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40-gallon Zoo Med Bearded Dragon Starter Kit Review

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The 40-gallon Zoo Med bearded dragon starter kit is a good kit overall. It's ideal for new bearded dragon owners, breeders, and those looking for a quick setup for a hospital tank. The kit includes just about everything you need to provide a natural habitat for your adult bearded dragon including a glass terrarium with a screen lid, combo deep Dome lamp fixture, compact UVB fluorescent bulb, and a basking spot bulb. You get substrate, a dual hygrometer and thermometer, and a rock food/water dish. The kit weight eleven pounds and is everything you need in one box.

Pros

  • Complete set up in one kit
  • Glass terrarium for easy cleaning
  • Sliding screen top offers excellent ventilation
  • Complete with lighting and fixtures

Cons

  • The substrate is not highly recommended for bearded dragons and can accidentally be digested and cause impaction
  • You may need to purchase additional decorations to complete your enclosure design

Design and Features

What is included in the kit?

The Zoo Med bearded dragon starter kit 40 gallon includes everything you need for a quick and seamless setup, including:

  • 40 Gallon Terrarium (36″ x 18″ x 18″) with sliding screen top.
  • ReptiSand Substrate (Desert White, 12 lb)
  • Combo Repti Rock Food and Water Dishes (large)
  • Dual Analog Thermometer and Humidity Gauge
  • ReptiSun 10.0 Compact Fluorescent
  • Repti Basking Spot Lamp (100 w)
  • Combo Deep Dome Dual Lamp Fixture
  • Bearded Dragons Care Booklet
  • Bearded Dragon Food Sampler

Zoo Med 40 Gallon Terrarium with Sliding Screen Top

This 40-gallon terrarium is ideal for an adult bearded dragon, enabling you to set up a natural and comfortable habitat where your dragon can thrive. The glass terrarium offers easy cleaning with a sliding screen top, which offers outstanding ventilation. The screen top can be removed completely for easy decorating and maintenance.

Zoo Med ReptiSand Desert White

This substrate gives a sandy desert base to your enclosure design. It is natural colors and no additional chemicals or dyes have been used. This substrate encourages natural burrowing behavior and is excellent when it comes to conducting heat. You can use the sand to create an attractive environment for your bearded dragon.

Sand and clay are both not recommended for bearded dragons, due to the fact that they are prone to impaction, which is a result of digesting sand when eating. There are safer alternatives on the market you may want to consider when setting up your kit.

Zoo Med Food and Water Bowl Combo

This combo food bowl blends in seamlessly with your natural habitat design. It is a low profile, non-porous dish to prevent bacteria growth and perfect for feeding your dragon vegetables. The dish is made from one hundred percent recycled plastic and offers a quick and easy to clean solution.

Zoo Med Dual Analog Terrarium Thermometer/Humidity Gauge

Monitoring the heat and humidity in your bearded dragon’s enclosure is essential to ensure their overall health and well-being. You will want to ensure that you keep low humidity in the enclosure, as bearded dragons only enjoy a humidity level of 35-40%.

Temperatures should be 90ºF - 93ºF on the basking side of the enclosure and 80ºF - 90ºF on the cooler side of the enclosure. The dual analogy terrarium thermometer and humidity gauge enables you to monitor humidity and temperature levels with ease. The gauge offers a hook and loop backing, making it easy to remove, clean, and relocate.

Zoo Med ReptiSun 10.0 Compact Fluorescent

This compact fluorescent is ideal for basking and desert reptiles offering a ten percent UVB output, thirty percent UVA output in a full spectrum bulb. The bulb has transmitting quartz glass for maximum UVB penetration and is a cool burning screw-in bulb that will fit threaded sockets without needing a separate ballast. You can orientate the lamp horizontally or vertically. UVB is essential to the overall health of your bearded dragon, reducing the risk of metabolic bone disease.

Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Lamp

The Repti basking spot is a patented double reflector bulb that offers 35% more light and heat into one beam. The bulb offers the heat that your bearded dragons crave. Place in the combo deep dome dual lamp fixture included in this kit and place above the basking area, offering a comfortable place for your dragon to soak up the heat and UVB rays.

Zoo Med Combo Deep Dome Dual Lamp Fixture

The Zoo Med combo deep dome dual lamp fixture is an award-winning design that offers a variety for day and night reptile bulbs. The dual fixture enables you to house your UVB and basking pot in one fixture. This fixture is suitable for bulbs up to one hundred and sixty watts with a combined wattage of three hundred watts. Made from polished aluminum, it offers maximum heat and light output.

Care Sheet

The 40-gallon Zoo Med Bearded Dragon Starter Kit comes with a care sheet to offer you basic care advice and assistance when it comes to bringing your breaded dragon home. A valuable resource for new bearded dragon owners.

Zoo Med Bearded Dragon Food Sampler Value Pack

The food sampler is some great treats for your bearded dragon. The ingredients range from dried lime beans to juniper extract and calcium carbonate to dried dandelion greens and more.

Accessories & Parts

Overall this bearded dragon starter kit has everything you need to bring your new dragon home or quickly quarantine a dragon from the others due to disease, but there are still a few useful items you could purchase to ensure your tank is set up safely to provide the best habitat for your reptile.

Zoo Med Digital Thermometer

Ideally, you will get two digital thermometers, ensuring you can easily monitor the temperature on your cool and warm side of your enclosure. The Zoo Med digital thermometer is much easier to read than the traditional analog options that come with this kit. The thermometer offers the convenience of enabling you to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius. It comes with a remote sensor probe so you can place the probe where you want to read. Simply press power to turn on, slide switch to the desired setting, and read the temperature with ease.

