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 #2104184


Pinkribbonangel
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 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards?

I currently have them in a 10 gallon tank and they are jumping up on the screen and although they are still fairly small, I think they need a bigger tank. I was originally told 20 long, but now another reptile store told me 20 high because they like to climb and jump. So is it better to go long or high? I have a male and female. Right now they are about 8 inches long with tail, tail is most of the length. I noticed that one of the tails is getting wavy and I am hoping getting a larger tank will help that. Please help thanks



12/12/09  05:48pm

 #2104459


Reptileruler1
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  Message To: Pinkribbonangel   In reference to Message Id: 2104184


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards?

you should invest in a 40 gallon breeder for them to make them happy if they don’t have enough room they’ll run into walls and rub mouth on wall all day so please get a 40 gallon. And collared lizards don’t like to climb and jump as much as running around they need long more than high but need both which is what a 40 gallon gives them.



12/13/09  02:23pm

 #2104483


Pinkribbonangel
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  Message To: Reptileruler1   In reference to Message Id: 2104459


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards?

thanks, unfortunately I do not have the room for a 40 gallon, will they be really unhappy in a 20 long? How much more room does the 40 long give? I have them on my kitchen counter. I was told by the pet store that a 20 gallon was fine, but I have had two different stores tell me different things, one said 20 long and one said 20 high. So I wasn’t sure which to buy. Right now they are in a 10 so 20 long will make them happier, they are still juveniles they are 8" long. Will a 20 gallon tank stunt their growth? thanks again



12/13/09  05:03pm

 #2105030


Reptileruler1
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  Message To: Pinkribbonangel   In reference to Message Id: 2104483


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards?

20 long would be better for now but a 20 will not give them enough room and in most cases will stunt growth, cause them to run into walls and possibly develop mouth rot and hurt themselves. Get a 40 gallon as soon as possible because otherwise they won’t be very happy I’ll post a picture of one I got that was kept in a 20 gallon his whole life up to the point I got him
This is him then



and him today after putting him in the 40 gallon and many months of rehabilitation.



and just a picture of my newest edition


ummmmmmmm crunchy.



12/14/09  09:34pm

 #2105422


JackAsp
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  Message To: Reptileruler1   In reference to Message Id: 2105030


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards?

I use a 29 for hatchlings, and it still works for them when they’re about the size of yours. I admit, the only reason I even start out in something that big instead of a ten or a tub is that I have it around anyway. But once the adult proportions kick in and they’re not just a tiny little body on a long tail any more they really do need more space.

My July kids are currently about 9 and 10.5" and they both need at least a 30 breeder (same floor size as a 40.) If they weren’t both males, one of whom has reached puberty and started showing territoriality, the 30 would work for both of them (for now, not permanently, because they will still grow more... even though Cesar is already as big as his father!) but seperating them doesn’t mean they’re happy only being able to truly run for a fraction of a second or only being able to jump at half-power.

As they get closer to their adult length, the tail stays about the same length but the head, body and limbs keep growing. The result is a more powerful animal capbale not only of powerful jumps, but with the inertia to bang against glass a lot harder than when it was lighter. Also, adults aren’t always as good at making use of vertical climbing surfaces as juveniles are, so once you angle everything appropriately for their movement patterns it has to be more spaced out in order to still give them enough ground space.

A 40 breeder is 36X18X18. The kitchen counter probably won’t work, but it will fit on most dressers or coffee tables. If necessary, you can turn a not-quite-big-enought able into a functional stand simply by throwing a piece of plywood on it. Also, if you prefer a narrower tank but can make room for a longer one, some people prefer 55s to 40s for that precise reason. One warning about 40 breeders and I think some 50s: if you don’t have a lot of room to maeuver around from different angles, that sliding screen top really sucks. I wound up removing it and sending away for a normal screen that cost me about 20 bucks including delivery.

Whether you brumate them or not there is a good chance that when they are (a few months) older they are going to breed. I’ve got three adults. None have brumated, all bred at less than one year. (OK, technically I guess i should count one of the offfspring I still have as an adult, too, and he hit puberty at about 3.5 months, so, yeah...) The female needs room to move around and keep things on her terms, or the male can accidentally but seriously rip her up with his teeth and claws. (My girls have never been injured.) Afterwards, she will go crazy tunnelling all over while she’s gravid, and that requires a lot of damp substrate, even though there still has to be room for a lot of dryer substrate as well.

So, the 20 long versus 20 high question would be valid as a temporary thing if you had both sitting empty in your basement and planned to get something else in a month anyway, but since right now you’ve got neither, don’t waste your money or your setup-time. A 40 breeder, a 50 (which is almost the same size as a 40 breeder,) or a 55 (which is a few inches narrower but significantly longer and a bit higher) are the smallest tanks that you can expect them not to outgrow. And the reason the "outgrowing" thing is such a big deal is.. they grow FAST. They’re going to be adults by spring.

