(AIMED MORE TOWARDS HEATING FOR AUSTRALIAN
Dragons require a basking
spot in their terrarium which will provide a temperature of 35oC
40oC. This is to be set up down one end of you
enclosure. This way your Dragon can thermo-regulate. Thermo-regulation is
what all Reptiles do. As they are cold blooded they must heat themselves up (outside this
is achieved in the warmth of the sun) so they can be active enough to feed, digest
food and go about their daily activities. Once up to temperature they can move
about their enclosure. As they cool down they must return to their basking spot to heat up
again. If their entire enclosure was 400C they would have nowhere to
cool down and would over heat and eventually die.
There are a few different ways of Heating enclosures
or part of an enclosure to raise the temperature of your Reptile
artificially. I have listed only two methods as this is what I have had experience with
and both are very easy to set up and use.
Ceramic Heat Lamps: These are a ceramic heat element designed not to give off
light but plenty of heat, and also come in a range of wattage's. It is essential that
these be used with a probe thermostat to avoid over heating of your
terrarium and Dragon. These bulbs must be mounted inside a mesh protection cage
to prevent burns to active Dragons and burns to the keeper by accidentally coming in
contact with a hot bulb. The surface temperature of these heat emitters is in excess of 200oC
so will do serious damage to skin of any type upon contact. As these bulbs give off a lot
of heat they must be used in conjunction with ceramic fittings. These
bulbs are expensive to purchase but will burn for approximately 10,000 hours.
I have the temperature at 35oC for Bearded Dragons and 30oC
for Water Dragons.
Infrared Heat Bulbs: These
are a specific red coloured Infrared Reptile bulb that reflects a lot of heat and come in
a variety of wattage's. They are best used without a shade (this will
prolong the life of the bulb). These bulbs must be mounted inside a mesh
protection cage to prevent burns to active Dragons and burns to the keeper by
accidentally coming in contact with a hot bulb. As these bulbs give off a lot of heat they
must be used with ceramic fittings.
(In the above enclosure I have a 150 watt Ceramic
Heat Emitter mounted inside a Safety Cage mounted at the top of the enclosure along side
the UVB tube. There is also a 60 watt UVA heat lamp mounted down low inside a small Dome
fitting. This keeps this large enclosure (900Wx900Lx1200H) with two basking points, yet
providing plenty of cooler spots for the Bearded Dragons to thermo-regulate.)
Heat Rocks, Heat Pads, and Under Substrate Heating
Cables: I have read conflicting issues regarding Heating Rocks, Heat Pads
and Heating Cables, and have avoided using these as I also believe that Reptiles
are designed to absorb the heat directly on their backs, not their bellies. I have never
seen a Reptile of any description lying on its back, feet in the air,
soaking up the rays!!! I have also heard of Reptiles being cooked
from the inside out by these forms of heating when thermostats malfunction.