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Mangrove Monitor Enclosure

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by Waters, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Waters

    Waters Member

    Hello all......not new to Monitors (have kept Argus and Savannahs) but I am new to Mangrove Monitors. I can't seem to find any information online regarding if it is necessary (or helpful at all) to keep a large soaking dish filled with brackish water? I was told my a couple of people that it helps with their skin and gives them a more natural environment. I keep reef tanks so I have access to aquarium salt. I also have a fresh water waterfall in the enclosure available for drinking (even though they do possess glands to remove the salt from brackish water).

    Thanks for any help you can provide :)
     
  2. Lori68

    Lori68 Subscribed User Premium Member

    All I keep is either a sav and ackies, so I'm unfortunately not all that up on mangrove monitor care. One keeper I know of who wrote a few care sheets for species he has kept himself is this guy. And I hope that if anyone else with better knowledge can offer better than me will speak up and add more. Other than that, this is about all I have for you.

    mangrove - philipniceguy
     
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  3. Waters

    Waters Member

    Thanks Lori68....that is more than I had before :)
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I would definitely advise using a water container and also heating the water to around the mid 80`sF, just because the animal may choose to spend some time in there. As far as adding aquarium salt to make it brackish, I don`t believe it will harm the monitor even if it`s of no benefit.
    Can you show a few photos of the setup?
     
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  5. Waters

    Waters Member

    Thanks for the reply.....I am using a water container now (as well as a waterfall).....I just didn't know if adding some salt to the water wold benefit the monitor at all. This is the cage currently, although it will change a bit as he/she gets a little bigger. I plan on changing the substrate and creating a much bigger pool...right now I just want to be able to keep an eye on him since he is so young. The enclosure is controlled by an Apex controller which monitors temperatures and controls the lighting....which is a combination of UV, ceramic heaters, and basking bulbs. A Mist King system keeps the humidity around 85%. The cage is 5' X 2.5' X 4' high. Eventually I will end up building a larger cage and moving my Bearded Dragon into this one. Let me know what you think.

    Mangrove monitor enclosure.jpg mangrove.jpg
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Thanks for the photos. The interior layout looks o.k although lots of unusable space just now ( I know you`re adding more).
    Are the vents adjustable, because if not you`ll lose much heat and humidity through them? While it`s acceptable to have a small vent or two they should be positioned low down close to the substrate, that way nothing much will be lost in the above respect.
    How much depth do you have for substrate (even if you`re not using much just now)?
    Can you tell me the type and wattage of the basking bulb/s and UVB bulb, also is the CHE for raising the ambient temps during the night?
    I`m a firm believer in offering them as much space as possible from day one whenever possible, rehousing undoubtably causes much stress.
    Edit: It`s best to offer lots of cover around the basking site, I think at the moment it`s too exposed (if the branch is the basking area).
     
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  7. Waters

    Waters Member

    I initially though it had a lot of unusable space but being semi arboreal, he climbs over everything. He even basks on top of the waterfall. Yes, the vents open and close (they are standard heating vents in a house) but I have them closed right now. The substrate is currently about 4 inches deep but will be much deeper when I switch to a dirt mixture. There is a 36" HO T5 unit with a 12% Arcadia bulb (UVA and UVB) and a 6.5k daylight bulb for a total of 78 watts. In addition to that, there is a 150W Basking bulb which contains UVA and a 250W ceramic heat emitter. That keeps ambient temps at 83 on the cool side to 90s on the hot side.....with several different basking sites at various temperatures above 100. These temps are controlled by an Apex controller, with the probe positioned on the cool side. By saying "more space", are you talking about open ground space?
     
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  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Just to be clear, are you using a total of 400w for actually heating the enclosure (not including the UVB tube) and is the 150w a MVB? How are you measuring the basking surface temps and what exactly are they?
    By "more space" I mean as large an enclosure as possible from day one, "unusable space" means around the sides in particular (unless the monitor can already climb them as they are)?
    I would also like to ask if the 4 feet in height includes the space that holds the heat/lighting?
    Edit: Sorry, I keep thinking of more questions to ask (only in order to be clear)!
    If you`re measuring the basking surface temp with the probe on a digital hygrometer it won`t be nearly as accurate as with a IR Temp-gun.
    You basically need to know two temps during "activity" time; the lowest ambient @ approx. 24c (75f) in the coolest parts then the surface of the basking object @ between approx. 50 to 60c (120 to 140f or so)…. Nighttime no lower than approx. 24c...
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Ran out of time... The high wattage (MVB?) will dry out the air to a great extent, most keepers these days use relatively low wattage halogen (flood beam) par 30 or par 38 bulbs fitted with ceramic bulb holders, these can be fitted with a dimmer switch which makes adjusting the surface temp much easier, or obviously you can raise/lower bulb basking object.. Here`s an example (very cheap to buy but extremely effective).
    100_1858 (1).JPG

