There are two main environmental variables Bearded dragon keepers need to ensure (i.e. temperature and lighting), but what about the humidity? Although admittedly, often not something to worry about, incorrect humidity in an enclosed environment can lead to all sorts of problems.
What is humidity?
Humidity is basically the amount of water, in the form of vapor, in the air. In more technical terms it can be expressed as the relative humidity which is the amount of vapor in the air as a percentage of the space of air that can hold vapour. Higher percentages mean higher humidity and vice versa.
A visual example of relative humidity (RH). The area above the water source represents the air in which water can evaporate and the particles represent the water particles. Image from blog.cashins.com
Think of a Bearded dragon enclosure as a closed space of air, and the humidity as the amount of water in that space. Being enclosed, that area’s humidity will be different from the room the enclosure is situated in.
Factors affecting humidity
Apart from the size of the area for water to evaporate in (which is usually relatively small in the case of Bearded dragon enclosures), factors such as the ventilation, temperature, and the amount of water available also greatly affect the humidity.
Comparatively more ventilation, larges spaces, less water, and lower temperatures lead to lower relative humidities. The opposite is true for less ventilation, smaller spaces, more water, and higher temperatures.
In the case of pet Bearded dragons, we have the most control over the ventilation and environmental temperature.
What humidity are we talking about for keeping Bearded dragons?
Remember that the popular Inland Bearded dragon (P. vitticeps) originates from the drier and desert areas of South Australia. The outside humidity in these areas is on average about 50 – 60% – which is quite low compared to non-desert areas. Also, see Bearded dragon in the wild for more information.
Why humidity is important for keeping Bearded dragons
Generally, too high humidities will lead to an increase in diseases. In this case, diseases such as intestinal parasites, Yellow fungus disease, mouth infections, and pneumonia are more common.
When the humidity is too low the risk of dehydration, overheating, and shedding problems increases. Bearded dragon owners often resort to methods to temporarily increase the environmental humidity to prevent or rectify shedding problems. Also, see how often a Bearded dragon should shed its skin and safe and effective ways to help a shedding Bearded Dragon for more information.
How will I know what the humidity is like?
The humidity can be measured with a hygrometer. By looking around, small commercial hygrometers might be available from some pet shops and on the internet. Some Bearded dragon keepers are also handy enough to make their own hygrometer.
Exo-Terra produces a very popular, small, and cost-effective reptile hygrometer. Available from Amazon.com
A hygrometer can be placed directly in the space where you want to measure the humidity. It is always a good idea to take multiple readings, for example during the day and during the evening.
So how do we approach this?
First of all, it is important to note that the humidity will vary from setup to setup, i.e. no two Bearded dragon enclosures will have exactly the same humidity.
Before changing anything, or before finalising the setup, test the humidity first. The general idea is to have an enclosure with fairly low humidity. In the case of humidities lower than 50%, it can be increased by adding a bigger water dish, moving the water dish closer to the heat source, reducing the temperatures a bit, or closing some ventilation. In the case of humidities above 60%, the opposite can be done.
How will I know the humidity is incorrect?
Often, when the humidity is too low, some Bearded dragons will spend a lot of time in the water dish and/or has shedding problems. Other signs include climbing the sides of the enclosure, open-mouth breathing, or poor appetites.
What are the Right Humidity Levels for Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons are native to Australia, so it’s important to keep your dragon’s enclosure as close to its natural environment as possible. This means creating the right humidity levels for your particular bearded dragon.
Generally, the humidity in a bearded dragon tank should be kept between 30-40% during the day, which shouldn’t be hard to achieve if you live in an area with normal humidity levels. However, some adjustments may still need to be made.
At night, the humidity can be slightly higher (but never above 60%). This is because bearded dragons enjoy slightly higher humidity during the night when they are sleeping and inactive – since this provides optimal comfort and optimizes hydration status.
To find the right humidity level for your particular dragon, you may need to monitor and observe your pet’s behavior over time while adjusting humidity levels accordingly.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Humidity?
Bearded dragons are a popular pet and becoming more popular each day. If you’re considering getting a bearded dragon, one of the main things you’ll need to understand is that they need humidity. Without it, your lizard won’t thrive and may even develop serious health problems.
