Free roam beardie

Just because it’s posted on youtube which has no regulations or standards as to who can post their video, does not make it ok to do.
If we all followed some of the dumb advice you see on youtube, many more reptiles would be in jeopardy like your bearded dragon is.
Any respectable breeder who breeds bearded dragons would tell you your setup is not ideal for the overall health of your animal.


exactly what @mnroyals said. just because someone does something on youtube doesn’t mean you should or that it is ok. hell if i wanted to i could make a video why you should force feed your animals. does that mean you should? no, not at all. also, in the description of the video it just says he wants to see how the lizard would react so i don’t think it was even meant to be permanent. all the lego idea was is to make content.


I hope I am not repeating what others have said but I am really short on time so I’m gonna take a chance.

I understand how the people on this forum, myself included, can be very quick to judge and forceful in their approach- just like on any other website. The first posting I ever made here was a bad experience for me as well. But the reason that everyone is being so strident in their recommendations is because your set up is so incredibly bad that all of us are shocked. My jaw dropped, dude. So everyone is making a big fuss because we all know, without any doubt, that the way you are currently keeping Nova will result in death.

Now- this may not be your fault. It sounds like you consulted resources that were misleading. If you are a younger person and don’t have a parent or guardian to guide you, or you have been misguided by them, then you have no reason to feel bad. Regardless of your age, what matters is your willingness to do research from quality sources and correct the major major major errors in Nova’s current set up.

In case this makes any difference, let me explain my point of view. I am a 38 year old dog & cat vet that had to retire early because my health tanked. I have a keen interest in reptiles, and I have been involved in the veterinary treatment of many reptiles, but I am not a boarded specialist in reptile medicine- my career ended too early. However, I know the basics, and Nova’s current set up violates each one.

At the very least you should be concerned about yourself- reptiles can carry Salmonella asymptomatically, so you are literally risking your life by having a free-roaming reptile. I hope you don’t have anything else at all in your closet, and that you own & don’t rent.

So, if it makes any difference to have a veterinarian also chime in and say that you are criminally neglecting your pet and putting your life at risk, then I’m glad I spoke up. :blush:

I started thinking about going into greater depth about low temperatures being linked to renal failure in reptiles, low UVB being the primary cause of ‘MBD’ (secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism), etc., but then I realized that would just serve to overwhelm. Instead, please see the following resources for some basics on bearded dragon care. Good luck with your research! I bet all the other Beardie-Buddies on this site can answer any specific questions or concerns you have, but I’ll give you a jump start:

Melissa Kaplan

Advice from a former colleague of mine.

Care tips from the practice I take my reptiles to.

A care sheet from NC State’s School of Vet Med.

A Caresheet from UC Davis, one of the most prestigious veterinary schools in the world.


I apologize @mblaney that you had a bad first experience on here because i know that is no fun at all and i am not trying to justify anyone that has ever been rude on here but the fact that people felt so strongly about this free roam beardie for example shows that people really care about the animals health as well as the person who owns Nova. You also said just like the rest of us that there are just so many problems with Novas setup that it could very well compromise the owners health and home as well. If no one cared about the animals health then there would be nowhere near the amount of replies of how to improve its setup.


Didn’t want have to reply to this again but after looking up your youtube channel i saw that you also made hides for your snakes out of legos…this is not only irresponsible but also dangerous because if you have ever stepped on a lego like i have then you know they have sharp corners which could hurt the snake and look, I get it, you are a young kid but please just change the supplies and enclosures you are using while your animals are still in somewhat decent health because once they get sick or unwell in anyway it will only go downhill and result in death from there and then you would have wished that you followed everyone’s advice on here so rather than dismissing or ignoring us so please just follow what we all recommend because it will only benefit your animal and not be a potential health hazard like your current setups are because I imagine that your boas setup is not much better than your beardies.


I think it’s just the channel that the idea came from- am I right @thesupersnakeshow ?

