Ackie Monitor Size and Pic Request.

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by ackiedd, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. ackiedd

    ackiedd New Member

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    Hi. This is my first post. I'm animal mad and love reptiles in particular. I've never had one myself, but I've cared for bearded dragons, ball pythons, blue tongued skinks and a red tegu at times. Loved every minute of it, especially the time I spent with the tegu!

    I'm very interested in Ackies (not getting them though - at least not yet). I would appreciate it if people could send a picture of their ackies, preferably adults but I would like to see young ones too. Some of those labeled as yellow look red to me, and some of those labeled as red seem yellow. Maybe I'm just looking at mislabeled ackies.

    I would also appreciate it if you could tell me the size of your adult ackies. Full size, as well as body and tail size separately as I'm interested in how much of the length is tail.

    How do you find keeping them? Is yours good with handling? Also how many and what type of insects do you feed them a day.
     
  2. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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  3. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Active Member

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    Wow …. they really seem to like you. I'd be a bit scared of those claws you have there.


    Gonna definitely add ackies to my lists of possible pets …. I like my pet lizards interactive.

    How much bigger do you think your two will get ?
     
  4. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    I think they grow to 70cm max, mine are around 45cm at the moment.

    I started taming them by offering them food with tongs, then drawing them out onto my hand.

    Their claws are not too bad, They’ve never scratched me, but one did break my skin with his teeth when he misjudged where the food was. It was only painful because it was soft skin next to my nail.

    Edit, oh you meant my claws lol! Yes, they’re very sharp!
     
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Not so new Member

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    Hi, they both look big enough to be sexually mature adults (maturity is more to do with size, not age). Do you have any idea of gender?
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Dec 2, 2019, Original Post Date: Dec 2, 2019 ---
    Hi, I`m guessing you`re in America/other and not Australia because you mention a Tegu? If you are in the States, the subspecies have been mixed to a great extent so its likely that "red" and "yellow" are not "pure".
    As far as feeding goes, the most important consideration with any varanid is to feed only as much energy as they use, (obviously the hatchlings/juveniles will use more on growth) so they can be fed relatively more. It`s import to be aware that under "optimum" conditions V. acanthurus can go from egg to egg within 6 months in captivity.
     
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  6. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    One is definitely a male (pops out his hemipenes occasionally) while I think the other is a female (smaller, narrower head, never saw a hemipene).
    Male attempts mating occasionally, but she’s not cooperating.
     
  7. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Active Member

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    I guess you have be very careful with those talons , you could do yourself a nasty injury LOL. Doesn't bare thinking about …

    70cm max ( full length ?) , not that much longer than a larger full grown central bearded dragon , and a bit shorter than a full grown eastern water dragon. Do-able as an indoor pet ( or mixed pair ).
    What is the size of the tank you have the pair in ?
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Not so new Member

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    Can I ask you to show the whole enclosure plus give it`s size, and also say how deep the substrate is throughout, and what the substrate temps are from bottom (enclosure floor) and up towards the surface? I ask because it`s extremely important to have suitable nesting available at all times if you do have a female that is (probably?) sexual mature. I noticed on your other thread that you occasionally offer cat food and pinkie mice, I would advise to stick with whole prey, and further, pinkie mice contain little nutrition, the skeleton hasn`t formed, just a very small amount of protein and skin, I recommend offering fuzzies, you can cut them into smaller pieces if too big to swallow whole (although if the monitors are around 45cm they should manage a small whole fuzzie). I hope the OP understands that the suggestions I`m offering will help him too if he does acquire these animals in the future (I`m not trying to hijack his thread)! ;)
     
  9. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    It’s 120x80x45, with 12cm depth substrate. It’s a temporary enclosure, as we’re going to get two 120x120x60 enclosures joined together with a gate between them either to separate them if we don’t want them to breed, or to separate parents and babies.
    The air temperature is 40, basking spot surface 50-55, cool end is in mid-20s.
    I had a nesting box in there that was 50/50 sand and peat, but she wouldn’t go in there. I then removed the box, dug a hole in the sand and dumped the mixture in the hole and covered it with a plastic lid with two holes cut in it for entry/exit. She’s been digging tunnels in there.

