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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For years I owned an adult female green iguana. I was young and likely not taking care of her to her fullest needs, she however lived to be 13 years old and around 3 feet before her passing.

I now own 2 bearded dragons, 1 bosc monitor, 1 uromastyx, and 1 armadillo.

I know enough to care for them but am always looking for more information whatever I am able to get to provide them a more enjoyable and healthy living.

This guy is my male bearded, I think he is a central but I could be wrong and the local gentlemen that I purchased him from didnt know much about it or him beyond saying that he only eats leafy greens.



He is very friendly and relaxed, he doesnt squirm much during transfer from his cage to being handled, hasnt bit anyone and loves to lay around.

I have noticed he has been gaining what seems to me is a rather substantial amount of weight.



He has all of his toes still, he does have a bit of a scar on his back.



He is also missing the end of his tail.



<c.>
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is his flat mate. My female bearded Illia which I believe like the Aeros is a central bearded I am however by no means an expert and could very well be wrong.



She has laid two clutches of infertile eggs so far in her life after mating with Aeros, which I theorize perhaps is too young to fertilize them but Im not sure. She is missing two of her back toes however has no scaring and an intact tail. When she was purchased I was informed that she is to eat only crickets. 2-4 per day.



This is the enclosure that they share. which is 30"w x 18.4"d x 25"t and an avg depth of 2" white repti sand. They have a black spectrum 100w nightlight to help keep them warm combined with 2 100w uvb bulbs around 10" from their basking spot with a few nets to climb, a hide and their food trays. The basking temp sits around 100f-110f. Aeros eats around 5 crickets per day and a few superworms every few days with occasional spring mix greens. The Illia gets the same with the addition of 1-2 pinky mice each week. Her eating habits have increased after the two clutches that she has dropped she seems to constantly be hungry and much thinner than she was when she first came home with me. They get a warm bath roughly every 3 weeks where they get brushed down with a soft bristle tooth brush and then air-dried before returning to their home.

Illia is 17.5" Long, 10.25 ounces.
Aeros is 14.5" long and 12.25 ounces.

I have had luck feeding them dubia roaches in the past but the local shop does not stock them.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Next we are going to meet my uromastyx Nao. I have yet to properly identify what breed of uromastyx he is and again the pet store owner didnt know much about him including his breed claiming he is 'just a yellow uromastyx'. Instructed to feed him as well only greens or colored peppers.



I worry that he is too thin and began to give him some meal worms and occasional superworms with his greens. He has seemed to take quite a linking to them more so than the veggies however I am sure to give the greens to him none the less. He does also enjoy chasing down crickets on occasion and what i hear is strange will also drink from standing water in big gulps tipping his head back to swallow. His substrate is also a white sand as the beardies with a rather large hide for him to retreat to.



He has a few scars as well, prior ownership that I know little about. He is a pretty happy lizard and very much enjoys his monthly bath at a solid 120 degrees (which I allow him to get in rather than place him into) where he will swim around and sit in the water for quite a long time before excitedly hopping out and preparing to run around the room.



I am not very versed at sexing these reptiles and sadly neither does the store that is vending them.



Nao is 11" long and 3.25 ounces. He has a single 100w uvb bulb and a non-adjustable heat rock. his basking light is around 15" away from where he rests. I have a very hard time getting his basking location above 90f which I understand is roughly 30 degrees less than what it should be. His enclosure is 12.5"d x 30.25"w x 18.5"t. He also has a black spectrum 100w bulb for the night time.



________________________________________________________________________________

This little one is Vemcin, a Bosc (Savannah) Monitor.



He has been an interesting ride so far. (I am sexing these based on just what the store owner had told me so feel free to correct!) His diet instructions is worms, crickets, and mice. I felt that he is too small for mice and super worms and have stuck with crickets as he seems to very much enjoy the hunting and killing of them where as the worms he mostly ignores.

Vemcin is 9" long and weighs in at .75 ounces. His feeding has been around 2 medium crickets per day.

