Bearded Dragon Shopping List
What you will need to keep one adult Bearded Dragon Happy and Healthy
  1. One large fish tank (45-75 gallon) with screen top. Cost = $70-150 for the tank. $30 for the screen lid. Watch the classifieds and tag sales. Large tanks come up quite frequently for less. You can also choose to build your own cage. Look around at the pet shops too. Sometimes they have "$1 per gallon" sales. I got my 75 gallon this way.
  2. Heat lighting - This is simply a fixture from a hardware store with a suitably sized light bulb. A normal everyday lightbulb is fine for heat. You will need to experiment with wattages to get the desired temperature. Generally 60-100 watts is sufficient. Cost = 50 cents to $1 for the bulb and $10-15 for the fixure (I recommend a ceramic fixture for durability).
  3. UVB Tube lighting - ZooMed Reptisun 5.0 (or ZooMed Iguanalight 5.0) is the most recommended bulb. Cost = $20 online OR $35 at most pet shops. Buy it online at and save yourself some cash. You will see other "full spectrum" bulbs advertised and pushed by pet shop personnel. Don't buy it. Go for the ZooMed Reptisun 5.0!
  4. UV Tube fixture - You can buy the pretty one at the pet store for $35 or you can go to Home Depot or similar stores and get a less attractive one for about $20 or less that works just fine. Some of them can be screwed into the screen top so that they hang into the tank.
  5. Substrate - This is a tough one and opinions vary. You can use playsand from a Home Depot type of place which is about $3 for 50 lbs. If you use any particulate substrate be careful when feeding as any of them can cause impaction if swallowed in quantity. I use sand for my adults but I also hand feed them so there is no danger of ingestion.
  6. Cage Furniture - You can find branches and rocks outside for free. Just make sure you disinfect them thoroughly with a mild bleach solution or by baking them in the oven. (Don't bake rocks, they have been known to explode.) Fancy rocks and branches cost a lot at the pet store. This is an optional cost so I won't put anything here.
  7. Food - Adult Dragons will consume vast quantities of crickets & superworms (plus other insects if offered). If you plan on buying your crickets at the pet store they will run you 8-10 cents apiece. A normal dragon will easily eat in the neighborhood of $15-20 worth of crickets a week if purchased this way. I recommend buying in bulk from either Southern Cricket Wholesale or NY Worms. In this case the crickets are about $13-15 per thousand and will last a couple of weeks. It is far more economical this way. Also plan on buying greens and veggies. These are relatively cheap. All I can say here is maybe you will spend $3-4 per week on veggies.

So there you have it. A Bearded dragon costs much more than the $50-100 price tag on the dragon itself. Keep this in mind when you purchase one. Print this out and take it along with you when shopping. Another great place to get good deals on supplies are the herp shows that are all over the country. Search the net to find one near you!

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