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tegu habitat questions

Discussion in 'Black and White Tegu Discussion' started by sharieffa wiggins, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. sharieffa wiggins

    sharieffa wiggins New Member

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    What lights and heat lamps do I need for a sub adult. Would. Infrared heat source work? Include watts please. Also goes anyone have experience with grow tents what size should I have. I bought a 48 by 24 by 60. And I got aspen shavings for bedding. Would that work for now?
  2. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    You'll need a UVB light and a regular bright basking lamp or a MVB bulb which provides both. If you mean red lights by infrared those would not work for any living creature except maybe snakes and turtles as its possible they can't see the red lighting, but may be able to see a change in the lighting around them.

    For UVB you can go with a Reptisun T5 HO 10.0 tube light, most likely a 46" would be good. There's also another brand that I personally love, or at least my bearded dragons do and that would be Arcadia. They make larger percentages of UVB bulbs.
    And of course there's megaray MVB's that produce both heat and UVB and I currently use this for my own tegu and she loves them. MVB's suck at heating however so you may need to get more fixtures and regular heat bulbs to get it to a perfect temp.

    As for a regular bright heat bulb it depends on the height and how your going to position it to get it to the correct basking temperatures.

    Aspen bedding would not work at all unless your own house has very very high humidity most likely.
    Aspen molds very easily so if you spray it a lot, which is what your going to have to do to get it to around 70-90% for humidity.

    I recommend going for a eco earth, cypress mulch, organic soil mix. This holds humidity fairly well and doesn't have much of a mold problem either. Only time I've had mold is in the bottom to middle layer where a piece of her food had gotten to after rearranging her tank.
    This substrate is pretty good at holding burrows as well.
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  3. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    VenusAndSaturn is bang on with that post. 48 by 24 is very small, you will need to replace that one soon with something at least twice that size. Most keepers build their own enclosures, which I would recommend as well. The wattages of your lights will very much depend on how they are placed so there is no way to say exactly what you would need. In a proper sized enclosure you need at least 4 lights of various types and wattages for heat and one or maybe 2 UVA/UVB lamps. Lighting is a lot of trial and error in most cases, but ideally you would set up the heat lights so they can be raised and lowered to adjust the temperature underneath them, either that or get lamp fixtures with dimmer switches. Wood shaving like you would keep a rabbit in are not a good choice, they would prefer something to burrow in.
  4. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Wood shavings have added dangers of secondary chemicals that can be toxic for the tegu to be in, such as cedar. Wood shavings if accidentally ingested with meals poses a physical and monetary threat of impaction.Bad for the tegu and bad for your wallet. Eco earth is ideal.
  5. sharieffa wiggins

    sharieffa wiggins New Member

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  6. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    The substrate could probably work, though i've never used Exo terra's plantation soil substrate.

    The halogen bulb would not work at all, unless only used for heat most likely as I doubt it produces much if any UVB at all.
    And that red bulb would also not work, as most likely tegus can see red lighting and in the case of bearded dragons it is known to mess up their eyes and sleep. I assume this goes for tegus as well.

    https://www.amazon.com/ZooMed-ReptiSun-High-Output-10-0/dp/B00AQU8HRM/ref=sr
    This would work for proper uvb, and the below link would work great for the fixture.
    https://www.amazon.com/Reptile-T5HO-Standard-Fixture-Reflector/dp/B013RNBXLQ/ref

    http://www.lightyourreptiles.com/
    You could also go for a higher percentage of UVB tubes here.

    And then if you rather go for a MVB (produces both heat and uvb) then this should be good.
    https://www.amazon.com/Mega-Ray-Mercury-Vapor-Bulb-Watts/dp/B00TRI4NPY/ref
  7. sharieffa wiggins

    sharieffa wiggins New Member

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  8. sharieffa wiggins

    sharieffa wiggins New Member

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    which eco earth substrate works best? Florest Floor? Moss? Coco husk, reptibark, coconut fiber, aspen shavings I heard so many lol. Which gives you the most bang for buck?
  9. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    I hate to sound a bit harsh but if you can't afford what a tegu needs either save up or think about a different animal that wont die without proper lighting....like a leopard gecko or a ball python, which they need basically just heat pads so you cant possibly go wrong there for their heating needs.
    And in all honesty if you get crappy lighting and a tegu, thats going to cost you thousands of dollars to fix whatever issue happens because of the poor choice.

    I personally prefer Eco earth. It works very well.
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  10. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    If you're worried about 50 bucks for a light how do you plan to feed him. These aren't leopard Geckos which by the way make much better beginner reptiles.
  11. dpjm

    dpjm Active Member 5 Year Member

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    Agree with VenusAndSaturn again, those two Amazon lights are not going to work. That $10 halogen "UV" light is a scam, as far as I know halogen cannot produce UV at all, like incandescent lights. Red heat lights are also pretty useless. You want bright light.

    The petmountain light combo thing, also not what you want. That is not going to cut it for a tegu.

    Agree with Zyn, if you are concerned about $50 for lights then you are getting the wrong pet. Tegus are really expensive. You need to drop way more than $50 on lights. To properly fit a good enclosure with lighting will cost you over $200 (and that's if you know where to shop - if you don't you might drop over $300). One single good UV light should cost you $50 and may only last 6 months. Food is really expensive, too. Vet care is really expensive.

