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 #2313436


BioDesu
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 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Hi there, I am a new lizard owner. I have never owned reptiles before so I am a total newbie. The alligator lizard really wasn’t my idea, but my husband brought him home and now I love him (or her) very much. I want to make sure that I’m giving him the best care, his name is Velociraptor. He has a 20 gallon tank, and one UVB lamp. I’ve been feeding him crickets and meal worms everyday and refreshing his water everyday. I’ve read a lot of threads on this forum already, but I was just wondering if there is anything I can do to make sure he has the best alligator lizard life possible?

All your knowledge and help would be super appreciated. I just want to be a good owner.












04/30/15  06:59pm

 #2313437


Takahiro111
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  Message To: BioDesu   In reference to Message Id: 2313436


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Congrats on the new herp and i love the name.. get another dome fixture and a daytime basking bulb and that and the uvb should be on for 12 hrs then off with the red night light on for 12 hr. Also never put a cage by a window and vary the diet and give calcium dust with D3 1-2x weekly. I go against feeding too many mealworms for health reasons. If he starts rubbing his nose on the cage cover the sides and what us herp owners say bigger is better so if you can get a bigger cage like a 30gal or more go for it it’ll make the lizard happier. What substrate are you using??? And lastly get an hydrometer and thermometer both digital bbecause their more accurate so youll know your temperature and humidity levels are correct to keep him healthy. I would also contact a herp vet to get a fecal sample done if your lizard isnt from a good breeder meaning his either from a pet store or wild caught. Oh and have a warm side and cool side meaning the basking bulb goes on one end and put the wooded decor under it to make a basking spot and also add some greenery meaning fake stick on plants.

Sorry its sooo long i just wanted to give you as much info as possible since it’s your first reptile to make it easier for you,your husband and new herp. And food should be no bigger than its head...and fecal test isnt usually expensive being $25-50.



04/30/15  10:12pm

 #2313439


BioDesu
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2313437


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Hey, thanks so much for the reply! So get another light? The red light is only for night time? I’ll do that. What’s wrong with putting him near the window? I thought he’d like to look outside...



04/30/15  10:39pm

 #2313440


Takahiro111
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  Message To: BioDesu   In reference to Message Id: 2313439


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Yea the only light youll need now is they daytime basking light. And about the window is we reptile owners refrain from that is the sun will beam through the window in the glass making it really hot like almost creating an oven and another reason is the window/glass blocks the uvb rays from the lizard thus is why we have uvb bulbs plus birds is one of smaller lizards predators so letting him see something that looks threateningcan scare him and tthat’ll lead to stress and stress will cause him to stop eating and eventually get seriously sick.



04/30/15  11:23pm

 #2313443


BioDesu
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2313440


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

That makes sense about the window. I was suggested to buy this light right here from the people at the pet store:

http://www.petsmart.com/reptile/heating-lighting/exo-terra-heat-glo-infrared-heat-lamp-zid36-14808/cat-36-catid-500011;pgid=ErZ8CXQIKGhSRpC7WpEtvMKp00005kGFc-Ri;sid=zy-gFFtqIUmjFA4p3jPmEGlgpoY5bDLDVleZgrlP?var_id=36-14808

Is that a bad light? It says it has UVB rays. Should I still keep it on overnight?



04/30/15  11:43pm

 #2313444


Takahiro111
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  Message To: BioDesu   In reference to Message Id: 2313443


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

The infraredones are good i use it for all my rreptiles at night but don’trely on uvb with this bulb. I used a rreptisun uvb bulb but you’ll need to get a uvb as well and quick before he gets mbd



05/01/15  01:26am

 #2313455


BioDesu
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2313444


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Okay awesome. I bought a reptisun bulb that should come in tomorrow. So just to clarify? The reptisun bulb should be on during the day and then the red bulb on at night from now on?

I moved him away from the window and made an appointment with the vet! Thanks for your help so far, sorry I’m such a noob lol.



05/01/15  11:51am

 #2313472


Takahiro111
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  Message To: BioDesu   In reference to Message Id: 2313455


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Your welcome and its ok being a noob lol youll love this guy and want more :) and yeah basking dayytime for 12 hrs mornin and infrared at night for the remaining 12 hrs while the uvb and basking bulb is off. If you ever need any help dont hesitate to ask and 1# rule is never ask a petstore advice when it comes to reptiles especially if they have noeexperience.



