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 #2316476


Hikage
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 Aggression/Brown - Habitat questions

I recently received a water dragon 2 weeks prior to Christmas as a gift. I am going to list a rundown of his habitat and will include a few pictures.

It is currently being kept in a 20 gallon tall aquarium. Temperatures are usually kept within 84-90. I am using a mesh screen top with 3 domes - 1 Repti basking spot lamp 75w - 1 Infrared basking spot 50w - 1 Reptile tropical UVB lamp 100 - 13w (This is currently within one of the domes lined with aluminum).

I fight hard with keeping humidity at 80% - its usually between 60 and 85% but I have to mist VERY often - the soil seems to stay wet but the humidity falls very often - Today I intend to get a humidifier set up and snip a hole in the top of the tank so I am able to feed it into the aquarium and provide a steady stream of humidity.

Substrate is a bottom layer of coconut husk and a top layer of repti-bark. Currently there are rough stacking stones and 1 decent sized pool of water and 1 smaller sized pool of water I keep within the aquarium. This is paired with a smaller dish filled with fruits and veggies and is kept away from the bark.

Crickets are guttloaded with fruits and veggies and I have recently started dusting them with Calcium every other feeding. I alternate between mealworms and crickets to prevent boredom with its diet.

I hand feed him the calcium crickets - and on alternate feedings I release them into the enclosure so that he is able to hunt for them.

Honestly, I am really trying here to keep him safe and happy - I am failing.

I know the downfalls of the aquarium, but I need only keep him in it until the summer when I am able to build a wooden enclosure.


Now that I have given a basic rundown I have a few questions and concerns, if anyone is willing to help. - Lately he has become more brown and aggressive. By aggressive I mean whipping his tail and waving at me VERY often and bobbing his head - 3 or 4 times a day - I am concerned for its brown coloring because I am worried my UVB lighting is being reflected back by the wire mesh lid and he is not getting enough.















His water is cleaned daily - does not look like it from the first pic but a bit of coconut husk has gotten into it today.
He is drinking, defecating, eating, active.
The main concern is that he is brown, aggressive, and that the majority of my UVB lighting might be reflected back to a point where it is doing him no good. If anyone could help I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks



01/09/16  01:07pm

 #2316480


Cphill58
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  Message To: Hikage   In reference to Message Id: 2316476


 Aggression/Brown - Habitat questions

Ok ... I will help with what i know, primarily lighting and humidity and some behavior.

Humidity:
Escapes with evaporation ( a real scientific observation) ... Cover the top of the remaining screen with foil or a damp towel. If you are so inclined cover all the screen and cut out where the domes are placed. That will help trap the moisture. The other issue is the heat of the lamps themselves...but that is a must and nothing you can do about that except wait for the larger enclosure to be finished.

UVB lamp and dome... why are you lining it with foil?? Typically in the old days they were brushed aluminum finish but the wold reflections from the uvb caused eye issues and many keepers actually painted them inside to white or black or anything except shiny reflective metal. I might suggest removing the foil and just using the new design white interior.

HUMIDIFIER ...here are one of my top choices ...on sale for 25.99
Safety first 360 humidifier

Notice the round opening where the white removeable nozzle sits ...these round opening make for very easy customizing with sprinkler pipe and tubing found at hardware store. If you are based in the USA or Canada or UK they are easy to find and parts are cheap....plumbing of a humidifier videos are on You Tube
Cool Mist = no heat element in the unit itself to burn out...
Ultrasonic = visible fog from the humidifier
easy to fill and last longer then any reptile store offering.

Behavior: This is the tough part. # 1 his coloring indicates he is stressed... you scare him and or he is cramped in the 20 gallon. # 1b he is coming into a shed due to your excellent diet and his growing ....

Obviously you were hand feeding him...since it is a 20 gallon with lid you have to come from above ... same as a predator would... that’s why we hate tanks... that and the fact that they will often ram the glass in attempts to get out...nose rub etc.
all you can do is to let him be , allow him to trust you on his own terms and he will someday. treat him with new food items... frozen silversides by San Francisco Bay (defrosted) and maybe some hand fed baby food on a spoon, try a fruit or a meat item... Also premium grain free dog food sold at better pet stores ...i use this for my Blue tongue skink and she is wild for it. They have a lot of variety ...chicken ...turkey...salmon...etc 1.99 where i am 1 can will last a long time freeze if need be
grain free

Don’t forget they are OMNIVORES and can eat veggies /fruit/meat...

