Anyone Keeping Gila Monsters?

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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I've been thinking about getting a Gila or a Beaded when I get some money up.

They seem pretty easy to keep from all ive been reading but would like to hear from someone with some experience.
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
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I have 2 beadeds. They're pretty awesome and the care is almost as easy as a tarantula.

I recommend Steve angeli if you decide to get either, he'll take good care of you.
 

DireWolf0384

Arachnoangel
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I'd love to have a Gila! Sadly I can't afford it at the time. They are certainly beautiful lizards if you ask me.
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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They are awesome animals! But, be aware that you still have to follow all venomous laws. Even though a bite is not fatal, it is still a restricted animal. They are also illegal to keep in AZ. Don't know where you live, but thought I'd throw that in.

Seems you're doing your research. Is there anything specific that you would like to know?
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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mainly enclosures especially substrate and special lighting.

I'd like to get something they can burrow in but im not really sure what that would be.

Also the size of the enclosure. From what I read 3square ft for an adult. Would a 55gal be ok for that? or too skinny?


Alot of the caresheets I have been finding are rather vague.
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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As far as adults go, a male can be adequately housed in a 40 breeder. A female needs a 4'x2'.

So, yes, a 55 is too narrow.

Anything else, holler! :)
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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The page is vague as I said. You can use almost any substrate with them, but I'm wondering what would be the best burrowing substrate.

So somewhere around 36"x18' for a male? Shouldnt be too bad if so.


Also can you keep them in a pair? male/female? or is it better to just keep them by themselves?
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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I have no idea what the best burrowing substrate would be. I don't even know anybody else that allows it...so, as far as who to ask, I don't know. Sorry.

Yes. 36"x18" would be perfect for a male. Just keep in mind, these are basically the minimal needs. Always feel more than free to go bigger. :)

You can keep them as a pair, but I recommend that only if you are doing so for breeding purposes. As with most specimens, keeping individually is usually best.
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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Well it would be a display animal for me so a rack system with newspaper isnt really going to cut it.

I read a mixture of sand/peatmoss and bark chips is good for the burrowing.


Also do they need uva or uvb lightning? I read about someone having florecent lights for his cages but it didnt say anything about it really as to what kind.

I'll probably try and find one about 36x24.

I'm going to try reading up on it more i found a few people talking about having them in colonies you just have to make sure they are eating and usually feed seperately. So I may get something 5 or 6 ft by 2 ft or so.
 

8by8

Arachnoknight
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If you search reptilechannel.com you will find a really nice recipe for desert dwellers (gilas are from thr desert right?) I read it in a reptiles magazine article. Actually explains why it's good for desert burrowers.
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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Hm.. that recipe uses fertilizer seems odd to me. I'll have to find some reviews of it.
 

8by8

Arachnoknight
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The fertalizer threw a big warning at me too, but I figure not any in there a your good. Or substitute it with something all natural like compost, bloodmeal, bonemeal, or something non-synthetic. May take some testing, but my local U.S. Geological Survey hq does free soil testing. If sure that would be the same for them in your area.
 

Alejandro45

Arachnosquire
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I recommend decomposed granite.. attractive, holds a tunnel, and is used for all sorts desert herps. spinytail iguana keepers swear by it. so does proexotics.....and gilas are great reptiles to keep.:)

they do need a period of hibernation... My old boss used to put them in the fridge at 37 degrees F for a month. after that it was mateing city.{D
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Well it would be a display animal for me so a rack system with newspaper isnt really going to cut it.

I read a mixture of sand/peatmoss and bark chips is good for the burrowing.


Also do they need uva or uvb lightning? I read about someone having florecent lights for his cages but it didnt say anything about it really as to what kind.

I'll probably try and find one about 36x24.

I'm going to try reading up on it more i found a few people talking about having them in colonies you just have to make sure they are eating and usually feed seperately. So I may get something 5 or 6 ft by 2 ft or so.
If you are looking for good caging that works well for display, this is what I use:
www.ShowcaseCages.com

They don't need UVA/UVB. They are similar to snakes in that regard. They eat like snakes as well. Just feed a rat every week or two (dependent on size/age) and they get all their nutrients from that.

My old boss used to put them in the fridge at 37 degrees F for a month. after that it was mateing city.{D
Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
 

Alejandro45

Arachnosquire
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Sounds like a recipe for disaster.[/QUOTE]

I thought that too! but once they are warmed up they become very active and start breeding like crazy. just be sure to fatten them up before cooling them down. but you cannot feed them a week before putting them in cooling, any undigested food will rot in there stomach. in the wild Heloderms gradually go into this cycle and will be off feed before hibernation.


If you are serious about keeping heloderma and actually understanding them

I recommend :Biology of Gila Monsters and Beaded Lizards by Daniel Beck

http://www.amazon.com/Biology-Monst...=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288292431&sr=1-2
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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Seems alittle too cold from what I've read so far.

But I wonder how it would work with maybe like a wine cooler or something to that effect that could be set at around 50~ degrees. My house rarely drops below 75 so giving them a good hibernation temp is going to be alittle difficult so I'm looking for other options.
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Dyn...where do you live? 75 is HOT! Lol. The garage gets about 50 in the winter for me.
 

Dyn

Arachnobaron
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Southern MS. We usually have the house pretty warm. I'll have to check temps throughout the winter, but with the house set on 75 and the cages for my pythons it usually doesnt go below that usually stays closer to 77 or 78
 

DrJ

Arachnobaron
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Man...you guys like it toasty! 72 is about as warm as I can handle indoors. My house stays between 68-72 year round. Depending on heat outdoors. So, for many of my snakes, simply unplugging the heat on the cages is good enough.
 
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