He has started his first shed not but a few weeks ago and has made it this far. I have tried to give him some baths on occasion to help however he seems less than impressed with the idea however will on his own accord get into his water 'pool' to swim around. I try to keep the humidity in here around 60% by misting twice per day. He also has a 100w uvb bulb that is 12" away from his peak basking height. He has a garden soil and jungle bark substrate mix. He has a few hides in his cage as he seems to have a rather ant-social personality.



_____________________________________________________________________________

Lastly is Haste, what I am informed is an armadillo lizard however a part of me does question this.

Haste is also eating 1-2 medium crickets per day however his story has a bit of a sadness to it. Tonight is the first time in the 4 months that I have had him that he has let me touch him. I frequent the pet store in my town and had been checking out another 'armadillo' for some time during the last month of my consideration of this pet I had noticed a new cage just like the one that he was in appear right next to his but it seemed to be empty.

The day came that I decided to bring him home! The store owner opened up the 'empty' cage next to his and began taking out the big stack of environment extras, fish tank stuff, logs, hides, bowls and plants. It was during this exodus of things he discovered that he had ANOTHER armadillo lizard in this tank.. By his shock and surprise and my knowing how often I had been there I knew that this poor creature hadnt eaten in at least a month, had no water, and was provided no light. The lizard I had been viewing was no longer my focus. This survivor if you will was coming home with me that very day.





I have given him lots of options to hide in his new home to try and help keep him comfortable. He is given 1-2 medium crickets per day, fresh water and a 50w uvb bulb and a humidity of 30-50% with a garden soil and jungle bark substrate mix.

.





All in all here what I am looking for is just general tips, advice, tricks, fixes, information, everything and anything I can find out to do better for them and correct any wrongs that I am doing. The information that I get local seems to be a bit skewed in my own opinion after spending many hours reading about these fine creatures online. One thing I have noticed in my readings is everyone has a completely different idea of where what and how to care for them, that being said I am looking to learn all that I can!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is his flat mate. My female bearded Illia which I believe like the Aeros is a central bearded I am however by no means an expert and could very well be wrong.



She has laid two clutches of infertile eggs so far in her life after mating with Aeros, which I theorize perhaps is too young to fertilize them but Im not sure. She is missing two of her back toes however has no scaring and an intact tail. When she was purchased I was informed that she is to eat only crickets. 2-4 per day.



This is the enclosure that they share. which is 30"w x 18.4"d x 25"t and an avg depth of 2" white repti sand. They have a black spectrum 100w nightlight to help keep them warm combined with 2 100w uvb bulbs around 10" from their basking spot with a few nets to climb, a hide and their food trays. The basking temp sits around 100f-110f. Aeros eats around 5 crickets per day and a few superworms every few days with occasional spring mix greens. The Illia gets the same with the addition of 1-2 pinky mice each week. Her eating habits have increased after the two clutches that she has dropped she seems to constantly be hungry and much thinner than she was when she first came home with me. They get a warm bath roughly every 3 weeks where they get brushed down with a soft bristle tooth brush and then air-dried before returning to their home.

Illia is 17.5" Long, 10.25 ounces.
Aeros is 14.5" long and 12.25 ounces.

I have had luck feeding them dubia roaches in the past but the local shop does not stock them.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Next we are going to meet my uromastyx Nao. I have yet to properly identify what breed of uromastyx he is and again the pet store owner didnt know much about him including his breed claiming he is 'just a yellow uromastyx'. Instructed to feed him as well only greens or colored peppers.



I worry that he is too thin and began to give him some meal worms and occasional superworms with his greens. He has seemed to take quite a linking to them more so than the veggies however I am sure to give the greens to him none the less. He does also enjoy chasing down crickets on occasion and what i hear is strange will also drink from standing water in big gulps tipping his head back to swallow. His substrate is also a white sand as the beardies with a rather large hide for him to retreat to.



He has a few scars as well, prior ownership that I know little about. He is a pretty happy lizard and very much enjoys his monthly bath at a solid 120 degrees (which I allow him to get in rather than place him into) where he will swim around and sit in the water for quite a long time before excitedly hopping out and preparing to run around the room.



I am not very versed at sexing these reptiles and sadly neither does the store that is vending them.



