Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
by Cameo Hall


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Bearded Dragon Care Sheet


Housing/tank decor


A 40 gallon (36x18x18) size tank is minimum size tank for an adult size dragon. Your dragon can stay in a smaller tank till around 6 months, but they grow fast so it's best to just start with at least a 40 gallon tank.


You will need a log for the dragon to climb on typically placed under the basking spot or UVB light. A hide is also needed for the dragon to retreat to for "safety/security" to sleep in. The hide can be placed on the cool end of the tank.

I recommend not housing multiple dragons together. http://bdogroup.org/health/cohab1/cohab1.html


Lighting


Bearded dragons require full spectrum lighting for 12 hours a day. 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Turn all lights off at night and let your dragon sleep. Stay away from night lights of all kinds. Night lights will disturb your dragon's sleep. If you need heat for cold nights use a ceramic heat emitter. You will need to have a UVB bulb and a heat light. It is very important to the health of your dragon to have proper UVB. This isn't an area to go cheap on cause you pay for what you get. I recommend Reptisun 10.0 or Arcadia 12% tubes. Try to stay away from putting your UVB above screens, because the screen will filter out a lot of your UVB. Stay far away from coil bulbs, because they don't cover much surface area nor do they put out proper UVB. MVB bulbs put out both UVB and heat. They are a great source for UVB, but be careful as they get pretty hot. UVB bulbs should be replaced every 6-12 months.


For heat I prefer to use halogen flood lights. They last a long time and put out great heat. They're also cheaper than pet store heat bulbs that blow out quickly. You can get them at Lowe's or Home Depot. You will want to establish a hot and cool side in your tank. The cool side should be 75-85 and hot side/basking spot 95-105. It's very important to establish proper cage temps so your dragon can digest its food properly. Stay away from stick on thermometers, because they're inaccurate. A temp gun and or digital thermometer is best for accuracy.


Substrate


Bearded dragons under 1 year old should be housed on newspaper, paper towel, butcher paper, Repti Carpet, or slate tile. These options are safe for your young and adult dragons, plus easy for cleaning. If your dragon is over a year old you can use other loose substrates, but I would recommend staying away from calcium sands and crushed walnut shells. They're not safe for bearded dragons. I recommend children's playground sand for dragons a year or older. Proper husbandry is very important if you're gonna use a loose substrate.


Feeding


A dragon under 6 months old should be fed 2-3 times a day. Let them eat as many bugs as they want in 5 minute sessions. They also should have fresh greens available once a day.


Dragons over a year old should be fed 30-60 bugs per week. The amount can be adjusted/determined by your dragon's weight. If the dragon is getting fat you should cut back some. They also need fresh greens given once a day as well.


Some great staples to feed are Dubia Roaches, Superworms, Crickets, and Phoenix worms. Here's a list of everything you can feed your dragon and how often. http://bdogroup.org/nutritn/food/food.html


Supplements


You should be dusting your dragon's bugs with calcium/vitamin supplements. Here is a nice calcium/vitamin feeding schedule.

http://bdogroup.org/health/calcium/calcium.html