How to Clean a Bearded Dragon Aquarium

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Knowing how to clean a bearded dragon aquarium is crucial for the health of your reptilian companion. Luckily cleaning a bearded dragon aquarium is simple! It's a little bit like cleaning a scoopable cat litter box, disposing of the waste, and then cleaning the surfaces your lizard touches. Perform routine aquarium cleanings to maintain a healthy habitat for your bearded dragon. Cleaning routines should include daily spot cleaning, weekly hard surface cleaning, and monthly deep cleaning.

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Cleaning a bearded dragon aquarium is similar to cleaning a cat box.
Image Credit: Susannah Gray / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

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Before you begin, you may want to wear rubber gloves. They're not required, but they are highly recommended. If you don't wear gloves, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling the bearded dragon and its habitat accessories.

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Daily cleaning chores

To begin, put your dragon somewhere safe. Remove the bearded dragon from the aquarium and gently place him in a secure box or spare aquarium. Once he's safe and secure, scoop up his waste matter. Dig into the substrate with a kitty litter sifter scoop to collect pieces of your bearded dragon's waste matter. Let the substrate fall through the sifter back into the aquarium, and dispose of the waste in a trash bag.

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Next, clean all hard surfaces and food receptacles. Moisten a paper towel and use it to gently wipe away anything smeared on the surfaces your bearded dragon touches. Rinse food and water bowls with clear tap water. Add fresh water to the water bowl after rinsing. Do this every day, or more than once a day if you wish.

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A clean habitat helps support bearded dragon heath.
Image Credit: freelancer_rlc/iStock/Getty Images

Bleach in a spray bottle

Pour an eighth of a cup of bleach and one and a quarter cups of tap water in the spray bottle and set the nozzle to mist. If you want to mix a larger batch, keep the mix at 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Spray a generous layer of the cleaner on a folded paper towel and wipe off exposed hard surfaces that have been touched by the bearded dragon. Allow the bleach mixture to dry completely, so the smell of bleach is gone, before replacing your bearded dragon into the habitat.

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Monthly deep cleaning

Using the same materials, do a deep cleaning once a month. Remove the bearded dragon from the aquarium and put him in a secure box or spare aquarium. Then, soak all items. Remove your bearded dragon's habitat accessories, such as food bowls and decorations, and put them in a washbasin. Pour 10 cups of warm water on top of the soiled accessories, then add a cup of bleach. Allow the accessories to soak in the warm water while you clean the rest of the aquarium.

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Put the substrate in the strainer and rinse thoroughly with tap water, unless the substrate is due for replacement. Substrate packages offer suggestions on how long you can safely use the product.

Cleaning with bleach

Fold a couple paper towels. Dip them into the bleach water in the washbasin. Wipe out the inside of the aquarium. Dip the paper towels in the bleach water as needed to keep them wet. Using a scrub brush, gently scrub the accessories that have been soaking until they are clean. Rinse them with clear tap water and place them on a bed of paper towels. Allow the accessories to dry completely.

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Dry the aquarium

Dry the inside of the aquarium and sniff to make sure no bleach scent remains before putting the clean substrate and dry accessories back in the bearded dragon habitat. Only when the aquarium is completely dry and there is no bleach odor detected may you bring your pet back into his habitat.

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Bearded dragon names

Know any fun bearded dragon names? Your reptilian friend may not come when called, but there is anecdotal evidence that they might respond to their name if food is involved, — and — they recognize you! It'd be nice to have a name for him or her, just the same.

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