Bearded Dragon Cage and Housing

Chris Stephens By Chris Stephens, 31st Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2kk30nza/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Reptiles

When you are looking to purchase a bearded dragon for the first time from a store always buy the terrarium or tank first and also make sure to have it setup before taking home your bearded dragon.

First Time Bearded Dragon Owner

When you are looking to purchase a bearded dragon for the first time from a store always buy the terrarium or tank first and also make sure to have it setup before taking home your bearded dragon. The reason this is important is because it’s very stressful on the bearded dragon to move him from the store to his new home where the bearded dragon has to stay inside a box where it’s cold and dark. It’s a better approach to take the bearded dragon from the store to his new home when he will be able to be placed right away into his or her new tank or terrarium, eliminating any unnecessary stress.

Quarantine

The next step is really for people who have more than one bearded dragon. If you have just one or are thinking of purchasing just one bearded dragon, you may skip this step. But at least read it so that when the time comes if you decide on getting more bearded dragons that you know how to keep your existing bearded dragons from possible becoming sick. Buy a second tank, a twenty gallon is enough. This will be used as a temporary tank for you new bearded dragons. Also try to keep the tank in a separate room from your other bearded dragons. The reason is that you don’t know what these bearded dragons may have and they can give your other ones something through the air as well. This will be temporary so you only need just the items to keep them alive with. You will need some sort of substrate, uvb light, heat lamp for basking, a basking are, food and water, and a place to hide. You really don’t want to much clutter because you need to watch them closely and monitor their behavior for anything that may tell you that they are sick. You don’t need to feed them anything until 8-12 hours from being brought home from the pet store. Also you want to allow them to adept to their new environment during this time. After it has been two weeks and you haven’t noticed anything wrong then you may now move them with the other bearded dragons. Also keep all of the quarantine tank items with that tank, never use them elsewhere. These things will help to eliminate all sicknesses and infections from spreading to your other bearded dragons or any reptiles inside your home.

The Enclosure Size

When thinking of buying a bearded dragon one major thing to consider is how big of a tank do I need. A 20 gallon is perfect for a baby bearded dragon. It gives them plenty of room to run around. Bearded dragons are active and they need room to move around in. Bearded dragons also grow at a fast rate. They will go from being a baby to a full size adult in about a year. So a 20 gallon is definitely good for a few months then you will need a bigger tank. For a full size bearded dragon I really recommend a 125 gallon tank. This gives even large adults, ample room to move around in. One thing to consider is floor space is more important than height.

Enclosure Type

The next thing to consider is what type of tank I need. There are several types to choose from, all have their advantages and disadvantages. An excellent choice would be glass aquariums that are used to house fish. They are easy to clean, provides excellent visibility, and they last for a long time. Plastic and acrylic terrariums have recently become popular for reptiles, they are lightweight, easy to maintain, and they hold heat well. These do work well for snakes, but for bearded dragons not so much. The acrylic and plastic are easily scratched, bearded dragons are mainly housed on a sandy substrate, and the acrylic will over time become scratched and frosted. The ones that come with glass doors would be better to use. Another drawback would be they don’t provide the right amount of ventilation that a bearded dragon needs. They also hold a lot of moisture and humidity, which are great for tropical animals but for a bearded dragon, not so good. Another option that’s sometimes bearded dragon breeders and hobbyist may use would be cattle or horse troughs. The troughs will provide plenty of floor space, and they can be heated very well. These do have a downside; they don’t provide the bearded dragons with much viewing. This may overtime because the bearded dragon health problems, such as stress levels may raise, appetite, and then the immune system. This all can be counter acted by simply taking the bearded dragons out of the troughs daily.

Security

The security of a bearded dragon enclosure is a very important, and also varies heavily on how the bearded dragon’s enclosure is setup. If housed in either a horse trough, or in a open-toped terrarium, then chances of escape for the bearded dragon is unlikely, just so long as the lizard cannot scale and climb out from the top of the enclosure. On this kind of enclosure keeping an open top is good for humidity and air flow. If you have an enclosure such as a tank or some sort of a smaller sized enclosure and have items inside such as branches and things that the bearded dragon may climb up on, then securing the top with some sort of a lid would be crucial. Most commercially made tanks and terrariums will have a lid that comes with these types of enclosures that sit snug on top. The lids that have metal screens and metal frames seem to work the best and the ones that have plastic frames will melt over time with the heat from the lighting. Also these kinds of lids help to keep other animal from breaking in to the bearded dragon enclosures such as the family cat. They will need to have the ability to be locked just in case that cat gets on top and tries to break in. Also these locking lids work great if you have young kids that are unsupervised. This will prevent unsupervised handling of the bearded dragon and young kids, keeping both safe.

Tags

Bearded Dragon, Cage And Housing, Lizard, Reptile, Reptiles

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author avatar Chris Stephens
I love animals, computers, fixing and troubleshooting, and helping people.

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