Bearded Dragon UV Lighting and Temperature
Once you have decided to use a tank, or cage as your new bearded dragon’s habitat, you can look at adding in light. If the light is the length of the tank, chances are it also can provide the basking area for heat and temperature control. Remember, baby Bearded dragons are cold blooded so they use the heat and cool ends of their habitat to thermoregulate.
The UV light will enable them to grow but also allow them to process the calcium and vitamin D they take in. The vitamin D their body will create and metabolize through exposure to UVB lighting.
Using a heat element, and UVB lamp, or one for both
Either using a smaller UVB lamp and a heating element or heating lamp OR a larger UVB lamp that provides both. The First option is a little bit more controlled as your heating can come from a heat lamp or heat element. Using a reptile thermostat tied directly to the heat source also works wonders for proper temperature control.
Stay away from using heat pads, heat matts, or heating rocks. These can burn your dragon and quite honestly, like the sun, we believe heat should come from above.
May types of bearded dragon lighting are available
Using a timer is important to simulate normal day and night cycles and will keep your dragon happy and healthy. We do not recommend just turning them off and on daily based on your schedule, unless it is pretty much exactly the same. A cheap timer will give your baby bearded dragon for sale proper day and night cycles and also make sure that they do not get over exposure to UVB.
If you are not going to use a reptile thermostat, we recommend dialing in your hot spot using a heat gun to get an exact temperature. During the day time you want a basking spot on one side of the habitat that is 105-110 degrees F. The most common mistake people make with a new setup is not getting their basking spot hot enough.
Hot and cool sides of the baby bearded dragon habitat
The cool side of the habitat should be in the 80s to verify they are correct either use a heat gun, or a thermometer on each end of the enclosure is even better. At night the temperature can drop into the 70s for younger dragons and into the 60s for adult and sub-adult dragons. Night time heat is usually not required because most homes don’t go below 60 degrees at night.
If you have a dragon that is less than 12 inches long and your home gets less than 70 degrees F at night then use a ceramic heat bulb at night. Ceramic bulbs emit heat but no light and will not disturb your dragon’s sleep.
Bearded dragons for sale – habitat basking spot
To get the basking spot the right temperature you are going to give your dragon a branch to climb on and get closer to the heat bulb for this reason make sure the branch is not close enough for your baby bearded dragon to get burned. The most common type of basking heat source is either a MVB or heat lamp that is 100 watts.
If you are using one bulb that provides both heat and UVB, such as a mercury vapor bulb, then all you need to do is follow the guidelines in this section regarding distance and temperature. With both of the essentials provided for (heat and UVB) you don’t need any additional lights so that is up to you. T5 HO lamps will provide a better range and quality UVB where as Mercury Vapor lamps are an in between.
Using a UVB Lamp or Heat Lamp or both?
If you are using one bulb for heat and a separate bulb for UVB, then you will want your UVB bulb to be a strip/tube type bulb that runs most of the length of the cage. We recommend buying a light fixture that is about 80% of the length of the entire enclosure, not the exact same size. You can also use a circular bulb placed over the basking spot, next to your heat bulb or heating source.
Check your UVB lamps every 6 months. We replace ours here at the shop every 6-7 months no matter what. UVB bulbs are not as straightforward as you may think at first. Just because the light is on, does not mean it is being effective. In order for them to be effective there are a few guidelines you need to follow. If you don’t follow these guidelines then the UVB will be wasted without reaching your dragon.
UVB lighting and Barriers
UVB is sometimes can have hard time passing through barriers. Glass, plexiglass, and metal screens allow light to pass through them, but will some of the UVB. Most people use cages with screen tops and place the lights on the screen. For this reason, when possible we recommend mounting your UVB lamp within the enclosure as opposed to on top of the screen cage.
What UVB lamps do you recommend?
It is helpful to use a high output bulb to effectively penetrate past a screen. These will be labeled as t5 lamps. The T5 is skinny but the most powerful. The Reptisun 10.0 HO bulb is an example. High output bulbs need to be used in a high output fixture.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for how far away the bulb should be from your animal. High output bulbs are powerful and need to be a minimum safe distance from your dragon or they can cause a sunburn. Any UVB bulb that is too far away will be ineffective. If the appropriate distance is not provided on the box then you can usually find it on the manufacturer’s website.
Replacing your bearded dragon for sale’s Lighting
Most UVB bulbs need to be replaced every 6-7 months, even though the bulb still appears to be working. The light will turn on, but the UVB output degrades with time. This is because the active agents within the bulbs that are responsible for creating the UVB light eventually run out. Once they are used up the light will still light up and turn on until the filament burns out. However, it will no longer produce the invisible UVB that your dragon needs. Refer to the manufacturer of the bulbs you are using to find out exact details on how long the lamps will work, under “lamp lifespan”.
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Bearded Dragon Habitat
Before you setup your enclosure, you will have to decide on how large it will be. We recommend using the final large enclosure size from the first day. This will enable you to keep it together without having to constantly switch habitats.
Bearded Dragon habitat size
For an adult bearded dragon for sale, the you should use nothing smaller than a 40 gallon breeder style tank. Typically these will be around 36″x 18-24″ in size. The larger habitat you can provide the better. We recommend going big from the first day so you are not updating the size every few months to accommodate the growth of your pet bearded dragon for sale.
Types of baby bearded dragon habitats
There are many types of cages you can use for your new pet bearded dragon for sale. Using an open air setup like a cage over a tank is not a problem either. No matter what style you choose, make sure that the top of it enclosure allows you to sit or hang a UV light fixture over your new baby bearded dragon so they can soak in the UVB and get their Vitamin D.
Baby Bearded dragon diet
Feeding your baby bearded dragon for sale is easy but also super important. When considering what type of food your new pet bearded dragon for sale needs most, consider that variety is key. When young, baby bearded dragons for sale will consume mostly insects. However, that does not mean that is not important to both dust their insect food with vitamins and minerals, but also to offer a wide variety of other foods for them. While they will not be interested in many veggies or greens, or fruits when babies, they will grow a sophisticated pallet if you allow them to do so. This means offering wide variety of veggies and fruits.
Baby Bearded dragon insect diet
It is up to you to make sure they are eating safe insects so be sure to only feed what makes sense. As far as tasty insects go, you can’t go wrong with all types of insects, with crickets being the most popular. Feed things like black soldier fly larvae, cockroaches, crickets, Dubia roaches, butterworms, earthworms, even redworms and superworms are enjoyed. These insects are safe for bearded dragons and are relatively easy to get at the local pet shop, also available here at TS.