Keeping a bearded dragon‘s tank clean is essential for your pet’s health and wellbeing. A dirty tank can lead to disease, stress and other issues for your bearded dragon. Cleaning the tank thoroughly but gently on a regular basis will help prevent these problems. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean bearded dragon tank.
Before getting started, gather the following supplies:
- Paper towels or rag
- Mild soap and water
- Disinfectant spray or wipes
- Fresh substrate (reptile carpet, calcium sand, etc.)
- Clean decor items and plants
- Trash bag
- Tweezers or scoop for waste
- Backup tank or tub (for holding your bearded dragon during cleaning)
Make sure you have everything prepared and within easy reach. This will make the cleaning process quicker and smoother.
Remove Your Bearded Dragon
The first step is to gently move your bearded dragon out of its tank and into a safe, temporary home. A small travel carrier, spare tank or plastic tub with air holes works well. Make sure the backup space has proper lighting and heat while cleaning. Never leave your bearded dragon unattended out of its tank.
Remove All Decor and Substrate
Once your bearded dragon is safely out of the way, take out all decor items – hides, plants, branches, food bowls, etc. Check each item for waste, uneaten food or calcium/vitamin powder and clean thoroughly. Place all decor pieces in hot, soapy water to disinfect.
Next, remove and discard all substrate material. Scoop out any waste like urates or feces. Avoid inhaling any dust or particles during this step.
Wash the Tank
With the tank empty, mix warm water and a small amount of mild soap in a spray bottle. Spray down all surfaces of the glass tank, including the lid and doors. Use paper towels or a rag to scrub away any stuck-on debris or hard water stains.
Rinse the tank thoroughly with plain water, removing all traces of soap. Make sure to get into crevices and corners. Allow the tank to fully dry before moving on.
Disinfect the Tank
To kill any remaining germs or bacteria, spray a reptile-safe disinfectant over all surfaces of the tank. Or use disinfectant wipes specially formulated for reptiles. Follow product instructions closely.
Let the disinfectant soak for 5-10 minutes. Wipe the tank down again with plain water and paper towels. Repeat if needed for heavily soiled areas. Allow the tank to completely dry one more time.
Add Fresh Substrate and Decor
Your bearded dragon’s tank is now clean and ready for fresh substrate and decor. Add 2-3 inches of new calcium sand, reptile carpet or other substrate material. Make sure the temperature gradient is correct based on your heating elements.
Wash all decor items with soap and water. Rinse and let dry fully before putting them back in the tank. Reptile-safe artificial plants, branches and hides should be cleaned regularly as part of tank maintenance.
Return Your Bearded Dragon
With a clean tank fully set up, you can return your bearded dragon to its habitat. Make sure your pet seems active and healthy before reintroducing it. Monitor eating, drinking, basking and bowel movements closely for the next few days.
Schedule weekly partial cleanings between monthly deep cleanings. Spot clean waste daily and top off water. Frequent tank maintenance keeps your pet healthy in a sterile environment.
- Clean bearded dragon tanks at least once per month, more often for younger dragons
- Remove beardie and all decor before cleaning the empty tank with soap and water
- Disinfectant sprays kill germs – rinse residue away after proper contact time
- Replace substrate, wash decor items, let everything dry before reassembling tank
- Monitor your bearded dragon closely after each deep cleaning
Thorough tank hygiene is crucial for bearded dragon health. Following these steps on a regular basis keeps your pet habitat clean and minimizes the risk of illness. With proper care and maintenance, your bearded dragon can live a long, healthy life in a clean environment.
FAQs About How to Clean Bearded Dragon Tank
Can I use household cleaning products, or should I use specialized reptile-safe cleaners?
Avoid household cleaners as they can be toxic to reptiles. Use reptile-specific, non-toxic disinfectants to ensure safety.
What steps should I take to clean and sanitize the tank walls and surfaces?
Wipe down the walls and surfaces with a reptile-safe disinfectant, rinse with water, and ensure all chemicals are fully removed.
How do I clean the food and water dishes for my bearded dragon?
Remove food and waste, wash dishes with warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and disinfect regularly. Ensure no soap residue remains.
Are there any specific precautions or safety measures when cleaning a bearded dragon tank?
Ventilate the cleaning area, wear gloves when handling waste, and avoid chemical exposure to your dragon. Rinse and dry everything thoroughly to prevent contamination.
What is the best way to maintain a clean and hygienic environment for my bearded dragon?
Regular cleaning, waste removal, and proper disinfection are key. Maintain clean substrate, accessories, and hygiene to ensure a healthy habitat for your dragon.
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