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What Temperature Should A Bearded Dragon Tank Be?

All good bearded dragon owners like you and I want our pets to be healthy and live as long as possible.

And while bearded dragons are pretty tough with relatively few health issues, one of the biggest things we must do is keep their tanks at the right temperature.

There’s a lot of debate out there on this issue, so let’s settle the score.

Bearded Dragons tank temperature needs to be maintained at a daytime temperature of 75-85° degrees Fahrenheit (24-29° C), the nighttime temperature of 70-75° F (21-24° C), basking temperature of 88-110° F (31-43° C), cool side temperature of 70-85° F (21-29° C), and the overall temperature of 90° F (32° C).

Getting these temps in place is a bit tough for some, but we have some advice and tips in the rest of the article below.

what temperature should a bearded dragon tank be

Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Their Tanks So Warm?

The entire purpose of the tank setup is to get the bearded dragon enclosure as close to the pet’s natural habitat as possible.

Unlike humans, all other animals have adapted to a specific type of environment.

The bearded dragon’s natural environment is in the hot deserts of Australia.

They’re used to high temperatures during the day and cool but warm temperatures at night.

As such, we need to keep their tanks the same way.

Beardies are cold-blooded creatures and can’t produce heat independently; they must absorb it from another source to regulate their body temperature.

Failure to keep the tank temperature warm enough may result in digestive problems, high stress, or even death.

So make sure you know the proper bearded dragon tank temperature.

What Temperature Should My Bearded Dragon Enclosure Be?

bearded dragon relaxing in his tank

As we stated before, a bearded dragon tank needs to vary a little based on the part of the tank and the time of day.

It means you’ll have to create a temperature gradient for your bearded dragon. 

A temperature gradient will divide the tank into three different zones – a warm basking area at one end and a cooler area at the other end, with a comfortable in-between zone. It’s important for bearded dragons, regardless of their age and size.

So, what is the ideal bearded dragon temperature?

This section will give more details on the temperatures and what each section means.

Basking Spot Temperature

The basking area is meant to be the hottest part of the vivarium.

This is where the bearded dragon will rest (or bask) to absorb heat and UVB light from the UVB bulb if it needs to.

The bearded dragon’s basking area should be between 88-110° degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the age of the dragon.

Basking spots are heated with a heat lamp and a UV basking bulb.

Use a mercury vapor bulb to get UVA, UVB, and heat from a single source.

These bulbs are left on during the day and turned off at night.

Some people advocate for leaving a different colored light on at night, but it’s best to use no lights.

This helps keep the bearded dragon on a steady day-night cycle.

Further Reading: Red lights and bearded dragons: Is it bad?

You may want to use a timer switch to ensure you don’t forget to turn it on in the morning.

You measure the basking area with a thermometer mounted nearby or using an infrared one pointed at the basking spot for a few seconds.

Further Reading: Best thermometers to keep your bearded dragons healthy

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Overall Temperature

The overall ambient temperature is where most of the tank rests at.

Your goal is to get the overall temperature around 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32 ° C).

This is measured with a mounted thermometer in the middle of the tank.

Proper placement for the thermometer is halfway between the basking area and the cool spot.

If your tank is around 40 gallons, you may be able to get away with just a basking light and UV light, which can heat the whole tank.

But if you’re using one bigger than this (which we recommend), you may need help.

Use an additional basking lamp at a lower setting, overhead fluorescent heating, or an under-the-tank heat mat.

Warning! Under the tank heaters can crack glass tanks in some cases.

Also, ensure your pet bearded dragon has a terrarium humidity level of around 20 – 40%.

Further Reading: Bearded dragon humidity guide

This is measured with a hygrometer (humidity gauge).

Further Reading: Best basking light for bearded dragons and save you time and money

Cool Spot Temperature (Hide Spot)

Bearded dragons need to be able to control their temperature with environmental means.

When we get hot, we sweat, and this cools us down.

Bearded dragons don’t have this capacity.

While your reptiles can sit with their mouths open, gaping, this only helps cool them down a little.

In the wild, they dig themselves into mud or go and find cool shelter under a rock or log.

It needs to be the same in your tank.