    I don’t feed them cat food, but pet-grade chicken mince, which is the whole chicken carcass minced together so it has cartilage and bone in the mixture. I still sprinkle calcium on it. I also gave them calcium dusted rat pinkies and they ate them. Mince/pinkies are once a week/fortnight treat, not regular diet. Regular diet are crickets and woodies.
     
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Not so new Member

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    Thanks for more details, I`ll start by saying that you need around 25 to 30cm substrate depth for nesting, I doubt very much a female would deposit eggs in the 12cm you`ve provided, this is of paramount importance, many females die from reproductive failure in captivity (varanid species as a whole, that is). By far the most effective method is to use as much of the "floor space" as possible for nesting so the animal can choose the most appropriate area. As I mentioned, the substrate also needs to be heated to within quite a narrow range (approx 27 to 30c, obviously it will vary from floor to surface, at least). You haven`t said what the current substrate temps are?
    The enclosure temps sound o.k although the basking surface temp could be higher (60 to 65c).
    I do not think the enclosure size you`re planning is large enough, at least in height, because @ 60cm (if that figure is the height?) it would only leave around 30cm of above ground "air space", so I would suggest a height of around 90cm if possible, if the 120cm is height, it`s fine. I think it`s a good idea to have two enclosures joined together.
    Fuzzie mice/rats are perfectly acceptable in moderation (as you currently do, but don`t bother with pinkies for the reasons I mentioned). You can also offer the occasional fertilised quail egg (raw).
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 4:13 AM
  11. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    These are 150 cm tall, so even with 30+ cm substrate, there will be plenty of height, and there will be 300cm floor space with two heating lamps (one in each enclosure). The current substrate surface temperature is around 30 degrees near the hot spot going to low 20s furthest from the hot spot.

    I don’t have any shops around selling quail eggs, but I’ve given mine hard boiled chicken eggs (yolk and egg white), again as treat only because they’d gorge themselves stupid on them if I let them.

    Female digs often, but as far as I can tell, she only does it so she can lay in the ditch she digs and sleep in there. She’s not receptive to mating and refuses to move her tail, but still we will try to finish the new enclosures ASAP and provide her with a suitable nesting box just in case. We just need to make suitable Perspex boxes to go in the bottom of each enclosure so they can be filled with sand without it going everywhere.

    Should we provide them with plain sand or sand/soil or sand/peat mixture?
     
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Not so new Member

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    Can you confirm the enclosure size again, in your earlier reply you say the new ones (2) will be 120 x 120 x 60 (cm) and please give the size as :L x W x H (thx).
    I think you misunderstand about the substrate temps, you need to measure them from the very bottom (enclosure floor) up near the surface (just stick a Temp-gun down into the substrate) to get a reasonably good idea. Are you using a Temp-gun for the basking surface temps?
    What are the Perspex boxes for, if you mean to nest in, the nest box MUST be solid and completely opaque, you can make a hole either in the top or on one side, make sure its just large enough for the female to enter (but not the male) and it must be absolutely full to the top, otherwise it may get used just as another hide. You can use a mix of topsoil/sand and or peat, again the substrate in the "nest box" needs to be heated to within quite a narrow range (approx. 27 to 30c). I can put you a link up to a video made by a friend of mine, Dr. David Kirshner ("crocdoc") who keeps and breeds Lace monitors showing how to construct and set up a nest box if it would help?
    You should be able to get fertilised quail eggs on eBay..
     
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  13. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    Yeah, it’s 120 high by 120 long by 60 deep. I don’t know why I wrote 150?

    I’m using temp gun (infrared) to measure surface temperatures and a thermometer for air temperature. Do I need to dig to the bottom to check temps there?

    Perspex boxes are just to contain the substrate through entire enclosure, not for nest boxes.

    Unless I separate them, how can I ensure the male doesn’t get into the nest box, as they’re the same size?

    I’d appreciate the link, thanks.

