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Temperatures!

kokomoseley

New Member
Hey! I am getting a baby Chacoan Whitehead soon but wanted to set up her enclosure first. I got a 3x2x2 rn (my dad is building the 8x4x4) so what kind of lights should I use for the 3x2x2? Powersun? Solar glo? What wattage? What are the exact temps ? Thank you.
 

rantology

Active Member
If you're to use MercuryVapor any of those work but folks tend to like Megaray brand here... Arcadia has a line of them too but you'd need the converter kit from Lightyourreptiles.com if in the US... Wattage will vary depending on where you plan to put the light. You should aim for about 110 in the basking spot for a baby... when they grow, you can bump that up to 120-125. So you probably don't need the maximum wattage off the bat... I would guess likely a 100w but others who regularly use MV bulbs will hopefully chime in here. Helps a lot if you hang the light fixtures from chains not only for safety (tegus can/do jump at lights occasionally), but then you can adjust them to get the perfect distance.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
I agree with Rantology...that's a pretty small enclosure though, and you're going to have probs trying to get your ambient temps. I think that's the only prob with small tanks when it comes to Tegus. Their ambient temps still matter. He/she will need a cool area of around 70-75 dg. 100 watts might be too strong for that size. You might really struggle to achieve any levels you actually need......so - hurry up DAD!!! ;)
 

wanik4

Member
If you're to use MercuryVapor any of those work but folks tend to like Megaray brand here... Arcadia has a line of them too but you'd need the converter kit from Lightyourreptiles.com if in the US... Wattage will vary depending on where you plan to put the light. You should aim for about 110 in the basking spot for a baby... when they grow, you can bump that up to 120-125. So you probably don't need the maximum wattage off the bat... I would guess likely a 100w but others who regularly use MV bulbs will hopefully chime in here. Helps a lot if you hang the light fixtures from chains not only for safety (tegus can/do jump at lights occasionally), but then you can adjust them to get the perfect distance.

I've seen it around, but what do you consider a baby age from a juvenile? Mine is about two months now and RoseCity recommended 130 for the hottest spot and I do trust his judgement. It does seem hot, but shouldn't they be able to go where they 'feel' is right? Kind of like when we go into the shade if we are too hot?

Nice to hear other peoples' tegus jump at lights, too. My guy seems to be jumping at the screen top already, which has me worried about scarring up his nose. It's not over and over, but it is a 'thing'.

My last question is about hot and cool sides. I just switched his cork platform to a large flat rock I sourced from my backyard to hold heat and be a more quality source. The thing is I have this rock in the center of the enclosure, so the areas around it are cooler. One hide on the right registered at about 80* on top of it, but of course the substrate is cooler below that. Would you recommend moving the rock hot spot to either side and having a hide just off of that and doing it that way?

Thanks!
 

rantology

Active Member
I've seen it around, but what do you consider a baby age from a juvenile? Mine is about two months now and RoseCity recommended 130 for the hottest spot and I do trust his judgement. It does seem hot, but shouldn't they be able to go where they 'feel' is right? Kind of like when we go into the shade if we are too hot?

Nice to hear other peoples' tegus jump at lights, too. My guy seems to be jumping at the screen top already, which has me worried about scarring up his nose. It's not over and over, but it is a 'thing'.

My last question is about hot and cool sides. I just switched his cork platform to a large flat rock I sourced from my backyard to hold heat and be a more quality source. The thing is I have this rock in the center of the enclosure, so the areas around it are cooler. One hide on the right registered at about 80* on top of it, but of course the substrate is cooler below that. Would you recommend moving the rock hot spot to either side and having a hide just off of that and doing it that way?

Thanks!

There's no wrong answer, I don't think ultimately 110 vs 130 for babies will harm them either way. Just when they are real little they have a lot less mass to heat up. There's also no "official" classification for baby VS juvenile but I'd say <6 months is more or less a baby....

For gradients- It's never a bad idea to concentrate the hot spot on one end of the cage. That way you can provide the largest gradient possible. 80 degrees is perfect for the ambient temperature though so it sounds like what you are currently doing is working well.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
We get a lot of people asking why their animals aren't eating anymore, and I think many times the ambient temps are glossed over or not mentioned. When you have a lizard, you're responsible for the temps it would normally encounter in the nature/wild. Getting your tank to that spot that simulates that cool shady spot under a rock and out of the hot sun isn't easy. I've never heard temps for a 2 month old would be good at 130dg. But...if you have an enclosure that is the right size (most don't have the right size when they first get their Tegu) then I'd say there's a chance he/she will adapt and be O.K. So many details, and conditions.... if your tank is small and you have a bask spot at 130...it's just not possible to have the cool side/hide get anywhere near 70dg.
 

wanik4

Member
Hey, thanks for the reply. I switched (forever) from 'reptile' bulbs and to a 70W GE flood light on a dimmer. I am surprised at its hottest point in the enclosure, which is literally about 6-8" away from his basking rock, it's clocking in at about 110*. This really surprises me, but his temps are not hitting 130*. He actually just did a complete shed yesterday and this morning. I helped a little off his feet as we were interacting this morning, which I feel he appreciated a little. He's very vibrant and the little green that's left on his head is back, which looks good.

He has been eating pinkies every other day, but today he ate beef organ meats, a big dried cricket, some yellow pepper and a little ground duck. I rolled them into little balls the size of about large blueberries and dripped some of the beef blood on the top. Of course today was my skinks rare egg day, so i dripped a little yolk on Ted's food, which I can't imagine didn't help. He looks chubby today, comes out on his own when he's ready and basks regularly.

To avoid 'catching' him to take him out, we have developed the beginning of a routine. When he's on his basking rock I put out a cork flat and just work my way round the cage just turning substrate and not paying him much attention. Once I get close to him he has been just walking onto the cork and then I just take it out calmly. At that point we start our little talk and hangout for the morning. The only place I've given him pinkies is out of the cage and there is ZERO hesitation. He seems to have ceased jumping up and hitting his nose on the lid of his enclosure. I am debating getting him a 4x2x2 tomorrow from my local shop and just make that move. I think he will be okay in it for longer than I expected. Humidity has been staying around 70-85% ambient.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
Sounds really good! They can't resist liquid egg. That and pinkies are Tegu catnip for most. Your humidity sounds good, and the basking sounds perfect. Also - I've seen my male cop an attitude with me during almost every shed. I do help with it too - especially around his ears. I think he knows it, but he's always grumpy-er when a shed is about to happen.
 

wanik4

Member
Sounds really good! They can't resist liquid egg. That and pinkies are Tegu catnip for most. Your humidity sounds good, and the basking sounds perfect. Also - I've seen my male cop an attitude with me during almost every shed. I do help with it too - especially around his ears. I think he knows it, but he's always grumpy-er when a shed is about to happen.

Just posted a 'taming' post with his photo in there. He looks great after his shed!
 
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