If You Know This One Thing Setting Up A Reptile Tank Is A Breeze

How To Make Setting Up A Reptile Tank Easy

Remember when you were in school and your math teacher came up with a completely new topic, gave your whole class the task to figure out a math text problem and you read the text and just thought to yourself:


That was the feeling I had when I set up my first reptile tank (and I always had that feeling during math as well…just to be honest). I am pretty sure you can relate to that. You want a reptile, you start doing your research and then you realise – this could be more complicated than you thought.

I mean, if you start with reptiles there are so many questions that come up and it seems that the deeper the research gets the more questions appear.

What lights to get?
How many light bulbs do I even need?
What tank should I get?
What substrate should I get?
Do I need a substrate?
Do I need plants?
Do I need to get a background?
What´s my name again?

…and so on and so forth.

And we are only talking about the tank here, we are not even talking about diet or diseases or brumation. One could think that keeping reptiles is as complicated as math, but I would not go that far.

Especially because there is a way to make this whole topic way easier. (And because math is a horror)

Want my help to set up your bearded dragon tank? Click here!

You Have To Know What Really Matters

As always, things get easier if you break them down in important and not important. While almost everything in keeping reptiles is important, there is only one thing you really have to know when it comes to setting up a reptile tank.

What I Mean With That

What is your biggest fear about getting your reptile and setting up the tank the wrong way? Right, your biggest fear is that you could do something wrong and kill your pet slowly.

The Home Of Bearded Dragons

This Is The Natural Environment Of Bearded Dragons

I know the thought of killing your beloved new friend slowly without even knowing is horrible. I know it from experience, because it happened to me…twice. However this is another story, you can read about my story here.

So, the most important thing is to make sure that your pet is healthy and survives.

The One Thing You Just Have To Know In Order To Keep Your Reptile Alive

The one thing you just have to know is that reptiles are ectothermic. This means that reptiles can´t maintain a constant body temperature. Their body temperature depends on the ambient temperature.

If you do not give your reptile the chance to regulate their temperature, it is going to die. So that means, the key is to know the ambient temperature of the natural habitat of the reptile you want to own.

You have to be aware where your reptile comes from originally. Does it live in a warm and dry place? Does it live in an area that is more like a jungle? What is the temperature in those areas?

So lighting and temperature are the key to keep your reptile alive.

The Tank Size Is Not Vital

I get asked a lot by readers what tank size they should get. Don´t get me wrong here, of course you have to offer enough space for your reptile (and by enough I mean as much space as possible, the bigger the better), of course you have to have the proper substrate for your reptile, but think about this:

Will your reptile die if it lives in a tank that is a little too small for it? No!
Will your reptile die if you use newspaper as substrate, because you just don´t know which substrate is right for your reptile? No!

On the other hand, your reptile is not going to be happy in a tank that is too small and most reptiles are not going to be happy if you use newspaper as substrate. However that is not the point of this article, the point of this article is to show you what you should get right first and after you have the right information on lighting and temperature, you can continue to get information on the other stuff.

Bearded Dragon In Natural Habitat

But What About The Other Fancy Stuff?

First of all, forget about all the fancy stuff you think you need or pet shop shop employees wanna sell you. Yes, it is great to get a reptile hammock, because a lot of reptiles like them. Yes, a fake rock background looks fantastic in a reptile tank. But do you need these things in order to keep your reptile alive? No!

This doesn´t mean you shouldn´t get that stuff, I just mean it makes the whole topic more complicated and way more expensive than it has to be in the beginning. It is better to spend the money on the right light bulbs first and make sure that your basic setup is on point.

Please Be Aware Of Your Responsibility

I don´t want to make the wrong impression here. I do not recommend you to buy the wrong stuff for your reptile. This isn´t good for your reptile and it isn´t good for your wallet, since you have to buy everything twice if you get the wrong stuff at first.

I said it above, but I need to say it again: The point of this article is to show you what matters most. The point of this article is to give you some kind of direction, to let you know where you should start.

You have to get a lot of information if you want to set up your reptile tank the right way and you always wanna make sure that your reptile´s enclosure is appropriate. That´s just part of being a reptile keeper and if you love your reptile, I am pretty sure that you are okay with that. 

However if you are totally confused or you just hate do research all this stuff, which is somehow understandable, I can do the work for you!

I tell you exactly how to set up your bearded dragon tank – click here to learn more!

P.S. I hate math!


After Changing The Tank Setup This Reptile Showed An Incredible Behavior

Natural Bearded Dragon Housing

A few days ago I received an email from a client who needed help with setting up his new bearded dragon cage. His name is Eddy (short for Eduard) and he adopted a little baby bearded dragon 2 months ago.

Eduard somehow had the feeling that his little bearded dragon named Spencer wasn´t active enough. As you might know, baby bearded dragon are pretty active. They run and jump around in their tank a lot and when it comes to hunting they are unstoppable.

Spencer was not active at all. All he did was laying around and sometimes he changed his position under the basking spot but not more than that. But see yourself, Eduard allowed me to publish his inquiry on my website. (I offer a service for bearded dragon owners. I help people to set up their bearded dragon tank as this can be pretty confusing for beginners. Click here to learn more.)

Hi Pierre,

I want to create a new cage for my bearded dragon Spencer. I think it is too small for him. I bought the tank because it was on sale at a pet shop, but I think this tank is not for bearded dragons. Besides that Spencer is not active at all and I am getting worried that he might be sick. Could you help me with that as well?



At this point Eddy did not know that the inactive behavior of Spencer was caused by the wrong tank setup. I asked him a couple of questions about Spencer and his current tank setup via email. Unfortunately his tank setup was not appropriate for bearded dragons at all.

Here Is His Tank Setup

Eddy bought his bearded dragon and the tank setup at a local pet shop. He did a little bit of research on the internet first but decided that it would be a better idea to get advice from an expert at a pet shop because doing the research was very confusing and exhausting (which is definitely understandable). Of course he bought everything that was recommended to him.

Here is the setup that was recommended to him:

He bought a 15″ x 15″ x 31″ all-glass terrarium with a built in screencover. Further he bought a 60W heat bulb and a Calcium + Vitamin D3 powder. He used newspaper as substrate. 

The Problem With His Tank Setup

Obviously Eddy was ill-advised. At the pet shop Eddy was surprised about the cost of a tank setup. The seller noticed that and recommended the parts above to Eddy because they were low priced. He told Eddy that he could upgrade the tank setup later but for now this would do the job.

