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Tegu Enclosure Help

Discussion in 'General Tegu Discussion' started by JustAnotherHerper, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. JustAnotherHerper

    JustAnotherHerper New Member

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    Hello, I will be getting myself a columbian tegu very soon and the time has come that I need to have an enclosure ready for him. Could you guys tell me what you use? How you made it? What works best for you? Any tips or advice is appreciated. Thank you
  2. MrExotic

    MrExotic New Member

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    Enclosure: With all the different enclosures available on the market today choosing an enclosure could become quite confusing. We would recommend a simple wooden vivarium with glass sliding front doors. Fitted with a heating system and lighting system as mentioned below they just seem to make the perfect habitat for a pet reptile. They look nice and can be ordered in a colour to match your household furniture. They hold the heat well, are easy to clean and durable. We would not recommend one of the many different glass enclosures on the market today as they are very expensive compared to the wooden equivalent and they do not hold the heat nearly as well. For a fully grown Black and White Tegu they should have a 6ft x 4ft x 3ft enclosure, when these lizards are young they can be kept in a smaller enclosure but they will need upgrading as they grow.


    Temperature: Tegus should be maintained at 85 degrees with a basking spot of 100 degrees. You should create a heat gradient by putting your heat source only at one end of the enclosure, this will create a “hot” end and a “cool” end of the enclosure as this will give your animal a choice of temperatures in the enclosure so that he always feels comfortable. We always feel that the safest way is to use a thermostatically controlled heating system. The are many systems on the market today that are perfect for the job in hand. An overhead ceramic element or reptile radiator connected to a temp stat or a pulse stat is one way, or a coloured spot bulb connected to a dimming thermostat is equally as good. Both these systems will provide a very controllable heat source. There are other heaters out on the market such as AHS all in one heaters/thermostat that will also do a great job of heating the enclosure.


    Lighting: Argentinian red tegus are diurnal and need exposure to full spectrum UVA and UVB lighting. 12% Arcadia Florescent Tubes are the best choice in UV lighting for a Tegu.


    Humidity: These lizards should have humidity levels of 60-80%. This can be maintained by misting the enclosure twice daily, devices such as waterfalls and foggers can also be used in the enclosure to help maintain the adequate humidity levels required. They also require a large water dish to allow them to soak in the water, this will also help to increase the humidity levels in the enclosure.


    Substrate: Tegus like to burrow, and need a substrate that is absorbent and easy to clean such as, Kritters Crumble, Orchid Bark etc.


    Furnishing: There are lots of furnishings available that are suitable for these lizards. A large water bowl is suitable so that your lizard is able to soak in the water if necessary.Plants and other decor are available to make the enclosure look nice
  3. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    I used an old triple door wardrobe.... I stengthened the back board to use as the base lined with pond liner to try prevent the humidity destroying the wood and cut some windows in the front and replaced 2 of the doors with plexi glass as the ceiling... it measures 5 X 4 foot so gives plenty of floor space and is 2 foot high but with the glass roof doesn't look or feel enclosed for him.

    I would highly recomend lining with pond liner though as the humidity destroyed my other in less than a year.
  4. James Smith

    James Smith Member

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    20181215_085103.jpg I am posting this question here because I felt it would be more appropriate.

    I made my enclosure with two things in
    mind.

    1) Convenience. The ease of cleaning the enclosure with out overly stressing BOGA out. I built two separate compartments and joined them together. By doing this I can coach him to one area and close it off so I can clean the opposite side.

    2) Transporting materials. I have an 2016 Jeep Cherokee and I could not fit full size sheets of plywood in my Jeep, so I had Home Depot cut the wood down to size to fit my Jeep as well keeping in mind of the dimension of the build.

    Okay now here is my forum appropriately question. I have BOGA in the LEFT side closed off from the smaller section RIGHT side. I did this because the RIGHT side was not finished and I thought the sheer size of both sides together right now would stress him out, ( total size 8'×3'×30"). Using Cypress Mulch on the right and COCO HUSK SHELL on the left to see which he likes best.

    1.) Since the whole enclosure is finished should I allow him to have full access to the whole enclosure now or wait until he gets bigger?

    2.) I am concerned about the large chunks of Cypress Mulch. The Cypress Mulch won't hurt BOGA will it?

    I'm asking these two questions because I was going to open the divider to both sides once the Cypress mulch warms up a bit.

    All comments are welcomed.
    20181211_205447.jpg 20181211_205459.jpg 15449304407313545106241433181308.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  5. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    BOGA looks a good size and I don't see any problem opening both sides and letting him get used to his new hopefully forever home.
  6. James Smith

    James Smith Member

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    Well this is definitely his forever home. This house is paid for and been part of the family for a couple generations. I took on this home in agreement that I would never sell the home, however I have to keep up the house hold bills and maintain the home improvements.

    I am still concerned about the size of the Cypress mulch shards mostly. Will this be Okay still?
  7. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    I'm personally not a fan of it so couldn't really give you any idea,
  8. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Opening the other side I think is fine.

    For what it's worth, I don't trust substrates like cypress mulch for the potential damage it can cause if accidentally ingested.
  9. James Smith

    James Smith Member

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    I had the same concerns of ingesting or BOGA getting impaled by a sharp shard. I like how it maintains moisture but the positives is overwhelmed by the negatives.

    I have already put the substrate in there and allowed him to cross over to the other side. Watching BOGA I think he likes the space but not the substrate. Every since I place it in there he is acting aggressive when I place my hand in there and touch the substrate.
    He never done this with the COCO husk shell mulch. I think I am taking the Cypress mulch out and replace it with Eco earth or something that do not mold like COCO husk shell mulch. The mold is said to be harmless though.
  10. James Smith

    James Smith Member

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    What is s good substrate you guys think? He really likes the COCO husk shell right now. It do not hold moisture well and whatever gets wet produces this harmless light green/gray mold...
  11. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    I just use organic potting soil/compost mixed with a heavier more dence top soil frome a garden supplies shop (keeps cost down) and beech chips.
  12. James Smith

    James Smith Member

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    I have closed off the right side again to clean out the Cypress Mulch. I will purchase some Top soil mix today and see how that works. If he like that better I will change the left side as well when it is time to change out the substrate. Thank you again for some good advice.
  13. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    What do you use?
    James Smith likes this.
  14. James Smith

    James Smith Member

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    I use a 2 to 1 mixture of Peat Moss and Topsoil for six good reason.

    1. Cost effective
    2. Perfect substrate for live plants, the same mixture I use in my garden.
    3. It looks and mimics natural substrate with some modifications.
    4. It was suggested by a forum member
    5. It looks great.
    6. By any chance a Tegu potty in their enclosure the spot easily spotted.
    Guman likes this.