The most important factor to successfully keeping a bearded dragon is knowing its diet and providing it healthy, nutritious food. The second most important factor is housing your pet in conditions that are suitable to it. Get either of these 2 factors wrong and your beardie will not be happy and the sad truth is that it will not live long.
Bearded dragon owners refer to the tank they keep their beardie in as a lair, den, cave, etc. These are all cool names but the equipment and requirements are pretty much the same.
The proper term would be vivarium and there are several points to consider before building one for your beardie. Firstly, how many beardies are you going to keep? One or a few? Each beardie can range in size from 12 and grow up to 24 inches. It’s also interesting to note that the bigger your vivarium, the bigger your dragon will grow. However, it will max out at 24 inches. So, rest assured it’s not going to become Godzilla.
A tank size to start out with would be 3 feet by 2 feet. It should never be smaller than this. The height should be a minimum of two feet. Anything above that is your choice. The length and breadth of the tank is more important. Getting a bigger tank is recommended and you’ll need to know which part of the house you will be keeping the vivarium in.
Bearded dragons were originally from Australia, where the climate is hot and arid. You will need to simulate a hot environment in your vivarium for about 8 to 12 hours a day. You can do this by installing a UV fluorescent light in the tank. Take care to install it in a way where the beardie can’t come into contact with any wiring or accidentally burn itself.
Bearded dragons are reptiles and by nature cold-blooded. So, they need to thermo regulate their temperature. That means, your tank needs to have two areas. One side needs to be hot for them to bask in the heat. The other side needs to be cool for them to cool down. Your beardie will walk around the tank and heat up and cool down as it feels like.
You’ll also need to have rocks, branches, hiding places, etc. for your beardie to explore and feel like it’s in a natural setting. You can find a variety of bearded dragon merchandise online at Amazon or other sites. You can get hammocks, reservoirs, rock backgrounds, etc. for your beardie. It’s all really fun and interesting.
You have a choice of creating your own vivarium by building it from scratch or you can purchase one from Amazon or any other pet store. There are benefits and disadvantages. It’s way cheaper to build your own vivarium but it will take time and effort. Purchasing one may set you back by about $60 to $200 depending on your budget but it’s much more convenient and faster.
It is recommended that you purchase one if your budget allows you to do so. This is a one-time investment and the UV-lights and all other equipment will be set up in a way that is perfect for your beardie. Since your little friend will be spending most of its life in the vivarium, it deserves nothing but the best.