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PelicanDropShip

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Hey guys, I have been thinking about my next pet. This is a long term consideration, I don't plan on jumping on it anytime soon, but I have recently revived an interest in monitors, I have always liked them, but associated them as being a big animal; lace etc. Its has come to my attention that smaller species are a thing!!

I did a deep dive online to find out more, from what I have gathered so far.. there seems to be a general consensus with the online reptile community that Ackie's and Gillen's are the best starting point. However.. I would like to note that this conclusion has been sourced via US and Uk based online channels as they tend to receive the most coverage on Youtube and such. I assume that we have better availability and access to a variety of species here in Australia , hence I am seeking an opinion here.

As far as my experience goes I owned a blue tongue as a Kid and am now currently housing a 3year old carpet python. I really like the look and general specs of Kimbley rock monitors, they are my preference at the moment over Ackies and Gillens, I am curious if anyone would caution, endorse or offer any alternative to these.(I am open to any consideration/advice) The enclosure that my Darwin is in, is 120cm L x 60cm H x 45cm W. I am considering either moving the python to bigger enclosure then homing the monitor or building something specific for the monitor.

This whole idea spawned from wanting to get cat, but I am allergic. I would just like animal, that I can have more sophisticated interactions with. Something that you can look into the eyes of it and know that it is looking back at you. The python is cool and all, but I would prefer not to be treated like an obstacle in the way of its T800 vision. Anyways.. keen to hear from some of the more experienced of reptile owners.

Thank you.
 

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Is chocolate or vanilla better? Are lizards or snakes better? Are dogs or cats better? Dare I compare apples and oranges?

There is no objective answer to which monitor is the best. If you like Kimbos, get them. The main reason most people start with Gillen's or Ackies is that they're cheap and easily available (Gillen's may sometimes be more difficult to find). All things considered I'd personally go for Gillen's, I spent years breeding swags of them and they stand out as a highlight in my reptile keeping history, I may get some again one day, but other people will have different preferences. Kimbos are brilliant, the biggest problems will be the higher price tag and difficulty finding them, but if that doesn't bother you, there's your choice.
 
Is chocolate or vanilla better? Are lizards or snakes better? Are dogs or cats better? Dare I compare apples and oranges?

There is no objective answer to which monitor is the best. If you like Kimbos, get them. The main reason most people start with Gillen's or Ackies is that they're cheap and easily available (Gillen's may sometimes be more difficult to find). All things considered I'd personally go for Gillen's, I spent years breeding swags of them and they stand out as a highlight in my reptile keeping history, I may get some again one day, but other people will have different preferences. Kimbos are brilliant, the biggest problems will be the higher price tag and difficulty finding them, but if that doesn't bother you, there's your choice.
Yeah I just noticed the price tag hahaha, Ill defs need to have a serious think about it, thanks for the advice :)
 
Personally I can't comment on Ackies but I know they are popular. I do keep V.varius, V.ocreatus and V.gilleni. I do love my Lacies but they are R2 so out of your reach as are the Ocreatus. but I do find the Gilleni are curious and interactive, if I tap on the glass they come out to see what I have, they don't try to escape or hide away. They also don't seem to mind being handled . I find they love scrambled egg and pinky mice as well as the usual crickets etc. none of the above are cheap though, you are looking at $500-600 each
 
Personally I can't comment on Ackies but I know they are popular. I do keep V.varius, V.ocreatus and V.gilleni. I do love my Lacies but they are R2 so out of your reach as are the Ocreatus. but I do find the Gilleni are curious and interactive, if I tap on the glass they come out to see what I have, they don't try to escape or hide away. They also don't seem to mind being handled . I find they love scrambled egg and pinky mice as well as the usual crickets etc. none of the above are cheap though, you are looking at $500-600 eacI did some more research,
I did some more research, I daresay that I will settle on an Ackie, I mean $500-600 is fine, anything beyond $1000 is where it begins to get steep. But yeah defs want something that I can handle, laces are super cool but I can see that would be a challenging pet to own. Thanks for the info appreciate it.
 
