Acquired: Online breeder / seller
Posted Jul 09, 2013
These guys are a smaller lizard. Females get to about 2 feet, males around 3 feet long. They do require a lot of space and have a habit of banging their head if their enclosure is to small. They can cause injuries to themselves including breaking their jaw. A single adult dragon is going to need an enclosure that is apx. 6-8 feet long , 3-5 feet wide and 5 to 6 feet high with branches to climb on, a basking zone with a UVB light and ideally a kitty litter pan as a swimming pool.
Water dragons are omnivores, they need protein and plants. Adults need only around 20% of their diet to be protein, baby dragons about twice that. The ideal diet consists of dark leafy greens: kale, chards, mustard greens, even a little red leaf lettuce. NEVER give them iceberg lettuce or spinach. All vegetables should be dusted with a calcium and vitamin supplement, several brands are available at most good pet stores. They can also have: sweet potatoes, carrots, acorn squash, summer squash, rasberries, peeled grapes, peas, broccoli, , apples and melons. All insects should be gut loaded with a good gut load (again several brands available at good pet shops). They can eat: crickets, wax worms, butter worms, meal worms, earthworms, pinky mice and even goldfish (put them in the swimming pool). Please size the food to the dragon. A baby dragon cannot eat a cricket as big as it is,
Most water dragons sold as pets are actually wild caught. For this reason your first stop should be at a good exotic vet who handles reptiles. They should be checked for parasites and infections and treated if need be. Also should be checked for ticks. The usually come from India and China.
A healthy dragons is going to be a bright, vivid green. it will have a blue tinge to its cheeks and it's eyes will be bright yellow/ gold/ orange amber color. It will be alert. Dull color, dull eyes, inactivity are reasons for a trip to the vet.
Water dragons are long, slim lizards. They are mostly tail. They can be quick. But the tame pretty easily and are pretty tolerant of handling. Pretty friendly. they do startle easily and you need to take time to get to know your dragon. In a very large enclosure you can keep several dragons but introduce them slowly and with supervision, they can/ will fight.
Dragons like it warm and moist. They prefer daytime temps around 082-85F. They need a basking area with a heat lamp with a temt around 90F. They like humidity around 78-80%. I prefer a coconut bedding for them, with a little reptile moss in some areas(I put it by their pool). They need a flat rock under their basking light. Some limbs to climb on and dark place to hide (bark or such). They shed every 4 to 6 weeks and need humidity to do this and a place to rub. if they do not completely shed, especially their toes and eyes a trip to the vet might be called for.
When aggravated, or aggressive they will puff their necks. They will head shake and raise their front feet and whop their tail. They put on quite a display and it will be obvious when they are upset. They can bite, though really do not be so inclined.
With proper care and habitat your dragon can live up to 20 years. So before purchasing this animal you need to consider that it will need long term care, it will need a large enclosure and to stay tame you have to handle it often. Please think, ask questions, think about its future needs and if in 5-10-15 years you will want to be caring for this beautiful lizard. I like them, think they are cute and pretty easy to care for. But they are rather high maintance , daily chopping of vegies, several days caring for insects to gut load them. Their water needs to be changed daily and you need to interact with and handle them (always always wash your hands before and after handling any reptile for your protection and theirs). And they are a long term commitment.