Nao is 11" long and 3.25 ounces. He has a single 100w uvb bulb and a non-adjustable heat rock. his basking light is around 15" away from where he rests. I have a very hard time getting his basking location above 90f which I understand is roughly 30 degrees less than what it should be. His enclosure is 12.5"d x 30.25"w x 18.5"t. He also has a black spectrum 100w bulb for the night time.



________________________________________________________________________________

This little one is Vemcin, a Bosc (Savannah) Monitor.



He has been an interesting ride so far. (I am sexing these based on just what the store owner had told me so feel free to correct!) His diet instructions is worms, crickets, and mice. I felt that he is too small for mice and super worms and have stuck with crickets as he seems to very much enjoy the hunting and killing of them where as the worms he mostly ignores.

Vemcin is 9" long and weighs in at .75 ounces. His feeding has been around 2 medium crickets per day.

He has started his first shed not but a few weeks ago and has made it this far. I have tried to give him some baths on occasion to help however he seems less than impressed with the idea however will on his own accord get into his water 'pool' to swim around. I try to keep the humidity in here around 60% by misting twice per day. He also has a 100w uvb bulb that is 12" away from his peak basking height. He has a garden soil and jungle bark substrate mix. He has a few hides in his cage as he seems to have a rather ant-social personality.



_____________________________________________________________________________

Lastly is Haste, what I am informed is an armadillo lizard however a part of me does question this.

Haste is also eating 1-2 medium crickets per day however his story has a bit of a sadness to it. Tonight is the first time in the 4 months that I have had him that he has let me touch him. I frequent the pet store in my town and had been checking out another 'armadillo' for some time during the last month of my consideration of this pet I had noticed a new cage just like the one that he was in appear right next to his but it seemed to be empty.

The day came that I decided to bring him home! The store owner opened up the 'empty' cage next to his and began taking out the big stack of environment extras, fish tank stuff, logs, hides, bowls and plants. It was during this exodus of things he discovered that he had ANOTHER armadillo lizard in this tank.. By his shock and surprise and my knowing how often I had been there I knew that this poor creature hadnt eaten in at least a month, had no water, and was provided no light. The lizard I had been viewing was no longer my focus. This survivor if you will was coming home with me that very day.





I have given him lots of options to hide in his new home to try and help keep him comfortable. He is given 1-2 medium crickets per day, fresh water and a 50w uvb bulb and a humidity of 30-50% with a garden soil and jungle bark substrate mix.

.





All in all here what I am looking for is just general tips, advice, tricks, fixes, information, everything and anything I can find out to do better for them and correct any wrongs that I am doing. The information that I get local seems to be a bit skewed in my own opinion after spending many hours reading about these fine creatures online. One thing I have noticed in my readings is everyone has a completely different idea of where what and how to care for them, that being said I am looking to learn all that I can!
 

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Thank you for the run down and being willing to seek advice. Looks like you have started doing some research already, and Im glad you are looking to increase your knowledge. I think we can help.

I think the one that needs the most work is going to be your bosc. Glad to see that you have tried to keep the humidity up, but you are going to want to change at least a few of those parameters. Take a look at this care sheet for starters:
http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forums/lizards/841282-boscs-savannah-monitor-care-sheet.html

And then continue with this website also:
Correct Savannah Monitor Care

For your uro, you definitely want to change that basking site to get the temperatures higher. That will affect the immune system, digestive system, and many others, so its very important to adjust your lighting accordingly. Also, its pretty important to stop feeding the insects and work the animal over to eating just plant matter. It may take time, especially if the animal is used to getting insects, but they are really not adapted to handling that kind of fat and protein intake, and it will have a negative impact over time. Dont worry, it wont starve itself to death if you are offering a good mix of vegetables. Go for things like dandelion greens, endive, chicory (escarole), arugula (rocket), collard greens (spring greens), acorn squash, carrots, peppers, etc. Give a good variety of colours, with a majority of greens. This same diet can be given to your bearded dragons.

