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Care Sheet for Monitors

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 3.00    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 09/03/2005

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Years Experience:

5 to 10 Years



Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

I am expirienced with more then just Niles, but I choose to give a care sheet for them, b/c i did not see any other ones.
My Nile is currently 14inches and in a 75gal. aquarium.

Sexing and Characteristics:

Sexing of a Nile Monitor may be difficult to determine, only a vet can find that out by probing it. and not every vet will handle reptiles, you should take it to a professional.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

I personally use a mixture of crushed walnut shells and mulch, and he appears to be really happy. I have heard of people using soil also. Soil is a great idea because Niles like to dig and burrow. (mine constantly is digging.)
I have set up 1/4 of my 75gal. tank into a water area. (1’=2’)...Make sure to keep the water clean, because the Nile will often drink and cool off in the same area it will excrete its own waste.

Lighting and UVB:

I use one 150w bulb in the hot spot(100 degrees)the rest of the cage ranges from 100- 80 degrees. Also a UVB light is recommended since these are daytime reptiles.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Day time temperatures should range from 100-80 degrees(100 degrees being the heat spot).and the night time temperature should be 80-70 degrees. A Niles enclosure should be of a moderate humidity... remember this is not a desert animal nor a tropical animal, so keep it more so in the middle... also humidity should be raised when it is shedding to help it during the process.

Heating and Equipment:

For heating I use a 150w heat lamp, and a under the tank heater. I am not sure if a heat rock is a good idea, I do not use one, although i thought of trying one in the cooler section.(shade)... Depending on the size of your cage will depend on the wattage of your light (remember I have a 75gal tank)

Caging Provided:

The cage I am using for my Nile is a 75gal. aquarium, and my Nile is about 14inches long, the cage dimensions are 4’-2’-2’. About 1/4 of it is set up with water (I took some plexi-glass and had it cut and placed it in the cage to make a wall and sealed it in. another 1/4 of it is mulch and the other 1/2 is crushed walnuts,there should be AT LEAST 4-5 inches of bedding because they are diggers. You should also have at least 1 hiding spot , they are very shy and depend on a place to feel safe and secure...
My cage now is plenty big enough but remember these are large lizards and can require a fairly large enclosure.... walk in closet or even its own room when they are fully grown. They average 4-6 ft in captivity.



Description of Diet:

My Nile eats crickets ,pinkies(which I breed for myself) , boiled eggs and wet dog food, pinkies are definitely its favorite, which is a good thing b/c its getting to cost to much to feed him crickets. That’s about all I have heard of them eating, although I’m sure small Niles can eat meal worms or wax worms.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

No supplements are needed if you are feeding them mice, they get all the supplements they need from the mice and the lights alone. If you feed them crickets you could dust them with the vitamins they need, but its not something that has to be done.


Although there is not to much maintenance involved once u get the cage set up, I would not recommend these to a beginner( not a Nile). Niles are large , powerful, and can be mean. Niles are the hardest to tame, if they ever do become tame, I have heard that sometimes they just don’t get tamed, they are extremely wild animals... there are other species of monitors that are better for a beginner. You should of course always consult a vet and get them examined.

Some Words on this Species:

These are a magnificent species, if you can properly care for them. They are large lizards and deserve respect. Actually they will demand the respect and nothing less. ( i have learned already, they will whip you with there tails and cause a nasty bite, stitches may me needed from an adult Nile bite.
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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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