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Bugs In Baby Sav Monitor Tank Help

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by snboyer, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. snboyer

    snboyer Member

    Ok so i've had him for about 3 months. I havent had any issues up until recently about 8 days ago. We just moved into a new apartment last month. 8 days ago i noticed a super tiny little bug in his tank walking around the soil. I had my face right up to the tank otherwise i never would have noticed honestly it was SO tiny. Then upon further inspection i realized it wasnt alone. Ive seen atleast 10 of these suckers. Not on the monitor just roaming the tank. Ive googled alot and cant seem to identify them. My bf said gnats. We left it alone. Nothings changed. I dont Think theyre gnats. Im going to attempt to take pictures but theyre not even half the size of a thumbtack.they dont seem to bother the lizard... Ive had snake mites on my snake years ago but they dont look like that at all. Theyre tinier in my opinion. Were using organics garden soil mixed with forest floor bedding by zoo med. Also to note around the same time we noticed his live plant taking a dive for the worst. Its now dead. Ok turns out theyre so tiny my cameras having difficulty photographing them . Cant upload a video keeps saying too large even for a 8 second video.
     

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  2. snboyer

    snboyer Member

    Ok i got a picture up close
     

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  3. snboyer

    snboyer Member

    Heres my temporary quarentine. Im dumping everything in the old tank. =\ gonna do some more reasearch on more substrates any Recommendations would be appreciated.
     

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  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can you give details of the conditions including the ambient (air) and basking surface temps plus humidity range, and how you measure those?
    If the bugs aren't on or bothering the monitor it`s unlikely they`re reptile mites, personally I don`t think there`s a need to house the monitor in a "quarantine" tank at this time.
    Topsoil mixed with some playsand makes a decent substrate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  5. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    You didn't have to dump everything just because you saw some bugs. They more than likely came in with the soil, but just because they did doesn't mean they were harmful. Its actually beneficial to have something living off the soil. This is what is known as bioactive enclosures. I would suggest googling that to get a better understanding of it. Many reptile keepers (myself included) intentionally have this type of environment in our cages. It allows a life cycle within the soil, bugs eat decaying organic matter, including the poop your monitor does. These little critters may not break it down completely but they do help render the waste down quite a bit. That way you don't have to do a needless job like spot cleaning the cage. These bugs will take care of the clean up for you.

    Savs can't do well in a cage that has nothing but paper towel or newspaper, so please consider going back to a sandy soil mix for the substrate. The temporary cage is going to be for how long? Hopefully, by temporary it means a custom built one is already in the works? Not to nag but aquariums are really unsuitable housing. That top needs to be covered up for the immediate time being, but as murrindindi said, there is no need to wait for your sav to grow at all. They are absolutely fine in a large sized cage right away. Mine grew up in one and had no issues with the larger space. I actually feel it did more benefit, he had a lot of space to exercise and roam and hide and explore. I'll upload a couple of pics of mine when he was a sav around the same size as yours in his big cage

    Some pictures of when my sav was just put into this larger cage I had built for my previous savs that unfortunately died from reproductive issues (long story short, they were not in the best shape to begin with...and many female monitors of any species are very difficult to cater to, so many die from issues that arise from that, but that is a topic to bring up elsewhere...which I suggest you do so you have more knowledge and are more aware of it for your own animals sake)
    Screen shot 2016-11-27 at 2.38.37 PM.png Screen shot 2016-11-27 at 2.41.56 PM.png
     
    kriminaal likes this.
  6. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    And here is a picture of a sampling of the types of bugs I have in my savs cage. These are tropical isopods (feasting on a slice of acorn squash at the time), but he also lives with springtails, soil and wood mites (yes they are totally fine and won't bother your sav) and morio beetles. The unwanted tenants are the crickets he lost interest in and they now get to be freeloaders doing nothing but making noise in the middle of the night. I'm not a fan of crickets, even worse since my sav lost interest in them as a food item Tropical isopods.jpg
     
  7. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree, bioactive is the way to go. I can't tell from the pics if they are springtails but they are whitish and are attracted to moist areas. If you get too many just scoop some out.
     
  8. snboyer

    snboyer Member

    Thanks ive got him in another tank, were in the process of building a new one. Yours looks great by the way =) he seems ok hes pretty active, a little on the aggressive side, he spends alot of time soaking i assume cuz we are having a hard time maintaining himidity i spray his cage every day. I went back to a soil and wood mix although i dont see any bugs in this one. His tank is 96 degrees on the left side. His basking spot is 105 it was 110 but the stand is broken and wont go any lower gotta get a new one. The middle area is usually around 79 to 88 degrees. Cooler when i spray the tank. My new issue (might not be an issue) to me he looks bloated. Or is he just fat? He is eating fine on crickets and occasional meal worms. He goes poop. Im not sure how often he is supposed to. He hisses at basically everything even the crickets if they touch him its kinda funny. Oh yeah at night i turn one of the lamps off. It drops to the 80 range. Our apartment is kept at 78 degrees. The hygrometer is on 60. Usually ranging from 60 to 80. Closer to 60 after i spray the cage.
     

