I have been lurking on the forum for a while but finally decided to bite the bullet and join.
Initially I started looking at Bearded Dragons after falling in-love with them at work, but after being given a vivarium that would be much too small for one, I was recommended that a Rankins may be more suitable. The said vivarium is 3ft long, not exactly sure of the other measurements....either 12 x 15" or 15 x 18", which i've noticed is a little smaller than the recommended size but would it be adequate considering it is a ft longer than the minimum recommendations? Although I am considering selling it for a larger, 4ft vivarium to give more space and enable me to add a better custom background as I plan to do. Even if I get a bigger vivarium I have decided to stick to Rankins purely because I find them facinating and I like their smaller size, and they are different to the commonly kept Bearded Dragons.
I've also read about substrate and as I plan to make a custom background wondered if I could use some sort of tile grouted into the viv? Or lino or vinyl? What sort of tiles could I use? (obviously not the glossy/slippery kind) That way I have a nice floor and always the option to use other substrates on top if/when needed.
Also a little confused on lighting/heating arrangements. On the rankins dragon website it doesn't say anything about a basking light, just uvb and a ceramic heat lamp. Now from doing a bit of research on various sites i've come to the conclusion that a 12% uvb tube and a 100w basking lamp is adequate? (With the right thermostats/timers/thermometers in place of course)
Being used to caring for the Bearded Dragons at work, is feeding a Rankins fairly similar?
Bugs, how many in one feeding? and how often/how many times a day?
Supplements, Calcium/Nutrobal how often/when? Any other supplements needed?
I have read that they tend to eat more live food in comparison to Bearded Dragons, so is it right to provide live food several times a day and make sure fresh veg is always available to them?
Would it also be beneficial to provide a small amount of the dry pelleted Bearded Dragon food for it to snack on for variety as part of its diet? Or even a couple of times a week if not down all the time?
I'd also like to know if its recommended to keep 2 together? I've read that they can live in pairs/groups but how is it best to go about this? Buying 2 from the same litter could be risky if you then end up with a male/female. Not sure what age they can be accurately sexed? Or is it better to get one, wait to see what sex it is and then obtain an older sexed Rankins? I probably want to keep just one, but want to make sure it won't be lonely? And do females lay eggs without a male present?
I think thats all my questions....for now. Not getting one untill next year but thought may as well start properly researching and gradually buying what I need ready and sourcing where to get one from