Bearded dragons are fascinating pets that can bring joy and entertainment to any household. However, before bringing one home, it is important to ensure that you have a suitable enclosure set up for them to live in. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a bearded dragon tank:
Step 1: Choose a suitable tank
The size of the tank you choose will depend on the size of your bearded dragon. For a juvenile, a 20-gallon tank may be sufficient, but as they grow, they will need a larger space. A 40-gallon tank is recommended for an adult bearded dragon. Glass tanks are a popular choice because they are easy to clean and provide good visibility.
Step 2: Install a substrate
Bearded dragons need a substrate that is easy to clean and would not harm them if ingested. Paper towels, reptile carpet, or ceramic tiles are all good options. Avoid sand or gravel substrates, as they can cause impaction if ingested and lead to health problems.
Step 3: Provide a basking spot
Bearded dragons need a basking spot where they can raise their body temperature and absorb UVB light. A basking spot should be provided by installing a basking lamp on one end of the tank. The lamp should provide a temperature of around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature is accurate.
Step 4: Install UVB lighting
Bearded dragons need UVB lighting to produce Vitamin D3 and absorb calcium. UVB lighting should be installed on the other end of the tank from the basking spot. A fluorescent UVB bulb should be used, and it should be replaced every 6-12 months to ensure it is still producing UVB light.
Step 5: Provide hiding places
Bearded dragons need places to hide in their tank. Hides can be made from various materials, such as rocks, logs, or commercial reptile hides. These hides should be placed on the cooler side of the tank, away from the basking spot.
Step 6: Install a water dish
Bearded dragons do not typically drink a lot of water, but they do need it for soaking and humidity. A shallow water dish should be provided, and it should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacterial growth.
Step 7: Decorate the tank
Adding decorations to the tank can make it more aesthetically pleasing and provide additional hiding spots for your bearded dragon. Decorations can include rocks, logs, plants, and other items that are safe for your bearded dragon to interact with.
Step 8: Monitor the temperature and humidity
It is important to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your bearded dragon tank to ensure that they are at appropriate levels. The basking spot should be around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit, while the cool side of the tank should be around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should be around 30-40%.
Step 9: Feed your bearded dragon
Bearded dragons are omnivores and need a balanced diet of vegetables and insects. Some suitable vegetables include collard greens, kale, and squash. Suitable insects include crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. It is important to ensure that the insects are gut-loaded with vegetables and calcium supplements before feeding them to your bearded dragon.
Step 10: Clean the tank regularly
Bearded Dragon Tank Setup 101 should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacterial growth and maintain a healthy environment for your pet. The water dish should be cleaned daily, and the substrate should be spot cleaned as needed. The entire tank should be deep cleaned every 4-6 weeks.
In conclusion, setting up a bearded dragon tank requires careful consideration and attention to detail.