Pygmy Mulga Monitor

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by Tyl3r97, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    hey guys, looking at getting a (or some) Pygmy Mulga Monitor soon. Picked up this corner cabinet the other day and going to convert it to an enclosure.

    Dimensions are 1mWx80cmD (deepest end)x85cmT. Would this suitable for a pair or trio? I would offer 2 basking spots, plenty of branches, hides etc.

    Have read they like basking sports anywhere from 45-70 degrees C so was going to offer multiple basking spots at different temps, would this be the correct way to do it?

    Also another questions, would I need to seal it with anything or would it be good to go after a good clean with f10? I currently have melamine enclosures and never used an old TV cabinet so new to this lol.

    If anyone has any enclosures they could post picks of that would be appreciated.

    4E6F5466-71FE-46DD-9352-794A07B74459.jpeg
     
  2. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    i don't think it's suitable for pygmy mulgas personally. it seems that it's not too tall and the fact that only at the very edges (which will probs have glass or melamine added to it anyways as a door?) is 1m means imo it'd barely fit for a singular one, let alone a pair or trio.
     
  3. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I have read they are an aboreal species?
     
  4. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    i'd say semi arboreal, they still need to be able to move around on the ground. that enclosure wouldn't fit most species of monitor, not a duo or trio anyways.
     
  5. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I've certainly seen people keeping groups in smaller enclosures, and while they're arboreal in the wild I find it's much easier to keep them happy in a more terrestrial setup. 45cm works well for me.

    I'd definitely only go for one basking spot in that enclosure! It's wooden and will insulate fairly well, you want a basking spot of at least 55 degrees (65-75 is ideal) and you're going to turn the entire thing into an oven with multiple basking spots of that temperature! If they want to be a little cooler they'll just not sit directly in the hottest part of the basking spot, or (more typically for them) they'll just stay there for less time. You want the blasting hot basking spot but you never want the ambient temperature above about 35 degrees and it's important that there's a spot they can get to which is under about 30 (make some sort of a burrow or whatever at the cool end if necessary). I used to use long enclosures to achieve this, but with the right design you can certainly do it will smaller enclosures. A completely ventilated enclosure top with the basking spot at one end pointed away from centre and the enclosure on a cool floor will let you keep these things happily in a 2' enclosure, though I personally wouldn't do it. I've seen it done in smaller, although I enjoyed watching mine running around, throwing insects to opposite ends of the enclosure and making them chase them, etc.

    Yes, definitely seal it, and give it a wash before and after, but if it has never housed reptiles don't bother with the F10. I wouldn't use F10 for anything anyway - it's not a good cleaner or the best steriliser by long stretch, but at least it's very expensive I suppose.
     
  6. Southernserpent

    Southernserpent Not so new Member

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    Just hijacking the thread but what does everyone recommend as the most effective cleaner for reptiles. I have used vinger/water as well as F10 and as far as cleaning power goes I didn't find a difference between the two
     
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  7. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    Okay sweet! Thank you.

    So this would be okay for a pair?

    I’ll keep the basking spot in mind. The only reason I was going to have 2 basking spots is to avoid fighting etc.

    I planned on putting 2 large vents on the angled parts on the front as well as smaller ones on the side, hopefully this will give adequate ventilation to keep ambient temps below 35. If not I’ll keep playing around with it until I get it right.

    What sealent do you recommend?
     
  8. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    It's large enough for a pair, yes.

    If fighting is an issue in a cage that size you're not going to solve it with extra basking lights, and you definitely don't want more than one. Add as much ventilation as you can.

    I have little experience with sealants, I have generally just used materials which don't need it, but that pine will need to be sealed. I've never used a pine enclosure, largely because I'd have to seal it. Pay special attention to the edges and gaps. It certainly won't be as big an issue as it would be for a python, given the dry air, no water bowl (unless you plan to use one, which I wouldn't) and lack of big wet defecations.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Feb 17, 2019, Original Post Date: Feb 17, 2019 ---
    Just for cleaning I generally find plain water is generally sufficient, or if you want something much better than vinegar or F10, add a tiny amount of dish detergent. In the context of cleaning a cage or furnishings in a cage an animal is living in, F10's sterilising properties are entirely irrelevant and dish detergent will do the same thing (not that it even matters). If you actually want something to be sterilised, F10 is a pretty bad choice and you're generally best off using bleach. Or, if you're just going to do a normal wash, a thorough wash in dish detergent (pretty much like you'd wash dishes) will do the same job for your water bowls etc. But if you're really wanting to sterilise something, such as a water bowl or whatever which was used for a quarantined snake, soak in bleach for 24 hours (and be careful about the stuff you were touching after touching the water bowl or whatever, because that can be contaminated too). Bleach is very cheap and is a brilliant steriliser. For 99.9% of keepers, using anything other than water or dish detergent is a waste of time because they have no idea what they're doing anyway. F10 just makes people feel like they're doing a good job because they paid a lot for a supposedly special product, but it doesn't actually do people any good because they're not using it properly and it's not anywhere near as other options anyway. The main benefit of F10 is that it is safe for animals (but so is dish detergent).

    F10 isn't the worst option for something like quickly washing something like sexing probes, but if all you're doing is wiping your probes with F10 between probing snakes, you're cross contaminating anyway - the F10 isn't saving you, so if you're wanting to quarantine two snakes from each other, you can either accept that you're cross contaminating, do the probing separately after a full shower, change of clothes, etc etc, or quickly wipe with F10 and pretend you're not an idiot (the latter is the most popular option).
     
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  9. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    Okay perfect, thanks Sdaji, how do I give them water if they’re is no water bowl in the enclosure? Do I spray them or?
     
