Are you planning to keep a bearded dragon as a pet in your home?
If the answer is yes, then you would be well advised to create a natural environment and a mini-ecosystem which can enable your pet to experience its natural habitat. A Vivarium is a wonderful place for your pet rather than just using a rabbit hutch or a hamster cage.
Bearded dragons are naturally found in the desert of Australia. You want to duplicate their natural environment as much as possible. To create a great bearded dragon habitat that your pet will love, this post is for you.
The most important thing you will need when you bring a new beardie home is a cage, tank, vivarium, terrarium, or whatever you may call it.
When choosing a bearded dragon cage, the first thing to consider is size. Bearded dragons need a relatively larger enclosure to live a healthy and happy life.
Top 3 Best Tanks for Bearded Dragons
|Editor’s Picks||Tanks||Our Ratings|
|Best Overall||Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure||5|
|Best for Beginners||Carolina Custom Cage||4.5|
|Most Affordable||Exo Terra Large Tall Glass Terrarium||4.3|
Table of Contents
Bearded Dragons Cage Size
Whether your bearded dragon is tiny or ginormous, one thing is certain: they require the proper cage to ensure they are not only happy but also healthy!
Before we get into which bearded dragon terrariums or enclosures for bearded dragons are the best to buy, make sure you know what cage size you need based on the age and size of your dragon. It is essential that as your reptile grows, you provide them with a large enough cage to allow them to run around and get some exercise.
Baby Bearded Dragon Cages Size
A 20 gallon (30 inches long by 13 inches wide by 12 inches deep) tank is the minimum size for a baby bearded dragon.
But, you’ll be much better off purchasing a 40 gallon (48 inches long by 12 inches wide by 14 inches deep) tank because you’ll probably need to upgrade to this size by the time your bearded dragon reaches 3 to 4 months.
Some babies might have a difficult time trying to catch and eat their food if their enclosure is too big. If they’re struggling too much, you might want to hand-feed them or get a smaller cage until they get older.
Juvenile Bearded Dragon Cage Size
In just a few months, your beardie will grow from 10 inches to around 18 inches as a juvenile! As a result, they will undoubtedly need way more room to develop during their first year of life.
When a Bearded Dragon reaches the age of a juvenile, it should be able to catch live food in its tank, so you shouldn’t be concerned about keeping the cage to a suitable size for this.
So, based on the size of your juvenile Bearded Dragon, it should have a tank that is at least 50 gallons and up to 75 gallons or more.
Full Grown Bearded Dragon Cage Size
A full-grown lizard or one that is 15 to 18 months old will do best in a tank or cage that is 100-120 gallons… especially if they’re on the verge of becoming a big lizard (over 18 inches)!
However, for a relatively small adult bearded dragon, you could get away with a 55-gallon, though I still suggest sizing up from here and doing at least a 75-gallon bearded dragon tank.
Just make sure that whatever size cage/tank/terrarium you choose allows your dragon to pivot and turn around easily. Read more on right bearded dragon habitat.
Lets talk about what type of cage you can use for bearded dragons.
Type of Bearded Dragon Tanks
There are many different types of bearded dragon tanks available in the market. Below is the list of the most common cages for bearded dragons.
- Glass Aquariums
- Melamine cages
- PVC cages
- ABS Cages
- Vision Cages
Glass aquariums are the most used type of cages for bearded dragons and many other reptiles. These enclosures can be found easily at any local pet store or online stores like amazon.
The only problem with glass aquariums is that it can be heavy compared to other types of enclosures for bearded dragons. Also, glass is not very great at holding heat very well; however, it’s not an issue for bearded dragons.
Melamine bearded dragon terrariums are built out of melamine board. You can either build one yourself from a melamine board available at hardware stores or buy a ready-made one from a store.
Bearded dragons love melamine enclosures; however, they can be very expensive and also extremely heavy.
PVC and melamine cages are almost identical except PVC cages are made out of plastic. These enclosures look better than melamine cages since the plastic is smooth and attractive. However, PVC cages can be very costly, even than melamine cages.
ABS cages are made out of ABS plastic which is lightweight and sturdy. Other than the material, ABS and PVC enclosures look and work almost the same.
As they are made out of lightweight and sturdy material, ABS cages can be stacked and moved easily.
Vision cages are made out of one moulded piece of plastic, which makes it sturdy and stackable. Vision cages are very expensive but still most of the breeders use it because they stackable which save space.
Cages to Avoid
You should avoid the “all in one” or “starter kits” for bearded dragons or any other reptile that are usually advertised as beginners friendly because these are usually very low quality.
These starter kits may seem like a good deal at first as it offers almost everything needed to take care of a bearded dragon however, these tend to be crap. From low-quality bulbs that don’t emit enough UVB to the size of the cage being too small….. you are better off buying stand-alone bearded dragon terrariums and then set it up yourself.
