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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have recently moved into a new house and I am looking at getting a larger lizard. I have been planning this for a while and based my choice of house on this factor, Now I have pretty much found exactly what I want. I have a loft conversion which is currently my office and around 3 sides of the room there are very large eves which are effectively where you put storage as making the room the same shape as the roof would not be effective. So my plan is to convert one of the eves into a large enclosure, currently there are small sliding doors which lead into the large area but I am going to knock the whole wall through and replace it with large sliders. The overall floor area of the viv will probably be around 11 x 7 feet which sounds like a perfect environment for the kind of species I plan to keep. Here are my current options in order of how much I want them : victory:
-Argentine Black & White Tegu
-Cuban Rock Iguana
-Bosc/Savannah Monitor

I have attempted to keep my choices open but I am looking for a large lizard that is somewhat handleable (I dont want to use the word 'tame') and I have done massive amounts of research on each species but does anyone have any suggestions for this size enclosure? Looking for some interesting species that would be rewarding to keep. Also I plan to be able to open up the sliders and allow the animal to roam the office whilst I am in the room, I have selected my furniture on its ability to not be dangerous to a lizard. One of the only reasons I have been looking at a Green Iguana is because I would place arboreal ledges and basking spots around the room which I feel would be awesome but I dont like iguanas temperament, Anyway if anyone has bothered to read through all of this then well done! you deserve a cookie,
Regards,
-George
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I plan to account for that, There is a central AC system which is really weird for England and it does heat and cooling which Is nice :notworthy: I guess I could link the viv up to that system (or hire someone to) which might be overkill but I think would be worth it, About the supporting walls I have checked and it is just plasterboard which I got dared to test out by punching through it, gladly I was correct :lol2: I have the opportunity to purchase a CB15 Black and White Tegu this week so I think I am going to snatch that up, Which pretty much leaves this thread down to viv building. I got a 48" viv to keep the baby in yesterday so this project wont be rushed. One question, What is the limit to glass sliders in terms of size? at what point would it make sense to just implement doors as the front part of this is likely going to be around 12x5".... anyone have any experience with this?
Regards,
-George
 

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Yeah I plan to account for that, There is a central AC system which is really weird for England and it does heat and cooling which Is nice :notworthy: I guess I could link the viv up to that system (or hire someone to) which might be overkill but I think would be worth it, About the supporting walls I have checked and it is just plasterboard which I got dared to test out by punching through it, gladly I was correct :lol2: I have the opportunity to purchase a CB15 Black and White Tegu this week so I think I am going to snatch that up, Which pretty much leaves this thread down to viv building. I got a 48" viv to keep the baby in yesterday so this project wont be rushed. One question, What is the limit to glass sliders in terms of size? at what point would it make sense to just implement doors as the front part of this is likely going to be around 12x5".... anyone have any experience with this?
Regards,
-George
If I read this correctly the wall you're taking down is the false partition behind which is the triangular wedge beneath the roof running down to the eaves so although it has a large floor area the height reduces quickly with the falling pitch of the roof. Tad confused as you've said the the front doors are going to be around 12x5", I guess you don't really mean 12 foot long x 5 inches high. Assuming 12 foot x 5 foot high that's a pretty large area to fill with glass, assuming say a 6" facia along the bottom & top to fix the runners on then this is still a sizable area, approx 3.7m2 if you use 6mm glass which might be a bit light for something like a tegu then it comes in at around 56kg, 8mm glass 74Kg. I haven't kept agu although a mate of mine did & I'm pretty sure he went for 8mm toughended/tempered glass but I think he did struggle to find runners initially to suit 8mm glass. I mention the weght of the glass as I guess you'll want to be able to lift the panels out for easy access to clean the viv out etc so if you go for 8mm glass i'd suggest maybe 4No panels 1050mm wide which gives a decent panel lap but keeps the weight down to something almost managable, 25kg each, although even this is pretty weighty when you're trying to slotthem back in palce & Mr Tegu is getting in the way. Might be worth thinking about a mixture of fixed glass panels & sliding perspex panels, the latter would be much lighter & cheaper to repalce when they get scratched but probably not as escape proof if pushed against. You could always use a narrower glass panel to keep the weight down but it just means more panel laps.

Good luck whatever you do (hope my ramblings make sense & maybe even help)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Exactly correct, sorry if I worded it a bit difficultly! At the moment there is a thin layer of insulation so I will most likely have to get that boarded up and sealed then start working on wiring etc. Regarding entry I think I am going to split it into 4 sections and have plexiglass doors on hinges (the kind that can be lifted off the hinge directly upwards but not when they are closed) I am going to have to build this sooner then I thought as the Tegu is not the CB15 I expected but a CB14 so she has a good size, too big for a 4ft viv so I have to be quite hasty, I may as well plan for the adult size so does anyone have recommendations regarding lighting? I know some people use arrays of bulbs on a custom fitting to keep large monitors warm but I'm thinking a couple of double domes will suffice with MVB's and then a UV strip for lighting the whole cage. anyone have any suggestions?
Regards
-George
 

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How tall is the planned enclosure? If it is 5ft + tall you can house arboreal/semiarboreal monitor lizards there from Indicus complex for example.

