Small monitors

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by Damo1, May 16, 2018.

  1. Damo1

    Damo1 Not so new Member

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    What monitors available in Victoria can fit in a 4ft x 2ft x 2ft?
    --- Automatic Post Merged, May 16, 2018, Original Post Date: May 16, 2018 ---
    anyone
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    Anyone
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    Bump
     
  2. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    Why not choose a monitor you're passionate about, thoroughly research it, and then think about the enclosure? I don't think trying to find something to fit in a spare enclosure because it's simply there is the best way to go and could lead to a disappointing keeping experience.
     
  3. HSVGTP

    HSVGTP New Member

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    I have an Ackie in that size enclosure, great little monitors
     
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  4. cris

    cris Almost Legendary

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    Most Odatria are suited to that enclosure size. Not sure if there is a legal species list for Vic. It would be suitable for raising larger monitor species too.

    To save you a google search or me listing species.
    https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Varanus_(Odatria)
     
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi New Member

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    Hi, a full grown male can reach around 75cm, a 120 x 60 x 60 cm enclosure is hardly large enough as a permanent home, neither will it be suitable for housing and adult female because by the time you add between 25 to 30cm depth of substrate for nesting it only leaves around 30cm "air space" above ground, and they are quite active animals that will also climb to some extent if given the opportunity. Exercise is extremely important both physically as well as mentally. I think in many cases it`s more about saving on space than builing as large as possible (within reason).
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  6. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @Damo, unfortunately when someone asks what species would suit a given enclosure, this is often interpreted as them have these resources and just wanting to stick a reptile or two in them to impress others, rather than for their own enjoyment. We have encountered more than our share of such individuals here. This type of person does not sit well with committed keepers who know that meeting the individual[WU1] needs of a given species, irrespective of ongoing cost, is what is really required to be a good keeper. Of course savvy keepers know how to do things as cheaply as possible without could be utilised for a single individual or a pair of adult ackies, so long as it was well furnished with hollows, branches and appropriate fake rocks (no real weight to damage them). The base area falls below the minimum required in NSW (0.72 m2 vs 0.9 m2) and is less than half that recommended under the Victorian keeping guidelines. It is always desirable to give active and inquisitive animals more room to roam and investigate if available. Where room is limited, it can be compensated for to varying degrees by the nature and complexity of furnishings provided, and also by feeding live bugs, such as woodies, crickets, huntsman spiders etc. that the lizards have to chase down.

    Ackies like to burrow in nature, but mostly fairly shallow burrows underneath slab rocks. This allows them to warm up in a safe environment. Deep substrate is only really required for egg laying. If one was intending to breed them, then a nest box of moist sand some 25 to 30 cm deep should be added.

    The only other two small monitors that are on the Victorian Keeping List are V. gilleni and V. storri. No dramas there with the size of either.

    A couple of bits of important advice that I would add are firstly, buy a reputable book that has covers in detail the care of the species you select. Note that your selection may well be heavily influenced by availability. Secondly, use the book and this forum to set up your enclosure. Then fully test it over a week or so to ensure it functions appropriately and consistently, before buying your animals.

    Kind of a long-winded answer to your question. Sorry about that.
     
  7. Smittiferous

    Smittiferous Subscriber Subscriber

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    I couldn’t recommend Gilleni enough, they are so full of character and life.

    Danny Brown’s book “A guide to Australian Monitor Lizards in Captivity” is a great one.
     
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi New Member

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    Hi, breeding isn`t the only reason to have a relatively deep layer of substrate, even if the monitor is a lone female nesting is required at all times because there`s no telling when she`ll become gravid. It`s better to use the whole floor space to give the animal more choice as obviously the conditions will be somewhat different throughout the enclosure. The substrate also helps with the humidity above and below ground which is also extremely important.
     
  9. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @murrindindi. I just set out to answer the question asked, without personal preferences.

    I don’t think Damo is in position at the moment to even consider breeding. He really should be looking at a single animal if he chooses ackies. I am not recommending he acquire ackies. He’s been told the cage is minimal size for them and larger would preferable, that it is way below what Victoria’s guidelines suggest and smaller than those foe NSW. He’s also been told he need to do his own research and learning by purchasing a reputable care text, before he even thinks about buying.

    Would you mind explaining how this can happen: “even if the monitor is a lone female nesting is required at all times because there`s no telling when she`ll become gravid.”

    One error I did make was with respect using woodies and crickets to feed monitors. Given the temperatures in a monitor enclosure, these insects will be quick as lightening. Therefore they should be at least partially disabled before being placed into the enclosure.
     
