Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

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kayla990
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Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby kayla990 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:02 pm

Hello everyone!

Thought I would introduce our new baby blue tongue skink – Maya :D We’ve had her for only a week (just guessing gender, since we know it could be a while before we get evidence). We got her at a reptile expo in The Netherlands (where my boyfriend and I live), and we chose her based on personality – when bending down to look into the tank she was the most curious coming up to us, chasing our fingers along the glass :D

Since we’ve had her she’s still very curious, eating well and we have started successfully tong feeding her small amounts of meat, fruit and vegetables (from the recommended list on here). She’s between 1 ½ to 2 months old, and such a sweetheart!

pancake6.jpg


What sub-species is she?
There is something I just can’t figure out though – what type of Indonesian species is she? I’ve gone around in circles between Irian Jaya/Meruake/Halamera; where I’ve seen her pattern being listed as all three! Currently I’m leaning towards Meruake from the dark patch on her neck along with the long tail:body ratio (as I’m aware that IJ’s have fully black legs, and I *think* halameras have more black marks on the head?). Any help is greatly appreciated – as I know Halameras need even higher humidity vs the other Indonesian types!

pancake5.jpg


pancake3.jpg

(On our way home from the expo, gives more of an idea of pattern/colour under natural lighting. Yup, she was given to us in a cricket tub, so tiny!)

A baby in an adult planted vivarium?
We’ve not gone crazy, I swear! One of the main concerns for a baby in an adult size tank is finding food/water. So we created multiple mini-habitats. Where ever she stumbles or explores, there is always a source of water closeby :) I’m at home a lot, so I’ve been keeping records of her eating/drinking habits and diet, and so far I’ve seen her eat/drink daily.

DSC_1016_crop.jpg

(Can you spot her?)

I was actually more concerned about putting her in a smaller ‘grow in' tank, as it seems more difficult to keep a good temperature gradient. We were able to test the big tank months before getting her; meaning we could get a good gradient going. Currently our ambient temperature: 28c (82F) on the hot side and around 26c (78F) on the cool side. The basking spot is easily accessible by cork bark and is on average 45c (113F); which I’ve seen her use a lot! Some times she’ll use the log next to it, the cork bark or soak in the water dish under the light. At night, she uses the warm side cave (which also has a heat mat, averaging 27c (80F) at night). All heating elements are on a thermostat.
Dimensions for those curious: 150x60x60cm (5x2x2 ft).


Lighting:
On the warm side we have a combined UV and Basking light (Solar Raptor 35w, which gives both UVA/UVB). Initially we had a separate UV/basking spot but we were advised a combined one by a specialist, as a lot of the time they’ll bask - expecting UV light at the same time (as of course in the wild - the sun gives both). We were also concerned that some of the dedicated UV bulbs can give eye problems, so we opted for the combination. We have a plant grow bulb for the plants on the cool side (just a standard one from Ikea) which doesn’t give out heat. While there is the debate of whether UV is needed – we figure why not provide one anyway; better to be on the safe side.

Plants:
Before getting Maya, we did research into the plants / toxicity etc to make sure they are all safe in case she nibbles on something. So far she’s left the Peperomia Carperata alone; the spikey red-leaf plant (but will investigate the leaves and try get under the moss around it), but on her first day she started to nibble on a Pilea Glauca, so that’s been removed for now both as it can be a (very) small irritant and to make sure she’s not eating that vs her normal food! I’ll be getting some seeds to grow dandelions/watercress and other reptile safe plants that she can nibble on instead.

Behaviour:
I’m aware that having her in a big tank could result in either:
1) becoming more confident quickly, as there are more retreating areas and place to hide
2) or, could become more shy – not forced to interact with us, so may be more ‘wild’

So far it seems like she’s quite confident for a tiny thing. She explores her tank so much (uploaded a video to YouTube for those wanting to see on her second day with us; https://youtu.be/FaKHpQqA7bk ). I’ve seen her doing laps around the tank (sometimes zooming, other times being more involved and getting into everything), but I underestimated her ability to climb at such a tiny age! Luckily, we’ve got a lot of sphagnum moss around, so packed it high under areas that she commonly climbs.

She will (at times, not always) dart back into a hide when we walk too close to the tank (she’s in the living room with the kitchen in the same room, so we walk by a lot!). However we’re not concerned – she’s still new and little, so I’m sure she’ll get used to it eventually ^__^

Interestingly – I’ve heard a lot about them burying under soil. She’s not done that at all, despite a lot of opportunities to dig. Although she seems to play in the moss, getting her head under big patches and trying to flip it over - before going on to investigate something else!