With the dragons, you also want to add in some of the live foods. Crickets, roaches, earthworms, supers, silkworms, locusts, calciworms, etc are all good to add to the mix. While I understand you are trying to get the female back to a healthy weight, Id recommend feeding fuzzies instead of pinkies. It may require cutting them in half (freeze them first and its pretty easy to do then), but that way you are getting a better calcium ratio. Be prepared to cut them back/out of the diet once the female is back to a healthy weight. She looks a little dehydrated too, so definitely make sure she has access to greens/veg every day. Also, when you bathe them, take a spray bottle and mist their faces with a fine mist. This should form droplets on their face and hopefully get them drinking as a result.

With all these animals, variety is key. The more variety you offer, the less likely it is to have dietary issues arise. If you are feeding just one or two kinds of insects or vegetables, then you may start to see the effects of nutritional deficiencies. It takes time for these things to arise, but once they do become visible it is usually quite far along and very dangerous.

When you say 50 and 100 watt UVB lights, which ones/brand specifically are you using? Its usually easier to add a halogen flood light next to these bulbs for the basking spot. Often the UVB bulbs do not produce enough heat for basking spots, especially at the distances you have some of them. Depending on the brand, they also are not great at producing UVB, especially through screen, so its important to know which brand they are.
 

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Lastly is Haste, what I am informed is an armadillo lizard however a part of me does question this.
You're right, this is most likely Cordylus tropidosternum. Also known as a Tropical girdled lizard. The lizard most often referred too as Armadillo lizard is Ouroborus cataphractus, but these look quite different:



Cordylus tropidosternum is a bit more of a climber (at least so I've been told) and like it a bit more humid. I've talked to a researcher once who studied this species in the wild. According to him they take shelter in hollow trees and wedge themselves in the bark. You can find a decent caresheet here: Cordylus tropidosternum

A really strong and hardy species, but tend to be a bit flighty.
 

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What substrate does your Bosc have? And what are the temperatures in his viv? I won't start the typical monitor UV debate, but I would suggest you read up about the different opinions on it. Do you have any more pictures? He looks kinda... wrong in that one.

Your Uro looks a bit underweight to me, but I'm not a Uromastyx expert. As Jarich says above, raising the temperature would be good. This will also stimulate the appetite a bit and help you get his weight up without resorting to feeding high-fat foods for quick weight gain, which will always be an error (although a tempting one for an owner!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It seems that I have some work to get started on! I posted this on a few other forums and got some information there as well. Time to get to work with equipment, lighting, enclosures and diet it seems! Do you have a recommended bulb type? I attempted to google the one that I was using previously to find the name by the box but have had little luck, it was a yellow box uvb/uva/heat i feel like it was something like solar-brite or along those lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The bosc is in a mix of soil and jungle bark.

I had a few more pictures, didnt realize that they did not load.




His basking temps around around 80 degrees much lower than they should be, one of the things im having a hard time getting sorted out.
 

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Have to agree your uro does look underweight. They should have nice rounded tummies. You definately need to get those temps up to at least 120-130f. I have two light fittings in my uro vivs 1 takes a 100 watt bulb and the other either a 40 watt or a 60 watt this ensures temps get to the required heat. You could also buy just one bulb that is say 150 watts that would do the job too but must be statted to prevent overheating. Wooden vivs are best for these types of lizards as they keep the heat in better. The night light you have is the same wattage as your day time light so does that mean night time temps are the same as during the day? They should really have a night time drop as this is more natural for them. Temps in the wild would not be as high as during the day. And as said cut out the insects their organs cannot cope with animal/insect protien. None of my uros drink water because they eat well and get plenty of moisture from their food. As yours appears underweight and dehydrated this may be why he drinks the way he does. Judging by the pores and shape of head I would say the sex is male.
 

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You are already getting good advice and The links will be useful no doubt, so I wont add any more than to say., your male beardie is a stunner :)
 

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cant offer much advise on the others but your uro is a male saharan/geyri. to be able to get the correct temperature gradient you are really gonna need a longer tank, general size is 4'x2'x2'. i dont offer mine any kind of nighttime heating/light though the room rarely drops lower than 65f. i use arcadia 12% HO t5 bulbs in all my vivs for my uros and my desert iggies. they are a bit more expensive to buy but well worth the outlay. for basking i just use household bulbs but not spot bulbs they need to be floods or they concentrate the heat in one spot. in my uro vivs iv got two bulbs for heat which create an area of even temperature that covers the entire body of the uro.

