As a bearded dragon owner, you must take care of your pet in the best way possible. Cleaning your pet’s tank is key to good hygiene.
A dirty tank can become a breeding ground for parasites and diseases such as upper respiratory infections. Therefore, it’s vital to clean the tank regularly.
Cleaning is simple, and you need to know how to do it right. As the title suggests, this article is a comprehensive guide on how to clean a bearded dragon’s tank.
We’ll look at the items needed for cleaning, how often you should do it, and how to do it the right way.
Cleaning vs. disinfecting
You may hear the terms “clean” and “disinfect” being used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing.
Cleaning is the process of removing organic and inorganic matter from surfaces and objects. Organic matter can include food remains, poop, and dead insects. Inorganic matter, on the other hand, can consist of dust, soil, and dirt.
You use soap (detergent) and water to clean off surfaces and objects. Cleaning does not include killing but can lower the chances of spreading germs.
This process involves using chemicals (disinfectants) to kill germs on surfaces and objects. Examples of disinfectants include steam, bleach, and alcohol solutions. You may leave disinfectant on the surface or object for a certain time to kill germs.
Disinfectants can be used to kill harmful bacteria and viruses in your bearded dragon’s tank. While they can kill germs, they may not necessarily clean dirty surfaces.
How to clean your bearded dragon’s tank
In this section, we’ll guide you on how to do your weekly cleaning to keep your pet’s tank clean and free from bacteria.
- Remove your pet from the tank and place him in a temporary enclosure.
- Remove all accessories from the tank, including food and water bowls, rocks, wooden items, toys, etc.
- Wash and disinfect the accessories with a solution of your choice.
- Remove the substrate. Paper towels are easy to replace daily. With the reptile’s carpet, it depends on the amount of poop. If it’s not too dirty, you can just spot-clean it with vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then air out and return to the enclosure.
- If it’s too dirty, you can soak it in a bleach solution and wash it using soap and water. Then hang it to dry.
- Now that the tank is empty, clean the glass, walls, and base with any of the cleaning solutions. Use a scraper to remove anything that’s stuck.
- Spray your preferred disinfectant and leave it for a few minutes. Then rinse it off.
- Wipe everything dry with a microfiber cloth. Then air the tank until it’s fully dry.
- Return your pet to the enclosure.
How often do you need to clean your bearded dragon’s tank?
For starters, you need to do a light cleaning daily and deep cleaning once a week or every two weeks.
Light cleaning is the best way to check off small cleaning and contributes to the overall hygiene of the tank. It can help reduce the concentration of pathogens, keep the tank looking nice, and control odor.
Here’s how to clean your bearded dragon’s tank daily:
- Remove any traces of poop using a paper towel.
- Remove any leftover food.
- Remove food and water bowls.
- Clean and disinfect the food and water bowls.
- Replace drinking water.
You can do your daily cleaning either in the morning or in the evening.
Weekly cleaning is more in-depth and time-consuming. You can do it weekly or every two weeks, depending on the condition of the enclosure. This will require you to clean and disinfect everything in the enclosure with your bearded dragon outside.
You remove all accessories and the substrate, clean and disinfect them, clean the inside of the tank, and clean and disinfect the glass.
What items are needed to clean a bearded dragon’s tank?
The following are the proper tools and cleaning/disinfecting solutions to maintain the lifespan of the enclosure.
This is the list of the right set of tools you need to clean your bearded dragon’s tank.
- Paper towels – for cleaning up spills.
- Microfiber cloths – at least two of them(cleaning and drying).
- Chemical-resistant gloves – to protect your hands from any chemical exposure.
- A bucket – to put the cleaning solution and water in
- A scraper – for removing things that are stuck on the surface or objects.
- Scrubbing brush – to scrub off dirt.
- Spray bottles – to put the cleaning and disinfecting solutions
The solution you choose to use is a matter of personal preference since there are various cleaning solutions. These solutions are used in daily cleaning (washing food and water bowls) and weekly cleaning as well.
The following is a list of the solutions you can use:
- Non-toxic reptile cleaning solution/disinfectant. You can buy it from your local pet store.
- A mild detergent with no perfume or harsh chemicals.
- 50:50 vinegar and water solution. All items cleaned with this solution should be rinsed thoroughly.
- One part of bleach with 10 parts of water solution. The fumes can be highly toxic. Therefore, this solution should only be used once in a while for deep cleaning.
- 1:10 ratio of ammonia to water. This solution is better for disinfecting things and getting rid of the odor. Once again, you need to rinse it off.
Another item to consider for disinfecting or sterilizing the tank is a hand steamer. This can help stop bacterial growth by killing all microorganisms.
A clean house is a happy house. The same applies to bearded dragons; A clean tank is important for your bearded dragon to stay healthy and happy.
We hope this guide will help you keep your pet’s tank clean and disinfected. It’s a simple cleaning routine, but it can save your pet from many illnesses.