Kalrissan Rottweilers and Central Bearded Dragons
Here at Kalrissan, our reptiles are housed both in and out-doors. During winter, all reptiles are inside but where ever possible, the older reptiles love to go outside for the days if the weather is good. The following are some of our set-ups. We are just in the process of building a stellar outdoor area specific for the Water Dragons that will be complete with 2 ponds, water falls and a full pump filtration set-up. Even Zues, the turtle, may spend some time out here as well when it's done. Watch this space for pics when completed.
The Penthouse Suite: This enclosure featured in the Scales and Tails Australia magazine and included how it was constructed. The lizards love this one!
OUTDOOR MULTI-BAY ENCLOSURE
This enclosure is awesome, allowing many reptiles to be out enjoying the good weather at one time. They are set up species-specific; climbing areas for the monitors & other arboreal reps and loots of hides for the skinks.
Water Dragon and Turtle Enclosure
This enclosure is the pinnacle of water dragon housing. It boasts 2 pond areas with a full time running waterfall and large basking areas. Fully enclosed to prevent escape and predation, they loooove it!!
I keep 2 adult turtles in here and a group of 6 Eastern Water Dragons. The ponds are supported by a large sand pool filter and have heaps of plants and fish. I have additionally added glass viewing panels to avoid the 'closed in' look.
Apart from a few earlier water quality issues, the pond are now basically self-supporting and are cleaned once per week.
OUT-DOOR REHAB ENCLOSURE
This one is frequently used by our rehabilitating wild reptiles, particularly when they are nearly ready for release and we want to test their hunting ability in a bigger enclosure. It is a recycled 22,000 litre water tank and can be divided into two or left as one big area.
Indoor Enclosures and a bit of Husbandry
We aim to give our reptiles the best set-ups in regard to having plenty to do! When they're not outdoors climbing or basking, they can do it inside as well!! This one is a prime example of what you can achieve with a little imagination & time. It is an ex-woolies cosmetic disply case in which the normal fluro loght was removed & replaced with a 10.0 UVB tube for the dragons (in the top). As it is a larg enclosure & the lighting MUST be within 30 cm of the reptile, shelves have been custom made into the backing & and additional 10.0 spiral UVB bulb has been fitted to the bottom of the large shelf, with a 50 w Night-Glo heater next to it. Both now have cages on them to protect against thermal injury. The wiring goes through the back of the enclosure & through the shelf so there is no wiring visible in the enclosure.
The backing is also custom made and looks great. It allows climbing, which the Beardies love. The shelves are coated in water-proofing for hygiene and the whole lot inter-locks & is not secured at all. It can be removed for cleaning. Can you spot the 3 dragons who live here (that gives you an idea of size!!).
There are some basic rules for enclosures - you can convert pretty much anything, so long as you follow some simple rules:
- You need to ensure the UV lights are within 30 cm of your reptile. You can achieve this by lowering the lights OR raising the lizard with logs, rocks, shelves etc
- Make sure the reptile will not burn itself (COVER lights & heaters)
- You need to REPLACE all UV light EVERY 6-MONTHS regardless of whether they are working. After 6-months, the UV output decreases significantly and your reptile will be prone to Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), a TOTALLY UNNECESSARY medical condition resulting from POOR husbandry.
- Make sure you supplement every live-feed with calcium powder to ensure your rep is getting calcium (the UV lighting will help with the uptake of this calcium & prevent brittle bones & MBD.
- Put your light & heater down one end, creating a warm end.
- You MUST have a THERMOSTAT to control your heat. There are great digital ones available that will control your lights (turning them on & off) AND control your heating (turns the heat source on and off to maintain correct temperature). They have alarms to let you know if there are issues and are great if you have a lot of enclosures!! They are all automated & much less work.
- You need to ensure a THERMAL GRADIENT (difference in temperature from one end of the enclosure to the other) of around 5 oC.
- Make sure the humidity is right for your species. You can manipulate this by the size and placement of water bowls.
- Ensure adequate ventillation (make sure it does not overheat in summer). You can cover some vents in winter if you have to. Overheating is the quickest way to kill your reptile.
- Make sure the reptile has ADEQUATE ROOM, particularly if they don't get outside. If you don't have the space DON'T GET the reptile. It's not much fun for an animal to be cooped up with nothing to do in a small enclosure. This is CRUEL. ie: an adult Bearded Dragon (single animal MUST have at least a 4-foot enclosure, with 6-foot being ideal). Remember the nature of the beast - they like to climb and bask, so make sure they have things to climb on and an area to bask.