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What Am I Getting Myself In To??

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ShellsMom, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. ShellsMom

    ShellsMom Member

    Hello, Everyone!!

    My lovely 18 year old daughter is wanting to purchase a Chinese Water Dragon. We have never owned a reptile before. Every pet we have is warm and fuzzy, so I'm a little hesitant...

    Any words of encouragement or advice would be welcomed!!

    Thanx, and have a great Friday!!

  2. kdalecubano

    kdalecubano Active Member

    make sure you do a ton of research. get a proper enclosure and lighting, then test the lighting and humidity before you introduce the water dragon to its enclosure. also, make sure you and your daughter are up to the feeding and caring responsiblities. because it can be a little tough at first but once you have a schedule, its gets easier.

    good luck
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    There is a bit more to owning a CWD than just purchasing it. It is not only an expensive (to care for) animal, but the enclosure for an adult is roughly the size of a refrigerator.

    Check out our care sheet and see if it's right for your house hold.
    Water Dragon Care Guide (Physignathus cocincinus)
  4. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hi and Welcome to the site!
    I would say that its definitely not a beginner lizard, I would never own own myself because of the space requirement!
  5. andys3ballpythons

    andys3ballpythons Elite Member

    welcome, and i agree, because of space issues alone i would say not a good beginner lizard, i personally have a love for bearded dragons, but they can be a handfull on care also as they require a somewhat large enclosure, expensive lights and a life savings worth of crickets, good luck on your decision and once again welcome to the site!
  6. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    Welcome, glad you joined. Definitely do your research and make sure the animal would be right for you. Make sure to read the caresheet provided.

    Good luck! :)
  7. ShellsMom

    ShellsMom Member

    Thanx for all the advice!! I don't think a Chinese Water Dragon is the right choice for us!!

    Now, what does everyone think about a smaller reptile (and hopefully one that's easier to care for) like a Gecko??
  8. Spyral

    Spyral Elite Member

    Welcome to HerpCenter!

    Many geckos are super easy to care for. Good choices for a beginner would be Leopard Geckos (we call 'em leos) and Crested Geckos (cresties). Feel free to nose around the forums and look at care sheets.

    Many people love the interaction that other lizards provides, notably Bearded Dragons (beardies). They are a very popular pet because they are diurnal (awake during the day unlike many geckos) and seem to enjoy human company. They require a bit more work than leos or cresties.

    Good luck in your choice(s)! :)
  9. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    A leopard gecko is a GREAT beginner lizard and they are oh-so-cute!

    OR a crested gecko!

    Leopard geckos require more heat as they are desert lizards, but the geckos themselves are cheap. Crested geckos are a little more expensive, but they do not require quite as much heat(many people don't have to do anything because their home is already a comfortable temperature for the gecko!) and they have an awesome crested gecko diet which means you don't have to feed them crickets(or if you want to feed them crickets you can still feed them this diet on days when you don't have the time to buy them)

    Both are adorable. I have three leopard geckos and I want a crested gecko! Both are the easiest things you'll ever care for.
  10. ShellsMom

    ShellsMom Member

    Gecko question: How come all the Geckos I see are brown or spotted with brown? What about the cute little green geckos?? lol

  11. Spyral

    Spyral Elite Member

    Depends on the TYPE of gecko. They've all evolved in different niches to fit their environment. When captive bred, however, you can see an amazing improvement on color.

    There are soooo many geckos available, in a range of colors (but generally not bright purple).

    If you like green, you could have a green anole lizard, they are simple to keep but I am not sure how much they will tolerate handling. They're pretty fast!

    Phelsuma species are also very pretty, daytime geckos but should not be handled due to their delicate skin.
  12. Dragonflies

    Dragonflies Banned User

    Welcome, you've been given good advice so far.

    things I would suggest to think about.

    Leopard Geckos make good pets, a 20 gallon enclosure will be fine. Costs are lower than some reptiles because they don't need a UVB light. You do have to be prepared to provide crickets, mealworms etc.

    Crested Geckos are great pets, they take handling well. You will need a taller rather than wider enclosure. You can make a nice, natural looking environment for them with plants for them to climb and hide in. No UVB light required, but you do have to maintain humidity. Feeding is convenient, there is a special diet for them, and you would only really need to give crickets as a treat.

