Bearded Dragon Tank Setup In 2021 – What Should You Do?

Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

When thinking about an ideal bearded dragon tank setup, you should remember that this kind of lizard originally comes from the deserts of Australia.

Therefore, it is really important for you to provide your beardie with plenty of light, warmth, and low humidity. 

That is the reason why all enclosures must have UVB, UVA, and basking lights, and a ceramic heat emitter should be also highly recommended for keeping the tank warm at night.

Especially, to measure the temperature in the tank, a thermometer is necessary.

There are several different types of optimal cages or enclosures that will range in price levels, functions, and materials.

However, regardless of what type of enclosure, you should make sure that the tank must have a screen lid, which will allow for proper airflow and keep humidity levels down.

Also, the lid will help prevent your beardie from escaping.

In the specific, glass, plastic, or any other type of solid tank-lids should be avoided as they can restrict airflow and cause the humidity within your pet’s tank to increase to unhealthy levels.

By contrast, a screen lid is suggested to cover the tank, and good screen covers are strong enough to support the weight of your lights and can easily withstand the heat from any heat lamps.


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Bearded Dragon Tank Size

How To Setup Bearded Dragon Tank

As you may know, beardies are land dwellers, and they really love exploring so a tank that can offer ample floor space plays an important role in your pet’s overall growth.

By contrast, a too-small tank can cause your beardie to be stressed.

Therefore, you need to make sure you have the right size tank for your dragon.

Depending on the age of your dragon, you will choose the one which is suitable for your pet. Below are some recommendations for categories of tank size:

  • Baby Dragons- a 20-gallon tank is highly recommended as it allows them gives them to catch their food easily.
  • 10-16 Inch Dragons- Early adult dragons need at least a 40-gallon tank.
  • 16-20 Inch Dragons- It’s recommended to have at least a tank that is at least 50-75 gallons.
  • 20+ Inch Dragons– The tank should be at least 75 gallons, but a 120 gallons tank would be ideal.

Read more:

Bearded Dragon Tank Setup Types

Read on to discover the different types of enclosures you can use for your bearded dragon.

1. Glass Enclosures

Best Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

Glass terrariums are probably the most popular type of enclosure for beardies as they are very durable, pretty affordable, and easy to find at any local pet store, and can sometimes even be found for free.

Another reason why they are loved by most pet owners is that they allow you to clearly see your pet and monitor the cleanliness of the cage.

Also, the screen lid that goes on top plays an important role in allowing for ample airflow, which helps keep humidity levels low and makes this type of enclosure a good habitat for your pet.

However, there are some drawbacks when using a glass terrarium.

Firstly, it will be too heavy for you to move when it is set up.

Especially, it doesn’t hold heat as well as other habitat options, which can result in your dragon being a little dull in color.

Therefore, if you have a colorful pet, you may not want to choose this type due to its lack of insulation.

2. Plastic Enclosures

Plastic Bearded Dragon Enclosure

PVC Cages

PVC cages are made of PVC plastic so they are moderately light comparing to melamine cages which are made of wood, and you can easily move them. Also, they have a smooth and attractive look but they are quite expensive depending on the size.
Furthermore, PVC cages vary in colors so you can choose one that fits your aesthetic style.

You can even ask the seller to install the lights for an additional charge.

Most importantly, these cages are typically good at holding heat, which is more likely to suit your dragon well.

However, as this kind of cage has an enclosed top that doesn’t allow for proper airflow, these cages may have difficulties keeping humidity low.

Vision Cages

Vision cages are said to be one of the most professional options as they are made from one molded piece of plastic.

Also, they are chemical resistant and easy for you to clean and have heat lamp shrouds built indirectly.

Furthermore, they are loved for their lightweight, and you can easily stack them on top of each other to save space.

However, although vision cages may be a great choice for beardie owners, they can be quite expensive.

ABS Cages

Like both vision and PVC cages, ABS cages, which are made of ABS plastic, are light, which makes them easy to move, stack, and clean.

Also, ABS plastic is known not to emit the toxic odor that other plastics can emit. However, they can be quite expensive.

3. Wood Enclosures

Bearded Dragon Natural Habitat

Melamine Cage

Melamine cages are made of melamine which is a very heavy and sturdy wood, and highly recommended for being a great insulator.

Therefore, it would be a great choice for you to buy it or build a cage for your beloved pet.

