Date: 24/07/18
Share this article:
Bearded Dragon Set Up Ideas


Do you want to know how to create a Bearded Dragon vivarium, that has the perfect set up for your new reptile? We have come up with 5 simple Q&A's based on our expertise and knowledge of Bearded Dragons and their habitat needs. Find out how to build the best set up for your Bearded Dragon from answers to all our most asked questions.

Interested in other reptiles? Take a look at our blog on what makes leopard geckos great pets.

Q. How big should a vivarium be?

For one single captive Bearded Dragon, the recommended vivarium size is 4ft x 2ft x 2ft.  If any smaller, you may struggle to achieve the required temperatures. Their vivarium and set up should be like their natural habitat.

Q. Can I keep Bearded Dragons together?

It’s generally best to keep them separate to avoid aggression and/or bullying when they reach sexual maturity.

Q. What are the growth stages of a Bearded Dragon?

  • Hatchling – aged 0-6 months.
  • Juvenile – aged 6-12 months.
  • Adult – aged 12 months onwards.
  • The average life span of a captive Bearded Dragon is 8-10 years.

Q. How to achieve optimal growth vivarium conditions for your Bearded Dragon?

Heat - A vivarium should have a warm and cool end.  The warm end should be around 38 Celsius and the cool end around 28 Celsius. The temperature of the vivarium should reflect the arid landscape and changing night time temperature.  Basking bulbs (spot bulbs) will help providing heat and light and these can be bought from most pet stores.

UVB - Bearded Dragons need UVB lighting to ensure they get vitamin D3 so that calcium can be absorbed into their body.  A Breaded Dragon should get around 14-16 hours of UV exposure in the summer and 10-12 hours in the winter.  Full spectrum UVB lighting can be bought in most pet stores.

Diet - A Bearded Dragon needs a varied and rich diet replicating what they would eat in the wild. It’s good practice to include vegetables, fruit, greens. Bearded Dragon’s can also eat meat in the form of insects (e.g. crickets, mealworms, locusts etc), live food can be found in most pet stores. 

Hydration - Remember Bearded Dragons get 99% of their required hydration from the greens they eat.  In addition to this, keep your Bearded Dragon hydrated either by:

  • Having a small water bowl in the vivarium, ensure that the bowl is so small that they cannot lay in as this can cause scale rot.
  • Bathing your Bearded Dragon in not too deep, warm water (no soaps or detergents).

Q. Should I choose a plastic or wood vivarium for my bearded dragon?

Hard plastic is the most common choice for the side walls of a vivarium tank because they reflect light, meaning it mimics that of a Bearded Dragon's natural habitat where there is lots of bright light. A wooden vivarium can also be a popular choice for Bearded Dragon owners, they are easy to assemble and easy to modify if you need to drill holes for wires and cables. However it also has it's down side - after a while the conditions in the tank may effect the wooden frame, humidity and water may cause the wood to rot, this also increases the risk of bacteria build up. Wooden tanks are also harder to clean as the surfaces can't just be wiped down like a glass vivarium.

The option of a glass vivarium is also appealing when you think about all the things that can't go wrong, as previously mentioned with a wooden tank. But you have to remember glass tanks are heavy, fragile and can easy be damaged by trying to drill a hole through it. 

Click here to find out how much a bearded dragon costs to keep.

Q. Bearded dragon vivarium - which substrate is best?

Well, this is down to personal preference. Here are some of the most common options: 

  • Sand
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Paper towels
  • Reptile carpets
  • Lino
  • Newspaper

Every substrate mentioned has pros and cons. Sand for example may seem like the most realistic habitat impersonation, but what new comers to the hobby may not realise is sand can cause health issues like impaction. This is where the Bearded Dragon swallows the sand through eating from the substrate, the sand can then irritate the digestive system and cause a blockage, this can then become fatal. 


British Pet Insurance Services can offer comprehensive insurance cover for your Bearded Dragon.  
If you are interested, get a quote online. Or give us a call on 01444 708840.

Share this article:

Need Help?

If you have any queries relating to a quote, policy or our services please contact us by


01444 708840 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm

  4 Bridge Road Business Park, Bridge Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1TX

Exotic Pet Insurance


Get A Quote

Related Articles


Caring for your pet during COVID-19


We give you some tips on how to care for your pet during COVID-19

Read More

COVID-19: Supporting customers and employees


We are closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure we are ready to respond to the needs of our customers and employees.

Read More

Tortoise Behaviour - What does it mean?


Ever wondered why your tortoise bangs their head, squeaks or scratches? Read on to find out why!

Read More

Breed Profile: Box Turtle


All about the box turtle!

Read More