The most common water dragons in the pet industry are the Australian and the Chinese Water Dragons. They are intelligent animals that are usually brown or green. In general they can be conditioned to handling and make good pets when cared for properly. Water dragons are diurnal animals, so they are active during the day. They require UVB lighting in order to properly metabolize their food and build strong bones. Without it they can fall victim to MBD, a life threatening metabolic disease. Adult Water Dragons also require ample swimming space in addition to roaming room. The average adult Water Dragon will require a minimum of a 75 gallon tank, with time outside the enclosure to exercise. If the animal does not leave its enclosure it should be given a minimum of 4' x 4' x 2' to provide ample space to move. Some are prone to rubbing their noses on the sides of glass enclosures which can cause wounds. Apply Reptanicals Sore Snouts to heal damage, and consider placing something solid on the sides of the enclosure so the walls are visible.
Water dragons are climbers in addition to swimmers and appreciate a variety of branches and vines large enough to support their body weight. Reptile nets and ladders, wall feeding platforms, and suspended sleeping areas are also readily used. Males can become aggressive and should not be housed together. Shedding problems typically only arise from inadequate humidity or hydration. A swim area large enough for the water dragon to fully submerge and twice the body length is preferable. Babies should be given water dishes no deeper than their chins so they can soak without the risk of drowning. Foggers can be used to increase or maintain humidity in screen top aquariums. Water Dragons benefit from having bio-active terrariums. The live plants provide additional moisture and enrichment while springtails and isopods clean up mold and decaying matter such as uneaten pieces of feeder insects and their uneaten vegetable scraps and food. Need isopods and springtails? Reptanicals Cleaner Crews provide both in one easy kit!
(Australian Water Dragon)
Size: 2-3 ft (70-75% of total length is tail)
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Food Preferences: crickets, mealworms, superworms, dubia roaches, red runner roaches, waxworms (as occasional treats). Adults may eat pinky mice or fish
Temperature Requirements: daytime 85-95*F on warm side and 75-85* on cool side of the enclosure, night time temps can drop about ten degrees
Lighting: UVB 5.0 - 12 hours a day
Breeding: Can be difficult, largely not done in captivity due to high number of cheaply imported wild-caught specimen in pet trade
Substrate: 2-3" soil and coconut coir mix*
*If not provided ample water to swim in, these animals can easily stress in captivity and be prone to obsessive digging or rubbing behaviors. This can lead to a number of ailments such as eye-infections (due to substrate in eyes), open wound on snouts from rubbing, and head abrasions from burrowing under decor or rubbing on screen lids.
Suggested Products: Reptanicals Sore Snouts, Reptanicals Shed Support, Isopod Cleaner Crews, fossil feeder dish