This is a question that more than 4397 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!
So, you’re thinking about getting your very own bearded dragon OR perhaps you’ve recently brought home the newest addition to your family and are in major need of some guidance on giving them their dream bearded dragon habitat?
Also, be sure to take special note of the links that are included in each section which will take you to articles with more thorough product recommendations. When designing the perfect habitat for a bearded dragon, it is important to remember that they are originally from the deserts of Australia and as such, require plenty of light (full spectrum UVA/UVB), warmth (a basking light), and low humidity. You should really try to avoid going with the convenient “all in one” enclosures you can buy at the pet store, as they typically are not the best options. For instance, the UVB light they include is seldom efficient enough and the thermometer they come with does not produce reliable and accurate temperature readings. It is important to note, that regardless of what type of enclosure you choose for your bearded dragon, you need to ensure you have a screen lid, which will allow for proper air flow and keep humidity levels down . Also, all enclosures must have UVB, UVA, and basking lights, as well as a ceramic heat emitter if necessary for keeping the tank warm at night. Much like fish tanks, glass terrariums are a great option because they allow for 360 viewing (although you’ll want to put a back in, discussed below) and are pretty affordable. Glass terrariums are also very durable and easy to find at pretty much any pet store. Also, glass terrariums make a good habitat for bearded dragons because the screen lid that goes on top allows for ample air flow and as such, helps keep humidity levels low, just how your dragon like it. Made of PVC plastic, these cages are rather light weight and have a nice smooth finish to them. Often times, you can find sellers selling them in a wide array of colors and even offering to install the lights for you for an additional charge. However, perhaps most importantly, these cages typically hold heat quite nicely, making your dragon very happy. As far as the cons to PVC cases, they can be quite expensive, as in hundreds of dollars depending on the size. Perhaps the most professional option, vision cages are made from a single piece of plastic and typically have built in fixtures for lights. These cages typically tend to be very easy to clean as well and even come chemical resistant. However, because vision cages really go the extra mile in catering to both the owner and bearded dragon’s needs, they can be quite expensive. They are made of ABS plastic and are lightweight in nature, making them easy to move, stack, and clean. Also, because melamine is white, it will reflect more light as well and can help keep your beardie colorful. Plywood is a great option for this project because it is easy to find, cheap, and very lightweight. Naturally, you will want to seal the plywood with a nontoxic sealant and leave the top open for a screen lid (ideally). Depending on the age of your dragon, you’re going to want to have a certain tank size to give them plenty of room to thrive. Your bearded dragon’s habitat is going to need some type of substrate or “flooring” in it to keep them happy and healthy through emulating a lifelike environment. Typically, because this substrate is loose, it will produce debris and dust that your beardie can ingest. The major threat these pose to your bearded dragon is the risk of impaction from being ingested. Impaction is essentially when your dragon’s digestive tract becomes clogged and they are unable to pass a bowel movement, this can be extremely serious and deadly if not taken care of! Another risk that particle based substrates pose is that they can get into the bearded dragons eyes and nose and lead to infection! Avoid at all costs) Calcium sand (the brand Calci-Sand is NOT digestible, don’t believe the pet stores) Alfalfa pellets Millet Non-particle substrates are an all-around safer option for your bearded dragon because they don’t run the risk of causing them to become impacted nor do they get stirred up easily and end up irritating your beardie’s nose or eyes. Newspaper Reptile carpet Paper towels Non-adhesive linoleum Ceramic tile (My TOP recommendation!) In these instances, make sure your bearded has plenty to climb on to keep nails trimmed and consider laying down some non-toxic adhesive and topsoil and sand to the tile to give it more traction. You’ll want to provide them with a large rock, branch, or some type of platform that allows for them to come within about 10 inches of their basking light so they can stay healthy (heat helps with digestion). Also, many bearded dragons love having little reptile hides they can sneak into and sleep inside. Another piece of “furniture” you should consider adding to your bearded dragon habitat is a special hammock made just for them. Surprisingly enough, bearded dragons LOVE lounging on hammocks and you can find ones that will hang nicely in your beardie’s habitat at most pet stores or online. To ensure the temperatures are ideal on both sides of the tank and during the day and night, I recommend purchasing 2 separate thermometers to be absolutely certain. We have also gathered the best reptile heating pads around so you can easily monitor and maintain your beardie’s ideal habitat temperature. Because bearded dragons are from the desert in Australia, it is imperative that you include plenty of light for them to mimic their natural habitat. Also, to ensure your beardie’s tank is a healthy environment for them, make sure you provide them with some sort of platform (a large rock or branch works great) that will bring them within about 10-12 inches of their basking light so they can properly warm themselves. Unlike other pets, your bearded dragon should be getting a large majority of their water from their diet. To hydrate your bearded dragon, I also recommend letting them take a bath at least once a week so that they can absorb some water through their skin and have the option to drink more as well. If you house your bearded dragon in a glass terrarium, I highly encourage you to purchase a background. The bearded dragon habitat, is unlike other pets, extremely important because even the seemingly smallest of errors can have dire consequences. Above all else, do your best to make sure your beardie’s tank is the right temperature, has the right lighting setup, and doesn’t pose any threats to their overall health, such as being too small of having loose particle substrate.
