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How to Choose the Best Bearded Dragon Tank for Your Space and Budget

How Big of a Tank Does a Bearded Dragon Need?​

The absolute minimum size tank that a fully grown bearded dragon needs is 36” x 18” x 18”. While not technically 40 gallons, this is commonly called a 40 gallon breeder tank. These dimensions are also commonly listed as a 50 gallon tank. There are other 40 gallon reptile tanks on the market but their proportions are less ideal for housing bearded dragons.

Since adult beardies range in length from 16 to 24 inches, a bearded dragon enclosure that is only 18 inches wide and deep may prove to be tight quarters for the largest bearded dragon specimens. For instance, your beardie may not be able to turn around in its enclosure. Moreover, you will be limited in your choice of bearded dragon tank accessories. This means less enrichment opportunities for your beardie, especially if it spends a large portion of its day inside the habitat.

Most beardies will definitely be happier in a 120 gallon bearded dragon tank. The size we recommend is 4’ x 2’ x 2’ or 48” x 24” x 24". However, if your space is limited, don’t despair, a 40 gallon tank can be a good and safe home for your bearded dragon provided you’re careful about your care and husbandry practices. This is especially true if you have a smaller adult bearded dragon or if your bearded dragon is not especially active inside the habitat.

Please note that regardless of the size enclosure you choose, each reptile terrarium should house only one bearded dragon. Bearded dragons are territorial creatures that are used to a solitary existence and may injure their companions or experience significant levels of stress by having to compete for resources, etc.

If your space is limited, and you have settled on a 40 gallon breeder tank as the right home for your bearded dragon, please refer to our recommended tanks below.
ReptiZoo36x18x18.jpg
CarolinaCustom36x18X18.jpg

If you prefer to obtain one locally, 40 gallon breeder tanks are also sold at many pet stores. They can also be occasionally found in used condition through Craigslist or local classifieds.

The “Goldilocks” Terrarium Size for Bearded Dragons

Is there such a thing as just the right bearded dragon tank size? Many experienced bearded dragon owners certainly think so and choose to house their bearded dragons in a 120 gallon tank.

This is the size that we recommend to anyone in the market for a new reptile terrarium. The reason is because a 120 gallon tank provides a good balance between still fitting comfortably into most homes while being plenty big for the exploration and hunting needs of your bearded dragon. Because these reptile enclosures are three times larger than the 40 gallon breeder tank, you will also be able to choose several bearded dragon tank accessories that match your beardie’s personality and interests.

Many of these larger tanks also come equipped with front-sliding doors. Using these would be less stressful for your beardie whenever you need to reach into the enclosure or handle your pet.

Below you will find our recommended 120 gallon bearded dragon tanks from several well-respected brands.
ReptiZoo48x24x24.jpg
CarolinaCustom48x24x24.jpg
Zen48x24x24.jpg

Both the Repti Zoo tank and the Carolina Custom Cages tank come equipped with sliding doors. The Carolina Custom Cages is also easy to assemble and dissemble, which is not always the case when it comes to larger enclosures. One unique feature of the Zen habitat is that it comes with an optional stacking spacer for bearded dragon owners who want to stack two enclosures on top of each other.

ZenSpacer.jpg

For experienced bearded dragon keepers, you can also design your own 4’ X 2’ X 2’ enclosure.

A Touch of Luxury for Your Beardie Friend

Carolina Custom Cages also makes a handful of reptile terrariums that are even larger than the 120 gallon size. So, if you have the room and the resources to invest in some truly luxurious bearded dragon accommodations, check out some of these custom enclosures.
CarolinaCustom60x24x24.jpg
CarolinaCustom72x24x24.jpg

While your bearded dragon will be spoiled by all the floor space available for ultimate exploration, one potential drawback of the largest terrariums is that it may be more difficult to set up proper lighting and heating. You will likely need to double up on UVB fluorescent tubes and basking bulbs in order to create proper temperature gradients for your bearded dragon, and sufficient UVB light to keep it healthy.

On the flip side, if you do invest in proper lighting and heating for this size terrarium, your bearded dragon can most certainly enjoy more than one basking spot (in addition to any tank accessories your heart desires). Maintaining proper temperature gradients between the basking spot and the cool down area also becomes much easier.

What About Bearded Dragon Babies?

So you may be asking yourself, my breaded dragon is just a baby, so can I house it in a large reptile tank? Absolutely! As long as you are following our guides and providing proper husbandry, your bearded dragon baby will be just fine. Buying multiple tanks as your bearded dragon grows is not only expensive but also stressful to your beardie.

What About Taller Enclosures?

One important thing to note when buying a terrarium is that you don’t want to accidentally buy a tank that has a lot of vertical space with insufficient floor space. For example, terrariums that are 3 feet high can be far too tall for a bearded dragon. Bearded dragons cannot utilize vertical space as effectively as other reptiles, such as chameleons. They need to be housed in a tank that maximizes their floor space. This is because bearded dragons tend to stay mostly close to the ground with the exception of climbing up to their basking spot or enjoying a hammock and/or a driftwood climber. Taller terrariums may also create significant difficulties in achieving the correct distance between your lighting/heating and your bearded dragon/the rest of the enclosure.
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