05/01/15  10:50pm

 #2313476


Acre
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  Message To: Takahiro111   In reference to Message Id: 2313472


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Just FYI I’ve kept Southern Alligator lizards for years and had them breed now and then. I don’t provide any heat at night - they wouldn’t get any in the wild. So no red bulbs for me. I also don’t provide UV. It certainly doesn’t hurt but as long as the feeder insects are dusted every few feedings with a vitamin mix that includes D3 they will thrive, grow, and breed without it. All the suggestions are good ones but it’s not an iguana - you don’t need to overkill it on the husbandry. The thing about avoiding direct sun through the terrarium is very important - they can overheat in a flash.
I’ve never worried about internal parasites (never had fecals done) but external ones can be a killer. In the confined environment of a cage they quickly overwhelm and kill lizards. If wild caught, they may come with red lizard mites. If purchased, they may come with black snake mites as well - those also infest alligator lizards. Check for them by wiping a white cloth or paper towel over the lizards for time to time - especially around the head. If you see any order some Pro-vent-a-mite online and follow the directions. Avoid the pet store mite sprays that are applied directly the the lizard - they are useless long term.



05/02/15  08:53am

 #2313490


Jgator
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  Message To: BioDesu   In reference to Message Id: 2313436


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

Congrats! That looks like a healthy lizard, and the setup looks good too. Although it’s often hard to tell it certainly looks like a male because of the wide triangular shaped head! So everyone else has given great advice, and here’s my two cents!

Firstly I’d usually stay away from sandy substrates like that as they tend to get all over the food and swallowed and can then cause impaction. The pets stores will tell you it’s great, and edible.. But they are wrong! Ultimately only trust advice from reptile specialist stores, and not your basic petsmart style stores.. They really have limited knowledge! I use Eco earth in my tank as it’s more similar to earth from outside and mine at least does like to dig and root around in it! Plus it helps retain some moisture which is needed and I’ll get to why in a sec.

Secondly I’d suggest more hides! My little guy loves his hides, and it’s recommended to have at least one hide in hot side of the tank, and one at the cooler end so if they want to regulate body heat they can move between them! Also some more. climbing sticks can’t hurt, preferably placed under a basking lamp so again they can climb to regulate body temp. Rough twigs and logs are needed too for shedding.

Not sure if you know, but alligator lizards shed all their skin in one piece like a snake which is quite unusual for lizards! it’s not as easy for them as it is for snakes though because of their limbs! When they’re shedding they need rough logs and such to rub against to snag their skin and help peel it off. I also lightly mist the twig area daily as the moisture helps the skin slide off when they shed. Your guy shouldn’t have too many problems shedding as he’s already looking quite large, and should have the hang of it by now, but providing these aids can’t hurt!

Hope this helps! Ultimately you’ll learn a lot over time with experience and simply from observing your lizard. You’ll be able to spot when something isn’t right, and you can come back and ask more advice! I certainly do! Haha. Find yourself a decent local reptile specialist though, as I’ll say again, big petstores cannot be trusted! They do not know what’s best for your reptiles at all!



05/03/15  01:45pm

 #2313798


RedGator
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  Message To: BioDesu   In reference to Message Id: 2313436


 New Owner to Alligator Lizard

The 2 things I’ve found to be serious problems for Alligator Lizards in captivity are overheating, and mites. Prevent those, and your on the right track. The heating/lighting issues were mentioned already, so let me discuss the mites.

Mites are on many, if not all, of these lizards in the wild. Under natural conditions, they can tolerate a mild infestation, but in captivity, lizards are confined to a small area where the mite population can build to deadly levels. You can observe them as small dots sitting under the scales, particularly in the region around the ears. They can be black, brown, grey, or even red in color. A white, powdery substance (excrement) on the lizard is also an indicator of mite presence. The best way to deal with them is to treat the lizard at the very beginning, before you place it into its enclosure. Otherwise, a clean lizard will reacquire the mites if they are already in the tank. In your case, you may need to remove the lizard, treat it, clean out and redo the tank, then place back in. The upside is that once done, they won’t come back.

I always take new lizards and set them in a shallow plastic container with enough water to just cover their back, and put a thin layer of baby oil on top of the water. I actually tilt the container a little to provide a shallow end so the animal can rest with its face out of the water, to breathe. Leave it for several hours, and the mites and their eggs will drown.

If you look for a local reptile club or herpetologists society in your area, you’ll probably find someone who will be happy to help out and get you set up right.



06/04/15  09:04pm


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