How should a bearded dragon tank be set up?
Enclosure..UVB light..Heating element, thermometer, and hygrometer..Basking rock or log..Flooring..Some shallow dishes for water and food..Live feeder insects and tweezers..Adequate space in your home.
What is the recommended tank size for a bearded dragon?
A juvenile bearded dragon should be housed in a 10 gallon glass aquarium tank. The tank size will have to increase as the beardie grows. Adults require a 20-50 gallon long glass aquarium tank. Because beardies love to climb, provide vertical space with lots of branches.
They will be spending the vast majority of their lives in their enclosure, so you need to make sure it has everything they need. Failing to do this will result in a less fulfilling life for your beardie, potential health problems, and even a shorter lifespan.
Reptile Glass Terrarium With Double Hinge Door & Screen Ventilation By REPTI ZOO Dimensions: 36″ x 18″ x 18″ Tough screen top provides ventilation and allows uvb and infrared penetration Front doors can open separately for easy feeding Easy 5 minute setup process Because the bearded dragon is a land dweller and enjoys exploring, you should provide your pet with a tank size that offers ample floor space. A tank size of 50 or 60 gallons is ideal for an adult bearded dragon, but if you keep more than one animal you’ll need an even larger one! Although glass doesn’t provide as much insulation as acrylic or wood, it allows you to clearly see your pet and monitor the cleanliness of the cage. If you want the ultimate in aeration and insulation, as well as aesthetics, you can opt for a do-it-yourself or a custom-built enclosure constructed of glass, wood, and screen. Expert Tip: If you decide to build their habitat from scratch, you should avoid constructing it entirely from screen. In addition, because a screen enclosure provides little insulation, it’s not a wise choice if you live in a cold climate where it’s difficult to maintain sufficient heat. A cold-blooded animal native to the desert, the bearded dragon requires adequate heat to maintain good health. UVB & UVA Lamp For Reptiles and Amphibian By TEKIZOO Provides strong and consistent UVB and UVA for reptiles Bulb is compatible with a variety of enclosures Compact size of 6.3 x 4.5 inches Bulb undergoes strict testing before being packaged You can replicate this natural experience with a perch placed under a basking bulb that supplies the appropriate radiant heat. Expert Tip: If your pet prefers the highest perch for basking, you might need to make adjustments to the position of the light. It’s important to take tank size into account when choosing the correct heating and lighting bulbs. Bearded Dragon Reptile Carpet By Zilla Low-maintenance and comfortable bedding Safe because it cannot be digested like other substrates Treated to reduce odors Easy to clean with cold tap water In their natural habitat, bearded dragons experience a variety of substrates, including sand, dirt, rock, and wood. Expert Tip: If you insist on using sand to create a more natural-looking enclosure, wait until your bearded dragon has reached its full size (signifying that it’s an adult). Young bearded dragons are known to enjoy chasing crickets or other insects, but adults will generally come to accept a wider variety of foods. If you have a younger bearded dragon it’s important to make sure the bowl is shallow enough for them to look into and reach the food inside. Your choice of decor for your bearded dragon’s cage is not only about the appearance and aesthetics for your own enjoyment, but it should also provide your beardie with enrichment, comfort, and various ways to exercise. Significant changes in a short period of time will lead to stress since they won’t recognize their home anymore! A clay pot or a plastic bowl with a hole cut out for a door make suitable hide boxes. There are several types of hide boxes available for purchase too, but you can also make your own if you want to save a few dollars (and have the willingness to do so). With a suction cup, you can easily stick a hammock on the terrarium glass (ideally in a corner for more privacy). Just avoid placing the bridge too high to prevent your little pal from potentially taking a dangerous fall. Expert Tip: Make sure the doorway in whatever room you keep the enclosure in is not facing the front of the cage. You have a wide variety of materials from which to choose for this theme, ranging from wood to shrubbery to clay mounds. Try mimicking jungle foliage with artificial leaf vines while providing rock ledges for climbing. That means if you choose to start with a smaller habitat, you’ll need to upgrade to a larger one as it grows to adulthood. The cost of owning a bearded dragon isn’t that high, so don’t hesitate to make upgrades. The right bearded dragon habitat setup can make a world of difference in your pet’s quality of life.