I did some more research, I daresay that I will settle on an Ackie, I mean $500-600 is fine, anything beyond $1000 is where it begins to get steep. But yeah defs want something that I can handle, laces are super cool but I can see that would be a challenging pet to own. Thanks for the info appreciate it.

If you want something you can handle you'd be much better off with a Beardy or Blue-tongued or if you want to invest a lot of time, a Spencer's Monitor or a Lacie. With a lot of time you can often get Ackies to tolerate being held but they'll never be as comfortable with it as Beardies and Blueys are with zero effort. Even most wild caught Blueys are more comfortable with being handled than most captive raised Ackies.
 
If you want something you can handle you'd be much better off with a Beardy or Blue-tongued or if you want to invest a lot of time, a Spencer's Monitor or a Lacie. With a lot of time you can often get Ackies to tolerate being held but they'll never be as comfortable with it as Beardies and Blueys are with zero effort. Even most wild caught Blueys are more comfortable with being handled than most captive raised Ackies.

If you want something you can handle you'd be much better off with a Beardy or Blue-tongued or if you want to invest a lot of time, a Spencer's Monitor or a Lacie. With a lot of time you can often get Ackies to tolerate being held but they'll never be as comfortable with it as Beardies and Blueys are with zero effort. Even most wild caught Blueys are more comfortable with being handled than most captive raised Ackies.
eh.. I mean I do like blue tongues, especially the melanistic and albino types, but they are kinda boring lizards, at least from my experience. Keen to try something new you know. Good point, online Ackies seem to be fairly well endorsed , but its nice to see different perspective on them, helps in keeping a balanced opinion. I do think ill probably end up getting an Ackie, but will for sure take everything said into consideration. TY
 
eh.. I mean I do like blue tongues, especially the melanistic and albino types, but they are kinda boring lizards, at least from my experience. Keen to try something new you know. Good point, online Ackies seem to be fairly well endorsed , but its nice to see different perspective on them, helps in keeping a balanced opinion. I do think ill probably end up getting an Ackie, but will for sure take everything said into consideration. TY

I would keep monitors over Blueys any day, and I don't have any desire to keep the Cane Toad of the lizard world AKA Bearded Dragon, but these species are brilliant for handling and small monitors aren't. I used to keep tropical fish, I loved them, but I never believed that made them good for handling. Personally I'd never bother trying to handle small monitors. They don't like it, at best they'll learn to tolerate it or you can trick them into sitting on your hand like it's a rock or something. I don't really see the appeal in that sort of interaction. If you want something you can physically interact with which will actively enjoy the interaction, my personal preference is a human woman, but if it must be an animal you'll do well with dogs which absolutely adore physical interaction with humans. If it must be a reptile there are very few which will actually enjoy physical interaction with you, especially among Australian species, and Beardies are hands down the ones which will tolerate it best, generally almost completely unfussed to the point where most people can easily kid themselves into believing the lizard likes it. Pythons can also become so comfortable with it that it doesn't at all bother them and many people believe the snake likes it. With small monitors you're literally trying to trick the animal into doing something it doesn't really want to do, usually enticing it with feed rewards, and sure, with enough time and work you can get the lizard to sit on your hand without being so scared that it will run away, or you may even manage to get it to the point where it runs and sits on your hand because it thinks that will be a way to earn itself a snack, and I guess that is kind of cool in a way, but the reality is that you're going to work very hard for that and a Bearded Dragon will get to that stage in a few days without any effort at all.

Don't get me wrong, do whatever you want, put the effort into gaining a small monitor's trust so that it will sit on your hand if that's what you're into, I'm just saying the reality is that they're not animals which like it and they're very aware so they feel very uncomfortable with a huge monster which could easily eat them like a snack. Large monitors do interact very differently with humans because they evolved as apex predators and are large enough to see themselves in a different way relative to us - they know they are capable of physically messing us up in a serious way and the interaction is not exclusively on our terms, so if you actually want a meaningful interaction with an Australian reptile, a Lacie, Spencer's (probably your best choice) or Perentie would be fantastic (I'd love to do it but I'm almost certain I will never be willing to allocate enough time).

Small monitors are absolutely fantastic, I am dying to work with them again when my lifestyle allows it, but they're crap for handling.
 