I think @nathan_e might be referring to their profile picture. They have a picture of their BCI in a Lego hide in what looks to be their enclosure. So that means what ever other animals they have probably have Lego’s too.

Edit: After reading their profile they actually have a channel on YT. Probably shows Lego’s being used.

1 Like

Oh dear…


my exact thoughts when i saw that

1 Like

I didn’t even want to go there. I saw the lego setup right away in their Boa tub. But they have yet to respond to reason so I’m not going to waste my words on this individual anymore. They will either take our advice or take a gamble with their own health and well-being of their reptiles, nothing more we can do.


Well from the looks of the YouTube channel. This is a young kid. I would says between 11-13. Some parents really don’t watch their kids…


its sad but true. can only give them advice at this point and nothing else.


I know enough people have already started contradicting this whole thing. I just wanted to add that the man in the video said " All of this is for fun. So I’m obviously not going to be keeping my bearded dragon inside of here for a very long time". It’s not a fabulous idea to make an enclosure out of Legos, Its gonna end up just causing you more work. Also, that heat lamp will no doubt easily melt those Legos and that’s gonna be pretty bad. Free roam beardie just sound like a HUGE MESS, lol that’s way to much cleaning for me!


don’t feel pressured to feel like you have to adapt to other peoples opinions. just make sure its not unhealthy or stressful for your dragon. i free range my dragons all day then at night they go back to their terrariums. The lego thing makes me wonder if is safe enough, the fumes from warm/hot plastic can be quite dangerous. i would recommend going with a rock hide and basking spot to just stay safe. I’m not trying to judge you in any way and i hope you understand that even the people who are almost hating on ya are just worried… WE DONT HATE YOU LOLOLOL the same thing happens to me a lot. that’s what the critics are here for. to keep your herps safe. :slight_smile: good luck!

1 Like

Didn’t you say in a post a while back that you keep your beardies in 10 gallon tanks? You also lost a beardie because you had it in a small enclosure outside, and kept a new female that you didn’t quarantine with your male. Forgive me if I wouldn’t trust your advice on anything related to bearded dragons. As @mnroyals said, if you can’t afford a proper enclosure, don’t have the reptiles. Because if you can’t afford that then how will you afford anything else for them? In order to give them a proper environment you need to have a tank (an appropriately sized one) or something else meant for the animal, not for humans.


our recommendations are not a matter of opinion whatsoever. Everything we have said and continue to say is completely true as far as care goes.


Furthermore sufficient resources have been provided. For example, my response and finding reliable references took, I dunno 30 minutes? In return, I got no reply, and some of the references haven’t even been read/clicked. :roll_eyes: Afraid to have it confirmed that there are major husbandry issues, I assume.

@thesupersnakeshow & @maxthetinydragon , let me tell you a story. I have only shared this story once before, and it is one of the worst things I’ve ever done, so please pay attention. I want everyone to learn from it.

Once upon a time, I wasn’t nearly so old and disabled. I thought that I knew all there was to know about leopard geckos, the primary species I keep. I completely stopped reading about any serious leopard gecko news or developments in the hobby or veterinary world regarding their care. I’d kept leos for several years, I had a few dozen, I’d bred them- heck, I was (at the time) a veterinary assistant- surely I could do no wrong. I definitely thought so.

I was working my butt off trying to get into vet school- extra prerequisite courses, veterinary work, veterinary shadowing, volunteering- that was almost all I ever did. I had also just started a romantic relationship, and that impeded further on my free time. Though that might have worked fine for some people, it didn’t for me, especially considering that my idiopathic hypersomnia hadn’t been diagnosed/treated yet (something that makes you pathologically sleepy) .

I was running myself ragged and lacked the time, money, and space for anymore geckos. But I wanted them anyway. And, since I felt I was such an expert, I figured I’d find a way to make things work. When it got to the point that I absolutely, no question, had zero space for cages even half the size they should be for their occupants (none on thermostats, of course, because I “knew” they weren’t actually necessary), my behavior didn’t change. When I saw a gorgeous bold-stripe female I wanted, I went ahead and bought her without thinking twice. I figured- hey, I’d paid for the purchase price- that’s the most expensive part, right?

