How to House Your Baby Bearded Dragon – Creating a Young Bearded Dragon Habitat
Hopefully you have picked a health baby Pogona. Setting up your Cage or Tank is fairly simple, but probably will be the biggest purchase you make for your baby beardie.
There are five main components needed to make a proper baby bearded dragon habitat.
The tank or cage, a UVB source, a Basking Light (UVA)source, Substrate(Tank floor Lining) and needed accessories ( timer, heating, thermometer).
Also note that humidity is never really much of an issue. Dragons prefer to stay under 50% humidity.
Tank or Cage For your Baby Bearded Dragon Habitat
Many different types of housing / Cages is available. For babies, a Glass tank is best. You can see your dragon at all times, they. They are fairly easy to clean and keep clean.
Affordable and available at any pet store. A 20 gallon tank is okay for a baby pogona vitticeps habitat, but will soon be out grown.
If you plan on keeping your Baby pogona throughout its lifespan, get a 50 gallon tank. Its more cost-effective, you wont need to buy another tank.
It can be sectioned off into two areas, one for feeding the other a main living section, providing an idol baby bearded dragon habitat.
A UVB light source is extremely important to your dragons health. Its a vital part of a baby bearded dragon habitat.
Dragons need a wide spectrum light for many health reasons. They use the light to metabolize Vitamin D just like us humans.
Vitamin D3 aids in the metabolising of calcium. Also, It help prevent them from developing metabolic bones disease.
UVB light should reach both ends of the tank or cage. The Light will also need to be changed every 6-8 months.
This will ensure that they put a proper dose of UV light.
A Basking light (UVA) serves to keep your dragon happy as well as healthy. A good Basking light source should be very bright and put off a good amount of heat.
The light should focus its heat on a particular spot of the tank, a basking spot. While the rest of the tank remains a little cooler.
Baby Bearded dragons prefer a Basking spot to have temps of about 100-105 degrees. The cooler sides should be about 80 degrees.
The higher heat basking area will provide a place for your dragon to rest and digest its food. While the cooler sides allow your beardie to run around and play.
Achieving the right temperature in your baby bearded dragon habitat can take a bit of time. You can try different watt bulbs of adjusting the space between the light and basking spot.
It is very important not to overheat your tank. As babies, bearded dragons can easily dehydrate from overheating.
If your dragon tends to stay away from your designated basking spot, it may be a sign of high temps. A rock to lay on while basking is a good idea.
Substratum for baby pogona vitticeps
The safest and best bet for your substrate is paper towel or reptile carpet. When thinking about a substrate keep hygiene in mind. It needs to be easy to clean or replace, mold resistant and free of any fumes. Any sort of Sand, pebbles or chips are not suitable substrate for a baby bearded dragon habitat.
Keep it simple. When your beardie gets older you can use sand as a substratum. When they are babies, they are more prone to the risks involved with sand, pebbles and chip.
Paper towels are quick and easy to replace. Reptile carpet should be cut into small tiles. Pull out and clean soiled section then put it back.
The necessary accessories, light timer, heaters and Thermometers
Light timers are needed to keep proper lighting cycles. Basking light needs to be on for a 12-14hr cycle. The night cycle must be completely dark for your dragon to sleep.
This will insure the health of your baby dragon. Later in life the light cycles can be altered, this is usually done to induce brumation.
You must maintain a minimum temperature of 65-70 degrees over night in the pogona habitat. People usually debate on what’s the best heat source for dragons, Heat pads or Ceramic Heat Emitters (CHEs).
Hot rocks are out of the question. NEVER USE HOT ROCKS TO HEAT BABY DRAGON TANKS! The heat of a hot rock is not regulated. It can heat up to 150 degrees. That’s good for frying eggs, not housing baby beardies.
A lot of people will tell you to got with CHE’s. Ceramic Heat Emitters should only be screwed in to ceramic and porcelain sockets, plastic sockets will melt from the heat. CHE’s Will generate adequate heat and are fairly reliable.
The down side to CHE’s is they are not power efficient and tend to spot heat. One CHE will not heat a large tank properly. You will need at least 2 high watt CHE’s to heat a 50 gallon tank.
Heat pads will produce sufficient heat for any size tank. Large tank use large pad, a small tank, small pad. They don’t consume as much electricity as CHE’s when heating large tanks/cages. Some serious con’s to under tank heat pads. Just like hot rocks they can overheat.
This can possibly burn your baby dragon. But unlike hot rocks they do not go into the tank/cage. So there is no direct contact to your dragon.
Of course all these temperature variations need to be monitored, or at least check time to time. When going over heating there were a few temperature zones mentioned, Basking , Cool sides and overnight.
All three temperatures create the gradient rang in you Baby Bearded Dragon Habitat.The best setup would have 2 digital thermometers, one for the basking area and one on the cool side.
This will insure the zones stay at the proper temps. One cold night can cause bearded dragon disease.
You can safely use one thermometer in the basking zone. Us it to make sure temps don’t go to high or too low. The cool side can be regulated by your lizard.
If a Part of the tank or cage is too cold, your dragon will naturally stay away from it. Keeping that in mind, if your dragon never ventures off more than a few inches from the basking zone, the tank is too cold on the cool side.
A Digital Infrared Thermometer is probably the worst and most dangerous way to monitor heat. They spot check and don’t give constant feedback.
Heat zone variable to chance is dangerous. Basking area is under constant heat and can overheat easily.
The Basking light might also be losing power, making the cool sides cold. Are you going to wake up every couple of hours to check overnight temps? One cold night can kill your baby pogona vitticeps. Infrared thermometers are excellent for secondary temp checks, do not use them as your primary source for temp info!
Other than that not much is needed for Baby pogona. Once they get older 4-6+ months, you can start dressing up the cage with branched rocks, etc,.