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 #1580770


Havasu
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 First time Chuckwalla

If someone could help me that would be great. We’ve had a chuckwalla now for 10 days. It was in our yard. She (he) was cold and stiff. Wedged between some lumber. We bought a tank, lights, etc. So far she hasn’t eaten and remains very quiet. Mostly propped up on her tail with her belly against the glass wall. Do we leave the UV and bask lights on all the time? I swear, she is so cold I hate to turn off the light. We had her in a box for the first 5 days and this is the third day with the lights. Will she ever warm up? She stays in the same position all day. I have offered her shredded carrots, apples and romaine lettuce so far. There is a small bowl of water, but I don’t know if she has taken a sip or not. I can tell that she has been moving around a little since she is in a different spot, but like I said, she is usually standing up against the glass wall under the bask light. I feel sorry for her and we certainly don’t want to kill her. Oh, she is missing part of a hind leg, but it looks like an old injury. She uses it to stand on. Any advice?



01/16/08  10:29am

 #1581968


Johelian
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  Message To: Havasu   In reference to Message Id: 1580770


 First time Chuckwalla

Your cage is probably too cold if she is constantly under the basking light. What temperature is the basking spot? Chucks like it warm - 110F-120F on the surface of the basking spot. If its too cold, try a higher wattage bulb; at a pinch you can put something under the light to bring her closer to the bulb, like a rock or chunk of wood or something (bear in mind that rocks hold the heat and can get scorchingly hot, so keep an eye on the temperature).

The lights need to go out at night, but the cage may get too cold if your house is chilly during the night - you may want to get a red bulb for night-time heat, or a heat mat to provide a bit of background heat. We have a heatmat for night time and an 80W floodlight for daytime heat, plus a MegaRay UV bulb.

Chucks would normally be brumating at this time of year, so she may be understandably sluggish!



01/17/08  08:07am

 #1582024


Havasu
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  Message To: Johelian   In reference to Message Id: 1581968


 First time Chuckwalla

Thanks for the info. I just found out that I have been using a night basking lamp. The pet store said it didn’t matter, but it sure does. She isn’t getting enough heat. I’ll fix that today. This is all new to us. Trial and error. It isn’t cold in the house, but cool, I’m sure. Do you use a thermometer in the cage?
Thanks again...



01/17/08  09:31am

 #1582578


Johelian
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  Message To: Havasu   In reference to Message Id: 1582024


 First time Chuckwalla

A normal household spotlight bulb should be suitable if you have any around - depending on the distance between the bulb and the bottom of the cage, I would probably guess somewhere around 100W+ unless the cage is very shallow. I have an 80W outdoor floodlight providing the basking spot in my cage, and at around 15" from the basking spot it provides a surface temp of around 120F. You may need to experiment with different wattage bulbs to get it right; luckily, household bulbs are cheap! ;)

Its a good idea to have a thermo in the cage - I must admit I currently dont, but I use a temperature gun regularly to monitor the basking spot temperature. I dont remember the exact reading, but I think it was around 122F on the actual surface of the basking spot. I would heartily recommend buying a digital temperature gun - they arent expensive, and you can get an instant reading of any part of the cage.

Do you have a picture of your setup?



01/17/08  05:15pm

 #1582923


Havasu
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  Message To: Johelian   In reference to Message Id: 1582578


 First time Chuckwalla

Again, I thank you...
I bought a 50W basking bulb for daylight today. What I had was a 75W night black basking bulb. I wanted to get the 100W, but they talked me out of it saying to try the 50W first. They didn’t want me to "bake" her. I guess I am paying for the words basking on the box if I can use a household bulb as well. Live and learn.
I can take a digital of my setup, but I haven’t a clue how to put it on this forum.
I’m sure my tank is too small. It measures 13 ins deep and 30 ins wide. I think we will make something bigger for her. She is small right now. 8 ins at the most. We really like her. I keep saying her, but I don’t really know. Where do you get a digital temperature gun?



01/17/08  08:28pm

 #1583392


Johelian
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  Message To: Havasu   In reference to Message Id: 1582923


 First time Chuckwalla

It is on the small side for an adult chuck...I have my three in a cage thats 36" by about 44". I think the recommended size for a pair is something like 4’x2’x2’, so for one about 3’x2’x2’ would probably be ok. You’ll really need a reading of the basking spot to know whether or not its correct - you can get the temp guns at reptile stores, or on-line on reptile supply websites.Im trying to remember who makes mine...its either Exoterra or Zoo Med, and Im leaning towards ZooMed.

Its true, a basking bulb is nothing other than a household spotlight :) UV lights have to be reptile specific, but normal basking bulbs dont. I get my big floodlights from a local hardware store; as far as Im aware there are no huge reptile basking lights like them (unless you go for MVB bulbs), and I love using them to create large basking areas. But youre right - next time you can get a pack of three household spotlights for the same price you probably paid for the one. I did the same thing when I got my first lizard!

Do you have photobucket or some other photohosting site? If so, try uploading the pic there and then just linking it on here.

I have a pic that tells you how to sex adult/juvie chucks:


The pores in younger males may not be so brightly coloured, but they should still be evident unless the chuck is very young (in which case it will still be very pale coloured and banded).