So you’re getting a new bearded dragon? Congratulations! One of the most exciting things you can do before he arrives is put together his new home. But it can also be a really overwhelming task, because there is no shortage of opinions on how to create the perfect bearded dragon tank setup. What kind of material should you use? How hot should the tank be? Is sand really that bad? What kind of lights do you need?
Enclosure UVB light Heating element, thermometer, and hygrometer Basking rock or log Flooring Some shallow dishes for water and food Live feeder insects and tweezers Adequate space in your home Choosing the proper size tank for your bearded dragon helps them to feel comfortable and less stressed, especially in those first few weeks when you bring them home and they are adjusting to a whole new environment. A good size tank prevents glass surfing as well, which is often caused by dragons feeling too caged in. If you aren’t going to build your own tank DIY style, chances are you’ll buy one online or at a pet store. A popular option, glass terrariums are sturdy, widely available, and usually come with a screen lid that improves airflow and helps regulate the low humidity dragons need. On the downside, glass is a poor heat insulator, so you’ll have to check the temperature regularly to make sure it’s not too cold. Wood is an excellent heat insulator, so this may be a better option for you than a full glass terrarium if you live in a colder area or like to keep your home temperature low. If you can’t keep your dragon in a separate room from your cat or dog, make absolutely certain that the enclosure will not topple and that the lid is secure. For example, if you have a big screen TV that you watch frequently, or if you play electric guitar, or if there is a side of your house where you can hear constant traffic, try to keep your dragon out of earshot. If you house a male and female together, they will begin to reproduce and you must be prepared to take care of multiple baby dragons. The other issue you may run into with these softer, dense substrates is they retain moisture, which can raise the humidity levels in your dragon’s tank. This chase can be fun to watch and is part of the natural order of things, but it’s dangerous in a loose substrate setting. or they will eventually die and begin to rot in the tank, causing a smell and posing a threat to your dragon’s health. They can harm your bearded dragon by scratching them or causing impaction or internal injury when your beardie ingests dislodged pieces. Both materials provide your dragon with traction to move around comfortably, and dark colors will prevent the tile from getting cold. Make sure you don’t use vinyl or linoleum, which are too slippery for your bearded dragon’s claws to gain any traction. Clay is a really fun option for your bearded dragon if you have time and are willing to put in a little extra effort to set it up. Once you purchase the reptile excavator clay at your local pet store or online, mix it with water and let it dry in the tank. The only issue you may run into with clay is every few months you have to remove and replace it, which can be a hassle if you don’t have a lot of extra time to take care of that. Poor lighting or heat can cause metabolic bone disease , a very serious condition that warps your dragon’s skeletal system and inhibits digestion and absorption of nutrients. To ensure your dragon is getting the proper temperatures at any given time of the day or night, you’ll want to have a good thermometer on hand. Once you have the necessary supplies, keep these lighting, heating, and humidity guidelines in mind for your bearded dragon tank setup: Some Dragon Keepers opt for a laid back, simple environment, while others choose an elaborate theme such as exotic desert or tropical rainforest. Whether it’s branches, rocks, logs, or some other fixture that matches your decor theme, bearded dragons love to climb on things. Aloe vera (If your dragon eats too much of this, she may get diarrhea, so just keep an eye on things) Herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, and parsley (they may wilt in the humidity so replace them when they begin to go bad) Turtle vine Succulents such as echeveria and haworthia Prickly pear cacti (with spines removed) Not only can it be fun to feed your dragon with the tweezers, but it can protect you from insects that can pinch or bite, and it’s also a good option for those who would rather not touch live bugs with their hands. Whether you are getting a baby, juvenile, or adult bearded dragon, you will need to include live insects in their diet . The terrarium plays a huge role in giving your bearded dragon a healthy, happy life. Now that you know the basics of creating the best bearded dragon tank setup, you can provide your reptile with a home where she can thrive.
1. Choose The Right Type Of Enclosure
3. Pick A Good Substrate
Proper lighting and heating are a crucial part of a bearded dragon’s habitat setup. A cold-blooded animal native to the desert, the bearded dragon requires adequate heat to maintain good health.In the wild, these reptiles do this by finding a safe place to bask in the intense desert sun.You can replicate this natural experience with a perch placed under a basking bulb that supplies the appropriate radiant heat. Setting up multiple perches (if you have enough space) will allow your beardie to choose the best intensity with which he’s most comfortable.Your bearded dragon also needs full-spectrum light to properly synthesize calcium. Bulbs designed exclusively for reptiles can provide the proper UVA and UVB light to help them thrive.It’s important to take tank size into account when choosing the correct heating and lighting bulbs. Also, make sure the bulbs are housed in fixtures designed especially for each type.Lastly, remember that glass placed between the bulbs and the animal will decrease the effectiveness of these lighting and heating bulbs.
