Bearded Dragon Enclosure Size Guide (Tank Size Chart)

One of the major environmental factors that will affect your bearded dragon’s health, growth, and stress level is its tank size. Choosing the right-sized tank for your bearded dragon is crucial to keep them happy and healthy.

A bearded dragon’s enclosure must be large enough to allow sufficient space for exercise and a suitable temperature gradient.

Minimum Enclosure Size Requirements

According to the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV), the minimum enclosure size for a single adult bearded dragon should be at least 50 gallons. This is based on the size and activity level of an average adult bearded dragon, which typically grows to be around 24 inches in length. However, it’s important to keep in mind that every bearded dragon is different and some may require a larger enclosure depending on their age, size, and activity level.

Optimal Enclosure Size

While the minimum enclosure size for a single adult bearded dragon is 50 gallons, it’s important to note that this is just the bare minimum. In order to provide your bearded dragon with the best possible living conditions, it’s recommended to aim for a larger enclosure. According to the ARAV, the optimal enclosure size for a single adult bearded dragon is 75-100 gallons.

As per our personal experience with keeping and breeding bearded dragons, they do best in a 120 gallon tank. A 120-gallon tank that measures 4 x 2 x 2 offers ample space in all directions to support a bearded dragon’s arboreal activities.

Benefits of a Larger Enclosure

There are several benefits to providing your bearded dragon with a larger enclosure. Some of these benefits include:

More space for activity: A larger enclosure allows your bearded dragon to move around and explore more, which can help to prevent obesity and other health issues.

Better heat and humidity regulation: A larger enclosure is easier to heat and maintain proper humidity levels, which is important for your bearded dragon’s health and well-being.

Enhanced quality of life: A larger enclosure provides your bearded dragon with more space to move, explore, and socialize, which can improve their overall quality of life.

Tank Size in Different Stages of their Life

bearded-dragon-tank-size

Baby Bearded Dragon Tank Size

According to the ARAV, baby bearded dragons should be kept in an enclosure that is at least 20 gallons, with a heat gradient of 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. As they grow, you will need to gradually increase the size of their enclosure to meet their needs.

Putting your baby dragon in a larger tank may make life more difficult for them, as they may struggle to capture any live food you place in there.

Since baby bearded dragons haven’t developed their hunting skills yet, keeping them in a 20-40 gallon tank will allow them to grow while also making it easy for them to catch their prey.

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your baby dragon while they search and catch food to make sure they’re doing okay. If your baby is having trouble catching enough food, you could want to put them in a smaller tank (20 gallons minimum) or hand-feed them some of their food while they improve their hunting skills.

When your baby bearded dragon reaches 10 inches in length, you’ll need to start thinking about getting a bigger tank.

Juvenile Bearded Dragon Tank Size

juvenile-bearded-dragon

The best tank size for juvenile bearded dragons is 55 – 75 gallons. Bearded dragons are fast-growing creatures that can reach maturity in as little as 18 months.

For juveniles, aim for a 75-gallon tank with dimensions of 48”x18”x21.”

Adult Bearded Dragon Tank Size

Once a bearded dragon reaches 20 inches in length, it is called an adult. They can, however, reach a length of up to 24 inches.

Fully-grown adults require a 120-gallon tank. You can still get away with 75 gallons, but you should strive for a 120-gallon. This will let them find food, relax in a warm spot, climb, and seek out cooler locations.

A 120 gallon terrarium with dimensions of 48”x24”x24” is ideal for adult beardies.

Bearded Dragon Tank Size Chart

AgeLengthTank Size
0 – 3 months (Baby)3-11 inches20-40 gallons
4 – 5 months (Baby)9-16 inches40-75 gallons
6 – 8 months (Juvenile)11-18 inches50-75 gallons
12+ months (Adult)16-24 inches120 gallons

Drawbacks of Keeping a Bearded Dragon in a Smaller Cage

It’s important to note that keeping a bearded dragon in an enclosure that is too small can have serious consequences for their health and well-being. According to the ARAV, some of the potential consequences of keeping a bearded dragon in a small enclosure include:

Decreased ability to thermoregulate: Bearded dragons rely on the proper gradient of temperatures within their enclosure to regulate their body temperature. If the enclosure is too small, it may be difficult for them to find a comfortable temperature, which can lead to stress and potential health issues.

