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Possibly New Aggression

Discussion in 'Tegu' started by smaug_the_tegu, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. 20151124_184254.jpg 20151122_123830.jpg IMG_20151106_164400.jpg So we purchased a bluexb/w cross tegu in august... we had him in a 40 gal tank till about a week ago he has had a great deposition for the most part it took about a month for him to seem "trusting" of us both myself and my husband were bit but they were exploratory bites than aggressive and it was after washing dishes so we assume that's what it was well we moved him to a beautiful custom built 6x4x4 indoor enclosure basking temps are about 110 and gradient temp from 75 to 85 throughout with the lights on and humidity stays a constant 60-75 depending on how high our humidifier is set (15 min increments on a timer during the day every few hours) he was always pleasant being taken in and out of the 40 gal well since we moved him to the new enclosure he's almost regressed and hides when we come by the tank or open it and he hasn't hissed or tail whipped but he did bite the dog crap out of me when I was in the tank adjusting his uvb ballast when I went to grab him while he was semi buried to hold him. And I immediately removed him out of the tank and held him anyways to get the point across that it was not ok to bite and that wasn't gonna be a way to get out of us holding him once he is out of the tank he seems fine and goes back to the loving tegu he has always been. I was curious to as if anyone has experienced this or have any suggestions??
  2. Buggy0123

    Buggy0123 Established Member

    Tegus are just a relatively aggressive reptile. (not trying to say that they can't be tame) Hopefully, it was just a one time thing and he was grouchy or maybe expecting some food. If he keeps doing it though, I would try to tame him a bit. (you know handling sessions and such)
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, they can be defensive like most animals if they feel threatened.
    You advise handling to try and "tame" the lizard, but there`s much more to gaining "trust" than simply forced handling, in fact that could lead to further stress for the animal and possibly more injuries to the keeper/s.

    Hi, I would guess the reason the Tegu bit you is because it feels stressed, firstly by moving into the new enclosure, then the forced handling before it`s had time to fully acclimate.
    How deep is the substrate and how are you measuring the temps and humidity?
    I`d also like to ask what type and wattage of basking area heat bulb are you using, and the brand of UVB tube?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2015
    smaug_the_tegu likes this.
  4. Well we have right now more than enough substrate in there it's approx 2ft and a mixture of Cyprus mulch eco earth moss and reptile bark. All reptile safe. And as for as uvb goes we have one ballast with two 10.0 reptisun bulbs that are 4ft long (we went with the 10.0 bc of the distance from the floor to the ballast) and a basking powersun bulb of 100w we always make sure all our reptiles have the top of the line stuff bc smaug is not our only herp. We also have two thriving uromastyx and a bearded dragon. I honestly think the bite was bc he was trying to dig down and I had messed with him while he was doing so. So I'm pretty sure that was my fault. I know that with any animal u are at risk of being bit I've always went into owning a tegu as know it's not if u get bit but when and I'm sure this won't be the last time. He is handled daily because of their natural attitude we want to prevent that as much as possible and once he is out of the cage he is the most loving snuggle bug ever. My concern mainly at this point would be why he is so stand offfish now compared to how he was when he was in the 40 gal. While opening or interacting with him in the cage. Where before he could care less
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2015
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    mxcp020_zps63a7c6b5.jpg I believe it`s as I said, the reason for the bite is stress caused by moving into the new enclosure and you haven`t allowed enough time for the animal to fully acclimate before you started forced handling again.
    The UVB tube should be placed above the lizard rather than fixed on the side wall which means the light beam is directed into the eyes (at least to some degree).
    The American version of the Powersun MVB is not as efficient as the British and Australian types in terms of UVB emission, possibly because of the lower voltage (120v in the States as opposed to 240v in Oz and the U. K). Much better are the Arcadia brand, either the MVB or the T5 HO (high output) fluorescent UVB tubes.
    Because you have the twin UVB tubes I would recommend replacing the Powersun with two halogen bulbs as basking lights (must be flood beam and fitted with ceramic sockets), then move the tubes close to them (above the basking shelf).
    Try 2 @ 40 or 50w halogens a few inches apart, the most important thing is that they heat at least the snout to vent length. These bulbs can be fitted with a dimmer switch which makes adjusting the surface temp much easier (or obviously you can raise/lower the bulbs or basking object).
    I`m not sure why you need to use a humidifier when you have a decent depth of substrate, also you haven`t mentioned how you`re measuring the temps and humidity?

    An example of a par 38 halogen bulb (par refers to the bulb face diameter)...
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  7. Well our uvb bulbs are the reptisun 46' 10.0 t5 HO bulbs bc we have those in all our herp tanks and with the cage being 4ft deep we had to mount them on the wall to get proper uvb penatraion they are not however mounted flat we have them mounted 45 degree angle down ward bc of the light issue in the eyes. We have had an issue with him using the basking area on a consistent basis. Compared to how he was in the 40 gallon. Honestly bc I think he doesn't care for the ramp. Bc even if u stick him up there he jumps down instead of using it though I have seen him up there and use it to get down from time to time. The humidifier we use is just ur standard reptifogger u by at a pet store just for added humidity to keep it between the 60 and 75% range which also helps with not having to mist such a huge tank daily. For monitoring heat we have 3 thermostats as well as a professional grade heat gun. And humidity is monitored by 2 separate gauges as well as a digital reptile grade guage. Other than being standoffish in his new enclosure he seems to be his typical piggy self he eats like a hog and poops like a horse and honestly is fat as a house. (Yes I know you don't want a obese reptile) lol but he's just a BIG lizard for his age. And really is proportional for his size. This is my first large lizard my husband has had some monitors in the past but they were mean and nasty were to smaug is not. So that's a plus. So really u think its just a matter of him getting re adjusted to his new habitat before he stops acting like a brat?

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  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Thanks for more details, if it sounds like I`m contradicting you for the sake of it I`m not!! ;)
    The T5 tubes are fine but I still think they should be positioned above the basking site so as the Tegu is heating up he gets the benefit of the UVB at the same time.
    If you do that then use 2 halogens bulbs for the basking site it will be of benefit to the animal (no need to use the MVB at all).
    It`s quite possible that his reluctance to bask is because the shelf is very open (sparce) and he may not feel comfortable exposing himself just yet (again, the forced handling before he`d fully acclimated to the enclosure hasn`t helped) as is trying to force him to stay on there (give him time, in other words)..
    The vents being high up will result in loss of heat and much humidity, best if placed just above the substrate level.
    Just for the sake of asking, does the enclosure have a completely solid and sealed top?
    Edit: I`m sorry to hear your husband had some "mean and nasty" monitors, in my experience you mostly get out of them what you put in (no guarantees of course)!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
  9. Hahaha ya monitors are definately not a dump and leave pet he had a friend that had a nile that was an esacpe artist and even ate their CAT!! Lol we have small children thats y we went with the tegu bc of thier deposition compaired to the tree monitors savs and niles lol well hopefully in the future I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to breed smaug being that he really is my baby lol like I said he really does have a great deposition I would love to get an albino Blue female companion for him but he needs to adjust. Yes the top is solid and he has kept all his toes so I assume the humidity is not an issue at this point. Like u said I'm sure it's just him getting acclammated to the new enclosure . He seems to be thriving like I said he still eats like a pig and poops like a hog and is shedding every 3 weeks or so bc he's growing so quickly. I will definitely be posting on his progress throughout his life bc I really enjoy this forum. And NO I haven't been bit since but I also haven't messed with him while he was burrowed even in the slightest lol

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