Ackie Monitors and grit

E.Shell

New Member
I have three small ackies and an adult. The small guys seem to look about the enclosure floor for grit. I have a mix of coarse sand and eco-earth as the main substrate, and a few potted plants in the enclosure. Small pieces of the vermiculite comes to the surface in the potted plants occasionally and the lizards seem very attracted to it. I had put stones in the plant pots to discourage digging and I remove the vermiculite as I see it, but now wonder if they should have a little fine gravel to aid digestion. I've never seen the adult act interested, but the little guys examine and often test-bite every little piece of debris that contrasts with the substrate, full bellies or not.

I am aware they they do not have gizzards like fowl, but do they benefit by ingesting a few granules of gravel?

Thank you,
Ed
 

murrindindi

Not so new Member
I have three small ackies and an adult. The small guys seem to look about the enclosure floor for grit. I have a mix of coarse sand and eco-earth as the main substrate, and a few potted plants in the enclosure. Small pieces of the vermiculite comes to the surface in the potted plants occasionally and the lizards seem very attracted to it. I had put stones in the plant pots to discourage digging and I remove the vermiculite as I see it, but now wonder if they should have a little fine gravel to aid digestion. I've never seen the adult act interested, but the little guys examine and often test-bite every little piece of debris that contrasts with the substrate, full bellies or not.

I am aware they they do not have gizzards like fowl, but do they benefit by ingesting a few granules of gravel?

Thank you,
Ed


Hi, I think you must be the same E. Shell that recently posted on the herpcenter forum in America, otherwise it`s a BIG coincidence the two people not only have the same name but also the same type and number of Varanus acanthurus!?
Firstly, I would not use vermiculite in the enclosure at all, even if it`s in plant pots, it will cause problems if ingested which is always a possibility with these animals being so curious about everything in their environment. I once had an Asian water monitor that would pick up bits of small stones in the substrate, possibly as you say to aid digestion, although I don`t think he actually needed any help in that way? I would just stick to offering whole prey without those additives as an aid.
 

E.Shell

New Member
Hello murrindindi!
Hi, I think you must be the same E. Shell that recently posted on the herpcenter forum in America, otherwise it`s a BIG coincidence the two people not only have the same name but also the same type and number of Varanus acanthurus!?
Aaarghh, you have seen right through my secret identity! Haha.

I have come to realize that true coincidence is actually quite rare.

When I signed up over there, I hadn't realized the other forum was declining and that posting activity was at such a low. I am reading and learning as much as I can about monitors and ackies in particular and have been following many leads. This forum has been hugely helpful and I have read through about half of the archived/locked threads in the lizard/monitor section thus far.
Firstly, I would not use vermiculite in the enclosure at all, even if it`s in plant pots, it will cause problems if ingested which is always a possibility with these animals being so curious about everything in their environment.
Understood, and thank you.

I didn't deliberately place the vermiculite, it was mixed into the soil in the potted plants and a few small particles have migrated to the surface. At about 2mm in diameter, I may not have even noticed them had the monitors not been examining them so intently. I will make sure the vermiculite is out or well-covered.

As an aside, the baby ackies are doing quite well and and growing at an amazing rate. They have all almost doubled in length since I got them September 22nd, and some are even looking a little chubby.
I once had an Asian water monitor that would pick up bits of small stones in the substrate, possibly as you say to aid digestion, although I don`t think he actually needed any help in that way? I would just stick to offering whole prey without those additives as an aid.
I understand. Not keen on adding anything, but I didn't want my guys lacking anything either.
 
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