    Are you sure you have done enough research for an advanced lizard?
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  12. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    For an idea on vet care. I dropped around $1200.00 this month on our gu. Even after thinking I was doing right by him he ended up with MBD. Is this your first venture in to lizards? If so may be try a bearded dragon. I failed taking care of Ragu and he was the ninth lizard in our clutch. We have 2 bearded dragons, 2 water dragons, 3 gecko, 1 iguana, 1 tegu. All but the tegu are healthy.

    The 4 lights you need means that you will spend a minimum of $200.00 a year!

    No one is trying to be mean. We just want to help you understand these are expert level amimals.
  13. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    Honestly I wouldn't even recommend a bearded dragon to them, no offense of course but I've spent more money on my beardies than my tegu. I'd think it would be the other way around but a single beardie thats below 4 months old eats about 200 insects a week, even with my juvenile being 10-11 months she still eats like a pig, two feedings a day and up to 20 each feeding or more. Insects cost quite a lot. At least with my two adults they only eat about every other day for now until they get up to two years.

    Then again this could be because I have three beardies, and if I had a single beardie it may be a bit less.
    I'd definitely recommend them a leopard gecko though, very easy to take care of, except when your a worrier like me and can't sleep for a week until you see it eat at least once to make sure its doing good despite it being in perfect health.
    Maybe even a Indonesian blue tonuge skink as they are more forgiving towards lighting mistakes than a beardie, have a good easy diet and could help with seeing what substrates work best for holding humidity. Though hard to find good breeders from what i've seen.
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  14. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    I'd go with a skink or leopard Gecko neither require UVB and a lot of the time are kept similar to ball pythons and heathier for it. Belly heat and a tub and bam.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  15. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    Yes, I started with a gecko they are much easier. However, I have came up against more obsticals with our Tegu. I order my crickets and mealworms from Armstrongs. Interesting that you feel the bearded dragon is more costly and difficult. The two I have has been a nice lesson in husbandry. With all my gu's problems I do wounder if any of it is genetics. Having 8 others that are healthy and then this guy. Large lizards seem like a neat idea then you find out how dedicated you have to be! I never set out to be in reptiles it was my son and husbands venture. However, I guess the nurse and animal lover in me was dedicated to make sure they were cared for if they were in my house.
  16. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    A LOT of inbreeding is done to make these designer tegus quickly. With that, otherwise rare recessive bad traits are not only unmasked but tag along for the ride. Something to be mindful of when looking for pure-bred dogs, albinos, etc., often not known to the general public.
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  17. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    For me the food and lighting for Oreo has to be the easiest so far, I do worry a lot and thats just natural for me. As soon as one of my beardies or really any of my animals do something out of routine I freak out a bit.

    The expensive part of beardies is mostly the crickets and other feeder insects, oh and tons of veggies you end up wasting if you have picky eaters.
    I'd have to say I usually spend a total of 50 dollars a month just on crickets, around 100 if I have to buy other feeders like hornworms, superworms and mealworms to add to their diet. Or dubia roaches to add to the small colony I have.
    I'd say in a single feeding day just for the beardies I end up giving them about 80 or so insects.
    And of course my juvenile still eats daily so thats 40 crickets after and during every feeding day for her so far.
    On the same day the other animals I have that will eat insects, usually eat 30 or slightly more. Those two being the leopard gecko and blue tongue skink.
    Oreo doesn't like insects too much, only hornworms and dubia roaches is all she'll accept. She has expensive tastes.
  18. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    I know you are speaking the truth on dogs. My mother has had kennels for years. I have also shown dogs some. The inbreeding is strong on some. We never practiced it but I know many will breed grandfather to granddaughters.
  19. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    I do not waste many veggies. However, I have an Iguana so I always have them on hand and she eats a lot. Her veggies alone consists of three bunches of collard greens, whole acorn squash, and other add ins each week. (She gets a everything on green iguana society foid list in rotation) So, the amount the bd get is small in comparison. Do you keep crickets or order in bulk? Much cheeper then going to pet store! Mealworms are easy to keep. However, I only do crickets in medium sized orders because they smell.
  20. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    Usually I buy crickets in bulk, I've tried breeding them multiple times but it just doesn't work for me. Only time I got them to hatch ended with them never growing and most dying of dehydration. I usually order around 2,000 large crickets from a local reptile store that does specialized orders pretty cheap, they also give you a free dozen after a certain amount that you buy.
    I used to buy the 2,000 crickets off amazon and flukersfarm but they were a bit more expensive.

    I pretty much end up with a plate full of veggies at the end of the day, two of them will eat them however if I add fruit at all they ignore the greens most of the time. My adult female is probably the pickiest when it comes to greens, though if she sees anyone else munching on them she immediately wants to eat whatever they have. Of course they aren't housed together but they are in sight of each other.

    I have a order of mealworms and superworms coming actually pretty soon, just to add a bit of variety to their diet. Plus my leopard gecko ran out once she realized she liked them.