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Upgrade to my water trough tegu home


While tegu are supposed to be ground dwellers, my ice tegu - B+W crossed with a blue - Rex, disagrees, as he loves climbing.

Turns out he's a pretty solid jumper too as he's now capable of leaping to the top and getting out.

When he simply feels like laying on the couch that's not a problem but him going exploring, especially across my desk and whatnot - a tegu his size is a scaly wrecking ball.

Fortunately, I was able to upgrade his enclosure to make it Rex-proof for just an additional hundred bucks.

The enclosure itself is an eight foot long, three foot wide and two foot tall water trough purchased at the local farm supply store for $300 - it's galvanized steel and since it's designed to hold water, ensures that water dish spills and moist substrate won't be a problem. The inside is smooth and seamless with an inch wide round lip over the top which is perfect for clipping lamps to - it's the perfect on the cheap tegu enclosure until they get as big as Rex and can hop out on their own.

Upgrading it proved super simple - even for someone like myself who isn't too handy with tools.

I scored three 2x4s which were eight feet long from Home Depot and then had them cut one of them into three 29 inch lengths.

Additionally, I bought two four packs of 3 inch "L" brackets and a box of good 2 inch wood screws for decks - make sure you purchase steel screws as the cheaper ones can strip too easily.

Toss a roll of regular duct tape into the cart if you don't have any - just normal silver stuff is fine.

Finally, the most expensive part was scoring some wire fencing - I purchased a spool of three foot wide and twenty five foot long fence with quarter inch square holes - don't be cheap and get chicken wire as those one inch diameter holes might tempt your tegu to try to force his nose through and possibly hurt himself - that ran $60 alone.

For tools you'll need a screw driver, but I recommend a power drill, along with a staple gun - we're talking construction grade that can take at least half inch staples - don't be cheap or you'll screw yourself.

I had the third 2x4 cut into 29 inch lengths because the ones I got were 3.5 inches wide so if you lay them flat and place the three smaller lengths between the two long ones then you'll have a frame that's 36 inches wide and eight feet long.

Measure everything before assembly so you don't waste time assembling and then having to disassemble and do it over again.

Use the L brackets on the inside corners to secure the three 29 inch sections to the two 8 foot sections to form what looks like a door frame - you'll use two for the top and bottom and four for the middle - don't be cheap or lazy and only secure the middle with two as that's going to provide a lot of strength and rigidity for your frame.

With the frame assembled now carefully clip the wire wrapped around the fencing - the fencing it tightly rolled and will spring free from the wire so wear heavy leather work gloves or you're likely to be cut.

Now take the end of the fence, roll it out over your frame and leave about four inches extra hanging over the end as you're going to wrap that over and around to further secure it.

After that it's just a case of wearing out your hand stapling the fence to the frame and making sure it stays straight - more staples is better and doing at least two rows of staples to make sure the fence stays put is preferred - use a hammer to finish setting them as not all of them will go in all the way.

Cut off the end of the fence and leave six inches hanging over the opposite side of your frame, then flip it over.

Use a hammer and gloves to bend the fence around the end of the frame, stapling both the wide and narrow side to ensure it stays in place.

Finally, use the duct tape to cover up all of the edges of the fence and anywhere there are staples - again, the more the better since you don't want to harm yourself or your tegu on this.

The frame will perfectly cover the water trough and allow you to place lights on it for your tegu - I also purchased some handles so I can slide it back and forth in order to feed and water Rex and take him out to be social.

While it is bulky, it isn't all that heavy so my wife can move it with ease on her own, but it's still sturdy.

As such, you now have a home for your tegu for $400 - not counting contents and lights - which is lightweight, easy to move, sturdy enough to be moved and doesn't require being disassembled should you have to move it.

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