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Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by DomezticTunerz, Feb 3, 2009.

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  1. Sorry it has taken me so long to post up about myself and my baby CWD but I was waiting until I could get some decent pictures of our habitat to post as well!

    Anyways, my name is Jason. I am currently a 4th year student at the University of Wisconsin Madison studying Business Economics. My girlfriend , Christal, and myself decided about a month ago we wanted to get a CWD. Prior to that we almost had gotten a puppy but decided to wait. Instead, we have taken the funds we had saved for a puppy and invested that money and MUCH more into giving our CWD the best living conditions possible.

    Moving on, I am entirely new to CWD's as of about one month ago but I do have a vast knowledge about them from reading several books and following along on the forums. I have taken every step possible to give my baby the best home she can possibly have and to keep her as healthy as possible. I am always open to any pointers by anyone but I will layout exactly what is contained in the habitat in list form for everyone in case anyone is looking for a particular product or to do a similar set up! Here we go....

    -Exo-Terra 36x18x24 Glass Terrarium
    -Aquatic Gravel (med and large) 110 lbs.
    -Turtle Reserves (4 from petsmart reptile section, these are the water barriers)
    -TetraFauna Decorative ReptoFilter waterfall and tank filter
    -Slate stones and Rocks for aquariums
    -MagNaturals Magnetic Rock Ledge
    -Fluker's Natural Driftwood Large
    -Custom driftwood on slate
    -Fancy Plants for ground vegetation
    -Tetra aquatic plants for ground and water vegetation
    -Exo-Terra water lettuce
    -Exo-Terra Hanging Vegetation
    -Exo-Terra Spanish Moss for Vines
    -Exo-Terra Large Vine
    -Exo-Terra Small Vine

    -Flukers 8.5" Dome (2)
    -Flukers 10" Dome (1)
    -Fukers 5.5" Dome (2)
    -Exo-Terra 150w Infrared Heat
    -Exo-Terra 26w 10.0 UVB (2)
    -Exo-Terra 13w 5.0 UVB (1)
    -ZooMed 75w Basking Spot Lamp
    -Exo-Terra Digital Thermometer
    -ZooMed Stick on Liquid Thermometer (2)
    -Exo-Terra Hygrometer (Analog)

    *Everything is on timers and surge protectors to keep a consistent 12 hour day and maintain humidity.

    -ZooMed Repto-Fogger (For Sale)
    -Exo-Terra Supersonic Fogger (On Order)
    -Exo-Terra BIOTIZE (for aquatic water waste)
    -ZooMed Repti-Safe

    -I use DISTILLED water in EVERYTHING. This included the spray bottle, fogger, and 6 Gallons in the semi-aquatic section.

    **Current habitat state**
    Day Temp (Hot/Basking Zone) --> 93-94 degrees
    Day Temp (Moderate Zone) --> 83-85 Degrees
    Day Temp (Cool Zone) --> 75 Degrees
    Water Temp --> Approx 70-72 Degrees
    Humidity --> 70-80 Percent
    Night Temp --> 75-78 Degrees

    If you have any questions anyone just ask!!!







    BTW--> My 20L which we bought two weeks ago while our Exo-Terra was on order which includes heat bulb, two substrates, water dish (ceramic), background, black background outter wrap, and habihut is all for sale. Make me an offer its a brand new Zilla 20L!!!
  2. Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    In the first picture I thought I would mention if you look in the water on the bottom right, that is my 11" baby water dragon to give you an idea how large this habitat is!!!
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    very pretty habitat, but she will outgrow it eventually. Then you can start this never ending process - once you have a larger cage for her, that one will be available for another creature to occupy.

    I have an empty right now.... decisions decisions.
  4. Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    Only if my CWD turns out to be a male though the vet, my girlfriend, and myself from research and photos believe our baby will be a female... music to our ears! If so, we can keep her in this habitat which is by no means finished but only just started. If not, we will go bigger and get some red eye tree frogs for this one!
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    I'd go bigger anyways, the size difference between males and females is not always as great as described in textbooks. Even a female needs a large enclosure. And it is very difficult to accurately sex a young dragon. Mine is about 2 years old, and I'm still not sure what gender "she" is.

    And then you could have frogs too (that setup would be great for them!)
  6. Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    Just the thought of going bigger makes me nauseous having just spent $1200 between our 20L and this Exo-Terra..... at least its a long ways away. My 20L hasn't even sold yet.... depressing!

    Also, like I said we still have quite a ways to go on this habitat as far as what we want to add with regards to vegetation and vines not to mention the new fogger and whatnot! I wish I could have the CWD and a red eye tf in the same habitat for now but I don't trust the CWD or RETF with each other alone even though that would be really neat!
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    Yeah, your dragon would probably make an attempt to eat the RETF. Even if it didn't, the frog would be stressed just by the presence of the lizard.