You hear about males taking 2-3 years to grow up, and females taking even longer, but that final bit of growth is nothing compared to what you’re going to see in the next few months if they stay warm and eating. My original adult male was breeding, much to my surprise, at 5 months. Not having the genes for great size, he’s only slightly larger at 14 months than he was then, but one of his sons, at FOUR months, is the same size that the father is!

Besides figuring out where to PUT a larger tank (and I feel your pain there, but we were doomed from when we first saw how cute the damned buggers are) you can also expect to have a litle trouble controlling ground temps this time of year when you move them into something bigger. Using two heat lamps, one at each end of the tank, may be necessary, although one can be milder than the other. (And as long as one bulb is UVB, all that you need to worry about as far as others go is temperature and how clear/natural the spectrum looks. Another trick is to use an undertank heater and timer that only goes on for a few hours in the morning, jus tto make sure they wake up and come out and start basking. That will all depend on room temperature, individual lizard behavior, and variables like that.

But where I’m going with is:
Winter is stressful.
Small cages are stressful.
Changing homes can be stressful, so moving them from too-small to still-too-small isn’t always a net gain for the animal. You want to make it worth their while.

So, since the upgrade process, which will be needed this winter anyway, may to take a bit to get right.. you’re doomed. It’s time to start looking at your furniture very, very differently.

By the way, I strongly suggest either calling around asking Mom and Pop pet shops about used tank prices, or checking Craigslist. Or both. Cheap used 55s especially seem to practically grow on trees. People always buy them for baby iguanas and boa constrictors and things like that and then get all baffled that nothing that size seems to want to stay for long in a one-foot-wide corridor. (Geniuses...) You’ll probably wind up with a perfectly serviceable tank for no more than half the off-the-shelf retail price. (Save a little bit of money for thousands of millions of crickets!)



12/15/09  11:10pm

 #2106055


JackAsp
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2105422


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards?

One thing that surprised me is that once they’re tame they really don’t seem to care whether they’re elevated or not. A lot of animals that are fine with our giant faces and hands get a lot more scared when they see how tall and foot-stompy we are. Collards seem perfectly willing to stop running across the living room to say "hi;" the fact that they continue exploring around is more of a wanting to play thing than actual fear. So if your profile info is still valid and you’re in Georgia, a 55 is only 13 inches wider than a ten gallon tank. It can be squeezed againsty a wall pretty much any place, Next to your bed or.. whatever. if the handiest place to put it is in to active an area and your particular lizards seem stressed by all the surrounding activity, just position a lot of visual barriers on the side where the situation calls for. One thing they seem to really like is big (like 16X16 or 18X18) roughly textured slate floor tiles/stepping stones from Lowes or Home Depot, positioned almost vertically with the bottom buried in the sand and the top leaning against the glass. They’ll run around on them and peek over the top and spy on everybody and have a great time with that "I can see you but you can’t see me" feeling, and if you position one of the heat lamps over the scramble-ramp the thermodynamics of it will provide a GREAT range of basking temperatures.



12/18/09  02:43am

 #2121259


Pinkribbonangel
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2106055


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards? new images!

thanks for all the advise. unfortunately I didn’t get responses back here before buying the 20"L. My collards are very healthy and tame. The male is actually hybrinating right now. I am not sure why the female isn’t but she does seem to wind down earlier. I’ll see if I can post some photos so you all can have a look at my setup (see below). I’ve had these guys since last summer and they really haven’t grown that much, I think maybe they are full grown, I don’t know. I may be able to get a longer tank if I can mount it on a shelf, but I really don’t know where I would put it. I want them to be out were we spend alot of time. So I don’t want to put them away in the bedroom. The last image shows the tank the best and shows her size in comparision, my male is under the rock house.



02/07/10  04:42pm

 #2121298


Pinkribbonangel
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  Message To: Pinkribbonangel   In reference to Message Id: 2121259


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards? new images!

Here is a better photo without the sun glare..



02/07/10  07:19pm

 #2121357


Pinkribbonangel
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  Message To: Pinkribbonangel   In reference to Message Id: 2121298


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards? new images!

BTW can someone tell me if this is a male or female? I am posting some additional photos of the two of my collards, the first two photos, I think are the male, the last photo I think is the female on top, male on bottom..what do you think?



02/07/10  10:22pm

 #2121403


JackAsp
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  Message To: Pinkribbonangel   In reference to Message Id: 2121357


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards? new images!

Here’s a good cheat sheet.
Sexing collards
What kind of light fixture is that on top?



