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Planning for new monitor

Discussion in 'Monitor Lizard Discussion' started by DerekG4, May 4, 2019.

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For my situation, which species would be best?

  1. Black Throat

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  2. Cape Banded White Throat

    2 vote(s)
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  3. Asian Water Monitor.

    0 vote(s)
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  1. DerekG4

    DerekG4 New Member

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    Hi, lately I’ve been thinking about getting a monitor to keep.

    I’m a little undecided on the actual species but I’m choosing between a cape banded white throat, black throat, or an Asian water monitor. So far I think I’m leaning towards the white throat as it seems to be the smallest of the 3.

    With the 3 species in mind, which of them is easiest to tame?

    I’m planning on getting a baby probably about 3”-6”, how long would I be able to keep it in a 30 gallon before I have to get a bigger tank?

    Once it’s an adult, I plan on making an enclosure in my backyard. The most space I could give it would be about 4 feet wide, 8 feet long and like 3 feet tall. I know they like to burrow, so would it be a good idea to give him about a foot of substrate and have the bottom sealed off with concrete so it wouldn’t be able to dig out? I have to remeasure the area as I measured it a while ago and kinda forgot the exact dimensions I can give it. Does it need anything extra, such as a pool to swim/bathe in or logs for climbing?

    How many times exactly should I feed it? Is there any particular meat or body parts they shouldn’t eat? I know they can eat insects, fish, chicken, turkey, and rodents. Can they eat pork, beef, deer, and other red meats?

    I have experience with other reptiles (geckos, skinks, and snakes) but this would be my first monitor.
  2. RomanPort

    RomanPort Member

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    Hi there.

    First of all, this is a Tegu forum so I'm not sure how much help you'll get here. I wouldn't recommend any of these monitors with only 4'x8'x3'. Asian water monitors, and probably others, can grow to be 6 feet long and they really do need a lot of space. That amount of space won't cut it. I haven't looked into any of these monitors a ton, but I don't think any of them will be sustainable in the space you have. As far as I know, it's beneficial for Asian water monitors to have free access to water. Most of my recommendations here are based off of what I know about Asian water monitors, so correct me if I'm wrong. I'd definitely like to see you do more research before getting one of these guys.
  3. DerekG4

    DerekG4 New Member

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    I measured it again to get an exact dimension now. The biggest I could do is 57” wide, 148” long, and 46” tall or 4.75 ft x 12.33 ft x 3.83 ft

    I think I’m not gonna go with an Asian water monitor. Right now I have eyes on the white throats, I think that might be what I end up getting

    I googled monitor forums and this was the first one that popped up, I had hoped there would be at least a few people that have experience with monitors.

    Another thing I wanted to ask, if anyone here knows, is what’s the differences between cape
    Banded white throats and normal white throats?
  4. RomanPort

    RomanPort Member

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    Alrighty. I'm not super familiar with that specific type of monitor, so I asked a friend of mine with much more experience with these guys for help. That enclosure size is okay for white throats, but they burrow, so he suggests an additional 3+ vertical feet of substrate. The difference between cape banded white throats and normal white throats is just locality. Cape banded white throats will generally be rarer and are considered prettier. They’re also easier to find captive bred (although they are more expensive).

    If you plan on putting the enclosure in your backyard, his suggestion is that you expand your enclosure into the ground and put substrate there. If you do that, just make sure it's sealed because they'll be able to dig out if you don't. Here's a link he provided that may help you more https://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Expert-Care-For-the-White-Throated-Monitor/.

    He also suggested that you not buy from wholesalers such as Underground Reptiles, Snakes at Sunset, Backwater, etc.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  5. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

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    Great advice, Roman.
    RomanPort likes this.
  6. DerekG4

    DerekG4 New Member

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    Thanks, my last question is if it would be fine just to use soil from my yard? 3 feet of substrate would end up being quite a lot, if possible I’d prefer to just use soil.

    I work at a pet store and the wholesaler we get reptiles from is friends with me and let’s me have reptiles for wholesale price. I saw his cape bandeds and most of them looked pretty healthy and active. For $550 (compared to most people selling for $800-$1000) it seemed like a steal. He claims they’re CBB as well.
  7. JoshD

    JoshD New Member

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    I use a mix of organic peat moss (cheap @ Home Depot), wood chips & leaf litter for substrate.
  8. Zyn

    Zyn Well-Known Member

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    Go with a white throat they are the Tegus of the monitor world and the most cold tolerant of the three. Water and black throats are for advanced owners only

    Also are you in Florida or Arizona? Where you live will matter when it comes to keeping outside. Check your local city laws on keeping outside and I’d suggest an indoor something just in case of storms. Also keeping outside on a small amount of land means you’re opening yourself up theft
    RomanPort likes this.
  9. RomanPort

    RomanPort Member

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    Yep, I agree with what Zyn said. I'd recommend an inside enclosure too. You'll need to dig up dirt from your backyard to secure the enclosure anyways, so I would suggest against using your own soil as substrate. Otherwise, they'll be able to very easily dig away.
  10. DerekG4

    DerekG4 New Member

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    I’m in Florida. I think I’ll do the white throat for sure now. Where I live in Florida, not many people like reptiles, let alone a 5-6 foot lizard so I’m not too scared of someone trying to steal it.

    If I’m looking at the right one, I see there’s peat moss at Home Depot for $11.97 that covers 3 cubic feet per bag, if I did the calculations right my enclosure would be about 146 cubic feet, which would lead to about 48 bags, that would be about $574 plus tax on just substrate. I guess if I absolutely have to, I’ll do it, but damn that’s a lot of money for just substrate.

    Right now I kinda have the design down, I’m just not sure how I would make the roof of it. I was thinking wood, but if I’m having it outside, I would assume there’s no need for a UVB or heat bulb. How would I do it, do I do the roof 3/4s wood and the rest mesh so sunlight can hit part of the inside? The rest of the cage would just be half inch mesh with a concrete floor. Another thing I wanted to ask, do these guys have problems rubbing their face on the mesh the way some reptiles rub their face on the glass wall?
  11. DerekG4

    DerekG4 New Member

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    Finally got the little guy. I’m pretty excited for it, so far for now I have him in a 10 gallon, during the weekend I’ll get some supplies to start making his big cage to get it over with. It’s about a good 6-7”, not sure if it’s male or female yet.

    Attached Files:

  12. RomanPort

    RomanPort Member

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    He's beautiful. I can't wait to see this little one grow. Is he captive born or wild caught? I'd suggest getting your real enclosure ready as soon as you can though
  13. DerekG4

    DerekG4 New Member

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    He's captive bred, according to the guy. He looks perfectly fine, no scratches/scars, deformities of any kind, so I believe it should be captive. He's skittish but for being so nervous hes a fairly good eater. Yea, soon as I get the materials (should be this weekend) I should have the whole thing complete hopefully before mid June.
  14. RomanPort

    RomanPort Member

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    Got it. What's your plan for the enclosure right now?
  15. DerekG4

    DerekG4 New Member

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    Pretty much I’ll use 2x4s as the main skeleton of it, cover it in half inch mesh, half the roof will be exposed to let in sunlight and the other half covered. I’m going to do 3 feet deep concrete walls below the wood so he doesn’t escape.