Bearded Dragon Heating & Equipment
Bearded Dragons like to bask in the sun to warm up, because of this a good primary source of heating is a basking lamp. This will provide an ambient warmth for the entire cage, and it will also provide a high heat basking spot.The top basking area on one side of the cage (closest to the light) should peek between 100 - 105 degrees for adults and 100 - 110 for babies - with the ambient cage temperature on the other side of the cage being significantly cooler - approximately 80-85 degrees. This basking temperature may seem high, but these temperatures are common of the ground surface when air temperatures are over 85 degrees. Remember though, this is a peek temperature and not a constant temperature. The trick is to slowly bring the temperature of the basking area up, allow it to level off for a short period of time and then drop slowly once again.
For most cage situations a basking lamp will pretty much be all the heating equipment you'll need although there are some exceptions,
A night time temp of 60°- 65° degrees F is required at a constant
Some good secondary (or additional) heat sources are ceramic heaters, under tank heaters may be required to hold a night time temp
In the wild, Bearded Dragons keep a constant body temperature by thermoregulation. In captivity, we want to provide our dragons a way to thermoregulate naturally. This is the reason we set up a heat gradient.
Basically, a heat gradient is having a warm side and a cool side in your dragons cage so your dragon can move between them and regulate their body temperature.
Providing one temperature throughout the entire cage is not recommended. It doesn't let your dragon heat up or cool down, when they want to. Dragons need high temperatures to digest food properly, and also a place to go when they get overheated.
A constant temperature, that is to low, will not let them digest their food properly, causing the food to rot in their stomachs.
A constant temperature, that is to hot, will cause your dragon to overheat. Both of these situations can lead to severe illnesses and even death.
For information on setting up and maintaining a good heat gradient read on and we try and explain it for you.
Keeping a proper heat gradient in your dragons cage is key to keeping healthy Bearded Dragon. This is one of the keys to being a successful bearded dragon owner.
A heat gradient allows a Bearded Dragon to thermoregulate their body temperature. This is highly beneficial to a beardie.
Bearded Dragons are do not produce their own body heat and rely on other sources to warm their bodies. In nature this source is the sun. In a vivarium this source is our basking lights or other heating equipment.
Bearded Dragons will move from a warm area to a cool area in order to keep an optimum body temperature. If a hot end and cooler end are not provided in your bearded dragons cage, it will greatly affect their eating, digestion, and health.
Setting up the Heat Gradient
Setting up a heat gradient is fairly simple. All you have to do is put all of your cage heating equipment to one side of the enclosure. This will give you a high heat side and also leave the other side a little cooler.
Keeping a good heat gradient is easily done in the bigger cage size that an adult dragon requires. It is a little trickier in a 10-gallon aquariums, but it can be done with a little bit of effort.