02/08/10  12:30am

 #2121413


Pinkribbonangel
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2121403


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards? new images!

it’s a 60 watt heat on one side and uvb on the other 60 watts max each.



02/08/10  01:03am

 #2121414


Pinkribbonangel
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2121403


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards? new images!

been to that site and still can’t tell. can’t you tell by marks or coloring? They have different marks.



02/08/10  01:05am

 #2121784


JackAsp
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  Message To: Pinkribbonangel   In reference to Message Id: 2121414


 20 long or 20 high wank for collard lizards? new images!

They’d do better with a stronger heat bulb, positioned within a foot of the warm end, and then smaller strip-style fixture for UVB. There are really only three kinds of UVB bulbs.

1. The coil-type ones that aren’t warm enough to use at a distance and aren’t safe for their eyes at close range.
2. The Mercury vapor MVB healtlamps, that also shouldn’t be too close, but put out enough heat that they can be hung up above the tank on a chain or something, or in the case of much taller tanks be put right on the screen, and
3. The UVB striplights, that go right into a regular fish hood.
In a 20 Long, you don’t have enough height to put anything except the strip-style right on top of the screen. Short-term danger is a high chance of photoconjunctivitis (swollen, irritated eyes from looking at more radiation than it "felt like at the time") and long-term danger is cataracts, skin cancer, fun stuff like that.

In that particular tank, I would say temporarily put aside the fixture you’re currently using and get a ceremic light socket with reflector at the hardware store. Get a nice hot old-fashioned non-UVB bulb, at least 75-100 watts, with a clear, natural-looking radiance to it, and use that toward one end over the main basking spot. (Maybe 6 inches from the end of the tank? So they still have a cooler end to move into, but they DO like heat. Especially in the morning, they can and will choose basking temperatures dozens of degrees hotter than what you often hear... if they have the option. Then in the afternoon they’ll start to use progressively more moderate warm-spots, but when they first wake up they like to get REALLY hot and then REALLY hungry.) Then get a small fluorescant fixture like you’d use over a 10 gallon, or even a smaller one like for a 5 gallon, and put in a UVB strip-bulb. THOSE can be strong and close-up more safely than the coil lights can. A UVB striplight with a UVB rating of 10.0 can be used quite safely with collards, and since the strip-style UV gets weaker with use it’s good to start out with something with a bit of oomph to it. As the day progresses and heat from the warm end spreads, the striplight will rpobable serve fine as an afternoon basking light for the 105 area, but if they want to get hotter they can still hop onto the warmer spot, which is where they’ll prefer in the morning anyway.

Eventually, when you manage to get them into something bigger, you might end up digging out the fixture you’re currently using and putting it back into use, along with either the striplight or the ceramic fixture. You’ll probably switch around a bit seasonally. I know I do. There’s no such thing as having only the exact number of lights that your tank needs. Not if your house has warm and cool days, anyhow. Playing around with the lamps and bulbs is the most complicated part of keeping them happy, especially during the winter. Sometimes, even if the temps are exactly the same, I swear some of them just get bored with the old lighting, and need a change of illumination style to perk their interest back up again.

About the visual sexing... just look right under the vent. If the tail-ward rim of it looks sort of like a string of pearls because of the row of big round scales, it’s a male. If the scales both above and below the vent look the same and you really can’t see any enlargement down there at all, it’s a female.

There are some tendencies, such as males usually being more colorful, and females getting red or orange on them when in breeding mode (which gets more confusing with young ones, since BEFORE puberty it’s the males that tend to show flashes of red!,) and the males often have larger, more elongated heads, but saying " a colorful one is male" is sort of like saying any human that can’t grow a moustache is female. Exceptions on both sides, you know? All of my males are blue or blue-green and all if my females are (usually) (mostly) earth-tone, with fairly-green days being the rare exception, but I’ve seen plenty of males that had even less green than my females, and the mother of my sire-male is as blue as any male... and she wasn’t even bred for it, she was wild-caught! So go figure. Except for the ventral scales, coloration can really fool you.

Don’t worry about not understanding what "femoral pores" are supposed to look like, A lot of people get confused by that phrase about what they’re supposed to be looking for. If it’s a female, you actually have to look closely to make sure the vent is where you think it is, and that you’re not just looking at a wrinkle of skin. With a male, that row of enlarged scales is obvious enough that you can actually use IT to spot the vent, rather than trying to do vice versa. If the rest of the system, like the part about the two black dots that may or not be there, is too confusing, keep it simple and just see if there’s an obvious line of larger scales that you can easily find the vent by. If there is, you’ve got a male. If there isn’t, it’s a female. Look at those link pictures again, with the simplified explanation in mind, and I think you’ll see what I mean.



02/09/10  01:56am


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