day it works in conjunction with the spot bulb and elevates the basking temperature to around 41 (105.8f) and give or take a degree 90 in the cooler side.
In the evening when the lights go out I turn the thermostat down to 21 (69f).

As I have been typing this my wife has sent me a message saying that she managed to get one locust eaten by our beardy which is some hope but going from 30-40 a day to one is still very worrying.

Thank you for any help in advance,
Hello Steve,

Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for requesting me.
you've done a thorough job of providing information, but I'd like to know a few more things.

How many hours per day do you leave the lights on?

What substrate do you use on the floor?

Do you ever leave live crickets in the cage?

Thank you.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I have seen many of your previous answers and decided you were a good bet on helping with this one as I have done a lot of research and cannot come up with a solution! And thank you for the quick response.


Both the spot light and the UV strip are on a timer of which I try to follow seasons. I am not sure if this is wise to do but I try my best to mimic the sun. At the moment during summer months the light is on from 7am to 9pm.


The substrate is a reptile carpet. I cannot remember the make but just remember it was purchased from amazon.


For feeding I have a separate tank. I place 5 or so crickets or locusts in the tank. I think put the dragon inside topping up the insects as he eats. Once full I remove him. I find it easier to keep clean/disinfect as well as I hope to totally nullify the chances of the dragon being bitten over night.


There has been a big change in his habitat around a month a go of which may or may not have something to do with this behavior. He went from a much smaller tank of which he was starting to out grow. In this tank he had a warmer environment due to a Hagen Exo Terra Solar Glo Sun Lamp 125w.

Now that I am not using this bulb (far too hot for a basking lamp, over 57c or 134f) his viv is darker and cooler. I am not the expert by a long shot but my own personal "guess" due to sudden change is brumation? Wasn't sure if he is too young though.


Thank you for getting back to me. I’m working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. (I'm not a fast typist). I appreciate your patience.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not a problem - I will wait patiently :).

Thank you for waiting. First, I want to commend you on learning so much about beardie care. Very few dragon owners do that, and then their beardies get sick. You've also been alert to changes and looked for help before a more serious problem developed.

Brumation is extremely unlikely. They seldom brumate before one year of age, and this isn't the right time of year. Brumation usually begins in the fall.

The changes in the viv may be responsible. For a beardie this age, it's best to keep the warm side at least 43.3*C (110*F ). You can do that by lowering the light fixture, but not so low he could be burned by it. You could also return to your more powerful light, but raise it higher above the viv. Temperatures up to 125*F are fine for basking for dragons this young. Your cool side is perfect. For a young beardie, it's better to keep night time temperatures in the mid 70's. 69*F is fine for adults. Your present lighting schedule is ideal. while it seems to make sense to follow the seasons, it's better to leave the lights on for 12 to 14 hours per day year round. We cannot provide natural conditions in captivity, and less light than this can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease, skin problems, and eye problems.

I don't think he meal worms have caused any problems at this point, but even as pupa the chitin content is too high. If you want to feed worms, see if you can get silk worms or Phoenix worms. I'm glad to hear that you feed in a separate place. Uneaten crickets will bite sleeping beardies. The bites, while tiny, often lead to serious infections.

Daily baths were a good idea, but we can make them even better. When a beardie isn't eating well, he can become dehydrated. Adding an electrolyte solution to the bath will help. In the UK, it would be a product called Lectaid, which is sold in pet stores. Soak your beardie for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely.

I hate having to tell you this, but I am a bit suspicious that your beardie may actually be sick. While there are some very minor problems in the habitat, they don't seem big enough to lead to any problems. When husbandry is good, appetite loss and decreased energy is often due to an illness or parasites. I would increase the temperature on the warm side and provide twice-daily Lectaid soaks. If you don't see a big improvement within a day or so, I would schedule an appointment with a reptile vet. This link will take you to a directory of UK herp vets:

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope the little changes will be enough to reverse the problems.


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Anna and other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you

Hi Steven,


I'm just following up on our conversation about Alphington. How is everything going?