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Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

One of the most essential things a bearded dragon owner can do is create the right environment for your bearded dragon.

They will spend most of their lives in enclosures, so make sure they have everything they need. Failing to do this not only makes the Beardie less enjoyable, it can also lead to health problems and shortened lifespan.

    Unfortunately, many new owners don't know where to start when assembling the correct cage layout.

    However, this tutorial covers all of them. We guide you through the complete habitat setup process so your bearded dragon is ready to go when it arrives!

    Bearded Dragon Tank Supplies

    To bring a dragon home, you will need the following items:
    • Floor
    • A few shallow bowls for food and water
    • Tweezers and live feeder insects
    • Get enough space in your home
    • UVB (ultraviolet light) light
    • Logs or basking rocks
    • Woolen land
    • Thermometers,
    • Hygrometers
    • Heating elements

    Choose the appropriate enclosure

    A Bearded Dragon's cage is obviously important as it will spend most of its time there. But you can't simply go out and buy a cage. Choosing the right type of enclosure will ensure your pet's health and comfort!

    REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium Double Hinged Door and Screen Ventilation
    • A separate front door can be opened to facilitate feeding.
    • 36'' x 18'' x 18'' Dimensions: 36'' x 18'' x 18''
    • Setup takes about 5 minutes.
    • The rigid screen top allows airflow while allowing UVB and infrared rays to pass through.

    Bearded dragons are terrestrial creatures that love to wander, so you need to provide enough floor space for your tank. A fully developed bearded dragon with a tail can reach 2 feet in length, so the cage should allow for easy and comfortable mobility.

    A 50-60 gallon tank is great for an adult bearded dragon, but if you have more than one, you'll need a much larger tank!

    Glass is the most common form of bearded dragon enclosure. Although glass may not provide as much insulation as acrylic or wood, you can see your pet clearly and keep an eye on the cleanliness of the cage.

    Front open cage allows easier access to pets. Made of glass or acrylic with a screen, these types of cages provide more insulation than standard glass terrariums.

    If you want the best in terms of ventilation, insulation and aesthetics, you can opt for DIY or custom enclosures made of glass, wood and screens. Before trying this, you should first learn the basics of setting up a simple tank.

    If you want to build a tank from scratch, don't go completely off the screen. This can be a problem for bearded dragons as the wire can injure the snout or toes.

    Also, the screen will not keep your cat or dog away from your pet. Also, it is not a good idea to live in a cold area where insulation is difficult, as screen enclosures provide minimal insulation.

    Lights for Bearded Dragons

    The tank requires a 50-75 watt UVA basking light. It mimics the powerful rays of the sun.

    A dome headlight that can be placed directly over the mesh screen cover is ideal. You can also use hanging light fixtures. It should be changed every 2-3 years. The temperature at their peak basking location should be between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

    You will also need a UVB tube lamp. You should use tube-shaped UVB lamps rather than coil-shaped UVB lights.

    A tube light hood fixed under a mesh cover is used to direct the UVB light. The hood blocks 40% of the rays, so no light should shine over the mesh.

    Many coil lamps are inadequate to generate sufficient UVB levels. Once UVB production is over, like UVA bulbs, they need to be replaced every six months.

    Timers are very useful for lighting. Bearded dragons require a 12-hour day and 12-hour night cycle. Use a light timer on at least two plugs and set them for 12 hours a day, 7am to 7pm.

    Feed the bearded dragon early in the morning so the bearded dragon can digest his meal before the lights get dark.

    Infrared night heat lamps are not recommended as they interfere with the bearded dragon's circadian clock.

    Substance (flooring)

    A Bearded Dragon's house needs some sort of substrate, or "flooring," to simulate its natural environment to keep it happy and healthy.

    There are many strong views as to which substrate to use, but non-particulate substrates are generally recommended if you want to be as safe as possible.

    Loose-grained substrate

    A loose particle-based matrix is ​​a loose particle.

    Because this substrate is loose, it usually collects debris and dust, which the bearded dragon will eat. The potential for impact to be consumed is a major risk for bearded dragons.

    Impaction occurs when a dragon's digestive system is blocked and unable to defecate. If left untreated, it can be very dangerous and fatal!

    Another danger of particle-based substrates is that they can get into the bearded dragon's eyes and nostrils and cause irritation!

    Here are three common loose particle matrices, none of which are suggested:
    • pebble
    • sand play
    • millet
    • calcium sand
    • alfalfa grains
    • wood shavings/chips (wood is toxic to bearded dragons, so best to avoid)
    • walnut shells (this is probably the most dangerous option), avoid it at all costs)

    Substrates not composed of particles:

    Non-particulate substrates are a better choice for bearded dragons as they are not affected as quickly as particle substrates and are not as easily jumbled up, irritating the bearded nose or eyes.

    The most common types of non-particulate substrates are listed below...
    • newspaper
    • ceramic tiles are my absolute favorite!
    • carpet made of reptiles
    • linoleum without adhesion
    • paper towels

    However, some of these methods have small drawbacks.