    Finally, the female has buried herself under sand like this a few times - any idea why she does this? I have dug her out because I was worried she’ll suffocate - am I supposed to leave her to it?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the plastic container in the picture is the base for their basking tower, it sits flat on the bottom of the enclosure, it’s there so they can’t dig under and undermine the tower and get themselves squashed.
     
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  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Not so new Member

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    There are 3 videos in total, I recommend you view them all if you have the time, they are extremely informative and easy to understand.
    Burrowing is perfectly normal for them, no need to disturb unless you feel there may be something wrong. "She" might also be burrowing to escape the heat or simply to retreat from the other monitor.
    If at some point she becomes gravid it might be an idea to remove the male so she can use the nestbox if she chooses without interference from the other (or if she wants to nest elswhere).
    Just push the Temp-gun down into the substrate at different levels (floor upwards) and throughout the enclosure.


    --- Automatic Post Merged, Dec 6, 2019 at 4:25 AM, Original Post Date: Dec 6, 2019 at 4:18 AM ---

    --- Automatic Post Merged, Dec 6, 2019 at 4:26 AM ---
     
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  15. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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  16. ackiedd

    ackiedd New Member

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    So in order to get the temperature of the soil at the bottom perfect you should also have a heat mat under the enclosure as well as the bulbs? edit** if its not at that temp already that is.

    How many feeders do you guys feed per day?

    I know people feed them the occasional pinky too. Is that a necessity or can they be fed just insects?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019 at 1:42 AM
  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Not so new Member

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    Hi, by far the best way is to make sure the room temps don`t fall too low. Can you say where you`re located (country/state) and what the climate is like throughout the year?
    It`s not about how many items you feed, it`s more about their nutritional value and also how much energy the animal uses; hatchlings/juveniles can be fed more because they`ll use much of the energy on growth. once into adulthood and growth has slowed/stopped feed in relation to the energy they use (which in captivity may be significantly less than their wild counterparts).
    Yes you can feed just inverts/insects , they do very well on that diet (offer a variety and make sure the feeders are well fed). As I mentioned earlier, pinky mice contain little nourishment, offer fuzzies instead if you do choose that type of prey occasionally.
     
  18. ackiedd

    ackiedd New Member

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    Thanks for all the info in this thread. I'm from Ireland. So its mostly cold and humid, though during the summers it gets quite warm. Never to the extremes in terms of temp. Its a mild temperate climate. My house is usually heated when its cold out, though I'm unsure as to what the actual temperature would be.

    I'd definitely prefer to stick to a range of gut loaded insects rather than throw in the occasional pinky/fuzzy. Nice to hear its not necessary.
     
  19. murrindindi

    murrindindi Not so new Member

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    Can I ask why you would be against feeding the baby mice on occasion even though they aren`t really necessary (they would be either fresh killed or frozen thawed, not live)?
    If the lowest ambient temp doesn`t fall below 24c in the coolest parts (day and night) the substrate will usually heat up to at least that figure, obviously it will take some time after you initially put it in the enclosure, but you should be able to manage o.k. Note that a male would not require such a narrow range of substrate temps although again, I wouldn`t allow the minimum temp to fall much below 24c even in the coolest parts (day and night).
    By the way, I`m living in the U.K these days so I know the climate you too have to "suffer" much of the time! ;)
     
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  20. ackiedd

    ackiedd New Member

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    I don't have a problem with feeding them myself, but everybody else I know would. Having dead mice in the freezer would be an immediate deal breaker for everyone else. If the mice were needed I would figure something out. If feeding them on occasion would lead to a healthier diet for the lizard (even if not necessary) I would definitely go for it. Its just more acceptable in my house to have colonies of insects rather than frozen mice.

    Thanks for the info. When I'm ready to get an ackie I'll set up the enclosure a month or so before buying it and monitor the temperature to see what its like. If not I'll figure a way to make sure it keeps from getting cold.

    Would you recommend one or two? I was going to go for just a male as I've read that females can die due to reproductive problems. I notice that you mentioned that in this thread too. They are an expensive lizard and the one I've always wanted, so it would suck to lose it like that. Or is that just when they are alone?
     

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