Things to Look for in a Pet Bearded Dragon Tank
Consider the following things when choosing a bearded dragon tank.
Full Metal Screen
Many reptile tanks or vivariums come with a heavy metal screen cover that sits high over the enclosure. These are ideal for use with a glass or acrylic cage.
You can use a full metal screen cover for maximum safety and security. Plastic screens can easily melt when heat lamps are used to warm the enclosure. Avoid using a glass top for your bearded dragon cage. Glass can filter out UVB rays, limiting exposure to important lighting.
The lid or top of a beardie cage is an important feature to consider when purchasing one.
Bearded dragons spend a lot of time basking and hunting in trees, as well as climbing on rocks and other natural elements. Because of this, they’re pretty good at escaping from their cage.
The majority of cages have a single lid that sits on top, which is ineffective. You must either find a tank with a lid that is locked to the tank or replace the lid or install a locking mechanism yourself.
Even though adult bearded dragons can grow quite big, you’d be amazed how challenging it is to track them down if they flee.
If you have young kids and other pets in the house, a locking lid is a good idea. You don’t want your cat or children exploring your bearded dragon’s tank.
The best-bearded dragon cages are all well-crafted, long-lasting, and sturdy.
Even if you can afford it, you shouldn’t be changing enclosures all the time if you can avoid it. Keep your bearded dragon in a safe and comfortable environment whenever possible.
A vivarium that crumbles on you should be avoided. You won’t know unless you try them, that is why we spent time testing them out so you didn’t have to.
Other Things to Look for in a Pet Bearded Dragon Enclosure
- Must allow for proper air circulation.
- Must be able to retain the correct temperature.
- The shortest dimension of the cage should not be less than the length of the adult bearded dragon.
- Must be secure enough so your beardie cannot escape it.
- Should be easy to clean.
- It should have enough space to house at least basic furniture.
- There should be enough space so your beardie cannot come into direct contact with a heat lamp.
- The cage should be made of safe material and should not emit toxic fumes when exposed to heat.
- It should be high enough to accommodate bearded dragons’ arboreal activities.
Having the Right equipment
Using the correct equipment is important to keep your bearded dragon in top shape and condition because getting the cage only is only half of the work done, other half is dependent on the right kind of equipment used. In order to do that below are some of the following items.
Bearded dragons do love to bask in the sun & their bodies do need it since they may not be getting sufficient UV rays to keep them healthy and the reason being they are not in the wild which is their natural habitat.
It keeps your cold-blooded friend warm and allows it to get the necessary vitamin D through its skin. It also helps promote phosphorus and calcium absorption when digesting their food along with various other important bodily functions such as keeping its bones healthy.
Not getting sufficient exposure to UV rays may contribute to getting their bone weak, bone disease or even organ failure which may eventually lead to death if not detected and properly treated on time.
Read more on Bearded dragons metabolic bone disease.
Adding color to the existing dull & boring pets enclosure, making it a little eye catchy shows your interest and care for it when you turn it into a work of art. Your bearded dragon won’t necessarily be excited about the fake plants once they find out about it while trying to get a bite of it but would certainly appreciate the time you took to make it nicer for it.
Instinctively bearded dragons like to dig holes where they can hide themselves from predators & other prying eyes. Make sure to give them a few places to do that.
Place a decent size water dish in your pet’s enclosure where they can relax in the water, hydrate or drink and can easily climb into it.
Just like bearded dragons dig to make hide huts they also do that before basking to make the place a bit more comfortable. It also shows how much they love to dig but hey as long as it also helps them exercise. In turn, it will also help in trimming their claws.
If you live in an area where its cold or maybe the cold weather season is upon you its better to stay prepared by getting your bearded dragon heated lamps or bulbs. Heated rocks are also available which also adds a bit of character to your pets living space.
Humidity and Temperature monitor
A certain amount of humidity is required where your pet bearded dragon will be most comfortable and be able to shed its skin. If the humidity is not the right amount it won’t properly shed its skin & even retain it, which in turn would also cause problems for its eye sight. If you’re having trouble with high humidity see how to lower humidity in a bearded dragon tank.
Bearded dragons are not very good at regulating their body temperatures that is why as an owner you should keep an eye on the temperature around it because they adjust according to it. Naturally all of their bodily functions are also influenced by the temperature also such as its immune system, metabolism etc.
Getting a monitor to check the humidity and temperature in your pets enclosure will definitely help you keep maintain the optimal 90 to 80 degree Fahrenheit at the right parts of the tank.
Top 3 Best Bearded Dragon Terrariums
Choosing the best terrarium or enclosure for your bearded dragon is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a bearded dragon owner. The proper cage forms the basis for all future care efforts. It enables you to set up lighting, decorate, and make your pet happier and healthier than it’s ever been before!