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  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi New Member

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    The OP IS doing his/her own research by asking for advise!
    What do I need to explain about a lone (sexually mature) female requiring suitable nesting at all times? A lone female will cycle on a regular basis, therefore suitable nesting must be in place because we don`t know when gravidity will occur. Surely the sensible approach is to make sure there are nesting sites available at all times? It`s also possible that a female that has never been with a male could lay fertile eggs (parthenogenetically) although not yet recorded in this species as far as I`m aware. The above is true of all varanid species regarding providing for the females (there`s a 50% chance the animal will be that gender).
    If a properly supported monitor cannot catch roaches and crickets something`s badly wrong healthwise...
    Do you keep varanids yourself?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
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  11. Scutellatus

    Scutellatus Well-Known Member

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    Damo doesnt know what he wants. First it was a croc, then it was venomous and now he wants Ackies. At least Ackies are more suited to his experience level I guess.
     
  12. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @murrindindi. With cooling and keeping females on the lean side, ovulation should be limited, so I don’t know what you are doing... One would normally just add a laying box, or build up a retained mound of suitable substrate, (at the cool end) during the breeding season. I accept you disagree with me on this. It was offered an alternative. It is a widely practiced alternative, as can be validated by doing a bit of research.

    The comment on partially disabling feeder insects, it really depends on how many you put in at one time and if some are able to hide in the furnishings provided and then escape the enclosure at night. I thought it might be better to be conservative for starters rather than potentially having woodies and noisy crickets loose in the house.

    As for young ackies changing sex – I don’t think so! There is not a shred of scientific evidence to support it. Danny Brown had a hermaphrodite ackie that was kept with a dominant male for some time and it remained hermaphrodite. I’ll happily post his article’s address plus a very salient comment on the 2.1 trios, if you want to read them.

    Seeing as how you asked, no I do not keep varanids. In fact, I don’t keep any reptiles these days (at least not long term) and have not done so for a very long time. So what?
     
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  13. HSVGTP

    HSVGTP New Member

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    My Ackie is only 3 months old, that enclosure is more than adequate for its needs for the foreseeable future and I’m well aware of the housing requirements according to the department.


     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi New Member

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    It`s very disappointing that you don`t understand what the word "parthenogenetic" means, it`s certainly nothing to do with animals changing sex!? There is no need to cool female or male varanids in order to induce breeding behaviour in captivity, particularly if they are housed indoors on a permanent basis (proven over decades and very many generations). The fact that V. acanthurus can become sexually mature and produce offspring within less than 6 months in captivity is the reason for suggesting providing "suitable" nesting as early as possible, moreso if the keeper isn`t sure of gender (better safe than sorry) too late once the animal is heavily gravid to start experimenting with nesting. The nesting area needs to be heated to quite a narrow temp range, the larger the area the easier it is to ensure the female will find somewhere suitable to deposit the eggs. There is no "breeding season" in captivity where we control the conditions.
    Animal`s lives depend on the advise we offer and I stand by mine (all of it). Yes, I`m quite familiar with Dr. Danny Brown`s work, and the monitor book which I`ve had almost from the day it was published, in fact I`ve contacted him a number of times in the past, he`s been most helpful...
    --- Automatic Post Merged, May 30, 2018, Original Post Date: May 30, 2018 ---
    Hi, I wasn`t criticising you, merely pointing out that the bigger the better when it comes to enclosure sizes for varanids. I hope you realise how soon they can reach sexual maturity when properly supported, if female they`ll require suitable nesting, that means a relatively deep substrate heated to within quite a narrow temp range, best to provide that sooner rather than later! It`s stressful for them to be moved to different enclosures so if possible make it big enough to last for life..
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  15. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    @murrindindi.
    The reference to changing of sex and the hermaphrodite were in reference to a comment which edited out, so these are no longer relevant. By the way, I asked if you wanted a reference to the article on the hermaphrodite, not anything else related D. Brown.

    If you maintain temperatures year round, then of course you can expect breeding throughout the year. Have you considered the potential effects on the female of doing so?

    If your heat gradient is appropriate, than only moisture in the breeding box (or mound) is important. If not, then a heat mat can be used under the breeding box.

    Even if one does not observe mating, following successful coitus a female’s appetite will significantly increase. One has three weeks between successful mating and egg laying – which should be ample time to notice the female’s increased eating and/or changes in body shape (as previously described) and to then add a breeding box if one does not reside in the enclosure permanently.

    I’d have to be pretty daft not to know what parthenogenesis is, given that you gave a practical description of it in Post #10. My knowledge also extends to an understanding of the genetic mechanisms involved and the two main types that can occur in reptiles, if that helps alleviate your disappointment.
     
  16. Bushfire

    Bushfire Well-Known Member

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    120 x 60 x 60 should be fine for a pair of ackies. It's probably the most common sized enclosure that people keep them in.
     
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