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 #2252410


Terp91
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 Timor Monitor Questions

Posted this originally in the dwarf monitor forum but from reading more on there saw it’s dead so posting it here.

I recently adopted a timor/peacock monitor (I’m confused about the difference between them), and have had him for just under four weeks now. In that time I’ve kept him in a 20 gallon long at my parents house for quarantine (they have no pets); I wanted to be sure he was in good health before moving him to my house as I already have a CWD.

The timor is just under 17" currently and I just say he because that is what the previous owner addressed him as. I was told he’s just under two years old and had been kept in a 20 long his whole life. I am going to be moving him into a 40 breeder for the time being, and plan to build a custom enclosure using a stock tank as a base.

The tank for now has about 6" of substrate consisting of crushed walnut shells mixed with coconut fiber to hold humidity. I have a rock hide, a half log which I mostly buried so he can burrow under it, assorted climbing branches, and a water bowl large enough for him to lay in comfortably. For the tank cover I am using MDF board with holes cut for the lamps and screen secured over the holes.

Up until now I’ve offered him crickets which have been mostly ignored, mealworms twice which he took, and fuzzies on three occasions all of which he took. I know that he is probably stressed from the changing environment and all so I’ve left him alone other than misting the cage, changing water, cleaning feces, and feeding.

The questions I have for now are:
-How long can he be kept in the 40 before needing to be moved into a larger enclosure? And is the enclosure I suggested above appropriate granted I provide enough height above the tank?
-Are there any changes I should make to the 40 to make it more appropriate until I move him to a larger enclosure?
-Is the amount he has eaten normal for this species? It seems very low to me, compared to other species I’ve owned in the past (first monitor species though).
-Is a staple of crickets/roaches with fuzzies weekly a suitable diet or am I missing any vital components?

I welcome any and all criticism/advice anyone may be willing to give me so long as it isn’t pointless rude comments.



01/23/12  12:58pm

 #2252414


Scale_fever
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252410


 Timor Monitor Questions

I have no hands on experience,but i read a lot & ben lurking monitor forums for a while.Monitor are very intelligent & some can adopt to almost anything.Yes they are arboreal & a tall enclosure can be done but...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH7R1iLtPCs&feature=youtu.be
This is not me,neither is my video. But you see what i mean & hope this could help!



01/23/12  01:27pm

 #2252428


Terp91
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  Message To: Scale_fever   In reference to Message Id: 2252414


 Timor Monitor Questions

I’ve been reading everything I can on them and I think I’ve got a decent enclosure plan for the future, I’m just concerned for now with how long it will be before I absolutely need to move him. Moved him into the 40 this morning and even now it seems a bit cramped considering how much he moves around all the time. So should I make sure he gets moved by the time he hits 20" or would he be okay up until 22 or 24"?

I’m also a bit confused about his behavior, he so far has not tried to burrow but has actually been climbing around on the branches all day darting around the cage and even trying to climb upside down on the ceiling of the tank. Additionally, he shows little fear or timidity when I’m nearby as long as I don’t make eye contact or make any quick movements towards him. Everything I’ve read says he should be ducking for cover as soon as I move near him or at the least should freeze and be ready to bolt, but he just keeps on with whatever he’s doing.



01/23/12  03:01pm

 #2252429


Daryl-
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  Message To: Scale_fever   In reference to Message Id: 2252414


 Timor Monitor Questions

I have never personally kept Timors but have kept/keep other monitor species so here are my two cents.

1). I don’t see why you have to put him in the 40 gall breeder, just get to work on the permanent cage now. Not only is a 40 gall too small for a 17" monitor, they are also crap for keeping monitors in. Especially Timors, they are shy species so won’t appreciate being seen from all angles. So basically, keep him in there for as little time as possible if you have to use it at all.

2). If you do need to use it, Make a solid top for the cage out of wood (plywood etc) to help maintain temps. But still, get him out of the fish tanks... They are made for FISH.

3). If you’ve just got him, it’s normal. They need time to settle before they start to eat. A massive changed has just happened and with monitors, this can lead to them not eating... Like I said, just give it a while and with correct husbandry, it will increase. But, what are your temps? Hot side, cold side, basking spot (surface temp), humidity? If these are out, this could he why he is not eating.

