Bearded Dragon Enclosure Size & Cohabitation

Terrarium Size Guidelines

The Ultimate Guide to Bearded Dragon Care - Bearded dragon terrarium

A bearded dragon terrarium needs to be big enough to provide enough space for exercise, as well as to facilitate a proper temperature gradient.

  • Juvenile bearded dragons (up to 12 inches) can be kept in a 40 gallon “breeder” tank, dimensions 36″ x 18″ x 18″.
  • Adult bearded dragons should be kept in a 120 gallon size enclosure, or 48″ x 24″ x 24″.

To save you some money, juvenile bearded dragons can be easily kept in an adult-sized enclosure with no problems, as long as they have enough environmental enrichment and hiding opportunities.

These are the minimum requirements for a pet bearded dragon. You may have noticed that these recommendations are different from most sources. As we come to understand reptile health better, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the majority of pet reptiles are overweight due to overfeeding and lack of exercise. We at ReptiFiles strongly believe in promoting a standard of care that puts reptiles’ needs first, so our numbers are different. Bigger is always better, as long as you use the space well.

Of course, it’s a little difficult to find pre-made, reptile-appropriate enclosures larger than 75 gallons in pet stores. You can find a 48″ x 24″ x 24″ enclosure commercially available at the following distributors:

Can you house 2 (or more) beardies in the same tank?

The Ultimate Bearded Dragon Care Guide - Bearded dragon cohabitation

It’s so tempting to buy more than one bearded dragon! They’re too cute to get just one! Pet stores are particularly notorious for selling animals in male+female pairs. And housing them together just makes sense, right? After all, everyone needs a friend, and when you put two or more dragons in one enclosure, you save money on equipment, right?

Well, not quite. Here’s the facts of the matter:

Two adult female bearded dragons have been known to get along well enough, but they will have dominance disputes . This means that you will get to see beard flaring, head bobbing, and arm-waving. The submissive one will typically get last rights to basking spots and food, and will be more prone to illness due to stress (We experienced this with our females). If they start to attack one another, they must be separated!

Click here to see what happened after two long-term roommates got in a squabble.

Two male bearded dragons should never be housed together. Period. With them, dominance disputes can turn into real fights, and one or both may be injured or even killed.

One male and one female should also never be housed together. Putting two animals of opposite gender together nearly always results in mating, which leads to babies. Unless you want tons of baby bearded dragons (one female can produce up to 100 babies from a single mating), buy only one. If you do want tons of baby bearded dragons, first, know what you’re getting into. Second, house the male and female separately. They will fight and one or both can be injured or killed.

Bearded dragons of different ages/sizes….

Incompatible bearded dragon roommates
Source unknown

This picture shows everything you need to know on the subject. Don’t do it!


Keep reading:

  1. Introduction to Bearded Dragons
  2. Bearded Dragon Shopping List
  3. Enclosure Size & Cohabitation ← YOU ARE HERE
  4. Heating & Lighting Requirements
  5. Substrate Options
  6. Enclosure Decor & Environmental Enrichment
  7. What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
  8. Handling Tips
  9. Common Diseases and Other Health Info
  10. Additional Resources

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