The tank will be your bearded dragon's home for the next several years. There are many different types of tanks you can get although the tank type isn't necessarily as important as the size of the tank. You will need to make sure that your tank is the right size for your bearded dragon.
If your tank is glass you will need the back of the tank to have a background (as opposed to being against the wall). Bearded dragons can see in color and backgrounds actually help their mood.
A bearded dragon's health is completely dependent upon the light he/she receives. If you're looking for places to cut costs, the light is not one of them. You will need a complete tank light that illuminates the entire tank. This light needs to be UVB, but if you can find lights which are UVA and UVB they are better.
You will also need a light fixture for this bulb. You can buy these at a pet store or you can save money by purchasing a light fixture at your local hardware store.
The basking light will heat your tank and will give the bearded dragon a place to warm up if he/she needs to increase their temperature. These lights usually do not come with their own fixture so you will need to purchase one for this light as well.
Bearded dragons will need some type of substrate in their tank. However, the type of flooring you get depends on the age of your bearded dragon. Younger bearded dragons should not be put in tanks with fine/loose flooring (such as sand/pebbles) because when they eat they can easily digest some of the substrate which can make them have digestive problems. Because of this younger dragons will need to use paper towels, butcher's paper, or reptile carpet for flooring.
Adult dragons generally eat less substrate and can digest it easier than younger dragons so you can use a wider variety of flooring with adults.
Bearded dragons are cold blooded, and because of this the tank's temperature is vital for your dragon's health. Your tank should have two temperatures. A hot side and a cold side. The hot side will be the side where your basking light is (you generally want to place it on one side of the tank as opposed to putting it in the middle of the tank) and the cold side will be opposite of your basking light.
You will need two thermometers to monitor your tanks' temperatures. One thermometer for the hot side and one thermometer for the cold side.
You will need to have some basic furniture for the bearded dragon. Below is a list of the minimum of what you will need:
- A place for your bearded dragon to drink water
- A hide - this is a place that's kind of like a cave/garage where your bearded dragon can go to escape the light or to feel less vulnerable.
- A basking rock - this is placed beneath the basking light for your bearded dragon to lie on when he/she is basking. Normally people will use stones because the stones absorb some of the heat from the light.
- A branch/hammock - bearded dragons love climbing and a branch or hammock will not only give him/her a place to climb, but it will also give you amusement as you watch them.
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