Bearded Dragon

How To Set Up The Perfect Bearded Dragon Terrarium? (A Full Check-list For New Reptile Owners)

Bearded dragons are friendly reptiles. Its popularity as pets keep on raising. People around the world are declared hobbyist. One of the first things they accomplish is creating the perfect living area away from home.

Bearded dragon is a species original from New Caledonia. This island in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean. The perfect bearded dragon setup must meet some basic requirements.

Basic requirements for a perfect bearded dragon terrarium

1. Size

Bearded Dragon

Different reptiles require different enclosure. A bearded dragon kept in captivity will need a terrarium. Specialized brands offer terrariums for bearded dragons. These are expensive so most people do not buy them. It is possible to create the perfect living space for a bearded dragon with a regular aquarium.

The size will depend in the age of the bearded dragon. Under four months, a bearded dragon should be kept up in a 10 gallon aquarium. If it has a bigger space, it will probably stop eating. Big spaces are overwhelming for newly born bearded dragons.

Over four months, the recommended size is a 20 gallon aquarium. Anything bigger than that will be alright. Smaller than 10 gallons could stress out the pet. It is possible to keep many bearded dragons simultaneously in the same terrarium. Each bearded dragon does not need 20 gallons to live happily. A 29 gallons aquarium will be enough for three bearded dragons. More than three will need a bigger space.

This a semi-arboreal species. The bearded dragon set up should favor height over length. Most aquariums are designed for fish so it does not work for bearded dragons. Any terrarium for reptiles will do. Some owners decide to buy a specialized terrarium for their pets. They should do it once their bearded dragon is twelve weeks old or more.

Check out our review: Best bearded dragon tanks

2. Soil

Bearded Dragon

It is not possible to buy a sack of soil from New Caledonia. Owners should settle for the soil options on the closest pet store.

The soil should be safe for the pet. The best bearded dragon setup soil is made of coconut fiber. If the bearded dragon accidentally eats the soil, it will be safe. Many brands offer this option because it has been proven as the best. Coconut fiber keeps the humidity in the living area. It resist mold and any other inconvenience caused by the humidity.

If the owner ran out of soil, paper towels are a safe temporary option. Bearded dragons do not get sick if the eat paper. It is not a good option after a while. Paper and water do not go well together. Some options should never be considered. Wood chips, sand and walnut dusk are popular soils in terrariums. These are dangerous for a bearded dragon setup.

3. Temperature

What do bearded dragon eat?

In their natural habitat, a bearded dragon experiences temperatures between 17°C/63°F and 29°C/84°F. The colder months are June and July. The rest of the year the bearded dragon lives in a stable temperature. In a bearded dragon setup is necessary to keep the temperature steady. Breeders consider the ideal temperature between 21°C/70°F and 25°C/78°F.

Anything above or below that will stress the bearded dragon. Stress is terrible for reptiles, it could lead to sudden death. It is necessary to change the temperature for the breeding time. It last for around two months.

The temperature should be between 18°C/65°F and 21°C/70°F. If it is above or below, the bearded dragon will not try to breed. Owners that live in countries with drastic temperature changes, should be careful. High summer temperatures are deathly for the bearded dragon. Before the summer arrives, they must find a way to keep their pet cold.

Check out our review: Best bearded dragon heating mats

4. Humidity

Best Bearded Dragon Leashes

New Caledonia is an extremely humid area. The humidity is usually above 70%, even in the colder months. Bearded dragon in captivity need the humidity to survive. It should be above the 50%.

Below that, the bearded dragon will get sick. Owners should include into their routines misting the terrarium. It should be done twice a day and let it dry naturally.

Humidity is a tricky bearded dragon setup. The owners will need special tools to measure it. They should keep an eye on this constantly. Humid is good for a terrarium but could cause some issues. Mold is a problem present in terrariums. The owners must avoid mold at all cost.

A bearded dragon set up with mold will need to be cleaned. It the problem persist, then it is necessary to replace the whole terrarium. Owners should be careful with humidity. There are many brands and products available.

