New skink owner questions

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okapizebra
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New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:18 pm

Hi everyone, I am new here, just brought my new blue tongue skink home today! I absolutely adore him/her already and I had a few questions.

From end to end he measures 13 inches. Roughly how old should this make him? I understand he needs to be eating more if he's under a year but I don't really know how old that makes him at this size. I assumed that he was still young so I've bought cans of cat food for him for now.

My second question is about the cat food. I know they need it when younger because of the higher protein content, but what percentage of protein do I actually want? Because some cans of cat food have less protein content then some cans of dog food. So which is better?

And lastly, I was wondering if someone could ID which type of BTS I have. I know for sure he is Indonesian, and his enclosure is setup being humid and I am tweaking my basking bulb a bit but aiming for a spot of around 100. Do I want the basking spot to measure on the ground as 100? I'm using a digital temp gun. So far it hasn't got that hot but it's heating the ecoearth- should I put a piece of slate underneath it instead to increase the heat or just swap it for a higher wattage bulb?

Much appreciated for any advice, and I'm very happy to be here!
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kingofnobbys
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:27 pm

Provided his growth hasn't been stunted and his species grows the same way as my eastern BTs did , I'd say your skink is a juvenile about 4 to 6 months old.

I wont try to id his subspecies of IBTS.

Can you give us a run down on set up so we can check the temperatures, humidity and lights ( basking and UV ) are set up right.

Being a juvenile I'd suggest including live insects in his daily feeding schedule , there are things in these the skink will need that you wont find in cat or dog food .
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:31 am

Thanks!

He's in a standard 40 breeder. His substrate is a mix of eco earth, coco husk, fir bark, and sphagnum moss. He has a half log on the cool side of the tank. His basking light is a 65 watt par 38 flood bulb. I live in south florida so humidity isnt an issue, ambient humidity in my house never drops below 55% and house is 78 degrees. Just using one of those crappy stick on hygrometers at the moment and reading 80% and substrate is moist as well. No UV light as I'm supplementing with d3 in food.

I've got mealworms, waxworms, and calciworms on hand so I will add that to his cat food. I usually buy crickets once a week as well. I have quite a few other reptiles.
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby Meeesh » Fri Dec 27, 2019 2:34 pm

He looks just like my Halmahera, Kaiju!!

Image

Image

They like 80%+ humidity, temps 75-95° gradient, up to 110° basking, and humid substrate like cocohusk and forest floor/eco bark. Spaghum moss is great in top for moisture.

I use wet CORE wellness turkey pate cat food mixed with greens, or bluey buffet mixed with greens, and some blueberries for snacks. My guy hasn't liked snails, crickets, or mealworms yet. I heard they love snails and hornworms though.

I have a 40 gal breeder, 150 watt basking, 10 uvb bulb, and a 100 w ceramic for night time/day time heat.

I use a fogger and it takes away the humidity worry. I have a screen top with aluminum tape covering all parts except where the lamp fixtures sit (cut out).

My vet said mines 4-6 months, but it's hard to tell from non breeders. I'd get your guy checked out by a vet if you haven't :) helps get a base of care
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby Meeesh » Fri Dec 27, 2019 2:38 pm

I have a rock that's flat like a tile on the eco earth for his basking spot, and the temp gun reads 100° or higher as well as the top of his hot side hide (a wooden hide) that he climbs at times that reaches 110° on temp gun.

Getting my temps that high helps when my ceramic middle heater is on during the day - it just keeps the whole thing bumped up about 10 degrees.

Hope that helps!
okapizebra
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:03 pm

Thanks for the advice! I think I just need to go with a higher wattage bulb. Will try this next.
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby Meeesh » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:26 am

I had to go back and forth returning bulbs and such trying to find the right one, too. A pain, but you'll get it all figured out!
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:37 pm

I will confirm that as a Halmahera. As was mentioned, I'd recommend keeping the reading on the temperature gun well over 100 degrees in the basking spot. Temperatures on my basking stones reach as high as 135 degrees.
okapizebra
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:12 pm

Ok,with a bit of trial an error, a higher wattage bulb and a piece of slate has solved my issue. Reading around 105 now!

Blueberry is spending a lot of his day buried. In fact, if I didn't pull him out today I'm not sure he would have come out at all. He has eaten small amounts yesterday and the day before, but nothing today. I've cleaned up two poops so far. Is this normal?
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby Meeesh » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:57 am

It took mine about three weeks before coming out on his own and not immediately running away. During that time, I've had to take him out once a day for ointment, so he got used to holding.

I'm still planning on continuing the ointment regiment once he's done shedding.

I think it may be a balance of leaving them be plus bothering them, lol
okapizebra
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:22 pm

Yeah, that seems about right lol. I've been pulling him out once a day for just a little bit to keep him adjusted to me. He's very sweet and calm when I have him out. Today I hand fed him quite a bit, ate a cricket and some cat food, very pleased with that. Wish he would eat on his own haha. I am leaving him be besides some minor cleaning and misting of his tank so I hope he will continue to feel more and more comfortable. He did not bask again today though, hoping he will tomorrow since he ate a bunch tonight.

Thanks everyone for all your help so far.
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby Meeesh » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:59 am

I think it takes time. My guy has been basking and not immediately running from me when I enter the room and talk to him. :)

You're doing everything right! I hand feed, too, when I've got him out. He seems to do eat a little on his own and a lot when he's out lol.
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:54 pm

Thanks!

He shed today, and was out and about much more today. :)
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby mb606587 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:28 pm

Good to hear. They are typically inactive during a shed.
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:00 pm

So assuming he's around 4-6 months old, how often should I be feeding him?

When I first got him he weighed 144 grams. Today I weighed him and he's up to 174 grams :o Seems like a rather large weight gain to me, wondering if he hadn't been eating much at the store.
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby splashy07 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:10 am

Most shops do not feed enough, they grow very fast and people want babies. Bad practice but it's retail. It costs money to feed and house a large skink, for the most part they want to keep them small. I totally disagree with this, I raise mine quite differently. Their most active growth period is from birth up to the first six to ten months, at which time I offer food daily. I let them tell me when to offer less, when they slow down a bit. I have juveniles here born last summer that still eat daily (the males do not as much but the females do!)
okapizebra
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby okapizebra » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:55 am

Thank you for your insight, that is very helpful.

He is eating well, but eats the majority of his food when I hand feed him. Grr.
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Re: New skink owner questions

Postby SRH » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:58 pm

I also have a Halmahera. I found that if I left his food in his main hide while he was adjusting he would gobble it right up. I try not to bother him when he is burrowing. We do twice a week feeding sessions to work on handling and trust, on his terms. He has a WiFi cam so he is out quite a bit while no one is home, so I bet yours is too. They take time and respecting their readiness to interact is in my opinion really helpful.
For the humidity I have a dual system. The fogger runs 2 hours before Dawn and 2 hrs after dark. (Before and after lights on and off). Since I live in the north east US it is very dry so I also got a automatic plant waterer and made a canopy of plants that drip into a pond during the day to keep the dip from going to low. He drinks from the leaves too, so it seems to make him content.
If yours came from a petstore he may be on mash for awhile. I used a food processor until my little rescue figured out what to do with pieces of food and not just pure meat purree.

Just some hints.. good luck!

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