5. Add Decorations
Young bearded dragons are known to enjoy chasing crickets or other insects, but adults will generally come to accept a wider variety of foods. Adding a food bowl to their habitat will make it easier for you to feed them a balanced diet (fruits, vegetables, and dry foods are all very bowl-friendly).Be sure the food bowl is heavy enough to not tip over when your beardie puts weight on it. If you have a younger bearded dragon it’s important to make sure the bowl is shallow enough for them to look into and reach the food inside.As for the water bowl, you’ll want it to be shallow as well to make sure they’re your beardie can’t accidentally drown when getting inside it. However, going too shallow will quickly become a pain since you’ll need to refill it constantly.A water dish that’s a few inches deep will work for most bearded dragon habitat setups.Lastly, be sure to keep both food and water bowls away from basking lamps to prevent food spoilage and excessive warming of the water. When it comes to their setup, the placement of each item matters just as much as what you include!
Because wild bearded dragons need a safe place to hide from predators,A clay pot or a plastic bowl with a hole cut out for a door make suitable hide boxes. There are several types of hide boxes available for purchase too, but you can also make your own if you want to save a few dollars (and have the willingness to do so).Just make sure the box is large enough that your beardie can completely fit inside. They won’t feel very safe with their tail sticking out!If your tank is large enough, you might want to include more than one hide box instead. This will give them some variety and the feeling of a more expansive territory.Keep these boxes in a cooler area away from the basking bulb in case your pet becomes a little toasty while basking and needs to cool down. Also, place the boxes away from the water dish to prevent humidity buildup.
A Basking Perch
A basking perch is an essential item for any bearded dragon habitat setup. If your tank size is large enough, providing multiple perches will let them choose the perfect heat intensity as well.This is an item that needs to be stable in order to prevent accidental falls. Excellent options for perches include grapevines, natural driftwood, and rocks.
If you want the look of a natural environment complete with plants,Aloe vera, jade plant, echeveria, red rooster ornamental grass, sky plant, turtle vine, and herbs such as oregano, parsley, and rosemary are a few nontoxic plants that are both safe and attractive additions to the terrarium. However, our recommendation is to stick with fake plants.
Lounging in a hammock on a warm summer day sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Well, bearded dragons enjoy the experience just as much as we do!With a suction cup, you can easily stick a hammock on the terrarium glass (ideally in a corner for more privacy). Make sure the hammock fabric won’t catch on their nails, and make sure to place it low enough so your pet can climb in easily. Of course, get a well-made hammock to ensure it won’t fall apart while they’re in it!There are some other surprising toys you can add to their habitat setup as well.As natural hunters, bearded dragons not only enjoy chasing insects and will even chase other objects such as plastic balls! However, avoid giving your pet a ball that’s so small it can swallow it. You don’t want playtime to result in a severe ingestion issue.Adding a bridge to their habitat will provide even more climbing fun and a challenging path from one place to another. Just avoid placing the bridge too high to prevent your little pal from potentially taking a dangerous fall.
6. Consider Going With A Theme
Your bearded dragon’s tank is a place where it will live a healthy, happy life. But as the pet parent, you should be able to enjoy the experience of creating a home that’s attractive to you as well!This is where themes come into play. You see, an interesting and natural theme will keep both you and your beardie entertained and happy.And what could be a more appropriate theme than a desert, their native habitat?You have a wide variety of materials from which to choose for this theme, ranging from wood to shrubbery to clay mounds.
7. Make Adjustments And Changes When Needed
When you bring home a baby bearded dragon, you expect it to grow and spend many years with you. That means if you choose to start with a smaller habitat, you’ll need to upgrade to a larger one as it grows to adulthood.But even when your bearded dragon is all grown up, the work doesn’t stop there. There’s no guarantee that they will like everything about their habitat. You might find that certain things get boring to them after a while, or a setup you thought was suitable when you were less experienced really isn’t ideal.At the end of the day, the most important trait of a good owner is consistency and effort. Keep an eye on the habitat setup and make improvements whenever you can. This could be with lighting placement, decorations, bowl size, you name it! The cost of owning a bearded dragon isn’t that high, so don’t hesitate to make upgrades.Always strive to improve, and your beardie will be forever grateful. If you hold up your end of the bargin, they’ll be very good pets in return.