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Water Monitors Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Monitors

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.20    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 12/04/2003

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Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years


Water Monitors

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Water Monitors

Sexing and Characteristics:

Sexing water monitors can be tuff and you may have to wait a couple of years for them to show any kind of sexual characteristics. General characteristics of a male is a larger broader head, larger in body size then females, and if your lucky(which you most likey will be) if your monitor is a male is may show its hemipenes while it goes to the bathroom.

I found out my water monitor was a male after about 1 and a half years. He released his bowles and out came the hemi-penes. It is really not worth probing your reptiles unless you absolutely have to if your are working on a breeding project or somethin.

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Substrate and Water Needs:

I use cypress mulch. I have tried other types of substrates such as bed-a-beast, soil, and peat moss. Basically you want a substrate that will help keep humidity levels up.

Lighting and UVB:

I do not use any uvb bulbs. From what I have read else where they are not necessary for monitors. I do provide heat through use of a flood light, or two depending one what size cage I am using.

Temperatures and Humidity:

I usually keep my ambient temperatures between 80F and 90F with a basking spot over 100F to 115F. Make sure your water monitor has plenty of room to regulate its body heat.

Heating and Equipment:

I provide a kane heat mat with an adjustable thremostat. For smaller water monitors you can get away with a smaller bottom tank heater.

Caging Provided:

I been through many many enclosures for my water monitor. I started with a small 20 gallon, to a 30 gallon, to a 4 foot cage, to a 6 foot cage, and now a 9 foot cage. In about 1 year I will give him part of a room. I built my cage out of melamine boards and sealed the end of the boards with aquarium sealant.

I also provide a 2x3 foot water bin for him to submerge in.



Description of Diet:

My water monitor is strictly carnivorous. I feed him mainly on ground turkey with some bonemeal and vitamins from a crushed centrum vitamin. I feed him mice every so often for a treat. Other treats include smelts and boiled chicken.

I used to cook the ground turkey but have recently started feeding him raw turkey. I mix his bonemeal and viamins in the ground turkey and make meatballs for him to eat. After making the meat ball I feed him some and freeze the rest. It usually takes a couple of hours for the meat balls to thaw out prior to using.

I have found my monitor having more energy since I switche from boiling the ground turkey to giving it to him raw.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

I supplement my water monitors diet with crushed centrum vitamins and bonemeal or calcium carbonate.


Maintenance can be tough. My water monitor contiunally goes to the bathroom inside his water bin. So I have a pump that I put in to pump the soiled water out just about every day or every other day. Keeping the medium clean is a tuff taske too but is not so bad. Overall cleaning and maintenance can be a bit over whelming the bigger your water monitor gets. Mine is always curious and can be tuff to contain him within in cage while cleaning.

Some Words on this Species:

Although there is growing popularity amoung these lizards, you have to be aware that they grow amazingly fast! They can reach 6 feet easily in under 3 years. Never under estimate a water monitors easy going personality and dispostion. Water Monitors demand alot of respect, and can inflict very serious damage to humans and animals. I do not feel this is a starter lizard, and should really only be kept by people that can provide its caging needs and be able to afford its horrific appetite.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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