How big do bearded dragons get? This is a very important question. Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles you can find. Most of them are very calm and get used to you quickly.
Adult bearded dragons should eat vegetables most of the time and only 2 or 3 times crickets for example, which makes them even more appealing for people who do not have a thing for bugs and similar creatures.
However, bearded dragons might be very popular, but you can´t just set up a small tank for them and forget about it. There are a lot of preparations to make and there is a lot to know about bearded dragons before you actually buy one. Especially the full size is an important thing to know.
How big do bearded dragons get?
So this is the actual question in this article: How big will your beardie get? It is so important to know that, because you need to get the right tank size for your beardie and you need to know how much space you are going to need for your bearded dragon in your house.
Bearded dragons normally are 12 to 24 inches in length, the tail included. However, the length of your bearded dragons depends on a lot of factors.
- The bearded dragon species
- The state of health of your pet
- The diet: How many times do you feed your pet / what do you feed?
- The sex of your bearded dragon
This makes the difference
The sex of your bearded dragon
If you get a male bearded dragon, you should know that your beardie most probably is going to be a big boy, since male beardies are always bigger then the females.
The most popular bearded dragon, the Pogona Vitticeps (that´s the common bearded dragon) is not even the biggest species of the bearded dragons. The species Pogona Barbata lives in the east of Australia. You can find the biggest beardies there and this species can get up to 29 inches long (75cm) although this length is very rare.
Here are the other species:
- Pogona Minor Mitchelli size 18 inches
- Pogona Minor Minor size: 14 to 18 inches
- Pogona Nullabor size: 14 inches
- Pogona Henrylawsoni size: 12 inches
- Pogona Minor Minima size: 12 inches
- Pogona Microlepidota size: 4 to 6 inches
How much and what you feed your bearded dragon has a big impact on the growth of your dragon.
However do not get me wrong here. You can´t play Frankenstein and create a monster by feeding your pet tons of crickets. It does not work that way.
If you feed your bearded dragons tons of insects it won´t grow as big as you want. It will make your bearded dragon sick and it will become fat. Most probably your bearded dragon will suffer from health issues in the future if you do that.
On the other side, if you feed your bearded dragon less, it will most probably stay smaller. I would not do that, but it won´t kill your beardie. Think about that: Bearded dragons won´t find food every day in the wild of Australia. Some will find more and get bigger, some will find less and stay smaller, that´s nature.
However, I do recommend to always offer a normal amount of food.
If you need more information on bearded dragon diet, you should have a look at this article: Dragon Diet!
The state of health
Bearded dragons that are sick won´t grow fast and they most probably won´t get as big as a normal beardie. So make sure that your bearded dragon is always a healthy little boy … or girl 🙂
Do bearded dragons grow to the size of their tank? That´s a myth!
A lot of people think that most reptiles and similar creatures would only grow to the size of their tank. If you believed that till now, don´t feel bad about it. There was a time when I believed that as well.
When I was a kid, my parents got me and my sister two turtles. They bought a small tank for them, because they thought that they would stay small then. However that was not the truth. The turtles felt great and became bigger and bigger. Eventually they became so big that my parents had to give them away since we had no space for them in our house.
That was a sad moment and I do not want you to experience the same, that´s why I am telling you this.
Further they need space and they won´t feel good in a small tank. That can have an impact on the growth of your beardie and of course it has an impact on the health of your bearded dragon.
How fast do bearded dragons grow?
Bearded dragon babys grow very, very fast. Let me tell you that in the first six months your bearded dragon will grow like hell, like most reptiles do in the first six months.
After that it will slow down a little bit. After one year you will most probably not notice anymore that your bearded dragon is still growing. From that point on your adult bearded dragon will get more bulky, but you won´t see much of a difference in length.
Don´t worry, I know that you might want to know what that means in inches. When your bearded dragon is 3 months old, it should be around 10 to 11 inches in length and it should weigh around 60 grams to 70 grams.
When your bearded dragon is 6 months old it will be most probably around 16 inches in length and it should weigh 250 grams to 300 grams.
As I already said, from that point on, you might not see a big difference in length anymore, just in weight. Yes, most bearded dragons continue to grow after the six months, but often times they do not grow a lot anymore.
So don´t be worried if you notice that your bearded dragons doesn´t grow anymore after the sixth months of age. It might just be close to its full size. Some beardies are biggers some are smaller.
What is the right tank size for an adult bearded dragon?
Bearded dragons are pretty active when healthy and that´s why you should get a big tank for them.
I recommend to get this tank form Carolina Custom Cages. It is 48 inches long, so your beardie has enough space and the cages have great customer reviews. Sometimes they are sold out though and it takes a little bit of time until they are in stock again.
In that case you should get this tank from Exo Terra. I am a big fan of those tanks since they have great ventilation and they material is high quality. It is a little bit smaller though (36 inches long), however if you take your bearded dragon out on a regular base and let it run around freely, you won´t have any problems.
What is the right tank size for a baby bearded dragon?
Some people say that baby bearded dragons need a smaller tank. This way it is easier for them to catch their food.
In my opinion this isn´t necessary. Young bearded dragons are fast as hell and will get their crickets as long as they can see them. However if you are on a budget and want to start with a smaller tank, I recommend to get this tank for your baby beardie.
It will most probably be big enough for the first six months. It depends on your beardie´s size at that point, but around that time you should definitely get a bigger tank.
To make a long story short, you can start with a 20 gallon tank for a baby bearded dragon, but as you have learned, it will outgrow this tank very quickly.
Why is my bearded dragon not growing / Why is my bearded dragon not gaining weight?
As I have already said above, the growth of your bearded dragon depends on a lot of factors. You have to have the right food, the right amaount of food, the right lighting and you have to make sure that your bearded dragon is healthy.
So if your bearded dragon is not growing, I recommend the following:
First of all, check if you feed your bearded dragon correctly. Here is an article on bearded dragon diet that will help you.
Second, check if you have the right lighting. If you don´t have the right lighting setup, your bearded dragon won´t grow and eventually it will get very sick. There is a high chance that your bearded dragon might suffer from metabolic bone disease. Check my lighting guide here.
Third, if everything is set up correctly and if you feed your bearded dragon properly, your bearded dragon might suffer from parasites. Parasites drain your bearded dragon´s energy.
Energy that is needed for growing and hunting. Take your bearded dragon to the vet, let them do a fecal test to make sure that your bearded dragon is healthy.
This way, you will definitely find out why your bearded dragon is not growing and at the same time, you make sure that your bearded dragon is healthy.
Don´t be shocked, but don´t be afraid either
Big bearded dragons can get up to 24inches long, however there are a few who can get even bigger.
Especially in the last time I´ve seen very big beardies in pet shops. So don´t be shocked if your dragon grows like hell.
On the otherside, don´t worry! Most bearded dragons stay smaller than that. Only a few get really, really big.
If you need a complete habitat for your bearded dragon, have a look at this article here. I compile complete terrariums which are ready for your dragon. Simply choose your budget and get the best tank for your money: Create a habitat for $140. Or Create a habitat for $360.
All in all I have to say, that if you do your research and prepare for your bearded dragon in the right way, you can´t do anything wrong, so don´t be afraid of the size of your beardie. Make sure that you have enough space and everything is going to be allright.
So I hope you like my article on how big do bearded dragons get! If you have concerns, feel free to leave a comment and let´s talk about it!