Water Dragon Care Guide

Posted on July 13, 2020

Generally found in areas such as Thailand, China, South East Asia, Indo-Australian Archipelago and tropical rain forests. Water Dragons have a total length of about 90cm (3 Feet) the majority of which is the tail. Maturity is reached by 2 to 3 years of age.

DIET

Water Dragons are mainly insectivorous animals. Foods eaten consist of anthropods, frogs, small lizards, birds, mealworms, wax worms, black field crickets, locusts, brown crickets, earthworms, fish, pink mice and some fruit. However, they do tend to have a habit of only eating food which moves (alive). Wriggling the dead food sometimes works but not always. Unfortunately not all of the above foods have a high nutritional content and many illnesses are due to an unfortified diet.

REQUIREMENTS

Heat Source:- This should be a guarded reflector spot bulb (either red, green or blue). Heat mats may also be used as an extra source of heat, but they are not essential. UV Light Source:- Water Dragons require a UVB 5.0% light. This should be left on for 8 to 12 hours a day and replaced every 6 months unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. This will create a day and night time effect as well as give your water dragon sufficient levels of UV. Housing:- This should consist of a spacious dark wooden vivarium with glass frontage and adequate ventilation. Juveniles would require a vivarium measuring 45cm long by 30cm deep by 45cm high (18 inches long by 12 inches deep by 18 inches high). An adult would require a vivarium measuring 120cm long by 60cm deep by 120cm high (4ft long by 2ft deep by 4ft high). These measurements are to be used as a guideline only. Thermostat:- An essential part of any vivarium and is required to regulate the internal temperatures of the vivarium and to prevent your pet from becoming too hot or too cold. Wire Mesh Guards:- These should be fitted over all heat sources used in order to prevent thermal burns. Thermometers:- One should be placed at each end of the vivarium in order to give an accurate reading of the temperatures within the enclosure. Never go by the temperature on the thermostat as these are often inaccurate. Hides:- These are essential to prevent stress and allow your pet to hide away from the outside world. Artificial plants, boxes, plant pots, caves etc. all make excellent hides. Climbing Facilities:- These can be branches, logs, rocks etc. Care must be taken to ensure that there are no sharp edges, which could cause injury to the animal.

WATER

Water Dragons love to swim and dive into water. A large water bowl or small pool should be fitted into the base of the vivarium to enable the animal to use when needed.

TEMPERATURE

A basking area of 31 – 34°C (86 – 92°F) is required. The background temperature should range between 28 – 29.5°C (77 – 84°F).

HUMIDITY

65 to 85% with the occasional misting using tepid water.

LONGEVITY

If kept under the correct conditions and given the correct diet a Water Dragon can live for 10 – 15 years with some exceeding this.

SUBSTRATE

This can be anything from newspaper, brown paper or even astro turf. Whatever you use remember that it must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent contamination from disease. Never feed your Water Dragon over substrate which it might swallow. For this reason corn cob and wood chippings should not be used as substrate.

SALMONELLA

Many reptiles carry the naturally forming bacteria Salmonella. It must be stated that salmonella bacteria can only be contracted by ingestion (via the mouth). Good hygiene is therefore very important when keeping any animal.

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