I've tried several different scenarios to try and set up the perfect terrarium, but it was no easy task. I've spent a large amount of time doing research to try and obtain best of breed designs, but it was difficult to get some real solid information.
1. I started out (with my first dragon) with a 1m(deep)x1.5m(heigh)x2m(wide) snake tank. The tank was very dry, and I could clearly see that my new dragon was not very happy in this dry environment (snout rubbing was a common thing - he wanted OUT!)
2. My next attempt was to add some (chemical free!) compost and real plants, with a small water feature I got from the local nursery. This seemed to calm down my Dragon somewhat, but the idea did not last very long. Water started to seep through the plastic lining I put in the bottom of the terrarium, and soon I not only had water problem in the house, but the wood started separating and rotting away. It was time to make some drastic changes. By this time the plants started rotting and giving of a horrid smell.
3. I bought some glass from the local store (4mm), and lined the back, bottom and front with panels using marine sealant to fix and seal the glass into place. This created the ideal (fish tank) effect I had in mind.
High Quality image: Coral Draw 11 File / JPG File
I purchased some pebbles from the local nursery, plastic plants (YOU CAN NEVER GO WRONG WITH PLASTIC!), a 12V FAN and Power Supply, 300W Fish tank Heater and was ready to create the home a water dragon deserves!.
With this latest terrarium design/modification I could clearly see how happy the dragon was. Snout rubbing stopped immediately. His diet improved (improving his colour greatly), and he was swimming and lying in the water more that 70% of the time. Water temperature is set to 30`C, and the inner temperature varies between 31`C in daytime and 25'C night time).
I finally created a terrarium any water dragon could feel at home in!.
Here are some of my suggestions if you would like to build a proper terrarium:
1. Design your terrarium as big as possible.
I would not recommend anything smaller than 1.5x1.5x2m (Imagine yourself in a
2. Make sure you have a good (iguana/water dragon florescent UVB lamp - 1m 30W minimum) - DO NOT USE NORMAL FLORESCENT TUBES - They do NOT give off enough UV light for the water dragon to produce Vitamin D3 for Calcium Absorption)
3. Do not place your terrarium in direct sunlight. It will act as a oven inside, and you will have problems with algae.
4. Make sure you have enough ventilation for FRESH air inside the terrarium. (Include a small FAN)
5. A good fish tank heater is perfect to heat up the water. Make sure to cover the element/glass so that your dragon can not burn!
6. If you can, install a drain plug that can drain water into your garden. You can use the same pipe to fill up the terrarium with fresh water again. Make sure to replace water regularly (once per day is recommended). Be sure to switch off you heater before you drain the water. Sudden cold water can cause the glass around the heater to break, resulting in a short and possible injury/death to you or your dragon!
7. Supply a basking lamp (150W spot will do) for those colder days.
8. Do not use real plants. They will not survive the heat, water and UV light. Plastic is the way to go, and they look realistic too.
9. Try not to use wood. The water damp will eventually cause it to rot. Use Stainless Steel if possible. Grade 304 is fine for this task.
10. Get a lock to keep those pesky visitors/children out of your terrarium. Dragon do not like little hands grabbing at them. (Besides - Doctors bills for stitches are expensive on those little fingers!) Not to mention the panic of an escaped dragon. (Trust me, once they are out, you're not going to catch them. They can run like h.... well: FAST)
11. A little water feature and fountain pump will give your water dragon hours of fun. They love to lie on top of the water spout, or inside a little water fall. (Hmm. Water Dragon.....)
The interior design is up to your imagination...