Bearded Dragon Enclosure – How to Choose?

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Before buying a lizard, it’s strongly recommended to buy an enclosure and fully equip it. These pets can hardly tolerate the stress that will occur during transportation and arrangement in a new house. If there are no acceptable conditions in a tank, stress will increase at times, which will certainly affect the health of the reptile. So, choosing the right Bearded Dragon enclosure is not about just the decor, but a truly important thing to consider.

Bearded Dragon Enclosure
Bearded Dragon Enclosure. How to Choose a Reptile Tank?

When picking a tank for Bearded Dragons, it’s very important to remember a few things. First, dragons are very active and curious lizards. They tend to investigate their environment thoroughly and regularly once adapted. They need to be able to roam around, otherwise, obesity could be the result of forced inactivity. So the bigger enclosure you choose for your pet – the better. Second, they are very territorial and quite bent on finding themselves their own piece of land. Lizards will come under stress rapidly if kept in crowded conditions with other lizards larger than themselves. They will ignore food, frequently hide, and slowly get weaker. That’s why you have to be careful when keeping more than one lizard in a single cage. Nevertheless, the Bearded Dragon is truly one of the best lizard pets for beginners. They are friendly, flexible and quite easy to care about. All you need – it’s to learn the basics of care.

The Terrarium Size

Size is the first thing you should pay attention to when choosing or designing a Bearded Dragon enclosure. You have to take in mind that young beardies grow extremely fast. The minimum cage size for an adult is a 40-gallon tank and 20-gallon for a baby lizard. The best solution is a tank with a volume of 100-130 gallons, which will provide living space for an adult reptile. If you expect to contain two pets, the terrarium should be larger. But it’s not necessary to double the size, increasing it just by a third should be enough. It also makes sense to consider the spatial orientation of the terrarium. Bearded Dragons need sufficient horizontal space. Therefore terrariums oriented in this way are preferable for beardies than tall ones. Thus, length and width are much more important than height. Here is one of the best reptile enclosures in 2020.

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium - Best Bearded Dragon Tank
Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium – Bearded Dragon Tank

Keep in mind that young beardies will grow at a speed of 0,7-1 inch per week under good conditions, and by 9 months, it will almost reach the size of an adult. So if you are going to maintain small lizards in a small terrarium, remember that you will have to find a new home for them very soon.

When choosing a terrarium, you should pay attention to the location of a door. Bearded Dragons perceive any movement from above as a sign of a threat, so a door needs to be mounted on the sides so that the lizard can see the approaching hand in advance.

The Material of Bearded Dragon Tank

Glass terrariums are a great choice. They are durable and easy to clean. Besides, clear glass provides easy observation of a lizard. If you liked Carolina Custom Cage Terrarium above, but can’t afford such a big tank – here is another great option for a reptile enclosure.

best bearded dragon cage
REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium – Cool Bearded Dragon Enclosure

Plastic and acrylic terrariums have recently become increasingly popular due to their lightweight, ease of care, ability to retain heat and aesthetic appearance. However, the plastic enclosure is not the best tank for Bearded Dragons, as their sharp claws leave deep scratches that can clog up with substrate elements and reduce visibility. But it’s still a good option for keeping other exotic pets, like snakes, for example. Another drawback of plastic tanks may be the inability to provide the necessary level of ventilation, which can cause serious health problems for desert residents. Though it is not a big problem when keeping reptiles from tropical rainforests, like a green iguana.

Lizard breeders, who are usually not concerned with the artistic side of the issue, sometimes contain animals in large metal containers. There’s enough space for movement in them and it’s easy to mount lamps and heaters above the box. However, you have to remember that solid metal walls don’t allow lizards to view the environment. Since vision is an important sensory organ for Bearded Dragons, the lack of visual stimulation over time can lead to stress and, as a result, a decrease in appetite and resistance to diseases. To reduce these negative effects, professional breeders take pets in their hands daily or put several lizards in one container so that communication compensates for lack of visible space.

Bearded Dragon Enclosure Cover

The security of your beardie depends on the specific conditions of detention. So, if you keep a lizard in a deep terrarium without a lid, then the probability of escape is minimal if it can’t climb a tall stone or branch and get out. A lidless terrarium is convenient for maintaining low humidity and good ventilation.

In case you equip high climbing branches, or your enclosure has low walls, you need to take extra care of safety. Most of the reptile terrariums and tanks have lids of the right size. Plastic caps may leak or catch fire when exposed to high temperatures near the lamps, so metal is preferred.

reptile enclosure for lizard
Critter Condo Reptile Cage – Bearded Dragon Enclosure

The lids are enough to hold the Bearded Dragon inside the terrarium. Now it’s worth taking care to keep unwanted visitors outside. A locked container will also perfectly stop children and pets. Remember that when interacting with children and lizards, both sides can suffer! A child may become infected with salmonella, and a lizard may be injured by inappropriate and awkward handling. The locked cover protects both a child and a lizard.

Pets as cats, dogs, and ferrets – are natural predators in the life of which it’s laid to chase any live prey. So specialists always recommend closing a lid on the lock. But overall, Bearded Dragons usually get along quite well with other household animals like dogs and cats. Of course, as with any animal, there are always chances that some of them can feel insecure and react correspondingly. But beardies are far away from aggressive behavior.

Where to Put a Bearded Dragon Cage?

Depending on the size of the terrarium and the conditions of its inhabitants, the location can be:

  • Wall (hanging option – between cabinets);
  • Window (for mesh terrariums);
  • In the corner on a stand;
  • Tank picture built into a wall;
  • Terrarium stand, for example, which also serves as a coffee table, the top of which is made of glass, and the walls of a stand are three glass and one mirror;
  • Enclosure built into the furniture.

Terrariums constructed into the interior wall look very impressive. If your apartment size can provide enough space – a tank can become the most charming part of your space.

Where You Shouldn’t Place a Terrarium?

  • Putting an enclosure above the rest areas (bed, sofa, etc.) is a bad idea because the garbage can get onto the furniture when cleaning;
  • Don’t place a cage near a computer, audio or video equipment. It may lead not only to its pollution but also to cause damage and even fire if there is water in the terrarium.

Bearded Dragon Enclosure – Conclusion

Bearded Dragons do not necessarily need to have their native habitat reconstructed. However, they do need to have certain aspects of their environment replicated in captivity. The most important things are choosing the right size and material of the enclosure. The optimal option could be quite a long glass tank with around 70 gallons. But remember, bigger is better. Also, don’t make a mistake when placing a terrarium in your house (don’t put it above a bed or near the computer table). Failure to execute the proper living condition may lead to a sad end. Once you purchase a Bearded Dragon tank, don’t forget to create a basking area to provide a required temperature for your lizard. Following our tips, you will successfully house your reptile with no problems. If you don’t have a beardie and only going to buy your dragon soon, you might be interested in our article on how to pick a Bearded Dragon. It will help you to make sure the bearded dragon is healthy before you buy it.