Advised to keep bosc on paper for 1 month - thoughts ? - Reptile Forums

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Old 13-05-2018, 05:30 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Southampton, UK
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Default Advised to keep bosc on paper for 1 month - thoughts ?

Hey all,

I've just brought home a new baby bosc. All of my previous lizards have been 'rescues' from homes that chucked them out when they got too big > so it's my first time with a proper 5 inch captive bred baby.

I was all ready to mix up some substrate, and I stopped to ask about whether there's anything I should do differently for her as a tiny baby.

I was advised to keep her on paper for the first month. Because at this size, even the non-offensive coir/soil mixes I use could be a problem if she eats *enough* of it through missing when hunting.

This obviously doesn't jive with a *lot* of adult bosc care, since humidity is so important, but after discussing it with the shop owner (a genuinely passionate and well-read herp person) I was convinced. After all, consumption of substrate is natural in the wild - but a lot of young lizards do die in the wild, so that's not to say it's safe. As far as remaining hydrated goes, a large enough water bowl will be fine for the first month.

Given that I've given her two differently-sized waterbowls, one big enough to soak in, one big enough to swim in, I was convinced. I've given her some layers of brown paper, and my little bosc certainly seems happy enough 'tunnelling' in and out of it as a substitute for digging soil.

But, I'm wary.

One of the BIG reasons I was looking forward to having a bosc from a baby is because of all the handling and health problems I've had to overcome with my rescues - problems that started long before I ever met them. I want to make sure that my little lizard doesn't succomb to any of the stupid illnesses caused by early poor care.

So, bearing in mind that
- *At most* I will be keeping her on paper for her first month only, then moving her up to a proper digging substrate once she's hunting and feeding more precisely
- I'm using spot lamps rather than ceramics for now (to avoid burning the moisture out of the air)

What do you think of this advice ? Does it seem sound ? Is having a less humid environment for this first month not a big deal, and worth it to avoid compaction so long as there are plenty of water sources, or is it a critical time ?

Appreciate your thoughts It's all good data
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 13-05-2018, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 266
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I'll start by saying I have absolutely no experience or knowledge of the species and little with monitors in general.

I personally recommend beginners to use paper for new geckos(completely different, I know) for the first month or so. This is so they can make sure the environment isn't causing issues and that the gecko is healthy, as a loose substrate could exacerbate the problem. After this period if everything seems fine I recommend a sand based mix. I'd assume this is basically the sort of thinking the seller is going with?

For an experienced keeper there shouldn't be much issues going straight onto the correct loose substrate.

You could do half and half. This would allow the monitor to burrow and keep humidity up but also gives you the opportunity to feed it on the paper.
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Old 13-05-2018, 07:40 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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Balderdash.

Stick it on the correct substrate from the start.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 13-05-2018, 08:21 PM
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Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 1
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I had no problems with proper substrate when my Bosc was a baby.
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Old 18-09-2018, 04:54 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Southampton, UK
Posts: 65
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Just a reply generally to all above, because I realised I hadn't ! I took your collective advice and switched her over to proper substrate. Confirmed : No problems and she proceeded to dig very happily Thanks all

In case it's of interest : I actually transitioned her over gradually over her first week with me (starting with substrate at one half of the tank only) seeing as she already seemed pretty freaked out from the move, and had apparently always been kept on paper before. She ignored it completely and hid under the paper at first (as she had always done in the past, I assume) but once she'd stomped on it a bit and dug her first burrow, I spread it across the tank and she accepted it readily and dug her burrows all over the place. Seems to have a formed a positive association with my hand in the tank as well So win all round. Thanks guys.
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