Having received a call this morning regarding trying to sell us Bearded Dragons (about the hundredth call this year already!) I think its time I made the position of Snakes'N'Adders clear regarding these and other problem species.
Through out the years problem species have cropped up traditionally it was always Green Iguanas, cute as a puppy when 25cm long and bright green but not so much when they become a dominant male tail whipping, charging and biting. Next it was terrapins and sliders equally cutes when 50p piece size but not so much when the size of a dinner plate and being particularly fond of the taste of fingers. With both these species it was a size thing. Green Iguanas are going to get between 4 and 6ft long and require huge enclosures, expensive heating rigs and UV systems. The price point that baby Iguanas are sold at (£25-35) means that they were vastly undervalued and when the time came to increase their enclosure and setup their life tank many people baulked at the potential expense that they would have to go to. As a result rescue centres became flooded with this species and drove most of these places to breaking point. Terrapins and Slider turtle females are going to easily reach 13" in carapace length and require large heavy aquariums with the correct heating, docking, lighting and filtration. The price point that turtles are sold at (£12-15) means that people would rarely invest in the correct equipment for these animals. When the time came to get that 4x2 or 5x2 aquarium with uprated heating, lighting, docking and filtration it seemed a far easier option to just dump them in the canal, give to rescue centres or offer free to good home. Neither beneficial to the animals.
Bearded Dragons are todays problem species.
Many facebook advertising pages have no banned the sale of Bearded Dragons on their pages as the issue potentially has reached even more depressing levels than the other two species put together. Over the last 10 years the sale price of Bearded Dragons has plummeted creating almost a throw away mentality. Bearded Dragons require advanced heating equipment and control (thermostats), very high output UV lighting, correct diet supplementation and enough room to thermoregulate through their correct temperature range 26-45 celcius. Bearded dragons are highly prolific breeders and can produce in excess of 100 offspring per season from a single female. Further compounding this is shops and private breeders still selling these animals in unsexed pairs from babies. Best case scenario is you get two girls (yet even these can fight), mid case scenario you get two males (who will almost certainly fight and usually this will result in the weaker animal getting dumped or given away free, usually missing toes, feet or tail!!) and worse case scenario you get a pair. What exactly do you plan to do with the 100+ babies your 1 pair has produced in a six month period?? Unfortunately that is the same question 100's of other people are asking themselves at this moment as well. Whilst it is not completely the owners fault, as shops regularly pull the wool over new owners eyes regarding cohabiting Bearded Dragons (and how its all fine!) they must accept it is their responsibility to research their new captives care prior to purchase. No shop worth its salt would support impulse purchases.
Due to the vast over breeding the price of this species has reached ridiculous lows, shops and other people are being offered animals for free (just take em just take em). For such a fantastic species this is such a shame. Snakes'N'Adders has already stopped selling the first two species due to our own ethical compass going haywire as we didn't want to be associated with the problem. This week we sold our last normal Bearded Dragon (by itself ofcourse). Paul and I are resolute that we do not want to be part of the problem and seeing as the powers that be have offered no advice to shops regarding Bearded Dragons or made public their distaste for the apparent over breeding of this species we have decided to make a stand ourselves.
From no one we will only sell Bearded Dragon morphs that have a value high enough to make people really think about the setup and investment they are making. For the past 6 years we have had a single animal policy in place for many lizard tanks and this will certainly continue to be the case for Bearded Dragons. We aren't trying to force this down anyones neck, people are free to do as they wish but as we are animal lovers here at Snakes'N'Adders we cannot consciously continue to contribute to this pandemic of over supply. We hope you understand. We will continue to support all of out customers and any customers who come to us from other stores with different or no policies to protect their animals. We will help anyone any time. But if asked about Bearded Dragons and their breeding expect to be told its a bad idea and we would suggest separating your animals.
Regards Chaz and Paul (Snakes'N'Adders)
SNAKES 'N' ADDERS
Sheffield's Premier Reptile Centre
Snakes’N’Adders has a strict thermostat policy. Guesswork and just putting a bulb or heat pad in an animal’s vivarium is the preserve of outdated ‘old school’ dinosaurs which occupy many darkened corners of herpetology.
Thermostats ARE a pre-requisite of any responsible reptile keeper’s set up. If you purchase a full set up from us a thermostat will be included unless you can PROVE you already own a thermostat for the application at hand. You will be provided with a full explanation of the correct installation of a thermostat and how to get the most from your product.
The job of a thermostat is to regulate the temperature within the vivarium. Thermostats constantly monitor the temperature within a vivarium via the sensor (or probe) and alter the wattage going to the heat source so as to avoid temperature peaks and troughs. It is this safety net that allows you to have peace of mind regarding the environment in which your animal resides. Most species of reptiles require a cooling period in winter with gentle declines and rises in temperature over protracted periods to activate the animal’s natural breeding response. To achieve this accurately and therefore increase your animal’s breeding potential you will need a thermostat.
Thermostat choices can be confusing and they are designed for a specific application, don’t just choose randomly seek our advice and we will happily point you in the right direction.
Thermostats are their uses.
MAT-STAT / Mini-stat 100w : Designed for heat pads only.
TEMPERATURE STAT / Mini-stat 300w: Designed for multiple heat pads / power plates / smaller ceramic bulbs.
PULSE PROPORTIONAL THERMOSTAT / B2 600w: Designed for multiple heat pads / power plates / larger ceramic bulbs.
DIMMING THERMOSTAT / B1 600w: Designed for all heat sources.
DL2: Microprocessor control for non-light emitting heat sources.
DL1: Microprocessor control for all heat sources.
(ME): Some thermostats come with a magic eye feature allowing 24hour control including day time high and night time low. Triggered by light levels.
There are also now modern digital units available from both Habistat and Microclimate. These are proving to be very popular and are revolutionizing temperature control in vivariums.