Blue Tongue Skink Questions.

Discussion in 'Reptiles' started by Colt Frost, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Colt Frost

    Colt FrostWell Known MemberMember

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    I have been thinking about getting another reptile for quite some time, and my aunt just happened to give me an 80 gallon tank that she found on her property, and I also have been looking at blue tongue skinks for a long time. I would use the tank to upgrade my 50 gallon, but the tank is a little cracked on the bottom. So I have a couple questions about BTS's. Would a good diet be Grape leaves, Kale, Blue berries (sparingly), Cantaloupe (sparingly), Carrots, Peas, Grapes (sparingly), Low sodium low fat dog/cat food, Dubia roaches, Super worms, Meal worms, Wax worms, Crickets, Snails, and Watercress dusted 1-2x a week with vitamins and calcium? All of those things wouldn't be fed all at once, just rotate between all of those options. Mix and match everything. And then I was thinking of doing a Bio-active habitat with real plants and I was wondering if anyone could help me figure that out a little bit I would be thankful. I will do some research on that in the meantime. And then I know I need a basking light along with a basking rock/spot, a heat pad, a ceramic bulb, a 4 inch deep water dish, a feeding dish of some kind, 2-3 hides that the skink can go all the way into one of them being a moist hide, and a thermometer and hygrometer (any recommendations?). Is there anything I'm forgetting. And thank you in advance for the advice and replies.
     
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    Colt Frost

    Colt FrostWell Known MemberMember

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  3. BReefer97

    BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

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    It all depends on what subspecies you’re looking in to getting. Any ideas on what you’re looking in to? Because some require low humidity while Indonesian species require relatively high humidity (60%-80%). A lot don’t seem to know this and that’s why a lot of Indonesian species end up losing toes because of bad sheds.

    They don’t require a heat mat, it’s actually recommended not to use one as they don’t need belly heat to digest their food like some other reptiles. A ceramic heat emitter will be more than enough. I recommend using a UVB light as well, you don’t need one, but it’s very beneficial. Grain free cat food for babies and juveniles (cat food has higher protein), and grain free dog food for adults. You can feed dry or wet. They can live and thrive SOLELY off of grain free dog food, it has everything necessary for them - so you don’t need to be making your own mix unless you’d like to. I would only feed the homemade greens/veggie/fruit mix once every week or two but I’d also include the cat/dog food with it.

    You can use springtails and isopods for your bioactive set up, though I think I’ve heard of them munching on the isopods occasionally. For plants that’s iffy because they love to burrow and dig. Whatever plants you decide to use, I would keep them in a plastic, lightweight pot. We have pothos in our enclosures and they do really well.

    29660709-A6ED-421F-A227-833178AC4C0C.

    We have Merauke BTSs.
     
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    Colt Frost

    Colt FrostWell Known MemberMember

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    Thank you so much for the reply! In that link it has a recipe that mixes dog food and veggies/fruit together in kind of like a salad. You make it in big batches and then freeze it and take out what's needed when you need it. I think for a baby/juvenile I could substitute the dog food in the recipe for cat food. And for types I was thinking a Northern, Tiliqua gigas (Axanthic Halmahera), Eastern, or a Blotched.
     
  5. BReefer97

    BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

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    That would work perfectly, it’s all up to you. Either way your skink would be getting everything it needs and then some as long as you’re offering cat/dog food (grain free! Always grain free!). The only thing you’d really have to worry about between subspecies is the substrate you’re going to choose because some hold humidity better than others. The basking temperatures also vary between subspecies so that’s something to look out for as well :)
     
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    Colt Frost

    Colt FrostWell Known MemberMember

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    I'm going to look for some guides on making a bio-active setup, but form what I do know is there are layers to it. And for the top layer I'm thinking of doing a combination of eco-earth, Orchid bark, and Sphagnum moss. If I were to get the Tiliqua gigas I would need to have the humidity at about 70-80 while allowing it to drop and rise between there. If I were to get an Eastern or Northern they need about 20-45 from what I read, so I wouldn't really need to do anything to change it, due to my fishtanks constantly making my room about 35-40. For a Northern of Eastern is it best to use that mix of substrates? And also how often do you feed? I was reading for a baby it's daily, for a juvenile 4-5 days a week, and for an adult 2-3 times a week.
     
  7. BReefer97

    BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

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    That combination of substrate would work well for any species I would think - the only difference would be how much you would spray the enclosure down and how often. And for a bioactive set up you’ll probably still need to remove the poop because they’re so large, but the clean up crew (CUC) will handle the urates. You’ll also need a drainage layer of preferably hydro/clay balls (you can a massive bag of hydroponic clay balls on Amazon) and a layer of screen/mesh (I would use screen as mesh sometimes doesn’t allow enough water through), and then the substrate on top of that.
     
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    Colt Frost

    Colt FrostWell Known MemberMember

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    Thank you so much for the info! Would I still need a basking light or would the ceramic emitter and UVB bulb be enough?
     
  9. BReefer97

    BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

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    The ceramic heat emitter will be your basking spot, so you won’t need a “heat light.” And the UVB will provide beneficial D3 while also lighting your enclosure :) no problem! If you have any more questions feel free to ask because I absolutely love helping with BTSs. They’re by far my favorite reptile.
     
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    Colt Frost

    Colt FrostWell Known MemberMember

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    With that "salad" recipe it adds 8 teaspoons of vitamins and calcium. Rep-cal Herptivite and Rep-cal calcium with vitamin D3. Is that too much to be feeding every other day or so for a juvenile/young adult? And I think a better thing to do is start it off with just straight cat food as a baby /juve and then after 12 months, I think it is, switch it over to the "salad" with dog food. Does that sound ok?
     
  11. BReefer97

    BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

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    Hmmm, not very sure on that. I think that would depend on the amount it makes. I don’t have much of an opinion on that as we just stick to cat/dog food because it’s easier and has everything they need. Once we start breeding the skinks we may start making our own mix, but until then it just seems easier and safer to use the dog/cat food solely. There’s a page on Facebook called “Blue Tongue Skink Enthusiasts” that you could ask and they’re all relatively polite and knowledgeable :)
     
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