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Reptiles/Wood sanitation for reptiles


QUESTION: Hi Tracie, I've spoke to you before about our baby Frilled dragon. She's completely back to normal it's amazing! You've helped us out alot and I appreciate that! We just bought her a new tank. It's 18x18x24. Most of her decor is small for her tank. Me and my boyfriend found some really nice and decent sized branches around our house and decided maybe we can try to use them for her tank. We were researching alot about sterilizing the wood pieces so they don't pass parasites into her tank and get her sick. Well alot of the site were contradicting each other and I didn't want to do something wrong and hurt Tazi. Alot of sites were saying we can bake them in our oven for about 2hrs, but we found a site that said if we put the pieces into an electrical oven then it will catch on fire. Would you know by any chance how we can go about this?

ANSWER: Hello Tianna,

That is super your baby frilled dragon is doing so much better now.  How old is Tazi now?
Sure, that is a great question.  I would not use any bleach as it is too porous & bleach can hide in crevices & not get washed out very well.
You can just use a handsoap solution, very diluted & rinse it out thoroughly.  You can bake the wood pieces inside of the oven, at a lower temperature, around 250 or so, for 30-45 minutes or outside in the sunshine for awhile, too should be fine also.
It would only possibly catch on fire if the temperatures were too high.    

That is great you got a new tank for her now, she must be growing really well now!

Let me know how things go.


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Tazi\'s new tank
Tazi's new tank  
QUESTION: Okay it worked so far, the house didn't burn down so that's good! Lol. Ill post a pic so you can see it now. The only thing is now it grew mold on it but super quick. Her pieces normally get like that but usually under where the pieces are buried under her bedding. The people from the pet store said it normal from constantly misting and to use soap and a scrubber to remove it and let it dry before putting it back in. The branches we baked and put in grew mold on top where she walks. Is that normal? And right now she's about 6 months and 10in long.. She's eating very well still :)

ANSWER: Hello Tianna,

That is a great looking tank!  I bet she loves it too.  :-)
At least you didn't burn the house down, either which is always good.  
Mold grew on it, really?  Hm, you may need to scrub it down a bit more & bake it some more, too.
Being in a more humid environment, if spores were left on it then it will grow back.

I am happy to hear she is eating so well right now!  Does she seem to like her new setup also?
There are not any sprays that I can think of at the moment to remove mold other than bleach but I don't recommend using that on the branch or wooden item.
Try baking it again after soaking it in a diluted betadine solution & rinsing it well.

Let me know how that goes.


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QUESTION: Hi Tracie,

So we just went to Petco to get Tazi some crickets and also to check on the other frilled lizard they have there and the "reptile expert" came by and was talking to us about it.  Now the tank set up there is desert like.. The humidity is at 20% and they use sand for the bedding so I asked why that is and he said that its because she's Australian... Now before we got Tazi me and my boyfriend researched alot about them and almost every single website said that it was nearly impossible to get Australian frilled lizards. When we got her the reptile info card said Australian and the sticker underneath it said Indonesian but the people who sold her to us were positive that she was Indonesian which sounded right. Now I'm almost positive she is in fact Indonesian but he honestly confused us lol.. Would you be able to tell the difference? Ill post a picture to see if you'll be able to determine that.. Thanks again for your help! :)

Hello Tianna,

The Frilled dragons are most indigenous to northern Australia, small parts of Indonesian islands,  southern New Guinea & Irian Jaya.  
So they can be brought in/imported & farm raised & bred.  Or they could also be wild caught too.  That is a possibility as there are a lot that are wild caught & imported into the US or other countries.  There are a couple of breeders here in the US I believe.
All genetics trace back to Australia & those other areas.  So they are keeping the humidity at those levels?  That is not right so hopefully they will fix their tank setup.  
They do need around 70% humidity, not 20%.  

How are things going?
I hope Tazi is doing great!



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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