Chinese Water Dragons are an active and energetic pet, and require a lot of space to move around, ideally a vivarium of at least 5 x 2 x 3ft, though a greater area would be utilised and beneficial, giving them room to move both left to right, as well as climb up and down, which is what they would be doing naturally in the wild. As their name suggests, they are often found in and around water, so having a large pool, or a paludarium set up, with water at the bottom, is an important part of their welfare. This water should be changed daily to keep it fresh, as reptiles will often defecate in water, or ideally have a filtration system on it, keeping it clean and moving, meaning it is fresh and healthy for the Dragons.
As you can imagine, these Water Dragons like hot temperatures of around 32 - 35C to bask in, dropping to around 15 - 20C overnight. They tend to bask within the foliage in branches, which is why an arboreal set up is so important. This arboreal basking will also mean that a bulb or ceramic will be necessary over other heat sources and should always be controlled by the relevant thermostat. As well as their heat source, they will also require UV lighting, to ensure they are metabolising the right levels of calcium and other nutrients to support their bones, as well as essential organs in the body. The exact bulb that is best will depend on the size of your enclosure, but a 6% T5 should be adequate, as long as the Dragon is basking within 30 - 40cm of the bulb, this will be used in a 12 hour cycle and will need replacing every 12 months to keep it adequate - this may differ depending on the brand of bulb.
Chinese Water Dragon enclosures should have quite a high humidity, of around 80%. This can be achieved by the use of misters or foggers, but having a large volume of water at the bottom, and using a good quality soil substrate, as well as live plants, will also all help to increase the humidity levels, which should be monitored with the use of a hygrometer, ideally a digital one for accuracy. Providing live plants, and plenty of decoration in the form of vines and branches, will ensure this feels and looks like a naturalistic environment for your Water Dragon and provides good exercise and mental stimulation, this can also be moved around every now and then to make it even more interesting for your dragon!
Though some Water Dragons can live together, two females for example, there can often be conflicts between male-female pairs, and male-male pairs, so unless there is scope for an exceptionally large enclosure (up to double the above suggested) to combat these issues, they should usually be housed alone and will not miss company. They should be fed on an insect based diet containing things like crickets, locust, mealworms, cockroaches and occasionally pinkie mice. A small amount of fruit and vegetation can be offered, but it only tends to make up about 10% of their diet.
Swell SuperStore Chinese Water Dragons:
- Current Age/Size - 35cm (10cm snout to vent)
- Adult Expected Size - 24 - 30 Inches
- Habitat - Forest habitats, close to large bodies of water amoungst trees and tall foliage. Semi-Arboreal living.
- Required Enclosure Size - 5 x 2 x 3ft at least
- UV Lighting - 3-4 UVI (6% T5 - 30 - 40cm from basking, 12% T5 40-60cm from basking)
- Expected Lifespan - 15-20 Years
- Temperature Gradient - 20 - 35C
- Humidity Levels - 70 - 80%
- Feeding - Omnivorous - feeding on veg occasionally, also occasional mouse pinky, but mainly live food such as crickets, locust, cockroaches, beetle grubs.
- Handling - Will require taming, usually skittish.
If you like the look of these animals, and would like any further information, please call the shop directly on 0161 351 4705, or contact them for more images or information at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Livestock List is updated regularly, but please call ahead to ensure we still have what you want, or to reserve something you may have seen.