Not only does this kind of material do a fantastic job of keeping your beardie nice and warm but it also reflects more light, which makes your dragon looked happier and amazing.

However, the drawback of this material is that it is expensive, heavy, and can be ruined if gotten wet.

Plywood cage

If you want to make a cage for your beloved dragon by yourself, plywood is a great option for this project because it is easy to find, cheap, and very lightweight.

Also, you had better seal the plywood with a non-toxic sealant and leave the top open for a screen lid.

Read more: https://www.thepettime.com/best-tortoise-enclosure/

Accessories (Bearded Dragon Tank Setup – creativity)

Bearded Dragon Tank Setup Pictures

1. Substrate

Choosing the best substrate or bedding for your beardies plays an important role in providing them with comfortable and good accommodation as this will have direct positive influences on the health and enrichment of your lizards.

In specific, they could help prevent impaction, disease, and other things that can harm your pet.

However, choosing the proper type of flooring for your pet is not easy at all as chances are that some beardies may eat a bit of it, which can easily lead to impaction.

There are two types of flooring: loose particle and non-particle substrate, and the latter is commonly recommended.

Now, we will give you a clearer look at the differences between loose particle and non-particle substrate, as well as some examples of each one.

Loose Particle-Based Substrates

Loose particle-based substrates can produce debris and dust that your beardie can consume, which may lead to the risk of impaction.

In this case, your dragon’s digestive tract becomes clogged, which doesn’t allow him to pass a bowel movement.

As a result, your pet may be in danger of death if not taken care of!

Another threat that your pet can face is that that these substrates can get into his eyes and nose, leading to infection!

Here are some examples of popular loose particle substrates:

  • Play sand
  • Wood chips/shavings (this one is toxic to bearded dragons so you had better avoid it)
  • Gravel
  • Walnut shells (Avoid at all costs)
  • Calcium sand (the brand Calci-Sand is NOT digestible)
  • Alfalfa pellets
  • Millet

None of them are highly recommended.

However, if you want to create a more natural-looking enclosure by using sand, don’t forget to wait until your pet has reached his full size as this will help reduce the chance of impaction.

Read more:

Non-Particle Substrate:

best substrate bearded dragon

Non-particle substrates are highly recommended as they are not likely to cause your pet to become impacted.

Also, they will not get stirred up easily and end up irritating your beardie’s nose or eyes.

Below are some common types of non-particle substrate that you can check out:

  • Newspaper
  • Reptile carpet
  • Paper towels
  • Non-adhesive linoleum
  • Ceramic tile

Among them, the reptile carpet and newspaper are the most commonly used.

However, this kind of substrate also has some potential drawbacks.

Firstly, your dragon’s claws may get stuck in the threads of the reptile carpet. Second, some dragons do not like the slipperiness of the flooring, particularly tiles.

Therefore, you had better give your pet accessories that he can climb on, and keep his nails trimmed. Also, you should consider laying down some non-toxic adhesive and topsoil or sand to the tile.

Read more:

2. Plants

plants for bearded dragon vivarium

To spruce up your bearded dragon’s living environment, you definitely should consider some safe plants.

Additionally, this will have a great influence on the life span of your beardie.

Maybe you will wonder which one to choose between live plants and fake ones.

Therefore, we would like to give you further information about two types of plants

Regarding live plants, they are always a great choice but the question here is whether they are safe or not when your pet ingests them.

Another thing you should consider is whether these trees are able to deal with hot and dry conditions in cages.

Therefore, we suggest you choose plants living in harsh desert environments and not requiring a lot of water.

Furthermore, chances are that your dragon will probably climb or destroy the trees, which affects the survival of these trees in the beardie habitat.

In this case, you should choose plants that are strong and have large stems or you can diminish the damage with the help of gravel and rocks.

There are a few nontoxic plants that are both safe and attractive additions to the terrarium that you can consider such as aloe vera, jade plant, echeveria, red rooster ornamental grass, sky plant, turtle vine, herbs, and so on.

However, you can consider plastic ones if you want to avoid the risk that your pets will face digestive problems with real plants.

Especially, artificial plants are also maintenance-free, cheap, easy to clean, and last longer than real trees.

However, there are some potential harms of fake plants for bearded dragon habitat.

Firstly, the plastic smell from these trees can make your pet uncomfortable.

Secondly, in case beardie might ingest some pieces, they will suffer from bad digestive problems.

