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Black roughneck monitor


I just bought a black roughneck a few days ago. He's close to a year old and absolutely gorgeous! For the moment I have him in a 55 gallon with cypress mulch and a water tub large enough to submerge in. I'm misting regularly basking temp is close to 120. I'm just open to any advice on how to make my baby settle in to his new home. He's shedding so I've only held him while I was setting up his tank but the only sign of aggression has been the occasional hiss. Thanks for the advice!


They love to climb, provide wood and such. They poop in their water a lot, so make sure you clean that out at least a couple times a day. Don't overfeed with rodents, etc etc.... also, they hiss and fuss but I find they don't usually try to bite. Hold em securely on your arm and let them wrap their tail around your arm and they'll realize you're just a moving tree that provides food. They are very inquisitive and fun little guys.


Thanks for the advice! I got him a stick twice his size to climb on and yeah even if he doesn't poop in his water he fills it with dirt it's like his mission!


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How long do you plan on keeping this monitor in a fish tank? Just curious. Are you prepared to build or purchase an enclosure with minimum dimensions of 8x6x4ft, seeing as these are arboreal monitors that grow to about 5ft? If you had an enclosure that wasn't made of glass and a screen lid on it, you'd find it much easier to maintain humidity without having to mist frequently.

Seeing as these monitors come from rain forests, your humidity should be at a steady 70%, and could go a bit higher with no problems. What are you using to measure humidity? What are you feeding?

How large is the monitor currently and would you mind posting pics of the monitor and its current setup?
You cannot over feed mice when it comes to Roughnecks.
I would recommend everything Tegu Buzz said, but make the height at least 5 feet high. I would also increase the basking temps to at least 130.


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5 Year Member
ditch the cypress mulch and use a chemical free top soil and play sand mix (70% 30% ratio). Rudicollis need it extremely hot and humid. Get it out of the fish tank and into a wood enclosure with no air vents or screens. you want minimal air escape. Realize that all rudicollis are imports so your lizard is probably INCREDIBLY stressed. Don't force handle. Since it IS in a fish tank, cover 3 sides with paper and get plexiglass or something to cover the screen lid. They are mostly arboreal so LOTS of climbing branches and plants to make it more secure in its environment.