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Old 12-02-17, 10:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Red ackie monitor

Hello! New to these forums

Iv been researching into potential lizards to keep.

Iv been really intrigued with red ackie monitors. The only issue Iím having is, given my circumstances, I can bring home whatever reptile I want as long as there are no insects involved.

One person I know has a savanah monitor and feeds it exclusively meats, such as turkey, chicken, mice and rats. He takes amazing care of this lizard and brings him to the vet for general check ups multiple times a year and is always in good health

Can red ackies live on a similar diet without insects and be healthy?
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Old 12-06-17, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Red ackie monitor

Ackie Monitors are a fantastic species to keep. They can be maintained on a pure rodent diet but, it can be pretty unhealthy for them to do so. I would not recommend keeping them on a pure rodent diet, ackie monitors in particular thrive on a diet of roaches and crickets. Without those things in their diet it can be hard to maintain them properly. If you can't feed insects I wouldn't recomend keeping ackie monitors. Insects provide vital sources of nutrition without the worry of extra fats and fur. Rodents are essential in the diet of most monitors, but, in my opinion should not be the only thing you feed ackie monitors (although there should be some rodents in their diet). If you are serious about getting one, I highly suggest you start to breed a dubia roach colony, they are easy to maintain and not problematic. You should never get an ackie monitor just because they look "cool" be aware that these lizards are very intelligent and should be given the best care possible. There should never be short cuts that are better for you and not your animal. For any more information please check out my ackie monitor care sheet.
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Old 12-06-17, 12:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Red ackie monitor

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Originally Posted by DJC Reptiles View Post
Ackie Monitors are a fantastic species to keep. They can be maintained on a pure rodent diet but, it can be pretty unhealthy for them to do so. I would not recommend keeping them on a pure rodent diet, ackie monitors in particular thrive on a diet of roaches and crickets. Without those things in their diet it can be hard to maintain them properly. If you can't feed insects I wouldn't recomend keeping ackie monitors. Insects provide vital sources of nutrition without the worry of extra fats and fur. Rodents are essential in the diet of most monitors, but, in my opinion should not be the only thing you feed ackie monitors (although there should be some rodents in their diet). If you are serious about getting one, I highly suggest you start to breed a dubia roach colony, they are easy to maintain and not problematic. You should never get an ackie monitor just because they look "cool" be aware that these lizards are very intelligent and should be given the best care possible. There should never be short cuts that are better for you and not your animal. For any more information please check out my ackie monitor care sheet.
Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh, but insects are very important in the diet of Ackie and most monitors especially as hatchlings. Ackie's can be maintained on a pure rodent diet, but the end result can be an unhealthy overweight animal. They should be allowed to hunt for insects in their own enclosure, as this allows them to exercise and have a bit of fun. Do you mind me asking why you don't want to use insects?
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Old 12-06-17, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Red ackie monitor

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Originally Posted by DJC Reptiles View Post
Ackie Monitors are a fantastic species to keep. They can be maintained on a pure rodent diet but, it can be pretty unhealthy for them to do so. I would not recommend keeping them on a pure rodent diet, ackie monitors in particular thrive on a diet of roaches and crickets. Without those things in their diet it can be hard to maintain them properly. If you can't feed insects I wouldn't recomend keeping ackie monitors. Insects provide vital sources of nutrition without the worry of extra fats and fur. Rodents are essential in the diet of most monitors, but, in my opinion should not be the only thing you feed ackie monitors (although there should be some rodents in their diet). If you are serious about getting one, I highly suggest you start to breed a dubia roach colony, they are easy to maintain and not problematic. You should never get an ackie monitor just because they look "cool" be aware that these lizards are very intelligent and should be given the best care possible. There should never be short cuts that are better for you and not your animal. For any more information please check out my ackie monitor care sheet.
Hi, it`s genuinely nice to see you posting again, but please do not refer other beginners to "your" caresheet which contains some seriously poor advise. Rodents per se are NOT "essential" for most monitor species, though obviously they can form a decent percentage of the captive diet for some.
You have already mentioned that you do not have any personal experience keeping any varanid species, surely that means everything you suggest is pure hearsay?
Instead of offering advise at this time, why not learn more by asking questions and perhaps getting some of that "personal experience"? Thanks!
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Old 12-06-17, 06:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Red ackie monitor

