8 to 15 Years
The information we provide is based on hands on experience and years of research. We also use the same methods as below in all of our stores and for our own pets, how many stores can say that?
Bearded dragons are terrestrial species and love large amounts of space, we recommend VivExotic X-Large Viva vivarium to ensure enough space for your bearded dragon to be happy. This also allows enough space to create a temperature gradient within the enclosure, ensuring you have a hot and cold side.
The only heating system in the vivarium should be a ceramic bulb, this is a none light emitting heat source suitable for controlling the day and night temperatures. It is the same system we have used for many years and have always had great success with.
Using a ceramic bulb also allows you to provide a small amount of background heat on a night time without providing light. The ceramic bulb should be connected to a thermostat, we recommend various thermostats but one we have had great success with and use in all of our shops and personal setups is the Lucky Reptile Thermo Control Pro 2 digital thermostat. This not only allows accurate control of the heating source but gives you a nice clear indication of the temperature within the vivarium.
The thermostat should be set at 34 degrees Celsius for its day cycle and around 20 degrees Celsius for its night time cycle. Its day time cycle should run for around 12 to 14 hours and its night time cycle for the rest.
Lighting is provided in 2 forms. The main and most important lighting is UVB lighting, this is essential to synthesise vitamin D & vitamin D3, without this they are not able to metabolize calcium correctly and this can lead to various serious problems like metabolic bone decease. UVB lighting should be provided in its strongest form a T5 12% UVB tube we recommend using the Arcadia Vivarium T5 Canopy. Your UVB tube should be replaced as often as possible as after a period of 6 month they no longer emit sufficient levels of UVB light. You should therefore replace your tube at a minimal interval of 6 months. If you are worried about forgetting to replace your UVB tube on time, we can setup a subscription service to make sure you never forget. Ask a member of our team!
The second form of lighting comes from a small wattage halogen bulb; we like to use the 35w Lucky Reptile Halogen Sun Mini. This provides extra light and increases the visible light spectrum available to the bearded dragon providing a more naturalistic enclosure.
This bulb should never be used as a solitary heating system but to simply help create a basking site alongside you ceramic bulb. The mini halogen should be placed directly next to your ceramic bulb.Both lighting systems should be switched on in accordance with your day time cycle and switched off on your night time cycle.
There is a variety of substrates you can use for your bearded dragon, a favourite of ours is beech chip, you will see this used in a variety of our enclosures and all of our bearded dragons enclosures, it is of course the substrate we use for our breeding stock and pets. We like beech chip as it is less likely to be swallowed than substrates like calcium sand, however calcium sand is still a suitable substrate and the choice really comes down to the owner.
You should provide climbing branches and rocks for your bearded dragon to climb and explore his vivarium. The use of artificial plants also allows you to provide a more naturalist environment and create a more diverse enclosure, making your bearded dragon feel at home.
Bearded dragons require a variety of food and should never be offered just one live food, bearded dragons like live foods like such crickets, locusts, morio worms, calci worms, fruit beetle grubs and wax worms. You should try to provide a variety of these foods as often as possible as this keeps your bearded dragon interested and constantly intrigued by his live food. Locusts should be offered more than any other live food as these are nutritionally the best for them. We make it easy for you to get live food, offering a weekly subscription service, this ensures you always have fresh live food and you never forget.
Live food should be dusted with a calcium and high quality multi vitamin supplement. We like to use Nutrobal as our multi vitamin supplement and Pro-Rep calcium dust. These powders should be mixed together to a 50/50 ratio, this should then be dusted on your live food that is being fed that day. This can be done in a separate container like an empty live food tub or an empty freezer bag.
Your live food should also be looked after, after all what is the point in feeding your bearded dragon crickets that have nothing inside of them and dehydrated. Pointless! Crickets should be kept in an Exo-Terra Cricket pen and fed with the likes of cabbage and kale you can also feed them a specially formulated food called Pro-Rep Bug Grub this ensures they are packed full of nutritional benefits. You should also provide a small dish with Pro-Rep Bug Gel inside the cricket keeper to keep the crickets hydrated.
Water should be provided in a good sized water dish although most bearded dragons don't actually drink from there bowl, they often soak in one to keep them self hydrated. The large Pro -Rep water dishes are perfect for this. Make sure you provide fresh clean water daily and you wipe the water dish clean to stop any bacteria build up. To help prevent the build up of bacteria you can use the Pro-Rep Ultimate vivarium wipes from time to time. You should also bath your bearded dragon once or twice a week in some warm shallow water that they can stand up in, this helps keep them hydrated and there digestive track running smoothly. Most bearded dragons in captivity are critically dehydrated so make sure yours is not one of them!
You should fully clean your bearded dragons’ vivarium every 2 weeks to ensure a clean and healthy environment, cleaning this often also helps reduce the risk of disease and infection. You should use a good reptile disinfectant like Pro-Rep Ultimate Vivarium Cleaner. You should also spot clean the vivarium daily and remove any dead live food and faeces, if you are using sand use the Zoo Med Sand Scooper. This keeps the enclosure hygienic for both the bearded dragon and you. You can also use the Pro-Rep Ultimate Vivarium Cleaner Wipes to help keep the sides of the enclosure, logs and stones clean.
Bearded dragons are a good lizard to handle. You should pick them up gently and treat them with the respect they deserve. A baby should be handled in-side the vivarium to start with so he/she can get use to you and you can get use to them. Babies will often handle well for 30 minutes or so and will then become agitated when he/she becomes like this simply pop him/her back into the vivarium to be allow to settle and leave them alone for the rest of the day.
As your bearded dragon becomes older he/she will seek more attention, at this stage you can handle them more often and allow them to have a little roam around with supervision. Make sure when you have your bearded dragon out that they don’t get cold, once you feel that the bearded dragon is slowing down and being a little more sluggish than normal place him back in the middle of their vivarium to get warm again. They are normally fine for around 30 minutes to an hour.
This care sheet was written and is owned by The Reptile Hotel, it is prohibited that this care sheet is copied in part or full with out prior permission.
For further information or help please contact one of our stores of which details can be found online at www.thereptilehotel.com