MyBeardedDragons website contains information for the new owner on how to keep a bearded dragon properly so that it is happy and healthy. An active forum dedicated to bearded dragons gives advice and support to new and experienced owners.
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Equipment you will need to keep a Bearded Dragon
Bearded Dragon Complete Set Up
People often write to me asking about buying a complete bearded dragon set up.
For those wanting to buy separate items I thought it might be useful if I select some examples of the types of equipment you need. I have selected these from Amazon which I have found to be good value. Hopefully this page will give you some ideas at the very least.
Buying a Vivarium
The most obvious piece of equipment you need, which is also the biggest and most expensive is the vivarium. An adult bearded dragon is normally between 19 and 22 inches long (48 to 56 cm). Although the tiny baby you see in pet shops looks tiny, he will reach adult size between 12 and 18 months of age. If you buy a small vivarium to start of with, within a very short space of time you'll be needing to buy a bigger one. I advise to buy the biggest you can to start with.
One bearded dragon needs a vivarium that's 4ft long, and ideally 2ft x 2ft (height/width) (120 x 60 x 60cm).
Vivariums with sliding glass doors are the most convenient. If you have young children you might want to consider getting a vivarium lock.
Buying Thermostats and Thermometers
For full details of how to use a thermostat please see the page on Termperatures and Thermostats.
I have always used Habistat Thermostats in my vivs, and have been very happy with them - no faults have developed on any of them. I therefore cannot recommend other makes, but have shown these below as alternatives for you to consider.
If you are using a light emitting heat lamp then you need a dimming thermostat.
If you are using a ceramic bulb you need a pulsing thermostat.
If you have a light emitting heat lamp if you use the cheaper Habistat Thermostat, or other type which is not a specific dimming one you may find your bulb has a lot shorter life.
If you can get a thermometer with a second probe and TWO temperature read outs you will be able to see the cool end and the hot end of the viv at the same time. This is really recommended for peace of mind. Just one read out means you will have to switch from the temperature at the probe, to that at the unit.
Buying Lamps and Lights
You will need a UVB light and a heat lamp.
As far as UVB light is concerned I recommend the Arcadia 12%, simply because it's the strongest currently on the market, and the higher the UVB, the better for your bearded dragon. If you are buying another bulb make sure it is at least 10%.
You should buy a tube that's 6 inches shorter than the length of the vivarium. You will also need a controller.
Bearded dragons do best under a basking lamp that emits a bright light as the light attracts them to bask under it. In most houses this is all the light you need, and it can be turned right off at night. If your house temperature falls below 60 degrees fahrenheit in the winter, then you might want to go for a ceramic bulb which can be turned down at night, but doesn't emit any light to disturb your beardie.
Selecting Vivarium Decor
The cheapest decor to put in the vivarium are rocks and branches you've collected and sterilised. A rock under the basking light can help raise the basking spot to the right temperature. Backgrounds can improve the look of the vivarium, and rock type ones can give your bearded dragon something to climb on. What you put into the vivarium is really a matter of personal choice, but here are some ideas. Remember, bearded dragons DO NOT need caves or hides.
I hope you have found these suggestions useful. If there are any other suggestions you'd like to make, or any comment on the items above please join our forum and share with others.
I usually advise them against this, as they are nearly always as expensive as buying all the bits on their own, but worse, contain things you do not need. Whoever puts most of these kits together does not understand bearded dragons. Some, for example, contain heat mats or even worse, wood chip!