How to build habitats for Chinese water dragons


The Chinese water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) is a popular medium-sized lizard available from many pet stores. The lizards have an attractive, bright green color and are active personalities in captivity. It is 3 feet long, including its long, slender tail that can be over 2 feet long. The Chinese water dragon uses its long tail when threatening to whip potential predators and for balance when climbing. Multiple Chinese water dragons can be kept in the same enclosure. The basic setup is easy to install and maintain, but it needs to be large for dragons to grow healthily in captivity.


Step 1

Place a large aquarium in a quiet area of ​​your home. Chinese water dragons should not be kept in enclosures smaller than 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall. They are very active reptiles, and will constantly rub their snout against glass when placed in small enclosures, a habit that can lead to many health problems.

Step 2

Fill the bottom of the tub with a 2- to 3-inch layer of sterile garden soil. Garden soil is a soft substrate that allows dragons to burrow easily and also cushions them for landing if they fall from a branch into your tank. The soil also helps keep moisture in the enclosure.

Step 3

Dig an area in the soil to accommodate a large amount of shallow water. Make sure the pan is large enough to allow a full-sized water dragon to soak. Plastic pans are easy to remove when changing water and to sterilize when contaminated.

Step 4

Place large branches in the aquarium, making sure they are firmly attached to the glass so that they do not shift or fall when the lizards crawl over them. Chinese water dragons are active climbers and require several horizontal perches in an enclosure to perch during the day.

Step 5

Add several live plants to the enclosure to help create a natural look as well as maintain the humidity levels in the tank. You can keep the plants in storage pots or transplant them into sterile garden soil.

Step 6

Set up the lighting system above the sink. Chinese water dragons need a bright enclosure with plenty of UV light from reptile lamps to properly metabolize calcium and vitamin D3. The heat lamp should be located over a nozzle area above the floor of the enclosure.

Step 7

Place a thermometer under the basking area to monitor the temperature, which should be kept at 95 degrees. Transfer heat to other locations in the tank to ensure the ambient temperature remains between 84 and 88 degrees during the day and 75 to 80 degrees at night.

Step 8

Install a hydrometer in the enclosure, and monitor the humidity in the tank daily. Mist the enclosure several times each day to keep humidity levels around 80 percent. Dry environments may lead to breathing problems and problems in Chinese water dragons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *