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How are uro's to keep?

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hey 3 quick questions....


what is the easiest uro to keep?
what kind of set up do they require?
are they quite cheep to keep?
 

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my friend has 2 oscillated uros, and they just need a good warm desert set up and to be honest she loves them, my other friend who has some from the same batch loves his too...veggie so no live food needed!
 

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The requirements vary from species to species - from a 3' viv for one of the smaller species, up to a 6-8' viv for a large Egyptian.

Given the temperatures they require, they can be very challenging to initially set up (a larger cage will make the gradient far easier to maintain!)

Once set up they're pretty easy to keep, although being primarily vegetarian (certainly not 100% vegetarian though), they do need a good variety of greens, as the bulk of their nutrition comes from greens. This means that - unless you're a big veggie fan yourself or are able to grow your own greens - you'll probably be wasting a lot of greens each week if you only have one or two uros. To get the variety you'll need to buy several packs of greens per week, and a uro will only eat a small amount of each pack. That's possibly the most challenging thing about them.
 

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I have 2 occelated uros and find them great to keep, as Hades stated each Uro has its own set up & they do vary, depends what Uro you are after. Most cannot be housed together unless breeding. I house my 2 together as they have been together for as long as I can remember.
 

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I've had mine for about 6-8 months and after doing almost a solid year of research i planned to spend a week setting up before picking up the uro separately (i reserved him the same day, originally thought the shop had none in, but he was hiding under a log in an unlabelled tank).

Spent a few hours setting up the tank, using chunks of treated (read hammered to pieces) and cleaned paving slabs and the rocky areas were all underpinned on complete slabs so he can't dig under and injure himself, some formed caves so he had hides in the other areas of the viv. I used calci-sand for my first setup. I also grabbed a wide flattish piece of cork bark for his cold hide and a long piece to span from the cold end to his basking spot to give him areas of varying temperature to bask. He also has a nice piece of welsh beach slate as his basking rock, slate is available from other places than welsh beaches though and i'd recommend at least one piece as it gets nice and hot for his belly. Also a decent length uv tube (10-12%) placed down the back wall far as close to the floor as you can without him being able to reach it is a must.

Initially i used a heatmat for night temps, which is barely needed and just pulses 30 mins every 90 minutes to bump temps to the low 23*Cish now it's cold and the central heating isn't managing it. I used an exo-terra reflector holder on a sturdy hook fitting and a 150W bulb for the basking spot, then i set this up on timers to get the temps (i've since changed to a stat and 60W bulb, as the lower wattage still maintains the right heat, just takes a little longer to warm up in the mornings)

Foodwise mine takes romaine as his main meal (about 50%), i've tried other things but he doesn't seem to eat them in healthy sized quantities. Mixed in with this is one or more of: cress, grated carrot, grated/cubed butternut squash and any salad ingredients we use during the week anyway as well as a few dry lentils :p Come spring i intend to get some curly endive and dandelion seeds and grow these as a staple to replace the romaine, our garden doesn't produce enough natural dandelion and i don't trust them enough to feed in large quantities. He's also hand fed mealies on weekends a few times to tame him down, but he wouldn't even eat them off the floor the first few months. He has calcium dusted on salad during the week and nutrobal on the salad AND mealies (which are separated from the main tub and fed on progrub and veg for their last week of life :p) on weekends.

If you're going to get a uro (mines a geyri btw) learn from a few of my mistakes-
1) don't use calci-sand, geyri's at least are messy eaters and their food gets covered in it, i would highly recommend millet for any uro that's not a baby, mine loves it, it doesn't conduct the heat from the hot end to cold end like sand so it's better suited to smaller vivs (4') and occasionally i catch him snacking out on the seeds that have made it onto rocks. Might be unrelated but he's a lot more active since i put it in, and it comes in two main colours, red or white (i got mine from Red Millet (verse-laga) 25k by Albert E James And Son Ltd - Amazing Animal Accessories - Online UK and picked the colour to match his just in case he gained any confidence from it) Also it's 100% dust free, which was a massive problem with the calci-sand.
2) limit his hides, i found giving him too many places to hide meant he just found one that was about right and sat in there virtually all day. he now has a rock hide that's only just big enough for him but a bit tall to let the heat in at the hot end and a bark hide in the cold end over the heat mat, this means he's had to get used to the world outside his tank rather than hiding away all the time
3) get a stat, the dimming ones are £60 but well worth it for the lizard. pop a seperate temp probe in each end of the viv and tune it using these. set the temps up and adjust for a few days (the items in the viv warm up and change the temp after a few days i found, but that was with a timer plug controlling the heat)

