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Old 05-26-2006, 03:04 AM   #1
baby savannah monitor wont eat =(..what to do?

got him a few days ago...about 8-9 inches long...cute lil thing...tried him on crickets but he seemed uninterested in them at this point (heard when they get a little bigger they prefer the pinkies) so tried a couple small pinkies in the cage today, he seemed uninterested. Im kinda worried. Is he just not hungry and only eats once every few days? seems odd...he hides quite a bit...bit likes to walk around the cage a bit too and explode...he never bites me, seems almost affectionate when i pet him on his head...still...he wont eat...what to do?

Old 05-26-2006, 04:52 AM   #2
Karen Hulvey
Just a few questions to get started.

What is the temp under his basking light?
What is the temp on the cool side of his cage?
What is the temp of his cage at night?
Do you turn his basking light off at night?
How big is his cage?
What did the place you bought him from say he was eating?
Old 05-26-2006, 05:23 AM   #3
Originally Posted by Karen Hulvey
Just a few questions to get started.

What is the temp under his basking light?
What is the temp on the cool side of his cage?
What is the temp of his cage at night?
Do you turn his basking light off at night?
How big is his cage?
What did the place you bought him from say he was eating?

i dont know the exact temps off hand..but im gunna guess under his basking light its at least 100...and less than 120....on the cool side id guess 75-80...temp in cage at night (where he sleeps...around 82)...yep i turn off all lights at night except for the ceramic heat lamp...i have a green iguana (10 yrs old, had him since he was 6 months old)..but i have him outside now so i just use that for the monitor (its in his cage, near the top corner...couple feet away from where he sleeps under his cave rock). I ordered a temp. gun that one of the guy's recommended on here, so that should be here in a few days so i can accurately guage the temps in the cage, since its really big for a glass cage. Cage is 20 inches deep (wide), by 6 feet long, by about 20 inches tall. The place i bought him from told me they feed them crickets, and pinkies every thursday. This guy was the biggest in the cage, and the most healthy, plus he seemed friendly, so i went with him. I tried crickets, but like I said, he seemed uninterested in them...the 2nd day, i fed him one with a tweezers but thats all he'd go for. I put him in the sink with 5 crickets..he took 1, tossed it around , injured the cricket pretty badly... but decided not to eat it..kinda wanted out of the sink.

I have 2 basking lights in the cage...theyre above the glass..should i remove the glass and have a screen there instead? Im thinking i may since the other day, the glass cracked due to the that kinda freaked me out a bit.
Ill try feeding him a couple small pinkies tomorrow, and with a tweezers too, but so far ive hardly ever seen him ate food since I got him monday evening. Also, he's been defecating regularly, maybe once a day, stomach looks normal n healthy...kinda odd he seems uninterested in food, when from other folks they say monitors love food..hmm..
Old 05-26-2006, 10:57 AM   #4
Get him out of that cage... smaller animals tend (not all) to get stressed out from being in too big of an enclosure, I had the same problem with a few of my animals before, put him in like a 30g or so, something like 3ft long by 15 wide by 18 tall or similar, a 75g would be the biggest I would go for that small of a sav. It's good that you are trying to give him a lot of space, but you have to do it gradually, try something about half the size, and once he gets accomodated after like a few months or so, and he gets some size on him, at least 10 inches more or so, then try the big cage again. I'll bet you that's the problem. Make sure (i know you said he had one) he has a hide, and more are better, make sure he is not in any high traffic areas, like a hallway, and also you might want to not interact with him at all for at least a week straight, if not a little longer, he is probably really stressed out and just needs time to regroup. Still try to feed him, but don't put too many crickets in at once, just like 2 or 3 and if he goes for them and takes them down, then add more, but if he doesn't then remove them so they don't bother him. Don't take him out of his hide, that will ruin the fact that he has somewhere safe to retreat to. Also, don't touch him or get too close to him until he is eating well, unless it is absolutely nesscessary. I know you want to interact, but just give him time, he will come around, feel free to email me at if you have any more problems or questions, I'll try to keep an eye on this post also. good luck, and congrats on the new little critter.
Old 05-26-2006, 03:19 PM   #5
My guess is that the problem is at least in part temperature related. A savannah of that size should still be eating pretty much least 3-4 times/week. The temps you quoted were great...but they were guesses, so you really need to take some kind of measurement. A glass top, while it does help hold heat in, is less effective when the lights are on top (the glass absorbs a good deal of the heat, and you have already witnessed what happens when it gets too hot). Another potential problem that could arise with your enclosure is humidity...unlike iguanas, savannahs do not need alot of it, and excessive moisture can cause problems. (another thing with the cage being so big is that if he doesn't get the crickets right away, they're gone).

