*newbie* confused about ambiant vs. surface temp.

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*newbie* confused about ambiant vs. surface temp.

Postby jlawson115 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:13 pm

We have a rescue beardie and his name is Phoenix. I have upgraded his tank to 75g increased lighting and got the ambiant air temp to 100 degrees on one side according to the dial thermometer. After reading loads of information I am now confused. Is the surface temp the most important? I have powersun bulbs 100 and 80 plus a zoo med 100 basking light On the hot side and a zoo med Reptisun uvb 5.0 on the cool side. Phoenix is acting a little better ( was super lethargic) he's at least on his feet now. tank has tile and bulbs are roughly 16 inches from surface. He doesn't go.under the lights. Hangs out about mid tank. What am I missing. My humidity says 10% I want to give him his best life! He is thought to be 1-2 years old. If anyone reads this I would like to know the proper thermometers to buy. I want him to have the best. Oh the lights hang in the tank not setting on a screen. I hope this is enough information for help. His health is a priority at the moment!
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Re: *newbie* confused about ambiant vs. surface temp.

Postby Claudiusx » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:21 pm

Hi there,

Welcome to the site!

Great question, and I'm glad you came and asked. Temperatures are the most important thing to a dragons health, so making sure you're doing it right is the most important thing you can do :)

Ambient temp is fine for cool side and warm side readings. However, the most important temperature is the basking SURFACE temperature. This is the spot where your dragon actually will go to bask. And this needs to be the surface temp.

Those dial stick on thermometers, sorry to say, are junk. They don't even read the ambient air temps very accurately. I've tested some and found them to be off by over 20 degrees. In one extreme case, it was off by over 40 degrees. So needless to say, they are not to be trusted with such an important task as this.

You will want to get a digital thermometer with probe end. Luckily they are super cheap. You can pick them up online for around 5 bucks, and usually less than 10 at your local petstores.

You just simply place the probe on your basking site, and let it come up to temperature. Just make sure the probe is actually resting on the site. This will give you an accurate surface temp. At least within a degree or two. Unlike your dial thermometers which have no way to give you a surface temp.

I have a feeling based off of what you described that your tank might be too hot. However that's just a guess, and until you get a device to test your temperatures accurately, we are all guessing ;)

So to be clear, do you have a total of 4 bulbs? 2 powersuns, a zoomed, and a reptisun? you said an 80 and 100 watt powersun. If so that is way overkill.

Ideally, most of us here like using a long fluorescent UV bulb, and 1 basking bulb. The basking bulb provides the proper temps, and the long fluorescent UV provides the uv for the tank. Those screw in UV bulbs (which is what I assume you have on your cool side) don't really put out proper amounts of UV for bearded dragons. However, the powersuns do, but only if they are at the proper distance.

If you could clarify your lighting setup a bit we could help more. Or post a picture :)

But definitely get a digital thermometer with probe end and find out what your basking surface temp is. After that you can place the probe somewhere on the cool side to read the cool sides temp.

-Brandon
Follow along with all my beardies. Check out my thread here!: Claud's Crew
P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
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Re: *newbie* confused about ambiant vs. surface temp.

Postby jlawson115 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:37 am

[Click image to enlarge]
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Thanks for the help I will be picking up some new thermometers today. I removed the 100 watt zoo med basking light this morning and put the t5 screw in flouresent in its place. Seems to have made a difference because Phoenix is more active today than I have seen him be for a while. It's his 3rd day in his new home and before that the people had him in a 20 gallon.[Click image to enlarge]

I hope these pictures are viewable, lol I'm not that great with technology!
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Re: *newbie* confused about ambiant vs. surface temp.

Postby DragonPete » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:12 am

Welcome and he's a beautiful Dragon! 🤗 Hope you get everything corrected soon. It's a little overwhelming at first but once the lights and temps are right, it's clear sailing after that. 👍
Glad you found him and us! 🤗
-Dee
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