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First Post. a Few of My Critters and Setups.

Discussion in 'Vivariums' started by parias, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. parias

    parias Member

    Hey all.. Im new here and figured i'de share some of my enclosures.
    a few are empty. The big one outside is for an iguana its not done yet.
    the 2 cube style are aquariums called bio cubes i made locking lids for. one has a plexi back and flip front, the other is a simple box top opening style.
    the stained cage on the bottom is for a savannah monitor.. its got a custom plexi front (which was a huge PITA to make)
    the 55 has an argentine tegu, the 75 gall bow front has a red ambanja panther Cham.

    Figured they might bring some ideas for anyone looking into making cages.. i can upload pics of animals too if wanted:).

    Attached Files:

  2. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    Hi! Welcome to HC.
    The way you're housing that Sav is incorrect, we have an excellent care sheet for these guys here-along with very knowledgable keepers.
  3. parias

    parias Member

    Reason why? He's got a somewhat low basking spot, 110F.. but other then that seems content to me. gets a lot of free roam time.
  4. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    How does the lizard seem content? Savannah Monitor Caresheet (Varanus exanthematicus)
    Also allowing the lizard a lot of free roam time is also not a good thing. If your enclosure was set up how it is supposed to be-and the animal is healthy why would you take it out of its controlled environment for long periods of time?

    What is the size of the enclosure? Along with the temps and humidity. These animals need to burrow also-that substrate isn't acceptable.
  5. parias

    parias Member

    Yeah theres only 2 or 3 inches worth of cypress at the bottom, all i had when i finished the cage.
    temps are 85 on the low, 110 bask on the other.. gradient works. i don't really think they should have 150F degree temps unless they're in a well ventilated cage.. risk it becoming an oven.
    humidity stays between 60 and 70. will go up to 90 w/ misting.
    Also 4 ft, 2.5 deep, don't remember how high.

    as for free roaming.. if i don't let him out to walk around he normally just moves to different spots in his cage throughout the day. nothing stimulating about the inside of a wood cage. its not a hamster, they don't run in wheels.. . In my opinion its good for them to get out of the cage. he gets bathed weekly too, along with the tegu and iguana.
  6. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    You're correct. It's not stimulating because the way you're housing him is incorrect. We have a few great sav owners-all who have 8ft + enclosures that are 4 feet wide and 4-5 feet tall, with burrows, water to bathe and swim in-giant logs to climb on and dig under, grass and leaves filtered in to stampede threw. I think someone even set up a jungle gym type thing leaning on the side so the Sav can climb and run off of. Your monitor is not moving because it's bored-and not very stimulated. It's not healthy for it to wander around the house or wherever out of the strickly controlled environment it's supposed to be in. Not to say every now and then it's bad for the sav to come out and explore.
  7. parias

    parias Member

    haha, well when he gets bigger obviously i'm not going to keep him stuffed in there.. he's fine for now though. the tegu will go in after.

    i'll agree the cage is boring. I've tried putting super worms in for him to dig and look for and it doesn't phase him. I almost want to say feeding him on frozen thawed ground turkey/beef/chicken plays a part.
  8. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    Putting worms in the "cage" won't make the cage anymore stimulating. He needs a mostly dirt/sand mix to burrow and dig in. You need to start building an adult size enclosure for your reptilian friend or I'm afraid he's going to have some health issues in the future. How are you keeping humidity so high in the enclosure anyway?
    Also yes that is a very poor diet. How old is he? He looks obese in the pictures, though the quality isn't good enough to tell properly. He should be eating mainly insects, with frozen thawed rodents thrown in as well. They can also eat shrimp, crayfish and some types of fish. Dubia roaches and other assorted roaches are great feeders, popular in the monitor hobby,and cheap to breed. I haven't known a monitor to turn them down. Please look at the care sheets and monitor section here, you will find a lot of threads from our own Sav owners who do great jobs being owned by these beasts ;p
  9. parias

    parias Member

    Not sure of his age, i got him a little bit ago from some breeder who claimed he was too aggressive.
    Humidity just seems to stay up there.. mist it in the morning it goes to 85-90, throughout the day it drops to the 60s..
    Hes puffing up in the picture i can see why you would think he's obese.
    he gets super worms daily, meat every other or few days, when i worked at a petstore i'de bring him home live mice, knock them out and throw them in. shrimp i haven't tried, crayfish i have, tried tuna salmon and a few other fish too if i have scraps left.. i just don't use that as a staple because its not regularly available.
  10. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    I would guess that with the tuna and salmon you are feeding fillets or canned. Both of these are bad options because they don't include the guts bones and scales. Whole food (Food items with the brains, organs, guts, and bones in tact) contain more appropriate nutrients and are all around better for them. Try to stick to freshwater fish as opposed to saltwater and cut them in to bite sized chunks including bones and all. Another healthy food item would be rodents on occasion although in the current setup that you have I wouldn't advise them too often. Also, you should consider switching from only super worms and start a roach colony. Super worms are high in fat and although they are better than ground turkey and chemical rich processed foods they still aren't the best option.

    Some people refuse to try roaches because they have the stereotypical infesting, dirty, disgusting roaches in their mind. Dubia roaches are the polar opposite of that. They have no foul smell and cannot infest your house unless you keep it extremely warm and humid. In temperatures under 70 degrees they cannot breed and in low humidity they cannot molt and subsequently die. They are prolific breeders giving live birth to as many or even more than 30 nymphs at a time. The roaches are full grown between 4-6 months. You can house them in a large Rubbermaid or Sterilite tub with a human heating pad for warmth. They should be fed fresh vegetables and/or fruits at least once or twice a week. During the rest of the week they should have dry food available which can be a mixture of crushed cat or dog food. There are recipes for dry roach chow on the internet that you could find with a quick search and these would be healthier for the roaches and in turn, the animal eating the roaches.

