New Skink!

Everything Blue Tongues! Have a question? Just got a BTS and want to introduce yourself? This is the place!
Forum rules
In this forum all are welcome to ask blue tongue skink-related questions, share information, ideas, tips, experiences, and pictures with fellow BTS enthusiasts.
If you are wondering if your BTS is acting normally or might be sick, this is where you can get help with that.
This is also where you can have some FUN while sharing the enjoyment you get from your blueys!
Onesidedwolf
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:15 am
Country: USA
Location: VA

New Skink!

Postby Onesidedwolf » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:40 am

So, I recently got a new bluey. I have researched the heck out of them since I met a Northern breeder from a reptile expo in VA. I loved them, and held so many different ones. I talked closely with two of the girls there and wanted to share pictures as well as some questions. So I ended up going to a pet store that hosted the expo and got and Indonesian, I believe. The lady with the Northerners didn't have any babies available for a long time. So, I was concerned with him not being healthy or wild caught. They did explain to blue that the adult I held at the expo was his mother! They said she was born to a wild caught and then had her own set of babies, and she was super sweet, only huffing a little when they pulled her out. So I took her baby and went to the vet to make sure he was good. No parasites and super tolerant of being flipped around and examined. They said he's around 9 months old and couldn't sex him, so he will just forever be Zuko, boy or girl. :wink:

Anyways, I wanted confirmation I am doing this all right. I'll include him and some pics of set up. So my questions are, I have a heat emitter, UVB and Basking all hooked up to achieve the 90 or so warm side, my cool side is around 70 to 75. I have a heat mat too but haven't used it yet due to vet saying it may burn him since they burrow near glass. He tends to burrow under the hot side hide all days, I have to dig him out to handle him and show him there's food. Right after, he goes back to hiding. I haven't actually seen him drink, just eat and poop and such, so I'm sure he's fine. I'm just worried because he's not technically basking. I have a 24 he camera on him and haven't seen it yet.

Another question, I am feeding him a variety, greens, dog food and one or two of his favorite, blueberries, every other day. He picks out the dog food usually and leaves half the greens sitting. The vet mentioned to me to get monitor canned food instead. Does anyone have any experience with it? I work at PetSmart and noticed we have canned omnivorous lizard food.

Last question, I seem to be missing him 5 times a day or so, he's shedding just fine and is super smooth. I'm keeping humidity between 40 and 70, only reaching 40 when I'm gone for longer than a few hours. I tried adding a little moss to keep moist and he loves it under the hides. Should I try anything else?

Thanks for your time, I really just want to make sure he has a great life with me, I love him so much! For being sorta wild, he's an angel about being held and such. What a trooper.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
mb606587
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:11 pm
Country: USA
Location: Philadelphia

Re: New Skink!

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:05 pm

First off welcome. I love the name. I have a Danny Zuko as well. Excellent job checking the boxes and getting the parasite check. My first immediate concern is what is that substrate you're using? If it is Aspen, then change it. You're basking temperature should be higher. Recommend AT LEAST 100 degrees. Mine bask on a flat rock that is 120 degrees. Most recommend 110. You should use a rock that they can fit the entire body onto. Rocks will retain heat much better and promote more basking behavior. Use a temperature gun to read your temperatures throughout the enclosure. They are far superior to that dial you have which probably isn't accurate. Heat mats aren't necessary if your night temperatures aren't dropping under 60 degrees.

As far as diet I've never used canned monitor diet. Personally I feel dog food is better. It's more omnivorous based as opposed to a monitors diet which is more carnivorous. Many dog foods already have vegetables listed in the ingredients. Grate your veggies or tear your leafy greens into tiny pieces and hide them inside the dog food.

For humidity, substrates like cypress mulch, potting soil, or Eco Earth work best either alone or blended. Add plenty of spaghnum moss for moisture retention and cover most of the screen top with damp towels to trap that humidity inside. Take a full picture of your skink from above so we can help identify its subspecies and provide you with more accurate humidity requirements.
Onesidedwolf
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:15 am
Country: USA
Location: VA

Re: New Skink!

