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Reptiles/Bearded Dragon Heating


QUESTION: So if my room temp is about 65 during the day, and I had a 55 gallon aquarium for my bearded dragon that is currently 1 month of age, what wattage of bulb should I use to keep the basking spot 100-110 and the rest of the enclosure 80? I am using Mercury Vapor Bulbs.

ANSWER: Hello William,

Which Mercury vapor bulb are you using & do you also have a tube UVB as well?
For that sized tank I would think 100 watt.  If you have it on a light stand then you could get by with a 160 watt one.
I wouldn't think that you need another basking bulb used in combination with the Mercury vapor bulb though.
What type of thermometer are you using to measure the temperatures?

If you have any pictures of your tank set up that would be helpful, also.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I am using a Zoo Med Powersun UVB heat bulb with a exo terra 5.5 inch dome, it is on a light stand, but would I need the higher wattage one? I am using a Exo Terra Digital Thermometer with the probe.

ANSWER: Hello William,

It is mounted on a light stand?  What is the distance to him?  
Good the digital probe should be fine for measuring the temperatures for him.
As long as he has a range of 95-110 with a cooler end of around 78-82 he will
do fine.  Based on your temps, it doesn't seem like you will need a higher
wattage bulb right now.
How is his appetite doing is he eating a lot for you right now?


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes it is on a stand, the distance is about 12 inches but I can change it whenever I need. He eats pretty well on Crickets and I always leave greens in there that he eats occasionally.

Hello William,

It sounds like he is eating very well right now.  That is fine, at 12 inches, the temperatures are fine but using a light stand is great so you can change the distance anytime.
Do you have any pictures of your set up too & dragon?



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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