Are you thinking about getting a bearded dragon as a pet? One of the first things you need to consider is the size of their tank. After all, a comfortable and spacious habitat is essential for the well-being of these wonderful reptiles. In this article, we will discuss how big a bearded dragon tank needs to be.

Importance of Proper Tank Size for Bearded Dragons

Providing your bearded dragon with the right environment is vital for their health and happiness. The tank size should allow them to move around freely, stretch out, and engage in their natural behaviors. This includes climbing, basking, and exploring their surroundings.

A cramped tank can lead to stress, limited mobility, and even health problems for your bearded dragon. On the other hand, a spacious tank promotes physical and mental stimulation, encourages exercise, and provides opportunities for natural behaviors. When given adequate space, bearded dragons are more likely to thrive and exhibit their natural instincts.

Factors to Consider When Determining Tank Size

Before determining the size of your bearded dragon’s tank, there are a few factors to consider. These include the age, size, and activity level of your bearded dragon.

Young bearded dragons require smaller tanks to prevent them from feeling overwhelmed. As they grow, their tank size should be adjusted accordingly. Additionally, the number of bearded dragons you plan to keep in one tank should also be taken into account.

Another factor to consider is the availability of space in your home. While larger tanks offer more room for your bearded dragon to roam, they also take up more space. It’s important to find a balance between providing a suitable habitat for your pet and accommodating your living arrangements.

Recommended Tank Size for Bearded Dragons by Age

The tank size for bearded dragons varies based on their age and size. Here are the recommended tank sizes for baby, juvenile, and adult bearded dragons:

Baby Bearded Dragons

For baby bearded dragons, a 20-gallon tank is generally sufficient. This size allows them to feel secure and reduces the risk of stress. It also makes it easier for them to locate their food and water sources. However, keep in mind that as your baby bearded dragon grows, you will need to upgrade their tank size accordingly.

Juvenile Bearded Dragons

As your bearded dragon enters the juvenile stage, they will require more space to accommodate their growing size and activity level. A tank size of 40 gallons is recommended for juvenile bearded dragons. This allows them to move around comfortably and explore their surroundings. Providing ample space during this stage is crucial for their physical and mental development.

Adult Bearded Dragons

When your bearded dragon reaches adulthood, they will require an even larger tank to meet their needs. A minimum tank size of 40 gallons is recommended for adult bearded dragons. However, providing a larger tank, such as 75 to 120 gallons, will offer more space for your pet to roam and thrive. A larger tank also allows for the inclusion of additional decor and enrichment items, creating a more stimulating environment for your bearded dragon.

Setting up the Tank for a Bearded Dragon

Once you have determined the appropriate tank size for your bearded dragon, it’s time to set up their new habitat. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Providing the Right Temperature and Lighting in the Tank

Bearded dragons require specific temperature and lighting conditions to thrive. A basking spot with a temperature range of 95°F to 105°F (35°C to 40°C) should be created at one end of the tank. This allows your bearded dragon to regulate their body temperature by moving closer or further away from the heat source.

In addition to the basking spot, a cooler area with a temperature range of 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C) should be available for your bearded dragon to retreat to when they need to cool down. It’s important to monitor and maintain the temperature within these ranges to ensure the well-being of your pet.

Proper lighting is also essential for bearded dragons. A full-spectrum UVB light should be provided to mimic natural sunlight. This helps your bearded dragon produce vitamin D3, which is crucial for calcium absorption and overall bone health.

Creating a Suitable Habitat with Proper Substrate and Decor

When setting up the tank, it’s important to choose the right substrate and decor. The substrate should be safe and easy to clean. Avoid loose substrates, such as sand or gravel, as they can pose a risk of impaction if ingested by your bearded dragon. Instead, opt for non-toxic reptile carpet, paper towels, or tile as substrate options.

To create a stimulating habitat, include a variety of decor such as branches, rocks, and hides. These items provide opportunities for climbing, exploring, and hiding, which are all natural behaviors for bearded dragons. Make sure the decor is securely placed in the tank to prevent any accidents or injuries.

Maintaining the Tank and Ensuring Cleanliness

Regular maintenance and cleanliness of the tank are crucial for the health of your bearded dragon. Here are some key steps to follow:

Regular Spot Cleaning

Remove any feces or soiled substrate from the tank on a daily basis. This helps maintain a clean and hygienic environment for your bearded dragon. Spot cleaning also helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to health issues.

Deep Cleaning

Perform a deep clean of the tank at least once a month. This involves removing your bearded dragon and all of the tank contents, thoroughly cleaning the tank with a reptile-safe cleaner, and replacing the substrate and decor. Deep cleaning helps eliminate any accumulated bacteria, odor, or waste that may have built up over time.

Water and Food Dish Cleaning

Clean and disinfect your bearded dragon’s water and food dishes regularly. This helps prevent the growth of bacteria and ensures that your pet has access to clean water and food.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Tank Size

When determining the tank size for your bearded dragon, it’s important to avoid these common mistakes:

Choosing a Tank That Is Too Small

One of the biggest mistakes is selecting a tank that is too small for your bearded dragon. A cramped space can lead to stress, limited mobility, and health issues. It’s always better to choose a larger tank than a smaller one to provide ample room for your pet to grow and thrive.

Overcrowding the Tank

Bearded dragons are solitary animals and keeping multiple bearded dragons in one tank can lead to territorial disputes and stress. Each bearded dragon should have its own designated space to ensure their well-being.

Neglecting to Upgrade the Tank Size as Your Bearded Dragon Grows

Bearded dragons grow rapidly, especially during their first year. Neglecting to upgrade the tank size as they grow can lead to discomfort and restricted movement. Regularly assess your bearded dragon’s size and behavior to determine if a larger tank is needed.


In conclusion, the size of a bearded dragon tank is crucial for their overall well-being. A spacious and comfortable tank allows them to engage in their natural behaviors, promotes physical and mental stimulation, and ensures their happiness.

When determining the tank size, consider the age, size, and activity level of your bearded dragon. Baby bearded dragons require smaller tanks, while juvenile and adult bearded dragons need larger tanks to accommodate their growing size and activity level. Providing the right temperature, lighting, and suitable habitat is essential for the health of your pet.

Remember to maintain the tank and ensure cleanliness through regular spot cleaning and deep cleaning. Avoid common mistakes such as choosing a tank that is too small, overcrowding the tank, and neglecting to upgrade the tank size as your bearded dragon grows.

By providing a spacious and comfortable tank, you are creating an ideal environment for your bearded dragon to thrive, ensuring many happy and healthy years together. So, set up the perfect habitat for your scaly companion and enjoy the rewarding experience of being a bearded dragon owner.

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