New member. Couple of questions

Discussion in 'Uromastyx' started by Rick78, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Rick78

    Rick78 Embryo

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    Hello. New here. Long time keeper of turtles but also have a uro. I am not exactly sure how long I have owned Spike but it has been probably at least three years or close to it. I purchased him from Deer Fern Farms. He is a mali uro. I am wondering if he looks underweight? Lately he looks skinny to me. He is fed daily. Here are a couple pics. Yes, I know it is time to scoop the debris from his cage. :)

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi,
    Firstly, welcome to the forum.

    Can you give us his length and weight and although you say he looks skinny now, has he actually lost any weight
    Could you give us a run down on the setup,
    size of tank
    temps warm and cool end
    basking spot temp
    how are they measured and what type of thermometer are you using
    what UVB have you got

    The reason I ask is that tank seems very narrow, looking at that shot taken more or less from above.
    I'm not saying this is the case, but if the "footprint" of tank is too small, although he has been Ok for 3 years, does or could have a bearing on his general health.
    The recommended footprint size of tank for a uro is 48x18 minimum. They will use every inch of it, believe me, mine does.

    What do you feed him? Please list everything you give him.
    What supplements do you use and how often?

    Sorry for all the questions but it will help determine any problems that may be causing him to look skinny, although you say he eats daily.
    Mine gets through 200+ grams of veg and salad a week and he's 12 months old and 11" long.

    We will try and eliminate any possible causes if you answer all the above questions.
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. TacomaAnne

    TacomaAnne RR Contest Winner

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    Definately answer all the questions Bruno asked... it will help us understand your set up,
    lighting, diet and we maybe able to better assess the health of your Uro.

    Here is My Liono, he is also Mali Uromastxy about 3.5 yrs old and 11" Long from tip of nose
    to tip of tail, he weighs 228g as of Feb. 1st.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. Rick78

    Rick78 Embryo

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    Thanks for the replies. Here is the info:
    He is about 11" and 171 grams.

    The tank is a 55 gal. It is 4'x1'.
    The temp in the basking area is 120.
    The cool end of the tank is 75
    I have a 150w zoo med basking spot lamp.
    The other lamps are two flourescent tube lamps that are reptisun desert UVB bulbs.
    As far as food he is fed the following: spring mix, endive, dandelion flowers and leaves, banana (treat he loves), bok choy, mixed veggies once a week, occasional insect, crushed up 15 bean soup, food is sprinkled with ground up mazuri tortoise diet couple times a week, occasional squash when I have it, supplements are a mix of minerall and repcal vitamin mix couple times a week.

    He is very active and runs around all day. He does appear to be a bit thinner this winter. The one in the pics above looks FAT compared to mine. Since the day I got him he has had what appears to be an issue with his mouth. Deer Fern Farms offered to replace him but I kept him. It hasn't gotten any worse but now appears to just be scarred.
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi Rick,
    There's absolutely nothing in your setup or diet that would cause him to look thin, as far as I can see. In fact it's spot on, well done.
    It may be just the natural winter slow down.
    Have you had a fecal done lately, it may be a good idea, just to eliminate any possible parasite infection. It's worth having it done once a year, just for reassurance.
    I honestly cant offer as further suggestions at this point, may be if TacomaAnne sees this she may be able to offer more.
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. Rick78

    Rick78 Embryo

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    Thanks Bruno! I am not new to herps at all so I was pretty sure everything was being done right. He seems underweight as that is the first time I have weighed him. He is very active.
     
  12. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi Rick,
    The fact he's very active is a good sign, I would try and weigh him weekly and keep a record, any significant weight loss should be investigated.
    Uro's like humans come in all shapes and sizes at any given age.
    The pictures show him as being healthy, nice fat tail etc, just continue to monitor his weight.
    I dont think the mouth issue is causing problems, if it's just scarred, watch for any sign of "weeping" or inflamation, but as this has been there for 3 years now, I think we can eliminate that.
    I would still go along with a fecal exam as a precaution.
    Hope this helps
     
  13. TacomaAnne

    TacomaAnne RR Contest Winner

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    Since he's active, that is a good sign, I also would suggest a fecal be done, make sure they
    do a "float" test and a microscope test.

    Good weight for his size, mine is just a piggy and eats over a cup of greens every day.

