Lifespan: 10-15 years
Size: 18-24 inches
Care Level: Beginner
For bearded dragons the enclosure is more about floor space and less about height. For a juvenile a 20 gallon long makes a great starter tank, but eventually a minimum of a 40 gallon breeder or the equivalent (36″ x 18″ x 16″) will be required. We start our small beardies on cage carpet, but paper towels also work well, once they reach about 6 inches we transition to a natural sand substrate. Keep in mind that with naturalistic setups like this impaction is a risk. Beardies are not arboreal but love to climb and sun themselves so rocks, branches, and hammocks are appreciated and in fact needed.
Bearded Dragons are often peoples’ first pet lizard for a couple of reasons. Their care is fairly straight forward, their temperament is fairly docile, and they are a decent yet manageable size when grown. A positive side effect of their popularity is that they are now available in several color variants or morphs.
HEAT & LIGHTING
Being desert dwelling animals they like it hot, with a basking area directly under the bulb of 100-105F and an ambient temperature approaching 80-85F during the day. Night time temperatures can drop as low as 65, but 70 to 75 is ideal. These diurnal agamids also require fairly high UVB for proper processing of calcium, A reptisun 10.0 should be sufficient, just remember to date your bulbs and replace them every 6 months.
FOOD & WATER
Bearded Dragons are omnivores and should be fed a mix of animal protein and vegetation, tending more towards greens as they age. A juveniles diet should be close to 80% protein and 20% greens (IE:mustard, turnip, collards, and kale) and transitioning to a mix closer to 50/50. Insects should be coated with a high quality calcium supplement a few times a week. A medium water dish should be provided, and the water changed daily. Since they like lower humidity misting isn’t considered critical but we mist all of our desert reptiles once in the morning to mimic dew in nature.