Ok I think you are doing a good job so far from the looks of him/ her
try to get a temp gun instead of those cheap gauges harbor freight has a pocket temp gun for 11.00
Amazon has laser temp guns for 12-18

Digital humidity gauges are much better as well for 6.00 - 12.00 again Wal Mart


C ya



01/09/16  02:47pm

 #2316483


VenomSnake
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  Message To: Hikage   In reference to Message Id: 2316476


 Aggression/Brown - Habitat questions

It’s the glass, cover it up.



01/09/16  03:36pm

 #2316484


Hikage
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  Message To: VenomSnake   In reference to Message Id: 2316483


 Aggression/Brown - Habitat questions

Thank you for your suggestion, however, the glass is typically covered to prevent him from jumping into the glass and hurting himself.

The reflection issues I am worried about though.



01/09/16  04:09pm

 #2316485


Hikage
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2316480


 Aggression/Brown - Habitat questions

First, thank you very much for thought out help and very valuable information.


Quote:

Humidity:
Escapes with evaporation ( a real scientific observation) ... Cover the top of the remaining screen with foil or a damp towel. If you are so inclined cover all the screen and cut out where the domes are placed. That will help trap the moisture. The other issue is the heat of the lamps themselves...but that is a must and nothing you can do about that except wait for the larger enclosure to be finished.



Thank you for the suggestion and ideas on the humidifier, I have set up some wrap to keep the mist within the the enclosure, the humidifier seems to work alot better. It is a cool mist, and feed into the enclosure. Seems to be working, the cover idea helped alot.


Quote:



UVB lamp and dome... why are you lining it with foil?? Typically in the old days they were brushed aluminum finish but the wold reflections from the uvb caused eye issues and many keepers actually painted them inside to white or black or anything except shiny reflective metal. I might suggest removing the foil and just using the new design white interior.



It is a dome that came lined with aluminum, is this bad? it is shiny and reflective, ill probably have to paint it.




Quote:

Obviously you were hand feeding him...since it is a 20 gallon with lid you have to come from above ... same as a predator would... that’s why we hate tanks... that and the fact that they will often ram the glass in attempts to get out...nose rub etc. all you can do is to let him be, allow him to trust you on his own terms and he will someday. treat him with new food items... frozen silversides by San Francisco Bay (defrosted) and maybe some hand fed baby food on a spoon, try a fruit or a meat item... Also premium grain free dog food sold at better pet stores ...i use this for my Blue tongue skink and she is wild for it. They have a lot of variety ...chicken ...turkey...salmon...etc 1.99 where i am 1 can will last a long time freeze if need be



Ok, this I absolutely did not think about. I could see how it would stress him with the approach from above. It does make sense.

The glass is usually kept covered but its only a temporary hold until I can build one.

The food items I will also try. When I am able to set up a proper enclosure I had planned to keep fish in an aquarium at the bottom so that he/she would have access.



Quote:

try to get a temp gun instead of those cheap gauges harbor freight has a pocket temp gun for 11.00
Amazon has laser temp guns for 12-18

Digital humidity gauges are much better as well for 6.00 - 12.00 again Wal Mart



This, god this, I despise these gauges and find it VERY hard to trust them, I will look into what you suggested.

Thank you again for all the help. he has not shed since I have had him and seems to have grown a lot. I honestly hope hes just close to shedding. I have also had to change his habitat a couple time to provide plenty of climbing. I am sure stress is a factor.



01/09/16  04:32pm

 #2316487


Cphill58
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  Message To: Hikage   In reference to Message Id: 2316485


 Aggression/Brown - Habitat questions

wal mart

harbor frieght

The dome : if the dragon is not bothered by the current dome and no eye issues are evident...then I say just leave it , but do read the following link and beware of any symptoms if they present themselves be prepared to turn off the UVB lamp and follow the directions ....just FYI

conjunctivitis



01/09/16  05:48pm

 #2316602


Afrodite2400
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2316487


 Aggression/Brown - Habitat questions

As for the coloring, he looks to be on his way to shedding and if you say he hasn’t yet-that would point me even further in that direction. As for the aggression, maybe he just needs more time.



01/17/16  01:40pm


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