4). Keep to mostly insects, it’s what they would have in the wild and are a good staple for these guys.

By the way, a Peacock monitor is different than a Timor monitor.

Cheers
-Daryl

If you have any pics of him or the current cage we could maybe help you more.



01/23/12  03:04pm

 #2252431


Daryl-
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  Message To: Daryl-   In reference to Message Id: 2252429


 Timor Monitor Questions

Regarding your latest post, the behaviour it natural.

When you first get a monitor/put it in a new cage, everything is new and they need to explore their surroundings and get a virtual map of the place. After a while, he will most likely calm down and go back to being a but more cautious.



01/23/12  03:07pm

 #2252436


Norf
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  Message To: Daryl-   In reference to Message Id: 2252431


 Timor Monitor Questions

When I go my Timor some months ago last summer I too was surprised to see that he wasn’t showing too much fear of me within the first few days. He even took some small roaches from tongs. After a week or so however he learned his environment well and knew all of his "go to" hiding spots. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before yours begins to hide. I see him very rarely and when I do it’s just a blur of scales haha.
I have mine in a 2x2x2 wooden box with a sliding glass door in the front. Lots of branches, cork rounds and cork flats.
I feed him a staple of crickets and roaches and sometimes chopped snails and whole pinkie mice.

A classic v.timorensis is what you and I probably have, a ’yellow spot’ timor.
A peacock monitor (v.auffenbergi) is also considered a blue spot timor.
I think it’s just a locality thing with the two.
I wouldn’t call them an arboreal species but they do enjoy some height.



01/23/12  03:32pm

 #2252447


Terp91
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  Message To: Norf   In reference to Message Id: 2252436


 Timor Monitor Questions

@Daryl, thank you for the detailed replies.

1. The 40 is just the largest empty tank I had already and I thought that it would be enough for a short while since its over twice his length and both as wide and as high as he is. I am hoping to be able to have the larger enclosure constructed within two months. Would this be too long to keep him in the 40? I really want to avoid stressing him as much as possible

2. The cover I use for all my enclosures is MDF board with a screen cut out for heat lamps and some ventilation. I’d say only about 30% of the top is screen and most of that is covered by the lamps.

3. This makes a lot of sense, thank you. The basking is just under 120F, hot side is around 90F and cool side 80F but a couple inches down in the substrate it is 70F. Humidity sits at about 75-80% during the day.

4. Okay, so mostly crickets/roaches and occasional treats such as fuzzies?

The reason I’m not sure on the species is that I’ve seen multiple names for both and pics labeled as both. He has more of the browns and yellows but his ocelli are organized like I’ve seen in peacock pics. I will get some pics up either tonight or tomorrow during the day, depends if camera batteries are charged.



@Norf, thank you, glad to hear mine is following similar behaviors to yours. That space comes out to around 60 gallons, I was planning on something more like a 4’x2.5’x3’ mounted over a 50 gallon stock tank. Would this be considered too large for a single individual. The advised tank sizes I’ve seen for them have varied widely. The classic v. timorensis sounds more like what I have, does the pattern not matter as much as the coloration?



01/23/12  04:38pm

 #2252449


Norf
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252447


 Timor Monitor Questions

Those dimensions sound perfect for a single adult.
However, currently at about 17" in a 40gal for another two months might be stretching it a bit.
Considering he would still grow pretty rapidly if temps/humidity and diet/appetite are spot on.

I believe that the peacock monitor got it’s "common" name from its peacock-like coloration.
Although pattern could make all the difference.
I’m really not too sure though.
Something else to ’google’ haha



01/23/12  05:08pm

 #2252451


Daryl-
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252447


 Timor Monitor Questions

No problem, glad I helped.

2 months is what I would consider too long. But at the end of the day, if that’s what you need then it’s got to happen. Just make sure that the cage is fine for the Timor and he will get by. It’s not the fact that he will die in the cage it’s just that he won’t thrive.