Zoo Med Labs Digital Thermometer Humidity Gauge

You can consider keeping your hygrometer and thermometer in one gauge but opting for an easier to read digital option. The Zoo Med digital thermometer humidity gauge comes with independent remote probes that enable you to read temperature and humidity at different locations in the enclosure. The probes are waterproof and can be used in all enclosures. Batteries are included and the gauge is ready to use.

ZooMed Eco Cage Carpet

The Zoo Med eco carpet is one of the most favored substrates for bearded dragons. The carpet is soft and highly absorbent. It is also non-abrasive and reduces the risk of accidental ingestion, which leads to impaction. The carpet can be washed and is very easy to clean. An all green natural product that is simply cut to size to fit the bottom of your enclosure with ease.

BN-LINK BND-60/U47 Indoor Mini 24-Hour Mechanical Outlet Timer

A timer can be an essential part of your bearded dragon set up, helping you ensure that you provide adequate lighting for the right duration of time each day. Your UVB and heating lamps should be running for twelve hours a day. A timer is the easiest way to ensure your dragon gets the light and heat it needs with minimal effort. These BN-Link Outlet timers offer a dual pack, so you can use one for each light you are using. Works with a twenty-four-hour timer you can choose how often you want it to turn on and off.

Installation

Setting up your Zoo Med bearded dragon starter kit is easier than you think. Here are some step by step instructions to assist you in a quick and simple set up so you can bring your new pet home.

  • Choose your final enclosure location – keep it out of direct sunlight
  • Clean the enclosure using reptile cleaner
  • Place the repti sand into the enclosure, if you have chosen to use the substrate that comes with the kit. Spread the sand evenly, using the entire bag. Alternatively, cut your eco carpet to size and place in the bottom of your enclosure
  • Place your food / wash dish on the side of the tank you have chosen as your cooler side.
  • Place the hide on the basking side, under your heat and UVB lights
  • Put your thermometer and hygrometer in place and ready to start monitoring
  • Slide the screen top into place
  • Screw in the bulbs supplied into your deep double dome fixture and place on top of the screen on your warm side of the enclosure above your hide and basking area. Turn on.
  • Monitor to ensure you achieve accurate readings for an optimum habitat before introducing your bearded dragon.

Usage and Maintenance

It's essential to ensure that you constantly monitor your temperature and humidity levels. When working with the lighting, turn it off at the switch to ensure you reduce the risk of shock. Follow the step by step set up instructions for best end results.

Daily

Maintaining a bearded dragon enclosure is easy if you follow the requirements to ensure your dragon remains happy and healthy. Your cleaning and maintenance start with your daily routine, which should be to remove all feces and any uneaten food from the enclosure. You don't need to do a full clean every day, but ensure you remove any wet, shredded and loose substrate, along with feces and uneaten food.

Weekly

You will want to clean the hard surfaces on a weekly basis, using an effective reptile disinfectant. Clean all glass surfaces and check the bearded dragon’s accessories. Remove any that are soiled, clean, rinse and allow to dry before returning to the enclosure.

Monthly

In order to ensure your bearded dragon remains healthy, you will want to do a thorough habitat clean once a month. This means removing your dragon, accessories and substrate, cleaning the tank inside and out and replacing the reptile carpet with clean carpet. Soak accessories in water before using reptile disinfectant to clean them. Ensure you rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before returning.

Is the kit a good value?

This Zoo Med 40-gallon Bearded Dragon Starter Kit, on which this review is based, is for an adult bearded dragon. Note that a baby or juvenile bearded dragon can live in an adult kit. Zoo Med also offers a 20-gallon bearded dragon starter kit. However, I strongly recommend using this kit even for a baby bearded dragon as bearded dragons usually reach their maximum size in just one or two years.

Looking at the overall value of the kit, this is a good buy. You not only purchase a terrarium, but you get the basic items you need for a quick and hassle-free setup. If you are in a rush and need to set up quickly, then you will find what is offered is more than adequate, except the substrate.

You will find you will save yourself valuable time, energy, and money when buying this kit. You don't have to shop around, wasting time looking for all the items you need to complete your set up and you don't have to buy each item individually, which works out more expensive in the long run.

Who should buy this kit?

The Zoo Med Bearded Dragon Starter Kit is designed for bearded dragons in particular, taking their natural habitat into consideration and providing you with a complete kit that you can set up to introduce your dragon with ease.

This kit has proven useful for many bearded dragon owners but is ideally suited for the first-time owner who isn't sure what they need to provide an optimum habitat. The kits are also used by breeders who need additional habitats in a hurry to those looking for an urgent quarantine or hospital tank while working on a budget.

Zoo Med Bearded Dragon Starter Kit Review in Summary

Value for Money - 90%

Most of the kit is useful for dragons, but you will need to replace the substrate from the start.

Ease of Use - 100%

A very easy to set up kit. Quick and simple even for the novice bearded dragon owner.

Quality - 80%

Overall good quality, but you will want to upgrade your thermometer and hygrometer to digital at a later stage for easy reading and use.

90%

The overall impression of the Zoo Med Adult Bearded Dragon Starter Kit is good. The kit will provide everything you need at a competitive price, saving you money and helping you ensure you have the best enclosure set up for bringing your new bearded dragon home.

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