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How to Lower Humidity in Bearded Dragon Tank

As a species of lizards in their natural habitat, bearded dragons spend their time basking on rocks and exposed branches under the scorching sun. They have acclimated to the hot and dry conditions such that humidity is a foreign and uncomfortable feeling.


One of the important roles of a beardie parent is to ensure the humidity level in their enclosure is regulated to maintain their quality of life. The effects of this go beyond comfort as humidity also affects their health and is potentially life-threatening.


This article highlights the potential hazards of continuous exposure to high humidity. We will also show you how to lower the humidity level in a bearded dragon tank to protect your pet.


The Negative Effects of High Humidity on Your Bearded Dragon


Overexposure to humidity can make your bearded dragon very miserable, and if the situation is not addressed urgently, the small irritations grow into bigger problems that are harder to reverse.


They will initially be uncomfortable and irritable because they are adapted to dry conditions. This lowers their appetite and makes them lethargic, exposing them to sickness.


Continuous exposure to humidity is known to interfere with breathing in bearded dragons, making them wheeze and crackle with every breath they take. Eventually, this will become a respiratory infection that, if left unchecked, causes an accumulation of fluid in their lungs that is potentially fatal.


The excess moisture on the beardie’s skin is also grounds for bacterial and fungal growth, associated with diseases like yellow fungus disease. They start as mild irritations and discolorations on your beardie’s skin but can cause their scales to break off, exposing sensitive tissue and other organs.


These situations can all be avoided if you regulate the moisture levels in a bearded dragon habitat in good time.


What Is a Healthy Humidity Level in a Bearded Dragon Tank?


When you want to create an environment for your reptilian pets to thrive, the best practice is to emulate their natural habitat. Your tank’s humidity level should be close to the relative humidity level in the bearded dragon's natural environment.


Based on this, experts agree that the healthy humidity level in a bearded dragon's tank ranges between 30 and 40% relative humidity (RH).


The humidity inside a bearded dragon tank is best measured using a hygrometer. Invest in a quality instrument that guarantees reliable and accurate readings. A hygrometer displays relative humidity units. These units represent the actual amount of water vapor present in the air. The units are expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount of water vapor the same air can hold at that temperature.


You should take several readings at different times of the day to understand the prevailing RH in your beardies tank at different temperatures. Test the bearded dragon humidity both inside and outside the tank so you can narrow down on the source(s) of humidity and determine if it’s coming from outside or inside the tank. Doing so enables you to focus your attention on the specific problem you may be facing with the humidity levels in your bearded dragons tank.


beardies sharing spot

Different Ways to Lower Humidity in a Bearded Dragon Tank


Avoid Using an All Glass Bearded Dragon Tank


The ambient temperature inside the tank will ultimately be higher than the rest of the room because it is heated. On the other hand, parts of the tank that are not close to the heater will retain the room temperature and will be cooler than the air inside the tank. The air inevitably condenses against the cooler mirror, trapping the moisture on the inside of the tank.


You can replace the top cover with a mesh lid that doesn’t attract moisture and allows the hot air to rise out of the tank. Ensure it fits securely, so your beardie doesn’t escape.


Increase the Tank’s Ventilation


Besides opening up the top, there are many other ways of ventilating the terrarium that can be applied, depending on the source of humidity.


If the entire room is humid, you can try cracking the windows open or turning on your fan or AC. The goal is to give dry air an avenue to enter the room. Alternatively, you can relocate the tank to a different room with better ventilation and lower humidity.


If the problem is internal, you can add vents and fans to the tank to aerate it, letting the humid air escape. The vents should be toward the bottom of the tank to allow air to flow freely through the bearded dragons enclosure.


Reorganize Your Terrarium Plants


Rearrange any plants you have inside the terrarium or remove them all together until the humidity goes back to a safe level. The warm environment encourages plants to release moisture, which adds to the humidity in the tank. You may also consider replacing live plants with artificial ones to reduce the humidity being released.


Give Distance Between the Water Bowl and Your Heaters


The air close to your water source will absorb any moisture from your water bowl. The closer the bowl is to a heat or light source, the more evaporation happens, increasing the overall humidity levels in the tank.


Use the smallest bowl you have to reduce the surface area for evaporation. You can keep monitoring and refilling it periodically.


You can even temporarily remove the bowl, especially if your beardie already had their fill. They don’t drink much water, but they need water for their bodily functions, so you shouldn’t forget to replenish it.


Change Your Tank’s Substrates


Common substrate materials like bark and coconut tend to retain moisture, increasing humidity inside the tank. These substrates should be frequently changed, and if the humidity problem is recurring, consider alternative substrates like ground walnut shells because it is less absorbent.


However, these are potential ingestion hazards as they are easy to swallow and food. So, keep this in mind if you choose to change out the substrate.


You also have the option of switching to less popular solid substrates like linoleum, tile, and reptile carpets. These have no bearing on the tank’s humidity level.


Take a Break from Misting Your Bearded Dragon


Misting is usually done two to three times a week to keep your beardies hydrated. Misting also plays a significant role in easing the shedding process. The process involves spraying water droplets on the beardie’s head and body. You can also occasionally mist their food and the enclosure in general.


Your bearded dragon then hydrates itself by licking and feeding on the hydrated food, just like in the wild. When the humidity levels in the tank are already high, they can get this nourishment within the tank without your input.


Use a Dehumidifier


This should be the last resort but can be critical in instances where the natural humidity of the environment is high. If you need to include a dehumidifier when setting up the tank to achieve proper humidity levels, choose a small and discrete unit that won’t appear unnatural and spook pet bearded dragons.


beardie on substrates

Caution!


Always keep an eye on your hygrometer as you lower the humidity in your bearded dragon tank. You don’t want to go too much below 30% RH, which is the recommended lower threshold as your bearded dragons also require a bit of humidity.


It aids in shedding and prevents femoral pore blockage, kidney problems, and urinary tract infections. You might find yourself addressing a completely different set of problems.

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