Choosing the best pet is always a daunting job for a reptile lover. With so many fascinating reptiles available, it can be challenging for you to choose one and leave the other.
Although several reptiles, such as turtles, iguanas, and anoles, can be kept as pets, the real competition is between bearded dragons and geckos. Both geckos and bearded dragons are pretty docile, attractive, and equally viable to be kept as home pets.
This is why most people keep going back and forth, trying to figure out the better option between the two. However, one question lingers in people’s minds: can dragons and geckos get along if kept in the same cage?
The simple answer to this question is an absolute no. Bearded dragons and geckos should not be housed together. This is not only because it’s a significant safety risk but also because both reptiles have different requirements.
Keep reading to understand why bearded dragons and geckos shouldn’t be housed together.
Can You Put Bearded Dragons and Leopard Geckos Together?
Reptiles naturally look like gentle creatures that can live together in harmony. However, their attitude and temperament change immediately after seeing another animal in their cage. Inherently, leopard geckos and bearded dragons are territorial and solitary creatures.
Trying to put these creatures that are always ready to fight for their territory in a single location can be catastrophic.
More importantly, bearded dragons are bigger than the leopard geckos and will only take a split second before the former turns the latter into prey.
If you still feel the urge to continue this experiment, don’t be surprised if one of the reptiles dies since there will be chaos in the terrarium.
Additionally, the leopard geckos and bearded dragons’ lifestyles and adaptations are incompatible. While geckos are nocturnal, beardies are diurnal.
Although they are the most fancied reptile pets, bearded dragons and leopard geckos will never live in the same terrarium. Let’s delve deep into the significant issues that make bearded dragons and leopard geckos do not get along.
8 Reasons not To keep Leopard Geckos & Bearded Dragons In the Same Enclosure
1. Differences in Size
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos are usually the same size as hatchlings or juveniles when you bring them home. However, they’ll differ significantly in size when they reach adulthood. When fully mature, leopard geckos can reach up to 9 inches. On the other hand, bearded dragons can measure up to 2 feet (24 inches).
If the two reptiles are placed in the same tank, the gecko will live with a giant when they become adults.
This would mean that the leopard gecko can’t defend itself in case of attack. Yes, both reptiles are naturally aggressive to any creature that tries to creep into their space, but the gecko will always be at the mercy of the beardie due to size differences.
Bearded dragons will keep intimidating the small leopard geckos and make them live in constant fear.
Due to the differences in size, the two creatures will require enclosures with different dimensions.
While adult leopard geckos can comfortably stay in tanks of at least 20 gallons, bearded dragons will only be comfortable in tanks of between 75 and 120 gallons.
With such disparities in space requirements, it will be challenging for these pets to live together amicably.
2. Both Reptiles are Territorial
Naturally, male reptiles are always territorial. It’s nearly impossible to find two male animals living amicably in the same habitat.
Each animal will try to establish dominance and guard its territory. Since bearded dragons and leopard geckos are territorial, keeping them in the same terrarium won’t end well.
Like other aggressive territorial animals, these creatures will constantly fight and attack each other. Things can get pretty ugly to the extent that the reptiles sustain injuries and even die.
Although many people have tried to train territorial reptiles to be gentle and calm, the training doesn’t amount to much.
For instance, cats are known for attacking pets that are smaller in size. However, they can be trained to live amicably with other pets. However, this is because there are more intelligent than reptiles.
Since the aggressiveness is ingrained in the leopard geckos and bearded dragons from birth, there’s nothing much that you can do to help them besides letting them stay alone.
No matter how hard you try, you should expect nothing else besides non-stop fighting, bickering, and attacks if you put bearded dragons and leopard geckos in the same room.
Therefore, the only way to stop the two creatures from going neck to neck is to avoid putting them in the same enclosure.
Human beings sit at the top of the food chain due to their intelligence. However, this’s not the case for most animals. The size determines the predator and prey for geckos, beardies, and other animals.
Since adult bearded dragons are enormous, they top the food chain in an ecosystem where they stay with leopard geckos.
And unlike leopard geckos that have a specific diet, bearded dragons can consume almost everything. If they get hungry and see a gecko sleeping lazily in their enclosure, they won’t hesitate to turn it into food.
