Awwww that’s great that your dragon is drinking
! It’s pretty awesome what some water can do, as oral hydration
can often be overlooked for beardies. It’s so so important. The more you can get him used to accepting water this way on a regular basis, the more confident you can feel in knowing he is well hydrated
- this way you can check that off the list when trying to narrow down things should any health issues arise in the future. As a bonus, it’s a way to bond and develop trust
Once you get all your proper lighting / lighting issues worked out on this thread with people, then you’ll then be able to get accurate temps and such. Here is little rule of thumb on thermometers and temperatures that might simply things …
There are really three important temperatures to always keep in check for the two main areas of your enclosure … so for ease, that would be the hot side temps and the cool side temp
This is where the your tube UVB bulb
will be as well as your more “regular looking” bulb - which will be the heat bulb/ UVA bulb. These two bulbs are harmonious, they work together, one providing heat and the other providing essential UVB to mimic the sun of the climate they thrive in. I always think of it these two bulbs as *best friends*!
Hot Side - 2 temperatures readings:
The ambient/air temperature and the basking surface temperature.
The ambient temp here will be measured using a small digital thermometer. This will be lower than your basking surface temp.
The basking surface temp will be measured using a small digital thermometer with a probe that you can just sit on the basking surface/surfaces. Things like his/her basking logs, basking rocks/basking platforms and even the floor of the enclosure on the hot side of the enclosure. The places he would access to under his heat lamp - you measure the temperature of these surfaces with that probe. Lots of people tend to just place the probe on the surface closest to the heat bulb, which will give you the maximum basking surface temp your dragon will have access too - that’s the key temp to keep your eye on. This will be higher than your ambient/air temp. You can also have a digital temp gun on hand as well. These may not work on certain surfaces, but I like to have one around to spot check and compare areas that a probe might not sit the best on.
Cool side - 1 temperature
The ambient/air temperature here will be measured with a small digital thermometer.
If you choose to use a bulb on this side for brightness reasons, this would be a more “regular looking” bulb again - but a lower wattage so it is not producing the same amount of heat that your hot side bulb is. This is an area that they can be in to to “take a break” - a break from basking, a break from the UVB, to take a break from the more concentrated heat. I do not personally use a bulb on this side - her enclosure is a custom bright white material, and it stays well lit in this area without being as
bright as the opposite side. It’s a bit nice reprieve for her.
The middle of the tank will be somewhere in between the two ambient/air temperature readings. The changes in temps from one side to another is the lovely temperature gradient. I do not personally use a thermometer in the middle of her enclosure, I can see the temperature gradient is working by the differences in the readings from the two opposite sides.
Remember - you’re two temperature readings on the hot side will usually differ significantly. As long as they are in the correct range and the temps are what your dragon seems to do best in, then you’re doing things right. For example, babies may like it hotter than adults, your wattage of the heat bulb, etc.
To give you an idea of temps in my girls enclosure, her hot side ambient/air temp may hang around 83 - 86 F, but her basking surfaces temps will be higher at ranges of 93F - 100 F, depending on what she is sitting on, and how close that surface or object is to her heat source.
These are not meant to reflect your current numbers, just an example of what temps happen to have in my adult dragons enclosure - but as you can see, there is a difference in the temps that are the exact same side of the enclosure
Different people go about achieving temps and positional lighting in different ways - but the way I have listed it out here has always worked really well for my girl. It might help you out too should you need it. You have an adorable baby dragon!
Also, remember this is all new for your little guy / girl … so even when you get your conditions spot on, there will probably still be some behaviors you may notice that are different / off as he or she will be getting used to the changes and getting to know and trust you. At first, it’s a big world for a little dragon - and it’s a new world to any dragon as they try to navigate it all.