What kinds of things are you feeding her? Are you supplementing her diet? What UV are you using? It sounds like youre working hard to get her set-up right, good for you! :)



01/18/08  03:39am

 #1583481


Havasu
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  Message To: Johelian   In reference to Message Id: 1583392


 First time Chuckwalla

From your pictures it looks like I was correct in saying female.
No photo bucket, but I’ll look into it.
She is getting more active, but still sluggish. She’s warming up.
I feed her a salad mix I get at the market. Has all different greens in it. Also, carrots, but she isn’t very interested in eating yet. For two days now I have come home and her food dish is turned over and it is hard to tell what if anything she ate. Looks like some is gone. She drank water though. I’m not sure what to feed her. Our pet store here is dog/cat, etc. (small city) We have one reptile place, but they lied to me trying to talk me into their Bearded Dragons saying Chucks get up to 4 feet and are very mean. They said we should turn it loose and it could be against the law to keep her. Oh, he went on and on until I was so confused. My husband said to research it out. I found this site and what a different story.
So, what would be good to feed her? Supplements?
I’m not sure about the UV light. I did read that you have to change them out every 6 months, correct? It came with the tank I bought from the reptile store that is going out of business here. (not the one with that lied to me) I’ll go see if anyone is still around, but they were pretty much emptied out. The UV light came with it. I bought the used tank for $30. Thought it would do for a start.



01/18/08  09:11am

 #1583682


Johelian
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  Message To: Havasu   In reference to Message Id: 1583481


 First time Chuckwalla

Its good that she is warming up; once you get a temp gun you should be able to set up the temperature gradient perfectly. A basking spot of 110F or maybe a little more is ideal, with a general ambient background temp of around 80-85F. The "cool" end of the cage should be a bit lower, but if you set all your heating apparatus up at one end the gradient will fall naturally; you just have to make sure that the cool end isnt as high as (or higher) than ~83F! She may be settling in a bit better now, and getting used to her surroundings.

I have only had my three chucks for about three weeks now, but I have other herbivorous lizards so they get fed the same kinds of things. I feed mine collard greens mixed with kale/radicchio/frisee/escarole/romaine/pak choi/small amounts of spinach/rocket/cress/a little red chard. Greens make up most of the diet, with the other leaves mixed in. Ive been supplementing with mixed veg like peas/carrot/corn, grated squash, some fruits like papaya, mango, blueberries, raspberries and banana etc. They seem to like orangy veg the best. Mine are not picky - although they dont seem fond of very hard fruits like apple. I supplement the diet twice weekly with a pinch of pure calcium powder, and once weekly with a reptile multivitamin, sprinkled on the food.

Although the store lied about the size and temperament of chucks, they are illegal to own in certain parts of the USA - but by the sounds of things you have checked this out already :)

As they are desert-dwelling, chucks need high UV supplementation - I use a MegaRay bulb, which I believe can output a similar UVB wave quantity to the sun at the correct distance. Is it a tube light that youre using, or a bulb? The fluorescent tubes only go to around 7-8% output, even if you use the supposed 10% bulbs. Ive only been using the megaray for the last three weeks, but my chucks have decided to mate already, so Im feeling quite chuffed with the setup at the mo! :) It depends what UV youre using on how long they last; tube lights should be a minumum of every 6 months, and mercury vapour bulbs can last up to a year or so. Dont get me wrong, a lot of people do use the fluorescent tubes: I have some of them in my monkeytail vivs. However, monkey tails are crepuscular; I would definitely recommend a higher UV output for a diurnal desert lizard like a chuck - and especially a herbivorous lizard.

Keep us updated :D



01/18/08  12:47pm

 #1587503


Havasu
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  Message To: Johelian   In reference to Message Id: 1583682


 First time Chuckwalla

Wow, you will never believe this! Now we have two. A Male almost 15 ins. My husband was clearing out some more of the wood posts and there he was. There must be so many more around that area. Our property is out in the desert. We have two tanks so now tomorrow I must go shopping for UV lights, etc. I was uncertain whether to put them together and really too small for two anyway. When we build the "house" it will be very large, but I don’t think we want babies!
She still isn’t eating much, but it is there fresh everyday when she is ready. She is getting more active. I like her a lot.
The male is so big it kind of scares me a little. He is very frisky! I think I’ll let the boys handle him. I’ll stick to the female for a while.
So, green beans weren’t a hit. Neither was the Broccoli. Carrots and mixed salad greens seem to be okay. Crickets? That seems to be what a few friends with Bearded Dragons say to feed them.



01/20/08  08:26pm

 #1587835


Dallas0218
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  Message To: Havasu   In reference to Message Id: 1587503


 First time Chuckwalla

If you can find any dandelion with the flowers this time of year you can try those to get them to start eating. All my chucks love the yellow flowers from them and that is what I usually have to start a new chuck with. Stick with the greens (collard, mustard, turnip, watercress, endive, dandelion, etc...), stay away from lettuce(iceberg, romaine, red and Green leaf), these contain very little nutrition.

Brian



01/21/08  01:23am


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