bearded dragon tank and terrarium

Best Bearded Dragon Tank Review 2020

One of the most common types of housing purchased for bearded dragons is a tank. There are a lot of options for your bearded dragons tank and they are easy to obtain.

3 reasons a bearded dragon tank is a good choice of housing:

  • Easy to clean
  • Make it easy to see your bearded dragon
  • Economical and easy to get

3 problems that need to be addressed with a bearded dragon tank:

  • Poor air circulation is difficult to address since they are typically made of glass.
  • The walls are see through which will give no privacy for a nervous bearded dragon.
  • Lot of heat loss through glass walls.

Bearded Dragon Tanks Review

The bearded dragon tanks reviewed were the Carolina Custom Cages, Exo Terra, Repti-Zoo and Critter Condo.

Carolina Custom Cages Extra Tall Large or Bio Deep

The Carolina Custom Cages terrarium models offer some of the best options for a bearded dragon tank. This is not only due to the range of large and tall terrariums available but also the well thought out design.

The Carolina Custom Cages terrarium models suitable for bearded dragons include the 36”, 48”, 60” and 72” long terrariums. The 36” tank is the equivalent of a 40 gallon breeder and doesn’t provide the best solution due to its standard 18” height.

The tanks that are 24” or taller are so much better for bearded dragons since they are semi arboreal. Some bearded dragons are even known to brumate up trees and certainly the are useful for hiding and basking, that is how important the extra height can be. If you want to get a good grounding of what a bearded dragons natural environment is like, see the article on the wild bearded dragon environment.

The Carolina Custom Cage 36” extra large tall model makes for a great starting option for a bearded dragon tank. The extra height means more of the vertical space can be used and a better thermal gradient can be provided.

The larger terrariums that go up to 72” are fabulous sizes. Keep in mind that the larger cages may require additional heating and lighting. The 48” makes for a great bearded dragon tank and the 72” will clearly allow a much more natural environment and more room to house 2 or more bearded dragons together a little more safely.

The 36” cages come with hinged doors which makes it easier to access the entire set up for your bearded dragon. There are sliding doors on the 48” and above models which means your access won’t be obstructed as the access width is scaling with the terrarium size.

The top of the terrarium is a metal mesh and will help to prevent escapes of your bearded dragon or even intrusions if you have a cat or other pets that might want to jump into your warm bearded dragon tank.

The terrariums have key locks and the bases are waterproof. The bases start at 4” deep to up to 12” deep on the Bio Deep models (section between the base and the doors). This is ideal so that any loose substrates or any other loose matter will not clog up the door’s movement, either hinged or sliding. If you use sand and it gets in the sliding door grooves you get a dreadful grinding screeching noise. Reminds me of the feeling when someone runs their nails down a blackboard. So, the gap from base to the doors is useful!

The 36” extra tall is more suited to keeping 2 bearded dragons together in the right circumstances than the lower standard cage sizes.

To make postage cheaper the cages come ready to assemble. Carolina Custom Cages are available through Amazon to many locations around the world.

Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Large / Advanced Reptile Habitat

The Exo Terra terrariums are also good. Although their sizes aren’t as generous as the Carolina Custom Cages, there are some good sizes and they have put a lot of thought into the design.

The ventilation is particularly well thought out with a front grill allowing for air to enter, move up through the terrarium and out the top.

Exo Terra Terrarium suitable for a bearded dragon

The mesh lid can be removed making easy access to everything in the bearded dragon tank and it is lockable.

The base of the terrarium is raised slightly to allow for under tank heating if needed.

The largest terrarium is the Natural Terrarium Large/X Tall at 36” x 18” x 36” or 90 x 45 x 90 cm (WxDxH).

The large Exo Terra terrariums also come with a background which gives your bearded dragon cage more of a natural look out of the box.

Repti Zoo

The Repti Zoo super high terrarium is one of the few designs in the range high enough for bearded dragons.

Ventilation is provided through the mesh top and each side of the terrarium has a portion in mesh to give plenty of air flow, perhaps too much.

As with other brands reviewed the mesh lid can be removed and it is lockable.

Like the Exo Terra the base is raised slightly to allow for under tank heating.

This model measures roughly as 36″ x 18″ x 36″ or 90 x 45 x 90 cm (WxDxH).

Critter Condo Bearded Dragon Cage

Critter Condo make a bearded dragon cage that is 48 x 24 x 24. This provides more room than the standard 40 gallon tank and a little more height.

Critter Condos are made from recycled pvc and compressed foam. We need to encourage more of this in the world! As they are pvc based they don’t degrade and it weight less than a glass tank. The 48” bearded dragon cage weighs around 45 lbs or 20 kg as compared to a 40 gallon breeder tank weighing around 60 lbs or 27 kg.

At the front there are 2 glass sliding doors which lock.