heres a picture of the set up i have for my ornate pair


they have plenty of hiding options and there are spots that only the female can fit in if she wants away from the male. if you havnt already got one id suggest an infra-red thermometer, they can be gotten for quite cheap and it will help you get exact basking temps for all your animals. id also suggest weighing them all and if you havnt done faecal tests on them i would get one done.

diet wise as has been said uros arent built to eat insects and it will dramatically shorten his lifespan. most of them will take your hand off for dandelion/hibiscus and nasturtium flowers, bee pollen is another firm favourite with most and you may be able to sprinkle it on the greens to get him to eat them. try not to bath him too much as uros arent made for water and geyri are known for aspirating water but if he is a drinker then you could leave him a small bowl of water in his viv till hes back to full health.

hope thats some help to you
 

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When you say your bosc eats 2 medium crickets a day, is that all you offer or all he/she will take? Just doesnt seem alot, mine were polishing off at least a tub a day plus morio worms and pinkies at the size yours is. Its impossible to sex a bosc at the size/age yours is unkess its probed, but i wouldnt recommend having this done as it can cause irreparable damage.

your dragons are in to small a viv for two of them, the recommended minimum for one adult beardie is 4x2x2. And they really are better off seperatly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am working on getting them all sorted straight away. I am working on the Bosc' viv first as there is still a lot of growing to do there, the others are adults already and are doing well enough that i figured a few weeks wouldnt be as big of a problem as this entire endeavor is quite an undertaking. He (suppose I will stick with that until I know better) doesnt ever seem to eat all that much, just 2-3 medium crickets per day. I did offer him a super worm, 2 crickets and 4 meal worms today he ate the super worm and left the rest.
 

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80f basking temps is far far faaar to low for a bosc/Sav, it should be 135f or higher...its no wonder he isn't eating properly, you really need to sort this now, you are killing him, no two ways about it i'm afraid!

(kidney failure is very common in Savs kept with basking temps below 130f)

he will outgrow that tank within 2 months with proper basking temps and feeding schedule

do you have some GU10 light fittings? for a tempory measure for a week or two while you setup a much larger enclosure (8ft), you could use 2 or 3 GU10 halogen flood lamps (very important they are flood, not spot) to create the required basking temps on a log in that tank - this is vital, he cannot digest food at 80f, he will become impacted very quickly, kidney failure and gout wont be far behind - but this tempory measure will only be suitable for max 4-6 weeks, he needs a proper enclosure, correct basking temps are more important than UV at the moment, dust his food a few times a week with D3 until you have an enclosure which can handle a UV lamp like that alongside a bank of E27 halogen floods for basking

I suggest GU10's for that tank because they are smaller, and you can create a basking area of the right temp, without overheating the enclosure - but its only a very tempory fix to deal with the immediate need for proper temps, he will outgrow it within a few weeks
 

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also, how are you measuring the temp? is that the temp of the surface of the wood under the light measured with a digital thermometer?

that's what you need to be measuring - raising the piece of wood up is another option, an inch or two can help, but I wouldn't do it with a UV lamp personally, I would switch it out for a 40-60W halogen flood lamp (flood, not spot), and then lift the piece of wood up just a few inches, see if you can get the wood temp upto 130-135f asap
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am actually as we speak in the process of building his new home. 8x4x4. I am sealing wood with all-natural sealant so it holds up to the test of time/heat/humidity. I have foiled the top of his enclosure to help keep the humidity up. I was using an analogue thermo to check his temps previously, however I now have an ir temp gun the basking area is actually between 107-110. The only way I could work faster at this is a genie. I am spending a lot of time waiting on wood to dry, I have the room im working in running a dehumidifier with fans and 75 degrees!

I never realized that I was doing so much wrong with this I am racing to fix my errors and learn as much as I am able to so I can go and re-educate the **** who sold him to me with such terrible information. I stayed there and asked him questions so long that he started responding with just 1 word answers on several occasions.