DSC_0972.JPG


Humidity:
There is one thing that we didn’t quite consider – during the tests, we had a different basking spot light. We got the new one on the same day we got her, which kills the humidity. On the plus side, she’s so little she easily fits in all of her water dishes (she’s been soaking today, so I’m starting to suspect she may be starting to shed soon). We spray the tank down 2-3x a day with a large garden sprayer with reverse osmosis water (we make ourselves), and add in a fogger when it drops around 50-60%. On average we aim for 70-75% which hopefully should be easier soon, as we’ll be getting an order of cypress mulch (Zoo med) and Forest Fir Bark (Exo Terra) to help keep the humidity more stable long term vs. just the coco coir we have now :)

We’ve got two set of fans installed – two small fans (one that sucks air in, another out on the opposite side) along with a stronger manual controlled fan (which is a converted PC fan, “Be Quiet Pure Wings 2” – perfect for us it's nearly silent and can control the strength!).

plants.jpg


Bioactive:
The next steps is likely to try turn the tank bioactive. We have springtails available from our gargoyle gecko tank (the only pet beside for Maya!) which are thriving. So it’s possible to place some in Maya's tank once we’ve got the new bedding in. We’ve also got dried Indian Almond leaves that we can add for leaf-litter (and food for springtails). While I presume Maya wouldn’t try to eat the leaves, has anyone tried this type of leaf before?

I’d love to hear any input on how we can further improve! I love enclosure design and want to give our little (and very pretty) friend the best we can :D

(Note - I mentioned some of the brands we use just in case it's useful for others, let me know if it's not allowed!)
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby splashy07 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:55 am

Wow! Quite an elaborate setup!
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby ReptiFiles » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:44 am

She looks like a Halmahera to me, so 80-90% humidity.

Your setup is amazing! What a lucky little skink! <3
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby kayla990 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:06 am

Awww, thank you both! And thanks for confirming the subspecies - we'll make sure to keep on top of the humidity :D
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby splashy07 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:44 am

Wow. Still admiring your setup. And I thought I spoiled mine. Whew, your little one is in a luxury condo for sure! And being he's going to grow up in there, maybe he won't destroy it! My Easterns would have that all over the place in minutes.
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby kayla990 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:27 pm

Haha thanks! While she's not destroyed anything; we had to pull off a fake plant - as we saw her using it to climb up too high (as I was worried there may be a chance she could reach the basking light; if fully stretched out). But that didn't stop the climbing today - she climbed up to the same spot by herself; those little claws are too good for her own good!

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Luckily the other live plants are attached directly onto the background (using a mix of hot glue, mosquito mesh and moss for extra humidity/protection). Fingers crossed they'll stay attached when she's fully grown too.

But the climbing gave us an excuse for our first handling session. She's really well behaved, no hissing or biting. Accepting hand fed food (along with exploring and trying to chomp the TV remote buttons..!) :D

handling2.jpg
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby Janella » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:49 pm

Beautiful tank and looks like a very spoiled skink ;-)
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby kayla990 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:25 pm

Thanks Janella! Took some time to set it up, but definitely feels worth it when we see her zooming around and exploring :D So cute
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby splashy07 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 am

Gorgeous little skink. My personal favorite of the Gigas clan. And wow do they grow fast!! It's like they go to sleep and wake up bigger the next day.
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby kayla990 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:17 pm

Thanks Splashy! It's pretty cool to see the copper tones, very pretty little things. Crazy growth rate - definitely seem to grow over night like you say. Don't think she'd fit in the container we were given when we bought her :D

Hmm, any idea how often they shed when young? We've not seen any signs of shedding so far, but presume it's more frequent when younger vs. an adult (from the growth spurt). And are there physical signs of when Halmaheras are about to shed (as I've heard Merauke's get a more white belly vs the normal pink tone)?
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby splashy07 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:43 pm

Their colors will dull a bit, and they may not seem to want to come out or be disturbed. When I kept them some years back they would shed every 6 weeks or so, with that amazing growth rate of theirs, and they never stopped eating!
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby Krahzii » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:02 pm

Maya is beautiful and adorable! I love your setup, and the video of her exploring her enclosure was really cool. Definitely looks like a happy skink with lots to do in there! <3
I have one BTS, a Northern named Kora. Gotcha date 6/18/17.

Check my Instagram for lots of pictures of her and my other pets! My username on there is Igloo9201.
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Re: Meet Maya our baby Indonesian! (Detailed setup)

Postby kayla990 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:05 am

That's great to know, thank you :thumbs:

Aww, thanks Krahzii! Fingers crossed we can get more footage of her exploring over time. We may try to get more videos uploaded, glad you enjoyed it ^__^
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