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Bearded Dragon Research Before Getting a Bearded Dragon!

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by Rae, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Rae

    Rae Elite Member

    Hello, I currently am the proud owner of 4 Grey Tree Frogs and a male Crested Gecko... But I seem to be recently looking into Bearded Dragons. -Blames you tube-

    I have been doing a lot of research and reading care sheets and decided to join this forum. A lot of the care sheets hold "most" of the same info. However size of habitat for a FULL GROWN SINGLE seems the one thing I am getting different opinions.

    Would 1 full grown Bearded Dragon be happy in an Exo terra 36Lx24Hx18D terrarium. It is the largest floor space terrarium they have atm. I would like multiple Opinions on this please....
  2. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    Ideal would be 4 feet long 2 feet high and 2 feet wide. Anything bigger is a plus. Only a foot wide might have trouble turning around.
  3. Rae

    Rae Elite Member

    its 18 inches wide 1.5 feet

    Who sells front opening terrariums that large in Canada?
  4. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    Opps sorry I read that wrong :p
  5. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Have you though about building one? Bigger is always better to achieve a good temperature gradient.
    Check out kijiji, where in Ontario are you?

    Not sure if their are any shops that carry the Atasuki brand enclosures; here is a photo of mine, I like them better than the exo terra!

  6. Rae

    Rae Elite Member

    3 feet long, 1.5 feet deep, 2 feet tall... just to make measurement easier... I know I only want a single not a pair.
  7. Rae

    Rae Elite Member

    I'm in barrie and I would be useless building one... need to watch kijiji for a REALLY cheap one lol
  8. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Here is a place outside Toronto that sells Atasuki brands;
    All Reptiles
  9. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Exo-terra are wonderful terrariums just not for a beardie. I have an adult male in the 36x18x18 and he is miserable. Plus they arent long enough to get a proper temp gradient in it. the depth and height aren't that bad as mine is only 18in long but the length makes it so that he has no room to really move or exercise much. So definitely look into a longer set up. This week I will be moving him into a 48x18x24 set up. Do realize though that my dragon is rather short as he is missing a chunk of his tail so a 24in deep is best.
  10. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    I personally believe the enclosure you're looking at would be fine. It would be ideal if it was at least 2' depth, being that beardies can reach lengths of 24 inches and will need the space to turn around, however, I don't think you'd be shortchanging him too much if 1.5' is all you can find. It's also very close to what's referenced in the caresheet here - Bearded Dragon Caresheet (Pogona vitticeps)

    Yes, you'll find differing opinions on different websites, the same as you will if you look up minimum tank sizes for leopard geckos and uros and iguanas and water dragons etc. etc. I don't think I've ever found two caresheets on any reptile on any two sites that's exactly the same.

    What I've found is that you'll generally always find three enclosure sizes listed for every reptile on various sites - one site will recommend the absolute minimum size (i.e. the size the reptile will physically fit into), another will recommend the minimum size for the reptile to be healthy and thriving, and the last one will recommend the minimum size for the reptile to be healthy and thriving and happy.

    For beardies, a 40gal breeder, for example, is the absolute minimum size for an adult, in my opinion. A full-grown adult beardie will fit, but from personal experience, I've never seen a happy, thriving adult in a 40gal. They often don't move around, don't derive stimulation from their environment, and spend a lot of time trying to get out of their enclosure. There's just not enough space to fit the beardie plus decor/hides/climbing items. Compare it to putting a human in a closet with a window...sure, they fit, and yes, with food and water they will survive, but it'd be a very boring, unstimulating, and ultimately unhealthy existence.

    3 feet would be the healthy and thriving size. Knowing what I know about beardies though, I believe bigger would be better simply for the sake that I've seen beardies in larger enclosures (i.e. 4') and these guys are active and exploratory and really enjoy their setups. There's just a lot more space to get creative with ledges and hides and really do what you can to simulate their natural environment.

    Ultimately, you'll need to go with what you feel is right. What I do when researching is consider the source...if it's reputable (i.e. a reptile/reptile breeder/veterinarian/etc. website) I value the guidance much more so than if it's a questionable site (i.e. a dog forum/personal blog/products sales site, etc.). As well, also consider the maximum size your reptile could grow to, and ensure the enclosure could accommodate one of that size. You have no way of knowing how large or small they will be, and unless you have money to spend on extra enclosures, it's best to go with one that you know will suit your reptile should it get to be it's largest potential size.

