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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at getting an ackie and looking for some advice and whether or not I have missed anything. So I'll list what my current plans are:

Vivarium/Enclosure:
-A 180cmLx60cmWx90cmH wooden enclosure with a 4mm toughened glass doors.
-Substrate depth will vary, planning on having a deeper section of up to 30cm, but average will be 15cm-20cm. Substrate will be a sand/peat mix.
-Several shelves connected by logs will be placed at several different heights, exact positioning will be decided at the time dependent on structural needs.
-Several different hides will be created, thinking of putting a heat mat in one of them?
-Water will be offered in a large sunken bowl i was thinking of like a large cat litter tray? Do you think I'd need to go larger?
-I was thinking of putting some sturdy plants in the enclosure, has anyone had any experience with how destructive they can be?

Heating/Lighting:
-Basking area will have a ceramic heating bulb on 24/7 (was thinking 150W or is it suggested to go a higher wattage), then I was thinking of having either a mercury vapor bulb on the basking area as well
-General heating will be done by either some large infrared bulbs or a small space heater. I'm leaning on the space heater option for this.
-UV light, I'm thinking a 10% tube with reflector. Now I'm either thinking either the 30" or 36"

Feeding:
-I was thinking of having a mixture of food being fed to him. Standard gutloading and dusting obviously.
-Dubias and Locusts for the main staple, however was thinking of having treats like egg but other suggestions are welcome.

If you have any comments please don't be quiet :whistling2:
Cheers,
TM
 

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Looking at getting an ackie and looking for some advice and whether or not I have missed anything. So I'll list what my current plans are:

Vivarium/Enclosure:
-A 180cmLx60cmWx90cmH wooden enclosure with a 4mm toughened glass doors.
-Substrate depth will vary, planning on having a deeper section of up to 30cm, but average will be 15cm-20cm. Substrate will be a sand/peat mix. In my experience peat can be a bit of a pain. I would use more top soil that peat in the mix personally to elp it hold its shape better. While varying depths will be suitable for a male, if you end up with a female I wouldnt have less thatn the recommended 30cm in case of nesting.
-Several shelves connected by logs will be placed at several different heights, exact positioning will be decided at the time dependent on structural needs. Mine uses EVERYTHING he can get onto to cmilb so definitely lots of climbing furniture/ tubes/ tunnels etc. besides they are fantastic to watch stalking about their territory :)
-Several different hides will be created, thinking of putting a heat mat in one of them? No heat mat! Aside from the damp inside the enclosure, ackie dig! I wouldnt have anything electrical near the floor tbh.
-Water will be offered in a large sunken bowl i was thinking of like a large cat litter tray? Do you think I'd need to go larger? Honestly... my ackie makes his larger water bowl into a swamp within 5mins of it being cleaned and filled. I leave it as a swamp because there IS no other way lol. I provide a small (too small to even get half his body in) bowl of drinking water but tbh he rrely drinks from it, preferring if he needs to the drink off the cage furniture when I spray it all and water the dirt.
-I was thinking of putting some sturdy plants in the enclosure, has anyone had any experience with how destructive they can be? I tried plants, they got wrecked, lol Give it a try by all means but dont put too much money into it :)
Plastic plants became my friend quite quickly with Riley.

Heating/Lighting:
-Basking area will have a ceramic heating bulb on 24/7 (was thinking 150W or is it suggested to go a higher wattage), then I was thinking of having either a mercury vapor bulb on the basking area as well
-General heating will be done by either some large infrared bulbs or a small space heater. I'm leaning on the space heater option for this.
-UV light, I'm thinking a 10% tube with reflector. Now I'm either thinking either the 30" or 36" A T5 bulb will be great with the height you have to offer. Id proably go for the 36" if not longer ( no need to cover the whole viv)

General heating is achieved easily in my viv purely via the basking bulb. you will need a light emitting bulb for the basking spot. Preference around here seems to be with the halogen flood bullbs (PAR 30 -38 ) these give a wide beam for basking and dont use as much energy as a normal spotlight. They can be picked up for about £5 in a lighting shop or on ebay. My viv is currently minutely smaller than yours but heats easily with a 50W halogen bulb (with the extra height you may prefer a 75W to grant a larger distance between basking spot and bulb)

If you need night time heating (if it gets colder than 65-70f in your home at night - in the UK it probably doesnt unless it is very cold outside) then a ceramic can be used on a stat to kick in if it gets too cold. I set this up in mine but tbh it never needs to come on. A night time drop is beneficial as it reinforces the day night cycle.

Feeding:
-I was thinking of having a mixture of food being fed to him. Standard gutloading and dusting obviously.
-Dubias and Locusts for the main staple, however was thinking of having treats like egg but other suggestions are welcome.
Ackies LOVE their food. Although mine took some warming up to worm types (still wont touch calciworms btut does eat their flies lol) Dubias and locusts are great. Only problem with locauts is they just sit and wait to be eaten, mix it up with the dubias and crickets etc who are better at hiding and faster :) There is a list as long as you like of different live foods you can order to try out and treats like raw egg/ pinkies etc are always accepted gratefully.