As long as the leopard gecko is smaller, it can always be overpowered and preyed on by the heavily built bearded dragon.
And since this has happened before, you shouldn’t wait until you witness it yourself. The best way to avoid this predicament is to keep the two reptiles in separate areas.
4. Stealing Food
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos don’t have similar eating habits. The former tends to savor everything that can fit in its mouth. It boasts high metabolism and will keep eating until there’s no food left.
Due to its peculiar eating habit, the bearded dragon will always steal food from the leopard gecko during feeding time.
This can be highly frustrating to the gecko, and it might lead to health complications. Without adequate food, the creature’s immunity will be compromised, and they may contract diseases. For instance, they may get MBD if they don’t get enough calcium.
The bearded dragon may sometimes eat all the food and make the leopard gecko starve. If your leopard gecko isn’t getting enough food because of the bearded dragon, it doesn’t have any business being under your care.
5. Different Needs and Requirements
Just like how bearded dragons and leopard geckos need habitats of different sizes, they also have other differences that make staying in the same enclosure challenging. We also mentioned that bearded dragons eat a lot of food due to their high metabolism.
Additionally, the two reptiles come from totally different habitats and may require unique conditions such as temperature and humidity.
And as we all know, for a pet to live its best life and offer the best companionship, you should provide it with the ideal living conditions possible.
If putting the creatures in one enclosure will compromise their quality of life, the most prudent thing is to let every reptile live in its terrarium.
6. Spread of Parasites
Different reptiles have unique parasites that are not harmful to them but can be extremely dangerous to other animals. For instance, a leopard gecko may be carrying a parasite that can be treated and exterminated from its body safely.
However, if the same parasite lands on a bearded dragon, it might be challenging to control it and might even transmit diseases that are challenging to treat.
Keeping a bearded dragon and leopard gecko in the same enclosure can encourage the spread of parasites and infections that can impact the other creature’s well-being.
One healthy pet shouldn’t die just because it can’t handle a parasite introduced to them by another reptile. For this reason, it’s not worth it to try and pair bearded dragons and leopard geckos.
What if you put the creatures together when they’re still babies? That will still be a problem since the young reptiles have low immunity and will be highly prone to infections, especially those their bodies are not used to.
7. Different Sleeping Times
Every animal needs adequate sleep to function correctly. Lack of enough sleep can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including stress, lack of focus, and confusion. Leopard geckos and bearded dragons are no exception to this principle!
Bearded dragons sleep at night and stay active during the day. On the other hand, leopard geckos are nocturnal, meaning they rest during the day and work at night. Due to this disparity, it can be challenging for these reptiles to live amicably when their sleeping schedules are conflicting.
For example, let’s say the bearded dragon is trying to catch some night’s sleep to replenish its stores and get ready for the next day.
At the same time, the leopard gecko could be moving up and down, looking for food in the enclosure. The beardie will have difficulty sleeping and might stay stressed the whole day.
Similarly, the leopard gecko might be trying to sleep during the day while the bearded dragon is busy eating its food or climbing up and down. Having an animal moving around while the other is trying to catch some sleep can create a lot of chaos.
8. Stress and Anxiety
Both bearded dragons and leopard geckos are solitary animals that enjoy their own company. So, there will be some anxiousness between them when they are housed together.
And as we all know, reptiles don’t respond well to stress. They’ll start being aggressive or lose appetite, affecting their health and well-being.
Unless you want your pet to be constantly stressed and anxious, you should never pair bearded dragons and leopard geckos.
Can Crested Geckos live with Bearded Dragons?
Now that we have seen that Bearded Dragons are not fans of leopard geckos and won’t live with them, what about crested geckos. Can they live together with crested geckos?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is still no. The creatures can’t live together due to various factors that stem from their backgrounds.
Why Crested Geckos Can’t Live With Bearded Dragons?
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t house the two creatures in the same enclosure. They include:
Their Natural Habitats
Crested geckos and bearded dragons come from two different backgrounds. Crested gecko’s natural habitat is the rainforests of New Caledonia, where there are cold, dry, hot, and wet seasons.
The creatures are used to spending time on plants, trees, and the ground. For this reason, they need a vertical, humid terrarium with plenty of room and branches to climb on.