    I also value personal'll learn much from having your own reptile and what its needs are, because it will, through behaviors, tell you. Some reptiles will be perfectly content living in the minimum healthy enclosure size or even the minimum healthy and happy size, whereas others will be restless and you can see that they would benefit from a larger enclosure. I don't think anyone can say that "every reptile of this species must be in an enclosure of this size to be happy and healthy and thriving" because that's just not the case. Do ensure you're meeting the healthy minimum, but don't feel like you're restricted to only one option.
  11. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Personally, I believe a 36x18 is too small for an adult bearded dragon--even a 48x24, while much better, is small IMO. For what it's worth, while it lacks a great design like terrariums from ExoTerra, Zilla makes a 48x24x18 tank that is more suitable for a bearded dragon. They also make a 49x 24.5x 19.5 'turtle tank' that can be used as well. These two options would be good ones for someone who lacks the ability to build their own enclosure (which is the best option). If you have the space and the money I would provide the largest possible setup--it would certainly appreciate it.
  12. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    My bearded who is between 6-7 months now is in a 40 breeder currently, and while it looked huge and spacious when he was younger he's now starting to look a little cramped. My dragon is larger than most others his age so that's a factor, but when you get a baby you never know how big they're going to get, so I would say go with something bigger than the bare minimum if you can. It's also getting hard to fit all the decor and things I want to put in there. I really thought mine would stay in the 40 breeder much longer than he likely will... I'm already planning out his new larger enclosure. I think part of it is that you get so attached to them that you want to give them all the best!
  13. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Think about the minimum enclosure sizes for reptiles of similar size, like water dragons and various medium sized monitor species--we're talking about 6x3x2, 8x4x2, 8x4x4 etc etc. If these animals demand such requirements why wouldn't others of similar size and activity levels? To me, it makes absolutely no sense to claim a bearded dragon should/could be housed in such cramped conditions. Could they live their whole lives in a 40g breeder? Sure, but in the same breath I bet I could keep you alive in a walk in closet for equally as long.
  14. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    Was that directed at me? I said that a 40 is too cramped and advised the OP to get something larger if possible... Like I said I'm upgrading mine soon because I was told by many people that a 40 would be adequate for him into adulthood, but now that he's grown a lot I've realized how small it really is for a reptile that size and I feel like it's not enough space for him. He's now longer than the width of the tank. So I'm definitely not advocating for sticking a bearded into a 40 breeder.
  15. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Nope, not at all :)
  16. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    Oh, okay. Since you posted it right after me I thought it might have been. You confused me, haha.
  17. Rae

    Rae Elite Member

    Thank-you for all the advice and opinions I will keep my eye out for a better sized home before purchasing a bearded XD!
  18. TigerIvy

    TigerIvy Elite Member

    My input on this is there are alot of different opinions, and I believe it is dependent on available space to a certain degree. When thinking of height I believe it is important to think about heat transfer. We just finished building habitats for our 2 big adult dragons and they are 24h and we are having to use the large Solar Glo (160W I believe). I have found with our bigger guys that anything less then 36x24x18 is just too small. Like at Petsmart for 99.99 they have a tank that has those measurements (I think its a 40 gallon technically?) and its ok honestly. There is room for one nice large rock and some wood with lots of floor space.

    I think one thing that many people don't consider when setting up an area for a beardie is the material of the tank and contents. Glass loses alot of heat in a cold room (or drafty area) whereas a wooden tank holds heat better. I have also noticed that the contents can matter. For example rocks are heavy, but hold heat well. But they can get too hot also. Its a balance but they do like then.

    Another thing to consider is many beardies like to climb and by nature heat rises. The tank I mentioned earlier doesn't leave a great deal of room to climb. Now I am not an experienced herpetologist but I do adore my beardies. So the absolute smallest I would go is 36x24x18 but larger is always better. We spent about 35 dollars to make a 48x30x28 cage with an drop down water area and feeding area. The hot side (remember we are using a Solar Glo 160) stays about 100-105 and the cool side right about 82-83 degrees. Something to consider in larger tanks is although they do bask a great deal if your cage is long it might be worth it to have a 2nd UVA/UVB bulb.

    Ok in a final note? The tank you were referring to does work ok But think about using some vertical space. Like perhaps a large rock with a smaller rock on top? I would send you a picture example but right now my big guys are at the high school (they teach a uhm...whats it called... environment *duh* class and she invites our beardies to represent Australia and learn about a native species.
  19. Rae

    Rae Elite Member

    I would love to see pics of bearded enclosures thank-you. As I mentioned we are not in a rush to jump into getting one so I have time to do this right and research and take the time to get the set up ready first. Now that I have an idea of the size I will need I can move on to my next research question XD.

    Question 2: Male vs Female?
    Is one generally longer than the other?
    Is one generally tamer / friendlier?
    I know Females can lay eggs even without a mate... what are the other main differences?
    With Crested Gecko females you have to monitor calcium sacks in the mouth especially while they are gravid and laying eggs... is this the same as Bearded Females?
    At what Age can you sex Bearded Dragons?
  20. SpookyCheerios

    SpookyCheerios Elite Member

    Can I just say how happy it makes me that not only are you willing to do research first, but you are willing to join a community and do REAL research first? You brought back some of my faith in people lol. I'm on an advice group on FB and I am part of the reptile community on tumblr, and I can even tell you how many blatant mistakes and unhealthy animals I see because people couldn't be bothered to do a little research first. Thank you <3

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