Can you use an aquarium for a bearded dragon

Can you use an aquarium for a bearded dragon

Bearded dragons make awesome pets, but many would-be owners don’t know what’s best for their housing. So, can you use an aquarium? Not really.

Aquariums can work for juvenile bearded dragons, because they’re smaller. But, they’re not good for long-term living. Bearded dragons need room to roam, climb, and bask in the heat. Aquariums usually don’t have the necessary height and floor space.

Plus, ventilation is very important for a dragon’s health. Aquariums usually have some airflow from the lid, but it’s not enough to keep good air circulation. Bad air circulation can cause respiratory problems and bacterial infections.

It’s also tricky to set up the right temperature in an aquarium. This is easier with a purpose-built terrarium.

If you’re stuck with an aquarium, there are a few tips to make sure your dragon is safe and healthy. Provide climbing structures and branches to give them exercise. Monitor the temperature with thermometers, and watch your dragon closely.

Can you use an aquarium for a bearded dragon?

A pet bearded dragon requires careful habitat consideration. Glass aquariums are popular, but it’s important to make sure they fit the specific needs of these reptiles. An aquarium can be suitable for them, providing a comfortable living space that mimics nature.

To make a great habitat, certain factors must be taken into account:

  1. Size! The aquarium should match the dragon’s growth and movement. They need room to move, bask under heat lamps, and stay at the right temperature. Good ventilation is vital for respiratory health.
  2. The accessories in the aquarium are essential too. Give them hiding spots and climbing areas for natural instincts. Strong branches and rocks will help with mental stimulation.
  3. Substrate selection is another factor. It should be safe to walk on and easy to clean. Reptile carpet or non-toxic sand are safe choices.
  4. Some people find alternative housing better. Custom-built enclosures with front-opening doors are easier to clean and interact with. They often have special heating and lighting for bearded dragons.

Pros of using an aquarium for a bearded dragon

Using an aquarium for a bearded dragon offers many advantages. Firstly, it provides a secure and enclosed area. Secondly, you can see your dragon’s activities easily. Thirdly, aquariums come in various sizes and designs. Finally, they are easily customized for comfort and looks.

Aquariums also offer ideal temperature and humidity control. The glass walls keep heat in and stop drafts. This is great for colder weather or places with changing temperatures.

Maintenance and cleaning are easy, too. Lids are removable and tank designs make access simple. Spot cleaning and water changes are stress-free.

Plus, accessories like caves, branches, rocks, and plants make the tank look natural and give your dragon mental stimulation and exercise.

The Spruce Pets recommends aquariums as the best enclosure choice for bearded dragons due to the comfort and security they provide.

Cons of using an aquarium for a bearded dragon

An aquarium may look like a good home for a bearded dragon, but it has some disadvantages. Here are a few to consider:

  • Bad ventilation: Aquariums often have too much moisture and not enough fresh air.
  • Not enough room: Bearded dragons need to move around and explore. An aquarium is too small.
  • Limited view: The walls of an aquarium block your view of your dragon.
  • Hard to keep temperature: Keeping the right temperature in an aquarium is tricky.
  • No UVB light: Bearded dragons need UVB light. Aquariums can’t provide it.
  • Cleaning is hard: Cleaning an aquarium is more difficult compared to other enclosures.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use an aquarium. But, you should think about these points before you decide.

One beardie owner, Jane, had a successful tank. She made modifications and worked hard to make it work. Now, her dragon is healthy and happy.

Alternative housing options for a bearded dragon

Enclosure size: A large habitat is vital for a bearded dragon’s health and mental state. Get an enclosure that allows them to explore and move around.

Terrariums: Glass terrariums with secure lids are popular. They offer visibility and are easy to maintain, though proper ventilation must be provided.

Vivariums: These setups contain live plants and mimic the bearded dragon’s natural habitat. It offers enrichment and encourages instinctive behaviors.

Custom enclosures: Building your own enclosure lets you customize it to fit your pet’s needs. From size to lighting, you can control the design.

Outdoor setups: If the weather is good, outdoor enclosures provide space and natural sunlight – useful for vitamin D synthesis – as long as predators are kept away.

Reptile racks: These multi-level systems save space when multiple dragons are kept, but make sure it’s suitable for each individual.

