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Questions from the newbie

Discussion in 'Red Tegu Discussion' started by Kali, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Kali

    Kali New Member

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    Hey there!

    For background, I've owned an adult female red for a few months now.

    I've researched them for quite sometime beforehand, and have had expierence owning other reptiles in the past.

    She's three years old, bought' her off of a guy who couldn't care for her anymore; as he was starting a family of his own.

    Rather docile, adjusting well and far more easier with being handled from the first months I've had her.

    Her enclosure is far too small at the moment, It's all he could provide us with. I'm having her one custom built as soon as possible.

    But even now, I still find myself doing constant research- so I decided to come to others who owned the species aswell!

    I know they may seem ridiculous, but trust me- I couldn't find clear answers for them elsewhere.

    1.) My enclosure struggles to hold humidity, even with tegu-safe substrate known for holding moisture? It dries out much too quickly. How can I resolve this?

    2.) How can I effectively monitor temperature? Both surface and ambient.

    3.) She's been in a nasty stuck shed around her tail since her previous owner, who couldn't resolve the issue etheir.

    4.) What would you advise for proper temperature?
  2. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I can help with 3 and 4. Place squeezed out sphagnum moss in its hide and add fish oil to food. That will solve that issue.

    Hot spot should be 110-115 F. It grades out and tegu will follow. Ambient in low to mid 80s F. Hide at other end in the mid 70s F. Come winter colder all around.
  3. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    Give her a nice long soak in the tub then use cooking grade coconut oil and rub it over her body it’ll act like lotion and hold the moisture from the bath in. Worked for my blue when he has hard shed last year when coming out of brumation. Included with everything Walter said

    Also you can get temperature guns from most hardware stores, it’ll measure the surface temperature.
  4. Alec Bennett

    Alec Bennett New Member

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    I can honestly say I am very new to tegus, but am very experienced in temperature/humidity control. I recently built an 8x4x4 enclosure that is nearly spot on to the necessary conditions that a tegu needs...in one day. Monitoring temps is super easy...surface-temp gun...ambient-digital thermometer. Achieving proper ambient temperature requires a trial and error method, and once you become more experienced in enclosure conditional setup, it is actually very simple. I am running a 150w heat emitter next to a 10.0 26watt uvb in a dual dome for my basking spot hanging two feet from the surface of the substrate. For ambient, I mantled a single wide dome with a 100watt heat emitter at the top of the enclosure, two feet away from the basking spot...this way the cold side isn't affected. It actually took me three times longer to dial in the temp and humidity since our lovely lizards' ambient, coldside, and basking temps are all different. Here are my tips:

    1. If humidity is an issue (like it was for me at first since I live in SoCal) play around with the type of substrate that you are using. My favorite is 70% organic topsoil / 30% organic pete moss.

    2. If Tip 1 isn't holding in the humidity enough, try getting a BRAND NEW spray bottle from the 99c Store or Walmart and spray the substrate once a day...no more than that or mold will begin to accumulate. Also, do not soak the substrate...not good.

    3. Lastly, if all of these are not working, buy a humidifier. There are ones designed specifically for pets, but they tend to cost more and are cheaper built. What I did for my Sir Lankan Star tortoise (which needed a wild amount of humidity up into the 85%-90% during spring and fall) was buy a Crane Humidifier and silicon a plastic rubber tube to the spout.


    Humidity is probably the most challenging aspect of reptile upkeep, but it is just as important as temperature in all aspects. If you need a more detailed description of my methods, you can PM me.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018