Read more:

(You should consider before having live plants for bearded dragon tank setup)

3. Hides

Bearded Dragon Tank Setup Ideas

It’s very important that you have a safe place called a “hide” for your bearded dragon to rest if he wants to feel extra safe and secure or hide from the light, people.

These hides are also crucial for bearded dragon brumation when your beardie will sleep heavily for weeks in fall or winter.

Also, placing his/her hide beneath the basking light will not only warm their hide but can also cause their hide to be a basking platform as well.

When choosing a hide box, just make sure the box is large enough that your beardie can completely fit inside as he won’t feel very safe with his tail sticking out!

In case your tank is large enough, including more than one hide box may give your pet more choices and the feeling of a more expansive territory.

You also need to put hides 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, keeping the boxes away from the water dish helps prevent humidity buildup.

Read more: https://www.thepettime.com/best-turtle-basking-platform/

4. Hammock – best decor for Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

Best Tank Setup For Bearded Dragon

Adding a special hammock to your bearded dragon’s habitat will allow you to realize how much your pet loves lounging on this piece of furniture.

You can make a hammock by yourself or find ones that will hang nicely in your beardies’ habitat at most pet stores or online.

Also, we recommend you buy hammocks with suction cups and hooks at the ends so you can easily stick them to your tank.

Especially, make sure the hammock fabric won’t catch on their nails and place it low enough so he can climb on easily.

As most lizards love climbing, you should have at least one branch that your pet can climb on, which will make this activity more funny and challenging.

However, you should make sure that the branch should not be placed too high to stop your beloved pet from a dangerous fall.

Also, if you prefer a real branch, it shouldn’t have small holes that insects may hide in.

5. Background

Bearded Dragon Aquarium Setup

If your bearded dragon lives in a glass terrarium, you had better get a background for the back of the tank, which helps not only mimick the look of his natural environment, minimize glass surfing but also make your bearded dragon feel more secure.

A wide range of materials that you can choose for the background such as wood, shrubbery, and so on but just make sure that they are safe for your pet.

6. Water And Food Bowls

How Many Days Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Water

You can find it easy to feed your pet a balanced diet when adding a food bowl to his habitat.

However, make sure the bowl is shallow enough to look into and reach the food inside.

Regarding the water bowl, as bearded dragons are desert dwellers, you don’t need to have a water dish in their cage every day.

This is also because they can get a large amount of water through their diet, especially dark leafy greens and fruit.

However, you should make sure that the dish is shallow, and the water should be kept clean. Additionally, don’t forget to clean the bowl after every use.

One useful tip is that using a water conditioner will help remove chlorine and other unwanted chemicals from your water source to ensure your dragon stays healthy.

Also, spraying them down in moderation with some water in a spray bottle or adding a tiny bit of strawberry or other fruit juice to the water to enhance the taste will help to encourage your beardie to drink more water.

Last but not least, 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!

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7. A Basking platform

Ideal Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

It is essential for you to have a basking perch in your beardie’s living environment so that he can choose the perfect heat intensity, as well as catch UV light.

Therefore, if your tank is large enough, don’t hesitate to provide his tank with a basking platform such as grapevines, natural driftwood, and rocks.

Make sure that you want to trim your pet’s nails due to the rough surface of some kind of platform.

Read more:  https://www.thepettime.com/best-bearded-dragon-leash/

Temperature – A crucial thing for Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

Baby Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

The ideal temperature of your bearded dragon’s tank should be divided into the hot side and cool side.

While the hot side is between 95 and 110 degrees, the cool side is between 75 and 80 degrees during the day, and definitely no warmer than 85.

Therefore, you are recommended to have two thermometers: one for the hot side and one for the other.

Adults’ and juveniles’ needs for basking temperatures will vary slightly.

In specific, the basking spot should be 95 F° for adults and 110 F° for juveniles.

However, a heated rock shouldn’t be used for your dragon because it can easily burn the underside of your pet.

At night, the temperature can fall to 65 degrees so you need to consider a secondary heat source, particularly a ceramic heater

Heating & Lighting for Bearded Dragon

Beardie Glass Surfing

An essential part of a bearded dragon’s habitat setup that you should pay much attention to is proper lighting and heating so that your beardie, a cold-blooded animal, could require adequate heat to be healthy.

As I have mentioned before, a basking platform is necessary for your lizard to have a safe place to bask under a basking bulb that supplies the appropriate radiant heat.

Also, you should set up full-spectrum lights to provide the proper UVA and UVB light so that your pet can properly synthesize calcium and thrive.