    Uro's love a large foot print of space, if you can get a 48"x24"x24", it would be a bit better
    What is your substrate?

    Excellent !

    Try raising this a few degrees, maybe say around 80-85, I think that might help.
    What are your night time temps? Do you use any lights at night?

    You might try getting a MegaRay MVB (Mercury Vapor Bulb) as they give off heat and UVB, this will
    save you some money as I know those desert UVB bulbs are pricy.

    Take out the insects, too much protein causes medical issues. Also make sure in the 15 bean soup,
    you take out the kidney beans. At his age/weight, he shouldnt need the miner-all or repcal vitamins
    but maybe 1-2x per month if he is getting the right diet. Try adding some grated bell peppers,
    zuchinni and some cilantro in every 4-5 days, they love them !!!

    I hope you have found some of this helpful, if you have any further questions, don't be afraid to ask :p
    We don't bite like on some other forums, we are just slow to respond LOL
     
  14. Rick78

    Rick78 Embryo

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    The substrate is play sand. I have thought about changing it. What do you use? I like the look of it.

    I don't use any lights or heat sources at night. So I would say he goes down at night to about 65-70 this time of year. His tank is covered on three sides by one inch thick styrofoam. At night during winter I put up a piece covering the front, open side to hold in heat.

    Will look into that mercury vapor bulb to use instead of the others. Would that be used in place of all my lights or just my tube lights?

    He gets about one insect every month or so so I doubt that would have any effects on his health.

    Interesting you say he doesn't need any supplements. I thought that was always needed. My box turtles which live outdoors don' t use them since they moved outside but that was due to them being outdoors.

    He won't touch bell peppers as I have tried. WHat are your thoughts on bananas? He LOVES them and goes nuts over them.

    Could you guys show me your lighting setups? Thanks.
     
  15. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi rick,
    This is going to be a long post so bear with me.
    Playsand is a very good substrate, I believe TacomaAnne is using pool filter sand, no doubt she will correct me if I'm wrong.
    In your 55g tank I think an MVB + the 150w may to too much heat, it will be a case of trying then using a lower wattage basking lamp if needed.
    The MVB will concentrate the UV into a smaller area, specially if you use the "deep dome" reflector, this would allow him to get away from the UV yet still have the needed basking heat.

    This is the techy bit, hope it will help you understand the connection between the UVB, heat and D3.
    Reptiles, Manufacture "pro-vitamin D3" (or 7DHC),in their skin cells just below the surface. When exposed to wavelengths between 290 and 315nm,(UVB), this is rapidly converted to "pre-vitamin D3". When they bask, (under heat lamp) this is then converted to D3. This is then carry by the blood stream to the liver where it is further converted to "Calcediol".
    Calcediol is then carried round the body in the bloodstream, to all the major organs, to keep them functioning healthy, some to the kidneys where it is converted to "calcetriol" this plays a major part in calcium metabolism and governes the levels of calcium in the blood, it controls the absorption rate.
    D3 is a substance that is toxic in large amounts, this is why any supplements given should be used with caution as reptiles have a safety mechanism to prevent excess D3 being made.
    Calcium powder with added D3, goes directly to the kidneys and is not proccessed naturally. To much could result in "hypervitaminosis-D" (overdose) and lead to kidney failure and calcification of tissues and possibly premature death.
    Research is now showing that it may not be nessesary to supplement with a lot of calcium, D3 and multi-vits, as TacomaAnne says maybe 1 or 2x a month.
    Providing a good quality UVB and correct basking temps, along with a good diet are given.


    Regards banana's, these should only be used as very occassional treats, they are like candy to a kid.
    1 slice of banana or 6 grams contain
    Sugar..0ยท73 g
    Calcium..0(mg)
    Phosphorus..1(mg)
    Potassium..21(mg)
    The C:ph ratio should be 2:1 as you can see, it isn't.
    Potassium is also very high which is not good.


    Sorry, I hope I haven't bored you to death with all this.

    Right here's my setup pics
    First is the present one

    [​IMG]

    Then the new one underconstruction.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Rick78

    Rick78 Embryo

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    Thanks for the post. I understand the D3 stuff as I am not new to herps by any means. I am thinking of picking up one of those MVB bulbs for the primary basking area then using a smaller, lower wattage for the other side of the tank. I actually do not like the two strip lights I have on the other side. Thanks!
     