Temps seem pretty spot on, if you can maintain them temps in the tank easily then thats fine for the monitor - but, I can imagine it takes quite a lot of misting to keep that humidity - this is where a custom enclosure would require less ’upkeep’.

And as Norf said, aim for mostly insects; the odd mouse won’t hurt but I would recommend insects make the majority of their diet.

Norf will hopefully pipe in with his experience with Timors as I’m just going by my experiences with similar monitors, whereas he can be more specific. Saying this, with a monitor, you can never go too big regarding the cage.

-Daryl



01/23/12  05:15pm

 #2252516


Terp91
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  Message To: Daryl-   In reference to Message Id: 2252451


 Timor Monitor Questions

I might be able to get it built in a month and a half, but the issue is stretching my budget for constructing it. I’m a working student so money is a bit tight sometimes. If I were to get the stock tank now and set him up with the bare minimum inside it would that be better for until I can get the entire enclosure finished? I plan to build it so that the tank slides in snugly on the bottom allowing it to be removed and a board placed over the hole left for during cleaning.

For right now I have to mist about every 4 hrs to keep humidity high enough. Going to add a wider water bowl to hopefully get it a bit more stable in there. Another thought just occurred to me, would a 75 gallon tank be large enough to last a bit longer assuming correct temp/hum? My CWD will be needing a larger enclosure this summer as well and I think it would be cheaper to build her tank than the timor’s. In that case would it make more sense to keep him in the 75 temporarily and be able to focus more on getting the large enclosure spot on before feeling like I have to move him into it? I want to do what is best for him and am just not sure what course of action to take currently.



01/23/12  10:35pm

 #2252519


Krusty
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252516


 Timor Monitor Questions

The ’argument’ to elevate Auffenbergi to full species is sketchy, at best. Allegedly, this animal is only found on a small island, Roti, and Timors are on several islands, Timor,Kisar,and Roti to name a few. Auffies generally have plain yellow/tan belly skin while Timors are speckled in black. Auffies have loosely organized to well organized grey/blue ocelli that form transverse bands. Timors are more haphazardly placed yellow ocelli on their backs. Other than color/pattern, they’re the same. They were only elevated in 1999 and some don’t agree on it, so you will see the names used interchangibly.

Most dwarf Monitors do excellent on just dusted crickets and small mice. It covers everything needed to grow up and reproduce.



01/23/12  10:49pm

 #2252582


Terp91
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  Message To: Krusty   In reference to Message Id: 2252519


 Timor Monitor Questions

I’ll get some pics of him up this afternoon along with one of his current enclosure. Is the care for both the same then since they seem more like subspecies than separate ones. I’ve worked out a budget for myself and I can spend about $450 on setting up an enclosure over the next month and a half. Should that be enough to get a decent setup constructed? Also any thoughts on using a steel tank vs a poly one for the base?

By "dusted crickets" I’m guessing you mean with a calcium vitamin supplement same as for other herps, not anything monitor specific? I’ve read a couple of conflicting views on UVB supplementation for monitors, would you advise using it?



01/24/12  12:29pm

 #2252586


Daryl-
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252582


 Timor Monitor Questions

Ignore what i said regarding Peackock monitors being separate species! I was way off... listen to what these guys above are saying, they are sub-species apparently!

$450 will be enough. You only really need to make a box, anything you add is simply for aesthetics. Not 100 % sure what you mean when you say steel tank vs poly one. (Im assuming you mean like a trough for a bottom vs something else?) But why not use FRP to line the bottom? Its basically just a big vinyl sheet you can buy in a roll which will help the wood from rotting as it stops the wet dirt touching the wood.

And yep, dusted crickets is just sprinkling a helping of calcium on them. UVB isn’t needed for Monitors; some keepers use it, some don’t. It apparently helps bring out the colours of your Monitor - though, i am not sure if this has been proven.

-Daryl



01/24/12  12:43pm

 #2252598


Terp91
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  Message To: Daryl-   In reference to Message Id: 2252586


 Timor Monitor Questions

The stock tanks I’m talking about are the kind like shown here: http://southernstates.com/catalog/c-1662-stock-tanks.aspx

I’m not sure if it would make a difference in using a steel or poly one as far as him digging in it. Since they are used for livestock I doubt the poly ones would leach anything into the soil, but I’m concerned about him scratching off bits of the plastic and ingesting them. I’ve seen both used in other’s enclosures, but if there’s any doubt I’ll just use the steel as it’s only a couple dollars difference.

