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RE: Need Help/Advice on Water Dragons!

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Posted by: kinyonga at Fri Aug 13 23:32:10 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by kinyonga ]  
   

You said..."She used this lightbulb: http://www.petworldshop.com/pictures/zoomed-repti-basking-spot-lamp.jpg As the main heat/light source. She did get a black ZooMed light for night time, but claimed it was keeping the lizard up at night, and he was like, jumping at the lightbulb"...I don't know if the light she used in the daytime had UVB or not, but I have kept/raised/hatched water dragons for over 15 years and I use a long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light as a source of UVB and a regular incandescent household light of a wattage that puts the temperature in the basking area in the right range. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic. UVB is very important since it allows he dragon to produce D3 which allows it to use the calcium in its diet/system. There is no need for any heating at night as long as the temperature is above the mid 60's F. BTW..I keep baby water dragons basking temperature and cage temperature more moderate than I do for adults...their tiny bodies dehydrate and warm up and cool off much faster than adults do...so low 80's for basking and just slighly lower in the coolest areas of the cage.

I use a glass cage with a screen lid. I place the UVB light along the length of the cage and the basking light to one end or corner of the cage to give a gradient of temperatures. I make sure that the dragon can get up within 12" of the UVB light but that it can move away from it when it wants to.

The cage "furniture" consists of various branches that are big enough for the dragon to sit on without difficulty. I put a water dish at the cooler side of the cage...and the water should be changed daily since they poop in it and germs can build up. For young dragons, I use no substrate...for adults or "teenagers" I use cypress mulch. I don't use plants in the cage.

You said..."the dragon wouldn't touch live or dried crickets, or the mealworms, live or dead"...I don't believe in feeding them mealworms or dried insects because I worry aboutimpaction. Also, if the dragon was young I wouldn't use a substrate with it either for the same reason.

You said..."The lizard died about a month or so later...not really sure why, though I think it might have been parasites"...it could have been a wide number of things.

You said..."I've heard they're harder to keep then iguanas"...they are not harder to keep than iguanas. (BTW..hognosed snakes are my favorite snake!)

Okay...so we've discussed lighting, caging and temperature...
now for feeding/supplements...

I feed/gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms with a wide assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet red pepper, sweet potato, zucchini, celery leaves, etc.). I feed this same mixture to the dragons along with a SMALL amount of fruit (apple, pear, melon, berries, etc.).

I feed the dragon an assortment of insects too....crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, silkworms, phoenix worms, etc. and once in a while waxworms can be used for the dragon.

I dust the insects before feeding them to the dragon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder (rep-cal)to make up for the usually poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus found in most of the feeder insects.

I dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder (Rep-cal) to ensure that the dragon gets some D3 without overdosing it. I leave it to produce the rest of the D3 from its exposure to the UVB. D3 from supplements can build up in the system and cause health issues...but D3 produced from exposure to the UVB light shouldn't as long as the dragon can move in and out of it.

I dust twice a month with a vitamin powder (Herptivite)that contains a beta carotene source of vitamin A. Beta carotene (prOformed) vitamin A is converted as needed and will not build up in the system like prEformed vitamin A can (acetate, retinol, etc.) Excess prEformed can prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the dragon towards MBD.

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are all important players in bone health and they need to be in balance. You need to look at what is in the supplements, what you feed to the dragon and the insects when trying to reach a balance.

Temp. is also important since it aids in digestion.


   

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