The recycling factor in this terrarium is to be admired, having said that, it is doesn’t rate high on the list. Here are 4 reasons why:

  1. Ventilation is provided on all sides but not through the top. Poor ventilation and air circulation is prone to encourage the growth of pathogens and health issues.
  2. There is a built-in hygrometer and thermometer display. How reliable they are is not known. Buy an additional hygrometer and thermometer, as you should for any housing anyway, for redundancy.
  3. The top of the cage is fixed in place so there is no access through the top, only the front.
  4. Heating options are limited. They are not designed to take ceramic heat emitters, too much risk of melting.

The Critter Condos come flat packed ready to be assembled which requires a Phillips head screwdriver.

What Size Tank for a Bearded Dragon?

The absolute minimum size tank for your bearded dragon is 40 gallons regardless of age. To dep dive into why a 40 gallon tank is the minimum size for your bearded dragon see the article indoor and outdoor housing.

Bearded dragons are semi arboreal which is all to often forgotten or not even known. To read more about the natural habitat of a bearded dragon see the article on bearded dragons in the wild. Their semi arboreal lifestyle means you should provide relatively high housing so that they can be provided climbing materials.

The table shows the comparison of the sizes of the top 4 bearded dragon tanks reviewed. Some of the 18” or 45 cm high options have been added to the end of the table just to help in comparison. They are far too low to provide a good environment for a semi arboreal bearded dragon. The first table is in inches and the second is in centimeters.

Tank (in inches)LengthWidthHeight
Carolina Custom Cages Giant Deep Extra Tall72″24″36″
Carolina Custom Cages Giant Deep Tall72”24″24″
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Extra Extra Long Deep60”24″24″
Carolina Custom Cages Extra Tall Extra Long48”18″36″
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Extra Long Deep 48” 24″24″
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Extra Long 48” 18″24″
Repti-Zoo Super High Terrarium 36” 18″36″
Carolina Custom Cages Extra Tall Large 36”18″36″
Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Large Extra Tall 36”18″36″
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Large 36”18″24″
Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Large Tall 36”18″24″
Carolina Custom Cages Large Deep36″24″18″
Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Large Wide36″18″18″
Standard 40 gallon breeder36″18″17″
Tank (centimeters)LengthWidthHeight
Carolina Custom Cages Giant Deep Extra Tall1826090
Carolina Custom Cages Giant Deep Tall1826060
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Extra Extra Long Deep1526060
Carolina Custom Cages Extra Tall Extra Long1224590
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Extra Long Deep1226060
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Extra Long122 4560
Repti-Zoo Super High Terrarium904590
Carolina Custom Cages Extra Tall Large904590
Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Large Extra Tall904590
Carolina Custom Cages Tall Large 904560
Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Large Tall904560
Carolina Custom Cages Large Deep906045
Exo Terra Natural Terrarium Large Wide904545
Standard 40 gallon breeder904543

What size tank for Baby Bearded Dragon?

Buy your adult sized bearded dragon tank. Baby bearded dragons do not need a small tank. Here are 4 reasons you want to buy your baby bearded dragon tank for its adult size:

  • You will not be able to provide a proper thermal gradient which can result in severe health issues.
  • Your baby bearded dragon will likely experience additional stress as you won’t be able to provide a complete natural accessory setup.
  • That pathogens will build up to high concentrations faster than you will want to clean.
  • Its wasted money. In 6 months time your baby bearded dragon tank will need to be replaced. That few hundred dollars could have been invested into an extra large tank for its life.

Young bearded dragons do not fear space, they are designed to hatch into the vast lands of Australia. They will be scared without the proper accessories to help them feel protected. Small bearded dragon tanks are a waste of money and present health risk through improper gradients.

To make it easier for your baby bearded dragon to catch its food provide food in a smaller container rather than in the tank. This means your baby bearded dragon will be safer in its tank since it won’t have insects threatening to cause harm. Crickets have a reputation for eating the soft tissue of their predator’s eyes, mouth and other areas.

Tank Size for 2 Bearded Dragons Together

There is no rule for the tank size for 2 bearded dragons together however, larger is better. Something like the Carolina Custom Cages Extra Tall Extra Long at 48″ is really not big at all for two grown bearded dragons. Only a few steps for one to reach the other.

A 60″ tank will provide more opportunities to provide separate basking accessories reducing competition for the best spot. For more help see the article on keeping 2 bearded dragons together here.

Conclusion

Careful selection of your bearded dragon tanks will prevent common issues with glass tanks such as poor air circulation which breeds disease. Extra ventilation is difficult to add.

In addition, heat is easily lost through glass. Having said that, some of the models available now such as the Exo Terra have some built in additions to ventilation and a good background will help eliminate the loss of heat from at least the back.

Other options for bearded dragon housing include DIY which can be quite rewarding. The quickest option is to buy a readymade bearded dragon tank such as a terrarium.

Brand DoorsLockableVentilationMain MaterialTopWaterproof base
Carolina Custom CagesDual or SlidingYesTopGlassremovable mesh topYes
Exo Terra Natural TerrariumDualYesTop & front grillGlassremovable mesh topYes
Repti-Zoo super high terrariumSlidingYesTop & partial side meshGlassremovable mesh topYes
Critter CondoSlidingYesSide ventsPVC/PlasticFixed solid topNo

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