Postby Onesidedwolf » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:05 pm

Alright so here's a pic attached of him on the top. I will head over and replace his bedding as soon as possible then since it is Aspen. I know at the store we have Eco Earth jungle mix type stuff. Should I mix that with the Cypress mulch, or pick one or the other? I have plenty of moss to use as well

Also, I may get an elevated rock then for him to bask on. Should I remove the hide on the hot side and replace it with that? I can leave the cool side one. I got the tank for free and it came with a 75 w basking bulb. Since the tank is kinda tall and the bulb isn't warming enough, should I get a higher watt bulb in addition to a rock?

Thank you for the advice.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
mb606587
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:11 pm
Country: USA
Location: Philadelphia

Re: New Skink!

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:41 pm

Looks like a Halmahera to me. So high humidity is especially important. Most recommend 80%-100%. For the substrate, a mix of both would work well with lots of moss. An elevated rock would work great since your cool side at 75 is already good. The closer your lizard gets to the basking light, the hotter the spot will be without having to switch to a more powerful bulb and compromising temperatures in the rest of your enclosure. As I said, if all you are using is those dials, you NEED a much better method to measure your temps and humidity. Those temp guns are awesome, $15 at Lowes, and for humidity you want to go with a digital hygrometer. Halmaheras are pretty demanding with their needs, moreso than other species so it's important to have everything correct. I think the basking area is more important than a second hide. They can always burrow if you provide enough substrate
mb606587
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:11 pm
Country: USA
Location: Philadelphia

Re: New Skink!

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:25 pm

What some people do is make a raised wooden platform with a ceramic or slate tile on top. This way your skink can bask on the tile or hide underneath it. Two in one.


viewtopic.php?f=73&t=29521 is the care sheet from this site for Halmaheras. If you could take a picture of the belly that would confirm my belief. Halmaheras typically have a black and white checkerboard pattern with no pink coloring.
Onesidedwolf
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:15 am
Country: USA
Location: VA

Re: New Skink!

Postby Onesidedwolf » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:43 pm

Okay, gotcha. I went out and got the new substrate and borrowed a basking rock from my friend. She is also gonna let me borrow her gun to see what temp it gets up to. I will be sure to buy my own very soon, but this will work in the meantime. I will get a picture up later tonight to double check everything. It seems like I may need to get a mister or something since the requirement is so high?
Onesidedwolf
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:15 am
Country: USA
Location: VA

Re: New Skink!

Postby Onesidedwolf » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:51 pm

I might have a picture of the belly. It is somewhat pinkish.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Onesidedwolf
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:15 am
Country: USA
Location: VA

Re: New Skink!

Postby Onesidedwolf » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:57 pm

Okay so my local stores didn't have any slate pieces, so I hope this new set up will do until I can get a better basking area set. I'm getting the temps from the gun later on to ensure it'll work for a while. Let me know what you think
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
mb606587
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:11 pm
Country: USA
Location: Philadelphia

Re: New Skink!

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:47 pm

Yep Halmahera. That setup actually looks great. If that basking area gets warm enough with the temp gun reading (100 degrees or higher), I'd say your good as is. Excellent work.
Onesidedwolf
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:15 am
Country: USA
Location: VA

Re: New Skink!

Postby Onesidedwolf » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:37 pm

Okay so I see the gun on the rock after I left the lamp on it for 30 minutes or so, it read 106. The moss underneath was a cool 84 and the cool side of the tank was closer to 67. If this all sounds good then I'm set. I also got a digital thermometer and hydrometer put up. I'm going to try to cut a towel to fit over the screen perfectly so I can dampen it to retain the humidity. Other than that, I think we are good here. I introduced him to the new habitat and he didn't hide at all! He basked, cruised around and even found the door to stop to say hello.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
mb606587
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:11 pm
Country: USA
Location: Philadelphia

Re: New Skink!

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:37 pm

Everything looks good. Looks like he loves the new setup.

Return to “General Discussion and FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest