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Water Dragon Care

By: Dr. Steve Divers

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Heat should be provided by a background heater (tubular heater, infrared through heaters, heat mats, etc) and a radiant daytime heater (infrared ceramic bulbs, incandescent spotlights). These should be screened in order to prevent any contact burns with the water dragon.

The diurnal temperature variation is vital for proper digestion and assimilation of food, and general health. A daytime temperature gradient of 77 to 86 F (25 to 30 C), with a basking area of 90 to 95 F (32 to 35 C), should be lowered to 72 to 77 F (22 to 25 C) at night. Use a digital in/out thermometer with max/min memory to record the day and night thermal gradients within the vivarium.

Humidity of 80 to 100 percent is required for at least part of the day. If the large water area does not create enough humidity in the enclosure, regular spraying can help. Never reduce ventilation to increase humidity.

Lighting

The recommended photoperiod is for water dragons is 12 to 14 hours of light and 10 to 12 hours of darkness. Ideally, you should provide access to unfiltered sunlight, but if this is not possible, provide a full spectrum light source that must be placed within 30 cm (12 inches) of the basking sites and replaced every 6 months for juveniles or 12 months for adults.

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