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Reptiles/Bearded Dragon Beginner


Hi there!

I was just wondering if you had any tips or advice on how to properly care for bearded dragons.  I know the basics like how they need UVA/UVB lighting.  Does the lighting need to cover the entire cage or can it just be focused in one area? Also, what kind of fresh veggies can they have and what do you think is the best way to tame one?  Any good tips would be appreciated.

Thanks for any advice!

Hello Cristie,

Sure!  Do you have a bearded dragon yet or contemplating getting one?
The UVB tube bulb only needs to go 2/3rds of the length of the tank, really so that they can retreat away from it if they want to.  If you are using a tube bulb, then they will have varying areas that they can get UVB from depending on the distance.  
There are a couple of Mercury vapor bulbs that have heat & UVB combined.  The Arcadia D3 MVB is pretty good, but not terribly strong but is good combined with a tube bulb for a great UVB to UVI spectrum.  Then there is the Powersun MVB or the Solar Glo MVB, both of which are just ok, but I like to recommend them be used with a tube UVB also.
The best tube UVB lights are either the Reptisun 10 or the Arcadia D3 12%.  Both brands offer a T5 or a high output tube bulb which is probably double or more of the UVB output that you could consider, too.  Then for those you could use a bright white basking light such as a halogen with it.
The basking light/bulb need to go on one end alongside of the UVB tube bulb.  
How large of a tank are you getting or already have?

The most tolerated veggies seem to be the squash varieties, bell peppers & green beans.  The best greens are mustard greens, collard greens, arugula/rocket, endive, escarole, turnip greens or dandelion greens.  Just try a couple different ones here & there to see which they like better.

To tame them down to get used to you I find getting them a nice soft fleece blankie to wrap them up in at night to sleep is very comforting for them.  You could even use a soft shirt of yours that has your scent on it at first so that they get used to you.

Let me know if you have more questions.



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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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