Bearded dragons when they are domesticated, need special attention paid to the temperatures maintained in their habitats. A bearded dragon is used to the high heat and dryness of the desert, so when its brought into a controlled environment like a terrarium, the bearded dragon needs that extra help to keep its temperature level. Being cold-blooded as they are, they take in heat from the area around them instead of being warmed by their blood.
The temperatures in their natural habitat do vary though, so you’ll need to be able to monitor, raise, and lower the temperature in their terrarium at will. They are adaptive creatures, but they do need some specific things to help keep them happy and healthy. Making sure the temperature in their tank changes as they need it is one of those specifics.
But what temperatures should they have at different times of the day? How should you keep an eye on it and change it for them? Let’s break that down a little bit.
What Temperature is Normal?
The temperatures you keep your beardie’s habitat at will vary depending on a few different things. Your beardie’s age and the time of day are largely what affect the intensity of the temperature. Not to mention, that your dragon will need a side of their terrarium where they can bask, and a side where they can cool down.
Overall Tank Temperature
A bearded dragon needs the overall temperature of a terrarium to stay at a relatively level 90 degrees. This temperature will be the same whether you have a young beardie or an adult, as it is the general temperature at which they thrive in the wild. You will also want to make sure your thermometer is positioned in the middle of their enclosure as it will more accurately monitor the overall temperature. Here’s a good thermometer if you don’t have one yet.
You’ll need to make sure your basking lamp and UV light are giving off enough heat for the space. If your tank is too big and you’re not able to maintain that temperature, you may have to invest in another lamp.
A basking lamp is necessary as it mimics what they would get in the wild, being able to sit on a rock and bask in the sun. You’ll want to designate a side of their tank for the basking lamp specifically so that they can move from the basking side to the cooler side at will. For a baby bearded dragon you’ll want to keep the temperature for it’s basking side at a toasty 110, while for adults you’ll want to range it from 100 to 105.
*Note- Certain substrate furniture used as basking surfaces, like rocks or logs, collect heat through out the day. Never let the basking surface exceed 122 degrees.
This intense warmth is supposed to help them acclimate to their environment better. Not to mention that heat helps them with digestion and metabolization of their food. You’ll want to make sure you turn off the basking lamp at nighttime as it can overheat the tank when they’re trying to sleep. If you’re having trouble raising the temperature of the basking spot then check out the video below.
A bearded dragon needs a cool spot or a place to hide so that it can regulate it’s temperature after basking. They can’t cool themselves down through the means that humans and other creatures can, like sweating or panting. They need a designated spot in their tank where they can hide to cool down and for both baby and adult beardies, it needs to stay in the range of 70 to 85.
Another thermometer should be placed here to keep an eye on the temperature and ensure it is staying within the right range. This temperature is flexible as your terrarium size and the intensity of your heating lamps may vary. Check this thermometer out on amazon.
The desert gets cooler at night so you’ll need to make sure your beardie’s habitat reflects that. Turning off their basking lamp in the evening can help drop the temperature, but you should also make sure you drop the temperature a little so it can signal them it is time for sleep. The cooler temperatures slow your beardie’s metabolism down and their energy will drop so they will be able to tell it is time for bed.
For the night-time hours, you’ll want to keep it between 60 to 70 to mimic the night-time temperatures in their natural habitat.
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Making sure to keep on top of their temperature fluctuations is important as the wrong temperatures at the wrong time can cause issues for them health-wise. If it is too hot you can see they’ll start getting dehydrated, glass-surfing, and panting. It can also potentially lead to problems with humidity if you keep it too high and their water starts evaporating too quickly.
That humidity can lead to respiratory infections that can wreak havoc on your beardie. If you keep it too cold it can slow their appetite down and they won’t be able to regulate their temperature. That can also lead to potential illnesses, lethargy, and digestive problems.
Keeping an eye on your bearded dragon’s temperatures will help ensure your it’s comfort and health.