To be honest i've found looking after my rusty a lot easier than it was made out in the books i have and the pages i read. the hardest thing was initially putting him in the viv and leaving him too it for a few weeks.

As for easiest to keep i've only got one but from my research i found that all the uro's are pretty similar in requirement to each other, except for egypticus which gets massive so needs more room (or should that be A room). Mali's are apparently more handleable than the others though, and ussually cheaper.

And for cost i think my whole setup would cost about £300 plus the lizard itself, allthough i got my paving slabs for helping my old man build one and my slate from a teambuilding course. However it should be noted that most lizards you put in a similar size viv (4'x2'x2') are going to need all the same gear anyway, including beardies as they all need a heat and uv source, night heat in winter unless you have a warm house, and greens/insects for food.

Sorry this has been such a long post but i've had a pretty boring day so far so it's easy to get engrossed writing :p

EDIT:- Setup pics
Initial setup

Current setup (missing an extra piece of wood which went back in)
 

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I've had mine for about 6-8 months and after doing almost a solid year of research i planned to spend a week setting up before picking up the uro separately (i reserved him the same day, originally thought the shop had none in, but he was hiding under a log in an unlabelled tank).

Spent a few hours setting up the tank, using chunks of treated (read hammered to pieces) and cleaned paving slabs and the rocky areas were all underpinned on complete slabs so he can't dig under and injure himself, some formed caves so he had hides in the other areas of the viv. I used calci-sand for my first setup. I also grabbed a wide flattish piece of cork bark for his cold hide and a long piece to span from the cold end to his basking spot to give him areas of varying temperature to bask. He also has a nice piece of welsh beach slate as his basking rock, slate is available from other places than welsh beaches though and i'd recommend at least one piece as it gets nice and hot for his belly. Also a decent length uv tube (10-12%) placed down the back wall far as close to the floor as you can without him being able to reach it is a must.

Initially i used a heatmat for night temps, which is barely needed and just pulses 30 mins every 90 minutes to bump temps to the low 23*Cish now it's cold and the central heating isn't managing it. I used an exo-terra reflector holder on a sturdy hook fitting and a 150W bulb for the basking spot, then i set this up on timers to get the temps (i've since changed to a stat and 60W bulb, as the lower wattage still maintains the right heat, just takes a little longer to warm up in the mornings)

Foodwise mine takes romaine as his main meal (about 50%), i've tried other things but he doesn't seem to eat them in healthy sized quantities. Mixed in with this is one or more of: cress, grated carrot, grated/cubed butternut squash and any salad ingredients we use during the week anyway as well as a few dry lentils :p Come spring i intend to get some curly endive and dandelion seeds and grow these as a staple to replace the romaine, our garden doesn't produce enough natural dandelion and i don't trust them enough to feed in large quantities. He's also hand fed mealies on weekends a few times to tame him down, but he wouldn't even eat them off the floor the first few months. He has calcium dusted on salad during the week and nutrobal on the salad AND mealies (which are separated from the main tub and fed on progrub and veg for their last week of life :p) on weekends.