Well, this is a very poor setup for a bearded dragon. It did the job, but it could have easily killed little Spencer. The tank was a very high tank, which is usually used for Chameleons for example. It should have been wide instead of high. 

The lighting was simply not enough. Because of the height and the low wattage of the bulb Spencer never had an appropriate basking spot that was hot enough. Further he needed an UVB bulb urgently.

The New Tank

I recommended a lot of different tanks to Eddy. He decided to get a 48″x18″x18″ tank for Spencer. Further he installed an appropriate UVB tubelight and a 100W heat bulb. Besides that he also installed another normal tubelight just to make the tank brighter. I recommended it to him since it can never be bright enough for bearded dragons.

I also recommended to get a good substrate. I know that most people are afraid that their bearded dragon might eat sand and get impacted. That is absolutely understandable, but I recommended a clay substrate that gets hard to Eddy. Eddy only used a thin layer of red sand above that clay. What this substrate brought out Spencer is amazing, but I´ll come to that in a few seconds.

Eddy threw the Vitamin D3 powder away and got a normal Calcium powder as the UVB bulb was enough to produce Vitamin D3.

Spencer In His New Tank

Spencer in his new tank 🙂

What This New Tank Did To Spencer

In the old tank Spencer was totally inactive. All he did was laying under the basking spot to get on temperature. Unfortunately the temperature in the old tank was not high enough and Spencer could not reach the optimal temperature. Besides that Spencer needed a UVB bulb.

Bearded dragons need an UVB bulb, otherwise their bones get soft and they eventually die (Metabolic Bone Disease). Further the lack of the UVB bulb also leads to an inactive behavior like Spencer´s.

In fact Spencer was close to having Metabolic Bone Disease. A month longer in the old tank and the little bearded dragon most probably would have shown the first symptomes of this horrible disease, which would be shaking and not being able to hunt crickets.

Now Spencer is all well. He is very active in his new tank and hunts his crickets like crazy. Eddy told me that he feels like he would have a different bearded dragon. Spencer jumps from one log to another which are placed in his cage. Besides that the new substrate leads to a very interesting behavior.

Bearded dragons are diggers. It is a very good exercise and it is good for their claws as well. They digg little caves and tunnels and that´s why I always recommend get rid of the repti carpet and newspaper and go with a clay instead.

So this is exactly what Spencer does at the moment. He diggs holes and caves and tunnels. He almost dug over his complete terrarium, haha.

Note: I try to get a couple of pictures from Eddy of Spencer digging in his terrarium, so you can see how awesome this is.

What You Can Learn From This

One of Spencers Little Hides

Below the log is one of Spencer´s little caves 🙂

In one of my articles I told you that the lighting is the most important thing in a terrarium. The lighting helped Spencer to get active and it also keeps him healthy. However as you see you can also see very cool natural behavior of your reptile if you change some other things that might not appear too important like substrate.

In my opinion it is very important to build a very natural habitat for our reptiles. It looks awesome at it is so much better for our reptiles. Take little Spencer as example. All the exercise he gets from that digging is awesome. Way better than most other bearded dragons that only lay in their tank and do nothing the whole day because overfed and living in a tank which isn´t big enough.

Wish you a lot of fun with your reptiles and if you need help with setting up a tank for your bearded dragon, you can get my help here.

Or if you are not already subscribed, sign up for my email course on how to set up a bearded dragon tank!

My Story: A Painful Start As A Reptile Keeper

Hey! Awesome that you actually take the time to read my story, I appreciate it!

My name is Pierre. I was born in the 90s in Germany and I am the creator of this website. The fact that you are here shows that you and I are probably pretty similar in a way. We both love reptiles 🙂

about bearded dragon tank

That´s Me!

My love for reptiles began very early in my life. I think I was 6 or 7 years old when my family and me went on vacation to Italy. There was a small forrest on the way to the beach where my sister and I liked to play. It was the first time we played in that forrest when we suddenly saw something moving between all the branches on the ground.

It was a lizard! Till that day I had not even seen a lizard before. I was so fascinated by those little creatures that I had to hunt them whenever I could during that vacation. Of course I didn´t do any harm to them. I just wanted to hold them and look at those little dinosaurs. For me they were dinosaurs or dragons back in the day … and they still are…(and sometimes I say that my name is Khal Drogo, but that´s a different story).

Needless to say that I wanted to be a reptile owner after this vacation.

A Frustrating Journey Started

Many years after that vacation my parents allowed me to get a reptile. I saved up a ton of money and did a lot of research on my first reptile. It was a panther chameleon named Fipsi Carlos … I know this name is crazy.

So why did a frustrating journey start at that point? Everything was awesome. I could finally get a reptile, right? Wrong!

So wrong!

As I said I did a lot of research, I mostly read books and talked to pet shop sellers. However when the big day came, I bought my reptile only to realise that I did not know anything about actually keeping that reptile. Sure I knew that they eat crickets and all that stuff and I knew that they needed a cage and some kind of light.

However what about the details? No book taught me which lights to get, how to set the lighting up, how many crickets I should feed my baby panther chameleon, what supplements I should use …. nothing!

I felt lost! I wanted to get a reptile so badly and I thought I was ready, but I wasn´t – without even noticing it!

The Information You Get On The Internet Is… Confusing

I am pretty sure that you agree with me. The internet can be a very confusing place. Especially if you are looking for some information about reptiles.

Caught A Lizard

Me As A Kid – Caught A Lizard! 🙂

If you visit a forum you´ll find at least five opinions on one single topic. As a beginner reptile keeper how do you know which information is right and which is wrong? I mean, you can do more research, but most probably, you will be even more confused.

Sure, there are many smart people on the internet who know a ton about reptiles, but as a beginner, finding these people can be a very confusing and exhausting road.

The Information You Get In Pet Shops Are…. Questionable

Don´t get me wrong. I do not want to bash all pet shops there are, however the reality is that most sellers give information that is worthless. I give you an example:

When I got my first reptile, Fipsi Carlos, the seller asked me if I already have a heater and a UVB light. Back in the day I didn´t know that I needed it, because I was misinformed through the internet.
So when the guy noticed my confusion he just said: “Maybe get the lighting later.”

He knew that I did not have an UVB light, which is a must have, and he´d still let me go out of his shop with a baby chameleon.

He knew that my little baby chameleon would die and didn´t do anything. Only because he wanted to sell a chameleon.
It didn´t bother him if the chameleon would be okay.

