• Beardie Bliss

What Temperature Should A Bearded Dragon Tank Be?

Like almost all reptiles, bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals. That means their body temperature fluctuates with the changing temperatures in their environment. Their natural habitat in the wild is in Australia’s dry or semi-arid areas.


Bearded dragons have little tolerance for temperature fluctuations since they can’t regulate their body temperature. If exposed to cold temperatures for too long, beardies can go into shock, with vital bodily functions coming to a halt. They can even stop moving, eating, and eventually die without proper heating.


For these reasons, maintaining the correct temperature inside their tanks is crucial if you want them to thrive. The ideal temperature for a bearded dragon tank should be in the range of 75 – 85o Fahrenheit during the day. Keep the tank temperature to about 70 – 75o Fahrenheit at night.


Ensure that the basking spot remains at a temperature range of about 88 – 100o Fahrenheit during the daytime. You don’t need to heat the basking spot at night. Place a couple of thermometers in the different sections of the tank to help you monitor the temperature levels at all times of the day.


However, there is more to an ideal bearded dragon tank than knowing these temperature ranges. The rest of this guide will serve up answers to common questions to help you understand how to make your pet’s vivarium a comfortable environment where it will not just survive but thrive.


Heating, Lighting, and Humidity for a Bearded Dragon Tank


Your pet’s tank should have the following supplies to achieve the correct heating both during the day and at nighttime:


UVB Light and Heat Lamp


UVB lamps are great heating options. They don’t just heat the tank; they also emit UVB rays. If you get one of these, make sure to replace the bulbs at least once every six months to maintain the correct heat and rays in your pet’s tank.


A heat lamp serves a dual purpose; it provides heat and light, making it a must-have in any bearded dragon enclosure. Typically, your pet needs around 10 to 12 hours of heat per day to thrive. One of the safest ways to provide this heat without the risk of overheating is by adding a heat lamp or basking lamp in the tank’s basking area.


Your pet will appreciate the artificial sunlight, especially when it needs a safe place to “bask in the sun.”


UVB Bulb


If a UVB light is not readily available, it is okay to use a UVB bulb in addition to a heat lamp. It is usually a good idea to include additional nighttime bulbs in the bearded dragon habitat if there is not enough heat in your house during the night hours to provide extra heat.


However, make sure all bearded dragon lighting (including heat lamps) is switched off at night so that your pet can sleep in complete darkness.


Ceramic Heat Emitter


Ceramic heat emitters are similar to heat light bulbs, but they give off infrared waves. In most cases, they last longer than regular heat lamp bulbs. Consider adding a ceramic heat emitter to your pet’s tank if the temperature in your home drops below 65o Fahrenheit at night.


Hygrometer


Hygrometers help you keep tabs on the humidity level inside your pet’s tank. Ideally, the humidity should be 35 to 40% for your bearded dragon. This closely mimics their natural habitat.


To help maintain this humidity level, make sure the tank is not misty too often. Keeping the water dish away from the basking spot can reduce misting. Also, provide adequate ventilation, like adding a screen or mesh lid on the tank.


Thermometer


Bearded dragons thrive in enclosures with a hot end and a cool end. For this reason, it is usually a good practice to install two thermometers in the tank - one in the cool spot and the other in the basking spot.


To avoid buying a separate hygrometer and thermometer, consider a good-quality temperature and humidity monitor. This 2-in-1 device will help you keep tabs on the temperature and humidity levels in the pet’s tank from multiple mobile phones.


Thermostat


Consider installing a thermostat in the tank. Vivarium thermostats work like the regular models for homes. They prevent the tank’s ambient temperature from exceeding a preset limit.


Are Heating Pads and Heat Rocks Good for Bearded Dragons?

bearded dragon on sand

If you are like most bearded dragon pet parents, you may have heard of heat rocks and heating pads or heat maps. We have deliberately omitted them from the heating options above because they may not be suitable additions to your pet’s tank in all conditions.


Heating pads or mats significantly increase the heat in an area. For your pet to get warmth from these heating devices, it has to sit or lie on them. Unfortunately, this can burn your pet’s sensitive skin.


Indeed, bearded dragons are used to the high temperatures of their natural desert habitat. But the heat in your beardie’s tank should come from above, like in the desert, and not below.


Searing temperatures under a bearded dragon’s tummy can cause severe scarring or burning.


These reptiles can’t feel the heat on their stomachs, and that can be potentially disastrous. In other words, your pet won’t know when the heat gets too hot and it starts to burn.


If the tender skin on your pet’s tummy gets burned, it can lead to infections and treating burns can be very painful for your pet lizard. It is best not to include devices that can cause overheating in your pet’s tank to avoid potential burning hazards.


When Should You Use Heating Pads, Mats, and Rocks?


Heating pads, mats, and rocks aren’t all bad news for your dragon, but you need to know when to use them in the tank and be extra cautious.


The best times to use heating pads, mats, and rocks are when the temperatures are extremely low. Typically, this will be in the winter when the weather can be grueling. During these times, adding these heating devices to your dragon’s tank is okay.


Here are a few important things to keep in mind if you ever need to use a heating pad or rock:

  • Wrap the heating device in a soft, thick cloth before placing it in the tank. This will protect your pet’s stomach from having direct contact with the searing heat.

  • Do not leave the device for a long period inside the tank, even when the temperature is freezing.

  • Heating pads and rocks should never be the only heat source in the tank. They should only serve as additional heat sources to heat lamps and ceramic heat emitters.

close up of bearded dragon sharp spurs

Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night?


Bearded dragons need to stay warm all day – not only in the daytime. Heating the tank at night may not be necessary if the temperature of your house stays generally above 65o Fahrenheit (18o Celsius).


However, you will need to provide extra heating if the temperature in your home drops below that temp at night.


Beardies are diurnal animals. Like humans, they are awake and active during the day and sleep all night. You need to provide enough light and heat during the day and adequate darkness and slightly cooler temperatures during the night to help them maintain their natural day-night cycle.

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