If you're going to get a uro (mines a geyri btw) learn from a few of my mistakes-
1) don't use calci-sand, geyri's at least are messy eaters and their food gets covered in it, i would highly recommend millet for any uro that's not a baby, mine loves it, it doesn't conduct the heat from the hot end to cold end like sand so it's better suited to smaller vivs (4') and occasionally i catch him snacking out on the seeds that have made it onto rocks. Might be unrelated but he's a lot more active since i put it in, and it comes in two main colours, red or white (i got mine from Red Millet (verse-laga) 25k by Albert E James And Son Ltd - Amazing Animal Accessories - Online UK and picked the colour to match his just in case he gained any confidence from it) Also it's 100% dust free, which was a massive problem with the calci-sand.
2) limit his hides, i found giving him too many places to hide meant he just found one that was about right and sat in there virtually all day. he now has a rock hide that's only just big enough for him but a bit tall to let the heat in at the hot end and a bark hide in the cold end over the heat mat, this means he's had to get used to the world outside his tank rather than hiding away all the time
3) get a stat, the dimming ones are £60 but well worth it for the lizard. pop a seperate temp probe in each end of the viv and tune it using these. set the temps up and adjust for a few days (the items in the viv warm up and change the temp after a few days i found, but that was with a timer plug controlling the heat)

To be honest i've found looking after my rusty a lot easier than it was made out in the books i have and the pages i read. the hardest thing was initially putting him in the viv and leaving him too it for a few weeks.

As for easiest to keep i've only got one but from my research i found that all the uro's are pretty similar in requirement to each other, except for egypticus which gets massive so needs more room (or should that be A room). Mali's are apparently more handleable than the others though, and ussually cheaper.

And for cost i think my whole setup would cost about £300 plus the lizard itself, allthough i got my paving slabs for helping my old man build one and my slate from a teambuilding course. However it should be noted that most lizards you put in a similar size viv (4'x2'x2') are going to need all the same gear anyway, including beardies as they all need a heat and uv source, night heat in winter unless you have a warm house, and greens/insects for food.

Sorry this has been such a long post but i've had a pretty boring day so far so it's easy to get engrossed writing :p

EDIT:- Setup pics
Initial setup

Current setup (missing an extra piece of wood which went back in)
The millet looks good, don't you think it's a butt unhygenic letting him eat the stuff he goes to the toilet on?
We currently use beech chips, they're pretty cheap, look alright and they're too big to be eaten. The only problem is we can't sift poo out of it and our uromastyx does it LOADS!

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
 

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I've found with mine most of the time he just goes to the toilet on the bark (which to be honest is probably more of a pain to clean). I don't think it's too bad as he eats surprisingly little millet (which is why i keep birdseed and lentils available in the dry pot at the end) and it clumps well around any poop he does so anything touched before it dries out comes out with the poop.

The colour is slightly harder to detect poop on, i may well try the white millet next time or a 50/50 mix of the two.

The first set up did have a UV tube as well btw, i just had it located too far up.
 

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uros

hi

i currently have a geyri (red phase) and a mali i have also owned an ocelated the biggest thing with uros is heat and uv unless you have already got the equipment it can be expensive initially but once you have its home they are so easy to look after.

a few tips

i found the ocelated a bit sensitive but could have been that they were wild caught

mali is for me the easiest to look after thought the geyris are nicer colors

heat heat heat like the hotter the better down one end of the viv and cooler the other they definately prefer extreme temperatures

mine are in a 5 foot by 2 foot viv and i would say no smaller than 3 foot long firstly as they like the room and secondly as it is easier to maintain seperate temperatures at either ends

now food ignore all the myths about loads of green stuff and think in terms of where they live naturally a uro will rarely come across green stuff and i have had fantastic results from this rule i was told by an expert feed mainly dried stuff as a staple diet and feed green stuff once a week maximum as this is there just to maintain moisture for them and if fed too much can cause internal issues rotting and bad guts --- my dried food mix is as follows bird seed, dried peas, split lentils, etc etc and once a week or maybe longer i give them pak choy/bok choy and some dandilion leaves thats basically it and they are thriving and are much happier that when i fed them loads of greenstuff.

all the above is just my experience and not set in stone so dont give me any stick if you dont agree with anything i am only trying to help
 
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