Minimum Requirements for an Adult Bearded Dragon
- 3ft X 18” X 18” WOODEN VIVARIUM FOR BEARDED DRAGONS UP TO A CERTAIN SIZE OR RANKINS DRAGONS OF ANY SIZE.
- 4ft X 18” X 18” WOODEN VIVARIUM FOR SUB ADULT OR ADULT BEARDED DRAGONS
- UV LIGHTING 10-12% 2/3 LENGTH OF TANK. PREFERABLY AN ARCAIDA T5 PRO KIT
- INCANDESCENT HEAT BULB PREFERABLY WITH A DIMMING THERMOSTAT OR CERAMIC HEATING WITH PULSE THERMOSTAT FOR LARGER TANKS
- BROAD RANGE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT
All heating should be positioned at same end of the tank, creating a hot basking end for your tank.
The opposite end should have no heating, creating a cool end for your tank. Place your thermometer and / or thermostat sensor in the middle of your tank 1-2 inches off the floor, at this point in your tank the thermometer should read 82-84°F / 28-29°C give or take a couple of degrees Fahrenheit. It is highly recommended that you cage any heating from your animal and cover your heat mat, if you choice to use one, with a piece of thin card to prevent your animal from becoming trapped underneath the mat or burning itself on the bulb.
The best way to achieve an accurate temperature is with a thermostat. Thermostats connect to your heat bulb and will dim, or brighten the bulb to adjust the amount of heat that is produced to maintain a stable and accurate ambient air temperature.
UVB lighting is essential for ALL herbivorous and insectivorous reptiles and is required 12-14 hours a day. We recommend using a minimum UVB rating of 10%.
The UV tube should start against the wall at the hot end and span 2/3 the length of the enclosure thus creating a UV gradient much like your heating. For 15-18” high tanks, It is best to use a 12% and position your UV tube on the ceiling of the vivarium. For 10% tubes, position it just below the vents on the back wall of the tank. For vivariums 2ft and over, a 12%-14% UV with a reflector or an Arcadia T5 pro kit should be used and placed on the ceiling of the vivarium. 14% Arcadia T5 pro kits must be used for tanks higher than 3ft.
Substrate, Cleaning & Décor
Dry substrate is best for Bearded Dragons and Rankins Dragons. Beech chips or biodegradable sand are the most commonly used. Alternatively, a sand matt or cage carpet can be used.
Spread the substrate evenly across the bottom of the vivarium at a minimum depth of approx. 3cm.
Spot clean your tank regularly, if done properly a full tank clean should only be necessary every 6-8 weeks. Only use disinfectants specifically designed for reptiles. Soaps, detergents and other disinfectants can be toxic.
Provide your animal with a minimum of 2 hiding places. One at each end. However, the more hiding places you can provide, the safer your animal feel and the more likely it will come out and behave naturally.
Feeding, Hydration & Vitamin Supplements
Many different feeding routines and diets have been used with varying levels of success.
Bearded dragons from ten weeks old to around 1.5 years should be fed every daily or every other day. You should rotate the meals between greens and insects. These meals should be fed separately to prevent your animal becoming picky with its food. The greens part of the diet is made up of 90% dark leafy greens and 10% fruits and vegetables.
The best way to judge what quantity of vegetable matter that constitutes as a meal, is to put a sizeable amount of food in a bowl in the morning and remove any leftovers in the evening. You can always top up as the day goes on.
The best way to judge what quantity of jumping insects constitutes as a meal is to drop in a limited amount, e.g. half a dozen crickets or locusts. If your animal is hungry it will eat immediately, if it does, continue to put a couple of insects in every time it finishes. Do this until your Bearded dragon no longer actively chases the insects. Avoid leaving excess crickets in the vivarium, as they can cause injury to your animal! With mealworms and waxworms, treat them like vegetables and place them in a bowl for a day.
The quantities in the meals will increase as your animal gets older, but the frequency of the meals will become less. 2-3 meals a week will be enough for adults, consisting of equal amounts of insects and greens.
Bearded dragons can be picky with their food.
Quite often when presented with an abundance of food they will just eat what they fancy and wait for the next time it becomes available. Be strict!
Always provide your Bearded dragon with clean fresh drinking water, tap water is fine, although there are water treatments available if in doubt. Treatments will be needed if you have hard water or have softeners already added to your water. Also, take care not to overfill your water bowl to prevent excessive spillage if your animal enters the bowl.
A good quality vitamin and mineral is very important to the well-being of your animal, always read the packaging carefully. We recommend using Nutrobal or Arcadia’s Earth Pro A a minimum of once a week. Failure to maintain a good supply of vitamins and minerals can result in serious illness.
Handling, Health & Additional Notes
Do not handle your Bearded dragon immediately after a move, leave at least four weeks to allow your animal to settle.
After the initial four weeks, handling may begin slowly. Bearded dragons are quite tolerant of handling. You do not need to restrain or excessively handle them to make them good pets. Always handle your animal near to a surface, accidents can happen and Bearded dragons don’t fly! Always use common sense when handling animals.
When it comes to your animal’s health if you are ever in doubt go to a specialist veterinarian.
Item added to cart