Bearded dragon thermometers
A thermometer is a testing apparatus used to measure temperature. It is a valuable and necessary accessory that can be used to indicate the immediate or environmental temperature of Bearded dragons and incubators.
Thermometers can either give readings in degrees Celsius (°C), degrees Fahrenheit (°F) or both. They are often used in combination with hygrometer to measure the relative humidity and/or thermostats to control electrical heat sources.
The temperature reading on a thermometer is calculated through a sensor or probe. Most thermometers have an extendable probe which can be placed away from the thermometer itself while others have a build-in sensor.
Thermometers are available from electrical suppliers, general purpose stores, specialised reptile pet shops and online shops.
Types of thermometers
There are mainly two types of thermometers. Digital thermometers will show the temperature reading on a little screen while chemical thermometers use a chemical substance, e.g. mercury, to indicate the temperature on an incremental scale. Digital thermometers generally need some form or power (batteries or electricity) to operate and are somewhat more expensive that chemical thermometers, but they are considered more accurate.
Using thermometers for Bearded dragons
For Bearded dragons, thermometers can be used in a couple of ways. Initially, a thermometer is needed prior to permanently mount heating equipment while setting up a keeping enclosure. It might be worth the while to, for example, test the basking rock temperature before a spotlight fitting is permanently mounted or trust the temperature of a heat/hot rock. This is done by placing the thermometer exactly on the desired spot.
During a Bearded dragon’s lifetime the environmental temperature will also need regular testing to make sure all electrical equipment is still working. Some keepers will permanently mount a thermometer or two somewhere inside the enclosure. This way a sudden temperature deviations can be identified and rectified as soon as it is spotted.
Thermometers are also frequently used while incubating Bearded dragon eggs. The average incubation temperature is a very important factor in dertermining embryo viability, mould growth and the overall incubation period. Most incubators will have their own build-in thermometer, but an external one will work just as well for custom made incubators.
Requirements for Bearded dragons
Some thermometers are limited with regards to their temperature readings. A thermometer made for measuring temperatures in, for example, a freezer will have no use if it can’t read temperatures of around freezing point. When choosing a thermometer to be used for Bearded dragons, higher temperature readings will be required (20 – 45 ºC / 75 – 114 ºF).
The operating humidity must be considered when using the thermometer inside an incubator. Electrical thermometers without an extendable probe must be indicated to be operational in environemnts with high relative humidities.
Other requirements might include reliability, small size and aesthetics.
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