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Keeping tegus on a budget, how to save money!

SnakeCharmr728

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
725
Feeding:

Take advantage of sales and order bulk online. Rodentpro often has $30 flat rate shipping specials and MiceDirect often has free shipping if you spend $125. Order a few months worth at a time, it is much cheaper than going to a pet store for your whole prey.

Asian markets have a wide variety of unusual foods available that you won't find at a typical grocery store and for very cheap. Snails, various whole fish and other seafood items, frog legs, etc

Craigslist and Feed store bulletin boards, ask for unwanted, rejected, or stillborn rabbit kits. Excess quail or chicken chicks.

Bugs! If you are offering bugs as part of their diet, a healthy roach colony will save you millions of trips to the pet store for crickets. yuck.

Farmers Markets, Co-Ops and road side fruit stands are cheaper than grocery store fruits and will most likely be organic too.

Heating:

Make sure your enclosures are sealed with no big screen vents.

If your enclosure is sitting on a hardwood floor, garage floor etc lift it up off the floor using cinder blocks or other building blocks. The cold of the floor will transfer to your cage so lifting it up will help retain heat.

Use multiple LOW watt bulbs to create a cluster rather than high watt bulbs to save on energy cost.

If the enclosure does not drop below 65-70 at night, don't worry about providing night heat. --- helps save on energy cost.

Humidity:

Make sure you have a well sealed enclosure and you may not even need any sort of humidifier.

If you wish to have a humidifier use one that is made for humans NOT one for reptiles. The ones for humans are cheaper and more efficient and reliable.

Decor and substrate:

Organic top soil bags from Walmart/Home Depot etc are under $2 a bag. MUCH more affordable and safer than expensive mulches or blocks of coco husk.

If you have a large enclosure to fill, find a "rock yard" or landscaping company that sells dirt/gravel/sand by the yard. A yard of topsoil will give you about 1ft in an 8ft enclosure for under $40.

or DIG YOUR OWN! Bio-active substrate, no cleaning, no changing out, and free.

Hides: junk yards/dumps or craigslist for 55gal plastic drums that you can cut in half and add a door way. or other large Rubbermaid storage tubs. Wine shipping boxes, etc

Cage Building:

Craigslist or dump for recycled wood and sliding windows to make doors.

Large shipping crates that furniture often comes in can be found on craigslist too

Florescent light fixtures for UVB bulbs, buy the fixture at your hardware store rather than pet store and it will be less than half the cost.


Written by: Kayla Goldberg
 

Serpendipity

New Member
Messages
6
I was thinking of buying some of the rarer fish or meats at my local Asian market but I'm worried about the quality of fish and meat there. Do you think it would be a risk? I live in the middle of the country so I know the fish is definitely not that fresh. The meat there looks like it has been frozen for a long time. I wouldn't want to hurt my tegu by giving it low quality food but I also don't know if I'm being too picky.
 

Jomatty

New Member
Messages
21
I was thinking of buying some of the rarer fish or meats at my local Asian market but I'm worried about the quality of fish and meat there. Do you think it would be a risk? I live in the middle of the country so I know the fish is definitely not that fresh. The meat there looks like it has been frozen for a long time. I wouldn't want to hurt my tegu by giving it low quality food but I also don't know if I'm being too picky.

If it is fresh, never frozen fish learn how to identify freshness. Look at the eyes and the gills. If the eyes are relatively clear, and the gills are red, then you are good to go. Use your nose. If it smells fishy, that is a bad sign. You should use the same guidelines to buy fish for your family. Some Asian markets carry very fresh seafood, while others are quite sketchy...
 

Lizardess

New Member
Messages
28
Location
Austin, TX
These are great ideas. I usually grocery shop for the scalies and get them a variety. I hope to get a dubia colony going early next year, but for now, the tegus currently get F/T mice, chicken livers and gizzards, whole deveined/detailed shrimp, talapia, salmon, catfish, wingettes, ground turkey, bananas, raspberries, blue berries, strawberries, collard greens, bok choy, zucchini, butternut squash, oranges, apples, de-thorned cactus, kale, and chicken eggs. I am trying to network to find a trophy hunter who will let me have the reminder of the kill minus the head and rack to grind up as tegu food. They aren't very good about eating fruit and veggies though, so I blend it up along with vitamins, calcium and bee pollen to feed them. They gobble it up and I save money. That said, they will steal food right off my plate if it gets left unattended and they are out and able to grab it. My female also loves chewing shoes, lol.
 
Messages
40
Location
USA
Feeding:

Take advantage of sales and order bulk online. Rodentpro often has $30 flat rate shipping specials and MiceDirect often has free shipping if you spend $125. Order a few months worth at a time, it is much cheaper than going to a pet store for your whole prey.