1: Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure
Zen habitat reptile enclosure is a great bearded dragon tank. In fact, it is the best bearded dragon cage available in the market. Where they offer a 3 year warranty for their product which no other company does. It is a high build quality large enclosure which comes in various sizes starting 33 gallons to 120 gallons having dimensions 4 x 2 x 2 inches which is easy to install & weighs only 48 lbs fully assembled.
This cage is specifically made for reptiles like chameleons, geckos, tortoise, bearded dragons etc., keeping their needs in mind one of it being non-reflective surfaces to keep your pets anxiety levels low. Since their eye sight is parietal in nature front sliding doors are installed to help minimize pet chameleons anxiety while approaching the tank & these acrylic doors also make cleaning the enclosure or mainlining it a bit more easier.
Additional features such as wooden panels in the terrarium helps retain heat more. Door wraps and locks for those pet chameleons who are an escape artist or the terrarium needs to be secured if there are children in the house. It also comes with an option to choose from a substrate shield between acrylic or screen.
2: Carolina Custom Cage
The Caroline custom cages extra long was created by Carolina Designer Dragons, a boutique breeder based in North Carolina. Over the years, the breeders have established a remarkable reputation for producing healthy Bearded Dragons. They eventually expanded their business into reptile supplies. With such a distinguished history, it is no surprise that their products provide some of the best accommodations for your pet with high build quality.
The cage we most highly recommend is the extra-long terrarium, which measures 48″ x 18″ x 18″. It is jam-packed with incredible features and amenities that will surely take your Beardie’s breath away!
For starters, putting this cage together is super simple. It comes with equal-sized glass plates and screws, and it’s a snap to put together. Its metal grate is compatible with all types of heating equipment. Since the top grate is not too fine, it retains heat fairly well. This model also has sliding doors, which makes it much easier to socialize and feed your pet.
Bearded dragons are desert animals, so your cage should be as close to their natural habitat as possible. To create a desert-like environment, choose a cage with plenty of space and decorate it with rockwork and other natural elements, and your beardie will feel right at home!
3. Exo Terra Large Tall Glass Terrarium
The Exo Terra Tall Glass Terrarium is one of the best bearded dragon enclosures. It allows you to mimic any type of environment suited for your reptile, whether it’s a desert, a tropical environment, or something else. It comes with a water-resistant base, which is useful when making a miniature lake for your pet. This gives the terrarium a realistic appearance!
It also has a large ground base that you can fill with sand, dirt, or whatever substrate your Beardie enjoys scooping up. Its base is much deeper than the majority of glass tanks, giving your Beardie plenty of room.
The ventilation system is one of the Exo Terra tall Glass Terrariums best selling points. It does a great job of retaining and regulating humidity. It provides continuous airflow regardless of how the cage is set up. Similarly, the tank’s top is a stainless steel cover that allows infrared and UVB light to pass through. The cover can be removed for cleaning at any time.
Furthermore, this cage is easily accessible. It has two front-facing doors, just like the Carolina models. It makes feeding and interacting with your pet much easier. It also makes cleaning easier. Escape is unlikely because the pivoting doors open and close one at a time.
Now that you have bought a nice bearded dragon enclosure, it’s time to decorate it with the right tools and equipment so your beardie can enjoy their stay.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tank size do bearded dragons need?
Different size and age matters when it comes to its tank size, but a simple rule an owner can follow while getting a terrarium that it should be three times the size of its pet beardie including its tail. A full grown adult beardie can be accommodated in at terrarium ranging between 70-120 gallon bearded dragon tank.
Should I use live plants instead of fake ones inside the terrarium?
The simple answer is yes you can but if you’re willing to replace in every now and then because it will get chowed down in a week or two by your beardie.
An opening door of terrarium on the top or at front?
Front opening door to access the terrariums are recommended in your bearded dragon tanks, it’s better that way to handle your beardie or the things around its enclosure with closable inlets at front.
Terrariums that open at the top are not recommended because first and for most beardies don’t like being picked from above and you’ll be disturbing all the lights & bulbs which are so difficult to set up.
Are special lights needed for my bearded dragon?
Pet bearded dragons away from the wild often times suffer from bone diseases due to inadequate amount of exposure to UV rays. UV lights helps us achieve this by making sure it gets enough vitamin D and in turn strengthen its bones & keep bone diseases at bay.
There’s a variety of lights you can choose from such as mercury vapor bulbs, fluorescent tubes & compact fluorescent blubs etc.
All the bearded dragon terrariums should be a secure and safe place for pet beardies to enjoy since it’s now your responsibility to take care of it after it’s brought home. You can do that by providing it a large, safe & sturdy cage. It should have a front opening door to have easy & pet friendly access.
Have a good amount of lighting, ventilation, heating systems if the weather requires it even a few hide huts, water bowls and other ornaments. Other than all of these its style and brand is a matter of personal choice.
So make sure you have a complete terrarium ready & waiting for your pet bearded dragon before its brought home.