    My female, being only two years old, is 22 inches already. She should be a bit bigger, but her previous owners near starved her, so you can imagine her growth was slowed there for a bit. These lizards can get to be 3-4 feet, with the males typically being larger.
  8. Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    A CWD?!?!?! 3-4 FEET?! I'm absolutely shocked to hear that since the books say about 36" with a fully intact tail and the vet said not even that big typically.... she said ours looks like he/she (more likely a she) shouldn't be any larger than 22-26 inches. I mean, we know someone with an adult female that is 25 inches with her body being only about 7 or 8 inches of that length so their CWD would do great in our habitat seeing as they have the exact same exo terrarium and a similar interior. I just want to make sure that number is correct because that seems a little on the large side to me! I do appreciate the input and advice though its always necessary for anyone to gain knowledge and improve the living conditions of such a lizard species :)
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    36 inches is 3 feet, and they can get a bit larger than that. From what I hear though, 4 feet, while it can be reached, is uncommon. 2-3 feet is average, I'm just saying, they do sometimes get above average. Better to be prepared than caught off-guard.

    and most of it IS tail, after all.
  10. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    There is no way that habitat will hold any adult water dragon, so you need to start planning your new enclosure NOW. The size for them is roughly 350 GALLONS, male or female. There isn't too much of a size difference between them. Without a larger cage they will get extreme nose rub, which can lead to infection and death, among many other health problems. A good standard footprint for them is 3 x 4 x 6 FEET. Think about it this way, your tank is 36 inches wide, and their body including tail is 36 -48" wide. That's like making you live in a bathroom.

    Your best bet is to build it yourself. They don't do good with glass at all, so your best bet is wood with one glass panel. There is no need to worry about spending $1200 for it either, with all the equipment you have now, much of it is transferable. I'm super happy you got all the UVB and water right. Lots of people don't do that and it leads to horrible things in the future.

    The other thing you need to know, is distilled water is bad for them. They need either spring water, or tap water.

    And I can't believe you need a humidifier with all that water. Try a simple fish tank water heater. That will make the water warmer than the air, causing it to evaporate and giving off humidity. My Pyxie frog tank is a constant 70% and its because it has a custom wood lid.
  11. Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    So I need to be purchasing spring water?! My local reptile expert told me distilled water is great because it is free of all the chemicals found in tap water which I do have repti-safe for.... and... it will be better for my feeder fish. I am also using the exo-terra biotize to add useful bacteria to the water which is safe for both the cwd and the fish.

    As far as humidity, I now have the exo-terra ultrasonic submersed fogger instead of my zoo med which I was using in the pictures and yes, unfortunately, I do need it to maintain humidity.

    Last, we went to this habitat to reduce the nose rub and our baby has ZERO snout damage because of all our precautionary measures we have used such as a custom set of curtains for the sides and front of the tank in order to keep her from outside disturbances while in the adjustment period. Thermostats and timers are used to maintain consistency and a well balanced diet consisting of gut loaded and organic fed insects.

    I will certainly look into a larger habitat but I must say my local expert told me this is MORE than enough habitat for her. Regardless it doesn't really matter because we have one happy CWD and that is what its all about right?!
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    Does this expert work at a pet shop? Not all, but the vast majority of pet shops really don't give a **** about the animals as much as they do the sale - that's how they make their buck, and earn their paychecks.

    How do you know it's happy? did it tell you? Nobody can ever really know with animals what's going on in their minds, scientists are just starting to scratch the surface of cognitive thinking in higher animals, nevermind the cold-blooded ones.

    To say any animal is happy is really just anthropomorphism - projecting human thoughts and emotions onto a non-human object.

    What we DO know is that each species requires a minimum of space to reach it's full potential - and even that knowledge is changing fast. Mostly what it boils down to is how big the enclosure is compared to the animal that lives in it. That enclosure is as big, in it's widest dimension, as the length of your animal, and your dragon is not done growing. That would be like you living in a jacuzzi or a bathroom. That wouldn't be enough space for you to thrive in.

    as a general rule with cages, there is no such thing as "too big". all of these animals thrived in nature for thousands (millions!) of years before we started confining them to cages. Nothing we can ever build will be as big as nature made it.
  13. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    Your local "expert" is now wrong on two counts. Distilled water contains none of the trace minerals that spring or tap water contain, which are needed.

    Tap water is fine and you don't even need to treat it. The only thing that needs treating is chlorine, and that's only for amphibians.
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    And if you are worried about the chlorine, you can dechlorinate regular water by letting it stand for 24 hours - the chlorine will evaporate. you don't need any fancy chemicals to do it for you. Just fill up a few empty 2-liter bottles or milk jugs and keep them on hand. Then you'll always have some ready.
  15. Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    The expert whom I refer to is the owner of a reptile only store. He has been handling water dragons and other species for 25 years. No, I did not get my CWD from him but I have been working closely with this expert in order to provide the BEST home for our baby CWD.

