What Temperature Should A Bearded Dragon Tank Be?

What Temperature Should A Bearded Dragon Tank Be?

One of the most frequent questions asked is what temperature Should a Bearded Dragon tank be? 

I am going to break down what specific requirements your Bearded Dragon needs and why it is essential we get it right.

A Bearded Dragon’s habitat can be in woodlands, coastal dunes, tropical savannahs, and deserts of Australia.

This means they have hot days and warm nights. You’ll need to consider what this species is used to in the wild and how you can replicate that in your home.

Why do you need specific temperatures?

Bearded Dragons are cold blooded animals, they’ll bathe in the sun first thing in the morning to get their body to their thermal maximum, this is because in the wild they wouldn’t be able to search for food or defend themselves or their territory from potential threats. 

Basking spot

Due to Bearded Dragons being ectotherms, they can’t regulate their temperature the same way humans do. They will use the basking spot to raise their temperature and the cool side of their tank to bring it back down once they have reached their thermal maximum.

The key benefit of a basking spot is, it will aid with their digestion of food and keep their appetite up. Without this, they could potentially suffer impaction with food being stuck in their throat undigested.

Ambient Temperature

The ambient temperature will be the general heat within your tank. They’ll need this for when they are eating and moving around to ensure their temperature does not drop down too quickly throughout the day.

Cool Spot

A cool spot is important because once your Bearded Dragon has had enough of the heat throughout the day it will go somewhere to cool off and relax before doing it all again tomorrow. I recommend using pieces of decoration like slate or wood. You can also make a cave hide spot for them to use out of excavator clay.

Temperature Gradient

Day Time Gradient

Your daytime temperature within the enclosure will need to be 80°F (25°C) ambient temperature, 100°F (38°C) basking spot, and a humidity level of 40%.

You can monitor the temperature with ease by using a thermometer on the cool side and on the basking spot side of the tank. For the humidity levels, you’ll need to use a hygrometer. I recommend using Zoo Med Digital Combo Thermometer and Humidity Gauge.

Bearded Dragon Temperature Gradient Graph

Night Time Gradient

For your night time temperatures, you’ll need your ambient temperature to be between 70-75°F (21-24°C). 

Pro tip: I don’t recommend the use of a UVB tube light for your night time schedule as they’ll need darkness for proper sleep. Instead, you can get a blue light heat bulb as this is dimmer and will allow them to get rest.

An alternative for the blue light will be a ceramic heat emitter as this supplies no light. Depending on the climate you live in, house temperature is fine as long as it does not drop below 70°F.

Thermometer positioning

You’ll need a thermometer at either end of your tank to set your gradient.

On the side your basking spot it on, you’ll want your thermometer near the highest point just below the heat bulb to get the reading of where your Bearded Dragon will be bathing.

For the cool side, I recommend keeping it at the same height on the opposite end of the tank to your thermometer already placed at the basking spot.

How to check your temperatures are correct?

Firstly, you’ll need to get an infrared temperature gun. This is so you can check the surface temperatures with ease. I recommend using an Etekcity Lasergrip 774 as they’re easy to use and give accurate readings for what you require.

I advise checking the temperature halfway through the day as this gives your tank time to heat up in the morning to its maximum and will give you a more accurate reading. 

Ensure when you’re taking your readings that you are not taking it below the basking bulb, as this will not show an exact temperature for the rest of your tank. Aim for the middle or just over to the cool side for better results. 

Although your dragon loves the heat, you still need to check if the air is at the correct temperature, they can suffer heat stroke if too hot. I recommend using the above-mentioned Zoo Med Digital Combo Thermometer and Humidity Gauge.

What to do in a power failure?

If you have a sudden power failure in your house, you can use some portable heaters and hand warmers. 

My personal favorite is to cuddle them under a blanket. As a standard person’s body heat is around 98.6°F and this is perfect for your Bearded Dragon in an emergency.

Conclusion

The temperature of your tank is one of many things you need to know in order to look after your Bearded Dragon. For more information on how to care for your Dragon, read my Bearded Dragon Care Sheet.