Bearded Dragon Advice

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
1,368
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Hello TFO friends. I’ve thought about getting a bearded dragon off and on for years. Over the last couple of weeks I‘ve started to re-educate myself as much as possible so I can figure out if this would be a good fit. There seems to be as much conflicting information on bearded dragons as there is with tortoises. From my research on a variety of websites and YouTube, I noticed a common problem with people having issues maintaining temps and ending up having multiple heat sources, yet 99% of the time I’m seeing enclosures with screen tops. Is there a reason you wouldn’t want a closed chamber with a bearded dragon? Is there a benefit to having a screened lid on the enclosure?

If any of you have bearded dragons, I'd love to hear your opinions on the pros and cons of getting a male vs a female. Anything you’re willing to share, I’ll be grateful for. I did go to the bearded dragon forum, but my account hasn’t been approved for me to join. I’ve checked out other places too, but because I am familiar with the tortoise forum and so many of you, I feel more comfortable asking here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ink

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,858
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello TFO friends. I’ve thought about getting a bearded dragon off and on for years. Over the last couple of weeks I‘ve started to re-educate myself as much as possible so I can figure out if this would be a good fit. There seems to be as much conflicting information on bearded dragons as there is with tortoises. From my research on a variety of websites and YouTube, I noticed a common problem with people having issues maintaining temps and ending up having multiple heat sources, yet 99% of the time I’m seeing enclosures with screen tops. Is there a reason you wouldn’t want a closed chamber with a bearded dragon? Is there a benefit to having a screened lid on the enclosure?

If any of you have bearded dragons, I'd love to hear your opinions on the pros and cons of getting a male vs a female. Anything you’re willing to share, I’ll be grateful for. I did go to the bearded dragon forum, but my account hasn’t been approved for me to join. I’ve checked out other places too, but because I am familiar with the tortoise forum and so many of you, I feel more comfortable asking here.
I've used screen tops and closed chambers. Both work fine. Some people associate closed chambers with high humidity. Beardies don't need high humidity, but moderate humidity won't hurt them and is beneficial in my experience. A closed chamber does not have to be humid.

They don't need the whole enclosure hot all day. They just need a basking area to warm up in. This applies in any type of enclosure. They don't need night heat unless your house gets below 65ish.

Personalities vary, but in general, I find males to be more bold and outgoing. Females in my care seem easier to scare. Either sex make wonderful pets and are more tame and handleable than 99% of the reptiles in the pet industry.

Just make sure to dust your feeder insects regularly, and be sure your UV tube is top notch. I consider a Solarmeter 6.5 to be essential equipment for a bearded dragon or any other reptile with high UV needs. You need to know what that bulb is putting out, and it needs to be high enough year round. I feed my beardies a wide variety of weeds, leaves, flowers and grocery store greens. Babies get insects every day and adults get insects at least 3 or 4 times per week. All ages have greens available every day.

A large water dish is essential, and soaking periodically is good for them. I soak adults once a week or so. Is this "necessary"? Probably not. Is it beneficial? I think it is, and it certainly does no harm.

I think this picture illustrates the male/female difference very well. The male on the right could care less about me fiddling around behind him with the camera and just continues looking out over his world. The female is like, "Hey... what are you doing back there...?" She didn't leave or run away, but she was more wary than he was, and this is consistent with each one that I have owned over the years.
IMG_0757.jpg


Bearded dragons are very hardy and easy to keep. Many keeping styles will work for them AS LONG AS certain needs are met. A strong, high quality, UV tube is a must. A varied diet with proper supplementation is a must. A hot basking area is a must. There is a pretty wide margin of error for everything else and much boils down to personal preference.
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
1,368
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Wow! Thank you so much for all of this excellent information. This is exactly the feedback I was hoping for. With my tortoise I use the Arcadia Pro T5 kits, so would buy the same for the bearded dragon. I did invest in a Solarmeter 6.5r about 5 years ago and would never use UV without it now. It is a relief to not have to guess at the UV output of my bulbs. With regards to dusting the feeder insects, I’ve read about dusting with calcium containing D3, but some places also say to dust with a multi vitamin. I use the Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-all with D3 for my tortoise. Could it be used for the bearded dragon too?

Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. I’m going to have to put more thought into which type of enclosure I would go with.
 

SinLA

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
2,266
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
I've used screen tops and closed chambers. Both work fine. Some people associate closed chambers with high humidity. Beardies don't need high humidity, but moderate humidity won't hurt them and is beneficial in my experience. A closed chamber does not have to be humid.

They don't need the whole enclosure hot all day. They just need a basking area to warm up in. This applies in any type of enclosure. They don't need night heat unless your house gets below 65ish.

Personalities vary, but in general, I find males to be more bold and outgoing. Females in my care seem easier to scare. Either sex make wonderful pets and are more tame and handleable than 99% of the reptiles in the pet industry.

