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 #2317206


The Almighty Lycan
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 Help with Dwarf monitors

I’m rather new to the forum but from reading other forums i will understand that everyone is giving criticism. This post is going to be rather long but please bear with me.

Here is my situation: Ever since I saw a sav in a pet store a few years back and did some reading, one of my goals was to be an owner of at least one monitor species. However I do not have the amount of space to dedicate to one of the bigger/ more popular monitors. Nor do I have the funds to spend to buy a ton of ground turkey/chicken for feeding. Because of my situation, a friend told me about dwarf monitors. Someone close by has offered me a 55 gallon long with the lid for only 30$ (a deal beyond amazing any definition) in which i am considering housing a dwarf monitor as a baby-juvie while i build a permanent enclosure (5ft longx 2 ft widex 3-4 ft tall, please give links to plans or sketches of a design for a proper enclosure if possible). I have considered either a similis or a timor monitor because they are small, less expensive than ackies, yet still interesting to watch. My intention as a keeper is to leave him or her to do their own thing, while also have it be tame enough to accept handling while i give it a look over (ensuring all sheds were completed and sometimes just to take out for it to roam around my room or an outside enclosure to get natural sunlight should the weather permit, about once or twice a week). From the couple weeks of reading I’ve done, I understand the caging requirements including substrate, hides, temperature/humidity etc (though references from owners of both would be greatly appreciated). Also can anyone give me a definite answer as to the behavior of the average timor or similis? Most of what I have read states that similis are less shy than timors. However many articles contradict others by stating that timors are more aggressive due to being shy or that similis are less shy but more aggressive than the timors. Next comes feeding. I have been considering buying a colony of dubias/hissing roaches to breed in order to have a good supply of them as most people agree they are the best staple feeders and so far my leopard gecko & fire skink love them, so i would imagine a dwarf monitor would enjoy a few too but any recommendations on a mix of things to feed will be put to use. The next step comes to taming them. Also is it better to feed in tank or out? I have read that most larger monitor owners avoid feeding in the enclosure as it makes the animals a tiny bit more territorial so i want to know if the same should be done with a dwarf monitor. If i get one, my plan is to mix taming strategies of both large monitor, argentine black and white and golden tegu owners do. The process starts off as first putting an item of recently worn clothing into the animals enclosure to get them used to the keepers scent (larger monitor/ argentine b&w tegu owners), and then start introducing their hand (gloved at first but later without) to build trust(golden tegu) but again, any thoughts from actual owners of these guys will be put to great use.

Thanks in advance, some of it sounds a bit silly as i am now reading over it but, gotta start somewhere and work with any information others can give to provide nothing but the best care for my animals.

Leo the leopard gecko
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mv0s1m2iuinvxfv/20141102_172541.jpg?dl=0

Tremor the Fire Skink
https://www.dropbox.com/s/oktgncwuiftdoji/898db23a-7af1-469e-9743-04dd2c1d08f6.jpg?dl=0



02/25/16  06:25am

 #2317212


Takahiro111
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  Message To: The Almighty Lycan   In reference to Message Id: 2317206


 Help with Dwarf monitors

Tanks are a no go for varanids and a 55 is still to small, a juvenile needs a cage at least 4 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet and when they get to adults a 5 feet by 3 feet by 6-7 feet is better. Every animal has a different personality so if a certain animal is known to be aggressive theirs a chance he may not be that way...its up to him. Dubias are amazing way better than crickets but vary the diet more, taming a monitor is crazy talk to me I like using the word calm, they just tolerate us to some extent but you’ll just have to let him get use to you and the surroundings and interact with him a lot but not so much he gets stressed. I feed all my monitors together out their cage, I don’t like the idea of impaction and it helped them notice its time to eat and I’m not it. Whether I feed inside or out my monitors know I’m not food and my largest is my croc and water. I did use that strategy for my tegu and any large reptiles I rescued and currently doing it with my croc now although its taking too long with him.


Most of the people here don’t give criticism especially on the monitor forum.... Its because the poster ask dumb questions or disrespect people who try to give the right advice when their the ones at lost. Then later thee animal die because they didn’t listen then come back posting how’s it died, there’s a lot of awesome people on repticzone....thanks to them I’m deeper into the hobby(guys know who you are lol).



02/25/16  06:59pm

 #2317216


Takahiro111
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2317212


 Help with Dwarf monitors

What I said at the end, I wasn’t referring to you I was just saying in general.



02/25/16  07:28pm

 #2317219


The Almighty Lycan
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2317216


 Help with Dwarf monitors

Thank your for helping me out. The 55 gallon i am considering would just be for a baby and a beginning juvie (adult cage would start building about a month later when i have the money to buy melamine, any tips or blueprints on cage building? For feeding, do you use tongs, put your animals in a plastic tub/separate tank or just take them out in general and feed them in the middle of the floor as I’ve seen (and read) many people feeding in say, the kitchen on a plate? Also if you can find a good care sheet on both, can you either copy/paste information or link me to it?

Again thanks a ton



02/26/16  05:21am

 #2317228


Takahiro111
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  Message To: The Almighty Lycan   In reference to Message Id: 2317206


 Help with Dwarf monitors

Your welcome and since the tank is a temporary cage that’s great just consider it a isolation/quarantine cage. I don’t build my cages someone else does....I can’t build for nothing lol. For feeding I use a bowl/plate but if I decide to play with them during feeding I use tongs for my croc monitor(really aggressive) or bare hands with my sav,water monitors and tegu. Although I rarely tong/hand feed them. I take out the large(6-18 feet)animals out in the middle of the floor while smaller(2-6 feet) gets fed in bins, 6 feet can be large or small a 6’ snake isn’t large but a 6’ lizard is. Here’s a caresheet on timors I found.

a juvi should have around a tank that measures 4 ft by 3 ft by 4 ft. While an adult would need 5 ft by 3 ft by 6-8 ft and would be very comfortable in the cage. Timors like to be in branches they are an arboreal species, more branches for them to hide in the safer they will feel, reason for why you need a much taller cage. Lots of plants and branches, and add a few cork bark circles and they will be a much happier monitor.