  10. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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  11. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    fyi: not all lizards, nor the majority of monitors will drink that way, either.
     
  12. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    Yeah I have a water bowl in my bearded dragons enclosure but once a week I’ll put some drops on it nose that I know he is drinking.

    How often should I spray the monitors if they don’t have a water bowl?

    Sorry if I’m asking stupid questions, monitors are new to me (I keep beardies, blueys and a slotted python) but monitors are obviously different to keep than them so want to make sure I’ve got everything right before I get them
     
  13. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    At times I played around giving water bowls to Pygmy Mulga Monitors, but in all the years I kept them I never once saw one drink from one, I even tried keeping them as dry as possible (hot, dry enclosure, no spraying, no access to water other than from their feed) for about a month then introducing a water bowl and they ignored it. So eventually I stopped giving them water bowls and nothing changed.

    They're arid zone lizards, they're extremely water efficient. If you're feeding them plump, juicy crickets and cockroaches and stuff they probably don't even need to drink, but sometimes if I sprayed water on the rock or whatever they were near they'd drink some. Keep in mind that these things live in areas where it's scorching hot, bone dry, the ground is literally hot enough to cook eggs and if you stood on it you'd burn your feet badly, and 6+ months without rain is completely normal. They don't live next to ponds and waterfalls. When you're out in their territory you start to appreciate what these lizards have evolved to cope with - it's bloody intense stuff.

    I've kept many generations of several species of lizards without them ever seeing liquid water (just slightly moist sand). I don't even spray them, they don't actually drink, they either absorb it using their skin or from the air (I'm not entirely sure which!). I challenge you to go to some of the areas these things live in and find me a single drop of liquid water.

    What they almost always had access to (other than when I was experimenting) was a container of moist sand or vermiculite or something which they could dig into. That's absolutely more than enough to keep them hydrated.
     
  14. mrkos

    mrkos Well-Known Member

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    Coolest of all monitor species imo pity they are becoming extremely hard to get in recent times
     
  15. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    They really are cool! I bred absolute tonnes of them for quite a few years, and after I stopped around 10 years ago I spent years getting heaps of people asking me for them. Amazingly I still get people contacting me from time to time hoping I'm still breeding them. I remember the first time I advertised babies, from my first clutch, and back then it spun everyone out, I had heaps of people calling me just to talk to someone who had actually managed to breed them. I'm surprised no one else has jumped in and started breeding the heck out of them like I was. When I stopped I figured I'd done enough of it and it was time to focus on other projects, but if my current lifestyle and location suited it I'd get straight back into them.
     
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  16. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    Okay sweet! Thanks heaps for your help Sdaji, if I need anything else I’ll be sure you ask you! You seem super experienced in them. Now to get enclosure right and try and find me some !
     
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  17. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I've bred a few :) Actually, I'm not sure if anyone in Australia has bred more. I wouldn't set the enclosure up any different from an Ackie enclosure incidentally. I'm not a fan of replicating nature, I'm more into doing what works best and I understand that nature just is what it is rather than being what's best. Anyway, you set it up in whatever way makes you happiest. As long as you get the basking spot hot and have an area which stays sufficiently cool and feed them generously (don't forget the supplements) you should do well :)
     
  18. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    I supplement my beardies and blues food every 2nd or 3rd feed so when I supplement there’s I’ll supplement the monitors too.

    Do monitors need UV? I read on the VHS caresheet and a few others they don’t, but I’ve also read that they do. Should I put a UV bulb in there to be safe ?
     
  19. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    The VHS caresheet was written by that guy who used to work with heaps of Pygmy Mulgas. Sdaji if I recall correctly (or they might have used the name John Deutscher, which is the name on Sdaji's birth certificate).

    Haha, many years ago the president of the VHS asked me to summarise something else I'd written about Pygmy Mulga Monitors for some reason, he said he just wanted to skim it and I asked him not to put it up anywhere, and then he stuck it up on the VHS site, where over 10 years later it still is. Haha, I even asked the next president to take it down, but he didn't, and amusingly it's still the most commonly referred to care sheet for the species in the world!

    I had the same dilemma when I first started keeping them. Some said they needed it, some said they didn't. It definitely seemed like they didn't, but I put it in 'just in case'. Over the years I then experimented keeping them with and without it, and there was zero difference. Amusingly, before I published magazine articles about them almost everyone in Australia said I was crazy and didn't believe me when I told them how to keep them. Even when I was breeding them like flies at a time when it was almost considered impossible (amusingly, Steve Irwin once actually stated on the record in court that it was literally impossible to breed them in captivity! This gives you an idea of the mentality I was trying to change!) and most people could barely keep them alive, people refused to take me seriously when I spoke of my methods. In my first two or three seasons of breeding them I used to make sure every single buyer agreed to give them the necessities I told them about, but many of them would call a few weeks later saying they wouldn't eat or weren't doing well, and every single time they'd set them up in the complete wrong way without doing what they promised they would! Haha, that was what made me actively put information out there. It definitely changed the way people were keeping them, but even now a fair few people want to argue. UV is bad for some species, but while it can harm snakes, it won't hurt your monitors, only your wallet.

    Incidentally, I used to use supplements on almost every feed. It's probably not necessary, but my animals grew fast, multiclutched reliably, I never had an infertile egg, and at the time I stopped keeping them I still had my original three animals alive and going strong, so I must have been doing something right.
     
  20. Tyl3r97

    Tyl3r97 Not so new Member

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    Ohh fair enough haha. So basically UV isn’t essential if the correct supplementation and diet is used?
     

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