I was considering constructing a tank similar to this one: http://www.repticzone.com/forums/CagesandEnclosures/messages/2014268.html

I don’t know if that would be a bit excessive for a single monitor and would want to reposition the tank portion underneath the lip of the wood so it can be slid out for cleaning or any other need. Would repurposing a used wardrobe by lining it with FRP be too unstable with the weight of the substrate? Or would a large concrete mixing tub provide a large enough area for digging? They have them at HomeDepot for under $15 so I would be saving a good bit of money going with that or some type of plastic tub, I want to make sure it is large enough and can handle the weight though. I’m also trying to find some way to make it easily collapsable as I am likely moving over the summer.



01/24/12  03:05pm

 #2252603


Terp91
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252598


 Timor Monitor Questions

Not sure how to edit posts to add things so here’s two pics of him. This is the closest I could get the camera without him starting to turn away.



Right now I’m using cardboard around three sides to try and make him feel a bit more secure. I moved the spot lamp over him for the pictures, normally it is over the branches instead of his water bowl. The random white thing is just a reflection or glare from the flash or something, it isn’t actually there.



01/24/12  03:23pm

 #2252623


Daryl-
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252603


 Timor Monitor Questions

Oh, I see what you mean by the stock tanks now.

However, I’m going to be honest and not beat around the bush!

The link that you provided regarding the cage you are basing your cage around, probably aren’t the best blueprints to follow. Don’t get me wrong, it would work, but you can make something a lot more simple, for cheaper, that is just as affective.

Click Here

Make your cage like this one; it is much more simple but just as beneficial. It will also be easier to make it so you can take it apart and construct it again.


Quote:

Would repurposing a used wardrobe by lining it with FRP be too unstable with the weight of the substrate



Well, if you took the wheels off the bottom (or whatever is at the bottom), then you could just line it then you would need not worry about it being unstable due to it being just a box (just a fancy box!). Although, I would not recommend using a wardrobe. They aren’t made for this so would not insulate well and this then puts you back to square one. For the money you spend on making it ’monitor friendly’, you may as well make a cage for the monitor based around their needs.

Quote:

Or would a large concrete mixing tub provide a large enough area for digging



Like I said, I’m not too sure on this exact species but I’m helping as my knowledge takes me. That being said, I’m not sure if Timors require as much substrate as many monitors do. I’m hoping someone will help me out here, but I’m sure they prefer vertical space rather than burying space. Of course they would appreciate the option, but I don’t think as much is needed. (Like I said, don’t take my word because I’m not 100% but it’s just from what I recall that others have said.) So it’s just something to think about: the main worry appears to be the substrate for you.

But, to answer your question, if you look at my link, then you do not need these tubs. You can just put the substrate on the floor.

I won’t comment on the pics as someone with experience of owning the species will hopefully pop but and give their two cents.

Cheers
-Daryl





01/24/12  05:01pm

 #2252637


Terp91
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  Message To: Daryl-   In reference to Message Id: 2252623


 Timor Monitor Questions

I really appreciate you walking me through all this. Does this forum use any sort of reputation points or something similar?

I’m going to price out everything and draw up a couple of designs tonight then load them on to see what anyone thinks. I really like the idea of using the lattice to increase climbing area on the walls. Since I don’t need as large of a cage as many others I should be well within my budget by following a similar plan!

Do you know of anyone else on here who does keep them? Some things I’ve read also say they are fairly similar to ackies just a bit more arboreal. I’m also going to look at some ackie setups for ideas since they’re much more common and a similar size.



01/24/12  05:38pm

 #2252644


Norf
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252637


 Timor Monitor Questions

The ackie enclosure in the link you provided looks good.
A bit more complex than need be but it’ll work fine.
Also lattice would make a great addition to any setup!

Converting any home furniture into suitable enclosures is possible and has been done before. What are the dimensions of the wardrobe? Lining it with FRP would be good.

