Large Enclosure Build - Sailfin Dragons (Finished!) - Reptile Forums

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Old 10-11-2014, 05:48 PM
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Default Large Enclosure Build - Sailfin Dragons (Finished!)

In 2009 I bought a pair of WC hatchling Weber's Sailfin Dragons. They started off just 4" body length! They have grown relatively slowly but steadily, and outgrew their first tank, then their second tank, then their third tank. Finally they had hit adulthood and we needed to think of a final tank.

Here they are when I got them



Here they are in 2010 at 1 year old





Here they are in 2013 at 4 years old





Their old tank was a mish-mash of two tanks together with a hole cut in the middle, and the result was approximately 6ft x 2ft x 4ft. Sounds quite big - but honestly, not big enough. One thing I underestimated when looking into how big these lizards would grow was the tail length. A 16" body length doesn't sound that big but when you add an extra 2ft of tail on top of that then turning room becomes an issue. We were also wasting a lot of space due to there being a wall in the middle of the viv, and the swimming area they had was a large glass section which was slippery, with no easy entry/exit into it.

We only had space at the front of our store where the old vivarium was, but we were not utilising the full space available. We dismantled the old viv and looked at the space we had.



My husband used a 3D modelling program to make a mockup of the new vivarium design which was going to be angled to fill literally 100% of the space we had available, and would be approximately 7.5ft x 3ft x 5ft.

Ben had to work on this mostly during the night because it takes up the too much space in the shop. This meant for almost a week he was working from 10am to 1am trying to get it finished!



We finally manhandled the beast into position



Getting there!






We decided to build a tray to support a 250L multi level pond. We're using a 1000gallon pond pump and filter for some serious filtration and pumping. There are two 12% UV spots as well as two 150W basking spots. We have a UVB meter so can monitor how well the UVB penetrates. So far so good but we are still considering adding an MVB. The shop is heated for all the vivariums, so we don't need a lot of night time heating, but have a 250W AHS Heater if needed.

Here are some of the final pics!









On the left hand side there is an 3ftx18" soil/sand digging area. We have one live plant in here so far, we're going to see how that goes. The main purpose of the area is to provide a good lay box for her. She has laid two clutches in the last year; but they were infertile. The front area is just a small area where we can easily go in and refresh the salad or mealworms.

Their favourite food is salad, waxworms and pinkies. The last two they don't get many of but salad wise they love banana (small quantities!) strawberries, grapes, and all leafy salad but they will eat almost anything salad or fruit related. They eat large quantities of crickets, and like cockroaches - but don't really like locusts.

They are not aggressive and can be handled but very careful - mostly because they have very very long nails and strong feet (for digging and swimming) and whilst they aren't intending to hurt you, they will scratch and draw blood easily. They are extremely muscular lizards!

Here is a final pic of the male, showing the "sail" that gives the species their name.



I hope this build helps anyone get an idea of what adults of this species need and hopefully in the future we'll have some more luck with getting more of these captive bred in the UK & on display.

All the hard work done by my husband Ben , I just took photos! These are permanently on display in our store, Reptile Cymru.
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Old 10-11-2014, 06:47 PM
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All I can say is Wow! They are absolutely stunning and kudos to your hubby for being so committed to building the tank

We found it difficult enough building a simple beardie enclosure so I can only imagine the frustration you guys had building this monster! x
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:18 PM
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Fantastic build
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:38 PM
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Love the new viv. Look forward to seeing it in the shop
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:57 PM
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Hi, I`d just like to ask what type of basking bulbs you`re using? Beautiful lizards!
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:07 PM
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WOW indeed it looks great, a lot of thought has gone into building this and it shows. Well done guys
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:00 AM
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give me a bell if you want some help

looking good though!

john
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:58 PM
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Best enclosure I have ever seen for sailfins!
I so wish I had some space for a few!

Gorgeous critters, fab setup!
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Old 15-11-2014, 08:30 AM
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Wow, great enclosure and gorgeous sailfins. Well done.
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Old 15-11-2014, 10:36 AM
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wow thays awsome mate. really impressed with that. where about in cardiff are you. im in cwmbran.
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