Chinese water dragon care sheet

Housing: a wooden vivarium of at least 46" in length

Heating: basking temperature of 100oF - 110oF, cool end of 80oF

UVB Lighting: desert strength 10%-12% UVB fluorescent tube during the day

Diet: omnivorous mix of vegetation and protein from live insects

Decoration: dry substrates and decor so not to raise humidity levels

We advise using wooden vivariums rather than glass as they retain heat more efficiently keeping your pet nice and warm. As Chinese Water Dragons can grow to adult size within a year or two it is advised to buy an adult vivarium from day one. We would recommend a vivarium of 120x60x90cm (48"x24"x36"). This will ensure your Chinese Water Dragon has enough room to explore and run around. It also has plenty of room for climbing which they enjoy.


Bark chippings are also a good substrate as they are great at absorbing any splashes of water. Sands, such as calcisands can be ingested easily, building up inside the animal potentially causing health problems and distress to your pet. Chinese Water Dragons are not shy and will be out basking during the day. Wood, rocks and artificial plants should be used to create a basking area as well as areas to climb and lounge around.


Night time heating is provided by a ceramic bulb one end of the vivarium controlled by a thermostat, about 80°F is fine. The ceramic bulb should be installed using a ceramic bulb holder and covered with a ceramic heater guard to prevent the Water Dragons from getting burnt. During the day two spot bulbs are used to raise the temperature to about 100°F. These should be at the same end of the vivarium as the ceramic heater to create a hot end and a cooler end. The spot bulbs will also provide a day and night cycle. Temperatures should always be checked by a reliable thermometer.


Day light is provided by the spot bulbs used to raise the day temperate. All day time basking lizards require additional UVB lighting. This must be at least 10% UVB. Water Dragons required UVB light in order to synthesise vitamin D. Without vitamin D (in particular D3) Water Dragons are not able to metabolise calcium properly causing problems with bone growth. This can lead to serious disease problems such as metabolic bone disease, which kills many Water Dragons. The UVB light should be turned on and off with the spot bulbs and placed no further than 30cm (12 inches) from the animals. The UVB tube should be replaced every 6 months, as the UVB output is not effective after that time. Ensure you get the right size starter unit for your UV.


Water Dragons are carnivorous meaning they eat live food. Crickets are particularly nutritious, locusts, mealworms and wax worms can also be used to supplement their diet and add variety. Your pet deserves the best foods possible so look after your live foods. Keep your crickets and locusts fresh, plump and full of vitamins by feeding them with Bug Grub and fresh vegetation. Remember, your Water Dragon also eats whatever is in your live food's stomach. Also, don't allow your live food to dehydrate, you don't want to give your animals dried up half dead insects for dinner! Hydrate them with Bug Gel to keep them alive longer and mouth wateringly juicy. Care for your live food in their own enclosure, such as a Cricket Keeper. Live foods should be coated in a vitamin and mineral supplement such as Nutrobal to ensure the Water Dragon is getting the best nutrition possible.

Chinese Water Dragons, as their name suggests, love to be in and around water. This can be achieved by using a large, deep water bowl. Or, you could incorporate a filtered aquarium into the vivarium. Chinese Water Dragons also require a humid environment, it is therefore important to mist the vivarium once daily using a water sprayer.


Water Dragons are a good lizard for handling. They should be treated gently, with love and care allowing it to sit on the hands. Young Water Dragons can be quick so keep a loose grip on them. They soon become used to being handled but if you ever notice your Water Dragon becoming agitated carefully put them back into their vivarium.


Males do not get on with each other as adults and will fight so only keep one per enclosure. Males can be kept with a harem of females providing the vivarium is large enough to accommodate them. Females are okay to be kept as a colony.


Regular spot cleaning of the vivarium should be performed to keep it hygienic for both the animal and the keeper. Dead live foods and the Water Dragon's faeces should be removed when noticed. Change the substrate once a month or as required and clean the vivarium with a reptile disinfectant.

Wikipedia | Video Of Water Dragon coming soon