Typically, bearded dragons fully grow at around 18 months. Though, it is very common for bearded dragons to reach their final length by the time they are a year old. Likewise, as they start off at only 3-4 inches upon hatching, and can grow to be 24 inches long, they have a lot of growing to do in quite a short period of time!

Basically, bearded dragons, like humans, are dimorphic. This means that the males are typically larger than the females. Likewise, size can usually be a good initial indication of your bearded dragon’s gender.


  • how big do bearded dragons get?
  • how do you measure your bearded dragon’s size?
  • ways to weigh your bearded dragon
  • what bearded dragons eat
  • bearded dragon food and diet
  • what do bearded dragons eat and can not eat
  • bearded dragon natural habitat
  • the bearded dragon tank
  • type of tank for a bearded dragon
  • the best dragon lighting
  • ideal tank temperature
  • Best Bearded Dragon Substrate

How Big Bearded Dragons Get

Generally, most bearded dragons average around 18″ to 21″ long and weigh approximate 0.6 to 1.1 pounds at adulthood. Of course, this is a very general answer and can also depend on a lot of variables!

How do you Measure your Bearded Dragon’s Size?

Basically, you can measure a bearded dragon’s size by measuring its length, which is a relatively easy process. Meanwhile, to get an accurate measurement of your bearded dragon’s size you should measure from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail.

However, it is important not to stop your measurement at the base of a bearded dragon’s tail. As this will most likely give you an inaccurate reading. Also, it could cause you undue worry in regards to the health of your bearded dragon.

Therefore, once you have your dragons length measurement. You should check your numbers against the growth chart specific to your breed to make sure your beardie is reaching the correct growth markers.

How do you Weigh Your Bearded Dragon?

Weighing your bearded dragon is also a great way to monitor its size. Also, it is a good practice for helping to monitor the overall health of your bearded dragon.
Therefore, to do this, you should use a gram scale.

Also, while you could use a scale that can measure ounces, bearded dragons rarely way over a pound.
Further, measuring your bearded dragon in grams will give you a far more accurate measurement.

Likewise, you can always convert this into imperial measurements after the fact, should you require.

Actually, getting your bearded dragon on to the scales, may require more effort. Also, if your bearded dragon is particularly docile, or basking, then they may pause on the scales long enough for you to record their weight.

However, for more energetic bearded dragons, owners take to using a variety of different methods to get an accurate reading.

On the other hand, some opt to place their bearded dragon in a fabric bag. However, this could cause your bearded dragon undue stress. Also, others opt to place them in a container, and then place the container on to the scales.

Certainly, this is a less stressful method, but you must be very sure to account for the weight of the container when weighing your bearded dragon. Or you could accidentally record an inaccurate reading.

Also, while plastic containers don’t weigh much, when you’re dealing with a creature that should be weighed in grams, it can actually make quite the difference!

What Adult Bearded Dragons eat

Generally, adult bearded dragons can eat a wide range of live insects such as

  • crickets,
  • mealworms and
  • kingworms;

vegetables such as

  • sweet potato and
  • pepper and

leafy greens such as

  • kale and
  • parsley.

Likewise, they can eat fruit.
Further, in the wild bearded dragons mainly eat animals. Likewise, they make up about 75% of their diet and can include

  • crickets,
  • cockroaches,
  • worms and
  • even small creatures such as mice

Also, greens, vegetables and fruit make up the other 20% to 25% of their diet.

What is Adult Bearded Dragon Food and Diet?

Basically, your bearded dragon’s diet should replicate what he (or she) would eat in the wild. Hence, it should include

  • meat,
  • vegetables,
  • fruit and
  • greens. 

However, as your bearded dragon reaches the adult stage, you’ll need to reduce the amount of meat he’s eating. As he certainly won’t be getting as much exercise as his wild cousins. Also, too much meat can lead to obesity. 

Can Adult Bearded Dragons eat meat?

Adult bearded dragons can eat meat in the form of insects. Therefore,those live food list tells you what meat your bearded dragon can eat: 

  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Kingworms
  • Waxworms
  • Earthworms
  • Cockroaches
  • Locusts

What fruit can Adult Bearded Dragons eat?

Generally, adult bearded dragons can eat a wide range of fruits. Thus, those food list tells you what fruit your bearded dragon can eat: 

  • Figs
  • Melon
  • Apples
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Dates
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Kiwi

Particularly, exotic vet John Chitty recommends that owners exercise caution when feeding soft fruit as it is sugary and can ferment and cause teeth problems.

What vegetables can Adult Bearded Dragons eat?

