Bearded dragons hail from warm, dry regions of Australia. For them to thrive comfortably, pet owners should replicate the conditions of their origin as best as possible. Bearded dragons are cold-blooded reptiles. They cannot regulate their body temperature according to the climate. Thus, these creatures use external heat sources, like the Sun, to get body heat.
When adopted as a pet, it is crucial to provide them with proper light and heat sources in the bearded dragon enclosure. If you are a new dragon owner, and not sure what temperature should your bearded dragon tank be at, we are here to help you. This article will discuss the proper temperatures that you need to set in the tank for a bearded dragon at each stage of its life.
What Should Be the Temperature for Baby Bearded Dragons?
Baby bearded dragons (hatchling to 6 months old) require slightly different temperature conditions than an adult. As they are rapid growers, baby bearded dragons need higher energy requirements than adults.
Experts recommend setting up an elevated basking area on one side of the terrarium with temperatures ranging from 95 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The other side of the terrarium should have a slightly cooler temperature (preferably between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit).
The difference in the temperature between the basking area and the other end of the terrarium allows the baby to self-regulate its body temperature. Thus, maintaining a temperature gradient across the span of the enclosure is very important for the development of the baby into an adult bearded dragon.
What Should Be the Temperature for Juvenile Bearded Dragons?
The temperature requirements for juvenile bearded dragons are pretty similar to baby bearded dragons. They too need a temperature gradient in their terrarium for their proper growth and development. However, you can keep the temperature in the basking area a little lower (i.e 95 to 105 degrees F). the other end of the enclosure can have the same temperature (i.e 80-90 degrees F).
What Should Be the Temperature for Adult Bearded Dragons?
Adult bearded dragons need a slightly lower temperature than the younger ones. You can set the temperature between 90-93 degrees F in the basking area for adult beardies. The cooler region can have the same temperature as the juvenile bearded dragons (i.e. 80-90 degrees F).
Do Bearded Dragon Tanks Need Different Temperature Settings at Nighttime?
To replicate the natural temperature drop of nighttime, the temperature in the terrarium should be kept between 70-75 degrees F for bearded dragons of all ages. You can turn off the basking lights to make the enclosure cooler enough for the dragon to rest. Repeating this process will help establish a light cycle replicating day and nighttime for the dragon.
However, they still need a certain degree of temperature to be comfortable at night. So, if the temperature in the enclosure falls below 70 degrees F at night, you need to add supplemental heating devices like heat pads and ceramic heat emitters.
Why Does the Tank Temperature Drop?
The temperature of the bearded dragon enclosure can drop due to various reasons, such as:
- You might be using a heating bulb of too low wattage. Replace it with higher-wattage bulbs.
- The thermostat you are using inside the bearded dragon enclosure is not powerful enough.
- If your tank is oversized, it might be difficult to maintain the temperature inside it. Often, extra heat sources might be needed to keep the tank warm enough.
- Your substrate choice can also affect the tank temperature. According to experts, sand is not a good substrate choice. Rather, you can use newspapers, paper towels, or reptile carpets.
How Can You Increase the Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature?
1. Use proper lighting
Using proper bearded dragon lighting equipment (e.g. UV lighting) is important for increasing the tank temperature. Many reptile owners choose to use mercury vapor bulbs to ensure proper light and heat in the enclosure. But, if the tank is under 40 gallons, mercury vapor bulbs might not be the best choice. They can raise the temperature inside the tank rapidly which can be potentially dangerous. You can also use other types of basking bulbs like incandescent heat bulbs and halogen flood light bulbs.
2. Use ceramic heat emitters
Often reptile owners prefer using ceramic heat emitter bulbs during nighttime to maintain the temperature inside the tank. They emit heat without giving off light. Light bulbs can interfere with your dragon’s sleep and mess up its sleep cycle. So, it is important to keep the enclosure dark at night.
3. Keep the tank covered
Another hack to keep the tank warm is to use a blanket or towel for covering the tank.
Can Bearded Dragon Get Too Hot?
Yes, your bearded dragon can get too hot if the tank is not properly ventilated. If they get overheated, the dragons might show symptoms such as rapid breathing, panting, disorientation, staggering, wobbly gait, and loss of appetite. To prevent it from happening, make sure you keep the tank away from direct sunlight. Install a thermometer to check the temperature inside the tank at regular intervals. During summer days, misting your beardie with clean water can also help keep them cool.
How Can You Cool Down the Bearded Dragon Tank?
If your tank gets overheated, you can cool it down by installing fans on the vents. You can also mist the tank to bring down the temperature. If your bearded dragon gets too hot, offer it a bowl of cool water to bathe in.
Experts also recommend raising the heating lamp by a few inches. You can also install a dimmer attachment to regulate the temperature. If you are using under-tank heating sources, switch them off if the tank gets overheated.
The Bottom Line
Educating yourself about the upkeep of a bearded dragon is very important if you are bringing a beardie into your home. We hope this article has helped you understand how to maintain the temperature in your bearded dragon enclosure.