Guess what happened:

Fipsi Carlos died.

I cried my eyes out. I felt so guilty because I got the wrong information. I mean I did not even knew that Fipsi Carlos was sick, because I thought that I did everything right until the day he behaved really weird (and he also looked weird).
The vet said that Fipsi Carlos had metabolic bone disease. 30 minutes after that Fipsi died.

I think I never felt worse in my life.

I Only Wanted To Have A Happy And Healthy Reptile

Of course I wanted a happy reptile. For me Fipsi Carlos was a friend. I wanted him to be happy and healthy and I wanted him to feel good.

Chameleon On Finger

Fipsi Carlos On My Finger!

I wanted to have fun as a reptile keeper. I didn´t want to be worried all the time just because I didn´t know how to raise a reptile in the right way. I didn´t want to do tons of research on the internet just to be even more confused afterwards.

The only thing I wanted was a happy new family member!

I Tried To Become A Better Reptile Keeper After That But…

Even though I wanted a reptile so bad in the beginning, I just couldn´t get one after Fipsi Carlos died. I think it took me a year to have the courage to try again.

However this time I wanted to be prepared for everything! I thought maybe reading more books would help. So I bought some more books about bearded dragons and read everything I could.

The problem was, the books only delivered the same information over and over again. Simple and dry. Bearded dragons live in Australia. They eat crickets. They need a tank. And so on and so forth. That information was too basic.  I needed a guide, I needed more details.

So I thought to myself, maybe visiting other pet shops would help. Maybe just this one pet shop was bad. So I went to another pet shop and the people there seemed nice and they actually gave me a couple of good tips.

I bought my first bearded dragon two weeks after that in the same pet shop. His name was Jabba 🙂

The seller recommended an okay lighting and a too small tank, but that was okay. That would not kill a bearded dragon immediately. However he also gave me loose sand as a substrate.

You should never use loose sand as bedding for a baby bearded dragon tank. Baby bearded dragons tend to eat the substrate accidentally while hunting crickets and get impacted from that.

Guess what happened to Jabba? Right, he ate sand and got impacted. 

I was clueless. Someday I noticed that Jabba behaved weird and that he did not go to the bathroom for a couple of days. Of course I took him to the vet and he told me that Jabba is impacted from the substrate I used.

The vet tried to help, but Jabba died a couple of days afterwards. He was too weak.

I was sad and furious. Somehow I felt guilty, but on the other hand I was so angry at the guys from the pet shop where I bought Jabba, since they recommended the loose sand.

How I Found My Way Of Raising Reptiles The Right Way

I still felt guilty, but I knew that there is one mistake that I would not do again. I would not buy any reptile at a pet shop ever again. (Again, I do not try to bash all pet shops here – some are really good!)

I decided to talk to a bearded dragon breeder who was located a two hour drive from my hometown. It was the best decision I made. I learned so much buy talking to him. 

I told him about my two reptiles that died and about the misinformation I got on the internet and in pet shops.  He said to me that it wasn´t my fault. Getting legit information on how to keep a reptile is not easy to find and it is even harder to get if you are an absolute beginner.

He recommended to visit a couple of reptile fairs and talk to the breeders there. That´s what I did 4 weeks later. There was a huge reptile fair in Germany with hundreds of different breeders and probably thousands of different reptiles.

On that day I had a sheet with around 50 questions about bearded dragons and other reptiles prepared. I think I talked to over 40 different breeders that day. I made a lot of friends and I felt like a bearded dragon experts afterwards, haha.

A couple of months later I bought a bearded dragon named Solo. He was happy, he was healthy, the enclosure I built for him was awesome, his diet was great and what can I say? He is still alive and happy and healthy 🙂

A Quick Summary Of What I learned

  • I learned that reading books about reptiles is not enough to learn how to keep a reptile

  • I realised that a lot of pet shops only want your money and nothing else. Good advice is very rare and sometimes they even give advice that might kill your reptile.

  • I learned the hard way that the internet, especially forums can be a confusing place if you are looking for helpful advice on reptiles. There are just too many opinions on one topic and it is very hard as a beginner to figure out which opinion is the right one.

  • check

    I realised that you have to reptile breeders to get good and clear information on the reptile you want. However it is definitely time consuming and not everybody has a reptile breeder nearby.

  • check

    Reptile fairs are another way of getting legit information on your favorite reptile, however this is time consuming as well.

How Is Keeping Reptiles For Me Now?

After visiting a breeder, after visiting a reptile fair and talk to more than 40 or 50 different breeders I gained a lot of knowledge on my favorite reptiles. Way more than I could ever have gotten from books or from forums.

I really felt like an expert afterwards, even though I wasn´t an expert of course. It takes a lot of experience to become an expert in my opinion.

However after that none of my reptiles died. And I raised over 30 reptiles to this day. I even became a breeder for a while.

Now keeping reptiles is pure fun. I do not have to worry about my reptiles anymore, because I know what they need. I know what enclosure they need, I know what they need to eat, I know which lights to get.

And this is just awesome. Just being confident about your knowledge as a reptile keeper and enjoying your reptiles and being fascinated by them is one of the greaters feelings. (At least for me, but I am most probably a weirdo, lol)

However I am really happy that I do not have to look for information in forums, because that was a real pain for me in the past.

I am happy that my reptiles are healthy and that I do not have to make the painful experience of a loss again.

Let Me Help You!

As you know now, I know exactly how it feels to be a beginner when it comes to reptiles. I made some very, very painful experiences as a reptile keeper and I do not want you to go through that as well.

I want to share my knowledge with you. I gathered a lot of helpful information on reptiles over the last 10 years. I exchanged information with well over 100 reptile breeders in all these years and I never stop doing that. There is always something new to learn.

Let me help you to get started with your first reptile. Since you are reading this, I assume that it might be a lovely bearded dragon! 🙂

I know that gathering all the information you need can be a pain. That is why I created a completely free email course for you on how to set up a bearded dragon tank.

Simply sign up for my email course and I´m going to send you the information you need!

Is Your Bearded Dragon Suffering From Mouth Rot? Do This Now!

Mouth Rot In Bearded Dragons

Detecting if your bearded dragon is sick can be a rather tricky business. They don’t yelp or screech; so you’ll have to be an observant pet-owner to catch the infection. The thing with this ailment is it’s easily seen if you’re attentive enough. Just like any other illness, it is easier to cure if it is discovered early.