  17. Syzurp

    Syzurp Embryo

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    Just to add on to what Bruno said about the calcium to phosphorus ratios Im posting a little excerpt from another forum.

    Why is it important to know Calcium-Phosphorus Ratios?
    Most people don't realize the importance of the calcium-Phosphorus ratio. For every gram of phosphorus ingested, your reptile's body needs at least one gram of calcium to match that gram of phosphorus in order for phosphorus to be absorbed by the intestinal wall. If you do not at least match the phosphorus gram for gram with calcium, they will pull the calcium from the reptile's body which will possibly result in Metabolic Bone Disease.

    Now you dont have to make sure everything your feeding is 1:1 or 2:1 just that what he does eat as a staple outweighs any snacks or rotationals you might add in that are off of the ratio for the Uro. If your feeding Endive, Chicory, and Dandelion greens as a staple then your already meeting the standard over and above. Adding collard and or mustard greens once a week will bring the calcium side of the Ca:p ratio of the staple mix much higher, but must only be used sparingly as it is high in oxalic acid which can bind your reptiles calcium, in turn your reptile will not have very much calcium available for its body to use. Use of vegetables high in oxalic acid may lead to kidney failure or even Metabolic Bone Disease.

    Also banana is very sticky and will stick to the jowels and around the mouth if not prepared small enough, which could cause fungus and bacteria to breed possibly resulting in what is known as Cheilitis aka crusty lip disease (hard white crusting around the mouth). If using banana in the fruit plate then cut it in very small pieces able to be swallowed without "chewing". I am not saying that banana is the cause of the disease by any means, but because it is so moist the humidity from the banana and the warmth that comes from the mouth can leave an opening for a breeding ground of germs and fungus.
     
  18. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Hi Rick,
    Sorry didnt mean to preach.
    The setup MVB main basking and lower wattage at other side is the common way of doing it.
    From what's been said on many forums, the Mega-ray MVB's are highly rated, a good UVB and UVA output, with a much longer usable life than most, some report as much as 12 to 15 months use, worth checking out.
    A good site to read is the uvguide co uk lots of info and test results shown, includes Mega-ray tests.
     
  19. TacomaAnne

    TacomaAnne RR Contest Winner

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    Hi Rick !

    Bruno is right ... I use Pool Filter Sand, it's very clean, no dust, no rocks and cleans up
    very easily. I change it out about every 6 months. You can get it at Pool Supply places,
    $15 a 50# bag and worth every penny. I also use it for my Bearded Dragons.

    Here is my Enclosure:
    [​IMG]
    (Disregard the wood on top of the den, I cleaned and left it there by accident LOL)
    On the far left I have a regular 40w household bulb

    On the right hand side, I have a 26w Repti-Sun 10.0 bulb and a MVB bulb and a
    Ceramic Heat Emitter for night time. The MVB is a SunSeeker which are known
    not to put out much UVB, that is why I have the supplemental UVB bulb. I can't
    use a MegaRay bulb because my enclosures are only 18" high and if I used one
    of those, my basking spot would only be 7" from the light, and with that kind of
    bulb, it will need to be at least 12".

    I keep my night time temps around 78-79, I find that this temp brings my Uro's out
    earlier in the morning. My lights come on at 7am and they are all usually out and
    running around by 8am.

    I don't like feeding mine fruit except apple slices, most fruits get too sticky and get
    drug around in the sand.

    :p
     
  20. Rick78

    Rick78 Embryo

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    Thanks again everyone. The banana thing is an occasional treat. Guess I made it sound like it is fed as a staple. I may get one of those Mega ray bulbs but I can't find a pic of one to know if it will work in my fixture. Then on the right hand side just use a lower wattage bulb. Guessing that bulb doesn't have to be uvb since the mega ray will handle that?
     
  21. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    1,677
    Hi,
    Yes you are correct the MVB will handle it, the other can be a simply household spot for light/heat
    A good site for a long read, get yourself a mug of coffee pull up a chair :p
    Lots of info regards UVB with pictures and reports of tests carried out.
    Check out uvguide co uk in particular mercury vapour lamps.
    A more specific site for Mega rays is Reptileuv
     
  22. bruno

    bruno Moderator

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    Sorry double post
     

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