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Question About Enclosure

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by Runningmom, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Would a 55 gallon tank with some kind of top area to extend the height work for a water dragon? I figure the water (some type of pond) and some land space and then the top would be the basking and climbing space...

    The tank is about 4.5-5 ft long about 3 ft deep I think and 18 in wide. I am not 100% sure on that measurement. It is guessing. Lol. I will measure in a minute. But if I have a top on it then it will be taller.

    What should I use to keep it in? Some kind of screen? Or plexiglass? Would that make it have not enough ventilation? Too much?

    I haven't thought out all the other details yet such as lighting.

    I would like to use the 55 for awhile if possible. But if I have to I might be able to have someone build a custom enclosure that would be to the proper dimensions. Like 6x3x6 or something.

  2. Zappa230

    Zappa230 Elite Member

    That should be okay until the ill critter grows to about 10 inches to a foot. I'd say expand with plexiglass and make a chicken wire lid. Just make sure to robber coat the chicken wire. I'm referring to the square type, just so you know. Look in to the details. Also, upgrade once the lizard hits 12 inches. I'm not a big water dragon person, so I am not 100% sure, but we have some great water dragon owners on here, so they can give better advice.
  3. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    http:// here is an example of what I am trying to see if I can do with my 55gal.

    Thanks :). I am just trying to save some money...use the 55 because we have it lol. I know that isn't ideal in the long run...and it isn't a problem to buy or have another one made in the future. I was wondering about chicken wire.

    What I was thinking is make a wood frame with plexiglass front and sides or wood side and plexiglass in front, with the chicken wire on top- which is kind of what you said. Lol

    Thanks. I keep looking at all the pix for other ideas. I saw one on Yu tube that I was trying to copy lol
  4. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    To be honest, I think making a custom top for a 55 gallon is a waste of your time and money. A 55 gallon is too small for a water dragon, and IMO your time and money would be better spent working on an enclosure it can live in for more then a few months. I am not trying to be rude, and will help in any way I can, I just do not want to see you waste your time.
  5. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    I don't think that is rude:). Thanks. That is why I asked questions lol. I figured I might be able to use that 55 which is in my hallway and it needs something. Maybe some frogs lol. I have wanted fire bellied toads for a long time too. Plus it might be easier to come up with a dream plan for a custom enclosure that could also be pretty. I am not sure where it will go...maybe the dining room. (We never eat in there, and it would be a good place for a lizard).

  6. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    My wife just finished cleaning her fire-belly toads. They are fun! I saw in your other post you have a 125 gallon fishtank? That is a great size to build up for a water dragon. I have built enclosures over 125's and 240's in the past. The water dragon will use every inch of it. They spend (ideally) their time in the wild perched on branches over streams and rivers, generally near tall grassy banks. A large fishtank is a perfect place to put some branches and a build over to make the dragon feel very secure and comfortable. They are such fascinating animals, very agile and active. The more you suit their needs, the more of a joy they are to watch.
  7. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    I use a 55 gal which is 48in long 12in deep and 21inches high, is ok for hatchlings for a few months but it doesnt give alot of room for accessories and it is hard to keep heat and humidity in them.
    I used one for about 4months for a very ill dragon I had and that is the only reason it lasted that long. If she had been healthy it wouldnt have lasted long at all.
    I did however use a 90gallon tank with another tank flipped on top of it to add height for an extended amount of time for my current cwd. That lasted until he was about 18in then I had the adult enclosure built.

    Check craigslist for extremely large tanks 125+gallons and those would make an excellent base for an adult enclosure. Also look on craigslist or antique stores, furniture stores, or thrift stores for large solid wood entertainment centers, cabinets, hutches, or bookshelves that you could easily convert into an enclosure.

    as far as ideas on the tanks here is how I had my 55 set up: iphonejun72012 070.jpg its very basic with not alot of climbing as she was prone to falling and had several fractures from it already.
    then progression photos of my 90gal. iphonejun72012 068.jpg slightly more decorated (this is without the vines) it has a little area for climbing but most of the floor space was a preformed pond liner with an elevated platform/hide. I had chunks of large diameter pvc tube buried in the substrate around the pond as he loved to dig. iphonejun72012 151.jpg
    then he needed more climbing room so I tried this: cages 002.jpg 060 (3).JPG cages 005.jpg 061 (2).JPG In this set up I had a 30gal flipped on top and used pvc and rope to make a branch that fit perfectly in the cage.
    This set up would be more than enough room for a young hatchling for about a year or so depending on the growth rate of your cwd. If you cant find a 90g or larger on craigslist, petco often has a $1 per gallon sale on fish tanks so you can get a 90gal for $90, Then you could flip the 55 on top of it for added height. The rest of the lid you would need to make out of wire or mesh for ventilation and the lights would need to be mounted inside the enclosure as there will only be about 6in difference between the depth of the 90 and of the 55. But if at all possible it is best to just save your money and build or buy the adult enclosure from the get go.
  8. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    55 is good for a beardie for a while but a bigger enclosure is definately needed as it gets older.
  9. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    She isn't asking about a beardie though she is wanting a CWD.
  10. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Well eventually I want a bearded dragon too :).

