Can I keep a bearded dragon in an old fish tank?

charzar-g

Well Known
Hey Guys,
Basically the title says it all, I want to get a new tank (fluval Osaka 155), and so I was wondering if I could keep a bearded dragon in my older fish tank (its 5ft long - i'm downsizing, not upgrading!)

Would this be okay?? And would I have to do any modifying to it?? Thanks guys!
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
I think 5' would be good for a bearded dragon. I've got a friend who's kept similar-sized reptiles in 4' long aquaria.
 

crazedACD

Active Member
Yes, that should work out very well. Many people keep them in 55's, so a 5ft tank would be great. I've seen a lot of people using tiles on the bottom of the tank for beardies too, seems like a good idea to me.
 

jwokmuba2

Well Known
my lfs has had a bearded dragon in a 55 for a long time, I wanna say 10 years, hes huge!
 

gunner13

Well Known
Charzar-g, you would probably be better off selling the 5ft tank and with the money you get for it buying a proper beardy set up. If you are getting a baby beardy then the tank would be WAY to big and it would have hassle finding it's food. Down my way a few shops sell the set up for a bout £70 and you get the baby beardy free. Just a thought mate.
Nick
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
Charzar-g, you would probably be better off selling the 5ft tank and with the money you get for it buying a proper beardy set up. If you are getting a baby beardy then the tank would be WAY to big and it would have hassle finding it's food. Down my way a few shops sell the set up for a bout £70 and you get the baby beardy free. Just a thought mate.
Nick

Of course, then he'd have to go out and buy a larger setup once the dragon grew.
I've seen small lizards kept in large tanks, and they've had no problem finding their food, especially when at least some of the food came in the form of various types of worms that always landed in the same dish.
 

gunner13

Well Known
Yes SDS you right,but in my expierience it is always better to grow- on young reptiles in small tubs for self sense security for the animals. But as you have said different methods work out for different situations. That is providing the op is buying a juvenille.
Nick
 
OP
C

charzar-g

Well Known
hey guys! we seem to have conflicting veiws here... I would be getting a baby, yes, I also have a 20gal tank in the garage I could use whilst it is very young... or would that be too small...? to be honest, if I could just sell the tank and get a proper beardie tank I would, but second hand tanks don't go for much, specially as I have cut holes in the lid for skimmers etc... which I would keep for the new tank...
 

crazedACD

Active Member
You might want to look into using a rubbermaid tub or the 20 gallon as a cricket feeding cage, and keep the dragon in the big tank full time. I've seen a lot of people do this so the cricket don't get "lost", as they can bite the lizards if they go uneaten.
 
OP
C

charzar-g

Well Known
Okay thanks - I'll keep that in mind...

Another thing I thought I could do was put a divider in the cage, so he only lives in half whilst he's small
 

fishingman001

Well Known
Bearded dragons need at least a 55 gallon cage. They get huge. The ones at my LPS look like small dogs.

Also I would keep crickets in a separate cage because the crickets he/she doesn't eat will bite him.
 
OP
C

charzar-g

Well Known
I'm not sure about gallons, but if you look at my signature, it tells you the UK litres... its 5ft long, i've seen people keep them in smaller than that?
And yes, I was going to get one of those little plastic tanks to keep (maybe farm) crickets in for him/her, are they relativley easy to breed??

Also - can someone help me with heating... it just needs a heat lamp on one spot for basking, does it need anything else?? Will the light already in there be enough to light the rest...?
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
I don't know about the specifics, but I do know that reptiles have some specific light needs. The basking lamp is to keep things hot. However, they need a source of ultraviolet light, as well.
 
OP
C

charzar-g

Well Known
Okay.
So could I prehaps have a UV light that keeps it hot too?
I know that they should have a cold side, but on a website it said that they turn the lights off at night, thus cooling down the habitat during the night, and then heating during the day.
 

gunner13

Well Known
Yes you can use a uv, but I never have and have reared some nice beardies and leopard ghekos. You will need to dip it's food in calcium powder. A uv light will not provid heat aswell. You should use a dimmer stat when you get it's permanant home, this will provide you with the optimal temp the animal needs. The light (a 100 watt reflector bulb connected to the dimmer stat) needs to be on perminantly for the animal to survive. The light also needs to be set up on one side of the viv with the temp probe in the middle so as to create the correct heat gradient( hot side for basking and cool side for cooling down. Any thing else you need to know just ask. Maybe more detailed explanation of wha I have said. Hope this helps.
Nick
 
OP
C

charzar-g

Well Known
Wait a second, are you saying that I have to have the light on 24/7? :/ Because it will be in my bedroom - and I can't sleep with the light on X_X
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
I'd suggest doing a lot of research on the topic. In what little I did just to provide you with the answer I gave above, I saw many, many different methods of keeping lizards happy as far as heat goes.

As far as light goes, all of the good research I saw is very clear: Ultraviolet light is really important. Lizards can survive with simple fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, but they do much better if the bulbs used give off more UVB than normal. Just like for planted tanks, they make bulbs for nearly any type of setup. In other words, for your daytime lighting, your current setup will likely work, but it would be a good idea to get bulbs/tubes made specifically for reptiles.
Again, I would do a lot of research on the topic, just to make sure you've got complete information on it.
 

gunner13

Well Known
Ok so this is getting a bit overloaded. UV light for health, heat mat and habistat for temp control and just a normal 60 watt bulb for light(to which you can turn on and off as you please). Just remember that just running a heat matt with a separate light may cause fluctuating temps so make sure you have a stat with a temp probe in the viv/tank so you can control the heat. Also remember too change your uv bulb every 3 months.
Nick
 

sirdarksol

Fishlore Legend
UV light for health, and just a normal 60 watt bulb for light(to which you can turn on and off as you please).

They sell bulbs that cover both UV production and regular light production, at least over here. They cost a little more, but a whole lot less than buying a new setup and two different bulbs when things burn out.
 
OP
C

charzar-g

Well Known
Thanks guys!
Don't worry, I am not touching the topic lightly, if the oppertunity arises that I am able to downgrade my tank and get a bearded dragon, I will do more research first - I just wondered about the basics!
I will keep an eye out at my workplace too - as they sell them there, and there is one person who is particularly reptiley
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question
Replies
7
Views
496
Luckyscale2003
Replies
7
Views
512
Aquilist
  • Locked
Replies
25
Views
889
BReefer97
  • Locked
Replies
8
Views
27K
King_Snuggles
  • Locked
Replies
22
Views
947
Sien

Did You Know...

We have aquarium plant care profiles with pictures and care information!
Aquarium Plant Profiles

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom