What size tank is best for a juvenile bearded dragon?
Your bearded dragon keeps glass surfing.
It can’t turn itself around without bumping into the sides of its enclosure.
It’s time for an enclosure size upgrade.
There are different size enclosures for other age groups of bearded dragons, from babies to juveniles to adults.
How do you know which one will work for your size and age of bearded dragon?
What’s wrong with those starter kits you keep seeing online?
What material should your bearded dragon’s enclosure be?
Here, we will present an excellent option for a suitable juvenile bearded dragon enclosure, ensuring your pet grows up with all the space and comfort it needs.
Table of Contents
Our Favorite 75 Gallon Bearded Dragon Tank
- Our growing family of Carolina Custom Cages Terrariums are very easy to assemble and come in 23 different models. The 24”L models and the 36”L models feature hinged doors. The 48”L and 72”L models feature sliding doors. All terrariums feature key-lock security.
- The Bio Deep models feature a 12” deep waterproof base. The Bio Deep Hybrid models feature 9” and 12” deep waterproof bases. All other models feature a waterproof base that is: 4” deep on the 18”H models, 6.3” deep on the 24”H models and 7.5” deep on the 36”H models.
- Probably most important is our customer service and years of experience; actually having various reptiles of our own and breeding bearded dragons. Quick email responses; specific to your questions about assembly and setup. We are here in the US, communicating with intelligible English. We also offer a practical approach to “customizing” your terrarium habitat with effective lighting fixtures, aesthetic 3-sided backgrounds, larger habitat accessories and practical reptile carpet.
Carolina Custom Cages make a variety of sizes of glass bearded dragon enclosures.
These are shipped in parts, though assembly tends to be straightforward with clear instructions.
These are front-opening tanks, which many owners prefer to top-opening tanks to feed and handle their beardies.
The glass and the construction quality mean this tank will potentially last your beardie its entire life, or at least a long time before you need to upgrade to an enclosure for a full-grown bearded dragon.
The size models recommended for a juvenile bearded dragon are either the 48″ x18″ x18″ inches (1.2×0.4×0.4 m), or the 48″ x18″ x24″ (1.2×0.4×0.6 m)
While height is not as crucial for a bearded dragon as floor space, if your beardie likes to climb, you may want to buy the 48″ x18″ x18″ inches (1.2×0.4×0.4 m) enclosure and include proper climbing branches and ledges.
Carolina Custom Cages provide enough space for many tank accessories.
There have been some issues with breaking in shipping, but Carolina Custom Cages is committed to better shipping practices with more robust materials and packaging.
- Waterproof Base
- Front-Opening Enclosure–either hinged or sliding doors
- A Lock With A Key For Security and Safety of your Bearded Dragon
- Sliding pieces in the frame to allow for cords
What Makes A Good 75 Gallon Bearded Dragon Tank?
When searching for any size bearded dragon tank, you will want to ensure more floor space than climbing space.
Though beardies love to climb on objects in their enclosures, they are not primarily arboreal lizards and will appreciate more terrestrial space to run around and exercise.
Therefore, 55-75 gallon tanks are best for bearded dragons 4-5 months old or 10″ inches (25 cm) in length.
We recommend dimensions of 48″ by 18″ by 20″ inches (122 by 46 by 50 centimeters) for a juvenile bearded dragon.
You will want an enclosure made from durable materials and using stable, long-lasting construction methods.
Glass and acrylic are the most popular choices for any reptile habitat.
Many owners invest in enclosures with wood sides and a glass front, which is another durable option.
The wood will need to be waterproofed, and the waterproof finish (usually polyurethane) will need to dry completely before introducing your pet into the enclosure.
Waterproofing compounds often produce toxic fumes before they are dehydrated, which may harm a bearded dragon.
Wire cages and enclosures are not recommended for bearded dragon housing.
While they make okay temporary options in emergencies, they are not an excellent option long-term.
You will want something fully enclosed for better temperature and humidity control.
PVC plastic is not recommended as a tank material since it tends to fog up and scratch easily.
Unlike glass, acrylic, and wood, it will need to be entirely replaced regularly.
Unlike other items for a bearded dragon, you may be able to find a durable and appropriately sized enclosure for a lower price.
You may even be able to create your own using raw materials.
In addition, many former bearded dragon owners sell their high-quality enclosures used, at reduced prices, to those who want them.
Those going the budget route will often stay smaller rather than sizing up as their bearded dragon grows into adulthood.
While smaller tanks are cheaper, keeping a fully-grown bearded dragon in a too-small tank will significantly reduce their quality of life and cause boredom, stress, and, in some cases, stunted growth.
While a large tank is an investment, it will ultimately enrich the life of your pet and fit their needs far better than the minimum size.
Other Enclosure Needs
You will want to make sure the tank has adequate ventilation.
Usually, a vivarium will have a screened top, which works perfectly for the purpose.
Stagnant air in a reptile enclosure means a greater likelihood of bacterial growth and will otherwise create an unpleasant living experience.
Make sure the top of the enclosure is firmly sealed.
Otherwise, there is a great chance your bearded dragon will escape from its tank.
A bigger enclosure may mean you need to increase the wattage of the UVB bulb or heat bulb you’re currently using in your small enclosure.
90-150 watts is generally recommended for a 75-gallon enclosure.
You will want to choose your substrate carefully.
Bearded dragons like to burrow and dig, so a loose substrate is more likely to provide them with mental stimulation.
However, many loose substrates cause concerns of digestive impaction if eaten.
Sand, in particular, is controversial for this reason.