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  9. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    In all honesty (and not to sound rude) but you are in need of changing his cage in a bad way. The reason you are having a hard time maintaining humidity is because the top is screened. If there was any humidity caused by spraying, it goes right out the top immediately....so the air is constantly going to be the same as the relative humidity as the house. Household humidity is really low....like 40% at best. Adding to that, warm air is also escaping out the top as well. Glass tanks are the least ideal caging options for monitors, even if they are just babies. Its the cage as a whole that does everything against you in terms of providing ideal ranges of everything they need to maintain their functions.

    The bloating may be from food not being properly digested since the basking temps are low. It should be 130F or hotter really. Halogen flood bulbs are the most used bulbs for providing heat because they emit really hot temps even at lower wattages. Not sure what kind of bulbs you are using for yours but this needs to be fixed pretty quickly.

    How fast can you build a wooden cage? This should be done even if its not a full sized one (although I will always recommend a baby can be put into a full sized cage because why not? They handle the big wide world as babies in the wild....a tiny 8x4x4 cage is not going to do harm and its the one chance in their captive life to actually feel large space...so to me it just makes sense). I put mine in my large cage when he was just a few months old, he was motoring around the cage like a speed demon after he got settled in.

    My other reason for advocating a larger cage is that you can offer the high basking temps without risking the chance of overheating the cage. Babies can be affected by extreme temperatures very quickly and overheating can kill them. Another strike against a smaller cage in my opinion. Its a finer line you cross if its too hot or too cold
     
  10. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

  11. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    I hate to give a link to the worst place on earth to get monitor advise but I am offering a link to this particular cage build because it has all the steps laid out really easy for everyone to follow. I would not recommend looking around at groups on that crap social media site though....most are garbage and will lead you right off the edge of sane thinking. I do know ONE group that's good though, I can message you with a link to that for another place to find care advice (housing/feeding/health) but you will find the advice is the same you will find here.

    Simple 8x4x4 cage build guide

    Basic 8’Wx4’Dx4’H Enclosure
     
  12. snboyer

    snboyer Member

    Thank you for the links, this is my first time building something so a step by step guide helps. Im starting Wednesday when i get paid. Ive been trying to look up ideas. Its hard when no one really agrees on the internet lol. So what do you recommend for the low side temp? Maybe i should cover half the tank so the top isnt so open for now? You think that will help?
    Your enclosure is beautiful lori. May i ask what materials you used?
     
  13. snboyer

    snboyer Member

    Also its kinda crazy that pet stores and places sell these tanks advertising them as good reptile enclosures when they basically are not at all. They need to put correct species on them . even the nice exo terra ones have a screen top for the "crested gecko setup". Im looking into building my own trying to plan ahead for when i get paid. Any advice is welcome. Ill start with the links lori sent
     
  14. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks for the compliment snboyer :) I built the cage out of plywood, osb and 2x4's for framing the cage to make it sturdy....and lots and lots of screws. I lined the inside of the cage with some heavy duty plastic called puckboard (its the same type of material hockey rinks have on the sides of the rink...hence the name) and the upper half is lined with a material called styrene and then covered with vinyl pictures. I did that only because at the time I built it, I worked in a plastics fabrication shop where the materials were cheap or free for me to take...so why not ;)

    In that resource link I first put up, there should be some pictures of what a glass tank looks like with a top. The cool side could be kept in the upper 70's to low 80's (ambient air temps, not surface temps). The thing is with the current cage you have, trying to offer the high basking temps you want to achieve may cook that cage to dangerous hot air temps as well....so I'm thinking this won't be something you can fix for any length of time until a new one is built. How big is this cage exactly?
     
  15. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    This is what pet stores do. That's how they get people to buy them so they make a sale and move on to the next customer. They don't care about the animals they are selling, they care about the money they will get. If pet stores told the truth about what the requirements really are for the species they have for sale need....they wouldn't sell anything. Also, to be fair, most pet stores are clueless for what their needs are too. Care sheets are simple and decided on by the owners or ceo's of the big box stores. Like they keep anything at all no doubt.... Most times, many people say their shopping experience in these places is alarming because they know more than the people selling them
     
  16. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    To show you what went into my cage build I'm linking you this. Its backwards though. It goes from end to start of the build process

    cage build - Album on Imgur
     
    snboyer likes this.
  17. snboyer

    snboyer Member

    May i ask how much that all costed you to build? So far im at an estimated $322 with the 8x4x4 but i have to make some calls to get actual prices tomorrow. And its not including insulation either. And the embaressing fact that i dont own a drill lol we deffinitly took on a lot considering we just got our apartment and stuff. It felt a little overwhelming at first. But having plans to follow helps alleviate it for sure.
     
  18. snboyer

    snboyer Member

     
  19. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    My cage cost was $1500 even with all the free materials, but it is a bit larger than standard size. I would say expect to pay at least a few hundred because it does add up...mostly the cost of wood and what you use to seal the inside with. That has to be an area you can't cut corners on, otherwise you'll end up with a rotting cage from moisture damage in a few years time and have to rebuild a new one all over again
     
  20. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    If you were to go with the plans in that cage build, you can probably keep the cost down close to what you are estimating....but be prepared that it will be a bit more. Even I'm underestimating the cost myself. A more realistic estimate is somewhere in the $500 range. For now though....there is nothing wrong with building a wooden cage that is smaller than adult sized. That would at least get your sav out of the current less-than-ideal one and into something where you can do the higher basking temps without risking overheating the entire cage.
     

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