The average adult length
of the water dragon is up to 40” inches.
Ideal daytime temperature for water dragons should range between 75 and 85 degrees. Additionally,
a basking lamp should be used to maintain a local temperature of 90 to 95 degrees. Nighttime temperature should remain between
65 and 75 degrees. The humidity for these lizards should be kept at or near 70 percent.
Chinese water dragons require ultraviolet lighting to maintain good health. Ultraviolet lighting
is recommended for 12 hours per day. The use of a timer will help maintain an accurate lighting schedule.
Water dragons are omnivorous (eat both animal and plant matter). Therefore their diet should include
insects, vegetables, fruit, and prepared foods (such as pelleted dragon food). Insects such as crickets, mealworms, superworms,
and waxworms will be consumed with gusto. Other suggested foods to feed once a week: dark, leafy greens (mustard, collard,
and turnip greens or tops, kale, cabbage, dandelion leaves-steams-flowers, broccoli, clover), legumes, mulberry and grape
leaves, roses, hibiscus, nasturtiums, carnation flowers, cured alfalfa and timothy cauliflower, soy bean sprouts, radishes,
summer and winter squashes, grapes, apples, oranges, pear, peaches, plums, nectarines, dates, all types of melons, strawberries,
bananas, mangoes, and tomatoes. Some high protein content foods suggested are: dry maintenance dog food, tofu, and scrambled
or hard-boiled eggs. When feeding fruits & vegetables, use four vegetables to every fruit per meal. It may be best to
only offer fruits in every third or fourth feeding. Red fruits are great for shy eaters as reptiles are naturally attracted
to the color red. Always remove food four hours after it is offered to prevent spoilage. An easily accessible deep water dish
works best with dragons. Water should be changed daily.
Individual juvenile dragons can be maintained in a 35 to 50 gallon terrarium. As adults, water
dragons should be housed in a 75 gallon terrarium or larger. A screen lid is essential for proper air exchange. These lizards
are best kept singularly. However, for multiple pets, increase habitat size accordingly to ensure each individual lizard has
plenty of space to move about and not interfere with tankmates. An undertank heater should be placed on the same end of the
tank as the basking lamp. A shelter for hiding is necessary, especially if multiple pets are in the same enclosure. Misting
the habitat occasionally will help maintain proper humidity levels and allow for these lizards to intake water in a manner
to which they are accustom.
2” to 3” inches of Bed-A-beast is recommended for water terrariums to maintain the proper
humidity levels within the enclosure.
Water dragons can be long-lived pets if maintained properly.
These water loving animals do best in large terrariums and benefit from the use of air stones in their water bowls. If possible,
small water features should be included within water dragon enclosures to simulate the moving water they are accustomed to
in their native habitat.