new to bts

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Goomba
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new to bts

Postby Goomba » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:20 am

Hello i'm looking at getting a blue tongue skink. The one for sale is indonesian bts. I was wondering if I buy a zoomed low boy tank would this be adequate for size dimensions are 48x24x10. Also the room it would be in is currently 65 degrees f. and 30-35% humidity. How hard would it be to get my temperatures up along with humidity or should I try to find a differnt species with lower humidity needs? The substrate I was planning on using was eco earth mixed with forest floor. I also planned on using uth on the hot side and che on the cooler side both on thermostats just in case they get too hot. It get cold here and with that dry in the winter months. Any suggestions would be great
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Re: new to bts

Postby Janella » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:10 pm

The enclosure is a little low. I wouldn't recommend anything lower than 18 personally, but that is just my opinion. Depending on the Indonesian skink, they require high humidity (60-80%). So you will have to really work on making sure you can accomplish that or your skink won't do well. Also your room is way to cold. They have to be kept at a basking spot of 95-100 and low end 70-75. The substrate is fine. I would recommend personally a Northern because they are alot more forgiving on humidity. Good luck.
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Re: new to bts

Postby ReptiFiles » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:10 pm

Ditto on the Northern recommendation. It can be a real pain to maintain high humidity in a dry climate (I live in Utah and have a Merauke, so I'm speaking from experience haha).

I've heard mixed reviews on whether the Low Boy is a good option for BTS. Personally I think it limits climbing options too much for my energetic Merauke, but for less athletic skinks like my Northern it will probably work just fine as long as you fill it with lots of enrichment items. Glass also helps with the humidity issue, although it doesn't trap heat and the lack of height means substrate can't be as deep as is generally ideal.

A large storage bin isn't attractive, but it might make a better housing option for trapping heat and humidity. A front-opening PVC enclosure may also be a better option.

As for heat, you're going to struggle there. I'd use a CHE and basking lamp on the warm end and then use a heat mat (regulated by the thermostat, of course) on the low end to make sure it never gets too cold. Heat mats are great for providing belly heat, but they're not a good way to heat the air inside a terrarium.

I hope this helps! You might want to give this a read-through: https://www.reptifiles.com/blue-tongue- ... are-sheet/
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Check out my research on captive husbandry for BTS: https://www.reptifiles.com/blue-tongue-skink-care-sheet/
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Re: new to bts

Postby Bethica_lynn » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:08 am

Hello!! Keeping humidity levels in a Indonesian species or subspecies is a absolute pain. I personally own a halmahara (or classic indo) myself, I live in Canada, in a dry and very cold climate during the winter months, and in the summer the humidity really doesn't rise much. When I first brought Neytirie home, I thought it would be adequate to mist down the tank 2-4 times a day as I do for my pacman frog. The humidity levels fluctuated like crazy and I could ever mist the tank enough to even raise the humidity to where it needs to be. I looked into DIY humidifiers, looked into store bought and I decided on the monsoon mister. With this you can decided at what time interval and for how long you want the mist on for. I have mine set for every hour it sprays 20secs of mist. I keep my tank anywhere between 60-85% humidity. I try to avoid dropping it that low, as in actual Indonesian climates humidity never really drops down to the 60% but instead spikes to 90-100%. I bought a digital hydrometer off amazon, and just always try and provide levels that they would be exposed to in the wild. I allow for high humidity spikes at least 1-2 times a month, and if I see a shed coming on I will spike my tank then as well to help my little friend out. I did some research found a zone in which their locale is from , and I would follow the weather patterns and humidity patterns on a daily basis via the weather app on my phone. This allowed for me to get a good idea of the fluctuation of humidity works in the wild habitats of these guys!! Research is always you're best friend. As for temperature , these guys require 90-100f I run a 75w basking bulb, and it seems to do the trick, I also added a flat rock hide under the basking bulbs so the rock would pick up heat and heat Neytiries under belly for her as well! Hope this was a little helpful(:
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Re: new to bts

Postby BD99 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:13 am

Hey mate, my biggest thing here is NO HEATMATS. Often times they end up burning your bubs belly. if you get your hot end at the right temp then its temp at the coolest end doesn't matter as much. Your skink will decide what it likes. If its constantly at the hot end, then its too cold. Bump it up.

I keep eastern Blues, which are similar to Northan. I'm also looking a Joe Ball northan. I can say that they are amazing lizards, not crazy but still lively and very tolerant if handled well. Also very hearty. I'd recommend them for a first lizard as they are a breeze carewise. Personality and durability.
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Re: new to bts

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:24 am

Totally agree on the northern thing, and BD99, how lucky you are on that side of the pond to get from Joe Ball!!! His lizards are spectacular. I keep both Northerns and Easterns and find them darn near equal in personality, the Easterns being a bit more outgoing IMO. Unfortunately they are quite expensive on this side of the pond. For your first a Northern is highly recommended!
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Re: new to bts

Postby ReptiFiles » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:49 am

BD99 wrote:Hey mate, my biggest thing here is NO HEATMATS. Often times they end up burning your bubs belly. if you get your hot end at the right temp then its temp at the coolest end doesn't matter as much. Your skink will decide what it likes. If its constantly at the hot end, then its too cold. Bump it up.


Heat mats aren't evil — they're just frequently abused. In my opinion, every heat mat should be sold with a thermostat. A good thermostat will keep the mat from accidentally burning your skink, and stabilize the temperature in a specific range.
Mariah Healey
Author of ReptiFiles.com, a free online educational resource for reptile owners
Check out my research on captive husbandry for BTS: https://www.reptifiles.com/blue-tongue-skink-care-sheet/
1.0 Tiliqua gigas evanescens
1.0 Tiliqua scincoides intermedia
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Re: new to bts

Postby splashy07 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:38 pm

Very true. No heat mat, heat pad or any kind of device used at the bottom or affixed to the underneath of a tank or cage should be used without a thermostat. I do not use them, but I have Herpstats on all my snake racks controlling the heat tape. Uncontrolled devices can malfunction, overheat and burn your animal or in worse case scenario start a fire. I've heard many stories of snake racks lighting up due to a cheap thermostat malfunction also. I have never used any type of nighttime heating devices on my skinks, it is natural for them to cool down a bit seasonally, but keep in mind my place doesn't get any colder than 65 degrees. I breed them, so some of mine are completely shut down until February. (lights off). If you do not wish for them to brumate, maintain temps all year. Get yourself a good thermostat if you choose to use heat pads, mats or similar devices.
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Re: new to bts

Postby Tokkay » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:51 pm

If you want another recommendation for heating, I actually really like using radiant heat panels. I currently have both of my skink cages being heated solely by RHPs.

They're a little pricey but should pretty much never die/break as long as you use them properly, plus some places have warranties on them. I got mine from Reptile Basics and only needed the 80 w size for my cages, which are 48x24x15. They're great because I don't need to worry about replacing bulbs or lamps, they are safer for reptiles (you can put your hand on the panel while it's on and it won't burn), and I find them to be more efficient at heating the air as well as cage surfaces.

Just make sure you purchase thermostats if you are going to use RHPs, as they're necessary to keep the temperature properly regulated. I use Vivarium Electronics thermostats, but you may also need a night drop module for it to keep your night temps low.

For substrate, I use a coconut fiber mulch called Grow !t, but any similar heat-treated/pesticide free mulch can work. The mulch is great for humidity as well if you spray a few times a day or even add some water in and mix it up.

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