    Everything that Pharaoh has said is 100% accurate. The monitor may seem content but they have no way of telling you that the conditions aren't correct. Monitors are a reptile that requires specialized conditions to live and are tough enough that in improper conditions they can live for years before dying from those same conditions which the keepers swear by. Misting alone will not keep the humidity at an adequate level. Savannah monitors go in to their burrows to conserve water. The burrows should be near 100% humidity and in a cage with pure cypress mulch they have no way to reach that. A water dish and misting will help but it's no substitute for a deep sandy soil substrate.

    The issue with free roaming also relates to humidity. Unless you keep your house at 60% or higher humidity your monitor will be losing moisture the whole time it's out. This is especially bad in an enclosure where it doesn't have the proper conditions to regain its water. Enrichment in the form of free roaming is great but it is not a substitute for a larger enclosure with proper conditions throughout. I recognize that not everybody can have a humongous enclosure in their house for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately this means that the monitor is the one who suffers because of it.

    To touch base on the basking spot. Opinions do not trump facts. You don't need a 150 degree basking spot but a 110 degree surface temperature basking spot just won't cut it. 130-150 is ideal. They have been known to make use of basking spots even higher than 150 but this simply isn't necessary or even advised. 130-150 degrees surface temperature read with a temperature gun allows them to digest almost anything. Less than 130 will slow their digestion and could cause internal problems. You don't need to get bigger bulbs though, just raise or lower the basking site to get the appropriate temperatures. A bank of 3 low wattage outdoor halogen flood lights is the best way to achieve the desired basking site. In a smaller enclosure like yours 3 bulbs would be too many and would create an oven effect like you mentioned. The issue with using a single higher wattage bulb is that it aids in drying out the air and will not give an even basking spot over the entire snout to vent length of the monitor which is where it is needed.

    I don't want you to feel like you're being singled out. Many keepers have stood where you are standing thinking they have the perfect setup because their monitor isn't dead yet and then when it dies they are completely dumbfounded. I will not claim to be an expert or even to be all that knowledgeable about Savs but I have done a fair bit of research to better my own monitors life and have read plenty from people who would be considered experts. I'm sure after not too long one or two of them may post here as well. Hopefully you will be able to take this as constructive criticism and not as an attempt to insult your reptile keeping.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  11. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    Oh! Also quail eggs are a great feeder-I knew I forgot something :-"
  12. Cap10Squirty

    Cap10Squirty Elite Member

    Welcome to HerpCenter!

    I know its tough to take in the large spoonful of advice that is often given upon joining, but if you take it now rather than later you and your monitor will be grateful. The more I dig and read through articles here, the more I realize that these fine people at HC know what they are doing and the results show in their animals (lengthy lives, successful breeding, etc.)

    I'll second the roach colony. It's the best thing you could do as far as picking a feeder animal for a number of reptiles (a lot of yours would probably love the dubia roaches).

    You said you fed Crawfish to your monitor, that's awesome. I've been trying to find some here in Arkansas and I guess it's just not season yet! Any advice on how to find these? (I can't afford $90 a bag for live unless I plan on cooking them all for myself).

    Tyler, Where have you been able to find quail eggs? Groceries? Farms? And cost? And I assume if at a grocery they were unfertilized?

    I've been looking into other food forms to vary the diet of my monitor some and quail egg is on my list of To-Dos
  13. lexiilish

    lexiilish Elite Member

    seems like they took it as being attacked. hasnt replied yet and each time they didnt say Ooh i should try that but instead basically laugh and say my way is perfectly fine

    i believe they sell them at pet stores but im not sure if those are healthy because theyre ment to be part of an aquarium
  14. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Quail eggs are available at most groceries now and they are fertilized. So are the chicken eggs you buy.
  15. Cap10Squirty

    Cap10Squirty Elite Member

    Ok so its just they didn't have any incubation period so there is not any time for the chick to develop then?

    As far as the crawfish at pet stores, the local one here does not carry any and I'm sure if they did that they would be like the hermit crabs - $1-3 a piece. I'll figure something out
  16. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Yep they are pasteurized and refrigerated to prevent hatching. If the eggs were unfertilized there would be no yolk.
    Have you googled crayfish for sell? Some aquariums stores and such may sell them in bulk.
  17. lexiilish

    lexiilish Elite Member

    theyre blue. petsmart sells them. but like i said im not sure how healthy they would be
  18. Cap10Squirty

    Cap10Squirty Elite Member

    I've checked around online and the few that I've found are quite pricey ($19.99 for a single pet crayfish). I'm still on the hunt guys.

    I think I'll stick to trying to catch some in my trap. So far only 20 minnows but no signs of crawfish *yet*. I'm going fishing this weekend, so hopefully I'll have some luck - if not with crawfish, any small fish I catch will be frozen and cut up into bite sized pieces for my Monitor.

    Can anyone comment on Monitors handling large or small bones in fish?
  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Where did you get that idea? Unfertilized eggs still have yolks. Thats part of the eggs themselves.
    The hens in the "egg factories" are kept isolated and never see a rooster.
  20. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I cant speak to quail eggs, but chicken eggs are not fertilized. Occasionally (more like rarely) you'll find a fertilized egg in the mix -it has blood in the egg and usually a small embryo.

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