Hi, I will offer some advise on the Spiny tailed monitor later, but first I will say that feeding a varanid (of any species) a diet based on lean meats, turkey mixes etc, will definitely result in a shortened lifespan, whole prey are superior in every respect.
Vertebrate prey can be offered to V. acanthurus (not necessarily just rodents) but inverts should also be offered regularly.
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Old 12-07-17, 12:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Red ackie monitor

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Originally Posted by murrindindi View Post
Hi, it`s genuinely nice to see you posting again, but please do not refer other beginners to "your" caresheet which contains some seriously poor advise. Rodents per se are NOT "essential" for most monitor species, though obviously they can form a decent percentage of the captive diet for some.
You have already mentioned that you do not have any personal experience keeping any varanid species, surely that means everything you suggest is pure hearsay?
Instead of offering advise at this time, why not learn more by asking questions and perhaps getting some of that "personal experience"? Thanks!
Sorry you feel that way, but whole prey such as rodents is not "essential". I believe supplying them in a diet would result in a healthy monitor with a mix of dubias and mealworms.Yeah, I won't link my care sheet anymore until I refine it, that was my mistake. I understand there will be people disagreeing with me, and that's fine. But my point was, Ackie monitors should never be kept on a diet purely consisting of rodents because that will result in an unhealthy overweight animal. Certain monitor species are more adapt to eat just rodents as adults, but even then, 80% of the time your going to get an obese animal. Canned diets consisting of turkey, lean meats, and such, are often one of the worst ways to go because you can never be completely sure your animal is getting the right amount of nutrients. And you're right, I don't keep monitors, what I say is not expert opinion, and is only based off of my studying this species. I never recommend that a person only follows advice from one source because there are a many different "right" ways to take care of an animal. I am only on this at this point to help and learn, and gain that personal experience.
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Old 12-07-17, 01:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Red ackie monitor

I feed my little yellows a fairly varied diet. Every other day they get a batch of roughly 10-15 crickets which are the main portion of their diet. Occasionally I toss in some smaller dubia, wax worms, and earthworm/nightcrawler. My ackies won't touch meal worms. I have been considering smallish fish but want to do a bit more research into this first. They can also eat lizards...anoles and house geckos come to mind, but they're pricey and not super practical. I have not fed mine mice, not sure if I plan to either. I will eventually incorporate quail/smallish eggs into their diet after seeing a few videos of wild ackies digging up eggs. I think as Murrindindi is actually in Australia he/she (? sorry) would be able to offer good advice on how frequently spiny tails will consume mammalian prey and perhaps how crucial it is to their diet, if at all.

If you can't feed insects I think you will have an issue with most lizard type species, it's sort of their bread and butter diet, especially when they're young. Can I ask what circumstance keep you from the insect route? The reason I ask is there are a couple options out there besides crickets. I really hate keeping crickets around as I think they stink to high hell and make and awful ruckus when they're warm, fat and happy. So I keep them out in the garage...to be by themselves where they belong

Dubia is a pretty decent option as well. They're quiet and have little to no smell if you're maintaining the colony well. They're a little pricey but I spent about $50 a year ago on about 200 roaches and they're now a self sustaining colony, costing me only roach feed and water crystals. Setup for breeding the roaches is as simple as a rubbermaid container and temps around 90-95, feed them and they'll do the rest.

Some folks feed superworms as well. I have only fed mine supers 3 times. The interesting thing is that the supers will try to burrow in the substrate providing some hunting pleasure for the monitor. I've watched one of my monitors furiously digging and then dunk his head in and pop up with a wiggling super. My little ones are extremely movement driven. I can generally hand feed them wax worms, but they seem to like chasing down the crickets the most, they go freakin berserk matter of fact.

You may also consider a bearded dragon. They're pretty interactive as well, perhaps more so than spiny tails....maybe I should say tame. You can also feed beardies greens as they grow older which would offset your need for so many insects but they will still need them overall, especially as babies.

Whatever direction you go I wish you the best of luck. Keeping ackies has been my best reptile experience. They're intelligent, inquisitive, and just a hoot to observe. I'm more hands off with my monitors but they will occasionally crawl in my hand to get some food...many times when I enter the room they run up and start pawing at the glass to get their batch'o'bugs . All the best

Semper Fi,
Derek G
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