    The enclosure is not as wide as the length of my CWD. In fact its not even close. The habitat is 18" deep, 36" long, and 24" high. My CWD is only 10.2" right now from the tip of her snout to the tip of her tail. Trust me she is very content in this habitat and I know this by her behavior and color when she is upset versus when she is very content.

    I only posted this to share with others who may be interested in building something as elaborate and realistic as mine or a few other set ups out there. This is for the single reptile owner who puts their entire heart and soul into providing the best, most natural habitat for their new family member.

    Not everyone will like my set up, I understand that. I just ask that you add something constructive to this thread rather than bashing my new enclosure and the gentleman who has been kind enough to work closely with us at no charge to build a beautiful semi-aquatic terrarium.

    Please don't take all of that the wrong way, this thread was supposed to be for the beginners out there who are looking for ideas or anyone else who has an infant to house.
  16. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    You cage looks very nice. It will serve him/her well while he/she is a baby.
    It doesn't need a huge cage yet, but it would be in the dragon's best interest for it to have a larger cage once it gets bigger.
  17. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Re: My Baby CWD FINALLY!!

    I love it, it really looks stunning! The joy of putting everything together will soon make you forget the amount spend. I can just imagine how awesome your next enclosure will look!
  18. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Your tank is very nice, but very nice looking or not, we would like to point out things that could make it better. Not to mention you have provided information we disagree with and will want everyone reading this thread to have ALL opinions.

    I would seriously think about cross referencing everything your friend says with other resources. Take the time to do some research and come to your own conclusions. Specifically, check out this site and our care sheet.
  19. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Welcome to Herp Center! It looks like you have made a good start on your dragon's series of homes it will need.

    To answer the questions about distilled water : Herps and Distilled Water
    It is actually VERY dangerous for any kind of reptile - honestly for any kind of animal (humans included) that rely on osmosis to maintain homeostasis, to use distilled water.

    The set up you have now is great - FOR NOW. But you will find (especially with it only being 2' high) that your dragon will out grow it. Water Dragons are arboreal and need height. Now this may be dismaying to hear - but as already stated, a lot of the stuff you already have will be able to make the move with your dragon. Curtains aren't going to stop the dragon from wanting to find a way to get higher - they will help it feel secure though.

    We aren't telling you this to bash your current viv - just to make sure that you are prepared to be thinking about and hopefully willing to make a bigger enclosure when the time is right. If this one looks this good - I can only imagine how much fun you will have making a larger one look great too.

    One other suggestion I would make is to ditch the magnetic shelf. They have been known to cause many issues with vivs. Either by somehow injuring the animal (by falling off the wall and the animal going with it, or by somehow some body part getting between the shelf and the wall and becoming crushed) or sometimes even cracking the glass that the walls are made of. If you really want to use that shelf - silicone it in place so that you don't have to worry about it.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ease up there Jason. ;)
    You have a wonderful enclosure and I commend you on your talent in decorating it. Its absolutely gorgeous, and would be great with a different species.
    Nobody is intentionally bashing anyone! But there were points that needed to be made.
    Water dragons are a very active lizard that live in the trees. As such they require a large, tall enclosure to be at their best. In their minds being able to go "up" is where safety is. Sure the dragon can live in a cramped enclosure for a while, But is that really what you want? Judging by the effort you have put into the current enclosure I don't think so.
    You say the dragon is content, but if you have never seen one in an appropriately sized cage how do you know the difference?
    In a too small enclosure, whether you recognize it or not, they will feel trapped, unable get away from anything that frightens them. This will cause stress and eventually that stress will weaken their immune system and expose them to illness. It may also lead to snout rubbing as the dragon seeks to escape from the frightening situation. This may be a reflection, A light shining on the cage, another animal or a piece of clothing with a pattern that disturbs them.
    Iguanas have the same problem, people think that they can keep them in a cage which is too small and they never live out their normal life expectancy.
    On the subject of distilled water. Liz is correct, it is not what you want. Many people use the terms distilled water when they are referring to any bottled water. And for years that was all there was. If it came in a bottle it was distilled water. Distilled water has been,... well,... distilled. That means it is completely void of any trace minerals or salts. In other words its a wet vacuum. Fish or amphibians placed in distilled water will die because nature hates a vacuum. The distilled water will actually pull the salts and minerals it is lacking out of the cells of the animals. Then they die. Even we could not survive if all we drank was distilled water.
    Spring water is filtered but not distilled. It still retains the salts and minerals.
    As for your dragon, tap water is fine to drink but I would use dechlorinator for the swimming area as the chlorine will kill the fish.
    You stated that this thread was in order to help any beginner that was looking into waterdragons. We would be remiss in not pointing out a few inaccuracies.
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