How to clean a bearded dragon aquarium

Updated July 19, 2017

A glass aquarium makes a good enclosure for a bearded dragon and is easy to clean. Although many bearded dragon owners use a sandy substrate in the bottom of the aquarium, natural stone tile cut to fit is a lot easier to maintain. Some daily cleaning is a necessary part of bearded dragon care, along with a more thorough weekly cleaning to control odour and keep the bearded dragon healthy. You can clean a bearded dragon aquarium without moving it, since it is heavy and could break. All items in the enclosure should be cleaned outdoors or in a sink.

Remove the water and food dishes and clean with hot, soapy water. Refill the water dish.

Pick up any dead crickets or wilted vegetables lying in the enclosure that the bearded dragon didn't eat.

Remove fecal matter as soon as possible to control odour. Use a damp paper towel to clean the basking rock or branch as well as the tile on the bottom. If you have a substrate in the bottom of the aquarium, scoop out the fecal matter with a net or slotted spoon.

Lift the bearded dragon out of the aquarium and have someone hold it.

Remove the water and food dishes and basking object from the aquarium.

Remove the tile from the bottom. If you have substrate in the bottom, vacuum it out with a Shop-Vac.

Catch any live crickets and put them back in the cricket container.

Spray the inside of the aquarium with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 6 parts water. Wipe clean with paper towels then dry with paper towels.

Douse all the items from the cage--the water and food dishes, basking rock or branch and tile--with the vinegar/water mixture.

Scrub the items with a stiff brush and rinse thoroughly with water from a hose or faucet.

Set the items from the cage outdoors to dry, if feasible.

Pour new substrate in the bottom or replace the tile pieces.

Replace the dishes and basking object in the aquarium. Refill the water dish.

Return the bearded dragon to the aquarium.


Wash your hands thoroughly after you clean a bearded dragon aquarium or touch a bearded dragon. Throw used paper towels away immediately after use. Most reptiles carry salmonella.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Small net or slotted spoon
  • Shop-Vac
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Stiff brush
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About the Author

Ashley Allison is a professional writer and editor who has published hundreds of articles online covering a wide range of topics. She enjoys playing competitive tennis and competing in road races, including the 100-mile Austin Distance Challenge and the Austin Marathon. Allison graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.