The Bearded Dragon is one of the most popular species of lizards in the world. Many people are attracted to their docile nature and how easily you can handle them.
One of the most important things you need to do is make sure your bearded dragon is being kept in the right sized tank.
So, what is the right size tank for a beard dragon?
The size of the tank required will often change, depending on the age and size of the Bearded Dragon. For younger babies, you’ll often need a 20-gallon tank. As they grow older, you should transition into a 75-gallon tank. Most adult dragons will need a tank that’s at least 125 gallons. Let’s cover the biggest and smallest tanks that will work for each age.
By making sure that you are giving them enough space, you’ll be able to make sure that your Bearded Dragons are happy and healthy. To make this easy, let’s look at some of the things you should know when choosing a Bearded Dragon tank.
Why Tank Size Is Important
As we’ve seen, the type of tank required will evolve, often depending on the size of your Bearded Dragon. This element is very important to make sure that your pet will grow up in a healthy environment.
Getting too small of a tank won’t give the bearded dragon enough room between the basking area and the cool area to properly regulate their temperature. It’s also a bit like living in your car – doable, but not enough room to move around and get exercise.
On the other hand, getting too big a tank can make it difficult for young bearded dragons to find their food.
The best solution, then, is to get the right size tank for each stage of your bearded dragon’s life.
As they get older, their needs will change. For example, a bigger Bearded Dragon will need more space to spread out and get exercise. It’s important to note, here, that you should prioritize floor area (length and width) over height.
Now that we know why it’s so important, let’s look at the type of tank that you should be getting for each stage in the animal’s life cycle.
|Age/Size||Smallest Tank||Biggest Tank|
|Baby (10-25 cm)||20 Gallons (24”x12”x16”)||55 Gallons (48”x13”x21”)|
|Juvenile (25-50 cm)||55 Gallons (48”x13”x21”)||75 Gallons (48”x18”x21”)|
|Adult (50+ cm)||125 Gallons (72”x18”x21”)|
Tank Size For Baby Bearded Dragons
When they arrive, a baby Bearded Dragon can be quite small. In most cases, they will measure 10 inches (25cm). In this case, they will require a smaller tank.
The smaller space will make it easier for them to hunt for their food, as the prey won’t have anywhere to hide.
Because of this, it’s generally recommended that you choose a 20-gallon tank. On the upper limit, you can get a 50-gallon tank. This will give you some space for the Bearded Dragon to grow.
You should make sure to monitor the behavior of the Baby Dragon. This will allow you to make sure that they can hunt for their food effectively. If the tank is too big, they might not be able to find their prey. In this case, you might want to hand feed them instead.
Most pet owners will use a terrarium tank to house their lizards. These tanks tend to be easier to purchase and will be relatively simple to set-up. For a baby Bearded Dragon, you should be looking for a tank that measures around 24″ x 12″ x 16″.
Tank Size For Medium-Sized Bearded Dragons
As the Bearded Dragons grow, their old tanks can become too cramped. This can make them feel very uncomfortable and could contribute to health problems, as they aren’t able to get enough exercise.
To prevent this, as soon as you start to notice signs that they might be longing for a little more space. In most cases, a teenage Bearded Dragon will need a tank size of between 55 to 75 gallons.
This will give them more space to spread out. Depending on how big they get, they will be able to stay in this case throughout their adulthood. However, if they grow to be over 20 inches (50 cm) you should consider moving them to a bigger tank. We’ll discuss this more thoroughly later.
If you are choosing a terrarium tank, a 55-gallon tank will be approximately 48″ x 13″ x 21″. You might get more use from the 75-gallon tank, which will have dimensions of approximately 48″ x 18″ x 21″.
If you are in doubt about which tank size to choose, it’s probably best to go for the 75-gallon option. This will give your Bearded Dragon more space to grow.
Tank Size For Adult Bearded Dragons
The third category that you might want to consider is for bigger, adult Bearded Dragons. This will often only apply to the larger pets, typically over 20 inches (50 cm). Because of their size, it will be more important for them to have plenty of space to move around freely.
For this reason, they will need a bigger tank. This should be 125 gallons.
For a terrarium tank, you will need to look for dimensions that are around 72″ x 18″ x 21″. For the fully-grown Bearded Dragon, this will be the optimal tank size.
How To Set-Up Your Bearded Dragon Tank
Once you’ve found the optimal tank size for your Bearded Dragon, you will need to make sure that you get it set-up properly. This will make sure that you have created an environment that they will be able to thrive in. There are a few things that you’ll need to do this.
First, you might need to install a UV light. This will let you make sure that the tank is kept brightly lit. Remember that the Bearded Dragon originally came from the Australian desert. This means that they will be used to a very bright environment. This form of light can also help prevent health problems, like bone conditions.
To recreate this in their tank, make sure that your set-up the light to spread evenly across the whole tank. You might also want to place a log or rock close to the light source.
You should also make sure to think about the temperature inside the tank. You should make sure to keep one side of the tank warmer than the other, this will replicate natural desert conditions. On the warm side, aim for around 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). The cooler side should be around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius).
You can also set up a basking rock. This is a place where the lizard can go to be in the warm-up. How hot this will need to depend on the age of the Bearded Dragon. For adults, around 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) would be best. For younger dragons, you should aim for 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 degrees Celsius).
Electric “basking rocks” that you plug in should be avoided, however, as they can sometimes get too hot and burn your bearded dragon.
Also important is the type of substrate you add to the tank.
“Reptile sand” when accidentally eaten can stay in the stomach and cause potentially fatal blockages. (Called impaction.)
Instead, try something that can’t be eaten, like slate tiles, paper towels, or reptile carpet.
Finally, you will need to build in a hide. This is a covered area where they can get away from the light. It will also give them a place where they can sleep.
How Big Should My Bearded Dragon Tank Be?
As we’ve seen, the optimal tank size will depend on the age of your dragon. We also looked at some of the key elements of building a tank. Here’s a quick reminder of the key points.
- The size of the tank is important, affecting how comfortable and healthy your pet will be.
- For baby Bearded Dragons, you’ll need a tank that’s between 20 to 50 gallons.
- For medium-sized Bearded Dragons, you’ll require a 55 to 75-gallon tank.
- An adult Bearded Dragon will need a 125-gallon tank.
- Once you buy the tank, you’ll need to make sure that it’s set up properly. This can include things like making sure that you use UV light, creating the right temperature conditions, setting up a basking rock, and including a hide.