Still try to offer at least a foot of substrate (dirt/sand) and a deep layer of leaf litter.
Think security.
The link that Daryl provided has a very good design by Shay. I recreated it in a larger scale for my argus monitor pair and I made it so I can separate it by top and bottom half.
I plan to make another similar one for my timorensis in a smaller scale.
Probably 6’x3’x5’. I might even house a trio in it :D

And as far as glass tanks go I think it’s fine but for a very temporary amount of time.
Put some fake plants if you can just some more things to forage around. Looks very plain.
Other than that just have some fun with your build.



01/24/12  07:14pm

 #2252698


Norf
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  Message To: Norf   In reference to Message Id: 2252644


 Timor Monitor Questions

Do you know that your timor is male for a fact?



01/25/12  01:42pm

 #2252705


Daryl-
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252637


 Timor Monitor Questions

No problem! And no there isn’t, but thanks for the thought.

And yeah, like I said, you can make a cage easily under your budget. Only reason it may cost a bit more if you make it a bit fancy. But at the end of the day, they do the same job.

Norf will hopefully help you out regarding specifics as he keeps them apparently.

Best of luck
-Daryl



01/25/12  02:06pm

 #2252744


Terp91
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  Message To: Daryl-   In reference to Message Id: 2252705


 Timor Monitor Questions

@Norf- Thank you for the reply. I am going to be adding some fake plants to the tank this weekend, just haven’t had a chance to get more yet. No, I’m not sure if he is in fact a male, is there any easy way to differentiate male vs female in timorensis?

I think I’ll just build from scratch instead of modifying existing furniture just to be sure of everything. I’m looking over building materials and am having a bit of trouble deciding on the entrance to the cage. Looking at using a window on the front, either 3’x3’ or 3’x4’, would using single pane glass be an issue?

Planning to build it 4’x2.5’x5’ and not sure that’s enough height or if 6’ would be better. Adding the extra height wouldn’t cost anything and I have the space for it so the option is there, would that make it more difficult to maintain temps/hum inside?

For the outside structure of the cage, is it important to have any supports on the two short sides? I’m going to be attaching them to all of the adjacent faces (front/back/top/bottom) so not sure if they need their own frame. Also, what are your thoughts on putting the entire structure on casters? And any idea how I could design it to be easily collapsable?

@Daryl- Thanks again man, I appreciate the help you’ve given me.



01/25/12  05:03pm

 #2252794


Jimjum12
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252744


 Timor Monitor Questions

We have two, a yellow spot and a blue spot. They do NOT get along. They seem to be very happy in two 55 gallons that are placed in a corner by a window. They have lots of branches which they make great use of. The yellow spot likes to soak in the water bowl and spends most of his "hide" time in a cluster of bark and branches that form a kind of "cave". This is directly over the bowl near the top of the enclosure and at the corner where he gets fed...how convenient. He is at least 7 years old and will take food from our hands. The blue spot has a separate house and he is quite the burrower with a cool network that has at least 3 exits. The central burrow is under a hollow log. Both will eat insects but prefer hoppers, baked chicken, or baked fish. We never handle them except to change the substrate. They’re very hyper and interesting. GOD BLESS...

-jimbo(a friend of jesus)



01/25/12  09:03pm

 #2252850


Terp91
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  Message To: Jimjum12   In reference to Message Id: 2252794


 Timor Monitor Questions

How large are each of yours? From what everyone has said and other things I’ve read over I believe I have a yellow spot. He’s right at 17" currently, any guess as to how old that makes him? Do you know of a simple way to sex a timor?

I appreciate your contribution but a 55 seems way too small for a single adult to me. Even if yours are only 20" that’s still 8" longer than your tank is wide. Have you looked into trying to build a stacked type enclosure for them? You could house the blue spot on the bottom since he burrows more and provide the yellow with enough to dig in but with more climbing area on top. If you used a 4’x2’ footprint and built it 6’ high you’d be more than tripling the area each has to live in while using the same amount of floor-space you do now.