Infectious Stomatitis, the technical term, literally means that the mouth (stoma) is inflamed (itis). It is common among pet reptiles, so bearded dragon owners have to stay on guard. We will be discussing further characteristics associated with this condition, the circumstances that cause it, the cure towards recovery, and the optimum care needed to avoid it in the future.

Identifying The Disease

Identify it from patches that appear whitish-gray or yellowish-gray around the oral cavity. Other bearded dragon mouth rot symptoms include reddening, bloating, and increasing saliva emissions. You also would have noticed a loss in appetite and deviation from your beardie’s regular behavior.

Much as it pains us to see, a bearded dragon with mouth rot have symptoms that include bleeding of the gums or loosening of teeth. It’s high past time for you to consult a veterinarian when any of these happens. Left untreated, the infection can spread to the head, bones, intestines, and the blood.

How Could That Happen?

A large factor in this is the living condition of your pet. A stress-filled environment lowers the immune system’s defenses. Low temperature, lack of proper nutrition, and presence of parasites are the main things for us to watch out. You should note that mouth rot is the manifestation of the disease affecting bearded dragons. The actual cause could be bacterial, viral, or fungal in nature.

The Cure

Since it is an indicator of infection, wide-range antibiotics are usually used as medication. As I said before, if detected early then it can be cured easily. Once the infection advances, professional medical help is your best and safest bet.

Home Remedy

Recognizing the infection, when it has barely affected your pet, means that you have the chance to administer at home bearded dragon mouth rot treatment. Trust your gut in this, if you’re sure that it is not widespread, then be proactive and grab the Q-tip.

You will need Betadine (povidone-iodine) or Nolvasan (chlorhexidine diacetate) mixed in water to decrease the potency of the solution. Using a cotton swab, gently apply the medication on the affected area. Remove the gunk and be very sure to rinse well. It will not do for any piece to stay in the mouth; else your beardie swallows it. You can repeat the process twice on the first two days of treatment, but reduce thereafter. If the infection persists, then veterinarian assistance is still the best course of action.

Trust the Vet

You’ll notice that I’ve mentioned consulting a veterinarian several times. It’s understandable that you might prefer not to, especially if you’ve had a dubious encounter in the past, but there are still reputable vets out there. The advice here is: Find a vet who has expertise in reptiles. We can’t just leave our pets to the whims of any doctor, so find a trustworthy vet around your area just in case complications happen.

Home care of your bearded dragon with mouth rot as treatment may not work all the time. Good clinics have way better equipment than what you can scourge up at home. They can provide you with accurate diagnosis and prescription.

Resist from self-prescribing medicine for your pet. Overdosage in antibiotics would only make your beardie develops higher resistance to the drugs. The worst case scenario is when it is tumor-in-disguise. Don’t jeopardize the health of your pet and consult a veterinarian before any disease worsens.

Don’t jeopardize the health of your pet and consult a veterinarian before any disease worsens. #reptilecare #petcare

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When your dragon is refusing food and water, it will have to be forced-fed. Preferably a vet’s job, but you can always ask for instructions on how to do it on your own.

The Proper Care

The key to a healthy bearded dragon is taking care that it remains stress-free. Before acquiring a pet, you would have prepared for its needs. This is merely a reminder, and perhaps some added tips.

Turn the Heat Up

Most of the time preserving your pet’s health simply requires optimizing the basking heat in the tank at the right temperature. During recovery it would be best to turn up the heat a notch and don’t turn it off at night for the time being. Bearded dragons need the warmth for their metabolic processes to proceed at what is ideal. Here is my Beardie Lighting Guide in case you need help with that.

Embrace the Sun

A good UV lamp is enough but UV light is still best acquired from its natural source– sunlight. Weather and season permitting, you can take the chance to bond with your pet outside. It’s fine to stay under the shade as long as you’re both out in open space. Direct and too much sun is inadvisable as you cannot expose a convalescing beardie to burning heat.

Boost the Nutrients

In simple cases, I have found that homecare and supplementing Vitamins A and C perk up my dragon. Adults require vegetables and fruits to add variety in their diet. These will also serve as their source of water. If you’re force-feeding, opt to use a syringe so any discomfort and pain will be minimal.

Tank Matters!

Whether it is glass, melamine, or PVC, the tank of your pet is their home and it is integral to their health. Always prioritize and maintain its cleanliness. Its décor should be as uncluttered as possible; more surfaces just indicate more chances for bacteria to prosper. Still, enclosures should mimic the natural habitat to increase comfort. Bearded dragons, particularly when they’re young, feel safe in enclosed spaces. It would great to have basking rocks which double as caves. Choose non-porous material so germs will not seep through it.

Maybe It Is Not Mouth Rot?

Protective pet owners are immediately alarmed at any sudden changes in their beloved pets. Don’t be too overprotective though. Exotic pets, like the bearded dragon, have their own peculiar animal cycle.

Brumation: The Reptilian Hibernation

Some bearded dragons will not go through this, but others will and the signs for brumation are commonly mistaken as an illness. There will be periods when your beardie is extremely lazy; it won’t eat, it just sleeps continuously. It could be there perfectly natural adjustment to the fall/winter season. However, losing weight is definitely not part of brumation. Healthy adult dragons will have enough fat that going through their reptilian hibernation will not make them anorexic. An absolute exception is that young beardies which are yet to store fat do not go through this phenomenon.

Shedding: Let it Go

Learn to objectively differentiate what you pet is going through. Puffiness is normal and not fatal during shedding. All you need is to have a mister at ready and give your pet time to grow out of their old skin. Remember that bearded dragons will continually shed throughout their lifetime.

The Commitment

Hopefully, you caught the infection way ahead of time and did not rush to the veterinary clinic. Make it a learning experience and adjust your pet’s environment and nutrition to prevent another outbreak.

If medical help was consulted, concerned vets would give you specific instructions on the home care that your pet needs for it to recover smoothly. Commit to what needs changing in your pet’s set-up; if there are any.

Our beardies give us strength simply by their existence in our lives. In turn, we provide for them and become their strength when they are weak. We are lucky enough to have gotten a companion in our pets, so let us treasure the company we keep.

Do This If Your Bearded Dragon Has Diarrhea


Your little beardie has it made, right? He’s living the dream – you’ve got the perfect aquarium, full-spectrum lighting and a cozy heat source.

You feed him a good nutritious diet that’s healthy for little dragons and you make sure he gets plenty of sunlight.

