Location: Australian desert, scrublands & eucalyptus woodlands
Size: 16-24 inches
Lifespan: 11-15 (min: 10) (max: 16)
Adult bearded dragons require an enclosure that is a minimum of 40 gallons, but 60 gallons or larger is preferred for a permanent home.
Juvenile dragons should be kept in 20 gallons until they outgrow it, usually after a few months. Bearded dragons are SOLITARY animals, housing more than one dragon together, no matter the gender can result in stress and serious or fatal injuries.
Substrate & Decor
Bearded dragons are very curious and lick their surroundings to smell and feel, this makes a non-loose substrate ideal. Some suitable substrates include: reptile carpet, reptile grass, sand mat, large stones, papertowel, newspaper, shelf liner, blankets and my personal favourite, ceramic tiles.
Their enclosures can be decorated using logs, rocks, fake plants, branches, hammocks and even beads. Be creative!
The basking area for a bearded dragon should be around 110-115F, while also providing a cooler basking area of 95-105F to give them options. The colder end of the enclosure should be around 85-75F. Nighttime temperatures should be between 65-75F. A red or blue bulb is not recommended for nighttime. If the enclosure's temperature drops below 65F a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) can be used to bring it back up to the desired temperature.
Providing your dragon with UVB is essential. Without UVB they will develop MBD (metabolic bone disease) and many other fatal diseases. The best UVB for bearded dragons is a 10.0 fluorescent tube UVB that covers over half of the tank. Coils or compact bulbs are not recommended for bearded dragons. You can also use a MVB (Mercury vapour bulb) which is heat, UVA and UVB in one bulb. These are better for smaller tanks. Another option is pairing a tube UVB and a MVB together for maximum UVB exposure.
Water & Humidity
You can provide them with a water dish, but since bearded dragons can't see still water they will most likely not use it. A bath once a week or dropping water on their snout to drink is sufficient, plus a variety of leafy greens. Misting should not be done often to decrease the risk of respiratory diseases. Humidity levels should stay at about 25-40% in the enclosure.
Adult dragons (1-6y) should be fed a salad daily, with 1 day of fasting a week. They should be fed a protein source once a week. (70% salad, 30% insect) Senior dragons (6y+) can be fed protein once every week and a half to two weeks, and fed salads daily with 1 day of fasting a week. (85% salad, 15% insect) Juvenile (ages 2m-1y) should be fed a salad daily and insects daily (70% insect, 30% salad). A good feeding schedule is:
Thursday: treats (Repashy Veggie Burger or fruit salad)
Saturday: worms or crickets
*** adjust according to age ***
In captivity, bearded dragons often don't get enough nutrients. To ensure good health dragons should be given a multivitamin and calcium powder. Juveniles should have their food dusted with calcium almost daily and multivitamins at least twice a week. Adults can have their food dusted with calcium every second day and a multivitamin at least twice a week.
Another good supplement (optional) is bee pollen. This powder has loads of nutrients and can be given daily. It has been known to increase alertness, stimulate appetite (great for picky eaters!), help sick dragons regain health and can even replace a multivitamin. Plus, it tastes good to them.
*** Fasting should be monitored, if the dragon didn't eat enough the day before, feed them on their fasting day as well to prevent malnutrition. ***
The best source on nutrition is at this site; trusted by VBR and other experts.