Enclosure idea critique

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torie728
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Enclosure idea critique

Postby torie728 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:48 pm

Ok, wanting to get the enclosure set up and make sure everything is good go before we get our skink in the spring. So here’s what we’ve come up with, again an advice and criticism is much appreciated.

Animal plastics t10 with white led and 8.5 hole, black color.

Megaray 100 watt lamp

Mistking system

Humidity and temp monitor (Bluetooth one)

Cypress mulch

Basking stone(flagstone or slate from hardware store)

Temp checking laser gun

I think that covers it aside from hides going to do three or so and have one in each temp zone. We live in Tennessee and my house rarely gets below 65 at night in winter but if you think we need to use a CRE at night please let us know , it’s the one thing that I’m torn over not getting. If I got one could it just sit on the 8.5 hole the lamp sits on at night ? Thanks again everyone sorry we have been posting so many questions but it’s not something we want to go into under prepared and equipped for.
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splashy07
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Re: Enclosure idea critique

Postby splashy07 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:49 am

I take it you are planning on an Indonesian species?
torie728
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Re: Enclosure idea critique

Postby torie728 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:07 am

Oh snap lol, my bad guys ! Yes a Merauke, but will also getting an identical set up for a northern not long after ,
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splashy07
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Re: Enclosure idea critique

Postby splashy07 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:06 pm

You will not need the misting system for a northern.
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mb606587
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Re: Enclosure idea critique

Postby mb606587 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:00 pm

Seems like you have most of the basics covered. As far as the CHE goes, it doesn't seem you need it. Temperatures usually drop in my enclosures between 65-70 degrees overnight throughout the winter. On the nights that are bitterly cold, I'll utilize a small space heater until the heat lamps kick on in the morning but I don't often need to do that and I'm sure the Philadelphia winters are probably more daunting than in Tennessee.

As far as hides go, 3 seems a bit overkill to me depending on the type you use. With a Merauke, you're going to have a BIG lizard, expect between 2'-2.5'. Remembering that these are burrowing lizards, a good hide can be something as simple as a generous clump of sphagnum moss or leaf litter on one end of the enclosure. That will serve two purposes in that your skink will be able to satisfy its burrowing instinct, and if the moss is kept damp, will aid your lizard in shedding by having a nice pocket where humidity stays trapped. Some of my skinks like to create their own burrows underneath the large flat basking rock. And they seem to love using cheap drainage tubes that can be buried well under the substrate to create an underground tunnel of sorts, that also will hold humidity very well. Or even just a few flat pieces of cork bark that it will burrow underneath. Sometimes its my belief that less is more, especially when you have a lizard of this size that will need the extra room, and if provided the proper depth of substrate will be able to burrow itself without the need for larger above ground hides like half logs or large caves.
torie728
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Re: Enclosure idea critique

Postby torie728 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:58 pm

Thanks so much for the responses, my only experience with reptiles was an iguana for my birthday in 1993 after Jurassic park came out, I guess kinda like what happened to Dalmations. I managed to keep her alive for 4 years until my cousin left my window open. I had a 4x8 cage we made for her but honestly we had no idea what to do at first and the fact that now as I am more knowledgeable and there’s way more information out there, I see how much I didn’t provide the best environment. The breeder we got her from said to use a powder and just dust broccoli in it. On our own we started buying cat food but for lighting we used just big lights from Lowe’s and a heating rock I wrapped in a towel and would monitor til she got off it , it was a mess really and while she did basically own my bedroom and the top bunk especially I feel guilty we didn’t do the best for her.

Times change and now With what I feel like Is way more technological advances out there to help, there’s way more of a knowledge base (you guys) so I’m ready to do this and commit to caring for these creatures that depend on me. With my cichlids I spare no expense , same with my Great Dane who passed away , expense didn’t matter as long as I could give the best quality of life possible.

Back on topic, the megaray 100 watt, is that within the Ferguson zone ? Or do I run a risk of microwaving my skinks?
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mb606587
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Re: Enclosure idea critique

Postby mb606587 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:44 pm

Any heating source has the potential to cook your reptile. You need to factor variables such as the size of the enclosure, the wattage of the bulb, and the distance your reptile is to the heat source. Now in your case, I would guess it should work fine. The recommended distance for the Mega Ray 100W bulb is 12" to 20" from your basking spot. Being that your T10 enclosure measures 15" in height, just ensure that with substrate, your basking spot remains in this range. Also, you will always want to measure temperatures BEFORE you place your new skink into the enclosure. I will usually have the enclosure fully set up several days before I even purchase the skink to monitor the temperatures and humidity levels several times throughout the day and ensure they are adequate and safe. It's important to know that an enclosure that is 10 degrees too hot is much more dangerous to your reptile than one that is 10 degrees too cold. Heat stroke will kill your reptile very quickly.

Now for a Merauke BTS, you're going to want your flat slate rock directly under that light. Using your temperature gun, you want to achieve any temperature between 100 degrees to 125 degrees. I would shoot for between 105-115, however many have observed their Meraukes actively basking at the higher temperatures I listed. With that said, you want to also make sure that the temperatures on the opposite side away from the heat are between 70-80 degrees, give or take a few degrees in each direction. If you can achieve that, then you've got yourself a solid temperature gradient in your enclosure. Now if you set up your light on top and for whatever reason the temperatures you record on your rock are too high, then simply suspend the light up a few inches until you achieve the desired result. If you have the opposite problem, and your rock isn't heating up to at least 100 degrees, then simply add more substrate, thereby raising the rock closer to the heat bulb. Normally, you can purchase a dimmer switch that can help you control the heat output from your bulb, however, the instructions on your particular bulb state to avoid using them. It really comes down to trial and error, so keep your receipts in case you decide a different wattage bulb will be more appropriate.

*As Splashy noted, a Northern will not require higher tropical humidity levels and usually will have lower basking requirements around 95-100 degrees so obviously you will need to alter some things with your set up when you do purchase one.

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