Bearded dragons come from Australia, a part of the world that is semi-arid. This means that there are a lot of challenges when it comes to making your bearded dragon comfortable. You will need to ensure that you keep your pet in conditions that are similar to the Australian desert.
The desert isn’t just hot it’s also quite humid. Understandably, this means your pet’s home must also be humid and hot. When you supply your bearded dragon with heat you take care of its welfare and its well-being.
The good news is that many companies sell heat lamps that help you to sustain correct temperatures at all times.
Heat lamps are incandescent light bulbs that produce light as well as heat. They are available in a range of shapes, applications, and wattages. In addition to heat lamps, you can also purchase ceramic heat emitters and vapor bulbs that provide your bearded dragon with the heat it needs.
Heat lamps are predominantly used in the areas where bearded dragons like to bask. This is where they will perch or lay during the day. They do this so they receive ultraviolet light in addition to heat.
Bearded dragons behave this way in the wild so it’s only natural that they can bask when they live with you.
When it comes to the wattage of the bulb that you’ll place in the heat lamp it will depend on the habitat. If your terrarium is a 100 gallon terrarium it will need a bulb with a higher wattage than a 50 gallon one. The wattage will need to be higher so the terrarium can reach the same temperature.
Using a Heat Lamp at Night
You might also need to use a heat lamp during the night. This is to ensure that the temperature does not fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The good news is you can purchase night time heat bulbs that give a lower level of lighting. This will mean your bearded dragon will stay relatively warm without any light disturbing them.
Pet stores and online retailers typically sell nigh time heat bulbs in red or dark blue hues. These bulbs can range from 15 watts and up to 75 watts. The light that these bulbs give off is invisible to your bearded dragon so you won’t need to worry about disturbing them.
Please do not use a daytime bulb at night as your dragon will not be able to sleep properly.
What About Under Tank Heat Pads?
Under tank heat pads can give your bearded dragon a constant supply of gentle heat. These pads work in addition to heat lamps and they are placed underneath the terrarium.
Heat pads are ideal for warming the underlying layer and giving your dragon that extra bit of warmth. Heat pads are particularly useful during the cold winter.
If you need an under tank heat pad you’ll need to make sure it will fit your terrarium. This is because heat pads that are too small won’t produce enough heat. If you have a very large terrarium you might need more than one heat pad. In addition to this, you’ll also need to have enough power outlets to plug the heat pads into.
Using Mercury Vapor Bulbs
In addition to heat pads you can use mercury vapor bulbs. These specialist bulbs supply the tank with ultraviolet light and heat.
Each bulb contains two filaments and they’re ideal for large terrariums. This is because they produce a lot of heat. You should refrain from using mercury vapor bulbs in a small terrarium as it will get too hot. Your bearded dragon could suffer from burns.
Using Ceramic Heat Emitters
You might want to consider using ceramic heat emitters to warm up the terrarium. These work in around the same way that heat lamps work. However, ceramic heat emitters do not produce light. They only emit infrared heat.
You can purchase heat emitters in a range of watts. You can find them at 60 watts and up to 150 watts.
Most commonly used to supply the tank with heat during the night, they will not disrupt your dragon’s sleep.
Using Heat Tapes
Also known as “Heat cables”, heat tapes can heat specific areas of the terrarium. Many people wrap the tape around pieces of decor. If, for example, you have some large rocks in the terrarium you could wrap tape around them. You could also wrap the perch in tape. This will provide additional heat while your dragon is basking.
Please note, you should only use heat tapes when extra heat is needed. If you use too much heat tape you could cause the terrarium to overheat. This could result in burns.
Use a thermometer in the cooler areas of the terrarium and the basking area. This will allow you to monitor the temperatures at all times.
Digital thermometers work well but you can also use an analog thermometer if you wish. It doesn’t matter what type you use as long as it works and you monitor the heat daily.
Adding thermometers to different parts of the terrarium will ensure you can adjust the heat should you need to. Keeping the terrarium at the right temperature range will ensure your bearded dragon is happy and healthy.
Never use Heat Caves or Heat Rocks
You should never use heat caves or heat rocks in a terrarium. This is because they tend to overheat. This could cause burns and harm your dragon.
Instead, consider using heat lamps, under tank heaters, heat tape, or heat emitters.