History | Housing | Substrate | Temperature | Lighting | Water | Food

History Back To Top
The bearded dragon is becoming one of the fastest growing pets today. They reach a size of about 2 feet or 24" and are very placid. They come from the Australia's semi-desert, where it's hot and arid.

Housing Back To Top

I recommend using a 30 gallon tank for youngsters and a 60+ gallon tank for adults. Remember that they roam free in the wild, so it's best to give them as much room as possible.

If you can afford it, it's a good idea to build your own habitat. I'm planning on building a 6'X3'X3' habitat for my spike. I'll post the plans in gif, pdf, and autocad format once I'm finished designing it.

Also, have some branches so it can climb. I've read these lizards don't need a high tank, so if you don't have the space, then get a low one, but if you do have space I recommend getting a higher one. I don't know why but it just seems that the large bearded dragons are depressed in the tanks at the pet stores I go to. Maybe it's just me :)


Substrate Back To Top

I use T-Rex calci sand for substrate, but you can use playground sand or just leave the housing floor bare. If you decide to use sand, then put about 2 or 3 inches in the bottom of the tank, that will usually be best. If your lizard likes to dig around then I recommend putting some more.

I don't recommend using newspaper because it has ink on it, and bearded dragons lick around a lot. I also don't recommend using wood chips. When I had my iguana wood chips did just fine, but with bearded dragons you have to feed them crickets, and the crickets can hide in the chips.


Temperature Back To Top

With bearded dragons you need a temperature gradient. It's good to have about 75F on the cool end, and 85F-95 on the warm end. Have a few basking spots that get up to 100F-105F. I have a lamp and a heat rock.

The setup I use is I put the heat rock in the shade, and have the lamp over some spot where no light from it hits the rock. This way I create two spots for it to warm up in. People at stores recommended that I don't use a heat rock, but I find it just fine. The reason they tell you this is because on the bottom of the dragons there is no heat sensors, so if the lizard stays on it too much then it will get burned. Now what I noticed is that if you have two spots, the lizard will move around from one place to another. This is good for me because it gets my dragon to move around a bit when I'm not here, and it gives it a choice. I also have an under-tank heater to keep the sand at the 85 on the warm side.

At night turn off the things that give off heat, but you can keep an under-tank heater on all night. This gives the lizard time to cool down and sleep. Keep the basking spots on for about 12 hours a day. When they're younger I recommend giving them 14 hours because they eat a lot more protein and need a bit more digesting time.


Lighting Back To Top
Use a full spectrum UVB light, this will output good UV rays for calcium absorption so that it can digest better. Also I recommend using a 40 watt light for heat. Don't use more than a 60 watt bulb if you're using a dome lamp, and make sure to watch where you put the lamp when you take it off the top of the tank! lol I had this dome light on the tank, and I put it on my bed for a sec while I went to make some salad for it, WELL the bulb got too hot and put a big hole in my bed!

Water Back To Top
Beardies don't need much water, they live in arid places so most of the water they get is from the veggies they eat. It's a good idea however to keep humidity at about 35%, mist daily to keep it mildly humid and make sure its eating it's veggies!

Food Back To Top

Bearded dragons are omnivorous, so they require both protein foods and veggies. I've heard that you can train them to eat dead insects, but it's so much fun watching them hunt down the food.

Each day they should be offered the following:

1-6 Months Old 2x per day
  • Veggies including: Greens!!, Carrots, Raspberries, Strawberries etc...
  • Crickets 10-15 per day. They need the protein to grow.
  • Wax worms, if you feed them wax worms with the veggies then make sure you feed them less crickets that day. ONLY use wax worms as a treat because they are very fattening! They should not be a substitute for crickets.
6+ Months Old every 1 - 2 days
  • Veggies including: Greens!!, Carrots, Raspberries, Strawberries etc...
  • Crickets 5 every other day.
  • Wax worms, if you feed them wax worms with the veggies then make sure you feed them less crickets that day. ONLY use wax worms as a treat because they are very fattening! They should not be a substitute for crickets.
  • You can also feed them mealworms, superworms, and pink mice.

Younger dragons need more protein because of their rapid growth rate, as they get older you'll notice that they'll like the veggies more and more, and eventually they won't need crickets every day. Make sure your crickets are well fed, and always dust them with calcium supplement before offering them. If the cage you keep your crickets in is very smelly then you have some crickets that aren't well fed, in this case I recommend you go dump them out and find a new place to buy your crickets from! Also don't buy too much, I started off buying about 100 crickets each time I went, but then I saw that about half of them kept dying before I had finished using them, so it's probably cheaper to buy less if you only have one dragon. They run about 3 bucks for 50 and 5 dollars for 100, wax worms run about 1.50 for 50 of them, and they're especially easy to breed. I strongly recommend you don't feed your lizard too many wax worms because they are really fattening and can cause health problems later.

 

Books
Links
Food Recipies
Incubation
Breeding Crickets
Breeding Dragons