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REPTILE / new pets

What Do I Need for My Bearded Dragon Tank Setup?


Are you bringing home a new bearded dragon or maybe looking to upgrade your beardie’s current tank? Making sure your scaly friend has everything they need in their home is both important and exciting. There are so many options for what to put in a bearded dragon tank that will help meet the needs of your lizard, while also highlighting their uniqueness.


If you’re a first-time bearded dragon parent, then knowing what to supply your pet with may seem overwhelming at first. Some pet parents might need a better picture of what the essentials are for a bearded dragon tank setup and where they should start. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to get for your bearded dragon tank. 


Building a Great Bearded Dragon Tank Setup 


There are several things to know and have ready before you bring home your beardie. Knowing where they’re from, what they’re used to, and what they need to stay happy are all important parts of the learning process. 


Recreating Their Natural Habitat 


So what does this mean, exactly? It means that a bearded dragon tank needs to be designed to mimic their natural environment. Bearded dragons are used to both woodland habitats and desert-like regions where temperatures jump from hot during the daytime to cold at night. Your house doesn’t do this, so you need to take steps to make sure their habitat does. 


What Size Should Their Tank Be? 


As they age, beardies can grow to be as big as 2 feet long. This means that pet parents need to purchase a bearded dragon tank that is large enough for them to live comfortably. 


Their tank should be 40 gallons (150 liters) or larger. The bigger your bearded dragon’s  habitat is, the better their living conditions will be, so consider using a 75-gallon (280 liters) tank. Pet parents should take a look around their home and make sure they have enough space to house a bearded dragon tank of this size. 


What Do You Need for a Complete Bearded Dragon Tank Setup?


  • Tank Stand - The best option for making sure you have a stable place for your dragon tank setup is to also buy a tank stand. Stores often sell these pieces of furniture alongside their tanks because the appropriately sized terrarium can be extremely heavy. Having a stable base beneath the habitat can make sure the tank has a secure place to rest.


  • Lighting - Beardies are used to hours and hours of sunshine and need it replicated in their tank.There are specific reptile tank light bulbs designed to replicate sunlight for bearded dragons. Don’t forget to add a full-spectrum + UVB light! This is imperative to keep a healthy bearded dragon; try a UVA/UVB light bulb to shine on them for at least 12 hours a day. 


  • Heating and Cooling - As we mentioned earlier, dragons are used to large changes in temperature. These pets are cold-blooded, so a dragon’s habitat needs to be kept at a temperature that is natural and familiar to them. Pet parents should keep their dragon tank setup at a daytime temperature between 75-85°F (23-30° C), making sure to include a spot for them to sunbathe under a reptile tank heating lamp. Their basking spot temperature should be somewhere between 95-100°F (35-38°C). At night, your bearded dragon tank should stay somewhere between 65-75°F (18-23° C).


  • Humidity - Humidity is also an important factor in caring for your bearded dragon. Beardies love their environmental humidity to stay around 20-30%. Something that many dragon parents use to keep track of humidity levels within a tank is called a hygrometer


  • Substrate & Bedding - There’s a lot of debate around what substrate is best for your beardie. There are several options for what’s considered to be an acceptable substrate including reptile carpet, newspaper and more. Consult with your veterinarian about what substrate would be best for your bearded dragon.



  • Water Dish - Supply your bearded dragon with a reptile water dish that is big enough for them to soak in. 


  • Reptile Decor - While decor can be a great way to reflect your personality and style in your home, functionality is just as important when it comes to a bearded dragon tank setup. Décor gives your bearded dragon a place to climb, rest, hide and more.


  • Basking Rock - A basking rock is something you can put in your bearded dragon tank to give your pet a specific place to soak up the heat and UVB rays of a basking bulb. A rock in the warm spot will help your beardie get closer to the heat source, which is their lamp. These rocks are typically long enough to fit the majority of their body.


  • Hiding Spot - Beardies love to burrow and hide. Adding a designated spot for them to do this would be a great addition to their habitat. PetSmart sells reptile supplies like hideouts that fit snug in the corner of a bearded dragon tank setup.


  • Climbing Decor - Pet parents should also consider purchasing something that their bearded dragon can climb on like tree decor or ramps. 


Bearded Dragon Tank Maintenance


Once you have your bearded dragon tank set up, next comes time to introduce your new pet to their tank. After your new bearded dragon has made itself comfortable in its home, tank maintenance becomes a priority as it is an important part of their care. 


Daily checks for pet waste need to occur to make sure their tank remains clean and safe at all times. The most important part of tank cleanliness is making sure to clean up after they use the bathroom regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria in their tank. Daily maintenance responsibilities include: 


  • Removing pet waste
  • Replacing soiled/wet substrate
  • Replacing unwanted food


A thorough cleaning of their tank should happen every one to two weeks. This process involves: 


  • Removing the substrate
  • Disinfecting the tank and décor with a safe cleaner
  • Rinsing the habitat with clean water
  • Drying out of the tank
  • Replacing the substrate with new substrate
  • Using reptile tank deodorizers between cleans


Beardie parents should wash their hands before handling their pet to prevent any transfer of cleaning products as they put them back in their habitat. 


It’s incredibly exciting that you’re beginning to plan out your bearded dragon tank setup. Taking the right steps can help keep your pet safe, happy and healthy. 


Information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and is not a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.