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Water Monitor Enclosure Ideas Need Help

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by David peña, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. David peña

    David peña New Member

    I purchased a baby water monitor that's around 16 inches and have had it for approximately 3 and a half weeks it's in a temporary cage which is a 40 gallon tank and am trying to build a long term enclosure for it . I believe it is a male and would really appreciate someones help and ideas of design . I was planning on using melamine but figured it wouldnt last long . Since the humidity necessary for the little guy would ruin the melamine . And came to think that plywood may be the best cheap option .
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Keep in mind within a year, 2 at the most, you are going to need, and I do mean NEED, a cage the size of a small room for this animal. Something like 12'x6'x6' would be the minimum. No, even with proper food and care it won't quite be full grown by then, but I believe they can easily be 4+ feet by then and you might as well have it in the proper cage by then if not before. It will also require a water feature large enough to soak in.
    Now assuming your able to provide all this in the future, for now you could get away with an intermediate cage. I'd go with 8'x4'x4', since that won't be much more cost of materials than something smaller. I wouldn't go down to 4'x2'x2' unless you plan to start on the full adult cage as soon as you get the small one done, as the lizard will be too large for the cage within a very few months. As far as the actual construction, plywood and 2x4s are fairly normal, and a lot of people use FRP board to line the cage, both to protect it from moisture and from the monitors claws. And yes, do NOT use melamine, the slightest nick in that stuff and it will swell and turn back into sawdust, basically. If you decide to only use the FRP on the lower portions of the cage, any exposed wood can be sealed with something like polycrylic, or even polyurethane if your willing to wait long enough for it to cure out completely.
    I know this may be a lot to absorb, but the housing of these animals is the biggest factor in determining how well they do in captivity. And these are not cheap animals to keep, although if the caging is done right they really aren't a ton of work. In fact, the animal itself is usually by far the cheapest part of the whole scenario. For some ideas on the actual construction, check out the DIY section here, there are a number of good threads you can look at.
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, when fully supported they will usually grow around 5 to 7cm per month for the first year or so, there`s a 2 year time difference in these two photos...

  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    This is a pic of a friends Savannah monitor enclosure (8 x 4 x 4 (feet) so if you provide around 12 inches of substrate that only leaves 3ft above ground space, considering they are almost semi arborial it isn`t offering much, so my advise is to build as large an enclosure as possible from day one, much less stressful for the animal and much less expensive for the keeper.
    If you use a sturdy frame (i.e 2 x 4 inch) 1/2 inch thick plywood is o.k, if less then 3/4 inch...
    Emi.Sav likes this.

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