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New red tegu owner. Is this proper??


New Member
Hi everyone,
I just got a new red tegu about a week ago who is about 6 months old. I am in the process of letting him get used to me and his new environment.
He stays in his hide 80-90% of the time, comes out sometimes when I'm not in my room to bask, drink water, etc. Here is my setup:

- 40 gallon glass terrarium with mesh top
- Double dome fixture (put on top of the mesh screen)
- Zoo Med Labs 100w 120v PowerSun bulb (left side in the picture)
- Exo-Terra 150 26w UVB bulb (right side in the picture)
- Rock shaped hide
- Large water bowl
- Grapevine bark log
- Hanging green vine
- Repti Bark substrate (I used two bags - about 2 inch coverage I think?)
I am getting a thermometer tomorrow as I was not told it was important, so I will check in with the temps tomorrow.
I live in Southern California and my room is pretty warm most of the time. At night I would say it's around 60 degrees but I could be wrong.

As for feeding, the reptile store told me to feed him crickets and dump them in the enclosure. I did the first day, I think he ate some but he doesn't seem to like them and neither do I (I'm sure most of you understand lol :p). Anyways, I was able to feed him salmon, chicken, soft-boiled quail eggs with the shell, mealworms (he LOVES those), blueberries and watermelon. I tried offering him green bell peppers and some parsley as I found on this care sheet (https://reptileslounge.com/blogs/blog/a-list-of-best-foods-for-tegus), but he doesn't seem to like greens so far.
He also pooped once or twice I think.
I was also told to that taking him out of his hide is okay, so I did and he got scared and started running around so I let him be and didn't try anything after that.
I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos on red tegus and reading articles, and I realized that I've learned a lot more from the internet than what the supposed "reptile keepers" at the stores told me which is a shame (if it was was Petco I woudn't be surprise, but it was a massive local reptile store :confused:).

Now my questions/concerns are basically this:
1. Is my enclosure setup proper? Heatlamp location, hide, water bowl, etc?
2. Is it normal that he stays in his hide most of the time? I heard he needs a few weeks to adjust and settle.
3. Do I really need a mister for the enclosure? Any other required things I should have other than the thermometer which I'm getting tomorrow.
4. Is it okay to take him out of his hide to get used to me? Or do I let him be until he decides to come out and feel comfortable?
Thank you so much. If you guys have any comments or anything else to add, I would really appreciate it!
Lastly, here is a picture of Mushu watching me admire him :cool:


New Member
The enclosure looks perfect, I would put the lamps over the water bowl side. You need a hot side and cool side that gradients in temp through the center so your gu can regulate heat properly. Put it right above the wood fixture so he can bask.You don't need a mister. Just go to the dollar store and get a spray bottle and spray him once a day. Kind of try to replicate morning dew. As for getting him to be more comfortable just take him out and interact with him. Don't force him to do anything just be in his presence. It's a good sign he sits in his enclosure with you right there. He's becoming comfortable with you! Try putting him in the bath and doing the "make him swim to your hand because that's his only option trick" lol. You're doing good. The only other advice I have is make sure if he outgrows the enclosure upgrade it. They're so inquisitive and they need the space.

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