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Young Ornate Monitor and Temporary Setup

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by blasterresto, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. blasterresto

    blasterresto Member

    So as mentioned in my introduction thread I am new at this, but eager to take advice and improve.
    Came across a young ornate monitor, he was in a pet store in one of those little 12x12 exo terra cages or whatever. Never seen them have anything of the sort before. I told myself noway for a month before I decided he had to have a better home than that. So here I am.
    Have had him for 2-3 weeks, he has gotten noticeably thicker...
    I just recently read that goldfish are not good. At this point he has been eating roughly 20-25 crickets and 4 goldfish a day. I dust apprx. 25 crickets twice a week
    I really want to feed him some different things at this point I am not tong feeding, I tried to give him some "super worms" but they crawled right out of the dish I had and tried to burrow into the wood chips so I didnt end up getting him any.
    As of now he eats everything alive, but a goldfish died in his bowl the other day and he ate him too..
    I happen to have had a 48x12x21 tank around so I cleaned it up well and am using it as a temporary enclosure for him.. smaller than I would like, but it is not meant to be long term and is much bigger than what they had him in.. I have tried to make it comfortable for him.
    Behavior- when I first got him I would hold him and he would hiss once or something but that was it. I can tell he dosnt like me coming at him downward from the top of this tank. Shortly after I got him I was holding him and my fiance wanted to hold him, well during the handoff he jumped loose onto table cloth, when she grabbed him he grabbed her back and it took several minuted to get him loose from her thumb. Well that seemed to make him mad, when I tried to pick him up next time he took a swipe at me with his tail. I decided he needed some time to get used to his home and have left him alone.
    Now he is active, he is up every morning chasing crickets and eating fish, sun bathing and such. at first he tried to get out alot but I added some stuff in his cage and now he dosnt seem as worried about it.
    At this point if I try to pick him up he just runs in his log, goes to sleep and I leave him alone, sometimes for the rest of the day. He is very fast and while I dont mind the idea of him wanting to be left alone I do think we should have a certain amount of contact for both our sake... him so that he isnt a wild animal that I cant handle and me so that I am not scared of him when he gets bigger.... so right now I am kind of inbetween letting him get comfortable and needing to handle him before he is feral....
    Anyway here is my Temp. setup, I am not new to forums and can handle constructive criticism. Thanks
    ** For some reason this is the only pic I can get to load right now... ?
  2. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    What are the temperatures in his tank? The temp of his basking spot as well as the temp on the cool side of the tank. What kind of device are you using to measure the temps? Whats the humidity?

    Until he is in a proper enclosure I dont think you should worry too much about holding him. It will just stress him out unnecessarily. Dont worry he wont go completely feral by the time your able to get him properly supported.

    Are you aware of how large these guys can get?
  3. blasterresto

    blasterresto Member

    Going to go today and get more thermometers and humidity gauges... right now I just have a digital sticky in the center of the tank that is usually about 78 F. I do know how big ethey get and the enclosure I am going to build will be of adequate size. It was spur of the moment and I do understand that this holding tank wont keep him for long. I am hoping 30-45 days.
    he will get in his water bowl (I change water daily) to hunt fish and mabey Poo but dosnt hang out in there.. Hopefully that means he isnt super dry?
    Edit- the area I have picked out for him measures roughly 6'w X '9L X 6'6" tall mabey bigger if needed with a good sized pond. looking into types of cement for fake rock, plan on it being washable with a hose for the most part. Christmas has had me pretty busy, but now that its over want to get started on this soon.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  4. blasterresto

    blasterresto Member

    Would you advise any specific type or brand of temp/humidity gauge?
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    When you get a more gadgets I think you need to get 2 different kinds. A digital thermometer/hygrometer with a probe and also a temp gun. The digital unit will be great as it tells you most things you need to know-you put the probe in the burrow and then the unit you hang on the cool side. However due to the size these guys get you will need a way to measure the temperature of a larger basking area so a temp gun will be needed for measuring the basking surface.
    I believe both units can be found at home depot or lowes.

    Edit: I got my digital with a probe from walmart for $12- its the AcuRite brand and I love them. I think I currently have a total of 9 of them placed in various cages. As far as a temp gun I dont know. I bought the zoomed one from petsmart and it works fine but its kinda small and dinky. They have heavier duty ones at home improvement stores.
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    All good advice so far. I would add that if your using a screen top on that tank cover everything but where the lights go through, don't worry, it'll get enough air. That will just make keeping humidity and proper temps a lot simpler. Tinfoil, acrylic, cardboard, ditch it and make a top out of plywood, whatever works for you.
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can you give some details on the type and wattage of the heat/light bulbs, and does the fishtank have a solid top, also, can you crop that pic and zoom in to the monitor? Thanks!
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    There should be loads of inspiration for cage-building in our construction forums, including safe cements, grouts, paints, and sealants to use on enclosures. Feel free to share pictures of the progress, we are always eager to watch new construction.

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