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Reptiles/new chinese water dragon care


hello,i have owned my new dragon for almost a month.from tip of nose to beginning of tail is about 3-4 inches.i am assuming it is around a year old.i was told to feed 3 meal worms and leave kale in a dish a day.she was eating those right away, except the kale.i increased to 5-6 mealworms every other day and alternate every other day with  5-6 crickets.(I also dust the mealworms with calcium powder)could you please tell me if this is enough and also why she wont touch the kale or berries that I have tried?
also ,I have read they like to play in water....what is a possible reason mine will not? I have a large water dish in the cage and I have tried a large plastic container.
as of now I have a 24 inch by 24 inch by 24 inch glass cage.for now this is big enough but I do want to get a bigger question is ....I have a dry house and spray the cage often,it is also a little on the cold side.i am able to keep temp and humidity at recommended levelsin the cage .if I went to a retibreeze enclosure (which I would loooove)how would I keep those levels at recommended levels?would they be ok at the levels in the room?i would still spray the cage and keep heatlamp and uvb lamp.
also I have a coil uvb...should I switch to tube or is this ok?
as you can see I have a lot of questions but I love my pets and want them to be happy and healthy.thankyou for taking time to read and answer.

Hello Kimberly,
Sorry for the delay!

Do you have any pictures I could see of your dragon?
How long total is she?  At that size, she is likely less than a year old.
You will need to change out the coil light to the Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3 12%   tube bulb either one.  The coil lights do not emit the proper UVB emissions for her.
What type of basking light do you have, a bright white light or a colored light?
Are you using a temp gun or a digital probe to measure the temperatures?  Do you know what the
basking temperatures are?

I would recommend feeding less of the mealies & switch to better sources of protein.  Some better alternatives are butterworms, superworms (only if she is 16 inches in length),  hornworms, silkworms or phoenix worms.  Kale can be used sparingly but use mustard, collard greens, even dandelion greens or endive & arugula are all great choices.  She may not eat many greens though!  Most water dragons wont eat greens, mostly protein.  
For her age, if under a year, she can have feeders daily, to help her with growth.  
Does she get calcium once daily for 4-5 times per week?

Some don't like water as much as others do. Try bathing her in a plastic bin with a wash cloth on the bottom to see if she likes that better while keeping your hand in the water.  
Recommended humidity is roughly 60-70% or so is fine. What is it running with the large water dish in the tank?
Do you have any pictures of her set up?  

Let me know how she is doing.  You can send pictures to my email if you need at:



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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