So, my friend is looking into getting her first lizard, but she’s not sure what to get. She wants a bearded dragon, but also knows they’re more intermediate. She would prefer a terrestrial lizard and wants a relatively cheap setup, as it is her first lizard. I’m taking all suggestions.
Beardies imo are easy!
Had them when I was younger, amazing lizards
Obviously, Cresties, gargoyles, mossy, leachies. All are awesome, bio set ups, handleable
My daughter has been (mostly) caring for our beardie since she was six years old. He is now almost eight years old. I don’t know why it would be considered an intermediate animal. Very easy to handle. Eats well. Some hot lights and no humidity worries.
It’s just due to the price of the enclosure. She doesn’t want to spend that much up front on her first lizard enclosure. The ideal enclosure size for her would probably be a 40 gallon tank, because it’s only around 100 dollars. I was thinking about maybe suggesting a captive bred collared lizard for the 40 gallon, what do y’all think?
Flokei lives in a 40 breeder just fine. And, for several years he seemed quite happy in a 20 gal tank. But, if you can’t afford a $200 tank, you probably shouldn’t be thinking of a pet at this time. One vet visit could easily exceed that. Occasionally, pets need doctors too!
I understand that, but I personally think they do better in 120 gallons, and she just doesn’t want to spend over 400 dollars on the tank. 200 would be fine, and if it were an emergency situation like that, she’d spend the money.
I’m certainly not the most worldly guy, so my two cents are worth just that. However, I have never seen a beardie in a tank that large. Watching ours, he likes to bask on a log, under a heat lamp, most of his day. When I throw a dozen crickets in, he has fun scampering about. A little. Though, he mostly eats veggies. Even out of the cage, he is content just hanging off your shirt as you wander about the house. Perhaps we got a lazy one?
Call me biased, but I’d suggest a leopard gecko. They’re cheaper to feed compared to beardies and don’t get any inclinations to run halfway across the house
Leopard geckos are probably the easiest terrestrial lizard to keep, and the cheapest. The hardiest as well if mistakes are made in their care. 75 gallons is minimum what I recommend for beardies, that along with all the lights and high temps, ridiculous amounts of bugs and veggies makes beardies a lot more expensive and therefore intermediate.
I was even thinking maybe an african fat tailed gecko or an australian barking gecko, but I’m not sure if she wants it to be handleable. If so, the fat tailed gecko would be better
I would say it’s very important that we keep in mind as the size of the lizard increases the size of the tank required exponentially increases. Additionally bearded dragons may be terrestrial but they do love to climb meaning when heat is provided stronger bulbs are also required for heating and UVB.
Fat tails are awesome, I have 3 and handle them all
Two of our three Leo’s are super handleable. The third is a butt head and loves to bite. But two are really good!
I also recommend leopard geckos. They’re easy to take care of, great to handle, cheap to house and feed, and have plenty of morphs.
I’m gonna throw Blue Tongue Skinks into the fray…
I think definitely Leo’s. Easier to feed, general care and husbandry. Evy is super chill and always comes out when I’m doing maintenance on the cresties. We also feed her from a bowl and she always goes to the bathroom in the same spot. She frequently demands bugs by standing on her food dish.
That said, I do adore my beardies. Mine both live in 40gal and have very distinct personalities. One loves to be out and about, go to the pet store, go to school. The other is a jerk and prefers my husband. I would love to get them bigger tanks, but they are super lazy and generally hang in one spot even when they’re out and about, so I’m not too worried. @dlhirst mine are also this lazy.
With that said, they do require a bit more (veggies, heat lamps, UVB, things to climb to bask, etc.) They also require frequent soaks and will Godzilla stomp through their poop.
I don’t keep AFTs yet, but I think it would also be a good option.
Personally I would suggest you go with a Leo because they’re hardy and small and easy to care for.