I distinctly remember how my passion for lizards started back when I was a kid. I have a vivid recollection of seeing a beautiful green colored lizard which had gorgeous brown eyes at a pet store. I was fond of pets, but I had never kept an amphibian or a reptile species.
At that time I didn’t realize that after setting eyes on that gorgeous lizard I would become a Chinese water dragon enthusiast.
A decade ago it wasn’t so easy to find quality information on how you can take care of your Chinese water dragon, so I have learned to take care of my pet by doing a research on this topic.
I gained knowledge by surfing the internet and reading books and spending all day in a local pet store together with other reptile lovers.
Since Chinese water dragons have become really popular pets in the last couple of years, I believe it’s only wise to help out the other Chinese water dragon owners such as yourself so that you can make the most of having such an incredible pet.
A Chinese water dragon owner should be aware of the necessities that are required for this pet.
Finding the best Chinese water dragon substrate really can be a problem, since most people today really do not know the dangers of most official reptile substrates.
Basic Living Conditions For Chinese Water Dragons
For a good Chinese water dragon owner, taking care of his pet wouldn’t seem like a chore.
But it should be mentioned that their needs are very particular. The living requirements of Chinese water dragons change as they grow in size.
Like for instance when they first hatch, a 10-gallon water tank is sufficient, but as they grow old, you need a bigger aquarium for them.
Now since we are talking about the ideal living conditions for Chinese water dragons, I should mention that most of those green creatures are used to digging burrows so if you want your pets to have a great time in their living space you should have a substrate in their aquarium.
Chinese Water Dragon Substrate
People who have had Chinese water dragons with them for long are surely aware of what a substrate is.
As for the newbies, a substrate is referred to as the material which is used by pet owners to line the surface of the aquarium or terrarium with.
Not only the substrate you choose affects the outlook of your water tank but it also significantly impacts the health of your pets.
Did you know that using the wrong substrate can kill your pet?
Substrates that most people use are cypress mulch, an orchid bark mixture; Astroturf with bound or melted edges; bed sheets; newspaper, or butcher paper; paper towels; ceramic tiles, and alfalfa pellets.
Some people even use sand and that is probably the safest way to kill your pet, since it is very likely that your dragon eats some of the substrate while hunting crickets and that can and eventually will cause impaction.
Cypress Mulch and Orchid Bark
Cypress mulch and orchid bark seem to be a good option, however they are not as safe as you might think.
There are many Chinese water dragon that died because of impaction after they ate some of the substrate.
Even though it does not happen to often with these two substrates, I would not recommend you to choose it as your substrate.
Newspaper, Paper Towels etc.
Do not even think about using newspaper or paper towels or similar stuff as substrate for your reptile tank.
This is not an appropriate substrate for a Chinese Water Dragon. They love to dig and they need high humidity in their tank which you will not reach with that.
You should always create a habitat which is very similar to their natural habitat.
What The Best Chinese Water Dragon Bedding Is
So you might wonder what the most suitable Chinese water dragon bedding is.
Well, most people suggest that the best option for a Chinese water dragon owner is to choose non-fertilized potting soil. It may be hard to keep clean, but it’s the best option when it comes to picking a substrate.
Even if your pet eats a little bit of the soil, there is no risk of impaction. Apart from that non-fertilized potting soil is the prettiest substrate of all and it will be easy for you to keep the humidity high with it.
However, if you are guilty of using a substrate like sand then switch it with soil.
Finding and purchasing soil shouldn’t be too hard. You can take a trip to your nearest garden supply store and ask for additive-free soil.
If that’s not convenient for you, then you can dig it up in your backyard too, making sure it’s pesticide free. If you doubt that the soil might consist of bugs, then you can bake it in an oven for around 20 minutes at 350°F.
There are other really good substrates out there in the market too which would be perfect for your Chinese water dragons.
I recommend a substrate which is called Black Gold and it is 100% organic – Click here for more information.
You can buy it easily on the web, and it will be delivered at your doorstep. So, going out to the market and looking for a substrate is one task that you can check off your to-do list.
If you need more information on Chinese water dragons check out my complete care guide!
My water dragon is high anxiety, she’s still a baby even just cleaning her cage causes distress… I feel like I’m doing something wrong ..
some babies are more skittish than others. Just be patient, it will calm down.
Hi, so I’m confused you said get a soil without fertilizer but the one that you’re showing us says comes with fertilizer.
those are organic fertilizers, so nothing chemical, it´s just nature.
Nobody I know ever had problems with that 🙂
Is moss an ok substrate for water dragons
well, not as the main substrate, but you can certainly have spots with mooss – no problem about that 🙂
The black gold that you recommended has fertilizer!!! Wow!
don´t worry, those are organic fertilizers – it´s natural and no one I know had problems with that.
Hope this helps 🙂