    I have two 125 gallons, both are being used. My turtle is in 125, and there are 26+ fish in the other 125 gallon. I don't have o have a tank...we might be able to build or have someone build an enclosure.
  11. Nickysixx

    Nickysixx Elite Member

    I currently have my chinese water dragon in a 40 Gallon and I had to rush and build a large termperoray because he's growing quick. You'll find small enclosure's they are always looking for more reasons to escape which leads to them jumping off there branches into the glass because they have no concept of glass. So I finally made a larger tank 4' Wide 5' high 2' deep wich is only a temp again for a year or so untill I can buy a 120 gallon and build on top of it. I definetly recommend a larger enclosure for a CWD. I find my restless at times a lot. He's moving into his bigger home tonight. Good luck! Hope to hear about you building an eclosure soon! Make sure all chemicals are cured before moving him in!

  12. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I was thinking larger would be better too. We got an awesome deal last year on Craigslist. I got the 125 gal (the second one) for 125$, and that included a really nice wood stand! It is really sturdy and heavy.

    image.jpg this is the little Chinese water dragon that started it all lol. He was at the pet store when I was getting fish or something. And I thought or she was so cute. And this started my journey. Lol. It isn't my lizard. But now I really want one!
    These little guys are so cute!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  13. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Now that I measure the 55 tank I am convinced that it wouldn't be a good temporary enclosure because it is about 21 inches deep, and 4 ft long. And 12 inches wide. It is that was why i thought it would work if it had an extension lol.
    So I scrapped that idea.

    So I was looking at the shower. I can't convert any showers, but the enclosure could easily be made like a shower and use the dimensions of it. I just wonder if the shower is long enough...I think it is a normal size one. About 6ft tall, 3 or so ft wide and possibly about 4 ft long. Depending on where I decide to put the thing, it could be 6 by 3 by 4.5 or 5 ft. Is that big enough? The cold side would be on the bottom. And basking on top. I am going to keep looking at different enclosures.:)
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You might check out the free standing shower stalls at a builders supply. One of our former staff had one she made for her iguana that was outstanding!
  15. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Yes a shower stall would be adequate.
    My adult enclosure is a 4ft wide 3ft deep and 7ft tall it is a decent size for one CWD.
  16. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    http:// is one that someone made. I have no idea if it is available. We saw one awhile back that would probably have been perfect but I can't remember how much it was. It looks like a good deal but hard to tell if it is in ok condition....the poster said they had a boa and also an iguana in there so it would probably secure a water dragon.
  17. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    Oh yah! An existing shower stall would be an excellent idea! I like those cages by design lol. Too much money for me, but very nice. I may have someone who could build something like those if my husband will let me lol. My husband could make one but not much time to do it...he built two of our fish tank stands. One has doors. The other is just a basic frame. But our friend could make a cabinet I bet. For a shower enclosure I think I'd like some sort of "case" around it because it will probably be in an area that's in the heart of the house. Or, is it better to have them in a place that is quieter? Quiet in my house isn't existent but I would say there are less busy areas. Lol
    Thanks for those ideas.
  18. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    If you had enough hiding places and their wasn't loud jarring noises a CWD would be fine in a room with lots of activity. Mine is in the room that leads to the backyard and is right off the kitchen so people are always around throughout the day and dogs are constantly running back and forth and Tai's fine with it.

    Actually having it in an area with people would get it used to people faster. Though the first few days while it is settling in you would want to keep the cage covered with a blanket or something to minimize stress but once they are settled in it would be fine.
  19. Runningmom

    Runningmom Elite Member

    image.jpg . Haha that isn't too bad. It has shelves built in and I have no idea if that would work as far as the shelves. Then I would have to figure out doors and a top :). But it is a neat idea
  20. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Top can easily be made out of wood with a little mesh or wire for the lights to sit on. The shelves would need to be lined with something rough in order for the CWD to be able to use them. I personally if I was going to use something like that would use the shelves to hold planter boxes and then on one side I would use a shelf to help hold up the basking shelf. As far as doors well use a sliding shower door-the same kind you would use if this was in your bathroom. Add a little weather dripping to the inside door to sober the cap between the doors and your good.

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