Create A Huge Bearded Dragon Habitat For $360
If you have a big bearded dragon and need to create a huge bearded dragon habitat, you will be very satisfied with the tank I compiled for you here. I know that it can be hard for beginners to get the right tank, the right tank size, the right lighting, the right substrate and so on and so forth.
This terrarium is complete and it is ready for your bearded dragon to move in. So you do not have to do any further research, there is no need to get confused.
I know it, because when I needed to create my first terrarium I was totally confused and made a lot of mistakes. Also I wasted a lot of money, because I bought the wrong parts or I bought low quality parts which did not do a good job.
Get started with Bearded Dragons in 5-Steps!
Huge Tank And Great Lighting!
Compared to all the tanks you can find on the internet, this is one of the biggest tanks you can get at an affordable price. Normally I would recommend to get a tank that is a little bit larger, but those tanks easily cost almost $500. If you can give your bearded dragon the opportunity to get outside the tank and run around in your room or in your garden from time to time, this tank is definitely okay.
The lighting is the most confusing part when it comes to terrariums and I totally understand that. The UVB lighting I have here for you is one the best, I am sure that every experienced bearded dragon owner will agree with me here.
Why You Should Get This Online
I am sure you have been at a local pet shop before. Have you seen the prices there? It is ridiculous.
If you order these parts online, you definitely will save a lot of money and I am sure that everyone who compared the online prices with the prices of a local pet shop will agree here.
Further many salespersons (I am not saying all of them) at local pet shops provide a bad service and recommend parts which are low quality and even can have a negative influence on the health of your bearded dragons.
Here is what you need for a complete terrarium
Update: While the ReptiSun 10.0 is still the best UVB bulb you can get on the market, the fixture I recommend below caused some problems lately. That´s why I recommend to get the ReptiSun T5 24″ Terrarium hood instead. It is a fixture plus a ReptiSun 5.0 UVB bulb, which is not strong as the 10.0. However you can replace the 5.0 with the 10.0 easily after 6 months. You an also take the 36″ version for a brighter tank.
Zoo Med ReptiSun® Terrarium Hood, 30-Inch
Update: The 30-Inch Terrarium Hood got some bad reviews in the last time. It seems that there is a manufacturing problem. Get this highly rated fixture+lighting instead! (The fixture even comes with a ReptiSun bulb!)
This habitat only contains really high rated parts. You won´t have any problems with it, you only have to set it up once and that´s it.
An Exo Terra Terrarium stands for high quality and so does this tank. It is 36 inches long, 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide. (You could also get the 36″x18″x36″ which is even better) This Exo Terra Tank comes with a screencover, so you do not have to buy that separately. Just place your lights on the screencover and you are good to go, since the screencover allows UVB penetration. There is no need for a lamp stand or something like that.
This tank also has front opening doors, which I think are really great. I like front opening doors, because it is easier to work in the terrarium plus it is better for your bearded dragon if you want to get it out. Why? Well, like all reptiles bearded dragons do not like to be grabbed from above. They might tolerate it, because most of them are pretty calm, but in the wild, everything that comes from above could be a predator bird for example and that, of course, means danger.
The second reason why I really like these doors is because Exo Terra has a unique front window ventilation which ensures that your bearded dragon always gets enough fresh air. Fresh air gets trough the front window ventilation and stagnant air leaves through the screen cover on the top of the terrarium. Don´t worry feeder insects are not able to escape through the ventilation.
Further the Exo Terra terrarium includes a natural-looking rock background. If you do not know it: Those backgrounds are normally ridiculously expensive. Normally those cost around $40 bucks or even more, which is a joke in my opinion. So it is great that this tank also includes the background.
I am not the only person who thinks that this terrarium is great. This terrarium has a ton of customer reviews on Amazon and most of them rate it very highly!
As I already said, lighting is the hardest part in my opinion when it comes to reptile enclosures. You have to make sure that you have a UVB bulb, that you have enough light, the right temperature and so on.With this set you are on the safe side!
ReptiSun 10.0I said it already a thousand times, but I have to say it again: The ReptiSun 10.0 is one of the best UVB bulbs out there in my opinion. This bulb is one of the most used and most recommended UVB bulbs. Many, many breeders and pet shops only use this bulb for UVB. You ask why? It has a great UVB output it is very reliable and it is cheap as well! Not even $20 for a great UVB bulb is an awesome price.
UVB bulbs are needed to prevent metabolic bones disease, therefore you need a good UVB output. The ReptiSun is made for placing it on a screen cover, so you do not need to worry that the screen cover would filter out too much of the UVB wavelengths. It doesn´t! 🙂
The bulb has a length of 24 inches and in my opinion this is perfect for the Exo Terra Tank above. Besides that the bulb also provides a good looking bright light which is very important for bearded dragons. The more light the better.
Please note that UVB bulbs should be changed every six months since the UVB output decreases and that can cause mental health problems on your bearded dragon.
Update: While the ReptiSun 10.0 is still the best UVB bulb you can get on the market, the fixture I recommend below caused some problems lately. That´s why I recommend to get the ReptiSun T5 24″ Terrarium hood instead. It is a fixture plus a ReptiSun 5.0 UVB bulb, which is not as strong as the 10.0. However you can replace the 5.0 with the 10.0 easily after six months.