Asian markets have a wide variety of unusual foods available that you won't find at a typical grocery store and for very cheap. Snails, various whole fish and other seafood items, frog legs, etc

Craigslist and Feed store bulletin boards, ask for unwanted, rejected, or stillborn rabbit kits. Excess quail or chicken chicks.

Bugs! If you are offering bugs as part of their diet, a healthy roach colony will save you millions of trips to the pet store for crickets. yuck.

Farmers Markets, Co-Ops and road side fruit stands are cheaper than grocery store fruits and will most likely be organic too.

Heating:

Make sure your enclosures are sealed with no big screen vents.

If your enclosure is sitting on a hardwood floor, garage floor etc lift it up off the floor using cinder blocks or other building blocks. The cold of the floor will transfer to your cage so lifting it up will help retain heat.

Use multiple LOW watt bulbs to create a cluster rather than high watt bulbs to save on energy cost.

If the enclosure does not drop below 65-70 at night, don't worry about providing night heat. --- helps save on energy cost.

Humidity:

Make sure you have a well sealed enclosure and you may not even need any sort of humidifier.

If you wish to have a humidifier use one that is made for humans NOT one for reptiles. The ones for humans are cheaper and more efficient and reliable.

Decor and substrate:

Organic top soil bags from Walmart/Home Depot etc are under $2 a bag. MUCH more affordable and safer than expensive mulches or blocks of coco husk.

If you have a large enclosure to fill, find a "rock yard" or landscaping company that sells dirt/gravel/sand by the yard. A yard of topsoil will give you about 1ft in an 8ft enclosure for under $40.

or DIG YOUR OWN! Bio-active substrate, no cleaning, no changing out, and free.

Hides: junk yards/dumps or craigslist for 55gal plastic drums that you can cut in half and add a door way. or other large Rubbermaid storage tubs. Wine shipping boxes, etc

Cage Building:

Craigslist or dump for recycled wood and sliding windows to make doors.

Large shipping crates that furniture often comes in can be found on craigslist too

Florescent light fixtures for UVB bulbs, buy the fixture at your hardware store rather than pet store and it will be less than half the cost.


Written by: Kayla Goldberg
Excellent advice, Kayla!
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Messages
4,409
If an adult or sub-adult- fed before tou left, yes. If a hatchling or not much past that, someone should be around to feed him at least the next day.
 

Angie.P.

New Member
Messages
9
My only concern is that regular fluorescent lights don't have uvb, unless I'm wrong? I use the repti sun 10.0
 

Nira

New Member
Messages
7
Those are some very smart ideas. For my tegu I modified a big used display case for her cage and it works great.:tegu:
 

Moody

Member
Messages
31
We built our tegu enclosure.. We used some leftover bathroom tiles and grouted it. Easy to clean no heat transfer, it's on wheels to keep it off the floor and move it if need be. We made it basically out of scraps. The ceramic tiles reflect the heat and it doesn't escape, was quickly 95 degrees. I found a 75 watt heat bulb at Meijer for 4.00 and use a cage lamp that hangs in the cage , I have 4 small low wattage bulbs, some plant bulbs for gardeners have UVB/UVA light and are way less expensive. We did install a 12"x30" chicken wire screen at the top and used zip ties the hang the lights inside the enclosure and have a humidifier. We used organic cypress mulch for the substrate, a cheap cat litter box buried and turned upside down for a hide. He is in tegu paradise.
 

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STEVEN SNYDER

New Member
Messages
1
Hello everyone I'm new here I have Red ARGENTINE I brought from Underground Reptile he in a large cage he probably 6 months old they say to it crickets but only wands to eat meal worms and dubia roaches is some thing it takes awhile to get him to eat he only been here 5 days/
 

Moody

Member
Messages
31
I am a new tegu owner as well. He ate really well the first two days, probably because he was starving. He didn't eat for three days after his first vet visit. I called them, they said not to worry. I would suggest taking a stool sample in to a reptile vet and have your baby checked for any intestinal parasites. Has he had a bowel movement since you had him.? What kind of substrate are you using? What's the temp in his enclosure?
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Messages
4,409
I am a new tegu owner as well. He ate really well the first two days, probably because he was starving. He didn't eat for three days after his first vet visit. I called them, they said not to worry. I would suggest taking a stool sample in to a reptile vet and have your baby checked for any intestinal parasites. Has he had a bowel movement since you had him.? What kind of substrate are you using? What's the temp in his enclosure?
Good suggestion and good questions.
 

Leezard

Member
Messages
92
Location
Minnesota
My only concern is that regular fluorescent lights don't have uvb, unless I'm wrong? I use the repti sun 10.0
I think she meant just the fixture itself as you want to get the highest grade UVB coil (coils aren't very effective so you want as high as possible) as fluorescent lights do not have UVB
 

JoshD

New Member
Messages
22
We raise quail & often have extra adult males to give away, If your in the LA or San Fernando Valley area hit me up.
 

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