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Posted by: FR
Date: November 09, 2017 04:23PM
If I were to think about what kind of problem your having, It would be about temps more then nesting. I was thinking it back then when you installed that third heat lite on one side.
If you look at my pilbaras, and I only use them because its easy to see. I have six levels of temps. Well seven. But six levels of crevices they can use. Plus the substrate temps and air temps.
The top level, basking is 145F or so, the next level down is about 120F and the third level is about 100F. Fourth level, is 90F, Fifth level, less and the sixth level is last at aprox is 84F. Consider all temps as aprox as my heat gun sucks.
The animals when growing, and being fed, use as much heat as they can tolerate. That's easy. Feedum and they stay hot and grow like weeds.
But when the females mature, that changes, With the pilbaras The male commonly shelters at level 3, which is aprox 100F, then moves to more heat as needed. What may be the(possible) female, is not choosing that type of heat, commonly using the fourth and fifth layers. The 85 to 90F range. And will move to heat after she feeds etc, but quickly goes down to her base cool temps.
If either had a need, they can burrow down to low 80's.
What reproducing females require is a way to use lower temps. Its here they convert fat to eggs, not high temps. So females require that range of temps we talk about, 75 to 150f aprox.
Its here that USABLE temps become important. for instance, if they do not like the substrate, they simply do not dig down. So you have lost the ability to have them go to lower temps as needed. So They are stuck in heat that is not for reproduction. That overheating can cause as many problems as too little heat.
The pilbaras are EASY to provide that type of usable layering of temps. Your monitors are not. As you see. They choose to not use it, what happens is, they don't try to use it, they just don't and bam, game over. everything goes out of line.
So, my indoor whitethroats, had heat on one end, and not over the entire cage, and mine would burrow. that is, make burrow shelters. So they had a few boards on the surface, but you cannot stack them high, as, 1. there is no room in a trough, and 2. they normally thermoregulate by burrowing.
Outside, I put Retes boards in the cage, but not to get inbetween, I use three boards, as it would drop the temps on the top board, from the 160's, to under the third board , high 80's. Then they could burrow down if needed.
Then consider, if you keep feeding them, and your stuck doing that if reproducing is your goal. The females will get to near 3 ft if not over, and twice or more the mass they are now. The male/s, will approach 4 ft, and over twice the mass it is now. They just ain't going to fit in your room. Unless you bunk bed it up. CREATIVE THINKING IS REQURIED HERE.
So, a range of temps is how the female regulates her hormones and development. ITs a requirement. If it wasn't I would not recommend that range. It is that simple.
Larger burrowers are not all that suited for in houses. Water monitors, and mertens are, as they can easily achieve a range of temps, as long as they have water to cool down in.
So, whats the solution, Hell if I know, I don't have your restrictions. But, I would recommend a more earthy substrate, like Carlas, and only keeping a pair in that cage during reproduction. The goal is, to get them to choose a range of temps, from cool to hot, once that is done, your good to go.
You have shown what high heat does, They eat like pigs and look wonderful, not round or FAT. No fatty liver BS etc. But, that continued heat will interfere with reproduction. Its hard to have both in a small cage.
Solutions may be to build up from your trough. that is, like the Tyler cage I showed Sherie. And make heat selections up higher. Again, this is only guesswork as here, I just test it and see.
While its tons easier, The pilbaras have gone thru three stages of development, and three different board setups, In 3 1/2 months plus a few days. The setup I am running now is working absolutely great. They are working it. If only theres a pair. hahahahahahahahaha You remember what that was like.
One reason I do not do the quality of work you do is, I understand all of it is temporary. And will be redone soon. Its called working with them. They eat, and we keep working.
As mentioned, I do not have a species cage, I have function cages, raise up, nesting, holding etc. And set them up accordingly. Raise ups 115s hot spot, holding, middle, highs only in the 110s or less. And breeder cages, full temp range.
Again with small monitors, Its easy to do, as they fit well in normal troughs etc. Even large fish tanks can be made to work, etc.
Not being mean, and your doing great, your attempting to breed a mid sized species, in an ackie setup. Right there is the problem. You have to get everything perfect. With ackies or pilbaras, we only have to get close. And you being you, have achieved perfect so far. But now Is where the rubber meets the road.