You’re about to get a beardie. These charming reptiles are excellent pets. But before you bring him home, you need one of the best tanks for bearded dragons. Then he’ll have a comfortable place to live.
If you’re getting a juvenile, you can start with a 20-gallon tank. But dragons grow to between 18-inches and 2 feet in length. It’s best to give them at least 36 x 18 inches of space. They aren’t arboreal lizards, so you don’t need to have a tall tank. One that’s 18 inches tall is enough to keep a heat lamp at a safe distance.
We selected the top terrariums for bearded dragons and reviewed them here for you. We hope our article helps you find what you need.
Before we begin, here is some useful information about caring for bearded dragons.
- Setting Up the Tank
- Top Tanks for Bearded Dragons
- Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Large 36Lx18Dx18H
- Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium
- Exo Terra Outback Terrarium 24″ x 18″ x 12″, 20-Gallon
- Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium, 24 by 18 by 12-Inch
- REPTIZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium
- Deep Blue Professional ADB11045 Glass Standard Frag Aquarium Tank, 45-Gallon
- Aqueon Tank Breeder Black 36X18X16, 40gal
- Zilla 28015 15-Gallon Critter Cage, 24-Inch by 12-Inch by 12-Inch
- Zilla 28006 20-Gallon Turtle Tank, 30-Inch by 12-Inch by 12-Inch
- Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover
Setting Up the Tank
Young beardies don’t need expensive substrate. You can cover the bottom of the tank with paper towels or newspaper for easy cleanup. The main reason for this is that juveniles can end up with intestinal impaction if they eat loose bedding like sand or walnut shells.
It’s easier to clean up after adults if you place them on edible reptile sand or play sand. Then you can scoop out their feces without having to clean the whole floor every time. But lower the risk of impaction by placing food in a shallow dish, never directly on the substrate.
Next, since bearded dragons grow quickly, it saves money to start with a full-size tank. If you were to use a 55-gallon tank, be sure to cover it with a wire mesh lid. This allows for ventilation and protects the beardie from escape attempts.
Beardies may not climb trees, but they enjoy perching a few inches off the ground. Give your new friend rocks or sturdy branches to climb on in the area where he will bask. Also, provide a place for him to hide.
Reptiles like these benefit from full-spectrum lighting so that they can synthesize vitamin D3 and stay healthy. Besides that, these desert creatures need heat from an incandescent or mercury vapor light or a ceramic heater.
Finally, use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. During the day, bearded dragons enjoy basking in 95 to 105°F. Set up a warm spot with a heat lamp at one end of the tank. Then, make sure that the other end of the tank stays around 80 to 85°F. Nighttime temperatures throughout the tank can drop to 70 or even 65°F. If it becomes colder than that, invest in an under-tank heater.
Top Tanks for Bearded Dragons
You’re about to begin your adventure. Your beardie can keep you company for the next 8 to 12 years. Start off your relationship right with one of the best tanks for bearded dragons below.
Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Large 36Lx18Dx18H
Carolina Custom Cages terrariums come in a variety of sizes with two different kinds of doors, depending on the model. We recommend the large three-foot-long by 18-inch wide format for your bearded dragon. This version provides sufficient space for your adult dragon to move around. It also gives you room to create a place for basking and a place for cooling off.
The three-foot-long model has hinged doors on the sides. Some customers have commented that the doors are easier to manipulate if you attach suction cups or handles to them. But all doors lock to prevent escapes.
If you were to get the four-foot-long model, it has sliding doors. In either case, the top of the cage is a sturdy wire mesh that can support a light and a heat lamp.
Next, the base of the terrarium is waterproof up to 7 ½ inches deep. That’s not essential for a beardie but would come in handy if you had turtles, for example.
Each of the Carolina Custom Cages terrariums requires simple assembly. They are packaged to survive shipping without damage. And the manufacturer recommends sanitizing the new terrarium with diluted chlorhexidine before allowing your reptile to live there.
Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium
The large wide model of the Allglass Terrarium from Exo Terra is another perfect match for beardies. It measures 36 x 18 x 18 inches. That gives you space to place decorations, provide a spot to bask, and leave room for the dragon to move around.
One difference between this terrarium and the one above is that it has a raised bottom frame. The feet give you a little space to place a substrate heater underneath.
Another difference is that the hinged doors open at the front. But there are locks on the doors to keep the beardie inside. And there’s also ventilation through a small strip on the front of the tank.
Next, there’s a removable stainless steel screened top for ventilation. There are five inlets, or little openings with lids, at the back of the screen. These allow you access to run wires if needed.