Why Do They Need Humidity?
Bearded dragons need a specific level of humidity in order to survive and live a healthy life. Too little or too much humidity can cause health problems for your pet, which is why it’s important to monitor the humidity of their enclosure.
Humidity levels play an important role in maintaining the ideal temperature and environment for reptiles, such as bearded dragons. When the air is dry, it may cause respiratory issues like skin shedding difficulties, while high levels of moisture can lead to bacterial and fungal infections.
To ensure your pet stays healthy and comfortable, it’s important that you get a digital hygrometer. This device allows you to measure the humidity inside your home so you can identify if it’s too high or too low. Once you know what the level is, you can adjust accordingly with methods like misting or using a dehumidifier.
By maintaining a safe humidity level within your house, you can provide your bearded dragon with the best environment possible!
What Happens If the Humidity is too Low
Low humidity levels can cause serious problems for your bearded dragon, so it is important to monitor them and adjust accordingly. Some of the problems that may occur when the tank is left with too low humidity are shedding issues, femoral pore blockage, dehydration, constipation, urinary tract infections, and even kidney failure!
When humidity levels are too low for your bearded dragon, it may suffer from shedding problems due to a lack of moisture. Many owners give their beardies baths during shedding as this will soften any old skin so it can more easily fall off. Low humidity levels can also lead to femoral pore blockage- when wax builds up and clogs these pores which normally secrete wax for marking territories.
Dehydration is another issue that can occur if the tank has low-humidity levels. This may be more likely even if there is a water bowl in the tank as your beardie still won’t get proper hydration if the atmosphere isn’t suitable enough. Dehydration isn’t the only problem that could arise, as constipation and urinary tract infections might also occur.
What Happens If the Humidity is too High
If bearded dragons live in a tank that has high humidity for long enough, it can lead to respiratory infections and other illnesses. Respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, require immediate treatment from a veterinarian as they need to take antibiotics. It is difficult, however, to determine what type of respiratory infection it is because high humidity creates the perfect environment for bacteria, viruses, and fungi to thrive.
You should look out for any signs of illness if you accidentally made the tank too humid. These symptoms include eye and nose discharge; bubbling of the nose and mouth; shallow or rapid breathing; open mouth at times of breathing; low appetite; snorting or sneezing; lethargy; throat puffing; weight loss. Unfortunately, bearded dragons typically hide their symptoms well, so if left undetected the infection can develop into septicemia which can be incredibly serious and life-threatening.
It’s important to remember that occasionally high humidity levels are fine but when it goes on for too long, your bearded dragon can be affected negatively. Make sure to keep on top of monitoring its environment so you can avoid any health problems!
How to Measure Humidity in a Bearded Dragon Tank?
Measuring humidity in a bearded dragon tank is an important step to ensure the health and wellness of your pet. To do this, you’ll need a hygrometer such as the Exo Terra Hygrometer. This is an affordable and accurate way to measure the humidity levels in your tank.
To use the hygrometer properly, position the sensor in the center of your tank at the rear. You can also opt for two hygrometers–one for measuring the warm zone and one for the cooler zone–to get more accurate readings. The digital version is preferable as it will give you better accuracy than the analog versions.
Another option is to opt for rechargeable batteries so that you don’t have to worry about continually buying new ones. Rechargeable batteries may cost more initially, but they could be worth it over time as they tend to last longer and are more reliable than disposable ones.
Make sure you keep an eye on all of your tanks to ensure they always have optimal humidity levels and that your pets stay healthy!
Where to Place the Hygrometer
When it comes to where to place your hygrometer, there are a few things to consider. For the best accuracy, it should be placed in the center of your enclosure. It is also important to remember that readings will correspond to the temperature of the enclosure, so account for a temperature difference of 20 C or 68 F between cool and hot areas.
Other things to consider include: not placing it in live foliage, avoiding corners with no air circulation, keeping it away from water dishes, attaching it to an accessory so that curious beardies can’t play with it and accidentally ingest it, and making sure it isn’t dangling.
By taking all these considerations into mind when placing your hygrometer (analog) or probe (digital), you can be confident you are getting an accurate reading.
