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Ackie Setup Questions

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by Damnedheart, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Damnedheart

    Damnedheart Member

    I prebought a baby red Ackie. The clutch hasn't hatched yet and won't be sent for 2 months after it hatches so I have tons of time to prepare. I have a 90 gallon tank which is 4' x 2' x 2' I'm wondering if this will be too big for a hatchling. Also i wanted to get a 10.0 uvb tube and a 150 heat emitter for the 90 (at least as an adult) Im wondering if either of those would be too much or not enough for what they need. And as for substrate I read that a mix of washed playsand and eco earth makes a good substrate I just want to confirm this. And any more tips on Ackies from people with personal experience with them would be appreciated.
     
  2. Lori68

    Lori68 Established Member

    No, a 4x2x2 size isn't too big at all. Consider that there are wild ones being born into the great big world and they manage...so captives are always given the short end of the stick...in my opinion. I started mine in a custom built 4x2x2 cage and they (2 ackies) did quite well. I'm going to come out and say that I'd always recommend a custom built wooden cage instead of a glass tank cage because those glass tank ones comes with a screen top and the only access to it is from above. In my opinion, its better to go into the cage at their level intead of from above....coming at them from above is sort of predatory looking.
    Of course, you probably will have to deal with an empty cage syndrome for a time while the skittish fear of you wears off. Not all are super skittish, I'm more mentioning that just to be prepared you might have one that will run for cover for the first while. Once settled and comfortable in your presence though, that's when you get to see them use every bit of that tiny cage as possible. They are very active to warrant the cage being that size even for a baby. Just be sure to put in lots of cover and hiding opportunities....cork bark, lots and lots of cork bark. They love the stuff :)
    I use halogen flood bulbs for heat in my cages, I don't think a heat emitter is going to give you the ability to offer high surface basking temps. So that will have to be considered on how to properly provide basking temps that reach at least 130F. There is a really good ackie care guide found in the forum help section. I'd recommend looking that over for more tips
     
  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Ditch the tank or use it for fish, by the time you make it suitable for ackies youll have done nearly as much work as just building a cage, and you still wont have as nice a setup. What you really want is basically a sealed box with front opening doors. I usually suggest swing doors with lizards rather than sliders, as the tracks will usually get clogged with dirt. And id skip the eco-earth unless you just add a small amount. My usual mix is somewhere around 4-1 topsoil/playsand. You need something that will pack down decent and still allow them to burrow. Other than that Lori already pretty much covered it.
     
  4. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree with Lori, the heat emitter will not project heat as well as a halogen flood bulb. However a heat emitter on a rheostat works well to maintain a base temperature in a large enclosure.
     
    Darkbird likes this.

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