However, you should consider your take size for choosing the correct heating and lighting bulbs, and make sure that bulbs are designed for each type of reptile.

Also, the effectiveness of these lighting and heating bulbs will be reduced when you place glass between the bulbs and your lizard.

To keep your pet tank’s temperatures within the proper range, you can buy a ceramic heat emitter instead of under-tank heaters as these heaters can run the risk of shorting out and burning your beardie.

In addition, 2 separate thermometers on both sides of the tank can be helpful for you to take control of the temperatures during the day and night

Humidity

Beardie Or Beardie

As a desert dweller, a beardie just needs a low percentage of relative humidity.

Relative humidity levels for a bearded dragon are between 35 to 40 percent.

Too high or too low humidity levels can result in health issues for your pet, including shedding problems, respiratory infections, and similar diseases.

There are some tips you should pay much attention to when setting up your beardie’s tank.

Firstly, you are not recommended to use full glass or plastic covers on the enclosure for a beardie as these covers will keep humidity within the terrarium.

Furthermore, when providing your lizard with a water dish, just make sure the dish is shallow.

Especially, you should place a water dish in the tank for a couple of hours every single day as consistent water sources are more likely to contribute to upper respiratory infections in dragons due to an increase in the humidity in the enclosure

Last but not least, a bioactive substrate is highly recommended as it can control moisture and air.

To determine the humidity of the beardie tank, it is necessary for you to install two hygrometers (either analog or digital).

Red Bearded Dragon

There are some other ways that you can try to take control of the humidity level in your beardie tank.

  • Increase in ventilation
  • Move any live plants to another room to reduce transpiration
  • Place one or more socks of rice in the enclosure
  • If the humidity is at extreme levels, it is presumably exasperated by climate, use a dehumidifier in the room.
  • The principle of reducing humidity levels for bearded dragons is to lose moisture in the air. In other words, it is air drying.
  • As we use an air conditioner in our room, which makes the air drier. On the contrary, we use a nebulizer to raise the humidity.

Bearded Dragon Starter Kit (Easy Bearded Dragon Tank Setup)

Does My Beardie Like Me

When it comes to bearded dragon tank setup, there are many factors that you have to consider such as lighting, temperatures, accessories, or humidity. If you are a beardie beginner, you may find it hard and time-consuming to set up an ideal bearded dragon tank

However, everything will become much easier if you consider best bearded dragon starter kits.

This is because there is a wide range of brands on the market. Just spend an acceptable amount of money, and you will have every basic thing without worrying about choosing the wrong heater or lights.

Read more:

Reptile Tank Setup – Overview about Bearded Dragon Tank Setup

best reptile thermometer hygrometer

Creating a proper living environment for reptiles is not easy at all as you have to pay much attention to many essential factors, including heat, temperature, humidity, and so on.

Therefore, you should be knowledgeable about devices that will help you to control these factors.

1. Reptile Hygrometer

best reptile digital hygrometer

The first criteria that you should consider to maintain a healthy and happy reptile are humidity.

This is because a high humidity level can cause your pet skin infections and respiratory problems while the humidity which is too low may cause dehydration or be fatal to your pet.

Therefore, in order to imitate your pet’s natural home and maintain its well-being, you should have the best hygrometer to adjust and observe the presence of water vapor inside your tank.

2. ThermometerThermostat – Heat Lamp

what is the best reptile thermostat

Regarding temperature, it is very important for you to provide your pet with a source of heat in their habitat as they are cold-blooded animals and could not regulate their inner temperature.

Therefore, you are highly recommended to use a thermostat so that you can control the temperature to make sure it going well all the time.

It can turn on the heat when the temperature goes down and turn it off when the set temperature reached the expectation.

It is also important to have a heat lamp when it comes to reptile tank setup.  In case the atmosphere inside the tank gets too hot or too cold, this will result in diseases or even death among reptiles, a cold-blooded creature.

Therefore, it is a must to provide them with adequate heat so that they can remain healthy and content through all days and nights.

Last but not least, if you want to keep the temperature unchanged at the most comfortable level for your little pet, don’t hesitate to have a thermometer which can lead to a considerable difference for reptile tank setup.

These tools are spent on not only bearded dragon tank setup but also other reptiles.

Read more:

3. UV Meter

uv light meters

As you know, ultraviolet radiation is essential for our health as well as reptiles’ health as it takes to care for calcium synthesis and several essential behaviors.