Heating/lights/Temps/humidity-Hot spot should be 120-130 degrees at the basking spot, the warm side should sit at around 90 degrees, and the cool end around 80-85 degrees. There is a a few discussions on if monitors need uv lights, i never used any uv lights for my rough neck and my argus pair, and last time i heard P.E. doesnt use uv lights either and they produced A LOT of different monitor species(robyn correct me if im wrong). You should have day lights and night lights, night time can be done by ceramic lights but do not need to be set at the same temps as the day lights, 85-78 degrees for night would be ok. timors require a higher humidity compared to other monitors humidity should be 75-85%.

Substrate- while i agree with a lot of people that monitors do like to be able to burrow, most arboreal species usually don’t, they are more comfortable in tree,hence why you need lots of branches/hides up top. a substrate that is 6-10 inches would work fine. a mixture of 50% dirt 40% sand 10% potting soil will work great, it will help keep the humidity up in the cage.

water- Most people who deal with monitors will tell you, you will be caging the water bowl at min every day. they will poop, put substrate into this water bowl and make it more of a nasty sludge instead of clean water. I always provided a good side water bowl, large cat little pans work wonders, they are big and cheap. for my argus monitor they each got one, and were bathed once a week in the bath tub for 20-30 mins to make sure they stayed properly hydrated.

Food- this is the best part! you will realize how much monitors eat. as your timor is growing provided lots of insects(crickets,roaches,grasshoppers) and rodents. I would suggest finding a rodent supplier and get ready to be ordering a lot of rodents. as your monitor hits adult hood it will eat more rodents and less insects but still provide insects to give it a variety in its diet.


I can’t find a caresheet on varanus similis.



02/26/16  06:10pm

 #2317232


The Almighty Lycan
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2317228


 Help with Dwarf monitors

I had read the same forum thread actually. Would it be smart for me to start with a dwarf monitor such as timors if the requirements are met? if i remember correctly someone on that thread stated that monitors arent for beginners but everything that ive read states dwarf monitors are the way to go to start out in monitors. Also do you have any tips/"recipes" for feeding a smaller monitor? I dont think i would be very comfortable with always feeding rodents as they can sometimes be fatty (at least in the case of pinky/fuzzies) and another caresheet i read said rodents make up very little of a wild monitors diet



02/27/16  05:50am

 #2317237


Takahiro111
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  Message To: The Almighty Lycan   In reference to Message Id: 2317232


 Help with Dwarf monitors

Yes its exactly what you said rodents are fatty and that’s why I feed rodents in small amounts because it’ll cause serious healthy issues if fed as a staple diet. Dwarf monitors are the way to go if you want to get into varanids that don’t get to big, had past reptile experience and know what your getting into. May it be dwarfs or huge monitors I in my opinion thinks varanids are no exception for BEGINNER REPTILE OWNERS not beginner varanid owners there’s a huge difference. If you meet the Timor’s requirements go for it!!! Monitors are amazing if giving the proper care and respect they deserve trust me :). I fed my babies a variety of insects with occasionally boil eggs, ground chicken/turkey with bone meal bone meal. Although remember Timor’s are one of the skittish varanids so don’t be surprised if he doesn’t want to be handled.



02/27/16  10:23am

 #2317249


The Almighty Lycan
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2317237


 Help with Dwarf monitors

So while doing more reading around on dwarf monitors, i came across a thread where a 2x2x2 cube was used to house a single animal. i understand the best thing to do is give a monitor more space if you can afford it but if i was planning on breeding, could i house a pair permanently in a 4-5ft long, 2-3ft wide, and 3 ft tall enclosure? In your personal opinion that is.



02/28/16  12:02pm

 #2317257


Takahiro111
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  Message To: The Almighty Lycan   In reference to Message Id: 2317249


 Help with Dwarf monitors

The height of the cage needs to be taller but I house my reptiles separate and just introduce if breeding because you never know if they’ll always tolerate each other and males can extremely stressful females by continuously trying to breed. If getting a pair I’ll build seperate cages just in case if they fight then you have a cage to separate them, avoiding injuries and vet visits.



02/28/16  01:00pm

 #2317361


The Almighty Lycan
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2317257


 Help with Dwarf monitors

I understand that some people make/have made theirs from abs plastic sheets as it is durable, inexpensive, and doesnt look too bad. Would something as thin as 1/8th inch thick abs hold well for a dwarf monitor enclosure?



03/07/16  05:56pm

 #2317370


The Almighty Lycan
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  Message To: The Almighty Lycan   In reference to Message Id: 2317361


 Help with Dwarf monitors

UPDATE

I’ve done some thinking and planning. instead of an abs cage im thinking of using 1x2s to build a frame, on the outside use mdf, melamine, or plywood with a good couple layers of varnish to waterproof. On the inside, instead of walls i would use latticework as it give more climbing space (i think one wall of lattice increasing climbing area by threefold, so 3 sides should increase it by at least 6). Finally for the door, another frame of 1x2s with glass either glued with a strong adhesive or slide it in a slot between the wood. any opinions?



03/08/16  09:46pm

 #2318931


Cphill58
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  Message To: The Almighty Lycan   In reference to Message Id: 2317370


 Help with Dwarf monitors

http://www.repticzone.com/forums/Monitors/messages/1272637.html



06/27/16  01:08pm


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