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Cronniss

Member
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the community and currently I am looking to get my first bearded dragon. At the moment I am doing research and will read up on the care and environment maintenance for a dragon so I can make sure that I have everything in place for when I bring the little guy home and he lives a long and healthy life.

I am most likely going to get an adolescent, because I know I'm not ready for really little lizards. (I want to make sure that he'll be around for me for a long time.) From what I have read, though, is that you shouldn't have a really large terrarium for an adolescent. But I live in an apartment, and while I have the space available for a "rather large" enclosure (I'm looking at 48" x 18" x 24") I don't have storage available for a second terrarium. So a question I have is: will this work for an adolescent as long as I "teach" it where its food and water are, and ensure that it is eating its food?

Also, I've been considering the substrate. Everything I've read so far says not to have "loose" substrate for young dragons. So while I am probably going to get a carpet for the little fella, I was wondering if a product like Jurassic Natural Australian Desert Dragon Habitat Substrate for Bearded Dragons would be ok for when he is older? I'm asking because I do want to have as natural as an environment for him, but I also know they tend to eat things they really shouldn't. (So I don't want him to become impacted.)

That's all for now. I may (and probably will) have more questions in the future. I thank you in advance for any information you can provide for my above questions. And as I develop the terrarium and eventually get a new friend I will post pictures.
 
Last edited:

AjsGirl

New member
Beardie name(s)
Zephur
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the community and currently I am looking to get my first bearded dragon. At the moment I am doing research and will read up on the care and environment maintenance for a dragon so I can make sure that I have everything in place for when I bring the little guy home and he lives a long and healthy life.

I am most likely going to get an adolescent, because I know I'm not ready for really little lizards. (I want to make sure that he'll be around for me for a long time.) From what I have read, though, is that you shouldn't have a really large terrarium for an adolescent. But I live in an apartment, and while I have the space available for a "rather large" enclosure (I'm looking at 48" x 18" x 24") I don't have storage available for a second terrarium. So a question I have is: will this work for an adolescent as long as I "teach" it where its food and water are, and ensure that it is eating its food?

Also, I've been considering the substrate. Everything I've read so far says not to have "loose" substrate for young dragons. So while I am probably going to get a carpet for the little fella, I was wondering if a product like Jurassic Natural Australian Desert Dragon Habitat Substrate for Bearded Dragons would be ok for when he is older? I'm asking because I do want to have as natural as an environment for him, but I also know they tend to eat things they really shouldn't. (So I don't want him to become impacted.)

That's all for now. I may (and probably will) have more questions in the future. I thank you in advance for any information you can provide for my above questions. And as I develop the terrarium and eventually get a new friend I will post pictures.
I would not do carpet it can be dangerous for adults they can get their nails stuck and they rip. I would say do tile but you can have an smaller enclosed area with a loose substrate so he can dig if he wants to. Me personally I'd just do the tile but I've heard of multiple people doing the substrate in an smaller enclosed area. Good luck on ur beardie search! I just got a baby baby beardie 🥰
Also would say if ur looking for closer resemblence of their diet do the 60 40 percents (60 bugs 40 plant) and don't feed everyday more like once then wait like 2 days that's how you reduce having a picky eater as well plus they will be healthier 😊 again hope this was helpful and good luck 🙏🏻
 

HyperLollipop

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Herman
I applaud you for doing your research!! So many people just buy these animals and don't have a clue about how to care for them. It's so great that you're doing your research so that when you do get your little guy you can care for him the best that you can.

A large enclosure should be fine for a juvenile bearded dragon. I've had my guy in a 40 gal (36 x 18 x 18) since he's two months old and I never had a problem. Although now that he's bigger I'm considering getting a bearded one. Maybe when they're on sale lol 😂

As for substrate, I use non-adhesive shelf liner, a recommendation I found on this very website. You can pretty much buy it at any hardware store or even a dollar store (which is where I get mine) and cut it down to size. I find it easy to wipe down when he poops and it's inexpensive. His nails don't get caught in it but he's not slipping and sliding like he would on the bare glass, he has good grip on this. I change it every month or so or as needed.

Hope this helped! I've only been a bearded dragon owner for a little over a year now, so there are definitely people on this website who know more than me, but I am happy to answer any questions you have to best of my ability!
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Get the biggest enclosure first. It's save alot of money in the long run and you only have to set it up once. Some say big enclosure stress young beardies. Australia is their first enclosure in the wild! If it does seem to strees him you can block part of it off till he gets bigger.
 

Cronniss

Member
Original Poster
I would not do carpet it can be dangerous for adults they can get their nails stuck and they rip.
Thank you for the tips, everyone! I really appreciate it.

As to carpet, no. I was considering an Exo Terra Sand Mat:
Exo Terra Sand Mat.jpg

Until he got older. Then the "natural" substrate that I had linked above. That way he had a more natural environment and could dig & burrow if he wanted to. At least, that is how I imagine it, anyway.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Thank you for the tips, everyone! I really appreciate it.

As to carpet, no. I was considering an Exo Terra Sand Mat:
View attachment 86841
Until he got older. Then the "natural" substrate that I had linked above. That way he had a more natural environment and could dig & burrow if he wanted to. At least, that is how I imagine it, anyway.
The rocks come off and can be ingested, and they can cause abrasions. Tile or shelf liner are a better option. Some use sand for young dragons 🐉 successfully, if i went that route i would do feeding in a different container.
 

Cronniss

Member
Original Poster
The rocks come off and can be ingested, and they can cause abrasions. Tile or shelf liner are a better option. Some use sand for young dragons 🐉 successfully, if i went that route i would do feeding in a different container.
I just started reading Bearded Dragon Manual, 3rd Ed., by de Vosjoli, and he’s pretty much said the same thing. I’ve also seen this mentioned in other online writings.

I’m definitely considering using tiles, I just need to look up the best way to install them into the terrarium.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
I just started reading Bearded Dragon Manual, 3rd Ed., by de Vosjoli, and he’s pretty much said the same thing. I’ve also seen this mentioned in other online writings.

I’m definitely considering using tiles, I just need to look up the best way to install them into the terrarium.
I put in cardboard first to keep the tile off the glass. I have a tile saw so I can cut it to fit, if you don't have access to one you'll need to buy tile that will work out to the inside measurements of your tank or find someone who can cut it for you.
 

Xjrosie

Hatchling Member
Yeah that sand mat is a nightmare to clean too.

I used repositionable stair treads. Like those sticky things you put in your tub so you don't slip, but for stairs. It was enough to provide traction, but easy to clean. If they got really gross I could just replace it. Now, Thor has sand.

Also, look into habitats that you can stack. Zen habitats have storage and spacers so you can have 2 stacked together. You can also add on to the length later. I plan on adding another enclosure to Thor's current one, so the final size will be 8x2x2
 

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