Have you ever thought about picking up a Chinese water dragon? Australian water dragon? Green Iguana? Frilled Dragon? but you either can’t afford one of these beauts or they get too damn big? Well guys, I got a present for you. It’s called MHD. It may sound like a disease or a drug, and trust me, it’s just as contagious, and addictive as either of these, but really, MHD stands for Mountain Horned Dragon. The easiest dragon.
What’s not to love about a green-brown body, long, prehistoric tail, beautiful almond colored eyes, and a dewlap that looks like a mosaic painting? Nothing! If you have a fever for a first lizard, but don’t want something that’s gonna grow up to weigh as much as you do, you must consider one of these beauties. Being semi-arboreal and tropical, they will not only bring the reptile to your life, but also bring that sweet tropical vacation getaway right into your room.
Iguanas require a room, chinese water dragons require a quarter of one, but MHDs are perfectly content with a 30 gallon aquarium, and in a beauty contest, blow both of the previously mentioned contenders out of the water. Or shall I say, trees. The bigger the better for an enclosure, of course, but a 30 gallon is fine, and the minimum should be a 20 gallon aquarium, tall. The trickiest part for these guys is the water feature. They do prefer running or bubbling water for drinking, so a cheap aquarium pump would be great if you could afford one. A powerhead, meant for a large fish tank filter would be even better, and you could go out and buy some cheap tubing and make yourself a great waterfall. As far as temperature goes, 90 degrees fahrenheit is minimum for the dragon’s basking spot, and the cool side shouldn’t get below 75 degrees, which is a difficultly large temperature gradient for a short enclosure lengthwise, such as a 20 gallon tall, but it can be done. Daily Misting is required: you want to SOAK their enclosure, and live plants or moss, along with running water and a mostly enclosed tank, make for a perfect humidity balance. Feeding should be daily: small amounts of live insects. MHDs will NOT eat prekilled food. Most insects provide a great and healthy meal, but I suggest starting your newcomer off on mealworms, superworms, crickets, or termites. Handling is the best part of these guys, because of their relatively low intelligence they will relax on your hand, wrist, shoulder, or lap, for hours without fuss.
Hunting a Dragon
The most difficult part of keeping these dragons will come early in your taming-of-the-dragon saga: finding one. These beautiful beasts are rarely found in pet stores, and that makes your chances of obtaining one via an online source greater. With all things mentioned previously in mind, your dragon saga will be on its way in no time.