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Water Dragon Care Sheet
The water Dragon, or chinese water dragon as it's sometimes known, is a very unique lizard. As you may have already guessed this Dragon is not the easiest pet lizard to care for. This is primarily because you need to supply a healthy amount of water for This type of Dragon to swim around in. The inconvenience comes from having to change the water every day. The chinese water dragon will naturally do his business in the water, so care must be taken to change the water every day to avoid excessive amounts of bacteria. Also, stop by the page which features a fake rock rain forest! Perfect for water dragons.
Cage An adult chinese water dragon can reach a length of 3 feet long. An ideal cage would be 6 feet long by four or more feet high and 3 feet deep. As mentioned above, a water Dragon needs a healthy amount of water at the base of their cage. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have a front loading tank or cage, and keep a good sized tub at the bottom for holding water. All you have to do then is remember to empty it once a day, clean it out, and put it back. You could build up a landscape around it so the tub looks more natural in the cage.
This type of lizard also needs a lot of branches to climb on, and hide behind. Plants are a good idea, they provide areas in which to hide. Real plants are a little bit more work, but might be worth it as they give off oxygen, help regulate the humidity in the cage- they need to be watered and misted every day, and might reduce stress for your water Dragon. The only drawback to real plants is the fact that crickets sometimes like to lay their eggs in the soil. You also must make sure the plant is free from pesticides - know who you're buying your plants from.
In the wild, Water dragons live in a very humid tropical like environment. You need to make an effort to maintain the humidity levels at around 80%. This involves misting the cage twice a day. Ideally you need to purchase a device that measures humidity, as you will want to mimic a water dragon's natural environment as much as possible. All these attempts to create a natural environment are geared towards reducing the stress your chinese water dragon will endure. A Chinese water dragon would definitely enjoy a waterfall, check out this link on how to create a fake rock waterfall.
Lighting Water dragons, like most lizards, need a UVB light. This is a close mimic of the sun. Lizards need vitamin D3 in which to properly absorb calcium, a UVB light will enable a lizard to do this. Most UVB lights do not produce heat, so an additional -normal bulb light-is needed to achieve proper temperatures. A mercury vapor bulb will produce UVB light in addition to producing heat. Whatever UVB bulb you get, follow the directions as to how close your chinese water dragon needs to get to the bulb without getting too close, to ensure a healthy basking spot. A 60 W to a 150 W regular bulb should be able to get your basking spot to the proper temps. You want your basking spot on one side of the cage so there is a temperature gradient. Your pet Dragon will need this to thermo regulate his temps. You want your basking spot in the neighborhood of 90 to 95. Overall cage temperature should be 82 to 89 during the day, temps can fall to 72 to 82 during nighttime. You need to put your light(s) on a timer and have them on for 10 to 12 hours a day. You also need to get a temperature probe, or a temp gun to accurately know your temps.
Food Water dragons are omnivores, eating mostly insects with some veggies and fruit on the side. About 80 to 90% of the dragons diet should be made up of insects. The other 10 to 20% can be made up of veggies and fruit. Crickets, butterworms, grasshoppers, wax worms and roaches are all common feeder bugs. You want to make sure you dust your feeder bug with a calcium supplement once a day, and dust with a vitamin supplement once a week.  You also want to gut load your feeder bug with nutritious fruits and vegetables 24 to 48 hours before you feed the bugs to your Dragon. They can also eat pinky mice, make sure these mice are dead before feeding. Even though water dragons obviously would eat a live mouse in the wild, the chances of the mouse inflicting a wound are still there and feeding a dead one might save you a trip to the vet.
One thing you want to take notice with a chinese water dragon is its color. A healthy Dragon Will have a bright green color. If its color turns to a more pale faded green then it might be Time to check the temperatures in its cage. A color change could be a sign of illness or stress in general. Take the time to investigate if your Dragon is stressed out for any apparent reason such as temperature, lack of food, or too much food (leftover crickets attacking the Dragon) or it might be time to visit the vet.
The water Dragon probably should be left for a more experienced lizard keeper. The best thing you can do is read more care sheets and familiarize yourself with a book or two on the great lizard known as the chinese water dragon.
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