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New Owner - Chinese Water Dragon Laying On Tree?

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by CORE_Blake, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. CORE_Blake

    CORE_Blake Member

    Hey everyone,

    I purchased a Chinese Water Dragon about three weeks ago, and have been doing heavy amounts of research ever since. I want everything to be perfect for him. He's seems to by healthy and happy. Although today I came home and found him on top of his tree! No idea how he can even get up there, but I know they like to be up high.

    Anyways, I figured I would post a few pictures of his setup, and hear your thoughts! He has a 75W basking bulb and a separate UVB bulb during the day, and a heating mat / nighttime heat lamp at night. They are all controlled through my smart home configuration, either by time or by temperature. I just got the Exo-Terra Monsoon RS400 for him today.

    He has a 20 gallon glass enclosure, with half bark and half carpet substrate. I feed him crickets and mealworms, with grapes and lettuce on the side.

    What does everyone think?
  2. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Just know that any advice we give isn't an attack on you personally, we just want to help you understand the needs of your animal. First off, that enclosure is way too small, they require an enclosure size of atleast 5'x2'x4' as adults. In my opinion even though he is a juvenile he needs a much larger space than you are providing. The small space will stress out your Dragon, and lead to a multitude of health issues.
    Secondly, what is your humidity levels? Cover up that screen so you can hit that 80% humidity they require. Also a substrate such as eco earth will help with humidity.
    What are your temps? You have the heat lamp nearly in the middle of the enclosure, all heat sources need to be all the way on one side or the other to provide a proper heat gradient. I know that's how they made the top, but manufacturers do stupid things for aesthetics.
    Also gut loaded crickets are great, and mealworms are just O.K. but remember to provide a varied diet so he can be well rounded nutritionally. Try different feeder insects and fruits and veggies.
    Cherux02 likes this.
  3. Cherux02

    Cherux02 Active Member

    You're enjoying running the equipment with the smart phone. Enjoy all the upgrades. First thing I thought was also, go bigger. Like the other post that gave details. Go bigger and a more contained enclosure to hold humidity. A water feature big enough for swimming would be the way I'd go. Offer hides and climbs on both the "hot" end and "cold" end. It's true the heat should be focused on one side so the lizard can thermoregulate. I didnt see mention of a calcium supplement on the food. Grab one of those. If you see him doing "snout rub" running along the wall you may need to put some background around the edges of the tank over his eye level so he doesn't wear off his nose. Enjoy your new family member.
  4. CORE_Blake

    CORE_Blake Member

    I purchased the tank for the size his is now, and intended to upgrade as he got bigger. Sounds like I should do it now. There isn't such thing as going too big is there? Where are the best places online (or in-store) to purchase a large one?

    My humidity varies from 70-80%. The Monsoon misting system I just purchased really helps out.

    Also, what other feeder insects work well? I have only read about crickets, mealworms, waxworms (that I'm told are high in fat and not great), and goldfish (which I think he's too small for).


    Are there any negatives to having the entire bottom of a tank filled with water (obviously a bigger tank than I have)?

    I am using a calcium supplement on the food. And I haven't seen a "snout rub" of any kind, but I'll keep an eye out for it!

  5. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Once you get to the largest sizes of enclosures it's really much more economical to build your own. Sometimes petco has a dollar per gallon sale on fishtanks. That's all that readily comes to mind.
    If the whole floor is water it will be difficult for your lizard to find a dry area to rest... could lead to scale rot or other issues. I would provide a very large water dish but keep atleast half the enclosure dry substrate, or rock shelf or something like that. I know this is a "water" dragon, but they aren't actually aquatic.
    Feeders would be : Phoenix worms, Dubia roaches, lobster roaches, red wigglers, nightcrawlers, fresh uncooked preservative free whole fish or other whole seafood, superworms, hornworms, silkworms, grasshoppers, appropriately sized f/t mice. You can do feeder fish but don't do minnows or goldfish, they are high in thiaminase.
  6. Libby2999

    Libby2999 Member

    Rescued a water dragon myself from a neglected place (along with a couple othere reptiles) and he's looking pretty darn good! Just get him a larger place soon, and keep that humidity up. What I do for mine is cut up leafy greens into small pieces and put them in a dish with small wax worms and in calcium powder to get a varied diet.

    One more thing, I had issues with my water dragon eating the bark substrate. I switch to a coconut fiber mix. Keep an eye out for that you don't want him to eat any of that.
  7. CORE_Blake

    CORE_Blake Member

    I just caught him eating the bark today! I just picked up a MUCH larger tank, 36x18x36, which will do for ahile as he is still a baby.
  8. CORE_Blake

    CORE_Blake Member

    I am wondering though... he loves his super worms when I feed them to him. However, the worms love to crawl right out of his feeding dish and down into the bark! I have to feed them to him one by one, which doesn't always work. Does anyone have a solution to this? I feel like the crickets do the same thing. As soon as I drop them in, they jump away before he eats them. Will he find them and eat them? Or is that bad practice?
  9. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Haven't actually tried this with superworms, but works for some feeders atleast. Food dish with an overhang. Just cut out the center of the lid.
  10. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    You can also pull one or both of the legs off the crickets, so they cant jump around.

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