But then one morning you wake up and you see a bad sign – runny stool! Oh no, what’s going on?

How do you treat bearded dragon diarrhea? In this article, I’ll show you a few things to keep in mind and talk about possible treatment options.

Check The Stool

Are you sure it’s diarrhea?

Your bearded dragon’s feces should be firm but soft. The diet influences stool appearance – insects can make it darker and harder.

The urate is the white part of the stool that your dragon excretes instead of peeing like you or me. If the stool itself is firm and normal, but it’s surrounded by a pool of liquid, then it’s probably just excess water being removed from the system.

If it’s mushy or runny, or your dragon is going a lot more often than he used to, it’s probably diarrhea.

It’s super important to get this taken care of QUICKLY – diarrhea can make your bearded dragon malnourished and dehydrated. If it’s from parasites, he could get even sicker and possibly die!

Here are some things you should check.

Check The Diet

If you’re a smart bearded dragon owner, you should already have a pretty good idea of what to feed your bearded dragon. However if you need a little bit help, check these articles:

A diet that has too much fruit or leafy vegetables can possibly cause a runny stool. This is because these things have too much water in comparison to the tough fibrous material that makes up plants.

Your beardie needs a healthy mix of plants and insects; an adult needs more vegetables than insects.

Here are some possible dietary reasons for your dragon’s runny stool:

Your beardie needs a healthy mix of plants and insects; an adult needs more vegetables than insects!

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  • Wild insects. I know it can be tempting sometimes, but you should NEVER feed any wild insects to your beardie. They probably have parasites and pesticides. Make sure your feeder insects live in clean, sanitary conditions.

  • Lettuce. I loved sharing my salad with my beardie when I first got him – but the problem is, those things have too much water content. It CAN upset his stomach to be too hydrated. (Even though most beardies would rather die than eating salad.)

  • Oranges. Besides having too much water, citrus can be hard on your dragon’s little tummy.

  • Tap water. Tap water can contain ammonia, chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals. Treat your water with something to remove dangerous chemicals.

Another thing to consider is this: Have you recently treated your bearded dragon with any medicine to kill parasites?

These are usually indiscriminate – that means they remove ALL gut flora, whether good or bad! Your bearded dragon needs certain microorganisms to help digest foods and produce vitamins. Consider a probiotic treatment to help your bearded dragon recover.

Temperature and Light

How much light is your bearded dragon getting? Remember, your little dragon loves the sun – they’re from Australia, and Australia is famous for being very bright, hot, and dry.

The basking area should be anywhere from 95 to 110 degrees. Even the cool area needs to be at least 80, and closer to 90 is better.

Are you getting enough sunlight? Bearded dragons love the natural sunlight – and if you aren’t using full-spectrum lighting, they won’t get all the natural vitamin D production they need.

Don’t just believe what a temperature stick says – they can be as much as 10 degrees off! Get an infra-red temperature gun for an accurate reading of what things are like where your beardie actually lives.


If you just got your bearded dragon, he might be a little stressed out at the change in his environment.

Stress affects reptiles just like it affects us. They don’t like uncomfortable environments; this ties in with what we’ve discussed about temperature and light.

Make sure your bearded dragon has a safe little place to hide; this will help him calm down and get used to his surroundings.

What kind of cleaning chemicals are you using? Don’t use ammonia, bleach, or anything else that’s harsh and caustic – the lingering fumes could make him really sick.


If you’ve checked everything else and you still can’t figure out why your bearded dragon has diarrhea, then it’s probably parasites. Reptile feces are never supposed to smell ‘good’ – but parasites like giardia can make stool smell REALLY awful.

Most of the microorganisms that live in your beardie’s gut are good for him. A healthy immune system keeps them in check; but when outside factors cause his immune system to weaken (not enough food, improper lighting, unreasonable temperatures, unfamiliar situations) the more opportunistic microbes can run amok – causing serious problems.

Unfortunately, these tiny little devils are invisible to the naked eye, and you’d need a microscope and a healthy education in microbiology to accurately determine which parasite it could be.

The only way to tell for sure is to take a stool sample and present it to a vet who is familiar with reptiles. Get the sample as freshly as possible, seal it into a plastic baggie and put it in your fridge.

If you bought your beardie from an unsavory pet dealer, then it’s likely he came home with some unwelcome guests.

The most common parasites associated with bearded dragons are coccidia, roundworms, hookworms, or pinworms. However, it could be anything, from normal food poisoning, to even the adenovirus – an especially dangerous virus common to reptiles.

Does your pet:

  • Refuse to eat?

  • Show signs of stomach pain?

  • Have undigested food in his stool?

  • Seem tired and lethargic?

Any of these could be signs of parasites.

Consider using a //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=beadratan-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B0002ARSLM&asins=B0002ARSLM&linkId=8089d22e11c9d7ce391a4b2127526372&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank” class=”” rel=”nofollow” data-tcb-events=””>dewormer or parasite treatment. These can help clean out your beardie’s system – but remember, they’re going to clear out the good microbes along with the bad. Try a //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=beadratan-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00GX6NK3E&asins=B00GX6NK3E&linkId=35500be0cabb6f9d37dbb13887abe2b0&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank” class=”” rel=”nofollow”>probiotic treatment to follow up with.


Your bearded dragon has his own unique personality. Like most reptiles, he’s tough, and wants everyone to know it – he’ll try to hide illness and disease.

Pay close attention to his habits and his diet. Seasonal changes can lead to changes in his stool frequency and consistency, but it should NEVER be runny.

Ultimately, you should be consulting with a licensed veterinarian who has good familiarity with reptiles. Your bearded dragon is just like a pet cat or dog – he deserves your best care!

Metabolic Bone Disease In Bearded Dragons – Identification And Treatment

Lurking under the surface, a monster moves in steady increments. The novice reptile keeper never sees it coming—making a string of simple mistakes that lead to a harsh consequence. This insidious disease manifests only after it is too late. Its name is Metabolic Bone Disease.

“Meta-what?” you may ask. Well, most people refer to it as MBD. Technically, this is an umbrella term for a host of nutritional imbalances. Together, they cause a terrible transformation: bones will soften, bodies become thin, and eventually, paralysis sets in.

The deterioration continues until their spine curves like a bridge, and the dragon dies mangled and miserable. A cruel death by MBD should be avoided at all costs. In this article, I explain how to detect, treat, and prevent Metabolic Bone Disease.