I would keep monitors over Blueys any day, and I don't have any desire to keep the Cane Toad of the lizard world AKA Bearded Dragon, but these species are brilliant for handling and small monitors aren't. I used to keep tropical fish, I loved them, but I never believed that made them good for handling. Personally I'd never bother trying to handle small monitors. They don't like it, at best they'll learn to tolerate it or you can trick them into sitting on your hand like it's a rock or something. I don't really see the appeal in that sort of interaction. If you want something you can physically interact with which will actively enjoy the interaction, my personal preference is a human woman, but if it must be an animal you'll do well with dogs which absolutely adore physical interaction with humans. If it must be a reptile there are very few which will actually enjoy physical interaction with you, especially among Australian species, and Beardies are hands down the ones which will tolerate it best, generally almost completely unfussed to the point where most people can easily kid themselves into believing the lizard likes it. Pythons can also become so comfortable with it that it doesn't at all bother them and many people believe the snake likes it. With small monitors you're literally trying to trick the animal into doing something it doesn't really want to do, usually enticing it with feed rewards, and sure, with enough time and work you can get the lizard to sit on your hand without being so scared that it will run away, or you may even manage to get it to the point where it runs and sits on your hand because it thinks that will be a way to earn itself a snack, and I guess that is kind of cool in a way, but the reality is that you're going to work very hard for that and a Bearded Dragon will get to that stage in a few days without any effort at all.

Don't get me wrong, do whatever you want, put the effort into gaining a small monitor's trust so that it will sit on your hand if that's what you're into, I'm just saying the reality is that they're not animals which like it and they're very aware so they feel very uncomfortable with a huge monster which could easily eat them like a snack. Large monitors do interact very differently with humans because they evolved as apex predators and are large enough to see themselves in a different way relative to us - they know they are capable of physically messing us up in a serious way and the interaction is not exclusively on our terms, so if you actually want a meaningful interaction with an Australian reptile, a Lacie, Spencer's (probably your best choice) or Perentie would be fantastic (I'd love to do it but I'm almost certain I will never be willing to allocate enough time).

Small monitors are absolutely fantastic, I am dying to work with them again when my lifestyle allows it, but they're crap for handling.
Hey, thank you for taking the time to type that up, I shamefully spent an hour writing up my initial post, so I very much appreciate the effort that you put into your response. Its an understatement to say that you care for the welfare of these creatures, I feel its only right to take what you have said seriously. To summarize, if I intend on following through with getting a smaller monitor as a pet, my expectation should be that this is a display animal. Any interactions that I may have, should be considered bonus, not a given. Otherwise, I should accept those terms or reconsider my options.

I can totally relate with owning a python, I think for the most part that she isn't afraid of me, but I have come to recognize myself, that when being handled, its a matter of tolerance rather than affection on her part. As mentioned before I do think bigger monitors are cool, its just a whole other level of commitment, Plus I think I would have a very difficult time convincing a land lord to allow something like that into an apartment space, but that's another matter. Im going to give this some more thought..

Man, appreciate the info, thank you again. cheers
 
If your goal is to handle your lizard, and you have never kept reptiles before no monitor is really suitable. An Ackie's was my first personal pet reptile but I had worked hand on (paid work experience) within the animal industry for several years prior before taking that step. They are probably the easiest to get to tolerate handling, but all reptiles *tolerate* handling, not enjoy. We are dealing with wild animals, not cats or dogs.

If your goal is to handle;- consider a beardie, but even over handling will make them stress.

If you are genuinely interested in monitors;- Ackies are a great start.

Best of luck.
 
If your goal is to handle your lizard, and you have never kept reptiles before no monitor is really suitable. An Ackie's was my first personal pet reptile but I had worked hand on (paid work experience) within the animal industry for several years prior before taking that step. They are probably the easiest to get to tolerate handling, but all reptiles *tolerate* handling, not enjoy. We are dealing with wild animals, not cats or dogs.

If your goal is to handle;- consider a beardie, but even over handling will make them stress.

If you are genuinely interested in monitors;- Ackies are a great start.

Best of luck.
Thanks man appreciate the info.

For clarity, this vid is what lead me to believe that they were okay with handling, if that helps.

 

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