If you have any comments please don't be quiet :whistling2:
Cheers,
TM
Hope this helps. Love my ackie, he is by far the most entertaining reptile I have had although be prepared they can take a time to "tame" Riley still has days where he sees my hand coming twards him and looks at my as if to say "you can do one, i'm not in the mood" lol. Proper characters :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of course it helps, great advice! I've highlighted further questions to pester ya :whistling2:

I'll just clarify things:
-So I'll swap out peat from top soil, dont want him to buried. And I'd prefer a male anyway.
-Scrap the plants then, and just make it look good with nice wood and plastic things!
-I was thinking to have the heat mat on the roof with a reflector to get the heat to go down? or is it just not worth it?
-Okay so T5 it is and I'll see if I can get longer, if not i might just get a pair of shorter ones.
-Heating wise, I'll have the ceramic anyway I feel as a backup and just focus on a good floodlight...might see if I can get a cheap one designed for poultry but I'll see what is on offer.
-I think I'll just order everything I can and then just see what he likes!

Again thanks for the help. And don't worry about having the patience to handle I have time.
TM
 

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Quoting again because I'm lazy :)
Of course it helps, great advice! I've highlighted further questions to pester ya :whistling2:

I'll just clarify things:
-So I'll swap out peat from top soil, dont want him to buried. And I'd prefer a male anyway. Sounds good, If you get a young one you will likely not know what sex until it is grown, just to bare in mind)
-Scrap the plants then, and just make it look good with nice wood and plastic things! Always worth a try, maybe with the right plants and a buried pot? I gave up lol.
-I was thinking to have the heat mat on the roof with a reflector to get the heat to go down? or is it just not worth it? Really not worth it :) Heat mats are next to useless anyway and will only warm the surface they are in contact with.
-Okay so T5 it is and I'll see if I can get longer, if not i might just get a pair of shorter ones. Not an issue 36" is probably enough tbh, it leaves a portion of the viv without direct UV so he can chooese to avoid it if he wants. Maybe a 4ft bulb? Perhaps someone else will have a thought on that.
-Heating wise, I'll have the ceramic anyway I feel as a backup and just focus on a good floodlight...might see if I can get a cheap one designed for poultry but I'll see what is on offer. Ceramic is good as a back up just incase. you will be surprised how much heat a good basking bulb gives off and ackies do like it HOT. The heat disipates slowly over the night.
-I think I'll just order everything I can and then just see what he likes! :2thumb:

Again thanks for the help. And don't worry about having the patience to handle I have time.
TM
Only other thing I can think of that I was glad I did was taking the time to make a retes stack. He loves it and uses all the levels!
I made mine with slate and glues it with aquarium silicone but others use wood for them. Riley has always slept underneath his when he puts himself to bed. Mine rests acorss two bricks to raise it off the very bottom and the first 2 levels are under the dirt, he burrows under it between the bricks and has his little den (or whatever it is... I cant see it :p ) and he stays there till morning. I think the dirt under it must hold a nice temperature for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quoting again because I'm lazy :)

Only other thing I can think of that I was glad I did was taking the time to make a retes stack. He loves it and uses all the levels!
I made mine with slate and glues it with aquarium silicone but others use wood for them. Riley has always slept underneath his when he puts himself to bed. Mine rests acorss two bricks to raise it off the very bottom and the first 2 levels are under the dirt, he burrows under it between the bricks and has his little den (or whatever it is... I cant see it :p ) and he stays there till morning. I think the dirt under it must hold a nice temperature for him.
Yeah, I will see what I get, I'd prefer to get a male. What sort of age til they get sexable?
Think I'm going to stick with plastic ones :whistling2:
Cool, no heat mats then!
36" it will be then!
Yeah that is what I have been reading, I'll have a closer look at floodlight etc...
Hmmm the rete stack sounds like a good idea, might have to incorperate that into my designs...

Cheers,
TM
 

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Looking at getting an ackie and looking for some advice and whether or not I have missed anything. So I'll list what my current plans are:

Vivarium/Enclosure:
-A 180cmLx60cmWx90cmH wooden enclosure with a 4mm toughened glass doors.
-Substrate depth will vary, planning on having a deeper section of up to 30cm, but average will be 15cm-20cm. Substrate will be a sand/peat mix.
-Several shelves connected by logs will be placed at several different heights, exact positioning will be decided at the time dependent on structural needs.
-Several different hides will be created, thinking of putting a heat mat in one of them?
-Water will be offered in a large sunken bowl i was thinking of like a large cat litter tray? Do you think I'd need to go larger?
-I was thinking of putting some sturdy plants in the enclosure, has anyone had any experience with how destructive they can be?
You really need more width for Varanus acanthurus. I know minimal sizes vary depending on the source. But i think it's a basic necessity that the animal is able to stretch completely in every direction from the centre if the enclosure. So you'll need atleast 70 cm of width. If this isn't possible, I’d suggest looking into another species. Varanus storri for example. They require similar care as V. acanthurus, but only grow half their size.

