Popular for their triangular head and green color, the Chinese water dragon is one of the best exotic pet lizards to be kept. They make a great pet but they are not exactly for beginners due to their care and handling requirements.
Chinese water dragons are also known as Asian, Green, and Thai Water Dragon. Here are some facts about Chinese water dragons that you still might not know.
Facts about the Chinese Water Dragon
Chinese water dragons can grow as long as 3 feet or 1 meter including their tail. Female Chinese water dragons are smaller than males. They only grow around two meters long. Of their total length, 70 percent of it is their tail.
The lifespan of Chinese water dragons is long. The average lifespan of Chinese water dragons is around 10 to 15 years. Some of these Chinese water dragons even live up to 20 years given that they are given proper care and placed in an environment which is suitable to them.
Chinese water dragons have a triangle head and are colored between light to dark green. Two-thirds of their total length is made up of their tail. Their tail has a banding which is dark green or dark brown in color. The typical color of their belly is white, pale green, or pale yellow. The strongest and definitely the most attractive feature that Chinese water dragons have is their colored throat which is bright yellow or bright orange in color.
Chinese water dragons are not advisable for beginners in the world of taking good care of reptiles. Basically, this is the pet for those who already have an experience with lizards.
They are easy to tame and are friendly but the level of maintenance they need is high. You have to be very committed to taking care of them as they need a lot of time from you.
Aside from this, you also have to make sure that you can provide everything they need in order to be healthy and to live longer.
Chinese water dragons are omnivores. They prefer meat and insects than fruits and vegetables. They eat heartily and they really love to eat different food for every meal. Besides, serving them different meals is very important as giving them the same food every single feeding will make them entirely refuse the food.
Generally, their diet is consists of 85 to 90 percent insects and 10 to 15 percent fruits and vegetables. This means that each meal served to them should have live insects (50 percent), worms (20 percent), and vegetable (less than 15 percent).
Furthermore, they should also be given whole prey with the like of mice once or twice a week. They need a dose of whole prey because it gives them the protein that their need. Giving of whole prey should only be done if the lizard is already big enough.
The insects that they could eat include locusts, crickets, grasshoppers, wax worms, mealworms, butter worms, silkworms, and earthworms. On the other hand, the fruits and vegetables that are allowed for them include green beans, blueberries, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potato, collard greens, and figs.
The amount of food served to Chinese water dragons generally vary in accordance with the size of the serving. Ideally, the lizard should only be given the right amount of food that it can consume in one serving.
Chinese water dragons are unique from each other, even with their appetite which makes it important that you should know the food that each of them likes and their feeding schedule as well. How often the lizard will eat depends on its age. Younger Chinese water dragons need to eat every now and then in order for them to grow while older Chinese water dragons are to be fed lesser than the younger ones do.
To be more specific, older Chinese water dragons can be fed small portions daily or larger positions every other day. It is a must that they should be provided with plenty of clean water too.
Supplements are not necessary for Chinese water dragons as long as you are providing them with a well-balanced diet but giving them every once in a while is a good thing. Commonly, calcium is given to them as they will develop the metabolic bone disease if they lack calcium in their body.
The best way to add calcium to their diet is by their food with calcium powder twice or thrice a week. Aside from giving them supplements, it is very important that the food you give them is healthy.
This is possible by purchasing their food from pet shops or by raising their foods by yourself. This way, you are assured that there is no parasite lurking in their food. If you are giving them fruits or vegetable, make sure that you have washed them thoroughly before giving to them. In as much as possible, give them organic fruits and vegetables only.
Chinese water dragons are definitely one of the friendliest lizard species in the world. In fact, Chinese water lizards are even friendlier than iguanas. They are not the kind of lizard who does not want constant interaction and hates being handled, hence they want to handle on a regular basis.
Besides, it is very important that they are handled every once in a while in order for them to be tamed and that they will not become aggressive. Their usual behavior when they feel threatened or if they are scared is that they bite or whip their tail. Chinese water dragons are arboreal.
This means that they spend most of their time up from the ground. If they are not up above the plants, trees, or rocks, they are usually swimming as they love deep dips too.
House Set Up
Housing a Chinese water dragon is quite expensive. This is because they need a large enough space for aquatic and terrestrial features to fit. Ideally, the tank size should be around 75 gallons or 285 liters or more. The recommended size of their cage is around four feet long and five or six feet tall.
It is also better if you provide them with a large cage even when they are still small rather than upgrading it every now and then which might even cost you more. In choosing a spot where you will put their house, it is very important that you place them somewhere accessible and strategic for you to clean it easily and of course, for everyone to see since Chinese water lizards are equally beautiful.
Lastly, it is very important that you keep them away from children as they might do something unintentional which might cause trouble either to the child or to the lizard.
The bedding of their cage should be made of appropriate materials such as moistened coconut fiber, wood chippings or shavings, newspaper or mulch. The substrate is also great as a bedding.
Their house should also have artificial trees, plants, twigs, branches and the like as Chinese water lizards are arboreal. It is also good if you can provide a table where they can fit their body.
Heat and Humidity
In as much as Chinese water dragons are arboreal, they are also semi-aquatic. Naturally, they live in warm and humid areas and they can control their temperature. But since they are staying inside a cage, it is very important that you gave them a little help in regulating their temperature.
To keep them healthy, the temperature and humidity inside their cage should be well regulated. The temperature inside their cage during the day should be 80 degrees Fahrenheit while it should be no older than 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the night.
The humidity should be around 70 to 80 percent. Maintaining the humidity is quite easy. It can easily be achieved by misting their cage every now and then
Proper lighting is also very important to them. Chinese water dragons need the proper light source as this will keep their body temperature normal in as much as it provides them Vitamin D3 which is very essential to them. Specifically, they need a UVB light source.
It is not surprising that Chinese water dragons are one of the most wonderful pets that one could have. This is because they are friendly, easy to tame, beautiful and so much more. At the end of the day, the choice is still on you. Just make sure that you get what is appropriate for you.
I hope this article is helpful for you to understand more about the Chinese Water Dragon Lizards. Please share this information with your friends...