Building a Bearded Dragon Terrarium
Bearded Dragons are quite sociable and can generally be handled quite easily. They are known to be one of the best lizards in regards to owner interactions.
Terrarium should be simple in design to facilitate easy, thorough cleaning. If you use a cage made of wood, seal it with polyurethane or a similar waterproofing agent, and caulk joints to enable cleaning and disinfection. Allow polyurethane or other sealant to dry several days, and air the cage out thoroughly prior to putting your pet in it to prevent toxicity.
The substrate lining the bottom of your Dragon's terrarium should be aesthetically pleasing, easy to clean, absorbent, and digestible if swallowed. Substrate can be flat newspaper, sheets of brown wrapping paper (the kind that comes in rolls), AstroTurf, or indoor/outdoor carpet. Do NOT use cedar shavings, gravel, crushed corn cob, kitty litter, wood shavings, or potting soil that contains vermiculite, pesticides, fertilizer, or wetting agents.
Tiles are great. You only have to buy them once. They are super easy to clean and disinfect. They come in a lot of colors and styles so you can customize your look. They also help keep beardie's nails filed down.
Sand (or any substrate made of loose particles) is considered to be an impaction risk. That is usually not a huge concern with an adult but there are other problems with sand, too. Pet store sand is the worst because it clumps like cement when moist and can cause a fatal impaction. If you MUST use sand, washed childrens playsand is the only safe option.
Please consider these cons about sand before you make a final decision, though.
*possible impaction risk
*have to keep buying it
*hard to dump out for tank cleaning
*impossible to disinfect (it's important to disinfect any surface your dragon has pooped on because they do carry salmonella)
**Absorbs moisture from poop, so that fecal bacteria is left behind even after you scoop out the solid waste. You dragon walks through this fecal matter and spreads it about his cage. He ends up living in what is basically a litter box.
**The left behind fecal bacteria can cause an increased risk of parasites
As far as decorations, that is entirely up to your tastes. They don't seem to care one way or the other.
You need to keep in mind that lizards like to be inclined, not laying flat. Put a large variety of rocks, wood and such in their tank to keep it interesting. I also have an assortment of fake plants and vines for them. I am unsure of where you live but I am in the desert and I find large rocks everywhere. Bring one home if possible and bake at 200 for a few hours and let cool for a day just to be safe and disinfect.
Be creative, I went to target and saw some giant plastic bugs for a dollar and got a giant cricket and a giant grasshopper to put in the lizards tanks.
Bearded Dragon terrarium size
Adult Bearded Dragon grow to a maximum size of 60cm so you’re going to need a larger terrarium to house this pet. An appropriately sized aquarium with a tight-fitting lid will make a wonderful home for your Bearded Dragon. Hatchlings may be kept in a 10-15 gallon aquarium; adults require at least a 55-60 gallon aquarium.
A sliding screen top is also needed. Most people buy bearded dragons as babies. You can keep a young bearded dragon in a smaller tank, but it makes the most sense and saves money to get the bigger tank at the beginning.
Bearded Dragon terrarium temperature
Because your Bearded Dragon is a cold-blooded animal from arid woodland and desert environments, he requires supplemental heat for proper digestion. Keep your dragon's enclosure at 78-88°F during the day and in the 70s at night. If your Dragon is cold, he cannot properly digest his food and is increasingly prone to illness. Lizards like a temperature gradient, so if they are cold, they can move to a warmer part of the cage and vice versa. Place 2 thermometers in the enclosure, one at the basking level and one closer to the floor of the enclosure.
Bearded Dragon terrarium plants
Because plants are a big part of the bearded dragon’s diet, it is impractical for most novice keepers to set up a naturalistic bearded dragon vivarium using living plants. The dragon would destroy the plants. But you can set up a very attractive vivarium that has the look of the bearded dragon’s native Australian landscape by using natural rock and sand. Later, as you become more knowledgeable, you can try using certain kinds of plants to create a more advanced, landscaped environment for your dragon.
Bearded Dragons enjoy hiding in various areas so be sure to provide some for them. Fake leafy plants and branches can be used, as well as cardboard boxes or plastic containers with holes cut into them. You can also use real plants but be sure that they are not poisonous. It is also smart to keep the plant out of your Bearded Dragon terrarium at first and water it through several times. This will allow for the removal of any toxic pesticides or fertilizers.
Location to put your Bearded Dragon terrarium
Location: The best place to locate a bearded dragon vivarium is near a bright window. Place the vivarium where it gets a little morning sunlight. However, be sure that there is always a shady, cool area where the bearded dragon can get out of the sunlight and heat. Never allow the vivarium to be in an area where it is in full sunlight. This can overheat the enclosure.
If you can’t keep your bearded dragon vivarium next to a bright window, you may wish to add a second light, in addition to the basking light. The second light can be a smaller, full-spectrum, low-wattage daylight fluorescent light, which will provide a little extra light for the mental health and stimulation of the bearded dragon, but not the heat produced by the basking light. It is important that the basking light be at one end of the vivarium, leaving the other end of the vivarium as a cooler area where the dragon can escape from the hot light when it wants to.
Lighting your Bearded Dragon terrarium
Bearded Dragons require UVB light in order to produce vitamin D. The best source of this would be the sun. If the temperature outdoors is acceptable, it would be a good idea to allow your Bearded Dragons to go outside in an enclosed area. Keep in mind that UVB rays are stopped by glass so merely leaving your Bearded Dragon terrarium beside a sunny window will not work.
On days that aren’t warm or sunny enough, you will need to resort to artificial light. Some people will end up simply using their incandescent light bulbs thinking that this is enough. It isn’t. Incandescent and fluorescent lights do not produce UVB rays. You will need an bulb that emits light within the nanometer range of 290 to 330nm.
Bearded Dragons Unique Terrarium Design Video
Heater for a larger terrarium
A lightless, infrared heat source
A compact UVB light source
A possible shelter for your reptile
A potential carpet substrate for your reptile terrarium
Make controlling the temperature and humidity of your reptile terrarium easier
A rheostat for controlling light levels
Exo Terra High Glass Terrarium - All Natural Glass Terrarium with Decorative Background
Others Terrarium accessories
Original Sources :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21041215@N05/ (Photo by ichtyan1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeIw9PT5uP0 (Video upload by LivingLIfe22Max)
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