What wattage are your CHE and basking lights?
Old 05-27-2006, 05:53 AM   #6
thanks for the help guys...really appreciate it. Your sense was logical so i went with the 30g tank which seems pretty good sized for this critter..and put that in my room near the window. Dont have a top for it yet (4got to buy one..doooh) i made a plastic top with holes in it, and have the lights on top..but ill need to replace that top asap. have a ceramic heat in there in the top corner regardless. He seemed to look a bit happier in there..played/soaked in his water feed area for a couple hours, drank a little be4 u went in it, for like 5 mintues id say.. then he went under his hide be4 bed. Didnt eat any pinkies though or the lil bit of ground raw turkey I put in there (heard they can be fed this). Ill throw in a couple crickets for him tomorrow n see if he chases them, n ill let u guys know what happens..
Old 05-27-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
Sounds good man, and no problem, we are just here to help. Umm everything sounds good except, watch the temps, and I'm not sure how close to the window you are, but sunlight is magnified when it goes through glass, so if he is getting direct sunlight through that window, I'd move him again asap, his tank will heat up and he will basically be cooked. So good luck with him, and if you have anymore questions just ask, if you want, try not to feed him or even go anywhere near his cage for just a day, and then the next day, try to feed him again, because that will give him a full 24hrs to be all alone and regroup... good luck man
Old 05-29-2006, 02:30 AM   #8
the window area is in the backyard and im under a porch, so he doesnt get much if any direct sunlight. I also have 2 temp guages in the tank at opposite ends now...on the sunny end with the lamp its 85 or so...on the darker side with the ceramic heat..its suprisingly around 100, thats the area where i have his food and water, where he likes to play in his water pool..for the most part he stays on the cooler side thats around 85 (sunnier), and thats where his hide is too. Luckily, yesterday i throw in some crickets, and he ate about 5 total..getting ahold of them by a foor or 2, bashing them around and then eating them up...brutal lol. Today he ate 3 of them, didnt seem as interesting but at least ate some...drank a little this weekend too both days. Should i remove his food totally for monday then reintroduce it tuesday so he seems more apt/excited about eating it? Or just put some in each morning/afternoon? Also, about how many crickets would a critter this size (8-9") eat daily? 10? he seems content with 5...then again he might still be kinda stressed..i may just skip his food 2morrow and just leave the water in there...

P.S: hope ya guys had a good memorial weekend, i had stir fried iguana n rice pilaf
LOL...just kidddding!!
Old 05-29-2006, 02:36 AM   #9
Karen Hulvey
Sounds great. I would drop in around 10 crickets and remove any uneaten crickets after an hour or so.
Old 05-26-2013, 07:23 PM   #10
Oh my god!!! Freaking Idiots.

If your monitor is still alive after this horrible information or any readers are using this information please don't!!! It's all wrong. To start with no matter how big the aquarium is you CAN NOT keep a monitor in a glass cage. It can not hold ln humidity or heat efficient for savanna monitors or any monitor. The monitors basking temp should range from 110-150 degrees, his overall cage temp about 90. They needs lots of humidity!! 60% at the lowest. Their from the savanna NOT a dessert. When it comes to their cage it needs to be a wooden enclosure. The minimum of 8ft long , 4 ft wide and 4ft deep. Otherwise the monitor will stress. For substrate use a sand soil mix. These people have told you completely invalid information, I doubt they have ever owned a monitor. They're information was setting your monitor up for death. You need to read accurate care sheets, look at the forum I post on called the HerpCenter. They have valid information. For basking bulbs use 2 50w halogen flood lights, and for all over use fluorescent tubes to keep good lighting. Your monitor should be eating WAY more, this shows how terrible it's housing was. My monitor is only 3 inches and eats 10 crickets a day. You should have a Dubia roach colony otherwise when your monitor is an adult it will be eating about 50 crickets a day, pinkies should be limited. NEVER pick up your monitor, let them get on you. watch youtube videos on taming. When a monitor just lets you grab them its not cause its tame, it because it has pretty much given up on life. Any questions please email me for valid information, these people are idiots!!

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