I’ve found that my timor is a bit more active than my CWD and far more resourceful. While she tries to jump from branch to branch not paying any mind to how far apart they are, he’ll find the closest space between them and reach up to it to pull himself up. Is this unusual? I’ve seen videos of people’s ackies jumping all over, should he be more happy go lucky like that?

I’m a bit worried about the fact that he can reach the mesh ceiling under the heat lamp and likes to hang from it. I’m concerned he may burn himself so I moved the lamp up to an inch or two above the screen. He doesn’t behave as if it bothers him or it hurts in any way, I just want to be on the safe side. Is an inch and a half far enough away that he can’t harm himself with it or will he know to move if it’s too warm?



01/26/12  10:48am

 #2252851


Krusty
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252850


 Timor Monitor Questions

Quote:

Do you know of a simple way to sex a timor?


Yes, you catch the lizard and put it in a rubbermaid or a bucket and take a clear, in-focus photograph of the whole lizard from above and post it up. At 17" long, should be easily sexable.

There’s no way to know age from size. They grow up quickly with a lot of heat and food and barely grow if undermetabolized and underfed.

Screen-top tanks suck for Monitors as has been said 100 times this week here. Build a wooden box and internal lights with a glass door on the front - sliders work well and easy home-made thing to do cheap.

How far the lights are from the lizard depends on the temperatures. You have to measure the temps, not guess at it because some guy on a forum told you 6" away. Actually measure your temps with a temp gun or sticking a heat probe thermometer under the bask. Don’t guess.



01/26/12  11:04am

 #2252853


Terp91
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  Message To: Krusty   In reference to Message Id: 2252851


 Timor Monitor Questions

Okay, I’ll get a full shot of him up this evening. Wasn’t sure if their growth could be charted like for CWD or beardies. It isn’t a screen top, it’s wood with a cut out for the lamp to sit on a small screen because if mounted inside there isn’t enough space for it. I’ve got the temps in range everywhere from using a probe, I just never expected him to hang off the light. I’ve got my plans for the wooden enclosure almost completed, should be able to start construction next weekend and hopefully only take me two weeks to complete.



01/26/12  11:26am

 #2252970


Terp91
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252853


 Timor Monitor Questions

Couldn’t get photos to upload last night for some reason. Here’s the top I’m currently using on his cage and a top view photo of him. No, he isn’t living on sand, I just put some on the bottom of that cage when I took the picture so he wouldn’t be sliding around when trying to walk. The second lamp in the bottom picture is a red lamp I switch to at night.





01/27/12  11:14am

 #2252976


Norf
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252970


 Timor Monitor Questions

Yup, he looks like a he.
Nice top on that, BTW.



01/27/12  01:01pm

 #2252985


Varanus_odom
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2252850


 Timor Monitor Questions

@Terp,

Definitely go 6ft high if at all possible. Never too much space my man. Regarding to being able to still easily control temps/humidity at 6ft high - of course you’ll be able to. Simply remember - heat and humidity rises. When you are constructing this enclosure just put the small vents at the lower level of the enclosure meaning just above substrate level so that you won’t have rapid heat/humidity loss out of the top of the enclosure. Get plenty of soil/sandy mix at the bottom with leaf litter, add branches and of course a bunch of hides in different temperature zones high and low.



01/27/12  02:49pm

 #2253004


Terp91
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  Message To: Varanus_odom   In reference to Message Id: 2252985


 Timor Monitor Questions

@Norf- Good to hear, and thank you. Do you know if he would benefit from having another timor with him to interact with? That would still be a ways off, just wondering for future reference.

@Varanus- Sounds good to me, I’m glad you brought up the vents too as that’s something I hadn’t given any thought yet. Any recommendations for a type of vent to use? Would any small vent covers work if I backed them with window screen to keep insects in or are there specific vent types that I should look for?



01/27/12  05:00pm

 #2253008


Varanus_odom
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  Message To: Terp91   In reference to Message Id: 2253004


 Timor Monitor Questions

Yep, any small vent covers will do. You could even get creative and make your own if you felt inclined. Backing them with screen wouldn’t be a bad idea. Make sure to secure them well as my albig ripped one of mine off and escaped one night.



01/27/12  05:32pm

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