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Nile Setup Advice

Discussion in 'Help *General*' started by brynster, May 17, 2010.

  1. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    Hi Guys :) looking for a bit of advice on the setup for my baby Nile named Apep, hes about 15 inch long at the moment ill try and post a pic of his viv, ive measured the surface temps with my ir temp gun and im getting these readings, cool end just behind water bowl is 73f middle of the viv reads 90f and the warm end reads 97f if you can see in the pic he likes to bask on the log near the front which reads 110 surface temp are these temps ok or should i up them a little, at the moment as i said hes around 15 inch long and his viv measaurements are 32 inch long by 21 inch deep by 19 inch high. also should i use a uv light as i read conflicting comments about weather to or not., hes a little shy at the moment and tends to go and hide if i go to close so not sure weather to start handling him just yet. all advice welcome and greatly appreciated.
    hope this pic isnt to big
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  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm no monitor expert but I can tell you that when they do come by you are going to hear that your tank isn't nearly big enough. And I beleive that your basking temps area is not going to be warm enough
    There are also extended discussions in our monitor forum section relative to socializing.
     
  3. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    i understand the viv isnt anywhere near big enough for him as he gets bigger, im constructing a new home for him at the moment which is 8ft by 3 ft by 3 ft this should hopefully be done by the end of this week, i wasnt sure weather to put him straight in that when its done him being so small at the moment, due to if i want to handle him i wouldnt want to stress him out any more than need be trying to get him out the large viv until he gets used to me.
    think your right about the temp though but thought id ask advice from those who know better than myself
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, you already know that tank isn`t suiitable, and the basking temp needs to come up at least another 20f, in which case, I expect the rest of the tank will be too warm, and the new enclosure will not last too long either, the length is o.k for a year or so, but the width and height need to be extended by another 12inches at least, you could easily fix a partition across the center, or 1/3 the way along, and then as the monitor grows remove it, that way, he/she is in the same enclosure, so no stressful moving.
    I don`t advise handling the monitor at all just now, he /she MUST be given time to acclimate, and moving to another enclosure will cause even more stress (but that`s unavoidable). I`m a firm believer that diurnal basking reptiles benefit from exposure to natural unfiltered sunlight, or if that`s not available on a regular basis, artificial UVB emmiting bulbs/strip lights. (Mega ray lamps being the very best UVB/heat lamps on the market at this time).
    There ARE scientific studies that confirm UVB is important, no studies whatsoever to suggest it`s harmful in any way, that`s good enough for me!
     
  5. bighog85

    bighog85 Elite Member

    I am not a monitor expert by any means and have come here to learn as well. What I do know though from just a quick care sheet search is that you are probably gonna be overwhelmed by what you need to do to provide for this animal in the not so distant future. Every care sheet I found suggests an enclosure no smaller than a full room of a house, probably at least 10'x12'. Hopefully I am wrong in assuming that this was an impulse buy, but if I am not then I would suggest that you start making plans for an addition to your house now. It doesn't take long for them to grow. Have you had reptiles, and more specifically monitors, before?
     
  6. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    yes i knew present viv isnt big enough and ive just measured my Boards B4 cutting them and they actually measure 8ft by 4 ft so that's a bonus, and the temp i was sure should be around 130f, i have kept reptiles B4 including a couple of iguanas and still have 2 bearded dragons but i know the Nile is far from both of these, this was not an impulse buy, i have been thinking about a Nile for a while but the way i came to own him is.. i went to a guys house who is a friend of a friend and he had the Nile kept in a 2ft by 18 inch by 18 inch small viv, we started talking about him and he said he wished he hadn't bought it as every time he went near it it hid or if trying to handle him it would try to bite, i said i would buy him knowing i can offer him a better home and that's how i come to own him. As for space i own a 4 bedroom house only 3 of which are used so if needed he can and will have his own room. i know i have lots to learn and appreciate any help and advice people can give me. I'm certain with a little help from you guys Apep will have a very happy life and i will do everything i can to make sure he does,
    thanks for the advice so far any more is gladly welcomed
     
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I think you will make a good keeper, asking questions is the only way to lean, no matter how many, just keep asking! It`s a real challenge, but they ARE worth all the effort (and expense).
    Tell me what you`re feeding, how much, how often, and are you using a digital therm/hygrometer to measure those with, and also, do you have a temp gun ? I need to know these things before we go any further, thanks!
     
  8. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    thanks for that i will certainly do my very best, yes im useing a ir temp gun using a digital therm/hygrometer, feeding i have been giving him pinkies 3 every 3 days also tried him on crickets but he doesnt seem to bother with them not sure weather this is right
     
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Yes, you DID mention the temp gun! I don`t see any lights, what are you using to heat and light the tank, it looks quite dark?
    Pinkie mice have virtually no nutritional value for a juvenile Varanid, they have very little protein, skeleton not developed, better to try fuzzies of appropriate size, but mainly a variety of insects; roaches are excellent, mealworms etc etc, snails if you can get them, but be absolutely sure no pesticides have been used in the area; you may be able to buy the freshwater type from an aquarist shop, just as suitable. Freshwater fish, if it`s too big, cut into smaller chunks, leave the guts, head etc on, feed it ALL (not necessarily the same day, of course if it`s a larger one). You CAN feed daily, but you MUST still regulate the total ammount, they won`t become overweight as babies/juveniles, but in a few months under optimum conditions they can get to sub-adult size, then the foods/feeding frequency should be reduced. Please do NOT listen to ANYONE who tells you they cannot become obese if the temps are raised even higher no matter how much you feed, that`s totally WRONG, and neither will they lose excess weight that way, the ONLY way to keep them in good health and condition is by excercise and an appropriate feeding regime, combined with the proper ranges of temps and humidity. Forced growth by "powerfeeding" is to be avoided at all costs, it WILL lead to disease and possibly death, long before they reach their potential lifespan.
     