    Digital Infrared Handheld Temperature Laser Gun Thermometer Non-Contact IR Point 6025715922779 | eBay
     
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  10. Waters

    Waters Member

    Thanks again for the responses. Yes, I am using a total of 400W during the day to heat the enclosure, although the 250W emitter only turns on if the cool side ambient temp drops below 82 (via the controller). At night, only the 250W is used, but again only if the temp drops. I am measuring the basking areas with an IR gun. The hottest point measures 141 but there are several spots he uses to bask which measure 105, 120, and 125 respectively. No, the 4ft high is just usable cage....the canopy dimensions are separate. I will take a look at those flood lamps. I do have no issues keeping the humidity where it needs to be using the misting system and built in hygrostat (kicks on as soon as the humidity drops below whatever level I have it set at) but it would be nice to not have it go on as much. I have seen enclosures where 3/4 of the bottom is water (for Mangrove Monitors).....do you think that is necessary as long as the humidity stays between 80 and 90% and he has a pool large enough to soak in?
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I think the basking surface temps are fine, the monitor is still very small and will heat up very quickly, the lowest ambient temp only needs to be around 24c (75f) both day and night.
    The humidity should range throughout the enclosure, obviously around the basking site it will be lower which is o.k (rather than attempting to have an even figure if that`s what you`re doing)?
    I keep Asian water monitors, very similar requirements temp and humidity wise, also the fact they are semi aquatic/arborial/ ground dwelling (generalists). Having a relatively large water container also helps with the humidity especially if the water`s heated (as I suggested) there shouldn`t need to be a misting system, and having a relatively deep substrate helps, too.
    Please do try the par 30 or 38 flood beam halogens, you may only need 2 @ 50w or so to get a decent basking surface temp, again they won`t dry out the air nearly as much as the high wattage type you`re currently using.
    I`m not sure why you need a 250w CHE in order to keep the ambient temps around 24c in the coolest parts (day and night) what temp does the room drop to?
     
  12. Waters

    Waters Member

    The misting system is definitely required, mainly due to the enclosure being in the basement and the air conditioning is on all summer for the most part. The relative humidity in my basement is in the 40% range....much too low for a Mangrove Monitor unfortunately. I understand the humidity will be lower on the hot side which was by design to allow a gradient. It is measured on the cool side of the enclosure. The enclosure being in the basement is also why the heat emitter is needed (my basement is the coldest area of the house, with the room temperatures being around 69 degrees). Remember this only goes on as needed though........if the temp drops below my minimum it kicks on and shuts back off as soon as the temp is back up. Is the heater in the water dish needed? Shouldn't the water temp equal the air temp of the cage? I do have the running waterfall which helps with humidity also though.
     
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I`m not sure what the humidity in the basement has to do with the enclosure, because basically the latter is a "self contained" environment? If the ambient temps in the room fall to around 70f it shouldn`t take a 250w CHE just to raise the temps by 5f (of course you live there and you do what you think is needed) I`m only responding to what`s being said which can get confusing at times.
    Why would the water temp need to equal the enclosure temp (which particular figure)? The reason I advise heating the water to around the mid 80`sF or slightly higher is because the monitor may spend an extended period in there at times and many people (not meaning you) seem to think if the water is similar to the room temp (i.e low 70`s F) it must be suitable?
     
  14. Waters

    Waters Member

    That is correct the enclosure is self contained, but not air tight. The room humidity would affect the humidity in the cage........not to a huge degree obviously but if my room humidity is 90%, there is much less of a need for additional humidity in the enclosure than if the surrounding room is sitting at 40%. I agree, the 250W probably is overkill but since it isn't on all the time, I figured it would be better to quickly heat the tank to the required temp and shut if off rather than use a lesser wattage device and run it longer. I understand the need for warmer water temp.....for my enclosure though, the temp never is less than 80 degrees on the cool side. The water sits in the middle which means it "should" be around 85 degrees, although I have not checked it. I am working on programming the controller to allow the nighttime temps to drop below 80 based on time of day, but have not done it yet. At that point, the water heater would probably definitely be needed.
     
  15. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I know I'm late to the conversation. Just curious if you are able to maintain proper humidity with the setup in the pictures.
    By proper I mean a constant humidity value. Not something where the humidity drops to minimum then back up, back down, back up etc.
    Just inquiring as I've used setups somewhat similar and always had problems with the humidity escaping out the top.
    thanks
     
  16. Waters

    Waters Member

    Yeah, I can keep the humidity within 1% based on the controller. I can set the differential down as low as 1% (meaning if the humidity drops by 1% the misting system kicks on). I currently keep it set on a 3% difference so it isn't going on constantly. It then only sprays long enough to raise it back to your minimum humidity level that you have set and shuts back off. It also depends on where you place your sensor......obviously due to the lights, the humidity will be lower towards the top than it will be down by the substrate, which isn't a bad thing. It gives you humidity gradients.
     
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  17. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Good to know
    thanks
     

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