How to Maintain Humidity in a Chinese Water Dragon Tank

As a Chinese water dragon owner, you want to provide your new reptilian pet with the best habitat, ensuring your new pet feels comfortable and safe.

Chinese Water Dragons have very specific humidity requirements, they love warm and humid enclosures. In order to feel comfortable in a captive environment, they need plenty of water.

Chinese Water Dragon Humidity Requirements

Chinese water dragons do not absorb water, but they do love being moist. These lizards come from the tropical areas of Southeast Asia and require high humidity levels of around 80%.

It is essential to maintain humidity levels in your Chinese water dragons enclosure to help with shedding.

Poor humidity levels could result in shedding problems, including skin being stuck on the toes and tail.

How to Effectively Monitor Humidity Levels

You will find that a digital hygrometer will be easier to use and more accurate than the analog options.

A good digital hygrometer, such as the Zoo Med Labs Digital Thermometer Humidity Gauge can offer an easy to read digital readout with a waterproof probe. The probe can be placed anywhere in the enclosure to accurately measure humidity levels.

How to Increase Humidity Levels

There are numerous ways to boost humidity levels. If you are struggling to reach an 80% humidity level, then you may want to take note of some of the following tips to increasing humidity levels in your leopard gecko enclosure.


The substrate you use plays a vital role in humidity retention. Substrate is the bedding or base layer inside the enclosure.

You will want something that can absorb moisture to boost humidity levels, such as the Zilla Coconut Husk Brick Reptile Bedding, which is made from 100% organic coconut fibers and is highly absorbent.

Coconut husk is very effective in helping to increase humidity levels with one to two inches of fiber along the bottom of the enclosure.

When introduced to water, this substrate expands. It is natural, non-toxic, non-abrasive, and biodegradable.

The benefits of this substrate include being 100% organic, hold moisture, ideal for egg incubation, and can be used for chameleons, Chinese water dragons, green anoles, frogs, and more.

Sphagnum moss is a welcome addition to any humid enclosure. The Zoo Med New Zealand Sphagnum Moss is able to hold a vast amount of water and is a natural product that doesn’t decompose in a humid environment.

Use it as a top substrate for your pet. This is a soft moisture holding moss that looks like a lush carpet. It is able to hold up to twenty times its dry weight in moisture.


The enclosure you select is also essential to boosting humidity levels. Plastic enclosures are able to hold humidity better than other materials.

While you need good ventilation, many reptile owners cover part of the screen top with foil to reduce moisture escape and hold humidity levels for as long as possible.

Tin foil covers parts of the screen top

Water Bowl

In order to increase humidity levels, you can add a large water bowl to the warm side of the enclosure, helping with evaporation and humidity.

The REPTIZOO Food Dish is made from high quality, safe, and toxin free resin that is durable and strong. It cannot be tipped over easily with a smooth surface. It is easy to clean and comes with a twelve-month warranty.

Add Moving Water

Adding moving water to the enclosure doesn’t only help in increasing humidity levels, but it adds a dramatic touch to your design while offering a more natural drinking solution for your reptile pet.

In the wild, your reptile would drink from small streams and the water from leaves. The Neptonion Reptile Fountain Water offers cascading water that stimulates natural drinking. It’s quick and easy to clean and can be dismantled in seconds.

Frequent Misting

Misting is a very popular way of increasing humidity levels in your pet’s enclosure. Of course, it’s fine using a misting bottle a few times a day, if you are home.

When you are at work, school, or heading off for a few days away, you may want to consider a misting system or fogger, such as the REPTI ZOO 4L Reptile Humidifier Fogger.

This fogger offers a large four liter capacity that offers easy filling. The fogger can hold up to twelve hours of maximum working time of water that is added directly to the top without having to dismantle the entire device. It comes to adjustable extension tubes, a smart touch screen with memory function and the convenience of a one year warranty.

The REPTIZOO 4L digital humidifier incorporates a humidifier and timer in one offering a long lasting mist that is powerful with a sleek design and easy filling and cleaning.

Live Plants

Live plants are an excellent way to boost humidity levels in the enclosure. Your Chinese water dragon will benefit from the high humidity levels, though bear in mind when using live plants, it is possible your dragon will damage or destroy them over time.

Some of the most common and safe live plants for Chinese water dragons, include:

  • Microsorum scolopendrium ‘Wart Fern
  • Sansevieria zeylanica ‘Mother-in-Law’s Tongue’
  • Chamaedorea elegans – Neanthe bella (Parlor Palm)
  • Ficus lyrata – Fiddle Leaf Fig
  • Philodendron ‘Moonlight’
  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’ Pothos
  • Aglaonema ‘Favonian’
  • Dracaena fragrans ‘Jade Jewel’

Related –15 best live plants for Chinese water dragon terrariums.

How to Decrease Humidity Level

There are a number of ways you can lower your humidity levels if they reach over 80%.

Humidity levels too high are as dangerous as levels too low. High humidity levels in the tank for an extended period of time will result in health issues such as respiratory infections.


In order to raise the humidity, you may have placed foil over the top screen of the terrarium to reduce moisture escaping. If you want to decrease humidity, you need to do the opposite, which means increasing ventilation.

Screen Top

If your enclosure has a solid top, you will want to look for a screen or mesh top that will allow for ample airflow and reduce humidity accordingly.

Reduce Water Availability

Too much water in the enclosure leads to an increase in humidity. If your humidity levels are too high, you will want to place your water bowl away from the lights in the cooler side of the terrarium. Another option is to replace the dish with a smaller dish.

Don’t Oversaturate Substrate

Another very important thing to bear in mind when it comes to lowering humidity levels is to ensure you don’t oversaturate your substrate. If your levels are too high, allow your substrate to dry out slightly before moistening again.

Stop Misting

Misting helps to increase humidity levels. If you are wanting to reduce humidity levels you will want to stop misting completely or reduce how many mists you give each day.

Change Enclosure Material

If you have selected a plastic enclosure because they are known to offer excellent humidity, you may want to change to glass. Glass is able to assist with humidity, but also won’t keep the levels as high as plastic.

Tips for Preventing Mold


Wet substrate can form mold over time. In order to prevent mold, you are going to want to change your substrate frequently.


Good airflow and ventilation can help to reduce the risk of mold in the enclosure. If you notice mold, ensure you remove it immediately.


Springtails are cleanup crews for your enclosure. These are detritivores, which means they eat mold, fungi, pollen, algae, feces, and bacteria. They are excellent for cleaning your enclosure and reducing the risk of mold.

Simply mix the substrate into your own substrate and the population will begin to boom.

1 thought on “How to Maintain Humidity in a Chinese Water Dragon Tank”

  1. my CWD color is dull not shinny and wet looking and his tail looks brownish . looking for ways to improve his color . thanks Clint.

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