This question is asked of me often "Hi I am going to get either an iguana or water dragon ... space really isn't an option they'll have plenty room either way. What do you think would be more exciting? I really like both and I like to hold them ....which is easier to tame and is better when tamed? Thank you for your opinion."
Oh that's a hard question!
I have one large iguana, and 5 water dragons and I love them all! :) I think you really have to decide by diet, size, and temperament as to which animal would better suit your current- and future- lifestyle. Remember both of these animals live 15 or more years when kept properly.
Iguana's can reach 6 to 7 feet, are extremely interactive but seem to need to interact on a daily basis with their owner to remain tame and manageable. They need HUGE enclosures or need to free roam as they get larger. Iguana's can be extremely aggressive ... often when they are new to a home, if they aren't interacted with and housed in too small cages .... but most especially when they get to be about two years old and they come into breeding season.
After two years of age your iguana will come into it's breeding season at least once a year for approx. three months. During this time, all the hormones racing around in it's body tend to make it much more aggressive. This is when many igs are returned to stores or set free or scare their owners so badly that they are not cared for properly. If you are aware of the breeding season and how aggressive they can become you will do fine, and likely being educated in how to handle your ig during this time you will likely not have as bad a time as many unknowing ig owners do. Please read Melissa Kaplan's ig care pages
It usually takes an iguana 3 to 6 months before they become fairly tame. Iguana's are herbivores ... but cant just eat any food items ... see Melissa's page for good diet info, or visit my salad page for more info on the kinds of food to feed your ig- if you get one. Diet wise igs are great ... most people don't have a problem with or become squeamish due to feeding their pet veggies.
While igs are herbivores or vegetarians, water dragons are carnivores ... meaning they eat whole prey food items like pinky's and feeder fish and a variety of insects. So diet alone could lead you to your choice. :)
Water dragons are interactive too, and are quite fun to watch, but are generally a bit skittish when you first get one, however within a month or so they tame down and become quite handlable and remain that way even when they are in breeding season. Water dragons generally stay very tame, docile and handlable. :)
Water dragons also need a large cage- preferably not glass because they will literally rub their faces off on glass cages!
Dragons will rarely take veggies or fruit so you have to be prepared to feed them a well balanced diet of insects such as crickets, mealworms, earthworms, and then whole prey food items such as feeder fish and baby pinky mice.
For more information on the care of the Chinese water dragon please see the extensive information that I have compiled at "Tricia's Chinese Water Dragon Page".
Both animals need very large cages, have specific UVB lighting needs, need calcium supplementation, and require no less than 50% humidity in their enclosures, 80 % humidity is optimal.
I've told you the major difference's between each animal. It's really your decision. I have both animals and I love them equally- for their differences. :) Good Luck!
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Iguana and Water Dragon Books
Iguanas for Dummies
By Melissa Kaplan!!!! 384 pages of in depth iguana care information. So, you wanna iguana. Or you already have one. Now what? This fun and friendly guide gives you expert advice on selecting an iguana and taking care of your fascinating pet throughout its life. It provides valuable tips on diet, habitat, health, and other important iguana issues.
Green Iguana; The Ultimate Owner's Manual by James W., III Hatfield
The best book on green iguanas to come along in years. Information on diet, housing, and health, wonderful insights into iguana psychology and iguana-human interaction. The definitive work on management, care and personality traits of green iguanas in captivity. If you own a green iguana or if you are thinking of getting one, you should buy this book.
The Green Iguana Manual by Philippe De Vosjoli
Basic information about the care of the Green Iguana. Outdated nutritional information.
The Iguana : An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet by Karen Rosenthal
Up-to-date reptile information and ownership instruction. The Iguana covers everything from selecting an ectotherm and understanding its environmental needs to discussions on behaviour and a glossary of relevant terminology.
Iguana Iguana : Guide for Successful Captive Care by Fredric L. Frye
A new and expanded edition, devoted exclusively to the green iguana, based on the author's previous publication, Iguanas: A Guide to their Biology and Captive Care. Includes b&w; illustrations and 24 pages of colour plates. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Green Water Dragons, Sailfin Lizards and Basilisks (General Care and Maintenance of Series) by Philippe De Vosjoli
Basic but detailed information about the care, diet, and health of green water dragons, sailfin lizards and basilisks.
Anoles, Basilisks and Water Dragons : A Complete Pet Care Manual (More Complete Pet Owner's Manuals) by Richard D. Bartlett, Patricia P. Bartlett (Contributor)
Discussion of the general care of many species of anole, basilisks and water dragons. Excellent information regarding enclosures, cage building, and insect care and breeding.
Eat This Bug : A Guide to Invertebrate Live Foods for Reptiles and Amphibians by Lynn Davis
This book is a guide for owners of reptiles and amphibians who feed insects and other live foods to their pets. Advice is offered for selecting , ordering and raising your own supply of live invertebrate foods. More than a dozen species of live foods are discussed. The book includes instructions on keeping cultures of insects, and recipes & diets for insects.
April, 10, 2012
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IGUANA CARE BASICS- 101
Should I get an Iguana or a Water Dragon?
Frequently Asked Questions about Iguanas
Taming of new Iguana
Taming an Iguana and aggressiveness during breeding season - Iguana Care
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Iguana or a Water Dragon?
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