Adult bearded dragons can eat a wide range of vegetables. Therefore, those food list tells you what veg your bearded dragon can munch on:

  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Courgette
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Bell pepper
  • Ocra
  • Brocolli

What greens can Adult Bearded Dragons eat?

Basically, adult bearded dragons can eat greens. Meanwhile, those food list tells you what greens they can eat:  

  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Parsley
  • Clover
  • Dandelion greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Endive
  • Rocket
  • Coriander

Also, here are some items they can eat occasionally:

  • sprouts,
  • tomatoes,
  • blueberries,
  • pears,
  • grated carrots,
  • banana,
  • grapes and
  • cucumber.

Further, you will need to prepare some fruit and veg by taking the peel off or cutting it down into bite-sized pieces.

Importantly, if you put live insects in with your bearded dragon make sure they don’t drown in its water bowl. Thus, if they do, clean them out as soon as possible.

What can’t Adult Bearded Dragons eat?

Literarily, bearded dragons will consume things even if they are harmful. Therefore, it is your responsibility to make sure they don’t give them in the first place.

Iceberg lettuce

Basically, it’s mostly water and has little nutritional value. Hence, don’t let your bearded dragon eat it.

Spinach and beet tops

Typically, some guides will say these are fine for your bearded dragons, and they can be in small quantities. However, both contain chemicals that can ultimately cause calcium deficiency, which in turn can lead to metabolic bone disease.

Occasionally, taste shouldn’t harm a bearded dragon, but with so many other options available it may be best to choose different greens.

Insects captured in the wild

Literarily, wild insects may have parasites in them that can harm reptiles. Also, exotic pet shops should have a range of live and dead insects for your bearded dragon. However, it would be pretty hard finding enough wild insects in some places.


Basically, never feed bearded dragons, or any other reptile, fireflies. Particularly, any insects that glow are toxic and can kill reptiles.


Also, chemicals in avocados are toxic for bearded dragons. Likewise, a small amount will make your reptile ill and a large portion can be fatal.


Basically, high levels of oxalic acid in rhubarb can be deadly poisonous for Bearded Dragons.

Additionally, you should not give your dragon fish or seafood such as prawns.

Also, there is a long list of wild plants that are poisonous for bearded dragons.

Adult Bearded Dragon Natural Habitat?

Basically, bearded dragons come from hot, arid areas of Australia. Particularly, where vegetation is scarce, and the ground is mostly in the form of dry, hardened soil, rock and some loose soil and sand.

Also, diverse vegetation doesn’t really thrive, but there are still plenty of desert bushes and small trees suitable for hiding and climbing.

However, water is scarcely available, but it is well-utilized when it does accumulate. Hence, that is why bearded dragons love to soak.

The Adult Bearded Dragon Tank: What Type of Enclosure Should You Use?

Particularly, according to what many researchers find in bearded dragon natural habitat. They conclude that the best-suited match in captivity is a desert type terrarium.

Typically, note that not all features of a typical desert vivarium setup are appropriate for bearded dragons, especially the young ones. However, even if you don’t go wild with sand substrate and elaborate desert-like decorations, there are some principles of desert setup you need to respect:

  • Bearded dragons like it hot.
  • Low humidity. Particularly, high humidity – above 65% – can cause deadly pulmonary disease in your pets.
  • Also, bearded dragons like and require a bright light above their tank, which will keep them warm and alert. Likewise, they require an additional UV light source – UVA and especially UVB light is necessary for proper metabolism and bone development of your pet.

Type of Tank for an Adult Bearded Dragon

Glass Terrariums

Literarily, glass tanks are a classic. Also, they offer high visibility and are easy to disinfect. Therefore, they are not as prone to scratching as plastic tanks. However, for adult dragons, you will need quite a large cage, with the ideal volume being 120 gallons ( ~450 liters).

First, the larger the glass tank is, the more likely it is to break.

Secondly, a large tank will cost you more than a smaller one, mostly because it has to be made out of thicker glass.

Plastic Enclosures

Typically, in the past couple of decades, plastic tanks have evolved a great deal and went from simple plastic crates to professional, advanced enclosures.

Generally, these pre-made reptile tanks are usually made out of PVC or ABS plastics. Usually, they make only the front side out of clear, see-through plexiglass-type material. However, other sides are opaque.

Therefore, some consider this a disadvantage when it comes to viewing. However, the chances are that your pet might feel more secure in this type of enclosure.

Likewise, plastic tanks are less prone to breaking than glass tanks. Therefore, you have the option of drilling in the holes for cables, making the entire setup neater.