The best bearded dragon setup is the one where our pet is happy. Owners should find the perfect conditions for their particular bearded dragon.


When buying a bearded dragon tank, what should you consider?

Best Reptile Tanks

1. How often you travel with your bearded dragon

When purchasing a bearded dragon enclosure is important to think about durability. The habitat should be able to last for a long time. A glass made tank may have a habitat inside while a mesh habitat may only have the basics.

If you travel a lot, you need to buy a lightweight terrarium with handles. The best material for this type of habitat is plastic. A mesh habitat is also not very heavy. Handles on a mesh terrarium make it convenient to carry around. Glass tanks are better for display purposes.

2. The size and measurements of your bearded dragon

A bearded dragon terrarium is a misnomer. You can keep most reptiles in the same type of tank. The size of the reptile is a big consideration when buying a habitat. There are many size options for enclosure.

If you have a young bearded dragon, consider its size when fully grown. The same terrarium should be able to accommodate your bearded dragon when fully grown.

Other geckos can also share the habitat with the set up similar to that habitat of beardie. The tank should to be big enough for a humidifier, UV light, feeding dish, soil, and plants if it has a terrarium.

A small habitat will make life uncomfortable for your pet. It will not have enough space to relax. A small enclosure means you cannot fit the bearded dragon’s environment in with pet.

Things like hiding rocks, bedding and accessories will not fit. A tank made of glass can become airtight and threaten the life of your bearded dragon. This assumes it is fully enclosed.

Check out our review: Best bearded dragon UVB lights

3. Ease with which you can clean the tank

As a responsible bearded dragon owner, you have to clean its terrarium regularly. While you clean the tank, you have to secure the bearded dragon. A special leash is usually used. Reptile habitats come with special access designed to clean it. They are located at the bottom and front of the enclosure.

The type of material used to make the habitat is a factor in cleaning. Many reptile terrarium are made of plastic and glass. Plastic and glass reptile tanks are easy to clean. Mesh cage are harder to clean in comparison.

For cleaning solution, you can check out our recommendation from Amazon: Chlorhexidine Solution


For cage cleaning, you can try this one on Amazon: Mini Dustpan and Broom Set


4. The state of the bearded dragon tank

This simply means the condition the habitat is in when you buy it. Is it new? Is it used? Does it need repairs? Is it in good condition? Some bearded dragon owners may want a new habitat versus a used one.  The condition in this context varies widely. A used habitat may be more affordable than a new one.

However, there are greater considerations that cost when buying a terrarium.  A seller may not be reputable and sell you an infected enclosure. Parasites in the habitat can harm your bearded dragon.  For this reason, you should consider buying a new habitat.

5. The safety of you bearded dragon

Reptiles, bearded dragons included, as curious creatures. They like to hide and move around. If your habitat is not secure, they will get out. This is a big concern, particularly if you travel a lot.

Imagine your bearded dragon getting out in transit. Chances are, that is the last you will ever see it again. If you are buying a glass tank, get one with considerable height. The bearded dragon can get out of a short enclosure by climbing on its plants.

6. The set up you desire

You may wish to use the bearded dragon tank as a decorative element in your home. A glass terrarium offers the best option. An elaborate terrarium set up brings an outdoor element to your home. You can buy a glass tank that has already been set up in a pet store.


Important information about housing your bearded dragon

Reasons you should buy bearded dragon leash

A bearded dragon has only a few requirements. The very minimum you should provide is:

1. Water

You should provide your bearded dragon with a source of water. You can spray it daily with water in addition to providing a water bowl. You need to maintain humidity in the habitat to make it easier for the bearded dragon to shed.

Our recommendation on Amazon: Exo Terra Water Dish


2. The right food

You should provide a well-balanced and stable diet. You can buy food at the pet store or make it yourself at home.

Our recommendation on Amazon: Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Bites Reptile Food


3. Allow for a hiding spot in the habitat

You can use real or manufactured environment to provide a hiding spot. Bearded dragons need this to feel safe. They do this by hiding in moist places.

