Chinese Water Dragon - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-07-2014, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Chinese Water Dragon

Not sure where to post this, I know it is a double but I think this section is more active than the one I posted it in.

So I am currently building an enclosure in my room for a Chinese water dragon. I have a 75 gallon long that will be sitting on 4x4s. I want to build a cage around it that is either plywood or plexiglass on the sides and back, with a mesh front that has a door and a mesh top. Am I completely off on that? Any other suggestions?

I bought a hanging light fixture for the full-spectrum fluorescent lightbulbs I have, which I would hang from the ceiling above the cage. I'm going to buy heat lamps but I have NO idea where to put them, which ones to buy, etc. There's so many options and I feel overwhelmed because I haven't done this before and I want to make the best decisions. Are there ones that can go in the enclose, since its going to be tall and I want to make sure the lower levels are warm enough?

The tank is going to be half water, half land, with a removable pool for easy cleaning and two waterfall features, one which is also a mister. There will be plenty of sturdy things for him to climb on (the enclosure will be around 6' high). I plan on using live plants.

For the substrate I was thinking of doing a sterilized soil/spaghnum/charcoal/coconut fiber mix. It will have a drainage system at the bottom, with charcoal, then moss, and then the substrate.

Any opinions, suggestions, advice, help? Especially with the whole heat lamp thing. I am so lost on how I will incorporate that
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 03:21 AM
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What i did for my 2 was almost like a turtle enclosure. We tried an all mesh no water cage and couldnnot keep the humidity up. So we got a 40 long, put a acrylic divider halfway through about 4 inches tall with holes. Put gravel on one side, then filled up with water. The gravel side the top inch was above water, and we put terrarium carpet over it. Gave them some good climbing logs and a waterfall in the water side. They love to swim. The carpet stayed dry, but still allowed for the humidity. They were still babies (bout 6-8) inches. You have to be care ful of substrate, wood chips are horrible. We had dirt in the first tank but it was a pain. We had plans to build up like you are talking about but kind werent big climbers. Tonto preffered to swim and hang on vines to sleep, chief was a lazy butt that would not eat crickets, preffered live mealworms, waxworms and strawberries. He also would sleep in the water hanging onto the waterfall with just his nose above water. They were a million times happier when they had water to swim in, in comparison to having just climbing.

Id say plexi over plywood because of the humidity levels, and itll be easier to clean. Id do the top plexi as well, just the front mesh, again for the humidity. I just got the big standard reptile heat lamps, you could have one on just one side? That way they can choose thier own comfort level. Might want to look into a heater for the water too. Mine slept in it so i got a heater to keep him warm at night.

My main reason for carpet instead of a dirt mix was it got everywhere and dirtied the water like crazy. Took out the dirt and the wood chips, no more problems. Even gave them a snail to help with the water.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-12-2014, 03:23 AM
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Also with the substrate, if you feed live crickets sometimes the dragons will get some with the cricket, or it gets on thier face while they eat, and they eat it too.
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