Keep some furniture (a rock or box) on the opposite side of your tank, away from the basking area.

This will be where your bearded dragon goes to cool itself down or relax after basking.

The cool/hide spot should stick between 70 ° – 85° degrees Fahrenheit (21 ° – 29 ° C).

Use a thermometer mounted near the cool spot to check on it.

The range is wide because the temperature will depend on the size of your tank and the type of heater used.

But as long as you’re within this range, you should be just fine.

Nighttime Temperature

Even though beardies are from the hot desert, they don’t need extreme heat all of the time.

Deserts get surprisingly cold at night.

Fortunately, our home’s natural temperature will probably work just fine.

You want the night temp to dip a little but go no less than 65 ° – 70° degrees Fahrenheit (18 ° – 21 ° C).

Don’t worry if you’re in a hotter climate and the temperature doesn’t quite get low enough.

You just don’t want it to go below this range.

You don’t need to watch this one too closely unless you keep your house cooler.

Most likely, all you need to do to prevent this temperature in line is just turn off your heater at night.

The heat will go away slowly, and by the time you wake up, it may have just settled in this range.

Check your overall thermometer every morning to ensure the tank isn’t getting too cold.

Further Reading: Why is a cold bearded dragon in danger?

If it seems to be getting a little close to the 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18 ° C) mark, alter the timing of your heaters, so there is less time it’s off.

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Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Requirements According to Age

bearded dragon in vivarium

Bearded dragons undergo a few stages of life before reaching adulthood, and each stage has its different temperature requirements. 

If you’re adopting a baby bearded dragon, you’ll be starting right at the beginning, and you’ll need to pay special attention to the temperature settings in your tank.

Baby Bearded Dragon (0-6 Months)

Baby bearded dragons grow quickly and need a lot of energy to do so.

This is why they require higher temperatures compared to adult bearded dragons. 

There should be an elevated basking area at a temperature of 95° – 110°F (35° – 43°C).

The cool end of the tank should be between 80° – 90°F (27° – 32°C), with the overall temperature being kept at an appropriate range for your specific tank size.

At night, the temperature shouldn’t go below 65° – 70°F (18°- 21°C).

Enclosure AreasIdeal Temperature Range
Basking Spot95°F – 110°F
Cool Spot/Hide80°F – 90°F

Juvenile Bearded Dragon (6-12 Months)

As your bearded dragon grows into his juvenile stage, his temperature requirements will start to shift towards those of an adult.

The basking spot for juvenile bearded dragons should be between 95° – 100°F (35° – 38°C), with the cool end of the tank still remaining between 80° – 90°F (27° – 32°C), just like for baby bearded dragons.

Enclosure AreasIdeal Temperature Range
Basking Spot95° – 100°F
Cool Spot/Hide80° – 90°F

Adult Bearded Dragon (1+ Years)

Once your bearded dragon reaches adulthood, the basking spot can be in the range of 90° – 93°F (32° – 34°C), while the cool end of the tank should remain at 80° – 90°F (27° – 32°C).

The overall temperature for an adult bearded dragon enclosure should be around 85° – 90°F (29° – 32°C).

Enclosure AreasIdeal Temperature Range
Basking Spot90° – 93°F
Cool Spot/Hide80° – 90°F

What Is The Lowest Temperature A Bearded Dragon Can Survive?

If you follow the rules outlined above, you’ll be fine with temperatures.

The lowest temperature a bearded dragon can survive safely is 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18 ° C).

While it may be able to recover from temps lower than 60° degrees Fahrenheit (16 ° C), there’s no reason ever to do it.

Before we can check out some reliable and efficient ways of keeping the bearded dragon’s tank temperature right, let’s find out what causes a dip in the tank’s temperature. 

Causes for Low Temperature 

  • Low-Wattage Heat Bulb: Using a heat bulb with insufficient wattage can lead to temperature drops.
  • Inadequate Thermostat: If your thermostat isn’t powerful enough for your tank, it may struggle to maintain the right temperature.
  • Thermometer Choice: Using an inappropriate thermometer can result in inaccurate temperature readings.
  • Oversized Tanks: Larger tanks may require multiple heat sources to maintain consistent temperatures.
  • Substrate Consideration: The type of substrate you choose matters; avoid sand and opt for materials like newspaper, paper towels, or reptile carpet to help regulate temperatures.

