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Minimum terrarium size for baby

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:27 am
by hellothere

Hello! I’m interested in getting a baby bearded dragon, but am not sure if I can temporarily keep it in a 20 x 10 terrarium I have lying around. It would only be in it until it gets too big. If I can, until it gets how big, and if not, what is the minimum?

Re: Minimum terrarium size for baby

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:09 am
by KarrieRee
He would be out of that by the time he hits one yr old--- the smallest is a 40 gallon and I would not even recommend that- I had my first one in a 50 gallon and that was not big enough- the only way I would recommend one that size is if you get them out alot so they have room to roam --- other wise I would say a 75 gallon or 120 gallon- the smaller the enclosure makes them tend to glass surf alot ---

Re: Minimum terrarium size for baby

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:47 am
by kingofnobbys
For an adult bearded dragon 4 feet L x 2 feet W x at least 18 inches tall.

For a juvenile up to 12 months old a 120L to 160L tote or equivalent is perfect, for a hatchling 80L to 90L in a tote is very good.

The basking light needs to be able to create a nice thermal gradient from warm zone about 35 degC to cool zone about 28 degC , and basking spot NOT HOTTER THAN 40 degC.
The UV source needs to be able to provide a nice UVA gradient and a nice UVB gradient from about 200 microW UVB / at the basking to about 80 microW UVB / on the floor under the basking spot and decreasing to under 40 microW UVB / in the "low UV zone/"shade" zone".

Re: Minimum terrarium size for baby

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:18 pm
by Ellentomologist

To address your question - yes, you may use the 20 x 10 temporarily, but your dragon will quickly outgrow it. I would guess in only a few months, as well. I would say that the absolute biggest dragon I would keep in that size would be 10 inches, and I would really rather swap much earlier than that - maybe 8 inches or so, preferably even earlier.

Floor size - that is length and width - are more important than vertical space or height. That said, beardies do love to climb and could be considered semi-arboreal. I would not go any shorter than 1.5 foot tall and would recommend using that vertical space.

The size enclosure an adult dragon needs depends on the individual. A small dragon, like my Guacemole (17.3 inches as an adult) /can/ happily live in a 40 gallon breeder (about 3 foot by 1.5 foot by 1.5 foot). That said, I still have him in a 4 foot by 2 foot by 1.5 foot.

MOST dragons will be happy in a 4 foot by 2 foot by 1.5 foot enclosure. Giant ones, aka 21 inches or bigger, not so much. As a bare minimum guideline, I like to use the 1 x 1.25 x 2.5 rule. Your tank should be as tall as your dragon is long, as deep as 1.25 times as long as your dragon, and 2.5 times as wide. Central bearded dragons are usually 14-24 inches long, with the majority being spitting distance from 18 inches long. Therefor the usual recommended size of 4 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot (48 w x 24 d x 24 h) is just a smidgen bigger than the absolute minimum size for the average BD (assumed to be 18 inches), which would be 45 w x 22.5 d x 18 h.

In short, the smallest I would ever even consider is 40 gallon breeder, but I still think that's too small. 4 foot by 1.5 foot by 1.5 foot is decent, 4 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot is usually perfect. For an animal as active as a beardie, though, a valid argument can be made for "as big as you can affordable and accurate heat and maintain".

Hope that helps,

Re: Minimum terrarium size for baby

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:28 pm
by kingofnobbys
An important aspect to keep in mind is the hatchling will be on a nearly 100% live insect diet for at least 6 months , and the little hatchlings require small insects ie a 10g hatchling will be needing crickets (say) no bigger than 1/4 size (6mm).

If you install the hatchling in a large tank, with a lot of space, this poses a problem, that being fast moving insects like roaches/locusts/crickets are apt to elude the feeding hatchling and the hatchling will have trouble finding the "rogue" insects in a large tank where if it is housed in smaller temporary rearing tank or tub like say an 80L tub, it's a lot easier for it to keep track of those bugs and it wont be so overwhelmed by it's new home.

For a single hatchling I think an ALL SET 88L tub would be pretty ideal as a rearing tank (with some easy DIYS mods) , the size of this is W:450mm H:385mm L:670mm , so using the hide as basking spot , a T5ho 12% hung under the lid will provide the correct levels of UVA & UVB at the top of the hide , as will a UVB200 mounted under the lid in an ExoTerra Nano Hood (if the hatchlng can get within 25cm of the UVB globe), and it's easy to get a nice thermal gradient in the tub.