  10. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    prorep basking light was turned off for a moment just to take the fhoto due to reflection off the light, im useing a ceramic heat lamp for temp, any sugestions if i can get him to eat mealworms crickets etc how many at a time as i would like to get him into a daily feeding program
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I can`t give you a precise number, because under optimum conditions they are normally such avid feeders, but a good way to know exactly what the monitor`s eaten is to pre-kill the crickets etc, just very lightly place a few in a bag and tap them so they aren`t crushed badly, then put them on a saucer or shallow dish (Varanids CAN recognise non-moving prey), and that way you will know how many he/she has eaten, offer a few mealworms (no need to kill them), put them on a shallow dish, you will get to know quite soon the appropriate ammount, and obviously, when feeding the larger prey items such as fuzzy mice or fish, reduce the insects, he/she will have a full stomach, but at this age that`s acceptable, just offer as much variety of whole prey items as possible, although you need to keep a close eye on his/her body condition as the weeks and months pass.
     
  12. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    thats great, I appreciate you helping me. ill try this starting tomorrow ill let you know how things go :)
     
  13. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    i tried this this morning with 10 size 5 crickets i think they are classed as medium dusted with Nutrobal calcium/multi vit and he ate all of them :) these are the first bugs i have got him to eat. should i try with more than 10 tomorrow or stick with the same amount.
     
  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, try the same thing with some different insects as well (maybe 10 crickets + 10 mealworms etc), but roaches are excellent as I said, and the more variety the better, can you get a few prawns/shrimps too?
    I need to ask what the humidity level is too, and can you check the temp in his hide (is that it on the left of the tank in the background), also, what`s the temp during the night, it shouldn`t drop below approx 72f, I prefer 75f myself?
     
  15. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    great ill try again tomorrow with some meal worms as well and get myself to the pet store to get a variety of foods for him, i should be able to get some prawns as well, yes that was his hide but realised i had it the wrong end that was put right about an hour after pic was taken, humidity reads 55%, night temp on my analog temp gauge which is in the middle of the viv reads just over76f, at the moment, 74f under hide night temp, not checked that during the day,I'm having to adjust thermostat for day and night because of the size of his viv but his new one is well under way now so he wont have to stay in this one much longer, then i will have to set it all up again i know but it will obviously be better for him in the long run, any advice when he goes in his new viv how many heat lamps to use and where to place thermostat sensor, I'm confident i will be able to sort his new basking spot and im going to ghange his substrate from bark to a sand and soil mix,
     
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    First, you really MUST get a digital thermometer, the others are far from accurate. You need a humidity level between 50 to 80%, when you build the new tank, I suggest installing a large (heated) pool, that will also help with the humidity. The hide can be at either side of the tank, because the temps will be lower in there anyway, but you can easily have two, one at each end. Tell me which type of heat and light bulbs you intend using, and what temps during the day and night you get in the room it`s going in (summer and winter)?
     
  17. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    tried him on 10 crickets and 10 meal worms today he hasn't eaten anything he seems a bit dubious about the meal worms wiggling around, ive been out today and bought a digital thermometer/hygrometer its far better as you said it reads humidity 81% warm and 86% cool end but its been really hot today even thermostat hasn't been turning heat lamp on, the probe for the thermostat is in the middle back of viv just up from the floor, the new digital thermometer/hygrometer reads 31.5c that's 88.7f warm side and 25c cool side 77f, I'm not sure the temps of room winter and summer apart from it does get rather cold winter and really warm summer like a conservatory. the sooner i get him in his new home the better, ill try and get a couple of pics up, bulbs for basking in new viv i thought 120watt flood light bulb for basking spot i was thinking ceramic heat bulbs for heat but not quiet sure how many and wattage, ive just ordered glass runners and going to see a glass company tomorrow about toughened glass
     
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    The temps are too low, that may be why he hasn`t eaten today, you need a warm side of approx 95f, and the cool approx 80f. (Ambient, not surface temps).
    I think the problem you will have is that if the thermostat turns the heat/lights off (which is does), there`s no basking spot, just a certain ambient temp and if the room`s warm, although it may be a reasonalble ambient, the animal can`t bask in the higher temps, try and get the room temps now, and if you have an idea what they`ll be tomorrow, maybe turn off the thermomstat and leave a lamp on to give the necessary basking temp. I take it you won`t be offering the UVB emmiting lamps (Mega-ray etc)?
     
  19. brynster

    brynster Active Member

    once again thanks for the advice ill try that, i was going to put exotera UVB/UVA light in new viv would that be ok? i appreciate all the advice your giving me its a great help :)
     
  20. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    You don`t need to thank me, it`s my pleasure, the best part is that you`re willing to listen, at the end of the day, it`s your decision. Yes, I`m convinced UVB is important to them, and if you can`t give them regular exposure to natural unfiltered sunlight, the UVB emmiting lamps are the way to go, supplements are useful, but it`s all guesswork. When you have the enclosure built let me know, and I`ll try and help with wattages etc. Keep the questions coming, I`m around 5 hours ahead of you, so if it gets late I may answer the next day, but I WILL reply, thanks for listening!
     

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