A & J Animal Farm Water Dragon Care



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Chinese Water Dragon

Chinese Water Dragon, Water Dragon

(Physignathus Cocincinus)


Out of many species in this group Physignathus the Green Water Dragon is the most common in the pet industry.  The Green Water Dragon is also commonly referred to as the Chinese Water Dragon.  The Water Dragons that are in the pet industry were originally imported from the Southeast Asia area (Vietnam and China).  They are colorful, usually easy to handle once tamed and under right conditions will breed in captivity.


Water dragons are generally a lush (bright) green in color.  Both sexes have a spiny crest running down there back from base of head to about 1/4 way down the tail.  Baby beards are very very difficult to sex.  Adults can be sexed as long as you have some to compare it to.  Both males and females have a row of femoral pores along the inside of the thighs, but generally the males are larger.  Generally if you have several water dragons of adult stage the ones showing the more aggressive behavior are generally males, but this is not always the case.


Baby Water Dragons can generally be started off in a 10 gallon tank but will outgrow this very quickly.  For an Adult you should have an enclosure of at least 4 feet long.  A screen lid is a must with these types of lizards as they love to climb and hangout on branches and vines in there enclosure.  Another item that may be used in place of these items it the Repti Hammocks.  If you keep your dragons in to small of an enclosure they have a habit of rubbing there noses against the enclosure walls and will develop sores on there snout.  With sores comes an infection.


Water Dragons enclosure temp should be kept between 80 to 85 degrees during the day with a basking area of about 90 to 95 degrees.  At night there enclosure temperature can fall between 75 to 80 degrees.  These temperatures can be maintained with the use of a Reptile day bulbs and an infrared bulb for night with a Rheostat attached to the heat lamp for adjustment.  If you do not know how or where to build or get the supplies to build one let us know and we can assist you in the building of a rheostat for you heat lamps.


Water Dragons need both UVA and UVB lighting.  The Water Dragons body under proper lighting produces a chemical called D-3.  D-3 is essential in the bodies ability to absorb calcium.  Without the body being able to absorb the calcium your Water Dragon will suffer from Metobolic bone loss. This can cause deformations in the body and eventually death.   


There are many types of substrates that can be used.  Potting Soil (nice looking but can be messy), indoor-outdoor carpet, repti-bark, corn cob,  paper towels, newpaper.  Remember when using potting soil, get one that does not have fertilizer in it.

Humidity Levels

Water Dragons love to soak and swim in water.  If your enclosure is large enough provide as big of bowl of water as possible for this purpose.  There enclosure humidity should be kept between 70% to 80% humidity.  Depending on your enclosure setup and size of water pool you provide for them this may require regular misting.

Food Source

Water dragons are considered omnivores, eat both meat and plant matter.  Meat sources include crickets, mealworms, super worm, earthworms, and feeder goldfish.  In there plant matter you can feed them romain, mustard greens, dandelion and collard greens.  If you collect our own greens make sure they are free of herbicides.  Other items that are a good source and offer variety are yellow squash, sweet potato, green beans carrots.  Fruits include Strawberry, banana and different types of melons.

House keeping

Enclosure water should be changed daily unless filtered by and internal filter.  If being filtered it should be changed once a week.  Spot clean the enclosure on a daily basis.  A good breakdown and cleaning should be down on a monthly basis to keep bacteria levels down in the enclosure.



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