Bearded Dragon Metabolic Bone Disease Guide

Detecting Metabolic Bone Disease

If detected early, the worst case of MBD can be avoided. The idea is to stop it BEFORE the real damage is done. It’s vital that pet owners pay attention to their animal’s health, monitoring the physical and behavior clues that may prevent disaster. Never shrug off the unusual. Only a weird behaviour for a couple of seconds could be the beginning stages of much larger problems.

Prevention and reversal are simple with this slow moving disease. Just watch for these symptoms: Is your Bearded Dragon acting weird? Lethargy, a slowed appetite and weakness are red flags for illness. MBD is high on the list of possibilities, but these symptoms could be linked to another condition entirely. Don’t make an assumption. Check thoroughly for other indicators of MBD.

Tune your eyes to the subtle signs a sick reptile will display. A Bearded Dragon with Metabolic Bone Disease will experience muscle tremors and twitches, which are especially noticeable in the feet and toes. They walk shakily, with trouble controlling their hind legs. Track the pace your babies are growing at. The same nutritional deficiencies that cause MBD can stunt young lizards.

Gently feel along your dragon’s bones, searching for hard knots under their scales. Before MBD is visible, you can catch it early through physical exams. Fragile bones fracture easily, and softened jaws may recede—these are definite signals of bone decay. Any reptile showing these symptoms should be treated for Metabolic Bone Disease immediately.

What happens to Bearded Dragons left untreated?

Some pet owners choose to ignore signs of illness, leaving their unfortunate lizards to deteriorate in the crushing hands of disease. As the animal goes longer without help, its bones weaken and deform. Years of suffering can pass before the Bearded Dragon dies — its corpse will be totally different compared to its original form. MBD is an ugly and heartbreaking disease. Though completely preventable, it remains a common fate. Some people are blind to the value of reptile life. If you discover a lizard in need, I suggest attempting to rescue the animal or educate its owner.


The leading cause of MBD is calcium deficiency. Absorption of calcium is affected by UVB, temperature, and the vitamins present in a reptile’s system. Keep this in mind while you consider treatment options for Metabolic Bone Disease in Bearded Dragons. Step one is to understand what caused the deficiency. Step two is to correct it. Early cases of MBD can be reversed simply by implementing new, healthy habits into your reptile routine.

Here are some common mistakes that lead to calcium deficiency:

Not enough/ wrong supplements.

Improper UVB – The number one reason for MBD

Calcium will not be absorbed without a high-quality UVB bulb. Since most experts agree that coil bulbs don’t emit enough UVB, a Reptisun fluorescent tube (which must be replaced every 6 months) should be used. Keep in mind that placing the tank near a window won’t replace proper lighting, as UVB waves cannot pass through glass.

Again, the ReptiSun UVB bulbs are one of the best UVB bulbs out there and this is a must have. Don´t waste your money on other bulbs with bad ratings when there is such a great bulb at a low price.

Not warm enough.

Bearded Dragon’s require a basking spot of 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Without this, their food can’t be metabolized.

You might want to have a look at my Beardie Lighting Guide here!​

Improper diet

Diets without nutritionally dense food can lead to MBD. Lettuce, which is mostly water, should never be fed as a staple. Avoid feeding spinach frequently, as the oxalates can bind to Calcium, making it useless to your beardy. Better options include turnip greens, collard greens, and vegetables like squash or green beans.

Once the holes in your care regimen are corrected, a mild case of MBD will cease to develop. However, severe cases require intense attention. Seek professional veterinarian care as soon as possible.

You need to know what your bearded dragon is allowed to eat? Here are 88 things your bearded dragon is allowed to eat!​

Preventing Metabolic Bone Disease

After reading this article, you have probably gathered a list of symptoms and mistakes to dodge. Remember to provide nutritious foods, use high-quality UVB bulbs, and supplement frequently. In an ideal situation, you can prevent this disease before it sets in. Most bone deformities are permanent. If you’ve identified Metabolic Bone Disease in your Bearded Dragon, take the initiative to correct your care before the disease becomes too serious.

Either way, check up on your Bearded Dragon. You may have the chance to catch illnesses before they become real issues. Diseases are not invisible. An attentive reptile keeper will see it coming — correcting simple mistakes before they lead to a harsh consequence. Metabolic Bone Disease. It’s cruel and ugly, but now you understand what causes it, and that is all you need to prevent it. As you already know, death by MBD should be—and can be—avoided at all costs.

How To Set Up The Perfect Veiled Chameleon Cage

Veiled Chameleon Tank

We all know the story: You walk into the pet store, but—to your greatest regret—it sees you. Behind the dreary glass of stacked terrariums, a beautiful Veiled Chameleon sits. You glance away, but that initial eye contact is undeniable. You are entranced. Before even meeting the lizard, you’re convinced it’s your best friend. How could you just walk away, leaving it miserable and alone, without a clue as to where it’ll end up? You couldn’t!

So as simple as that, you arrive home with a new pet and no idea what you’ll do with it. Maybe you packed up an undersized aquarium for the meantime, but you know you’ve done a bad thing. The impulse buy creeps up on even the best of us. Once the claws have dug in, denying it’s requests can be gut-wrenching. But responsible pet owners keep their Veiled Chameleon’s housing at the ready, introducing occupants long after they’re perfected. This article is for anyone seeking the preemptive and planned path, as well as those who need all of the information they can get—and FAST!

The Perfect Veiled Chameleon Terrarium Setup

Veiled Chameleons are arboreal creatures, seeking refuge in the uppermost branches of the treetops. If you assume a tree dweller is equally content in a tall, spacious enclosure as it is in a small, squat fish tank: I have some news for you! Enclosures should never be viewed as containers; your pet will spend the majority of it’s life there. Create a habitat, home, and playground—not a cage.

The minimal dimensions for adult male Veiled Chameleons are 24”(width), 24”(depth), 48”(height). Smaller females can be kept in 18”(width), 18”(depth), 36”(height) enclosures. When offering larger enclosures: horizontal space will be appreciated, but these tree huggers love height—prioritize it. A baby Veiled Chameleon can stay in smaller areas, because it makes eating, drinking, and basking less strenuous. However, if the young chameleon is healthy and monitored closely, adult-sized enclosures are fine.

