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 #2296391


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 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Hello, I’ve just joined the site about 5 minutes ago (have looked at it many times, iguana and uro forums) and I wanted to ask a couple questions before I get a uro. I have done TONS of research on them, so I promise I will try not to ask any stupid questions :) I won’t be getting a uro for some time... I am currently in a small apartment and just don’t have the space. So, my first question is, can baby uros be housed in smaller enclosures? I have read on UroWiki that "bigger is better" but I know that with some other lizards, this is not the case. Is it alright to have them in, say, a 50 gallon? If not, I’ll definitely wait until I move into a house someday.

My second question is about substrate. I’ve done a lot of research on substrates, and it seems to me that the best ones are birdseed, washed playsand and tile. I have read that uros like to burrow, so wouldn’t it be wrong to put them on tile? I want my future uro to be as happy as possible, of course :) I have also read that playsand is very dusty. Is this bad for them? And I feel the birdseed wouldn’t be suitable for burrowing in, but maybe I am wrong. Oh, and I know that if I get a baby, they should be kept on paper towels at first.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to be thorough! Any tips or advice is appreciated :)



04/27/13  05:58pm

 #2296393


LookingforUro
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  Message To: Distinguished   In reference to Message Id: 2296391


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Not sure what others think.. but a 40g breeder might be better than a normal 55g tank. A 55g tank is more than long enough.. but its very skinny. I have a 75g tank (with fish) which is the same length and height.. but wider. For my uro.. I have a 125g fish tank.. and I like this size for him. He is very active and runs around a lot. What ever size you decide on its better to avoid changing houses later. I have not done that to any of my lizards.. but it can cause relocation stress.

Substrate.. I like natural stone tiles best.. but sand or birdseed would be easier to clean. If you go with sand you have to make sure their food is raised off the sand and put on a clean surface so they don’t accidently eat any of it.



04/27/13  07:17pm

 #2296408


Corpsb6
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  Message To: Distinguished   In reference to Message Id: 2296391


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Regarding cage size, depending on the species, you can get by with a smaller cage for juveniles compared to adults. For example, I have a U. Benti that is approximately 6" in length that is in a 36" x 18" breeder. Given his size, the cage is pretty roomy for him. As it approaches adult size I will put it in a larger cage. Most of my smaller size Uromastyx (Ornates, Benti, Phylbyi) adults are in 4’ x 2’ cages. You have to make sure whatever you decide to get that you can meet its needs. I would recommend getting something such as an Ornate. I have had good experiences with them. They are usually available at a moderate price for Uros and have very nice colors with males turning a beautiful blue with yellow as they mature. I also like the Saharans. They are currently available and are usually the least expensive of the Uros. I have had pretty good experiences with them and it is one of the few Uros I have had where I could keep male and female together without the female getting roughed up by the male. I should point out, however, that I have seen posts on this site stating that people have had bad luck with these so it may not be a good choice for a beginner. I would recommend keeping away from Egyptians or Morrocans unless you can provide pretty large cages. Egyptians can get bigger than two feet and therefore require a lot of room. Morrocans are somewhat smaller but are still pretty large.
Regarding substrate, I have always used play sand that I have bought from home improvement stores. I have not had any problems with them on sand but I do put their food in bowls to keep it off the sand. I have 5 Saharans that are about 9 months old that are only about 4 inches in length. Because of their small size I am more concerned about possible impaction from the sand so I have kept them on newspaper. I hope this helps you out.
Matt



04/27/13  09:52pm

 #2296424


Vers
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  Message To: Distinguished   In reference to Message Id: 2296391


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Pretty much everything has been covered above but I just wanted to touch on the substrate query...

Quote:

I have read that uros like to burrow, so wouldn’t it be wrong to put them on tile?


A very dense, compact particulate substrate with a decent depth (+7") would be ideal because it would allow the animal(s) to create and or utilize a more naturalistic burrow that would retain heat and humidity however it’s not completely necessary nor is it always an option. Personally, at this very point in time, I’m using non-coated tile as a primary substrate but I offer my animals low profile, well enclosed hides which replicate a natural den. I chose tile over straight playsand because 1) Uromastyx tend to avoid sand in the wild 2) It’s useless as a burrowing substrate 3) It’s dusty and, based on several manufacturer’s MSDS sheets, crystalline Silica (AKA playsand) dust is known to cause health issues in humans (Google ’Silica dust’) and 4) it’s an impaction risk when implemented poorly. As far a birdseed (millet) is concerned, I don’t believe it to be the best option either. Not only does it act as a desiccant and a possible addictive food item but, like playsand, it’s useless as a burrowing substrate and can cause impactions. Of course an animal cannot burrow in tile either, but unlike millet or sand tile acts as a heatsink (absorbing and retaining heat), a nail file and it will not create any dust, impaction or addiction issues. If you use tile but want to provide a natural burrow you can always add a burrow box filled with a natural sense clay/soil and playsand mix to the enclosure (which I’m currently working on).