Live plants are possible, I'd suggest looking into some succulent species. They (can) periodically produce very beautiful flowers and vary greatly in appearance.

Heating/Lighting:
-Basking area will have a ceramic heating bulb on 24/7 (was thinking 150W or is it suggested to go a higher wattage), then I was thinking of having either a mercury vapor bulb on the basking area as well
-General heating will be done by either some large infrared bulbs or a small space heater. I'm leaning on the space heater option for this.
-UV light, I'm thinking a 10% tube with reflector. Now I'm either thinking either the 30" or 36"
Depending on the night temperatures, night time heating isn't required. I'd rather use that spot to create another basking spot with a slightly different temperature. This gives the animal more option to bask and it's recommend to have a basking spot for each animal in the enclosure if you buy a pair.

Feeding:
-I was thinking of having a mixture of food being fed to him. Standard gutloading and dusting obviously.
-Dubias and Locusts for the main staple, however was thinking of having treats like egg but other suggestions are welcome.

If you have any comments please don't be quiet :whistling2:
Cheers,
TM
If you have the option: find some wild insects. But do be careful where you catch them. Quall eggs are great fun to watch. Microwaved chicken egg is also often taken. Beetle larvae from fruit beetles or morio beetles are also fine to feed once every while.

Also great fun: 'pin' locust. They don’t have the tendency to hide and a small 'swarm' inside in an enclosure will trigger somewhat of a feeding frenzy, just be sure you don't go to small.

Woodlice (either a tropical or native species) are also interesting, since they often need to be dug op from underneath rocks/logs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You really need more width for Varanus acanthurus. I know minimal sizes vary depending on the source. But i think it's a basic necessity that the animal is able to stretch completely in every direction from the centre if the enclosure. So you'll need atleast 70 cm of width. If this isn't possible, I’d suggest looking into another species. Varanus storri for example. They require similar care as V. acanthurus, but only grow half their size. I've remeasured and it is possible for me to extend up to 80cm width, so defo going to extend the size.

Live plants are possible, I'd suggest looking into some succulent species. They (can) periodically produce very beautiful flowers and vary greatly in appearance. Hmmm that is a possible idea, might see if I can get a cheap and strong one to start with and see how it goes!

Depending on the night temperatures, night time heating isn't required. I'd rather use that spot to create another basking spot with a slightly different temperature. This gives the animal more option to bask and it's recommend to have a basking spot for each animal in the enclosure if you buy a pair. I was only thinking about having the one individual anyway, strong believer in not mixing animals unless you have ample space to separate and isn't that easy to do with just one vivarium.

If you have the option: find some wild insects. But do be careful where you catch them. Quall eggs are great fun to watch. Microwaved chicken egg is also often taken. Beetle larvae from fruit beetles or morio beetles are also fine to feed once every while. Sadly due to my location don't have the option for wild insects. However quail eggs might be tempting and I'll just see what he likes from what I can get.

Also great fun: 'pin' locust. They don’t have the tendency to hide and a small 'swarm' inside in an enclosure will trigger somewhat of a feeding frenzy, just be sure you don't go to small. Sorry to be dumb, what do you mean by pin them? And do you mean the locust feeding frenzy or the ackie?

Woodlice (either a tropical or native species) are also interesting, since they often need to be dug op from underneath rocks/logs. I'll be adding a bio-active substrate so I'll just add plenty of woodlice then!
Added my responses in the quote! Thanks for the help!
TM
 

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Sorry to be dumb, what do you mean by pin them? And do you mean the locust feeding frenzy or the ackie?
TM
It's my fault, I didn't word it properly. What i mean with 'pin' locust are the very young locust. Recently hatched crickets are also called 'pinhead' crickets, I was (very poorly) referencing to that.

I meant in you ackie, they have a tendency to jump around very quickly which triggers hunting behaviour in the monitor. Since they are small, my animals usually swallow them quickly and chase after the next one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's my fault, I didn't word it properly. What i mean with 'pin' locust are the very young locust. Recently hatched crickets are also called 'pinhead' crickets, I was (very poorly) referencing to that.

I meant in you ackie, they have a tendency to jump around very quickly which triggers hunting behaviour in the monitor. Since they are small, my animals usually swallow them quickly and chase after the next one.
No worries, makes sense now then! And definitely sounds interesting, I might experiment with different sizes to see what reactions I get then.
Cheers,
TM
 
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