When she arrived, I was instantly enthralled! I kept thinking about all the awesome babies she would make for me- she was gorgeous. But I didn’t have anywhere to put her. Forget about quarantine, I didn’t have any cages at all. Well- no big deal! I had lots of experience, and I would definitely be able to wing it. Because I knew everything about leopard geckos, right?

So, I set her up in a flat kritter-keeper type container. Sure, I didn’t have a heater, and there was no room for a humid hut, but I knew what I was doing- I’d get her a proper setup later… one of these days. I’d walk by and see how pretty she was, and she ate well, so the urgency fell away. There wasn’t really any rush, right? It was summer, surely she’d be plenty warm.

Well, at some point (I don’t actually know how long- I didn’t bother with records), I was nearby and noticed she didn’t look up when I walked by. So I popped open her tiny, plastic cage and tried to pick her up. But she was in rigor mortis and the byproducts of the early stages of decomposition had her literally stuck to the floor of her cage.

I was shocked, horrified- what had I done wrong?! But I was awesome- I knew everything- how was this even possible? I had lost geckos before, but I had learned, I was an expert now!

My ego further rebelled- there was no way this was even happening, she had been eating just fine! But when I cleaned the cage she’d died in, I found all the insects she’d thrown up- I just hadn’t seen them because I hadn’t cleaned her cage for months.

I hadn’t gotten to know her at all- she’d never been in a proper environment, and she’d been inactive because she was hypothermic. I hadn’t even taken any pictures of her- all I had was the picture taken by her breeder.

Holding her small, cold, stiff body, I knew exactly what I’d done. I had neglected her, cruelly and casually, and treated her like an object to collect and use just like my economy fountain pens. I had known what she needed to survive (much less thrive), and I had selfishly denied that to her. She’d been suffering for months and I hadn’t done a damned thing. It was 100% my responsibility.

Now here is the part that makes it irredeemably repugnant and awful: when I bought her, her breeder had said he wanted to keep her for a few more weeks, to help her get weight back on after the winter. So, while he was doing his best to protect her welfare I did… nothing. I had months to get ready for her arrival, research alternate housing solutions, set up a quarantine, etc. But I did nothing of the sort.

Her name was Puffin;. I think she was 2 years old, but I don’t even know that for sure because of my poor record keeping. That moment changed my life. Instead of saving lives, I had taken one. Because I didn’t want to recognize my limitations, my ignorance, or to be inconvenienced by the basic needs of a living thing I had actively sought out. I had been a selective listener and ignored the obvious signs of ill health.

Now, I know you two are probably thinking that I’m some condescending old person that isn’t open to new ideas and that clearly doesn’t care about or take care of my animals. That you’re doing just fine, and that I legit have no idea what I’m talking about.

But here’s the deal- the problem is that I do care. And I can still feel her little body in my hands- so stiff that her arms and tail and even toes were rigidly held in place. And, because I care, the knowledge that I killed her, my terrible shame and regret, they will follow close behind me wherever I go. Sure, I have saved many lives- but I took an innocent one too. The guilt and self-hatred, the loss of my sense of identity as a lover of animals and a healer- that is serious agony.

You two are in similar situations. So what are you going to do?

(A) Suck it up and do the right thing- either meet their care requirements or find them a home that can


(B) Tell yourself that everything is fine, and wtf is wrong with all these baby boomers shoving their opinions down your throat when your setups are totally lit?? smh

Now, at last- this is the point of the story:

If you choose ‘B,’ and you care deeply about your animals and truly value living things- you will never have a completely guilt-free moment for the rest of your life, when they finally drop dead from your neglect. Because you will be a murderer. It will haunt you forever, as it has haunted me.

Now choose.


Yes im looking to move him into a 40 gallon tank


You should have said this from the beginning!

1 Like

yeah i should have :sweat_smile: