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Doctor_Hyde   Kriminaal  
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 New ackie, 2 questions.

I’m getting my darling little ackie in a few days and his/her setup is good to go. I have the basking/hide racks at both ends of the enclosure. I’m putting it in the full sized enclosure. I’ve got the temps nailed down and the basking spot is 131 degrees Fahrenheit, 81 ambient on the cool end, 98 ambient on the hot end. The hide/basking racks are sized down for a baby monitor to feel secure. A substrate, consisting of 1/4 sand 3/4 organic dirt and some vermiculite to keep humidity, is a full foot deep. The water dish is big enough for a juvenile to use as a pool, and the humidity is hanging around 70%.

Question one is about feeding. I intend to target train the ackie so I have a striped target and giant tweezer things for the little guy/girl. Question: Can I feed a baby discoid roaches? I know crickets are preferred but they’re just such a huge hassle and kind of low in protein. The roaches are a bit on the big side, but I think something in the same genus as a komodo dragon should be perfectly capable of handling a slightly larger meal. The roaches would also be easier to get with my tongs.

Question two is about handling. I know I need to give the little thing time to get adjusted, but when do I start handling? I’ve already refused to grab the monitor or disturb it in any way while it’s in the hides. How do I build enough trust to get the monitor to come to me? Would the target training maybe have something to do with it? I’m thinking that waxworms or superworms should make excellent treats for good behavior during handling, but getting the ackie to come to me in the first place is my real question.

Another question (I know, I promised only two) for any monitor keepers: What kind of enrichment should I do/try as the ackie matures? I’m thinking of building a light board with a hair-pressure switch. I know intelligence experiments have been conducted on larger monitors and they can count to six. I’m thinking of giving it food when the light board reaches 3 lights on.

Thanks for reading and/or responding and I appreciate your feedback/input. Happy Herping!

04/01/11  11:43pm


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  Message To: Doctor_Hyde   In reference to Message Id: 2212556

 New ackie, 2 questions.

First off you say your humidity is 70 percent. If you’re calculating ambient air in some way, note that it will not be 70 percent throughout the entire habitat.
A gradient of humidity is necessary for them as well as the temps. Relative air humidity can be lower if you provide it in the substrate. Which you will need to do anyway for optimum health.
Roaches can be fed but not overly large as ackies don’t have the gullet that some species do. Crickets are a great food source and dusted can be the sole food for a quickly growing Ackie.

With Ackies I find they will tell you when it’s okay to be handled. Some will prefer you never touch them and some tend to put up with it. Other than that, I’ve never had one that seemed to enjoy being handled at all.
Definitely your idea of using treats to get them to come to your hand is a good one. Just be patient with it. Supers worked well for me and they tend to squirm a heck of a lot when picked up with tongs.

Good luck in your experiments with them. It would be interesting to see the results.
take care

05/11/11  09:13am

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