In order to keep your beardie happy and healthy for years to come, a proper bearded dragon habitat must be correctly set up. This is the home where your pet reptile will be living throughout its entire life, so make sure you’ve done a thorough job to suit all its needs. Believe it or not, providing the perfect home for a bearded dragon isn’t a difficult task. This page will provide you with the information you need to ensure habitat setup goes smoothly.
Bearded Dragon Tank Size
For a baby bearded dragon (hatchling or juvenile), a 20-gallon tank will be enough. However, when buying a tank, you should keep in mind that they will not stay small forever. In fact, they can grow rather large within a span of a few months. That being said, an adult will need an absolute minimum of a 40-gallon tank. If possible, I would recommend a 50 to 60 gallon tank for adult dragons. This will allow them to run around with ease and get some exercise in. Feeding time will also be more fun to watch, as they’ll chase down their insects like a reptile predator.
From personal experience, size is important when it comes to your beardie’s habitat. If you think about it, these reptiles in the wild will roam around for hours while hunting for food. They have curious personalities and like to explore and roam in a natural setting. If you were to stick multiple dragons in one cage, you would be limiting their life experience by confining them within a small enclosure.
Many owners do decide to keep multiple beardies in a space smaller than what I recommend, and they go on and live a healthy lives. And although they may be healthy, will they be happy dragons? Most likely not. Of course not all reptile owners will have the resources or space to provide them with a large tank. So, if space permits and you can afford it, definitely treat them. If not, it’s not the end of the world for your beardie.
Types of Tanks for Bearded Dragons
During the process of selecting the perfect tank, you’ll be presented with a few options to build a wonderful habitat. There are many tanks to choose from, but these are the most popular for various reasons.
Glass Aquarium Tank – This may be the most popular choice, and for good reason. A clear glass enclosure lets you view your bearded dragon from all angles. This feature will come in handy if you have a lot of tank accessories where they can hide in. They are often very cheap and can sometimes be free if you look at local listings such as craigslist.
Aquariums have an open top, which makes it convenient for access to your reptiles. However, I wouldn’t leave it open. Make sure you cover the top with a metal screen to ensure nothing escapes (insects or dragons), while keeping constant air circulation within the enclosure.
Melamine Wood Cages – These enclosures are made out of wood, with a clear glass side panel for easy viewing. If you decide to go with a wooden cage, I’d suggest getting a white one so light reflects off the non-glass sides, providing more light for your dragon. However, these enclosures are heavy and may not always be the cheapest option.
PVC Plastic Cages – If you plan on moving your bearded dragon’s cage around a lot, I would recommend this option. Because they’re made from PVC plastic (same material as PVC piping), they’re a much lighter option. The plastic material makes them much cheaper than say, melamine cages. The one problem with these cages is the material will produce a faint plastic odor that may be a nuisance.
Multiple Bearded Dragons in a Habitat
A common question among new owners is: can you fit multiple bearded dragons within one enclosure? In order words, will they fight? Generally speaking, bearded dragons are very friendly reptiles. Given the right conditions, there should be very minimal fighting, if any.
If you have multiple baby bearded dragons, they won’t have any problems with each other no matter what sex combination. As long as there is reasonable space and enough insects and vegetables to go around, there should be no problem.
Once these reptiles become old enough, fighting may occur. Having multiple juveniles or adults in an enclosure may lead to fights between males. Due to their aggressive nature, two male beardies will likely fight for dominance at one point or another. If you have two females, the chance is drastically lower, but it can still happen.
Make sure your enclosure is around the 60-gallon range if you plan to raise multiple beardies, especially males. This way, there will be plenty of room for each to claim as its own territory.