How to Raise Humidity in a Bearded Dragon Tank?
Raising the humidity levels in your bearded dragon’s tank is essential for keeping your pet healthy and happy. There are several ways to increase the humidity to optimal levels, including misting the tank regularly, putting water bowls inside the tank, or using a moist substrate.
The most effective way to increase the humidity in a bearded dragon enclosure is to use a larger water dish. This allows you to control the humidity levels more easily; if it gets too high, simply remove or reduce the amount of water in the bowl or choose a smaller size bowl. Alternatively, you can experiment with different sizes and amounts of water until you find what works best for your pet’s needs.
Make sure that you keep an eye on your pet’s environment and adjust accordingly when needed so that they have optimal conditions at all times. With proper humidity levels, your bearded dragon should live a long and healthy life!
Why Not Misting?
Misting can be a great way to increase humidity in an enclosure for your bearded dragon, but it also comes with certain drawbacks. For one, if you have a consistently low humidity level, you’d need to mist the enclosure on a daily basis—which isn’t good for the long-term health of your pet.
Additionally, not all bearded dragons enjoy being misted—it can easily cause them distress and stress them out.
If you still opt for misting, it’s better to use purified water so as to prevent any mineral deposits from forming against the glass on your tank—this makes cleaning up much easier as well!
What About Moist Substrate?
When it comes to bearded dragons, the moist substrate is not something that should be used. It does not belong in the natural habitat of a bearded dragon and can potentially raise the humidity levels higher than desired. The moist substrate can also easily absorb the smells and juices of the feeder which can lead to your bearded dragon mistaking it for food, resulting in constipation or impaction.
Mites may be an issue if you use a moist substrate; they’re potentially unsafe for beardies, so if you really need to use one, make sure to also have some dry substrate in the enclosure or change out the substrate once every week.
Reptile carpet as a substrate should always be changed if it is moist; an excavator clay substrate is an excellent alternative as it holds well against moisture and hardens once it dries, plus it provides enrichment for your beardies!
What About Plants?
Plants can be incredibly beneficial to have in your bearded dragon tank. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they can also help create a microclimate in the terrarium that supports the well-being of your dragon.
This microclimate can provide higher humidity levels, even if the surrounding environment is quite dry. However, it’s important to choose plants carefully for a bearded dragon tank, as not all desert plants are suitable for this type of habitat.
How to Lower Humidity in a Bearded Dragon Tank
When your bearded dragon tank has too high a humidity, it should be lowered as soon as possible to prevent health issues. Here are some tips on how to lower the humidity in your bearded dragon tank:
First and foremost, ensure that your tank is properly ventilated, or remove the cover and use only a screen cover. You can also open up the front doors of the tank to help with ventilation and make sure that your bearded dragon can’t escape.
Second, remove any moist parts from the tank such as a large water bowl or moist substrate. You can reduce or completely eliminate the amount of water in a bowl if you need to, but be sure to replace it once you’ve returned the humidity level back to normal. If you have a moist substrate, consider replacing it with a new one instead of trying to bake it dry in the oven.
Third, avoid misting until you’ve returned your beardie’s environment back to an acceptable level of humidity. Misting will just increase the moisture levels and make matters worse. Once you’ve achieved an acceptable humidity level, then you can start misting again regularly.
Finally, if all else fails and you still cannot adequately lower the humidity level in your beardies tank, consider using a dehumidifier that is safe for use with animals such as this one which has no cords and is non-toxic so there isn’t a risk of electrocuting your pet reptile friends!
Should I Get a Humidifier for My Bearded Dragon Tank?
A bearded dragon does not require much humidity; the perfect humidity for them is between 30-40%
Is 50% Humidity too High for a Bearded Dragon?
A 50% humidity level is too much for bearded dragons since it could cause them to become ill when sustained over time. Make sure to keep humidity at a level between 30 and 40%, so your pet dragon can remain healthy and happy.
In conclusion, it is incredibly important to keep the humidity of your bearded dragon’s environment at an ideal level. This means monitoring it frequently and taking action when necessary.
By keeping your pet’s habitat within these parameters you’ll be helping them stay healthy and happy for many years to come!