Likewise, the issue with plastic tanks is that they are also really expensive – especially the professional one-piece molded terrariums such as Vision cages, with built-in light structures and other convenient tweaks. Basically, It is more affordable to try to find a DIY-style plastic tank.

Wooden Enclosure

Literarily, building a big glass tank, or even buying a large pre-made plastic enclosure of 100 gallons or more can get very expensive.

Therefore, if you dislike plastic, like DIY projects, or simply want to save money, then wooden enclosures might be a winning option.

Thus, one of the smarter hacks out there is to utilize a wooden shelf or a cabinet as a terrarium. Likewise, you can build or order a wooden tank made from scratch. Basically, breeders frequently do this to reduce the housing costs for many animals they have to keep separately.

Ideal Tank Temperature

Literarily, bearded dragons are desert dwellers. Hence, they prefer high temperatures, but not only that. Likewise, it means that they need a temperature gradient – a really warm spot under the basking lamp, and a cooler opposite side of the terrarium.

Therefore, besides lights, having an elongated tank instead of a square one will help you in providing the gradient.

Further, the temperature at the basking spot should reach 110°F (43°C). Also, the average temperature should never fall below 70°F (20°C)  – not even at night. However, some sources say 65°F (18°C), but some would rather stay on the safe side.

Basically, in most homes temperature doesn’t fall below this line anyway. However, in case the temperature gets lower than 70°F in your “bearded dragon room”, you really should get an undertank heater to keep the temperature in the desired range.

Generally, undertank heaters are more suited for this purpose than ceramic bulb heaters because it is a more natural type of heating for nighttime. Meanwhile, in nature, rocks that get heat in the sun during the day radiate that heat at night from below.

What are the Best Adult Bearded Dragon Substrate?

Typically, while recommendations on adult bearded dragons and substrates vary, everybody agrees that you should never, ever keep a juvenile bearded dragon on any type of loose substrate.

But, why?

Well, baby bearded dragons eat with great enthusiasm and energy. Also, they will attack their prey with such speed and ferocity that they may end up swallowing the substrate, which can lead to bowel impaction and all kinds of nasty and dangerous health complications.

In addition, the other issue is that bearded dragons defecate a lot, which makes maintaining the hygiene of the tank with substrate difficult.

Hence, let’s have a quick overview of types of substrate you can use for your bearded dragons.

Suitable substrate Not suitable substrate
Paper Towels
Vinyl Tiles
Ceramic Tiles
Reptile Carpets
Coconut Coir


Typically, this is probably the cheapest and most easily available disposable ground cover for your bearded dragon’s tank. Basically, most newspapers soak in liquids with ease, which is good to avoid spreading the mess around the tank.

Likewise, the paper is quite sturdy, so it won’t slip under your pet’s feet when he gets active.

Paper Towels

Literarily, these are another disposable substrate favorite. Really, they look neater and cleaner than newspapers do, and it is very easy to replace them.

Also, paper towels have superior absorbing powers.


Typically, this is the most debated substrate when it comes to desert vivarium containing dragons.

Therefore, on the plus side, sand is highly decorative and is the most natural choice for desert vivariums.

However, a great downside is that sand can and will cause impaction if your bearded dragon accidentally eats it.

Other Best Adult Bearded Dragon Substrate?

Coconut Coir

Although coconut coir has great anti-microbial properties, it is not good for bearded dragons.

Therefore, besides being a loose substrate that carries a risk for impaction, coco coir tends to retain moisture, which is not suitable for a desert vivarium.

Remember, too much moisture can cause respiratory infections.

Wood Shavings

Basically, the answer to the wood shavings dilemma is quite simple. That is, you should never use wood shavings in your terrarium. 

However, besides being unnatural for bearded dragons and other lizards, it can contain chemicals. Likewise, it can lead to an impaction when undigested.

Vinyl Tiles

Generally, these have become a popular option for terrariums. Particularly, they are cheap, come in a variety of colors, and are easy to cut. Likewise, they are non-porous, which means that you can swipe water and poop right off the surface with ease.

However, vinyl tiles are not perfect. Also, it is smoother than, for example, stone slate, and provides less grip for your dragon. Likewise, as adverse health effects of plastic become more studied, potential issues with PVC are starting to surface.

In addition, since the floor of your terrarium will be heated, there is a possibility that plastic can leach hazardous compounds.

Adult Bearded Dragon Supplies and Accessories

Generally, in all vivariums, decorative elements are not there just for the looks. Often, they provide essential functions, so your pets can bask, rest and hide according to their natural needs and instincts.

Hence, there are several essentials for bearded dragon tanks. Bearded Dragons require:

  • Basking rock under the heat lamp
  • Branches for climbing
  • A tight hiding place