The bottom of the tank is waterproof. Moreover, the doors are mounted high enough that you can put a thick layer of substrate if needed.
Finally, the terrarium includes a natural -looking background that resembles rock. It’s actually made of foam and can help you hide wires.
Exo Terra Outback Terrarium 24″ x 18″ x 12″, 20-Gallon
Your bearded dragon is an Aussie. Therefore he may feel right at home in the Outback terrarium from Exo Terra. It’s a smaller tank, measuring only 2 feet long. But it features the same quality design as the larger Allglass model above. The main difference is that it comes with a limited-edition hand-painted background.
You’ll find that it has dual front opening doors with locks, a stainless steel mesh cover, front ventilation, and a waterproof bottom. The base of the tank has feet that provide clearance to place an under tank heater. Plus, there are openings in the back of the lid so that you can run wires to heated rocks or other accessories.
Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium, 24 by 18 by 12-Inch
The Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium is the same size as the Outback model above. It just doesn’t include the special hand-painted background.
Again, Exo Terra includes all the same benefits that are perfect for bearded dragons. The stainless steel mesh lid provides a sturdy place to place heat lamps and other lights. The openings at the back of the lid make room to run wires to heated rocks inside. The ventilation strip on the front helps keep tank air from overheating. And the dual front doors have locks to keep your pet safe.
Should you wish to use a heating pad underneath the tank, the terrarium has feet on its underside. Additionally, the doors are mounted high enough above the waterproof bottom that you can place a thick layer of bedding.
REPTIZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium
REPTIZOO’s glass terrarium is what’s called a “knock-down” model. All that means is that you can take it apart unlike a standard glass aquarium. It also means that you’ll need to assemble it when it arrives.
Similar to the Exo Terra terrariums, this one features front opening doors with a lock. Then, the frame of the tank has feet to raise it up off a surface. This makes room for you to install an under-tank heater.
The rugged mesh screen on top supports lamps and provides ventilation. You can also get ventilation from small openings on both sides of the tank. On the right side, there are small openings for wires or tubes.
Also important, this tank measures 36 x 18 x 18 inches. That’s a comfortable size for most adult beardies.
Deep Blue Professional ADB11045 Glass Standard Frag Aquarium Tank, 45-Gallon
If you’re on a budget, you may find that a standard fish tank makes a decent home for a bearded dragon. But there are two things to consider.
First, a tank that is too tall will be difficult to heat and light properly. Before you bring your beardie home, be sure to test the temperatures inside.
Second, the only point of access will be through the top. You’ll need to find a removable mesh lid that fits the tank. Then that will be the only way you can get inside the tank to place food and water or clean up messes. It’s less convenient than a terrarium with hinged or sliding doors.
With that said, this aquarium measures 48 inches long by 18 inches wide by 12 inches tall. It’s made of sturdy glass mounted on injection-molded frames with industrial-strength sealant. It’s technically a 45-gallon fish tank.
Aqueon Tank Breeder Black 36X18X16, 40gal
Aqueon’s breeder aquarium is made of high-quality glass sealed with silicone on a durable frame. Its size is appropriate for an adult bearded dragon. Before purchase, check to ensure that you can find a mesh lid for it that can withstand the heat from a lamp.
Zilla 28015 15-Gallon Critter Cage, 24-Inch by 12-Inch by 12-Inch
Now we’ve dropped down to homes made for juvenile bearded dragons. The Zilla Critter Cage is too small to comfortably fit an adult since it’s only 2 feet long by a foot wide. But it’s an okay place for young beardies.
The tank features a durable mesh top. The top slides open, plus it has wiring ports in case you need to power a heated rock inside. For extra security, it has a lockable latch.
Zilla 28006 20-Gallon Turtle Tank, 30-Inch by 12-Inch by 12-Inch
Zilla’s turtle tank also works for juvenile bearded dragons in a pinch. Again, you’ll need to shop for a mesh lid. But it just so happens that we found a compatible model below.
Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover
This Fresh Air Screen Cover from Zilla should fit the 20-gallon turtle tank as it’s 30 x 12 inches in size. Not only will the metal mesh stand up to claws, but it also withstands high temperatures from heat lamps. The black steel frame won’t warp, either.
Do you love your beardie? Then provide one of the best tanks for bearded dragons as a home for your new pet. It’s more pleasant for you when you have a tank that’s easy to maintain. And it’s more comfortable for your reptile when he has room to enjoy his life.