Decreased activity levels: Bearded dragons are naturally active reptiles and require ample space to move and explore. If the enclosure is too small, they may become sedentary, which can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Increased stress: Bearded dragons are social animals and need space to retreat from each other when necessary. If the enclosure is too small, they may not have the opportunity to do this, leading to increased stress and potential aggression.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Bigger Tanks?

Bearded dragons cannot regulate their body temperature on their own. They depend on temperatures in their environment. Animals like these are called ectotherms. They rely on outside temperature to help regulate their internal body temperature.

Bearded dragons need a heat gradient in their enclosures. Your bearded dragon will move to a warmer area in the enclosure if they want to bask or want to get a bit warmer. They also need a cooler section and might move there if they want to hide or sleep.

Creating a proper heat gradient can be difficult in smaller cages. A small enclosure can become too hot because your beardie will have no space to escape and get away from the heat of basking and heat lamps.

Can I Keep Multiple Bearded Dragons in One Tank?

It’s very tempting to get more than one bearded dragon because they are amazing. But can you house them together?

Here are the facts why you should never house bearded dragons together.

Housing Two Adult Female Bearded Dragons: It is possible for two adult female bearded dragons to get along reasonably well, however dominance issues are still possible. If you house two females together you might see beard flaring, head bobbing, and arm-waving. The submissive one will most likely get less food and less basking time. If you do want to house them together, it’s best to use a very large enclosure. However, if they begin to fight, they must be separated!

Two Male Bearded Dragons should never be housed together no matter what. They will fight for dominance and will surely injure or even kill each other.

One Male and One Female should also never be housed together unless you are a breeder. Houing a male and a female bearded dragon will always result in matting.

Bearded Dragons of Different Ages/Sizes: This is also a No. You should never house two dragons together that are of different sizes.

Bearded dragons are typically solitary animals and are perfectly happy living alone, especially adults.

Adult bearded dragons are territorial and don’t like sharing their space with other beardies or other animals.

Many dragon owners have learned that when they add another bearded dragon to their tank, one of two things happens. Either both bearded dragons get extremely anxious, or one of the dragons becomes extremely hostile toward the other.

So, it’s always best to keep bearded dragons in separate enclosures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 40 gallon tank big enough for a bearded dragon?

A 40 gallon tank is enough for a baby bearded dragon but too small for a juvenile and adults.

Is a 75 gallon tank good for a bearded dragon?

A 75 gallon tank is enough for a juvenile bearded dragon and too small for a fully grown adult.

How big is a 75 gallon tank for bearded dragon?

A 75 gallon that is 48″ by 18″ by 20″ inches is large enough to house a juvenile bearded dragon. But its smaller for a fully grown beardie.

How long can a bearded dragon live in a 20 gallon tank?

You can house a baby bearded dragon in a 20 gallon enclosure for a maximum of three months. After that, you will have to buy a bigger enclosure for your beardie.

Conclusion

For bearded dragons to live a happy and healthy life you will need a perfect size cage for them. They need a different-sized cages at different stages of their lives. You want to house a baby beardie in 20 – 40 gallons, a juvenile in 55 – 75, and an adult in a 120-gallon tank. But if you are tight on budget you don’t necessarily have to stick to the maximum tank sizes for babies and juveniles. Instead, you can get a bigger cage i.e. 120 gallons, and let your beardie grow into it.

I am the editor-in-chief at MyPetReptiles.com. I have been a reptile enthusiast for over a decade, and during this time I have kept and bred a variety of different reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, and chameleons. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others to help them provide the best care possible for their pet reptiles.

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