    Bearded dragons are great if you want a larger, friendly lizard. Costs will be higher, UVB light required, 4'x2' enclosure is the minimum size you would need. Unlike the geckos suggested, they are active during the day. Feeding will obviously be more expensive, because they are a larger animal. Veggies as well as crickets need to be provided. A young one starts of with 80% crickets, 20% veggies. As they grow they will eventually end up 80% veggies, 20% crickets, but that still means quite a lot of crickets because of the full grown size of the dragon.

    All three suggestions will be captive bred, which minimizes potential health problems from the get-go as long as you get them from a respectable seller. Chances of having to deal with parasites are low with captive bred, it's still worth going to a vet for an initial check up and fecal exam though.

    Just to reiterate, if you decide to get a reptile, whichever one you get, get all the equipment and set it up before you get your pet. If temps and everything are right, you can introduce your pet into their new home and they will settle in much quicker if you're not having to go in and change things around.
  13. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    You are probably seeing house geckos near your house.

    Check out gecko breeder websites if you want to see your options, you can see some amazing color 'morphs' that they have available! Places like the urban gecko or gecko daddy have some pretty cool geckos in their collection. You might find the morph you like!

    And of course if you are willing to wait to buy at a convention rather than a petstore, they will be many times cheaper and many times healthier usually! And you will have a greater variety to choose from!
  14. ShellsMom

    ShellsMom Member

    I've saw those little green anole lizards, but they are VERY small. We wanted something that we could have some interaction with and hold outside it's cage. A gecko might even be too small.

    Wow...this decision is harder then I thought it would be!!

  15. ShellsMom

    ShellsMom Member

    I haven't thought of looking at a Gecko breeder website!! I will check that out. We're pretty limited here with pet stores that sell reptiles. We have a Petco and a Pet Smart. There is only one family owned pet store that I know of that sells reptiles in the area.

    I'm also thinking about looking at the Bearded Dragons. This might be something that my daughter would like. We wanted a "friendly" lizard. I have a friend that has an iguana, but it has a horrible personality. They had previously owned two that passed away and loved them. She said you never know what you're going to get...of course, it's that way with dogs and cats!!
  16. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    Leopard geckos can get about 8 inches long! They are fun to play with :)

    Beardies get BIG though! If you want something bigger than a foot, beardies are great! And yes, breeders will give you so much more options
  17. andys3ballpythons

    andys3ballpythons Elite Member

    the way you are talking i think a bearded dragon would be excelent if you can afford it, the bulbs need replaced every 6 months and they are around $30 a piece, crickets can be pricey unless you breed them, but dubia roaches are easier to breed and dont stink, as it sits right now i have 8 live beardies and 10 eggs in the incubator, beware that if you ever decide to get a second beardie males will kill eachother, and a m/f pair will constantly try to breed, and breeding can shorten the females life span. no matter what your choice, every one on hc is ready to help with any advice and questions.
  18. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    You are getting some great advice. :) One thing to definately think about crested geckos is that the temperature of the house cannot go beyond 80 degrees. They will stress and die. Just noticing that you live in N.C. and hopefully you have central air or air
    Good luck in your decision! It is wonderful that you are doing your research FIRST. Most new people don't and end up having problems.
  19. ShellsMom

    ShellsMom Member

    I want to thank everyone (again) for all of the great advice and wisdom you are sharing with me!!

    I'm going to have my daughter read these posts, so she will understand that you can't just go buy something at the pet store because it "looks cool"!!

    I had did some research on the internet before I joined your website, and I was already having second thoughts concerning the larger lizards.

    I feel like we should start out with a Gecko and see how things go. If my daughter and I feel confident with the smaller lizard, then we might look into a Bearded Dragon somewhere down the road.

    I will definitely be on this site a lot for advice and to ask questions!!

    Thanks, once again!!

    Oh, and to the person that asked if we had central air conditioning...YES!! Lord, we would die in the summertime if we didn't!! lol
  20. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I found this breeder is Charleston SC, he has some pretty nice Leopard geckos!

    Pro Geckos

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