The Correct Temperature for your Bearded Dragons

The bearded dragons require a range of temperatures for optimal health. The range is called the thermal gradient. The warm side of the tank should be between 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit (30-32 Celsius) with a basking spot that reaches 95-110 degrees Fahrenheit (35-43 Celsius). The other side of the tank should have temperatures in the mid-70s to low 80s (21-26 degrees Celsius).

Temperatures should be measured with either a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer equipped with a probe or a temp gun. Stick on strip thermometers and analog thermometers should be avoided as they have been known to give readings that are off by as much as 20 degrees.

The above temperatures are only a reference. Individual dragons have different preferences within the recommended range. Carefully observing your dragon for a few weeks will give you clues about its comfort zone.

If the basking spot stays at 110 and your dragon never basks, that may indicate that while the temps are “within range” they are still too hot for your dragon’s comfort, and should be adjusted.

The minimum temperature at which a dragon can digest food is 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). As long as the basking spot hits 95 for several hours per day, it’s OK, even if the temps later fall below 95.

Additionally, prolonged exposure to temperatures over 115 can lead to extreme thermal stress which can be fatal. This is why a quality thermometer and vigilant eye are critical to a dragon's health.

At night, or “lights out", there is rarely a need to worry about temperatures. The temperature can safely fall to as low as 60 degrees.

Many of the digital thermometers have a min/max temperature feature. This will record the highest and lowest temperature the unit reaches. It will store these until it is reset. This is an ideal way to monitor temperatures for several days.

 If the temperature range is not correct, adjustments can be made, the thermometer resent and the observation period can begin again.


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