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Hey guys, i'm Tim.
I'm getting a spencers monitor soon
Just wondering on some good info sources for care/general info on them?
Ive been searching on the net and there isnt a whole lot of info out there.
I've built my own enclosure that is 1.8m long 550mm deep and 500mm tall. Hoping to keep him in it for a couple years, and then build another one...
Just worried about how far down my heat light is going to hang?, thinking about mounting it on the side up one end to try and get it abit more snug to the top of the enclosure, but im thinking a 100w heat globe will get pretty hot? and the enclosure top and sides are wooden? any ideas?
Also, can the sex of a monitor be determined straight away? or is it like a beardy and you have to wait?
No doubt ill have more questions soon
Nice choice for a first larger monitor sp. IMO!
"Keeping and Breeding Australian Lizards" is a great start, I'd suggesting getting youself a copy, if you haven't already. A Spencer's should be fine in an enclosure that size for a few years, though I found they do like digging, if given the opportunity (150-200 mm of damp cocopeat). I'd be trying a bank of heat lamps as a best option and aim for a hotspot of 45-50c (for younger animals) with 55-65c as they get older. Also, make sure you put in smaller vents in the bottom third of the enclosure and no screen tops, to prevent dehydrating the animal. Sex is a tricky thing in monitors and difficult to discern with any accuracy until older. Here's a pic of my setup for a Lacy, consisting of 2x 50W halogen floods and a 100W MegaRay (for UV- just hedging my bets)!
Hope this helps.
I have only got a single heat globe, was just gunna stick 100w heat globe in it and have a uvb fluro on the back wall? will i need to have more than one heat globe from your experience? I will drill a row of holes about 2 inches off the bottom on each end for ventilation, i have got a wooden lid, 1/3 stays put and 2/3rds of it are hinged with a gas strut so it stays up once opened, i have put abit of wood across one corner and made it into a small pond with pond sealant, on the opposite end of the enclosure to the heat light. I've built it fully wooden with a glass front. will post up pics when its finished
Any suggestions are appreciated!!
One should be fine with a smaller animal, as long as you can get the basking temps I mentioned. I have found that halogen floods are better than spots and banks of lights are better than singles, to avoid thermal burns. I use the above set up for 120cm + Lacies. Sounds good. Hows your substrait level? I'd probably ditch the pond idea, a water bowl that can easily be replaced for cleaning would be much less hassle, as they'll continually fill a permanent structure up with substrait due to their constant digging. I found mine loved ther digging, they remind me of giant Ackies!
Another important point, keep handling to a minimum and let them make the first moves; you'll be rewarded in the long run.
Here's a pic of my females "tunnel", measured at 3metres long and 40 cm at it's deepest! Didn't take her long, either!!
Last edited by imported_Varanus; 30-Apr-11 at 07:30 PM.
Was planning on about 15cm deep, might go deeper if they're that keen on digging!
Ah ok thats good to know about handling, i've heard from a couple people its better to handle them as often as possible just to get them comfortable with being handled, unless they are sleeping or shedding, then avoid it....
Nice looking lizard! Heaps keen to get mine asap!, impressive tunnel too! haha
How old are yours?
- 01-May-11, 11:07 AM #6
- Join Date
- 27, Yarra valley, VIC
Imported Varanus; that looks like a great enclosure, I have a few spencers and always love seeing other peoples set ups. would love to see more pics.
Tim; She was around 5 years old at the time, but, regretably, I no longer keep Spencer's.
Mike; Unfortunately, I dont have any enclosure pics, but it was a 5 metre diameter cast concrete water tank (roof removed), into which I placed a few ton of sand and gravel to a depth of nearly a metre, and assorted logs, rocks, stumps, etc. I kept my adult pair in here year round and, despite the fact that I lived in western Victoria (Northern Grampians) at the time, both animals thrived, though I rarely saw them over the colder months. I recorded air temps of (47c) in summer - (-8c) in Winter as the enclosure was often in full sun, all day. A real testament to Spencer's hardiness, I reckon!
Here's a few more pics.
- 01-May-11, 07:42 PM #8
- Join Date
- 27, Yarra valley, VIC
Thats fantastic mate, good job. Ive been thinking about doing something similer here with gouldi, its a bit wetter in the yarra valley though. Hoping to breed my spencers next year, They are by far the best large monitor for captivity. (thats why my logo is based on one, amazing animals)
Ok so got my spencers on saturday. He's awesome, heaps happy with him. When he was picked up on saturday he had just eaten 4 pinkys, he hasn't even looked at the pinky's i have put in there. i put one in sunday and one in yesterday just to see if he was hungry. He had a sniff but just crawled back under his hide rock and slept. He hasnt really been doing heaps. just hiding pretty much, he was out and about flat out all saturday.
I dont have substrate in there yet, waiting on the sand i ordered from the pet shop, just fake grass at the moment, until either wednesday or thursday. The ambient temp is about 38-42 degrees, hot spot up on a flat rock is about 58-60 degrees. Is he all good an im just freaking out?
How often will they eat roughly? and how much will they sleep?
Also, i've only left the pinky in there for about 6 hours at a time worried they will go off? how long can i leave them in the tank?
I've also read they eat cat food? solid or the mushy stuff?
Stick with whole foods and I wouldn't be feeding any cat foods.
The substrate should of already been in there and the enclosure done.
He'll probably be a little stressed out from the move and might not eat for the next few days so don't stress about that. I'm assuming he is a hatchling?
If he is then anything else to him is just going to eat him, so basically he will be hiding and sleeping a lot untill he reaches a certain size where he is more confident about birds or other animals not coming to snatch him up and eat him.
My monitors eat every 2nd day as hatchling/juvees and every 3-4 days as adults/sub adults.
Having food available all the time is a good idea though (woodies).
For the time being just leave along and let him settle.
Ok, so the ambient temp is now down to 32-34c and the cold end of the tank is 22-25c. and the hot spot up on the rock is 45-50c. But haven't seen him on the rock once yet, is it because its in the "open"? as in he wont climb things in fear of being seen by any predators?
I pick up my substrate today so will get him into a separate container and fill the enclosure. i have a couple big rocks in the that i will leave on the floor and then fill to avoid him possibly digging under one and getting pinned.
I have been putting a fresh pinky mouse in every day under his hide but he still hasn't taken one. I have also let a couple of woodies loose in there but they have just found hidey holes. Should i stir them up a bit or will he find them himself when he is hungry? He is still reasonably active, going for a wander every now and then.
I have water on offer permanently and haven't seen him near that either. Is it necessary to mist him with water every now and then?
He should feed when he is ready. If you're worried about woodies hiding then you could try crickets. They can't climb as well as woodies so gives him more chance of finding and catching them. I only have limited experience but small monitors are very flighty creatures. When you're that size everything seems like a predator so he will be spending as much time as possible hiding especially in an enclosure that big. Your best bet is to chuck a handful of woodies or crickets in and leave him. Try to disturb him as little as possible. Even put a towel over the front if you're really worriedKnowledge - The one thing you can give away freely while still keeping for yourself
He has been eating woodies daily, he is fast as hell! Seems to find them pretty easily. I have still been leaving a pinky in there just to see if he will take it but he just walks right over it doesn't even acknowledge it's there. Will he be fine with just eating crickets and woodies? How can I get him to take a pinky?
He seems to be alot more active now that he has sand too
Can i just ask how big is he as a hatchie size.?
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