Also, central AC tends to run really dry, I am pretty sure you have measures to counteract this, because most of the large lizards are tropical and require hight humidity.
 

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Would have thought cleaning it out would be a bit of a nightmare too. After all a large lizard, especially a monitor can be extremely smelly.

When I kept royal pythons many years ago I converted my loft & as Stephen said, can get very hot in summer & very cold in the winter. So don't skimp on insulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Insulation will be a priority when building, I don't think it would be suitable for arboreal species as the enclosure is shaped like a wedge following the roof of the house but I have my selection In species now anyway, I have reserved a beautiful female Argentine Black & White Tegu for Emsworth Reptiles and this is her clutch mate,

I am very excited about this :mf_dribble:
Regards,
-George
(Unfortunately the handsome fellow in the picture is not me!!)
 

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I have the opportunity to purchase a CB15 Black and White Tegu this week so I think I am going to snatch that up,
I'm sure you have all your research in order. But please don't rush into this species like this. If you going for a tegu, buy it because you're 100% and not because it so happened to be available. You started the thread off with three choices and only an hour later you've made your decision since one was available to you. Forgive me if my skepticism is unfounded, but you can imagine how this comes across.

Further I'd highly advise to get everything in order at least an week(preferable the adult enclosure too) before buying the animal. To work out all the bugs. Remember you're buying a medium sized carnivore with the potential to hurt you, even it's unlikely to hurt you. It’s really important to have everything in order.

You'll get another chance to buy an tegu, but you'll only get one chance to get it right from the start. I know a professional breeder with a good healthy stock, that provides chipped CB animal with a papers, if availability is a concern too you.

Good luck with the building!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'm sure you have all your research in order. But please don't rush into this species like this. If you going for a tegu, buy it because you're 100% and not because it so happened to be available. You started the thread off with three choices and only an hour later you've made your decision since one was available to you. Forgive me if my skepticism is unfounded, but you can imagine how this comes across.

Further I'd highly advise to get everything in order at least an week(preferable the adult enclosure too) before buying the animal. To work out all the bugs. Remember you're buying a medium sized carnivore with the potential to hurt you, even it's unlikely to hurt you. It***8217;s really important to have everything in order.

You'll get another chance to buy an tegu, but you'll only get one chance to get it right from the start. I know a professional breeder with a good healthy stock, that provides chipped CB animal with a papers, if availability is a concern too you.

Good luck with the building!
Hi, I completely understand your concern and I would honestly much rather have more time for this to be thoroughly planned out, and I would much prefer to get a smaller animal from a professional breeder. Acquiring a Tegu was really my plan from the start but availability was a concern of mine so when I saw one was available I jumped on it a bit impulsively, If you wouldn't mind PM'ing me about the breeder that would be greatly appreciated and I can always give the people I reserved one from a call saying I'm no longer interested but I'm happy to lose my deposit for the well being of the animal, after all it isn't about how fast I can get one!
Thanks,
-George
 

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Whilst I'm not normally a huge fan of petshops, the one previously mentioned is actually pretty great. I got my Ackie there, and he's a very happy, healthy little guy!

With a bit of clever planning you could set that space up so the Tegu uses a large amount of the vertical room as well. You need to ensure any "falls" are short though, otherwise you could have problems.

if I had a space like that, I'd be putting an Indicus complex in there, maybe a Melinus.

I'll re-iterate the earlier point though, for a Tegu you need deep burrowing soil. You might well have the opportunity with the space you have to get some really nice deep burrowing soil or 3 or 4 feet in there. Even if your substrate isn't going to be that deep, 11 x 7 foot of soil deep enough to burrow is going to weigh a huge amount. You will very possibly need to look at reinforcing the floor to avoid an upset tegu and half a garden's worth of soil collapsing on you mid bath! It's never good to get in the bath and get out dirtier than you went in!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha, I'm not too worried about the floor falling through I have crawled around there and the previous owners were storing some really heavy camping equipment in the same space as well, if i were to put a large water area like a bath I would consider it but I don't think there is much to worry about,
Regards,
-George
 

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I'm not even joking when I say a viv that size with burrowable substrate can easily exceed a tonne. Your average housing support at it's weakest point can support about half a tonne. Camping equipment doesn't come close to the kind of weight we're talking about, and I would assume you don't weight anything close to a tonne!

Your soil/sand mix will need to be damp. It will be very dense. Pick up a bucket of damp soil/sand mix and a bucket the same size of just water and you won't notice much of a difference in weight.

I wouldn't dismiss the idea of reinforcing the floor before you've calculated the total weight of your viv build.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I'm still in the planning stage of construction so I will implement some kind of reinforcement but the substrate will not be 4+ft deep, I plan to have it around 1.5ft deep. I haven't made my plan crystal clear so I will do some 3D design of how It will look,
Regards,
-George
 

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I think you may need some advice from a Structural Engineer in view of the weight etc.

When was the house built? Presumably, it is yours so you don't need to be asking any permissions for your plans?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The house was built in the 50's which is reasonably old so I will get someone to check out the structural integrity, and yes I don't need to worry about permission :lol2:
 
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