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Best Chinese Water Dragon Vivarium Size (+ Vid)

If you are considering caring for a Chinese Water Dragon, you must have considered the best vivarium size for them, right? Well, you are in the right place, let me explain:

What’s the best Vivarium Size for a Chinese Water Dragon? The ideal size is 36 inches tall and 46 inches in length. Water Dragons can be as long as 1.5 feet and need a decent sized vivarium to make them feel comfortable.

Now that you have an idea of what they need, let’s also look at the type of vivarium, what decorations and accessories they need in the enclosure and so much more.


Why do they Need a Vivarium This Big?

As discussed briefly, the ideal size for a water dragon vivarium is at least 46 inches in length and 36 inches in height. The reason for this large size is the following:

  • They need appropriate space for their length
  • Need the height, so they can climb
  • Need contrasting temperature conditions

Need appropriate space for their length

Firstly, Water Dragons (Click here to see why I feel this is the best UVB light for them) are not small lizards. They can grow up to 1.5 feet in length. For this size lizard, you need to give them enough space to feel comfortable in the enclosure.

Height, so they can climb

Secondly, they do like to climb and spend a lot of their time off the ground. So, you need to give them enough height so that they can climb in the enclosure.

Contrast in temperatures

Lastly, the length of the enclosure is also important, the reason being you need to make sure that you have a contrast of temperatures within the enclosure, let me explain.

One side of the enclosure needs to have a very warm temperature. This will allow them to bask in the heat. On the opposite side of the enclosure, there needs to be a cooling area. This is where they can cool down when their body has had enough Heat.

Why You Should Only Consider a Wooden Enclosure!

Ideally, you should get the water dragon a large wooden vivarium. There are a couple of reasons why you should do this, let me explain:

  • Insulation
  • Do not expel heat like Glass enclosures

Firstly, wooden vivariums are very good at insulating the heat. As discussed earlier, you need to have a hot area and a cool area. To maintain this heat the most efficient way is to have wood because it will keep it well insulated.

However, you need to make sure that it is well ventilated so that you can control the humidity and keep it ventilated.

Using material such as glass is not ideal for some lizards. It definitely is good for some, that’s why they also are quite popular.

However, for Water Dragons, it is not ideal. Mainly because glass vivariums lose temperature. and not as insulated as the wooden counterpart.

What decorations are required within the vivarium?

Water dragons are partially Arboreal. This means they spend a good portion of their time in trees off the ground and climbing.

For that reason you need to make sure that you provide a good source of wood branches and equipment for them to climb on.

Trailing or artificial plants are all good things that you can use. Trailing plants are good because they can help disguise some of the electrical equipment in the enclosure as well and keeping it looking as natural as possible.

Are there any special requirements needed for the plants or Foilage in the enclosure?

To avoid any problems with parasites or any other small creepy crawlies that could be hidden in the plants or foliage, it is advisable to treat them with a rinse of 5 to 10% bleach.

If you are going to use real plants it’s a good idea after you have rinsed them to re-pot them. Then leave them sitting for at least a week before moving them into the vivarium.

This is simply to ensure that there are no parasites that have been collected within the plants that may transfer to the enclosure and cause health issues with your lizard.

Artificial plants are just as good as live ones. They can also be considered. You could also consider some of the following plants:

What Substrate do you need for a Water Dragon?

To maintain the required humidity it is important to go for a moist substrate. Many competent lizard keepers are often concerned by loose substrate. This is because of the chances of the lizard consuming the substrate and then leading to issues such as impaction.

However, successful lizard breeders who keep Water Dragons have had success with this substrate (Click for the price on Amazon) and this is something that you can consider. An added bonus with this substrate is it easy to maintain and keep clean.

What is the ideal humidity for a water dragon?

Ideally, you want the humidity to be 70 to 80% This can be achieved by doing a few different things, let me explain.

  • Spraying the enclosure
  • Using a Misting System

Firstly, you can consider spraying the enclosure which is also known as misting on a daily basis. When I say daily, ideally you should be doing this at least a couple of times a day.

Secondly, if you feel that manually spraying the enclosure is a commitment that you cannot stick to you can also consider getting a more automated misting system (Click here to see the price on Amazon).

They will cost you but at the same time, it will mean that you will have more of a reliable system to keep the humidity in the enclosure.

To make sure that the humidity level is correct it is a good idea to purchase a Humidity Gauge (Click to see the price on Amazon). This little device, whether it’s electric or the dialed version, will allow you to monitor the humidity levels to ensure that you are sticking within the boundaries for the water dragon.

Related questions:

Q: Can you Breed Water Dragons in captivity?

Yes, you can breed them in captivity. Let me explain…

Before you do this you need to make sure that you get the conditions in the enclosure correct and also the timing is very important as well.

Breeding Temperature Control

Assuming you have a male and some females in the enclosure for this to happen, just after the autumn. You need to reduce the temperature.

Ideally, you want to drop the temperature down to a maximum of 78 degrees Fahrenheit with the basking area up to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

At night-time, you need to reduce this again down to approximately 74 degrees Fahrenheit. During this period you want to reduce the feeding down to a lower level. Potentially once a week is ideal. After winter you can return the levels the temperature levels back to normal and increase the eating schedule again.

Male Mating Signs

A week after this you should find that the male water dragon will show signs of wanting to mate these signs are as follows:

  • Head Bobbing
  • Chasing the female around the enclosure
  • and obviously attempting to copulate

Egg Laying

You can expect copulation to take anything from 10 to 20 minutes. After this time period, all being well,   2 months the female lizard should be ready to lay her eggs.

You can expect as much as 5 to 15 eggs per clutch clutch (means the collection of eggs). She lays these all at one time.

All being well you can expect her to lay another clutch of eggs in approximately 3 to 4 months after this.

It is important to have some moist soil substrate so that she can dig and hide her eggs. You need to make sure that it is at least 8 inches deep so that she can feel happy. She should lay and place them into the soil comfortably.

Following this, it is important to remove the eggs and place them into incubation. In the incubator, you can expect the temperatures to rise up to 88 degrees Fahrenheit and then you can follow the incubation procedure to make sure that you get some successful hatchlings

Q: Do water dragons need any supplementation?

Yes, to keep them healthy and happy in captivity you will need to provide some supplementation. Let me explain.

Firstly, they will need a calcium based supplementation as well as vitamins and minerals. The calcium base supplementation and the mineral and vitamins are usually in a powder form.

The calcium based supplementation should be provided on a daily basis. You can easily dust the powder calcium supplement onto their food. Right onto the insects that they consume.

For the vitamin based supplementation, you can provide this daily or every other day. Best to read the instructions on the supplements that you purchase to make sure you follow the requested dosage.

Also the insects that you provide them should be “gut loaded”.  This is to make sure that they have got the maximum nutritional value.

You can achieve this by buying insect food which is preloaded with vitamins and minerals. After this, the insects that you feed to your water dragons with will pass on this nutrition.


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