Just make sure to dust your feeder insects regularly, and be sure your UV tube is top notch. I consider a Solarmeter 6.5 to be essential equipment for a bearded dragon or any other reptile with high UV needs. You need to know what that bulb is putting out, and it needs to be high enough year round. I feed my beardies a wide variety of weeds, leaves, flowers and grocery store greens. Babies get insects every day and adults get insects at least 3 or 4 times per week. All ages have greens available every day.

A large water dish is essential, and soaking periodically is good for them. I soak adults once a week or so. Is this "necessary"? Probably not. Is it beneficial? I think it is, and it certainly does no harm.

I think this picture illustrates the male/female difference very well. The male on the right could care less about me fiddling around behind him with the camera and just continues looking out over his world. The female is like, "Hey... what are you doing back there...?" She didn't leave or run away, but she was more wary than he was, and this is consistent with each one that I have owned over the years.
View attachment 370805


Bearded dragons are very hardy and easy to keep. Many keeping styles will work for them AS LONG AS certain needs are met. A strong, high quality, UV tube is a must. A varied diet with proper supplementation is a must. A hot basking area is a must. There is a pretty wide margin of error for everything else and much boils down to personal preference.
@Tom I thought they needed to be kept solo like tortoises. Do you keep them together?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,858
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
@Tom I thought they needed to be kept solo like tortoises. Do you keep them together?
I've kept them alone and they do fine. I've kept them in groups and they do fine. My current pair are doing fine together. They have separate cages and they spend most days outside in a large outdoor sunning cage.
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
1,368
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
I've used screen tops and closed chambers. Both work fine. Some people associate closed chambers with high humidity. Beardies don't need high humidity, but moderate humidity won't hurt them and is beneficial in my experience. A closed chamber does not have to be humid.

They don't need the whole enclosure hot all day. They just need a basking area to warm up in. This applies in any type of enclosure. They don't need night heat unless your house gets below 65ish.

Personalities vary, but in general, I find males to be more bold and outgoing. Females in my care seem easier to scare. Either sex make wonderful pets and are more tame and handleable than 99% of the reptiles in the pet industry.

Just make sure to dust your feeder insects regularly, and be sure your UV tube is top notch. I consider a Solarmeter 6.5 to be essential equipment for a bearded dragon or any other reptile with high UV needs. You need to know what that bulb is putting out, and it needs to be high enough year round. I feed my beardies a wide variety of weeds, leaves, flowers and grocery store greens. Babies get insects every day and adults get insects at least 3 or 4 times per week. All ages have greens available every day.

A large water dish is essential, and soaking periodically is good for them. I soak adults once a week or so. Is this "necessary"? Probably not. Is it beneficial? I think it is, and it certainly does no harm.

I think this picture illustrates the male/female difference very well. The male on the right could care less about me fiddling around behind him with the camera and just continues looking out over his world. The female is like, "Hey... what are you doing back there...?" She didn't leave or run away, but she was more wary than he was, and this is consistent with each one that I have owned over the years.
View attachment 370805


Bearded dragons are very hardy and easy to keep. Many keeping styles will work for them AS LONG AS certain needs are met. A strong, high quality, UV tube is a must. A varied diet with proper supplementation is a must. A hot basking area is a must. There is a pretty wide margin of error for everything else and much boils down to personal preference.

@Tom I forgot to quote you in my reply earlier, so wanted to post it again…and I’ve thought of the other question I meant to ask.

Wow! Thank you so much for all of this excellent information. This is exactly the feedback I was hoping for. With my tortoise I use the Arcadia Pro T5 kits, so would buy the same for the bearded dragon. I did invest in a Solarmeter 6.5r about 5 years ago and would never use UV without it now. It is a relief to not have to guess at the UV output of my bulbs. What reading should I aim for with the UV at its highest reaching level of the enclosure?

With regards to dusting the feeder insects, I’ve read about dusting with calcium containing D3, but some places also say to dust with a multi vitamin. I use the Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-all with D3 for my tortoise. Could it be used for the bearded dragon too?

Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. I’m going to have to put more thought into which type of enclosure I would go with.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,858
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
@Tom I forgot to quote you in my reply earlier, so wanted to post it again…and I’ve thought of the other question I meant to ask.

Wow! Thank you so much for all of this excellent information. This is exactly the feedback I was hoping for. With my tortoise I use the Arcadia Pro T5 kits, so would buy the same for the bearded dragon. I did invest in a Solarmeter 6.5r about 5 years ago and would never use UV without it now. It is a relief to not have to guess at the UV output of my bulbs. What reading should I aim for with the UV at its highest reaching level of the enclosure?

With regards to dusting the feeder insects, I’ve read about dusting with calcium containing D3, but some places also say to dust with a multi vitamin. I use the Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-all with D3 for my tortoise. Could it be used for the bearded dragon too?

Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. I’m going to have to put more thought into which type of enclosure I would go with.
Arcadia ProT5 kits are the best way to go in my opinion. I like a reading of 4-6 UVI at basking level where the lizard will lounge. I run the tubes for about 6 hours mid day for my beardies when they are indoors.

I dust with calcium two to three days a week. I use calcium with D3. I dust with vitamins once a week. MinerAll would be fine once week too.
 
Top