How to Raise Temperature in a Beardie’s Tank?

Get a Heat Lamp

A heat lamp is the primary source of heat for bearded dragons in captivity. It provides warmth and light and can mimic the sun’s rays, which helps your beardie regulate his body temperature. The heat from the lamp will also help your bearded dragon with digestion issues.

Make sure you choose an appropriate wattage bulb for your tank size, and monitor the temperature with a thermometer regularly. 

Use Mercury Vapor Bulbs

As discussed above, mercury vapor bulbs are excellent for producing both heat and UV light.

However, if your beardie’s tank is smaller than 40 gallons, you may want to use a different heat source, as mercury vapor bulbs produce high temperatures that can be harmful in small tanks.

Use Ceramic Heat Emitters

Ceramic heat emitters are just what you need for your pet’s night-time temperature. They produce heat but don’t give off any light, so they won’t disturb your reptile’s sleep.

Use Under Tank Heaters

Here’s another safe option to use. You can place it under the tank, and you don’t have to worry about your beardie getting burned by the heater.

The heat mat produces gentle, ambient heat that keeps your pet warm during the night. These work best with glass tanks.

Cover the Tank Up

Sometimes, it’s the simplest of hacks that do the trick. If your tank is near a window or you think it’s getting too cold at night, cover up part of the tank with a blanket during bedtime. This way, when the temperature in the room drops, your beardie will still have a warm section to snuggle in.

Increase Your Room’s Temperature

Turn to your room’s central heating. This method is only advised when you think the tank’s temperature isn’t enough for your beardie to stay warm. Otherwise, it may end up being too hot for them, which can lead to heat stress and other health issues.

Bonus Tip: If, for some reason, your power is out, use hand warmers and portable heaters, or at least cuddle the pet.

Can Bearded Dragons Get Too Hot?

Yes, bearded dragons can get too hot.

If your tank’s temperature is constantly above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 ° C), you’re cooking your bearded dragon.

Beardies don’t sweat, so they can’t cool themselves down when it gets too hot. This situation can lead to heat stress and other health complications if not addressed promptly.

Your pet will pant, breathe rapidly, seem disoriented, and suffer from loss of appetite when he’s too hot.

How to Lower Temperature in a Bearded Dragon’s Tank?

Here are some quick fixes you can try if your bearded dragon’s tank gets too hot:

  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors or using fans.
  • Turn off heat sources until the temperature drops to a safe range.
  • Use a damp towel to help cool down the tank.
  • Regularly mist your bearded dragon during hotter days.
  • Move the tank to a cooler room in your house.

If you allow your bearded dragon to roam around freely, make sure he has a shady spot to cool down when needed. Also, never leave the miniature dragon unsupervised.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 120 Degrees Too Hot for a Bearded Dragon?

Yes, 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 ° C) is too hot for a bearded dragon. Prolonged exposure to this temperature can cause severe damage or even death.

Can You Use a Heat Rocks for Bearded Dragons?

Heat rocks can be dangerous for your bearded dragon. They can cause severe burns and should not be used as a primary heat source.

Do Bearded Dragons Need UV Light at Night?

No, bearded dragons do not need UV light at night. It’s recommended to turn off all lights in their tank during nighttime to simulate natural day-night cycles. 

Beardie Bliss: Nailing the Right Tank Temperature

Your bearded dragon trusts you to keep him safe, healthy, and snug. And so, as a loving parent, you must know what the ideal bearded dragon enclosure temperature is.

Thanks to this article, we saw that the daytime, nighttime, and cool zone temperatures are the same for all dragons, but the basking area and their UV needs differ.

Baby bearded dragons need more heat and UV light than their adult counterparts.
If you need help increasing or decreasing the temperature in your beardie’s tank, refer to the tips provided above.

Did you find this article useful?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we strive to provide helpful and reliable information on bearded dragon care. You can check out our other articles on bearded dragon nutrition, tank setup, and common health issues.

Keep your beardie happy and healthy! Thanks for reading.

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