However, there will be some problems if your pet gets exposed to much ultraviolet radiation as this can lead to some bad impacts.

And to take control of the amount of ultraviolet radiation exposure, you must have a UV meter in your house, especially, if you keep reptiles as pets at home.

In specific, a good UV meter can allow you to follow up and control the exposure to ultraviolet radiation to keep your pet healthy

4. Reptile Light Timer

timer for reptile light

Another device that also plays an important role in your reptile tank setup is a reptile light timer.

As you know, that the day and night cycles repeat correctly has a great impact on reptiles’ schedule and behavior as they need light to wake up and darkness to sleep.

Therefore, a system of a turn on/off the bulb at an exact time would be a priority.

5. Reptile UVB bulbs

Sulcata Tortoise Uva Or Uvb

As a reptile lover, it will be a big mistake if you miss reptile UVB bulbs for the tank.

It is important that your pet needs ultraviolet B to synthesize Vitamin D3 to absorb and metabolize calcium.

Otherwise, a lack of ultraviolet B or lack could lead to many health issues such as soft bones, metabolic disease, and deformation.

Read more:

6. Humidifier

best humidifier for reptile room

As reptiles could not keep the moisture as other animals, you will need a humidifier to keep them comfortable and healthy.

In specific, this device will help to purify the air which can provide safety, health benefits, and also comfort for your animals, especially shedding, hydration, and normal behaviors.

Especially, if your pet is diagnosed with an allergy, this device can properly humidify the air to reduce the symptoms.

7. Heating Pad

under tank heating pad for leopard gecko

A heating pad is a must-have device for reptiles as they cannot maintain their heat inside.

Apart from the main heat sources such as lamps, you need to have a secondary source including pads as they will play the role to mimic the natural habitat by warming up the rocks as well as increases the general temp of the tank for making sure your pet’s amount of heat’s requirements.

This will allow your animals to stay active and healthy. It is a needed tool for bearded dragon tank setup.

Read more: https://www.thepettime.com/best-heat-mat-for-leopard-gecko/

8. Automatic Reptile Feeder

Automatic Reptile Cricket Feeder

Another useful device that you should pay attention to is an automatic reptile feeder as this best-suited option will help your pet get optimum care when you are gone.

You will find it so useful as this device has the ability to automatically track food and water levels as needed so that your tiny friend will be given nutritious food to live safe and keep well at all times.

Read more: https://www.thepettime.com/automatic-reptile-feeder/

9. Reptile Misting Systems

Misting System For Chameleon

It would be challenging for you to keep your pet hydrated as reptiles have dry skin which doesn’t hold water well.

However, giving your pet water to drink and dip in to keep hydrated isn’t enough.

Therefore, you had better use the best reptile misting systems to make sure the humidity of the enclosure is at optimum levels, which can be good for their eyes, skin, respiration, and skin shedding.

There will be many serious problems if you don’t give your pet great care and good hygiene.

Therefore, to maintain its comfort and good health, it is essential for you to practice good cleaning habits daily and weekly.

This could help reduce the growth of harmful microorganisms and make the tank odor-free.

Otherwise, your pet will be susceptible to diseases and bacterial infection, which can also affect your health.

Luckily, there is the best cleaner on the market that you can consider for reptile cages to prevent them from being sick and protects you and your household too.

So you have decided to become a reptile breeder. Good for you.

Read more: https://www.thepettime.com/best-misting-system-for-chameleons/

10. Incubator

best incubator for bearded dragon eggs

What you need now is a system that makes sure the eggs you collect hatch into healthy baby pets.

An insulated box that contains a humid substrate and heating pads could suffice as an incubator, but you would still need a means of controlling both temperature and temperature.

Electronic incubators are better as they allow you to control these elements more easily but there are a lot of them available in the market, so which is the best reptile incubator for you?

With good temperature and humidity manipulation, you can even determine the sex of the baby reptile, so you now see why it’s important to choose the best equipment as you breed.

In this article, the best reptile incubators would be reviewed to help you in making the best choice at all times, and you would also be taught what factors to look out for when purchasing the equipment.

Read more: Top 9 Best Incubator for Beardie Eggs 

Conclusion

After reading this article, hope you have full info for a bearded dragon tank setup. You know, raising a bearded dragon is quite challenging, but, I am so happy to see your beloved friend, stay strong and healthy.

Further Reading:

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