04/28/13  11:01am

 #2296430


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  Message To: Vers   In reference to Message Id: 2296424


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Thank you all so much for your fast and informative input! Vers, the tile and burrow box idea sounds perfect, I think that is what I will end up doing. I have an aquarium that’s been sitting in my garage for quite some time, I bought it on a whim when I saw it was only like 50 dollars on sale. I think it is a 40 breeder. I think I’ll start a baby uromastyx in here on paper towels, and Corps, I was actually leaning towards an Ornate before this post, so I think you have convinced me to get one :)



04/28/13  12:01pm

 #2299599


Juliam
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  Message To: Vers   In reference to Message Id: 2296424


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Vers I am building burrow boxes right now and have 2 questions... one is how full I should make them and 2 how often should I clean them or add a little moisture I guess I’m asking exactly what maintenance do they need and how frequently?



07/16/13  09:51pm

 #2299600


Vers
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  Message To: Juliam   In reference to Message Id: 2299599


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

It would be ideal to provide enough substrate for the animal to actually excavate a burrow...this would obviously depend on the species, more specifically the animal’s projected mature size. For dwarf and medium sized species a depth of 7"+ should be sufficient as long as the substrate can support a den, but deeper is better. For larger species (U. aegypticus) I would provide at least 15" to burrow...but again, the deeper the better. As far as maintenance is concerned, it shouldn’t need any, nor should it need added moisture. The idea is to set it up and allow the burrow box to do all the work on its own from then on out. The biggest obstacle will be finding a structurally sound mix, one that will maintain a burrow without the chance of it easily collapsing. It may be a wise idea to bury a solid chamber beneath the substrate and create a tunnel leading to it for the animal to use. This should prevent the substrate from collapsing directly on the animal. If you’re lucky the substrate mix will hold up well enough for the animal to dig its own burrows.



07/16/13  10:20pm

 #2299609


Juliam
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  Message To: Vers   In reference to Message Id: 2299600


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Oh OK thank you... I have 5 ornates and one Saharan. I got 10" deep boxes so hopefully that’s good enough. I’m hoping it’s a good mixture it’s like 40% organic soil, 40% washed play sand and 20% excavator clay. I used 4" drain pipe for them to climb in I attached it towards the top of the box would it be good to build a burrow for them to make sure it’s not going to collapse?



07/17/13  12:11pm

 #2299640


Skullkeeper
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  Message To: Distinguished   In reference to Message Id: 2296391


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

The reason you need a long cage even for a young Uro is so you can get the proper temperature gradient . You need a warm end and a cooler end .Each with a good digital thermometer. A temp . gun is also needed to monitor your basking area .You may need several lights depending on your room temp. and size of cage to get and keep the proper temps . I actually use 3 lights in the winter months . As far as substrate I personally like the washed play sand at one end and tile at the other end . Be sure to use grout in between the tiles so your Uro’s toe nails do not get caught in between the tiles . I would go with a large cage even with a young Uro . That way you do not have to spend more money down the road. Get every thing set up ahead of time . Also Uro’s do not like changes in their habitat . They may even stop eating for awhile if you change them so why not get it set up right from the start ?Be sure to have your Uro vet check about a month after you get it .It may have parasites . Feed a good balanced diet with dandelion greens , bok choy , endive ,escarole ,pesticide free edible flowers like hibiscus ,pansy’s, roses .



07/18/13  11:19am

 #2299652


Juliam
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  Message To: Skullkeeper   In reference to Message Id: 2299640


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

Hey vers is there any way you could either post pics of the insides of yours or send me pics? I wanna make sure I’m getting it right



07/18/13  03:12pm

 #2299736


Vers
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  Message To: Juliam   In reference to Message Id: 2299652


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

I still have to get updated pics up of the newer enclosures but I just haven’t found the time. I’ll try to grab some this week.



07/20/13  08:32am

 #2299764


Juliam
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  Message To: Vers   In reference to Message Id: 2299736


 Pre-Uro Housing Questions

OK sounds good I’d love to see them



07/20/13  10:36pm


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