Ed dragon perched atop a rock in an aquarium, looking over the setup of stones, plants, and a water bowl

A Step-By-Step Guide For Tank Set Up For Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are popular pets due to their gentle and inquisitive nature. Setting up a tank for them can be a daunting task, but with the right information it doesn’t have to be.

This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to successfully create an appropriate environment for your bearded dragon, including:

  • Choosing the right tank
  • Setting it up properly
  • Selecting substrates and decorations
  • Providing adequate lighting and temperature control
  • Ultimately adding your new pet.

Key Takeaways

  • Select a tank that is large enough for the bearded dragon to move around comfortably, considering their age and species.
  • Set up the tank to provide adequate space for exercise, basking, and climbing, and ensure proper tank placement for lighting and heat sources.
  • Choose appropriate substrates and decorations to create a suitable habitat for the dragon.
  • Maintain proper lighting and temperature, including UVB lighting and a basking spot, while monitoring temperature and humidity levels in the tank.

Choosing the Right Tank

The selection of an appropriate tank for a bearded dragon is an important step in its successful care. It should be large enough to house the animal comfortably and provide adequate space for exercise.

Adding UVB lighting, cleaning accessories, and appropriate decorations are important as well. Considerations must also be made regarding the tank’s material and temperature control systems.

The size of the enclosure will depend on the age and species of the dragon being housed there. Choosing a tank that meets these requirements will ensure proper care of the pet.

Setting Up the Tank

Providing a suitable environment for a bearded dragon requires setting up the tank. Careful consideration should be given to cage sizing and tank placement, as these factors will affect the overall health and wellbeing of the reptile.

The size of the enclosure should be large enough for your bearded dragon to move around freely, while also allowing ample room for basking and climbing opportunities.

Tank placement is also critical, as it should provide adequate lighting and heat sources from both above and below.

When properly set-up, the habitat will ensure that your pet lives a healthy life.

Substrates and Decorations

Creating a suitable habitat for a bearded dragon involves several factors, including selecting appropriate substrates and decorations. Substrates should be chosen based on the size of the terrarium and your preferences. Popular choices for substrates include natural bark, reptile carpets, or paper towels.

In addition to substrates, decorations play a crucial role in creating a suitable habitat for your bearded dragon. Decorations can be chosen to create an aesthetically pleasing environment while also providing stimulation for your pet. Some common decorations include fake plants made of plastic or silk, rocks specifically designed for reptiles, hiding spots such as caves or logs, and various other items like branches and leaves.

Lighting and Temperature

Adequate lighting and temperature is essential for the health of a reptile.

Bearded dragons need a combination of UVB lighting and basking spot, with temperatures ranging from 80-90°F during the day and around 70°F at night.

The UVB should be placed 7-12 inches from the basking spot to ensure optimal exposure.

A thermometer should also be set up near the basking spot to monitor temperature levels.

Additionally, an incandescent light bulb can be used at night as it emits heat without disturbing their sleep cycle.

Adding the Bearded Dragon

Introducing a Bearded Dragon to the tank requires careful consideration of the reptile’s environmental needs:

  • Temperature and humidity must be monitored
  • Adequate space for activity and exploration
  • Regular feeding schedule to provide nourishment
  • Stress relief to avoid health issues.

Feeding, temperature, and UVB exposure should all be considered in order to achieve optimal conditions for the dragon’s well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean the Tank?

Clean the tank regularly to ensure health and hygiene. Frequency of cleaning can vary depending on factors such as size, number of dragons, and type of substrate. Certain substrates require more frequent cleaning than others. It is recommended to keep an eye on hygiene habits and clean when necessary.

What Kind of Food Should I Feed the Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons are omnivores; they should be fed a variety of live food, such as crickets, worms, roaches and vegetables. Feeding frequency will depend on the age of the dragon but usually ranges from twice to three times per week.

What Size Should the Tank Be for an Adult Bearded Dragon?

An adult bearded dragon requires an enclosure of at least 120 gallons in size, or a custom-built one with a minimum floor space of 48" x 24". The tank should also provide adequate ventilation and light to ensure optimal health.

How Often Should I Monitor the Temperature and Lighting in the Tank?

Frequency of monitoring the temperature and lighting in a tank should be determined by noticing any changes in the environment. Temperature should be monitored daily, while lighting intervals should depend on subtle environmental changes.

What Kind of Water Should I Use for the Bearded Dragon?

Proper hydration for a bearded dragon requires the use of water of high quality. Tap water should be filtered to remove chlorine and other chemicals, or bottled water can be used. Regularly replacing and monitoring the water for its quality is essential.


Providing a proper tank setup for your bearded dragon is essential to their health and wellbeing. By choosing the right tank, setting up the tank correctly with substrates and decorations, and ensuring correct lighting and temperature, you can create an environment that will help them thrive.

First, it is important to choose the right tank for your bearded dragon. A tank that is at least 40 gallons in size is recommended for adult bearded dragons. This will give them enough space to move around and explore. The tank should also have a secure lid to prevent escapes and to maintain the proper temperature and humidity levels.

Next, setting up the tank correctly with substrates and decorations is crucial. The substrate should be safe and easy to clean, such as reptile carpet or paper towels. Avoid using loose substrates like sand, as they can be ingested and cause impaction. Decorations such as rocks, branches, and hides should be provided to create a stimulating and natural environment for your bearded dragon.

Ensuring correct lighting and temperature is another important aspect of the tank setup. Bearded dragons require both UVB lighting and a heat source. A UVB light should be provided to help them metabolize calcium and prevent metabolic bone disease. A basking spot with a temperature of around 95-105°F should be available for your bearded dragon to thermoregulate.

Finally, after setting up the tank, you can add the bearded dragon. Make sure to provide a shallow dish of fresh water for them to drink from, as well as a dish of calcium powder for them to lick. Offer a variety of appropriately-sized live insects and fresh vegetables as their diet.

By carefully considering all these factors and providing a proper tank setup, your bearded dragon will be able to live comfortably in its new home.

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