ReptiSun Terrarium Hood
You need a fixture for T8 bulbs if you buy the ReptiSun 10.0. This fixture was made for the ReptiSun. You can simply place it on the screen cover of your tank and that´s it. It also has a build-in reflector to make your tank shine bright and get the most out of your light.
Get The ReptiSun Terrarium Hood Here!
Update: The 30-Inch Terrarium Hood got some bad reviews in the last time. It seems that there is a manufacturing problem. Get this highly rated fixture+lighting instead! (The fixture even comes with a ReptiSun 5.0 bulb!)
The heat lamp
The heat lamp is nothing spectacular and this exactly is the point here. You do not need anything spectacular. You do not need any of the common reptile basking spot heat lights or something like that.
If you already have the UVB bulb, all you need is warmth and additional light, that´s it. A normal incandescent light bulb will provide all you need.
I do not use those basking lamps from common manufacturers even if they have a high rating on Amazon or other online stores. Most of those bulbs burn out within two weeks and besides that, they are totally overpriced, because they are advertised as special reptile bulbs.
This normal incandescent 100W light bulb provides warmth and it provides a good looking white light.
Needless to say that this normal bulb is way cheaper than all the reptile basking spots.
The Zoo Med Deluxe Porcelain Clamp Lamp is a high quality clamp lamp that comes with a porcelain socket. That means you can use it with light bulbs that get very hot. It is rated up to 150 watts.
The light bulb does not stick out, so you can place it on the top of your screen cover without any problems.
Further this clamp lamp is very cheap compared to other lighting fixtures. Not even $12 is an awesome deal.
Of course this is another highly rated prodcut I have chosen.
Digital Terrarium Thermometer
You need a good thermometer to check the temperature in your bearded dragon cage. For that I recommend to use a thermometer with an external sensor for such a big tank.
Simply place the sensor on the cool side first and after you checked that, place the sensor in the basking spot to make sure that you get the right temperature in your tank.
Temperature is shown in Fahrenheit and Celsius and it has a LCD readout.
Of course this thermometer has a very positive rating on Amazon (you probably guessed it, lol).
There are also other thermometers I recommend, however it can be a little bit more expensive. If you are interested in that have a look at this article on terrarium lighting. Note: This article will open in a new window, so you can continue to read here!
Many people, especially in the U.S. use reptile carpet as a substrate for their bearded dragons. You should not use loose sand as a substrate, because your bearded dragon might eat sand while hunting crickets. This can lead to constipation … a lot of bearded dragons die from that.
That´s why most bearded dragon owners stay away from any loose substrate. The reptile carpet definitely does the job. It is easy to place in your tank and it is also easy to clean.
It also reduces the smell of the beardie poop. Everyone who smelled a dragon poop before knows why this is a good thing. Most probably most people who smelled a beardie poop before lost their scent ..lol. I am just kidding. 🙂
I recommend to wash the carpet before using it with hot water.So the reptile carpet is the inexpensive alternative to a normal bearded dragon substrate. However what exactly is a normal bearded dragon substrate?I like to keep it natural with my dragon tanks, that is why I normally use another substrate. If you are interested in that, you can read about it here: Substrate.Note: The article will open in a new window, so you can continue to read here after you are done with it.
However do not get me wrong here, the reptile carpet is a good solution, otherwise I would not name it here, I just like to let my bearded dragons dig.
You will need more, but it won´t cost you anything!
Of course you need more for a complete tank, however you got the basics and your bearded dragon will do good in this terrarium.
You have to decorate it with a few plants, rocks or pieces of wood, so your bearded dragon can climb and hide.
I recommend to create a cave with stones on the cool side of the terrarium. This way your bearded dragon can escape from the heat if it wants to. Further you should create a basking spot, where your bearded dragon is able to relax in the “sun”.
I do not recommend to use stones at the basking spot, those can get really hot and that can burn the skin of your dragon.
I also recommend to upgrade the lighting a little bit. Bearded dragons like light a lot and you should have a very bright tank.
So as you see, small stones or pieces of wood do not cost anything. You can take them from outside, but make sure, that you wash it before placing it in your tank.
Do this before you get your bearded dragon!
I highly recommend to check the terrarium before you get your bearded dragon.
Make sure that everything is okay with the cage. Check the temperature, do you have the right temperature on both sides of the tank?
I recommend to run the tank a couple of days before getting a beardie. This ways you do not have to deal with unexpected problems.
Also make sure that you place your terrarium in a quite place. Bearded dragons are sensitive, especially when they arrive at their new home. Give your new friend a little bit of time to get used to everything 🙂
Why this terrarium?
Many people ask me: Pierre, why don´t you just buy a used tank, it is much cheaper. Yeah it is, but you have to disinfect it thouroughly. If the used tank is infected and you do not clean and disinfect it properly, your bearded dragon might get sick.
That means going to the vet, which can be very expensive. It means my bearded dragons suffers, it means my bearded dragon might die.
Happened to me once, I will never do this again.
So this is why I only get new tanks.
That´s it! I am sure you will be happy with this bearded dragon habitat! I wish you a good start with your bearded dragon, I know you are going to have a lot of fun with it 🙂
If you have any questions, or if you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact me. Simply leave me a message in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out!
What do you think about this cage? Tell me about it in the comment section below!
All the best,
About the Author
Hey! I am Pierre. I own bearded dragons and many other reptiles for a very long time. I know from experience that it can be very hard to find the right information about a specific reptile, since there is so much misinformation out there.That´s why I created this website. To help other people to have the best time with their reptiles.