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Thread: Future tegu owner with some questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Alberta Canada
    Thanked 339 Times in 323 Posts

    Default Future tegu owner with some questions

    Hello everyone! I'm planning to get a baby Chacoan giant tegu in 2019 but have a few questions for current owners/breeders regarding care/feeding for them. I have worked with tegus before but have never owned one(I'm no beginner to reptile keeping)

    1) is Tegutopia (Canada) a reliable place to buy from? They sell chacoan giants for 500$ a baby.

    2 ) I'm planning for a 12'x4'x5' (LxWxH) custom viv with 1ft deep soil for digging and a large/deep water dish (like a large cat litter tray). I plan for maybe 3 or 4 halogen flood bulbs over a basking sight and a couple large UV strip bulbs. Would that suffice for a extreme giant?

    3 ) what's the best diet, including portions, for a baby to an adult extreme giant? Do you reccomend hand feeding or tong feeding?(I'll probably do a whole prey diet but would like to know portions)

    4 ) what's their temper like? Are they like normal argentine B&W's where they will be like giant puppies if tamed/trained properly?

    5 ) are they easily trained? Ex: if I wanted to train my tegu to poop in one spot in its viv or to not poop/pee on people, would that be possible?

    6 ) are they good for taking outside often? It's only really warm enough for a tegu here for 2 or 3 months each year and I'd like to use that to my advantage to take him outside, weather it be in the backyard or to a park, to get some natural sun and fresh air.

    7 ) is it possible to sex babies? I'd like to have a male but if I get a female that's alright.

    8 ) any tips for a first time owner? I'd love all the tips and tricks I can get as I want to make sure I know everything I can before getting one myself.
    C.Ciliatus E.Macularius 1.2 Lampropeltis getula floridana 0.1 Boa Constrictor Imperator 0.1
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts


    I can help with a few of these!

    Tegus are omnivorous, so some foods that I know that they like (at least, they're liked by an Argentine red) include canned super premium dog food, tilapia, chicken, and mice/rats (for proteins), and grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and other fruits. (Not so much veggies, but that's just from my own experience.) The Argentine red I work with LOVES blueberries and mice, those are his favorite foods as an adult! I would tong-feed initially and work up to hand-feeding once you're comfortable with the animal. They are incredibly intelligent and will likely not bite you once they get to know you better but I'd keep it safe initially.

    Your lighting sounds good, just make sure to provide plenty of UVB and have designated cool and hot sides for thermoregulation. As well, your tank sounds great size-wise! One tip for the big water bowl; if it's big enough for the tegu to get inside of, they will poop inside of it as soon as you clean out the dish. Placing cool water instead of warm water back in the dish after cleaning keeps them from pooping in it as quickly.

    As well, they do love to dig so the foot of digging substrate will definitely get used!

    Taking them outside is a great way to encourage natural behaviors and to provide enrichment! I often take the male I work with outside on a harness in the summer so he can absorb some UVB naturally and dig, etc. Harnesses are your best friends for these guys!

    Good luck with your tegu!
    2.2.3 Correlophus ciliatus
    1. Phelsuma madagascariensis


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