Even though the video below is showing a cage for a beautiful Panther Chameleon, it is very close to what I am going to show you in this article. So have a look at it to see where we are headed.​

Glass Vs. Screen Enclosures

A screen enclosure’s superiority to glass was a long-standing assumption between chameleon keepers—but now, it’s a hot debate. Maintenance of your Veiled Chameleon’s habitat will differ depending on the cage it lives in, and mistakes happen in both screen and glass enclosures. You can avoid this with just a bit of education. So, what are the true differences between glass and screen enclosures?


The main issue surrounding glass Veiled Chameleon cages is air flow, so minimal at times that it causes stagnation— noxious to any unlucky creature trapped inside. Conditions like this can result in respiratory problems and death for a Veiled Chameleon. But, fables tell of an open-aired savior: the screen enclosure. Screen eliminates the concern for stagnation completely. Does this really mean glass enclosures are totally unusable, though? No, using screen tops and small ventilation fans will push that stale air right out of your tank. Problem solved.


For ventilation, screen enclosures are a blessing, but they can be a curse for humidity. Your home’s conditions will set the stage for the climate in your chameleon’s cage. To maintain an ideal micro-climate, you must be cognizant of your location. Screen is perfect in humid environments, but in arid areas, glass may be a better option. With less exposure to air outside the cage, it is easier to manipulate the humidity levels inside these little cubes.


Glass has a habit of retaining the elements that enter it, while screen releases them. Heat is not an exception to this rule. Depending on your area, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. If your home is 72 to 75 degrees, a single lamp on a screen enclosure will suffice to meet your temperature range. Do the same thing with glass, and the enclosure may overheat. But in cooler climates, that extra heat is more advantage than liability.

So, the battle between glass and screen is not as clean-cut as many people prefer to assume. Your decision should have a basis of climate: Think of the environment your home offers, compared to the environment a Veiled Chameleon requires. Which enclosure will make the conditions easiest to achieve?

Making Your Own Veiled Chameleon Cage

Veiled chameleon habitat

Don’t think commercial Veiled Chameleon habitats are suited for you? If you have ever thought, “I can make a cube as well as any manufacturer,” this section is for you. Custom Veiled Chameleon terrarium setups hold endless potentials; build an elaborate centerpiece for your living room, or a functional habitat to fit snugly into a corner. Instead of settling for sub-par or over-priced, pull out some tools and get creative!

Before starting any project—regardless of the complexity—it is necessary to craft a solid plan: Map out your reptile’s needs, your budget, and your skill set. Make sure to consider the cleaning and maintenance of the cage. Then, calculate which materials are best used. Options that work on your side could just as easily turn against you. Wood can rot, plastic can melt, exposed screen risks injury, and glass is expensive and difficult to work with. Be thoughtful, thorough, and cautious while building a custom Veiled Chameleon enclosure.

Stressed Out Veiled Chameleons ? – A Good Place For The Tank

Keeping your Veiled Chameleon comfortable is more than a matter of setup. Chameleons are notorious for stress sensitivity. Many sudden, unfortunate deaths have resulted from ignorance of chameleon behavior and psychology. Nobody can read their chameleon’s mind, but behavior clues are obvious to those who look. Common signs of stress include pacing the cage, reduced appetite, a dark coloration (or stress marks), etc. Pinpointing the cause of these behaviors is, unfortunately, like playing a guessing game. Make changes to their environment, one after the other, until stress ceases. I suggest moving the cage to a quiet location, providing more shelter for hiding, and keeping other animal’s out of it’s view. A common stresser is rooted in the Veiled Chameleon’s natural solidarity. Never house multiple lizards in the same cage or within view of each other. Enduring the long-term stress of having no escape from an territorial opponent, will cause the decline of an other-wise healthy animal. Fighting, respiratory problems, and unexpected death are the consequences of forcing Veiled Chameleons to live communally.


If you think you can’t survive without electricity, imagine what it is like to be physically dependent on the light bulbs hanging from your ceiling. This is the reality for our cold blooded pets. From calcium absorption to thermoregulation, the functions of a reptile’s body require a spectrum of lighting to work. An in-depth understanding of lights is essential to the success and well being of your Veiled Chameleon. So, what exactly is the difference between a regular light bulb and a bulb created specifically for our scaly friends?

Imagine what it is like to be physically dependent on the light bulbs hanging from your ceiling. Do your research properly! #reptilecare

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UVB bulbs

Ultraviolet-B (UVB) is present in sunlight from the wavelengths of 290(nm) to 315(nm), and almost all animals on earth have some level of exposure to it. Reptiles have a particular need for UVB, as the Vitamin D they absorb from the sun is converted into D3, which plays a crucial role in their bodies. In deficit of D3, calcium cannot be utilized in their systems. This causes the bones of your Veiled Chameleon to slowly deteriorate, becoming brittle and malformed. The painful and fatal condition is referred to as Metabolic Bone Disease(MBD). Though it is one of the leading killers in the reptile industry, MBD can easily be avoided.

Veiled Chameleons are native to the Arabian Peninsula, living in sun drenched treetops. Since they’re exposed to more UVB than their friends on the forest floor, you may come to the conclusion that your pet should be under a high-output bulb. But, be mindful that they receive significantly less sun than desert dwellers. Studies have suggested that UVB can become harmful with overexposure: their life spans may even be shortened. To walk this tight-rope of reptilian lights, provide you Veiled Chameleon medium levels of UVB.

Not all light bulbs are created equally. Though scientists have worked hard to develop high quality UVB bulbs for reptile enthusiasts, they’ve only made progression in florescent T5 and T8 bulbs. Almost all of the compact bulbs available offer little to no UVB output.

Full spectrum bulbs

If you have ever faced that towering wall of expensive light bulbs in a pet store, the term “full spectrum lighting” is probably familiar to you. The phrase holds a shimmer of importance that is hard to ignore. But do you even know what they are? Before judging their necessity, lets review some details:

Every major reptile care company sells a version of full spectrum lights. Selling between $10 and $20 per bulb, packaging claims to provide every form of light reptiles can use—heat, UVB, UVA, and more! But as we have already discussed, most compact bulbs are incapable of significant UVB output, and plenty of other heat sources exist. So where does the real worth of these bulbs lay? Maybe with the mysterious UVA.

Ultraviolet-A does not contribute to the longevity of your Veiled Chameleon, but some say that reptiles detect a larger spectrum of lighting than humans can. Basically, a new field of color is unlocked when UVA, invisible to us, is present in a reptiles environment. Without it, vision may be impaired in a way similar to color-blindness. Are we neglecting the psychological well being of our Veiled Chameleons by not offering UVA? The importance of full spectrum lighting is still under skepticism, so I’ll leave you to make your own conclusions.


