Do Bearded Dragons Grow to the Size of Their Tank? Understanding the Relationship

Bearded dragons do not grow to the size of their tank. This is a common misconception about reptiles and their growth habits. Bearded dragons have a genetic predisposition determining their final adult size, typically ranging from 18 to 24 inches long. Their growth is not affected directly by the dimensions of their enclosure.

However, providing a suitable habitat for your bearded dragon is essential for its well-being and health. A small or inadequate enclosure may not have appropriate temperature gradients for thermoregulation, making it difficult for the dragon to maintain optimal metabolic functioning. These suboptimal conditions can affect how fast the reptile grows and reaches full maturity. Always ensure your bearded dragon has a spacious and well-maintained environment to thrive.

Factors Affecting Growth

Several factors can affect the growth of a bearded dragon, including genetics, diet, and habitat. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:


The size of a bearded dragon can be influenced by genetics. Some bearded dragons may be smaller or larger than others, even if raised in the same conditions. It’s important to research the breed of bearded dragon to get an idea of how big they can grow.


Diet is another important factor that can affect the growth of a bearded dragon. A healthy diet should consist of various insects, vegetables, and fruits. Overfeeding or underfeeding can lead to stunted growth or obesity, which can cause health problems.


The size of a bearded dragon’s habitat can also affect their growth. Bearded dragons need plenty of space to move around and exercise. A too small tank can limit their growth and lead to health problems. It’s important to provide a tank appropriate for your bearded dragon’s size.

Bearded Dragon Size Chart

Here is a general guide to the size of bearded dragons based on age:

Hatchling4-6 inches
Juvenile10-16 inches
Sub-Adult16-22 inches
Adult18-24 inches

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines, and the size of a bearded dragon can vary depending on several factors. By providing a healthy diet, appropriate habitat, and regular veterinary care, you can help your bearded dragon reach their full potential size.

Tank Size

Appropriate Tank Size

When it comes to the appropriate tank size for a bearded dragon, it is important to consider the size of the dragon and how much space it needs to move around comfortably. According to Reptile.Guide, baby bearded dragons will do best in tanks no smaller than 20 gallons and ideally 40 gallons. Young adults and adults should have at minimum a tank of 55 gallons, but ideally 75 gallons. Large dragons over 20 inches will do best in a tank of 75 to 120 gallons, with a minimum size of 48 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 18 inches tall.

Providing a larger tank not only gives the bearded dragon more space to roam and exercise but also allows for more hiding places, basking spots, and other accessories that can help improve the dragon’s quality of life. A larger tank also makes maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels easier, which are important for the dragon’s health.

Inadequate Tank Size

Keeping a bearded dragon in an inadequate tank size can have negative effects on the dragon’s health and growth. According to ReptileCraze, bearded dragons do not grow to the size of their tanks, regardless of whether the tank is small or large. However, keeping an adult bearded dragon in a small tank may contribute to the decrease in size of the bearded dragon.

Inadequate tank size can also lead to stress, which can cause various health problems such as appetite loss, lethargy, and even death. Additionally, a small tank can make it difficult to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels, negatively affecting the dragon’s health.

Overall, providing an appropriate tank size for a bearded dragon is important to ensure its health and well-being.


Proper Nutrition

Bearded dragons require a balanced diet to stay healthy and grow properly. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. A good diet for a bearded dragon should consist of 80% vegetables and 20% insects.

Vegetables should be chopped into small pieces and offered fresh daily. Some good vegetable options for bearded dragons include collard greens, mustard greens, kale, and dandelion greens. It is important to avoid feeding them spinach, beet greens, and rhubarb as they contain high levels of oxalates, which can bind calcium and prevent its absorption.

Insects should be offered 2-3 times per week and gut-loaded with vegetables and calcium powder before feeding the bearded dragon. Good insect options include crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. Waxworms and superworms should be fed sparingly as they are high in fat.

To ensure proper bone growth and development, calcium and vitamin D3 supplements should be dusted on insects before feeding. A lack of calcium can lead to metabolic bone disease, which can be fatal.


Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems in bearded dragons. Feeding them the appropriate amount of food is important based on their age and size. Juvenile bearded dragons should be fed more frequently than adults.

A good rule of thumb is offering them as much food as they can in 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times per day. Adult bearded dragons can be fed once per day or every other day.

Monitoring their weight and adjusting their feeding schedule is also important. If a bearded dragon is overweight, reduce the food offered and increase their exercise. If they are underweight, increase the amount of food offered and ensure they get enough calcium and vitamin D3.

In conclusion, providing a balanced diet and monitoring their food intake is crucial for the health and growth of bearded dragons.


Bearded dragons are known for their docile and friendly nature. They are easy to handle and are a great pet for beginners. However, they can exhibit certain behaviors indicating their well-being or stress level.


Bearded dragons can become stressed if kept in an inadequate environment or not provided with the necessary care. Signs of stress in bearded dragons include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Aggression
  • Hiding
  • Glass surfing (running back and forth along the walls of the tank)

If a bearded dragon is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it is important to identify and address the cause of the stress. This may involve providing a larger tank, adjusting the temperature or lighting, or providing more hiding places.

Activity Level

Bearded dragons are active animals and require plenty of space to move around. They should be provided with a large tank that allows them to exercise and explore. A lack of activity can lead to obesity and other health problems.

It is important to note that bearded dragons may become less active during certain times of the year, such as winter. This is a natural behavior and is not necessarily a cause for concern.

Overall, understanding the behavior of bearded dragons is important for their health and well-being. Owners can ensure their bearded dragons are happy and healthy by providing a suitable environment and monitoring their behavior.