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My questions of Tegus (No one answered until now.)

Discussion in 'Black and White Tegu Discussion' started by RTLP6262, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. RTLP6262

    RTLP6262 New Member

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    Recently I started to research to be able to have a tegu, I did a lot of research, but I still had some questions, I asked many people and sites, but no one answered me, so I'm here with all the questions I have about how to take care of a Tegu:

    1- When they reach their maximum size (Male)?
    2- When should I start the diet of an adult tegu? (because the juveniles feed on invertebrates, but adults have a much more diverse diet)
    3- I have a space of 78 cm (wide) X 110 (high) X 130 (long), is that enough to house an adult male? (obviously I will not leave it there all the time, most of the time I'll leave it free for the house).
    4- Can the juvenile diet be made with earthworms and woodlouse? Because even though it is relatively easy to grow mealworms, when the animal grows, it will no longer have an interest in this type of food, and then I will have a mealworms farm that will grow bigger and bigger. Besides, I have a compost full of earthworms and lots of woodlice through the garden.
    5- When he is young does he still need to feed only 3 times a week? If not, will I have to feed him how many times a week?
    6- Do UV and Infra-red lamps warm the animal? Because this has confused me, it is said that UV and InfraRed lamps could maintain the temperature and give the nutrients needed to make them healthy, but then it is said that you need a proper light bulb for heating, how is it?
    7- How much did your tegus cost on average?
    8- How much time should I hydrate the terrarium (water spout), because is said that they need a certain humidity in the terrarium.
    9- If you have any suggestion of a name I am apt to listen to it, for now I am thinking of Zilla, but this can change.
    I think it was just that, I hope to receive the answers, I hope to have my Tegu next year. Attention: I know this is not the all necessity that the tegu need, this is just my questions that no one are able to answer, thak you angain. =)
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  2. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    1. Should be around 1-2 years but varies.
    2.When they stop eating bugs, stop feeding them. Move them up on prey size as they grow. A baby will start on pinkies/fuzzies, move up to hoppers, and so on until they are adults.
    3. That won't be enough for a tegu and I highly advice not freeroaming. IMO they are not free roam pets, they have specific requirements that a house will not provide for them. If you want to see the effects of freeroaming search "macgyver the lizard"on youtube. He is sick, has gout, Mbd, can barely walk, and is nearly dead after only 4 years.
    4. You can definetly feed them those things, but will of course want to include other inverts. Mealworms make a poor choice of food. Use dubai roaches or crickets as your staple invert.
    5. I'd feed every day while they're young because they're growing fast and have a fast metabolism. There is no set in stone schedule for feeding even as adults, some feed daily othere's have it more spaced out.
    6. MVB bulbs carry UV light and heat, other uvb lights do not. Infared lights have heat but no uvb. I suggest a flood light from home depot along with a mvb. If you need night heat use a ceramic heat emmitter.
    7. 250-400 USD depending on what you're buying and when in the season.
    8. That is entirely dependent on your setup, whatever keeps him at the right humidity.
    9. I have a B&W named Pluto and might get a red just so I can name it Mars lmao. Im not particularly good at names though so can't be much help :/.
    RTLP6262 likes this.
  3. RTLP6262

    RTLP6262 New Member

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    Thank you, but if this space I have is not enough, which would be ideal? And all these problems that MacGyver has are not due to lack of calcium and vitamins (more specifically gout)? Thanks again and I'll pay attention to what you said.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  4. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    6x3 feet bare minimum that's about 2x1 meters. 8x4 feet is preferable but not sure what that is in meters lol.
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  5. RTLP6262

    RTLP6262 New Member

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    Thats ok. thank you!
    And for last, That problems that MacGyver has are not due to lack of calcium and vitamins (more specifically gout)? And because of the gout he would not be able to walk, right? Because he seems to be very well treated, has a balanced diet, plenty of space, the only thing I found strange was the fact that he only received the bulbs when he was a puppy and much later when he received his "little room."
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  6. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    I have no doubt they care for the tegu and put a lot of effort into him. I believe that's why one might come to think he is well treated. But the way you do it matters. You can see that he is very slow,often times he looks cold and lethargic. he has a clear visible underbite (due to mbd). In the wild, a slow fat lizard is a dead lizard. You don't want them that way. As far as diet goes, I have yet to see them give him a whole food item, it seems ro consist of just ground meats. I'm sorry if I sound mean to them, I'm sure they mean no harm, but I don't want people taking the route they did. Even if it looks like he's well cared for, it doesn't matter how much effort is put in if the wrong methods are used. Sorry for the long post lol.
    RTLP6262 likes this.
  7. RTLP6262

    RTLP6262 New Member

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    hmmm, you must be right, I always see him as if he had not warmed himself up, especially in the house, thank you for clarifying this. I'm sure this will be useful for me
  8. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    Mac went almost 2 weeks when the owners moved and broke his basking bulb. Instead of leaving the house and buying him a new one they just waited till they could afford something online. A cheap flood light from Home Depot would of been better than nothing. Because of this he broke his own tail. Mac is obese, he eats to much fruit, he needs to be cut back and put on a Whole Foods diet till he sheds some weight. Mac moves like he's an elderly Tegu when's he's what 4?. I agree with BD don't let YouTube videos like this influence or distort the reality of these reptiles.
    RTLP6262 likes this.
  9. RTLP6262

    RTLP6262 New Member

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    So does Free-roaming have anything to do with your health? Or is it all about?
  10. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I haven't watched the MacGyver video but I would not say that the problems would be due specifically to free-roaming. Free roaming can be done well but you still have to set up the environment properly. My tegu basically had an entire bedroom that became the enclosure, though I would also allow him access to other parts of the house at certain times. He had a humid hide area and a large basking spot. I'm not sure I would recommend free roaming so much for a sub adult, though. My tegu lived in a glass tank for 1 - 1.5 years first.
  11. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    Was it actual free roaming, or just a room modified more like an enclosure. I guess it can be done but there are a lot of concerns for me, like inadequate exposure to UVB. I know you know what youre doing with these guys, but I have only seen free roaming of tegus end badly. If you want to see Macgyver heres a video of him.

