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What Is a Bearded Dragon Vivarium?

Autumn Rivers
Updated Mar 05, 2024
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A bearded dragon vivarium is an enclosure that is considered safe and comfortable for this type of pet lizard. Vivariums are usually made out of glass, though some also feature wood on the top and around the sides. A vivarium is considered better for a bearded dragon than a metal wire cage, because wire cannot hold heat in the enclosure, and it also is likely to result in the lizard getting its nose or legs stuck between the bars of the cage. A 15-gallon (about 57-liter) vivarium is usually fine for a young bearded dragon, but adults typically need a 60-gallon (about 227-liter) home. Bearded dragon vivariums can be expensive, particularly the larger ones, but some people save money by buying a used enclosure or building their own.

Reptile owners have a choice between wood and glass vivariums. Wood is considered more durable than glass, because it is less likely to crack over time. This material also tends to hold in heat better, and can reflect light better than a glass bearded dragon vivarium. For this reason, it is usually best to choose wood in colder areas, which has the added benefit of allowing lizard owners to save on heating costs. On the other hand, glass vivariums are typically fine for areas with warm weather most of the year.

Even wooden vivariums feature a lot of glass, which is why it is important to consider the durability of this material. Many of the top-quality bearded dragon vivariums are made of toughened glass, which is difficult to break. In addition, if it does break, it usually smashes into blunt pieces instead of shattering into tiny, sharp fragments. Another feature that both glass and wooden vivariums should have is at least two vents, which prevent the enclosure from becoming too humid for the lizard. Finally, the typical high-quality bearded dragon vivarium comes with sliding doors so it is easy to get the creature and his food in and out of the enclosure.

The point of a vivarium is to create an ecosystem similar to the reptile's original home, which is Australia. This means the enclosure needs to be kept dry and warm, but not uncomfortably hot. For example, the enclosure should typically be kept in a range from 78° Fahrenheit (about 26° Celsius) to 88°F (about 31°C). A bearded dragon vivarium that is too cold can lead to digestive issues for the reptile, sometimes resulting in serious illness stemming from its inability to absorb nutrients. For this reason, a good bearded dragon vivarium also should have enough room for at least two lamps under which the lizard can bask when he is cold.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bearded dragon vivarium?

A bearded dragon vivarium is a carefully designed enclosure that replicates the natural habitat of bearded dragons, which are native to the arid, rocky regions of Australia. It includes features like UVB lighting, a heat source, and areas for basking, hiding, and climbing to cater to the physiological and behavioral needs of these reptiles.

What size should a bearded dragon vivarium be?

For a single adult bearded dragon, a vivarium should be at least 75 gallons, with dimensions around 48 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 24 inches tall. Juveniles can start in smaller enclosures, but they grow quickly, so it's often more practical to start with an enclosure suited for their adult size.

What are the essential components of a bearded dragon vivarium?

An ideal bearded dragon vivarium includes a UVB light source for vitamin D3 synthesis, a heat lamp for thermoregulation, a temperature gradient from 75-85°F with a basking spot of about 95-110°F, substrates like tile or reptile carpet, and furnishings like branches and hides for enrichment and shelter.

How often should the vivarium be cleaned?

The vivarium should undergo spot cleaning daily to remove waste and uneaten food. A more thorough cleaning, including changing the substrate and disinfecting the enclosure, should be done monthly. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of bacteria and parasites, ensuring a healthy environment for the bearded dragon.

Can bearded dragons live together in the same vivarium?

Bearded dragons are solitary creatures and can become territorial, especially males. Co-habitation can lead to stress, competition for resources, and even physical harm. It's generally recommended to house bearded dragons separately to ensure the health and well-being of each individual.

What type of lighting is best for a bearded dragon vivarium?

The best lighting for a bearded dragon vivarium includes a combination of UVB and UVA bulbs. The UVB light is crucial for vitamin D3 synthesis, which aids in calcium absorption, while UVA light contributes to the overall well-being and natural behavior of the dragon. The lights should mimic natural day and night cycles.

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Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for AllThingsNature, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.

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Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers

Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for AllThingsNature, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
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