    For example, a dragon's claws can become entangled in the threads of a reptile carpet, and other dragon owners have said that dragons don't like the smooth feel of tiles.

    In these cases, there are many places a bearded dragon can climb, so make sure you have your nails cut and apply some non-toxic glue, dirt, and sand to the tiles to improve grip.

    Gather food and water bowls

    Young bearded dragons are known to love chasing crickets and other insects, but they will eat more food as they get older. It will be simpler to provide a healthy diet by adding food plates to their habitat (fruits, vegetables and dry foods are all very familiar to bowls).

    Make sure the food plate is large enough to prevent the bearded from tipping over. If you have young bearded dragons, make sure the bowl is shallow enough to see through and reach the food.

    Use bowls that are easy to clean after each serving.

    It's also a good idea to make sure the water bowl is shallow to avoid drowning when the bearded dragons go into the water. On the other hand, going too shallow can quickly become a problem as it requires regular replenishment.

    For most bearded dragon habitat arrangements, a shallow water dish is sufficient.

    Finally, keep food and water bowls away from basking lights to prevent food spoilage and excessive water heating. When it comes to settings, the location of each item is just as important as the item itself!

    Landscaping and 'furniture' required (branches, rocks, etc.)

    No one, including the bearded dragon, wants to live in an unfurnished house! Make sure the Bearded Dragon has a lot to do in his new home.

    Large rocks, branches or any kind of platform

    For them to be healthy (the heat helps with digestion), they need to be provided with large rocks, limbs, or platforms that can fit within 10 inches of sunlight.


    It's also a good idea to add safe plants to their living space to make them feel more comfortable.


    Many bearded dragons want to have small reptile hides to hide and sleep.

    These are often available from internet providers or from almost any pet store.

    This skin is required for brumation, the stage in which dragons basically hibernate in the fall or winter.


    A custom hammock developed specifically for the Bearded Dragon is another "furniture" item you should consider adding to your Bearded Dragon environment.

    Surprisingly, it's a hammock-like bearded dragon you can find at most pet stores or online.

    Proper lighting, heating and humidity for the Bearded Dragon tank

    The Australian desert is home to the cold-blooded dragon. Because they cannot generate their own body heat, they need sufficient heating and lighting to live in an environment similar to their natural environment.

    Metabolic bone disease, a dangerous disease that twists a dragon's skeletal structure and limits the digestion and absorption of nutrients, can be caused by poor lighting or heat. If left untreated, metabolic bone disease can incapacitate and kill dragons.

    Here are a few items you will need to keep your dragon happy and healthy by providing it with the right temperature, lighting, and humidity.

    UVB light source. Many veterinarians suggest this because self-ballasting mercury vapor UVB lamps generate heat in addition to UVB radiation. Replace your UVB bulbs every 6 months to ensure your dragon has the best quality light and heat.

    UVB bulbs with thermal lighting If you are not using UVB lighting that generates heat, you will need a heat lamp in addition to UVB bulbs.

    Thermometer. To make sure your dragon is getting the right temperature at all times, day and night, you'll need a proper thermometer. You can use the temperature gun to quickly scan various areas of the Bearded Dragon tank, or you can use two digital thermometers at either end of the tank.

    Hygrometer. A hygrometer is useful for measuring the humidity in your dragon tank.

    Once you have all your essential supplies, keep the following lighting, temperature, and humidity standards in mind for your Bearded Dragon tank setup.

    Exposure to UVB Light

    Whether you are purchasing a self-ballasting UVB lamp or a different type of lamp, make sure your dragon is exposed to UVB light for 12 hours each day.

    Humidity. Because they replicate the humidity levels of their original environment, bearded dragons thrive at 35-40% humidity. This can usually be done simply by allowing adequate ventilation (eg, through a glass tank screen cover), placing the water bowl away from the basking area, and not spraying the dragon tank too often.

    The indicator light flashes red. While researching, you may notice that some Bearded Dragon tanks have red lights on at night. Many dragon keepers do, but it is not mandatory and can be stressful for a bearded dragon. Wild beardy dragons will sleep in complete darkness or in gentle moonlight and under the stars. A red light or any other type of night light for your dragon is not the same. Dragons will have trouble sleeping, especially if there is too much light from a light bulb or screen. Therefore, it is not recommended to have red lights or night lights on the dragon's tank.

    Temperature throughout the day. All dragons need a sunbathing area between 95 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day. Other parts of the tank need to be cooler so the dragon can regulate its body temperature as needed.

    Temperature during the night. The entire tank should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Of course, you don't have to stay in a basking position at night.


    The right bearded dragon's tank can have a huge impact on your pet's overall well-being. And to be honest, it's not that hard once you know what to do!

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    About the author

    I am Paige and I love pets. I have a bearded dragon and a husky. My bearded dragon's name is Bart and he is a lot of fun. He likes to eat crickets and play in his cage. My husky's name is Sandy and she is a lot of fun, too. She likes to run and play in the park. I love taking them for walks and playing with them. They are both a big part of my family.
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