On the other hand, bearded dragons trace their roots to Australia’s hot deserts. They spend most of their time basking on rocks and branches and, thus, need a horizontal terrarium.
Due to their different backgrounds, crested geckos and bearded dragons can’t live in the same enclosure.
Since crested geckos come from a tropical environment, they can’t tolerate extremely low or high temperatures. During the day, crested geckos require a temperature range between 72 to 78 °F (22 to 25 °C). At night the temperature can be around 69 and 74 °F (20 to 23 °C). If you keep a crested gecko in a habitat where temperatures are beyond 85 degrees Fahrenheit, they’ll suffer from overheating.
On the other hand, bearded dragons are accustomed to the hot environment, and the temperature levels in their basking spot are around 100 to 110°F (38 to 49 °C). The cooler part of their terrarium ranges has a temperature of between 75 and 85°F (24 to 29 °C). Nighttime temperatures are maintained around 66 to 75 °F (18 to 24 °C).
With such disparity in temperature requirements, it’s impossible to have a habitat that caters to the needs of the two reptiles simultaneously.
Crested geckos have been thriving in humid environments all their lives. Humidity is an integral part of their existence as it helps them shed the skin and stay healthy. Their enclosures should have a humidity range of 50 to 70 percent.
On the other hand, bearded dragons are used to living in the deserts where humidity stays low. For this reason, their terrarium’s humidity is maintained between 20 and 30 percent. If the humidity drops below 20 percent, misting should be done to restore it to optimal levels.
The Type of Food They Eat
Both crested geckos and bearded dragons are omnivores and feed on plant-based and animal-based foods. However, the former’s diet primarily consists of insects, pollen from wildflowers, and rotten fruits. They savor meal replacement powder, vitamins, supplements, and occasional worms and fruits when in captivity.
The latter’s diet primarily consists of insects such as dubia roaches and crickets. They also relish leafy greens, including kales, spring greens, and watercress. Bearded dragons prefer to savor live prey instead of vegetables.
If you decide to keep these two reptiles together, you’ll have a problem deciding what to feed them since they like different foods.
More importantly, bearded dragons have a bigger appetite and will always steal the crested geckos’ food.
Can a Bearded Dragon Live with Another Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons don’t discriminate when marking their territories. They’ll get into fights with other bearded dragons, especially the males, to guard their territories. If two males are kept in one terrarium, they will engage in fierce territory-fueled fights and altercations to prove their superiority.
However, male bearded dragons might live peacefully with female dragons. However, you should be aware that putting them together can lead to reproduction.
Therefore, you can put a group of females or two females and one male in the same enclosure. However, never try more than one boy in the same terrarium.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons be Housed Together?
Yes, you can put baby bearded dragons in the same enclosure. However, it would help ensure that these young ones are of the same size. This will eradicate the situation where larger beardies will try to dominate the small ones.
More importantly, you should never put more than one male in an enclosure. Male Bearded dragons don’t become territorial when they reach adulthood.
There are inherently aggressive from birth and will try to display their masculine side when they meet another male.
You can place baby bearded dragons together, but ensure that you keep an eye on them to know when they start becoming aggressive. When they start showing signs of aggression, it may be time to let them go separate ways.
Which is the Best Pet: A Bearded Dragon, Leopard Gecko, or Crested Gecko?
Now that you’re aware that a bearded dragon can’t live with a leopard gecko or a crested gecko, you have a tough choice of deciding which of the pets you should take home. Since they are all docile, gentle, and lovable, you can adopt all of them if you have enough space. You’ll need to put them in different terrariums to avoid fierce battles.
If you don’t have the space and capability to handle all of them, you can choose to adopt either a leopard gecko, a bearded dragon, or the crested gecko. Ensure that you conduct in-depth research on the pet you select before bringing it home.
Although there are places that allow you to take home multiple reptile pets, you should never agree to take multiple pets without a proper plan. Most of these pets can’t see eye to eye and might need more than you can offer.
For instance, the famous bearded dragon can’t live in the same enclosure with another bearded dragon, a leopard gecko, or a crested gecko. You can only keep bearded dragons in the same terrarium if they are all females or one of them is male.
Keeping two bearded dragons or a bearded dragon with another lizard in the same habitat is a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, a bearded dragon will live its life to the fullest if left alone.