Reptiles thermoregulate manually, moving from shade to sunlight as their body temperatures fluctuate. A temperature gradient (think cool on bottom and warm on top) is an immediate necessity in their cage. Ambient temperature is simple to control, but for a complete setup, your chameleon requires a basking spot (a monitored, hot surface) that will serve as it’s primary source of body warmth.

A Veiled Chameleon’s enclosure should stay between 72 degrees and 80 degrees from top to bottom. At night, all lights should be switched off, allowing for 12 hours of darkness and slightly dropped temperatures. Keep a heat lamp on the top of your chameleon’s cage, a basking surface a few inches under it. It should be 95 degrees for adults; babies are safer in the high 80’s. To monitor the temperature, use a thermometer with a probe or an infrared temp gun. Cheap stick on thermometers are highly inaccurate.

Recommended thermometers:


Now we dive into a critical aspect of Veiled Chameleon care that can make or break your budget: water systems and humidity control. But before that, ask yourself a few questions: How much time do you spend at home? How much money can you afford to spend? And (be truthful) exactly how forgetful are you? These questions are all relevant to deciding which water system is best for you.

Misting and Why It’s Important

veiled chameleon cage

Every living thing needs hydration. In the wild, however, standing pools of water can be dangerous to drink from. During rain showers and early mornings, Veiled Chameleons evolved to sip water droplets off the leaves around them. Since they won’t drink from water bowls, keepers must spray a fine mist over the whole enclosure to mimic rain. In addition to hydration, a chameleon needs an ambient humidity of at least 40% and up to 70%. Misting every few hours durring daylight hours will keep moisture levels on track. The methods of misting include:

Spray Bottles

Simple and sweet, spray bottles are the go-to misters for a number of reptile keepers. An adequate spray bottle can be found for between $1 and $5 at any grocery store. Maybe you have one around your house already, as long as you do not expose your pet to harmful chemicals unintentionally. Alternatively, you can mist with a pressurized spray bottle. Besides saving you the effort of constantly pumping a trigger, they tend to create a finer mist than regular spray bottles. Being sprinkled with light, small particles of water may be preferable to your Veiled Chameleon than the hard drenching that regular bottles emit. Any local hardware or garden store should have pressurized water pumps available from between $10 and $30, or your local pet store may sell Exoterra Misters. I found a small garden sprayer in Dollar General for $4.


Drop by drop, a dripper system provides water slowly throughout the day—if you couldn’t guess by the name. They keep a continuous supply of fresh water in the Veiled Chameleon’s cage, so between sprayings, the lizard won’t go thirsty. The most popular commercial dripper is The Big Dripper by Zoomed, coming with a closable top, a nozzle to adjust drip speed, and a tube to direct water where it is needed. It’s a handy product to own, but if the $10 is too steep for you, poke a hole in the bottom of a cup and place it on the roof of your cage: It creates a similar effect.

Automatic Misting For The Busy Ones

Misting a chameleon’s cage two to four times a day is a giant responsibility. To those who’s schedules make it unachievable: consider purchasing an automatic misting system. The high price discourages most people, but the reliability and convenience is well worth the cost to many. How do you plan to mist when you leave town for a weekend? Arranging a chameleon sitter is not as simple as arranging a cat sitter. Still, most people agree that automated systems are not necessary for the average Veiled Chameleon owner. With a cost starting at $50 and scaling up to the hundreds, more than a little pocket change will go into this decision.

Drainage For Your Tank

With so much water entering your enclosure, it is only a matter of time before it overflows. Soaked carpets, rotting wood, and a general mess can be avoided with a small plan. New chameleon owners try to handle this conundrum with heap of towels and frustration. I propose we skip that phase and jump straight into a proper drainage system!

Here is the breakdown: a cage that drains water instead of holding it, and a receptacle for the water that be dumped without hassle. Obviously, this is a pretty broad idea, so there are many different ways of doing drainage. This is where your own creativity will come into play.

Consider the bottom of your cage. Is it PVC, screen, or solid? A solid floor will need holes drilled into it. To ensure the water actually makes it outside, drill strategically in places water will naturally end up. Your potted plant will most likely create a slight incline in the floor, which will cause water to roll towards its base. This is where drainage should be placed. However, when you’re making openings in the cage, don’t forget the creepy crawlers that will wander inside during your chameleon’s meals. If the holes are large enough for escapees, cover them with screen before releasing bugs inside.

Leaving pools of water in the bottom of your enclosure will do more than make a mess. The floor of your cage is where the Veiled Chameleon’s waste is going to fall, so you can see how it becomes a breeding ground for nasty bacteria. And outside of hygienic reasons, it is best to keep feces in tact to be monitored regularly. Even if it isn’t pretty, chameleon poop is a window into your pet’s health.

Plants For A Veiled Chameleon Tank (Including Substrate)

When you snatched that Veiled Chameleon from the pet store, knowingly or not, you also signed up to be a gardener. Now is the time for your green thumb to shine—even if you’re cringing at the long-wilted stems of past endeavors. Before you throw some plastic flowers in the cage and call it good, consider this:

Plants are security and cover to your Veiled Chameleon, so the cage must be packed with them. They add humidity, double as a snack, and are just more natural and pleasant for a chameleon. Because, realistically, anything that lives, eats, and breaths trees knows when they’re plastic.

Be smart when choosing plants, though. They need to be sturdy enough for the lizard to climb on, and will not die in high humidity. Make sure it is completely nontoxic, with organic, unfertilized soil. Lastly, the plants will thrive under your chameleon’s lighting, so don’t try setting the cage near a window.

Regarding the substrate, many people simply do not use substrate for their tanks when it comes to Yemen Chameleons. They simply put their plants in a flower pot into the cage. However you can of course use substrate to create a beautiful looking habitat. Simple organic flower soil without fertilizer will do the job!


A Veiled Chameleon’s cage can be simple or complicated, beautiful or basic—but it is the center of your pet’s well being. Envision the natural world and aim to recreate it, but remember the animal isn’t living in a pristine, self cleaning forest. It is an artificial habitat being controlled by you alone. Your chameleon’s comfort and happiness should be of top priority, but the convenience of maintenance will be a close second. To keep your pet in it’s best state, you must mix the perfect combination of light, warmth, water, and plant life. Once this is present, the bi-products need to be dealt with in a way that suits you best. You have rescued your new friend from the pet store; now it is time to create a home.