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

Go Back   Reptile Forums > Help and Chat > Lizards

  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2014, 05:48 PM
Athravan's Avatar
Posting Deity
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cardiff (South Wales)
Posts: 25,683
Reviews: 17
Send a message via Skype™ to Athravan
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.
Over 100 snakes & lizards available from with UK delivery options! Online store with actual pictures of our animals for sale.

Quickest responses via telephone to 02920 190291 or Facebook Message

Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2014, 06:47 PM
WeeYeti's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ayrshire
Posts: 47

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
mandy68 likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2014, 07:18 PM
Hypermonkey's Avatar
Forum Citizen
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Reading
Posts: 497

Fantastic build
0.1.0 CB12 BRB
0.1.0 CB13 BCI
0.1.0 CB13 Diamond Jungle Bredli Jaguar
1.0.0 CB14 Leopard Gecko

All Poss feisty:
All Vis gorgeous
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2014, 07:38 PM
Ultra Citizen
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wales
Posts: 1,834

Love the new viv. Look forward to seeing it in the shop
Follow us on FaceBook

Keeping and Breeding
Nephrurus wheeleri cinctus
Tetrasincus roborowski
Tropiocolotes nattereri
Lepidodactylus lugubris
Ptychozoon kuhli
Phelsuma standingi
Gekko gecko
Stenodactylus stenodactylus
Bufo viridis
Pelophylax bergeri
Testudo horsfieldii
Geochelone sulcata
Chamaeleo jacksonii
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2014, 07:57 PM
Super Regular
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 274

Hi, I`d just like to ask what type of basking bulbs you`re using? Beautiful lizards!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2014, 10:07 PM
Denise aka Martini's Avatar
Ultra Citizen
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,534
Default Wow.....

WOW indeed it looks great, a lot of thought has gone into building this and it shows. Well done guys
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2014, 10:00 AM
Arcadiajohn's Avatar
Premier Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: West sussex
Posts: 7,450

give me a bell if you want some help

looking good though!

John Courteney-Smith MRSB.

Arcadia Reptile; Head of Science and Innovation

BRAND NEW BOOK out now. The Elements series; Part 1- FIRE, The Sun, its Use and Replication in Reptile Keeping

Find us on facebook under "Arcadia reptile"
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-2014, 03:58 PM
Salazare Slytherin's Avatar
No Life Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the Amazon Rain Forest
Posts: 17,668
Reviews: 30

Best enclosure I have ever seen for sailfins!
I so wish I had some space for a few!

Gorgeous critters, fab setup!
Arcadiajohn, Kimora and mandy68 like this.
Originally Posted by Bexzini
Salazare Slytherin is the sexiest RFUK'er there ever was nom
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 15-11-2014, 08:30 AM
5 Star Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: worcester
Posts: 4,885

Wow, great enclosure and gorgeous sailfins. Well done.
the more i learn about people, the more i love my reps.

RIP little pedro.

3 boas - 1.1.0 , 1.1 fire skinks, 2 iggys, 3 boscs 1.2.0,
3 kings - 1.2.0, one female nile, 4 leopard geckos 1.3.0, 5 fish
4 rabbits 4 rats, 6 cats. 11 ferrets, 1 alaskan shepherd, 3 carpet pythons 2.1., 0.0.1 brb , one water dragon 1.0.0, 4 royal pythons 1.1.0, four corn snakes 2.2.0. 2 leos, 1 fire skink,
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 15-11-2014, 10:36 AM
Ultra Citizen
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: south wales
Posts: 1,050

wow thays awsome mate. really impressed with that. where about in cardiff are you. im in cwmbran.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
viv build advise - large enclosure Tone Lizards 0 06-09-2012 12:02 PM
my sailfin and the enclosure kcassoen Lizard Pictures 3 16-02-2012 01:03 PM
Scotland 2 x Chinese Water Dragons And Large Cabinet Enclosure Gemmatony10 Lizard Classifieds 7 14-05-2011 03:46 PM
sailfin enclosure kerrithsoden Lizards 2 30-12-2010 09:55 AM
Big build finished! (almost) herpteman Snakes 29 19-11-2008 09:09 AM

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 2005 - 2011, Reptile Forums (RFUK™)