    Again, not questioning your experience and knowledge, I know you know your stuff with tegus, but I would like to know more about how it was done.
  12. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Wow that tegu is really obese, no surprise about health problems there.

    I had Ripper live in the spare bed room where I had all my snake and tarantula tanks. He had a large basking area with 3 175 W halogen heat lamps and 3 UV lamps, spaced apart to create a large basking and UV area. He had a plastic box modified into a cave that he usually slept in, I put a large beach towel in there that he would curl up into. I could keep that box quite humid. There was lots of floor space so I could put out large items for him to explore, to give him some enrichment. The bedroom had its own heating system so I could keep it around 25C during the day and cool down to 18C at night. That was really nice to be able to control, with a programmable thermostat and baseboard heater. The rest of the house is much cooler so I kept the door closed most of the time. I could keep the humidity up in the room a bit with a humidifier but I didn't keep it too humid or the walls could get mold growing on them. I did keep his hide box extra humid to compensate for this, but I don't necessarily believe that tegus need to be kept with as high humidity as some people say. I did around 60% in that room, the hide was probably more like 80+%.

    One thing that I would probably change about my setup if I was going to do it again was the floor. Ripper just pooped wherever so I had to protect the carpet and be able to keep the floor clean. Before I moved into the room I but a layer of clear plastic sheeting over the entire floor and secured in under the baseboards so it was stretched tight on the floor. This worked in that I could protect the carpet and keep the floor sanitary for Ripper, I used a steam cleaner mop to sanitize the floor. But the floor always had a crinkling noise, which wasn't that good. I would probably, next time, add a couple more layers of plastic and have it go up the wall a bit instead of under the baseboards. Then I'd add substrate into the whole room, cypress mulch or whatever.

    I kept the door closed most of the time but allowed Ripper to explore other parts of the house when I was around and could watch him. Like I said before, he would poop wherever so I would usually wait until he had done that before allowing him into carpeted areas of the house.

    This is pretty much how I did it. Basically modified a room into an enclosure with limited access in the rest of the house. I would not recommend unsupervised free-roaming throughout an entire house, there are just too many potential problems with that, especially with a small tegu that could get into lots of trouble.
  13. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    I like the way you had it set up. I guess the reason I discourage free roaming so much is because when people are given an inch they run a mile. You had a nice set up that allowed free roaming, but still provided for the needs of the tegu. However, nowadays free roaming with tegus is most of the time almost instantly associated with the people I talked about above. They get the wrong information and want to keep a tegu like a freaking dog. They have almost 50k followers and make a horrible impression on tegu keeping.

    Anyway, sorry the OPs thread turned into me complaining ranting about free roaming. Ill control myself better next time lmao.
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  14. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Well, Bearded, can not disagree with that bur under your saddle. Free-roaming has to place needs of the animal first. If not, the animal suffers.
  15. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I didn't feel that you had ranted, no worries from me. Anyway, this is a free forum, if you have something to say, say it, whether it will rustle feathers or not.

    Maybe I should not call what I did free-roaming, it's a bit misleading. True free-roaming would probably not work well.
  16. Moody

    Moody Member

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    That tegu is obese.. And just like people obesity comes with other complications, MacGyver pisses off my vet. A tegu should not be that fat, the belly should not drag the ground. I honestly beleive they enjoy feeding him and I think they mean well. I thibks it was one of those I wonder if he will like this type scenarios when he was small. No doubt they love him but parents love their obese kids and reward them with food too. My tegu won't eat every day, I try to feed him daily and he won't touch it, then it smells and goes bad. I feed him every other day a well balanced diet of fruit, soft boiled eggs with the shells and at least two types of meats ex. Fish and chicken. I cruise the deli at the grocery and catch salmon on sale, pork chops and other various meats. I got a whole Alaskan salmon last week for 3 bucks filleted. I give him chicken livers at times but only as a treat the vet said not to give him those very often, it really depends on your tegu. Mine won't eat raw eggs at all, or insects he won't eat mice or pinkies either he never would and I tried everything. I know he is getting what he needs and I always mix vitamins in his food, vitamin D with calcium, he has a basking light, a uvb, a uva and a ceramic bulb on a dimmer as well. His enclosure is 90 degrees at all times on the hot side and low 70s on the cool. I take him to the vet for regular check ups and to get his nails trimmed. I know I could do it myself but he gets mad and holds a grudge for days and I'd rather pay the 5 bucks honestly lol.
  17. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    You make some valid points. I just had my gu in ICU do to a diet much the same as MacGyver. He has the start of MBD and suffer a prolapsed rectum. I thought I did my research and was faced with my husbands opposition to whole prey. Bet he will not after spending $1200.00 in one week.
  18. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    People almost never realise how much research needs to go into keeping tegus. You can do months of hard study and still mess up. I sure as hell messed up and I had studied tegus on and off for years.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
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  19. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    IKR. I will not give up on him. My family is in it for the long haul. I hate that he will not be perfect or may be special needs for rest of his life. However, in the end it was our ignorance and he is loved. Trust me I have beat myself up plenty the last few days. He is a subadult I am hoping with a better diet he will make an acceptable recovery. He will be on a baby food, oxbow carnivore care, and crested gecko diet for the next two weeks. Then will slowly transfer to growned whole pray. The growned will be a stepping stone to regular whole prey.