Bearded dragons are a hardy species of lizard who get their name from the bearded crest on their throats. They are an entertaining species and make an excellent choice for anybody new to keeping reptiles.
Bearded dragons originate from Australia. They can grow to a length of 24 inches and have an approximate lifespan of 10-15 years. Due to their diurnal nature they are most active during the day. These animals are fairly docile and enjoy being handled, though they are best kept solitary unless wanting to breed.
What Equipment Will I Need To Care For My Bearded Dragon?
- Vivarium (3ftX2ftx2ft minimum)
- UVB Bulb
- Heat source
- Bulb Fitting
- Bulb Guard
- UVB Power Supply (If using fluorescent tube)
- Substrate (e.g. Sand or Beechwood Chips)
- Water Bowl
- Basking Area
- Food Bowl
- Food and supplement powder
Vivarium (3ftX2ftx2ft minimum)
Please note: Vivariums are currently available in-store only. If you would like to organise a local delivery please contact us on 01482 585315 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book a delivery slot.
Bearded Dragons require a source of UVB light of around 12% (this could be a desert or intense category bulb), which will need to be replaced approximately every twelve months. They will also need a photo period of twelve hours per day – this means that the UVB light must be switched on for this length of time. You could do this manually or with a timer. It is also important to note that if a strip light is used the correct fitting will also need to be purchased to correspond to this.
Hagen ExoTerra Desert UVB Strip 10% Bulb 40w
The Exo Terra Repti Glo 10.0 has a very high UVB output similar to that associated with desert environments. Desert locations receive more direct sunlight than any other because of fewer clouds, less air humidity and no plants or trees to provide shade.
UVB Power Supply
If you choose to go with a UVB strip bulb, it is important that you buy the correct fitting for it. These will allow for bulbs of differing lengths and wattages to provide light to your enclosure.
Komodo T8 Lighting Controller 18w
This UVB fluorescent lighting controller is suitable for any vivarium and is compatible with any Komodo T8 UVB strip bulb.
As with most reptiles, a bearded dragon’s vivarium should be set up so that there is a warmer area and a cooler area to ensure the animal can move between temperatures as it feels comfortable to do so. A bearded dragon will need a daytime basking spot of around 36-38 degrees celsius, whilst the cooler areas of the enclosure should reach around 25-29 degrees. Night time temperatures should never drop below 20 degrees. A bulb fitting (either Easy Screw or Bayonet) will be required to power your heat source, make sure you buy corresponding bulbs and fittings!
Komodo Bulb Basking Spot Easy Screw 150w
Focused beam directs heat efficiently towards the basking site
Emits up to 90% of power as beneficial Infrared heat rays
Thermostat and Thermometer
It is also important to ensure that your bearded dragon’s enclosure has a thermostat and a thermometer, this will help you to easily identify the temperature in the vivarium and alter it if needed.
The thermomether will constantly monitor the temperature of your vivarium in both celcius and farenheit depending on your preference. It can also display the minimum and maximum temperatures the vivarium has reached so you are aware of any dramatic changes.
Komodo Advanced Thermometer
The units offer a range of mounting options from mounting on wooden habitats or clipping to the top of our Glass Terrariums. They have easy to use controls and clear monitoring readouts.
A thermostat, on the other hand, will actually make changes to the temperature of the vivarium for you. It is best to use a dimming thermostat, although other options are available. Dimming thermostats work by changing the amount of energy that is being directed into the heat lamp – i.e. increasing the energy when the temperature falls too low and vice versa. This ensures that your bearded dragon will consistently be at an optimum temperature with minimal input from you!
Komodo Advanced Thermometer
The unit will alternate the amount of energy directed to your spot lamp in order to maintain an optimum temperature.
Bulb Fitting and Bulb Guard
Once the correct bulb has been established, you must make sure it has the correct fitting and a suitable bulb guard to protect your bearded dragon.
This ceramic bulb fixture will support bulbs that have an easy screw fitting (not bayonet fittings) and a maximum of 200w. It is possible to use a bulb with a capacity of more than 200w with this fitting, however, it will only ever have an output of 200w. Equally, it is possible to use a bulb with a capacity of less than 200w, but in this case, the output will only ever be that of the bulb itself. This setup will be controlled by the dimmer thermostat if you choose to purchase one.
Komodo Ceramic Fixture ES
The Komodo Ceramic ES Lamp Fixture and Mounting Bracket makes securely installing heat or light sources within a reptiles environment simple and safe. Easily mountable, this heat resistant ceramic lamp fixture is suitable for various enclosures and for use with most E27 screw cap heat and light sources up to 200W.
The light and heat guard serves a very simple purpose – to protect your bearded dragon from coming into contact with the lamp and causing itself any heat-related injuries. Therefore, it is not essential but highly recommended due to the risks associated with having a bare bulb.
Komodo Ceramic Fixture ES
£14.95 – £19.95
An essential piece of kit in wooden habitats used to prevent your animal coming into contact with its heat source and potentially injuring itself.
Basking Area/Hiding Place
Beneath your heat lamp should be an area in which your bearded dragon can bask in the light and heat, mimicking the experience it may have had beneath the hot sun. This should include an area that it can climb on such as a rock or branch. The Komodo Basking Ramp is ideal for this purpose as there is a flat surface on the top for basking and a hiding spot underneath for shade.
Komodo Basking Ramp
The Large Basking Platform Ramp has a perfect basking spot on top and safe place to hide beneath for shade.
Sand is usually the favoured substrate for bearded dragons as it absorbs heat well and therefore best replicates the Australian outback from which they originate. However, it is important to consider that using sand particles that are too large can pose a risk to your pet’s digestive system if accidentally ingested. Therefore, it is advisable to use a fine or medium grain sand, or even avoid sand altogether and try Beechwood chips instead.