Using a Thermometer in Bearded Dragon Cages
A bearded dragon thermometer is going to become one of your best friends. It is important that you keep track of the temperatures in your dragon’s cage. I highly recommend using some sort of thermometer to make sure you have proper temperatures. Guessing what the temperature is just won’t cut it.
Making sure that you have the proper temperatures in your dragons cage is vital to raising and maintaining a healthy bearded dragon. Without a thermometer it is almost impossible to ensure that you have proper temperatures. You are basically shooting in the dark.
There are different types of thermometers that can be used. Digital and analog types are the best in my opinion. Try to stay away from the stick on glass thin strip thermometers. They just aren’t as accurate as the others.
I use two thermometers in each of my dragons’ cage. I put one on the warm side and one on the cooler side, so I can keep an eye on my heat gradients. It is also good to check the basking spot temperature every once in awhile.
There are numerous thermometers on the market for reptile cages. This is one place that you really don’t want to skimp on.
It is really important to know what the actual temperature is in your bearded dragon’s cage. Poor heating is the cause for a lot of problems in bearded dragons. Be sure to get the best thermometer that you can afford.
You’ll want to place the thermometers as close to floor as possible. This will let you know what the temperature is where your bearded dragon is most likely to spend most of their time. If you place it at the top of the cage, it will give you an inaccurate reading. Heat rises and it will be hotter at the top of the cage than the bottom.
Having good thermometers will help you get the right temperature and help you maintain a good heat gradient. Using a thermostat will make this process a little easier as well. Remember to pick a bearded dragon thermometer that you think will be fairly accurate.
Using a Thermostat for Bearded Dragons
A bearded dragon thermostat can be a nice addition to your dragon’s cage, but is not neccessary. There are thermostats on the market made specifically for reptile enclosures. Any one of these will work well for your dragon’s home.
These thermostats basically do the same thing the thermostat in your home does. It turns the heat sources on and off to maintain a constant temperature.
They are made to control your heat sources such as heat lamps, ceramic heaters, under the tank heaters, and heat mats. They can also control basking lamps.
A thermostat is a great way to get a good temperature in your cage and maintain it. It turns on your heating equipment until it reaches a desired temperature.
When it reaches the desired temperature it automatically turns off your heating equipment. It does this throughout the day, keeping the temperature constant.
With a bearded dragon thermostat you don’t have to worry whether or not the cage is too hot. Just as long as you have your heating equipment set up properly.
If your home is warmer or colder one day, it will adjust accordingly. This prevents you from having to constantly check the thermometer and adjust basking lamps or other things yourself.
There are also products calle rheostats. These are basically just dimmer switches for your lights. If you’re looking for a “thermostat” don’t be fooled by the less expensive rheostats.
They are not the same thing. Then again, all I use to control temperature in my dragons cage is a dimmer switch (same thing as a rheostat) and it works great.
A bearded dragon thermostat isn’t required for your bearded dragon’s cage. It’s just a nice option to have, if you have the money to spend on it. I have not used one myself, and do fine without it. Although, it would be a nice addition.
Using an Under Tank Heater for Bearded Dragons
An under tank heater is a pad that attaches to the bottom of a glass aquarium and produces heat. The heat will radiate through the tank glass and warm the substrate and in your bearded dragon’s cage.
This will also raise the air temperature in the cage 10 degrees or so. This is a great additional heat source only if your using a glass enclosure. They are not made to be used with wood or plastic type cages. If you have a cage that isn’t made of glass, you can use a heat mat that is designed for use inside of cages.
An under the tank heater is a great additional heat source when paired with basking lamps. Also, pairing this with a thermostat will help you keep a constant cage temperature.
I call this an additional heat source, because it is best to provide basking lights as your primary heat source. Even though this heater can provide heat for an enclosure, it doesn’t provide a hot basking spot bearded dragons need for digesting their food.
I have used one of these and it seemed to do a nice job of warming the substrate in my dragons tank. I really have to say that this type of heater usually isn’t needed. Though, if you can’t keep a good overall temperature in your dragons cage, this is a great secondary heat source.
If you are planning on using an aquarium for your bearded dragons home, this is a great additional heat source. There are different sizes and brands on the market to choose from. These can be found at most pet stores and can also be bought online.