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Reptiles Need Water, Water, Water

By: PetPlace Staff

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Nothing is more important in keeping a reptile than providing an easily accessible, clean water source. In fact, water is the most important nutrient. Here's what you need to know:

  • It is best to provide water in a large shallow dish. Many reptiles need to soak in order to shed their skin appropriately. To avoid drowning (especially with neonates and tortoises), it is important that the reptile can exit the water bowl safely and with ease.

  • Change the water at least every 24 hours, more often if a reptile has defecated in the bowl.

  • Water containers should be cleaned with soap and water daily and disinfected weekly.

  • Some lizards – chameleons and anoles, for example – will not drink from bowls. Give them water by spraying a mist on plants or the sides of their cage.

  • Another technique involves providing water by dripping it on leaves in the tank. You can do this by using a paper or plastic cup. Using a pin, make a small hole in the bottom of the cup. The size of the hole controls the rate at which the cup empties. Fill the cup with water and place it in or on top of the cage where water drops will fall onto a leaf. Place a second cup or bowl under the leaf to catch the excess water before it can soil the cage. This system is easier to disinfect than using dripper tubing.

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