Like other reptiles that are kept in captivity, bearded dragons have a lot of requirements. One of the requirements for the bearded dragon’s need is humidity. The level of humidity is very important and crucial to their health. It could mean the difference between a healthy and happy beardie and a sick and unhealthy beardie.
During the day, the humidity level should be between 30% to 40% in the bearded dragon tank. At night, the humidity level should be around 55%.
If you’re wondering why humidity is really important for bearded dragons, how to increase and decrease humidity, and how to measure humidity, keep reading.
What Should the Humidity in a Bearded Dragon’s Tank Be?
In their natural habitat, where it’s mostly desert, it’s usually hot and dry. The humidity level there will be between 30% to 40%.
Therefore, your bearded dragon will need the humidity level to be the same. If the level gets too high, it will affect their health. This will usually be in the form of a respiratory infection.
In captivity, humidity can be hard to maintain depending on where you’re located. In the northern part of the world, the humidity will vary throughout the year due to the season.
In the summer, the humidity levels will be between 30% and 50%. In the winter, the humidity will be much higher. You’ll need to adjust the humidity according to the season.
What Happens If The Humidity Is Too Low
Bearded dragons are used to humidity levels that are low. However, when it gets below 30% humidity, that’s when problems can occur.
One of the problems is when they start to shed. Too low humidity will cause the old skin to not want to peel off.
Bearded dragons shed their old skin throughout their entire life. Shedding occurs when they outgrow their old skin.
For baby and juvenile bearded dragons, the shedding will happen monthly. During this age, they tend to grow really quickly, which is why frequent shedding.
Therefore, if the humidity level is too low, they will have issues with shedding.
What Happens If The Humidity Is Too High
If the humidity is too high, this can also lead to health issues for the bearded dragons. The common issue for them will be respiratory infections.
Bearded dragons are from the desert climates, which means they are used to low humidity levels. When the humidity is too high, they don’t know how to deal with it.
When moisture is combined with warm temperature, it’s the perfect place for bacteria to grow. Since bearded dragons are sensitive to high humidity, most likely, they will start to develop respiratory problems.
For this to happen, the bearded dragons have to be exposed to high humidity for a long time. If the humidity is high for a short period of time, there’s nothing to worry about. Your bearded dragon will be able to adjust to the temporary high humidity.
How To Measure Humidity In A Bearded Dragon Tank?
It’s really simple to measure humidity in the bearded dragon tank. All you need is a measuring device such as a hygrometer to measure the humidity level.
Hygrometer comes in analog and digital. I recommend the digital hygrometer as it’s easier to read and more accurate. I recommend this Reptile Hygrometer, which can be found on Amazon. The feature I like best is the alarm. Once the humidity goes past the preset level, the alarm will go off alerting you.
It’s recommended that you have two hygrometers in the tank. One is to measure the humidity level in the warm zone and the other is to measure in the cool zone.
The warm zone will be the area of the tank that has the basking lights. This area will usually have a lower humidity level due to the basking lights.
The warm and cool zone will vary differently in humidity. It’s not unusual for it to have a difference of 5% between the two temperature zone.
What’s important is to keep both zones in the optimal range, which is between 30% and 40%.
How to Lower Humidity In Bearded Dragon Tank
Having a very high humidity isn’t good for the bearded dragons. If the humidity level in their tank is above 50%, you’ll need to lower it to the correct level. There are several ways in which you can achieve this.
Removing The Cover From The Tank
This is the simplest way to lower the humidity in the tank. As the moisture escapes the tank, the humidity level will begin to drop.
Turning off the basking lights when not needed. Basking lights can raise the humidity level in the tank significantly when it’s turned out. These lights are made to produce a lot of heat, which is to mimic the heat from the sun.
Most bearded dragons will usually bask in the early morning and late afternoon when it’s cooler. During the day when they are hiding, you can turn the basking lights off.
Remove Water Dish
A water dish can actually raise the humidity in the tank. Water tends to evaporate when it’s warm.
During the summer months, water evaporates quickly. If you have a high humidity problem during the warmer months, it’s best to use just one water dish. Also, it’s a good idea to just put enough water in the bowl. Instead of filling the water almost to the top of the bowl, pour water to the half level of the bowl.
Turning The Air Conditioning Unit Off
Sometimes, it could be the humidity level of the room. In the summer, if removing the water dish doesn’t help much, try turning the air conditioning off for a couple of hours. The cool air from the A/C will actually raise the humidity level not just in the room, but also in the tank.
How To Raise Humidity in bearded dragon tank
If you end up with a humidity level of 30% or lower, you’ll need to raise it to the correct level. There are a few ways of achieving it.
However, you’ll want to keep an eye on the humidity level so it doesn’t get too high. Depending on if the air conditioning is on, humidity can get high very fast.
Put Water Dish In The Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure
This is one of the ways to raise the humidity level in the enclosure. If the enclosure is made out of glass, you can expect the level to rise quickly. For enclosure that is mesh, it may take a bit longer.
Place the water dish in the enclosure and fill water halfway. Always use a dish that is strong and sturdy. I recommend this water dish, which is available on Amazon. It’s specifically made for bearded dragons.
Every hour, check the level to see if it has gone up. If it does and stays under 40% range, you can leave the water dish in there. Most bearded dragons will actually sit and play in the water. This is always a great way to introduce them to water so it’ll be easier for you when you need to bathe them.
If the humidity level is still low, try adding another water dish to the enclosure.
Decrease Ventilation For The Enclosure
If the enclosure has a screen lid, you can cover it with a material such as cardboard, wood, or even a piece of clothing.
By placing material on top of the tank, you’re actually preventing moisture from escaping. In turn, this will raise the humidity level in the tank.
Placing a water dish in the tank will help raise the humidity level quickly as well.
Make sure to watch the humidity level as it can rise quickly when blocking off the top part of the tank. Once it’s within range, you can remove the cover.
Misting the Tank Frequently
Another great way to raise the humidity is to mist the tank. Depending on how much humidity it currently is at, you can mist it a couple of times a day.
You can use a regular spray bottle to mist the tank down. Or if the humidity seems to be an issue regularly or you don’t have time during the day, a misting system would be a great option.
When buying a misting system, I recommend an automatic mister for your bearded dragon tank. This will make the job a whole lot easier for you. Simply fill the water in the misting system, set the timer, and it will mist the tank according to your timer.
Use this Reptile Mister Fogger, which is on Amazon. It comes complete with everything you need to mist the tank.
Whether you’re using a spray bottle or a misting system, make sure to only use purified water. Tap water will cause spotting on the tank’s window and decorations.
Do Bearded Dragons Need A Humidifier?
Bearded dragons come from a very dry climate that lows in humidity. Therefore, a humidifier isn’t necessary. If you have a humidifier in the same room as the bearded dragon, it’s best that you remove the humidifier.
Can You Use Moist Substrate In Bearded Dragon’s Tank?
A moist substrate isn’t recommended for the bearded dragons. It’s not what found in their natural habitat and it could lead to health issues for the beardie.