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Pablo the Rescue Bearded Dragon

TortoiseRacket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
259
Location (City and/or State)
New York
This is the story of Pablo, my 8 year old, rescued from a school (like many rescue reptiles!). Pablo is skinny and lethargic. I am doing my best to keep him happy and healthy. Okay, here we go-

My school district has always been obsessed with animals, and that is not a good thing. They had snakes, turtles, tortoises, and even an alligator! Pablo was bought with 5 other baby bearded dragons from a pet store to be kept in a 10 gallon tank on sand without UVB. He was the only survivor. He was being kept in the same condition when he was an adult, but the cage was 18x18x24 now. He ate wet greens directly off of the sand. He ate 3 crickets a day and was fed a handful of greens every Friday. He had no light, food, or water over the summer. Luckily, my art teacher did research and noticed this was abuse. She took him and gave him a great life. She had to move, and she knew I loved reptiles. She gave it to me. He is in a 55 gallon tank with a large container to soak in. Humidity is about 50% with daily misting. Hot spot is around 98 degrees Fahrenheit and cool side ranges from 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the season. He eats kale, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, hornworms, crickets, waxworms, and he gets cooked meat on holidays. We dust his food with calcium powder with D3. We use a powersun 130watt heat and UVB. Substrate is eco-earth. We have tried paper towels, repti carpet, aspen, tile, none of those have work effectively. Any tips? I just wanted to share his story.
-Mickey
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
83,201
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Nice story, Mickey. I don't know anything about lizards, so can't offer an opinion, but the conditions your dragon was kept in while living at the school just reaffirms my belief that schools should not have reptiles. I will not adopt any of my rescues to a school
 

TortoiseRacket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
259
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Nice story, Mickey. I don't know anything about lizards, so can't offer an opinion, but the conditions your dragon was kept in while living at the school just reaffirms my belief that schools should not have reptiles. I will not adopt any of my rescues to a school
Schools are very clueless when it comes to animals. They just got two baby leopard geckos, luckily they let me in to teach the teachers! This was my old elementary school.
Pablo is terrified of any kid except me, because he recognizes me. He is traumatized by 6 years of little kids banging on the side of his enclosure. I’m thankful for my art teacher that finally said enough is enough!
 

Longhorns1187

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2017
Messages
93
Location (City and/or State)
Omaha, NE
We use The Bio Dude's Terra Sahara as the base substrate (mixed with a little sphagnum moss and leaf litter) in our bearded dragon's bioactive enclosure. The clean up crew consists of isopods and springtails. We culture our own isopods, so they are easily replaced from time to time, when our beardie snacks on some. I think any substrate that drains well is always a good option. I know other dragon owners keep theirs on natural sands, etc without issues, as long as all the other facets of your husbandry are on point.
 

TortoiseRacket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
259
Location (City and/or State)
New York
We use The Bio Dude's Terra Sahara as the base substrate (mixed with a little sphagnum moss and leaf litter) in our bearded dragon's bioactive enclosure. The clean up crew consists of isopods and springtails. We culture our own isopods, so they are easily replaced from time to time, when our beardie snacks on some. I think any substrate that drains well is always a good option. I know other dragon owners keep theirs on natural sands, etc without issues, as long as all the other facets of your husbandry are on point.
I’m working on making bioactive enclosures for everyone! I’ll be sure to try that! Thank you!
-Mickey
 

Cheryl Hills

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
2,327
Location (City and/or State)
Youngstown, Ohio
I’m working on making bioactive enclosures for everyone! I’ll be sure to try that! Thank you!
-Mickey
And you are how old?
You have a lot of knowledge for an 11 year old! That is great. It is good to see that some of the younger generation has this passion for animals in general. Keep up the good work! :)
 

Pastel Tortie

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
2,313
Location (City and/or State)
North Florida
I’m working on making bioactive enclosures for everyone! I’ll be sure to try that! Thank you!
-Mickey
I guess I kind of have a bioactive enclosure (of sorts) in our young, 3.5 inch box turtle's indoor enclosure. Besides the turtle, the other organisms living in the enclosure with "permission" are the earthworms (red wigglers) and the earwigs... Although with the earwigs, it's more "forgiveness" than permission. The earwigs found their own way into the enclosure, and I let them stay when the turtle finally told me they made tasty snacks.

With the earthworms, I access them under the turtle pool, where I sort of do a composting in place. We don't go through bags of healthy greens (collards, turnip greens, mustard greens) and veggies fast enough in our household to keep them from getting past their prime, so that's what I layer beneath the turtle pool to feed the red wigglers. I sprinkle in calcium and vitamin supplements from time to time, along with commercial turtle diet pellets that the turtles don't find all that palatable.

I will occasionally share the supplies of crickets, small superworms, and black soldier fly larvae (on hand because of the subadult bearded dragon) with the turtles, but for the most part, the box turtle gets fed red wigglers and earwigs that come out of her enclosure. She sends me to her "pantry" for wrigglies while she's soaking on the bathroom counter. I haven't had to buy live food specifically for her in more than a year now. I do put commercial diet pellets and cuttlebone pieces in her enclosure in case she gets hungry between soaks or hunting.

I want to try earthworms with the bearded dragon, but we would need to establish another self sustaining colony of red wigglers first, a separate setup that didn't require raiding the box turtle's pantry.
 

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