Although bearded dragons are primarily desert dwellers,
they do spend the hottest part of the days in relatively cool areas; as with all desert animals, too much heat can be just
as dangerous as too little. This is called Thermoregulating.
You should have a basking site for your dragon that
is about 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 - 43.3 degrees Celsius) directly under the light. Without this extreme heat your
dragon will not be able to digest his/her food properly. You should have a stone basking spot that will absorb the heat and
warm your dragon’s belly. A wooden basking site is not as good because it does not hold the heat as well.
All of your Dragon's heat should come from a light source.
Never use a hot rock, many reptiles have been burned or killed by hot rocks. Do not use ceramic heaters that screw into light
sockets except for night heat during winter. The more light in your tank during the day, the happier, healthier, and more
active your dragon will be both mentaly and physicaly. You also must have a cool are for your dragon to go.
The side of the tank furthest from the basking spot should
be near 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If your dragon does not have the 80 - 105 degree heat gradient then he/she will not be able
to effectiviely regulate (control the body temperature). NEVER buy the stick on thermometer strips you are supposed to stick
on the glass. These only take the temperature of the glass, not the air around it. That means a huge temperature difference,
thus leading to serious problems. Also, avoid the round dial thermometers with the needle. These wear out quickly and give
false readings. You need to have a thermometer that is within 3 degrees of the real temperature. Digital thermometers are
the only ones that give out accurate readings and are a MUST have if you are keeping a Beardie. I suggest using an indoor
- outdoor reading digital thermometer for the constant read of the hot and cool side temps. Along with that I suggest a Temp
Gun for getting the exact temperature of the basking spot.
At night a ceramic bulb can be used if your house gets into the 60s. (Fahrenheit) Do
not use an under tank heater for night heat. Your dragon will sleep VERY soundly and it is possible he could get burned while
sleeping. Go with the ceramic “no light” heat bulbs or a reptile night heat light that produces red light that
your dragon can not see. Heating the beardie cage during the night time is really not necessary unless your Beardie's sleep
zone falls below 65 degrees.
If using a ceramic heating element, you should use a porcelain light socket
as the socket part of the fixture can get very hot; the last thing you want is meltdown or fire. If using high-wattage light
bulbs, make sure that the light fixture you are using is rated for the wattage of the bulb; some fixtures can safely handle
bulbs up to 150 watts, which could be a problem if your bulb is over 200 watts.
Bulbs To Use:
- Exo Terra Sun Glow Tight Beam Bulb
- Exo Terra Sun Glow Neodymium
- Exo Terra Sun Glow Spot
- House Hold Bulb
- Exo Terra Heat Wave Lamp (for night)
- Mega-Ray HE (Heat Emitter)
- Halogen Bulb
Any bulb you use should be the correct wattage to sustain the basking temperature
of 105-110 degrees fahrenheit. It all depends on the size of the tank you are using. A regular 75 Watt household lightbulb
will give you a 105 degree basking spot at about 15 inches away. As a rule, the brighter the tank the better! Test different
wattages and bulbs before you buy your Dragon - you don't want to burn them!!
Get a good clamp lamp with a dome and ceramic base, the plastic ones do not
hold up well.