Many beginning owners start with ceramic or slate tile, newspaper, or paper towels, as these are easy to clean and pose no impaction concerns.
And if you’re looking for substrate options for bearded dragons the post we’ve linked here is a review of our favorites.
Set up a hot side on one side of the enclosure and a cool side on the other.
Since bearded dragons are ectothermic, meaning they cannot regulate their body temperatures, they will need both environments to heat up and cool down during the day properly.
Making these two different sides means there should be an appropriate gradient throughout.
Use a heat lamp, a ceramic heat emitter, or an under-tank heat mat with a thermostat.
We do not recommend using reptile heat rocks, as these quickly cause severe burns to any pets in an enclosure.
Bearded dragons need a shallow but sturdy water dish big enough to soak in.
Though they are desert animals, hydration will still be necessary.
Make sure to dechlorinate their water before offering it to them, and clean the water bowl regularly.
Your bearded dragon may defecate in their water bowl, making it extra important to clean.
Other mental stimulation items for an enclosure include hammocks, climbing branches, and basking rocks.
A piece of slate tile will naturally help keep your beardie’s nails filed.
You may also include fake or real plants.
They should be okay to munch on if they’re real since bearded dragons will most likely nibble on any plant life.
We've cut out all the confusion of owning bearded dragons in this easy-to-read ebook. It'll help you save money and ensure your pet lives its best life!
- Save Money
- Save Time
- Avoid Mistakes
- Longer Pet Lifespan
If your young bearded dragon is frequently glass surfing, it may be time for an enclosure upgrade.
Juvenile and adult bearded dragons need more space in their vivariums than a hatchling, which may get intimidated by too much space.
A large tank for a hatchling may also mean they do not catch all of their prey insects since they need time to develop their hunting and searching skills, and insects are generally good at hiding and running away.
If your baby is struggling with catching insects, you may need to hand-feed them until they get the hang of it.
At any age, make sure your bearded dragon can fully turn itself around in its enclosure without bumping into the walls.
Sizing up to a bigger enclosure, especially one with more floor space, will provide a growing bearded dragon with enough room to run around and exercise without getting bored.
Boredom and stress cause behavioral issues like glass surfing and may even lead to more severe health issues.
However, glass surfing or running up and down the sides of the tank may have a different cause than just not having enough space.
Make sure all environmental controls are at proper levels and change them if they are not.
This behavior may result from a mite infestation, meaning you will need to contact the veterinarian for proper treatment and thoroughly sanitize and clean the tank before moving your bearded dragon back into it.
If you are interested in creating a bioactive habitat, a larger terrarium will work better than a small one.
Contrary to popular belief, lizards like bearded dragons do not stay smaller if you keep them in a small vivarium.
Sticking to a minimum size bearded dragon cage is not a good idea.
The stress and potential depression it causes, not to mention stunted growth, may lead to health issues and other stress-related conditions, making life for your bearded dragon worse.
While larger tanks tend to be expensive, it is better to make these investments for the health and well-being of your juvenile to an adult bearded dragon.
In your bearded dragon’s enclosure, a larger tank will also give you more space to create a temperature gradient between hot and cool.
This will help them with better thermoregulation throughout the day.
Bearded dragons need exercise and mental stimulation for a better quality of life.
A more significant amount of floor space, and appropriate enclosure accessories, will help with these.
Why Shouldn’t I Buy A Starter Kit?
A starter kit, usually a tank packaged with other necessary items like UVB lamps and substrate, may seem like a good idea.
However, these extra components tend not to last as long and be of lower quality in the long run.
This means you will most likely have to buy more of these components in the long run.
The more cost-effective solution is to buy the tank, UVB bulbs, and substrate separately.
This guarantees the quality of each item you need.
What Size Tank Do I Buy For A Baby Bearded Dragon?
If you are buying or adopting a hatchling bearded dragon, most sources recommend a 20-gallon tank minimum.
However, you will need to upgrade to a 40-gallon tank in a matter of months as your pet grows larger.
We recommend starting with a 40-gallon tank, partitioning it off if need be.
Can I Buy A Used Tank?
Buying a used bearded dragon tank is a great way to save money and take an item off a former owner’s hands.
Just make sure to sanitize and clean the tank thoroughly before moving your pet into it.
This should eliminate any bacteria, mites, or other pathogens which may still be in the tank.
Can I Buy A Full-Size Tank And Partition It?
This is a great solution and will mean you make only one big investment in your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
Use an acrylic or plexiglass sheet or even a large piece of sturdy cardboard for a partition.
Move it as the bearded dragon grows bigger to make its space more expansive.
Can I House Two Bearded Dragons Together?
We do not recommend cohabitating bearded dragons.
Contrary to popular husbandry belief, no combination of sexes, even siblings, are safe together.
Bearded dragons are solitary lizards and tend to get territorial in captivity.
This may lead to serious injury, fighting over food, or even the death of the less dominant bearded dragon in the enclosure.
House individuals in their own vivariums.
What Can I Put In The Enclosure For Mental Stimulation?
There are a few options for mental stimulation accessories and items.
A dig box with a small amount of safe loose substrate will encourage natural digging behavior.
There are a few options for hammocks, which make a great addition to a basking spot when securely attached with suction cups.
Bearded dragons are harness and leash-trainable and love going out on walks if the weather is right.
How Quickly Do Bearded Dragons Grow?
A baby bearded dragon may grow to juvenile size (10″ inches or 25 centimeters) in a few months.
They will reach full size at around 15 to 18 months old.