Pet Water Dragons with Heat and UVB Lighting

Chinese Water Dragon in captivity

To their cages, pet water dragons require specific reptile lamps. Water dragons can develop a variety of issues if they are not given adequate illumination. You may avoid these issues and help your water dragon live a long and healthy life by understanding what sort of illumination it requires.

Heat Lights for Water Dragons

The bulbs required to heat an enclosure all fit into the same sort of fixture, an incandescent ceramic socket, and are readily available at practically any pet store. Heat lamps, not undertank heaters or hot pebbles, should be used as your pet's primary source of warmth. To assist heat the water dragon's water, submersible water heaters should be employed.

Water dragons should have a basking temperature in the upper 80s and a cooler side of their tank in the upper 70s. The water should remain in the 80s.

Ceramic Heat Bulbs

Ceramic heat bulbs do not offer light, but they do deliver heat to an enclosure. They come in a variety of wattages, much like ordinary incandescent light bulbs. The required wattage is determined by the enclosure's size and whether or not extra heat lamps are utilized. They last far longer than conventional incandescent bulbs, which makes them more cost-effective, but they do not emit UVA rays. As a result, these are a heat aid device for a UVA generating bulb (full spectrum fluorescent or UVA ray emitting heat bulb). Make sure these bulbs aren't put on a flammable surface.

Mercury Vapor Bulbs

Mercury vapor lamps should only be used in very large enclosures. They are potent UVB emitters, but they also produce heat. These are not usually suitable solutions for water dragons unless you have a large cage and can suspend the mercury vapor lamp several feet away from your pet.

Incandescent Heat Bulbs

These are your standard heat bulbs, which emit light, UVA rays, and heat in various wattages. Different bulb sizes and shapes, as well as different light colors, are available (wavelengths). Nightlight bulbs are blue/purple lights (make sure the bulb isn't painted glass but is, in fact, blue/purple glass), while nocturnal lights are red (don't use painted bulbs). The required wattage is determined by the enclosure's size and whether or not extra heat lamps are utilized.

Basking lights are shaped to direct heat into the area directly below the bulb as opposed to the entire tank and are usually shaded on the sides to assist in directing the light downward.

Halogen Heat Bulbs

These bulbs provide the same functions as incandescent heat bulbs, and they release more heat, light, and UVA rays than an incandescent bulb of the same size, although costing somewhat more. They also have a longer life span and consume less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Some halogen bulbs fit in incandescent fixtures and others fit in halogen fixtures. Make sure your bulbs fit into your fixtures before purchasing them.

UVB Lights

UVB light is required for water dragons and most other reptiles. This is an inaudible wavelength that the sun produces to assist reptiles in metabolizing calcium that they are fed. Your water dragon may become sluggish, refuse to eat, and suffer if you don't provide it. To keep healthy, water dragons require 10 to 12 hours of UVB sunshine every day.

Aside from direct sunshine (not filtered through a window), there are a few other sources of UVB rays that are undetectable. In the pet world, fluorescent bulbs and mercury vapor lamps are the two most prevalent UVB sources.

Fluorescent Bulbs

UVA and UVB (typically expressed as percentages) rays are emitted by special fluorescent bulbs that fit into fluorescent fixtures. These full-spectrum bulbs run out of rays before the lights burn out, therefore they should be replaced every six months or as recommended by the manufacturer.

UVB bulbs should be placed six to eight inches away from your water dragon's face so that he can absorb the invisible rays. Also, avoid placing the bulb on a plastic, plexiglass, or glass surface. These compounds will prevent the rays from reaching the areas where your reptile requires them. According to newer studies, the conventional metal mesh screen used for reptile aquariums also prevents a considerable percentage of UVB radiation. As a result, install your bulb on the inside of the enclosure to ensure that as many rays as possible reach your dragon.

Mercury Vapor Bulbs

Mercury vapor lamps have several uses for your water dragon, but they are only appropriate for very large enclosures. They provide both UVA and UVB rays, as well as heat for your cage. Instead of using two bulbs, you may use just one to deliver both heat and the necessary UVA/UVB rays.

These bulbs last far longer than fluorescent and heat bulbs, and there is significant debate in the reptile community about whether mercury vapor bulbs are harmful to reptiles due to the strength of the UV rays they emit. Despite the concerns, numerous reptile owners have reported that they have never had a problem. If you do decide to use a mercury vapor lamp, make sure to give enough of shade in the enclosure, use a ceramic socket for the bulb, and keep a gap of 12 to 24 inches between your reptile and the light for safety.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

These bulbs perform the same functions as ordinary fluorescent bulbs, however they are designed to be used in incandescent fixtures. They also consume less energy than a fluorescent bulb and should last longer, but according to some study, the UV is far too strong for reptiles, and they don't survive as long as they should. They're also only suitable for tiny enclosures since, unlike ordinary fluorescent tube lights, they focus their light in a single small area rather than many feet.

You may avoid a slew of issues by providing your pet water dragon with adequate heat and UVB lights (and several visits to your ).