Our recommendation on Amazon: Reptile Hide Box



What Should I Put In a Bearded Dragon Terrarium?

Best Reptile Heating Pad

Owners want the best for their pets. The best food, the best medical care and also the best living conditions. Traditional pets like dogs and cats need little accommodations. Exotic pets like reptiles in the other hand, require special conditions to live comfortably.

The conditions change with the type of reptile. Snakes and beardies have very different needs. Each reptile comes from a different habitat. Some need more heat than others. Humidity is mandatory for beardies, for snakes it could be stressful.

Bearded dragon terrariums should be set up following some conditions. The temperature and humidity should remain stable. The soil should be safe. A bearded dragon terrarium should emulate the natural habitat as close as possible. If a reptile does not like the conditions on its terrarium, it becomes stressed out.

Stress could cause the death of the pet. It is more common that many would think. To avoid this, there are some conditions the owners should follow.

1. Plants

Any bearded dragon terrarium should have plants. These plants should resist the weight of a mature bearded dragon. This reptiles like to climb but not too high.

To build the perfect bearded dragon terrarium, it is necessary to use tree trunks. The number of tree trunks will depend on the size of the terrarium. Plants will make good hiding places for the bearded dragon.

Combine a variety of plants and tree trunks. Some owners add rocks. Plants for terrariums are cheap and usually do not require much care. Refrain from putting artificial elements in the bearded dragon terrarium. The pet should feel at home, fake plants will stress the bearded dragon.


2. Light

On average, a bearded dragon should receive between 12 and 14 hours of light. This measure should only change during the cooling time, at that point the number of hours get reduced to 10.

Light is important for the health of the bearded dragon. If it receives less than the recommended, it will refuse to breed. Not breeding is another cause of stress in bearded dragons. Stressed bearded dragons refuse to eat. As their health decreases, it has less the chances of recovering.

The light in a bearded dragon terrarium is not as hard to control as humidity and temperature. Fluorescents lamps will do the job. A couple of lamps above the terrarium will provide enough light for the bearded dragon and the plants.

If the temperature in the room is not enough, a heat light could help. This kind of light will only provide warmth and no visibility. The ideal bearded dragon terrarium has a combination of regular and heat light.

Check out our review: Best bearded dragon UVB lights

3. Soil

The bottom side of the bearded dragon terrarium should be covered in soil. Picking the best substrate is not an easy task. Some products could be toxic for the bearded dragon. If the pet ingest the material it could choke and die.

Sand is not a good option either. Coconut fiber is the best option. It is easy to find and will keep the bearded dragon safe.

4. Hiding Place

Bearded dragons were discover for the first time in New Caledonia. This is a beautiful tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. It is sunny and warm all the year. To avoid tourists and keep their body temperature stable, bearded dragons find places to hide.

Those kept in captivity also need places to hide. Even if the temperature is stable and no one is bothering it, instinct kicks in. A bearded dragon terrarium needs a place where the pet can hide and sleep.

The best way to achieve this is by putting several plants. It is nice to observe your pet but it is better if it is comfortable. Create the hiding opportunities with plants and rocks.

Our recommendation on Amazon: Reptile Hide Box


5. Food And Water

Bearded dragons drink water regularly. It would need a permanent source of drinking water. This could be a small bowl set aside. The bearded dragon terrarium also needs a space for food. A bearded dragon only needs food every three days but the place should always be the same.

Prepare the area so the bearded dragons feels comfortable eating. If the pet refuses to eat, consider changing the location of the bowls. If changing it does not work, then it is an issue with the food. Make sure to observe the reaction of the bearded dragon to the food.

Terrariums require consideration and planning. It could happen that after months of planning, the bearded dragon does not like the place. Then it is necessary to change everything. It could be frustrating but a stressful environment is worse than poison for a bearded dragon.

Hobbyist and breeders offer guidance online about terrariums. They recommend the best brands for soil, food and light. Also, they know how to keep a bearded dragon happy. Before making your own decision, consult other people.

Our recommendation on Amazon: Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Bites Reptile Food


Related Articles

Close