Water dragons require fairly large enclosures. For example, a pair of adult water dragons would require a terrarium that is at least 4 x 4 feet wide and 5 feet high. Adequate vertical space is important, as these lizards love to climb and branches will need to be supplied for this activity.
The sides and back of the terrarium should be made out of opaque materials, such as wood, metal, or fiberglass. The front panel should be made out of glass to allow easy viewing of your pet. The top of the terrarium should be covered by an aluminum ventilation screen that allows air from the bottom to flow up and out. Place a door on one of the front or side panels, making sure to keep the door opening relatively small to avoid escapes.
A water basin should be placed in the bottom of the terrarium. It doesn’t need to be gigantic, but only big enough for the water dragon to fit his entire body in, as he will use this container for bathing. Water dragons defecate in water, so you will need to clean the basin daily and replace the dirtied water with fresh water.
Temperature is an important part of providing appropriate living conditions for your pet. In the wild, water dragons bask themselves in the sunlight, so heat lamps are the most natural heating option. You should also provide UVB light (ultraviolet B light waves), which works to form vitamin D3 in the skin. The heat lamps and UVB light should be placed close together at the top of the terrarium, above the aluminum screen. This will create a warm area at the top, with the temperature growing increasingly cooler as you move down into the terrarium, giving your water dragon the ability to regulate his temperature simply by moving throughout the terrarium.
An outdoor enclosure is also an option for housing your water dragon. Outdoor housing can be beneficial for your water dragon because of the exposure to natural sunlight. Also, outdoor enclosures can be much larger than indoor ones, giving your dragon the opportunity for more exercise and the chance to behave more like he would in the wild. For more information on creating an outdoor enclosure for your water dragon, read Water Dragons (T.F.H. Publications, 2006).