Other factors to consider are providing appropriate temperature gradients, UVB lighting sources, hiding spots, and a substrate that helps keep it clean. All choices should prioritize the safety and welfare of the bearded dragon.

Research shows that environmental complexity increases cognitive abilities in reptiles (Aplin et al., 2020). Think about this when designing alternative housing options for your bearded dragon.

How to set up an aquarium for a bearded dragon

For your bearded dragon’s wellbeing and joy, setting up the perfect environment is vital. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an ideal aquarium!

  1. Select the right-sized aquarium. Your dragon needs space to explore. Opt for 40 gallons, with length and height.
  2. Provide the correct lighting and heating. Basking spot temperatures from 95-110°F (35-43°C). Use reptile-specific lamps and fluorescent bulbs.
  3. Create a natural habitat. Use reptile carpet or paper towels for easy cleaning. Add non-toxic plants, branches, and rocks.
  4. Set up a feeding station. Place shallow bowls or dishes with vegetables, fruits, and insects. Supply clean water.

Also, add a thermostat or temperature controller for optimal conditions. Monitor humidity levels with hygrometers. 30-40% is ideal.

By following these steps, your dragon will have a living space like its natural habitat. Don’t forget to clean and sanitize the tank regularly to stay healthy. Have fun setting up!

Proper care and maintenance of an aquarium for a bearded dragon

Size: Aquariums should be large (at least 40 gallons) for your dragon to move comfortably.

Temperature: Keep a basking area at 100°F and a cooler side around 80°F. Heat lamps and thermostats help regulate the temperature.

Lighting: UVA and UVB bulbs are needed for proper calcium absorption.

Substrate: Pick one that’s easy to clean and won’t be eaten.

Feed them a variety of insects, veggies, and sometimes fruits. Monitor food intake.

Enrichment activities are key for mental stimulation. Provide objects to climb on or explore. Regular interaction with the owner is also crucial.

Cleanliness is a must – remove feces and debris regularly. Long-term housing should be a terrarium with proper airflow, not an aquarium.

Keep hygiene practices in check to prevent bacterial growth.

In conclusion, proper care and maintenance of an aquarium is essential for your dragon’s health and happiness.


Using an aquarium for a bearded dragon can be an option, but certain factors must be considered:

  1. The tank size should fit the dragon’s size and activity level.
  2. Lighting, temperature, and ventilation are also important.
  3. Substrates and enrichment items must be provided for physical and mental stimulation.
  4. A balanced diet of veggies, insects, and fruits must be supplied as well.

It’s worth noting that aquariums may not be the best choice for bearded dragons. Vivariums or terrariums with front-opening doors are preferred. These enclosures are easier to access during daily care routines and provide better opportunities for interaction.

The website “The Spruce Pets” suggests that bearded dragons do best in environments that mimic their natural habitat. This includes temperature gradients and lighting.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: Can you use an aquarium for a bearded dragon?

Yes, you can use an aquarium for a bearded dragon. However, it is important to ensure that the aquarium meets specific requirements to provide a suitable habitat for your bearded dragon.

FAQ 2: What size aquarium should I use for a bearded dragon?

For an adult bearded dragon, a minimum of a 40-gallon breeder tank is recommended. However, larger tanks are even better as they allow more space for your pet to move and explore.

FAQ 3: What should I put in the aquarium for my bearded dragon?

The aquarium should include a few essential items for your bearded dragon’s well-being. These include a temperature gradient, basking spot, UVB lighting, a hiding place, and substrate that is safe for your dragon to walk on.

FAQ 4: Do bearded dragons need a special type of lighting for their aquarium?

Yes, bearded dragons require both UVA and UVB lighting for their overall health. UVB lighting helps them produce vitamin D3, which is vital for calcium absorption and preventing metabolic bone disease.

FAQ 5: Can I use a glass lid on the aquarium?

Avoid using a completely enclosed glass lid as it can lead to inadequate ventilation. It is recommended to use a mesh screen or a lid that allows proper air circulation while still preventing your bearded dragon from escaping.

FAQ 6: How often should I clean the aquarium for my bearded dragon?

You should clean your bearded dragon’s aquarium regularly to maintain a hygienic environment. Spot clean any waste daily, change the substrate weekly, and thoroughly clean the entire tank and accessories once a month.