According to him, the set up that he has now should be good for at least a year with a single light, no information about humidity and a cricket only diet. -_-
 

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The sheer amount of Bosc's on the market and their cheap price unfortunately means that a lot of people who have no idea about Monitor husbandry are owning and selling them. Sadly, with all Monitors a large amount of independent research is required to take care of them properly because people assume their care is like a beardie or gecko, only bigger. Monitors are easy to care for if you know what you're doing, but most people just have no clue.

Well done to you for asking for tips and updating your set up. You're doing what's best for the animal and that's absolutely commendable. Don't start beating yourself up that you can't get done things quicker, because you can only do so much. The blame for the errors you've made mostly lies with the person who gave you such terrible advice in the first place.

There are always a huge amount of Bosc's that need rehoming that have a number of health issues. What worries me is the amount you see that need rehoming (a lot, but not as many are up for sale) balanced against the amount for sale in pet stores (almost every herp store seems to have a clutch or two every year) and the amount of people that actually own full grown, healthy savs. I can only assume the majority of Bosc's sold do not survive long enough to need rehoming or become healthy adults. Largely due to poor advice from pet stores and "breeders" who only care about the money, not the animals. The sad fact is that poor care in a young Monitor can have lifelong implications for the Monitor. That doesn't mean you can't have a happy, healthy Monitor after a dodgy start though.

With Ackies becoming such popular pets, hopefully knowledge of Monitor care might increase a bit over the next few years.

I've been reading this forum for a few years now and can definitely say that it is the most comprehensive and accurate source of Monitor care information that I've found. Stick around and your Sav will be thriving in no time!
 

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your dragons are in to small a viv for two of them, the recommended minimum for one adult beardie is 4x2x2. And they really are better off seperatly
Have to agree with this too. Also your female will continue to lay eggs and may become ill though it.

When she was purchased I was informed that she is to eat only crickets. 2-4 per day.
They need more than that depending on individual appetites.
 

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I am actually as we speak in the process of building his new home. 8x4x4. I am sealing wood with all-natural sealant so it holds up to the test of time/heat/humidity. I have foiled the top of his enclosure to help keep the humidity up. I was using an analogue thermo to check his temps previously, however I now have an ir temp gun the basking area is actually between 107-110. The only way I could work faster at this is a genie. I am spending a lot of time waiting on wood to dry, I have the room im working in running a dehumidifier with fans and 75 degrees!

I never realized that I was doing so much wrong with this I am racing to fix my errors and learn as much as I am able to so I can go and re-educate the **** who sold him to me with such terrible information. I stayed there and asked him questions so long that he started responding with just 1 word answers on several occasions.

According to him, the set up that he has now should be good for at least a year with a single light, no information about humidity and a cricket only diet. -_-
110 is a bit better, but still not quite there, 130 is the minimum he needs to avoid some nasty medical complications - have you tried raising the piece of wood up an inch or two? that will probably do the trick for now

you arnt the first person to deal with these issues, when I first got my Sav he was in quite a similar setup on similar advice (i too was told it would take 3 years to reach 2ft long, but it actually only took a little over 9 months! everything I had read online had said the same about the setup too, my Sav would probably be dead now if I hadn't found a few breeders to point out the problems within a few days of getting him!)

once he has the right temps he'll be eating and eating and eating almost nonstop...recommend you get yourself a large Dubia colony, you are going to need it, unless you have a small fortune to spend on crickets and other things lol

have to completely disagree with Debbie on this, they don't eat more depending on their individual appetites, they eat that small amount when something is very wrong...infact Savs are well known for overeating and getting fat, they have insatiable hunger, all of them, not something to worry about for the first 6-9months, coz he will grow an inch a week or more when his setup is right
 

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have to completely disagree with Debbie on this, they don't eat more depending on their individual appetites, they eat that small amount when something is very wrong...infact Savs are well known for overeating and getting fat, they have insatiable hunger, all of them, not something to worry about for the first 6-9months, coz he will grow an inch a week or more when his setup is right
Pretty sure she was talking about beardies though!

Savs will eat vast amounts if you let them, although I did look after a Sav who would only eat locusts, eggs and mince. Wouldn't go near Crickets and very rarely went for mice. He'd keep eating locusts and mealworms forever f you let him. Fussy little bugger!
 
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