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Pet Lizard Care : How to Care for a Chinese Water Dragon

Hi my name is Tim Cole, I’m with the Austin
Reptile Service. And I’ve been keeping reptiles and amphibians for over forty years. I’m here
to talk to you about keeping Chinese water dragons. These are a medium size lizard, average
about three feet. They’re green with a crest going down the back. Looks somewhat similar
to the iguana but a little bit heavier body, and usually a lot friendlier. These lizards
are arboreal so they’re climbers, so you’ll want to set them up in a vertical cage. They
do need a lot of humidity, so if you can set up a misting system or spray them yourselves
manually on a daily basis, that would be good. These lizards are usually feeding on crickets
when they’re young, they’ll also eat small fish. As they get older they’ll eat larger
fish, adult crickets, and even small rodents, including mice. These are fairly popular lizards
and they do make good pets if you set them up properly. You need to provide UV light,
you need to supplement their insects with calcium powder, you do need to provide a heat
source. And since they’re arboreal that’s going to mean a heat lamp that they can bask


  1. AcidParadice69 Author

    no.. UV light is important, but heat LIGHT isn't.. as long as the temp is up, you don't need a heat light.. you can usea CHE (ceramic heat emitter)

    as long as the temp is up, and he has a place to cool off, and warm up as he likes. then all you need is the UV

  2. Hannah’s Herps Author

    @Taud lol have u ever had a reptile! cuz u are very unedjucated, first of all, cleaning is not that bad, second ppl dont leave them around the house, if they were to ditch them they would be outside, thirdly 90% of reptiles have a very good memery and posses personalities, blue tongue skinks almost always have a very kinda and friendly personality , wile some reptiles would rather be left alon like a chameleon. so how about u do reaserch before u say things like u no every thing??

  3. Hannah’s Herps Author

    i am not saying they are just as smart or smarter than an average pet (as u listed) i am saying they do posses the ability to have emotions (maybe not cry but vary few animals can), but their memery does have the ability to memerize things like the hand who feeds it, my leopard gecko loves me and hates every1 else, he wont let any1 else hold him but me, so sience may have proven their scrawny brain but i think u underestimate them.

  4. Hannah’s Herps Author

    ok, last comment i make on this… i dont think you are seeing the bright side on this, when u think about it alot of ppl have pets to listen to their problems and dont get annoyed at them (wether they actually listing or not), alot of ppl like them bc they dont have fur or feathers, there are a wide range of sizes so if u live in an apparment and have alergies a lizard is a great pet, you may think they usless, but in my eyes and some other ppls eyes, they are interesting animals that we love

  5. Hannah’s Herps Author

    again get ur facts straight, if u get a lets say chinese water dragon and put him in a 600 gallon tank, he WILL get stessed and will die BC his habitat is too big! and sure, i find ppl keeping there animals in tiney little thing like storage tubs and i have an issue with that, but i swear u are really pessimistic lol, i mean in ur first comment, no bright side, i say something, and u make it "cruel" and it depends on the person… and i find this a stupid fight, i am done…

  6. 78tpel Author

    so ya not only is she spoiled she is useless and work i do like hand feeding her and i have a harness for her she walks around my room and my bed and she has two trees out of her cage to climb or rest in she is fun but work and USELESS 🙂

  7. Nigel Author

    @TheWaterdragon1 it just sounds like he's pissed off haha. Mine would do that if I bothered him. Are you spraying him directly? that may be ticking him off a little.

  8. Chloe Sweeney Author

    my water dragon died just yesterday and before getting him i did as much research as i could talking to my local pet store owner in the pet shop i bought him and now after watching this video i learnt you're meant to have a heat lamp as wel as UV and heat mat:( i feel really bad that he died and it's obviously my fault because i'm his owner.

  9. Ryan Stephens Author

    @78tpel check your temperatures it sounds like your giving her to much heat she needs a sloped heating hot on one side and cooler on the other

  10. Monica Castaneda Author

    i got some questions and hope you can anwser all 1. when their young is good to buy a full grown cage for them 2. what kind of fish do you meen like minnos or small normal fish 3. how hot does it have to be 3. what kind of trees and flooring 4. where can you buy them in MN and how much do they cost in MN 5. what do you meen by spraing them with water or some liquid. thats all i have to say

  11. austin7956 Author

    @MBRT896 i think they need to eat more than just fish, and that can get expensive. I was told about a dozen crickets (small gold/tan ones from pet store) will feed them for a couple days. they also eat carrots and lettuce but the lettuce is only a treat because it isn't nutritious enough for them to live off of. but absolutely no tomatoes broccoli or any thing acidic (tomatoes, lemons, limes etc.) i knnow this answered more than your question, but im hoping it will help others too

  12. Adam Mueller Author

    i have a 50 gallon reptile tank used for 2 bearded dragons and it is a horizontal cage. could i use it for a cwd?…..the bearded dragons have died after 12 years 🙁

  13. Buy Bionic Author

    @stickanimator2000 you can use it but put more climbing space, they are semi-arboreal. if you wanna tame the lizard first use a tame tank.

  14. YoYoImYoFrand Author

    We have 3 Water Dragons. They are the best pet lizard we have. I would recommend these to almost anyone as long as they have the time to care for them. They can be a handful but they are almost like little puppies.


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