It is essential when bringing your blue tongue skink home that you focus on ensuring you provide a comfortable and natural habitat, complete with hides. The hide provides your skink with a place to hide and feel secure and these are essential parts of their enclosure set up.
Blue tongue skinks are very active reptiles that spend a large portfolio on their day basking and searching for food. They also have a burrowing nature, which is why you want to provide them with hides. You will need a cool and a warm hide, somewhere your skink can go if they feel insecure or vulnerable, a place to sleep and feel secure.
Why Do Blue Tongue Skinks Need Hides?
Blue tongue skinks are burrowing reptiles. They love digging into the substrate and being covered. In a captive environment, you want to make their enclosure as natural as possible, giving them ample space to climb and hide. Hides offer security, comfort and privacy. They also assist with shedding, making the shedding process comfortable and easier for your skink.
How Many Hides Does a Blue Tongue Skink Need?
Consider your blue tongue skinks habitat layout. You have a warm side set up where your skink can bask in the sun and then you have the cooler side, so that your skink can cool down when needed. This means you are going to need two hides, ensuring your skink can be warm or cool and still have the hiding place that they need.
Your blue tongue skink is going to need two hides, one on the warm side of the enclosure and one on the cool side of the enclosure. When placing your hides, remember that your skink isn't a great climber, but they will want to bask. Ideally choose a warm hide that your skink can also climb onto, enabling them to get the most of the lighting. Ideally the platform should be approximately six inches from the basking light.
The second hide should be placed on the cool side of the enclosure. This will enable your skink to secure the privacy it needs even when they want to escape the heat for a while.
It's very important when selecting the hides for your blue tongue skink to remember that they love humidity, high moisture levels. Ideally your blue tongue skink should have a humidity level of approximately forty to forty five percent. As such, your one hide should include humidity, such as a hide filled with sphagnum moss, so your skink can stay moist. This can also assist with shedding.
The first important consideration when selecting a blue tongue skink hide is the side, taking into consideration that once fully grown, your skink can reach up to twenty four inches in length. Any hide should allow your skink to get inside and turn around with ease.
Natural designs are often preferred, such as hollowed out logs or coconut shells. The warm hide should be a flatter hide, such as a log, which enables the skink to climb on top to get closer to their basking light. The cool side hide can be any shape, as long as your skink can move around with comfort.
Most materials are safe for blue tongue skinks. Cork, wood, logs, rocks and PVC pipes can all be used to create wonderful hides. The hide you should be based on your tank design and if you are trying to secure a natural design.
Other Important Factors
- Your warm hide should be a hide that enables your skink to climb on top to get closer to the basking light.
- One hide should be a humid hide, which can assist with shedding. Fill your hide with sphagnum moss for the best results.
- Your skink’s nails are going to grow, but giving them natural hides and substrate can assist in keeping their nails trim and neat.
What to Avoid
- Hammocks – not suitable for skinks as they are not avid climbers.
- Smaller hides – remember your skink will need to be able to turn around and move with comfort inside their hide.
- Heavy rocks – place with care to avoid the risk of your skink being crushed when burrowing.
Best Hides for Blue Tongue Skinks
Pangea Reptile Hide Box
This hide is realistic in design and can be a wonderful decoration in any terrarium, while offering valuable hiding for your leopard gecko. The hide offers a number of entrances, easy access and a secure hiding solution for your reptile. The skull hide comes with glowing reviews, but be careful the sides can be a little on the sharp side, so you may want to file them down before you add the skull hide to your enclosure.
Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Hideouts Bark Bends
This is the ideal hide for your warm side, offering a place where your skink can climb to get closer to the basking lamp. This hide is made from a non-porous material, which can be cleaned with ease using reptile disinfectant for mild soapy water. This hide offers a natural appearance complete with the privacy your skink needs with open ends on both sides.
Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Shale Rock Den
This rock hide will look completely natural in your blue tongue skink enclosure. This hide is suitable for either side of the tank, providing your skink with a place to hide and cool down, or it offers a platform for basking with ample hiding room below. Made from a non-porous material, the risk of bacterial growth is reduced. Quick and easy to clean, this hide is suitable for humid enclosures, reducing the risk of mold and mildew.
Zilla Decor Rock Lair
The Zilla décor rock lair offers a side entrance with a solid top to make it a great choice as a humid hide. It offers a natural and realistic looking hide, made from heavy materials to reduce the risk of it moving. The rough texture assists with shedding, while the three sizes make this a suitable hide for your junior skink to an adult skink.
Magnaturals Large Hideaway Mojave - Magnetic Decor
This hide is made from one hundred percent non toxic material, which is quick and easy to clean. It creates a hiding place for your skink, enabling them to feel comfortable and safe in their enclosure. A hideaway offers the retreat your reptile may need. This is an original and innovative hide made in the United States from polyurethane that is strong and durable.
Exo Terra Reptile Cave
This reptile cave offers a natural looking hiding place for all terrariums. This is an extra-large size and easy to clean, ensuring your skink has a place they can hide to prevent the risk of stress. This hide is made from a food grade resin, which looks natural and is nontoxic to your reptile. The hide is also coated to prevent the spread of bacteria. Being a neutral color, it blends in easily with enclosure décor, while being stable and with a reduced risk of being tipped over by larger reptiles.
Zilla Rock Den Hideout for Terrariums
This is a handcrafted reptile head from reputable brand Zilla. It is a non-porous hide that doesn't retain water, thereby reducing the risk of bacteria growth. Made from heavy construction, the risk of the hide moving around is reduced. It offers a place to hide and is suitable for the cool side of the enclosure.Blue tongue skinks love to bask and burrow. The hide is made from a material which is quick and easy to clean, while reducing the risk of bacteria growth, helping you keep your reptile fit and healthy.
Reptile Hide Box
Made from high quality plastic, the reptile hide box is easy to clean and add to your terrarium with confidence. It is perfect for your junior blue tongue skink offering a multi-purpose hut that offers somewhere to hide and for privacy. The rectangular design offers a sense of security and privacy, offering comfort and helping to reduce stress.This hide is made from black plastic and comes in four convenient sizes, so you are able to find the hide that best suits the size and needs of your skink. The plastic hide is suitable as a humid or warm hide, offering a secure hiding place. It helps with shedding and can be worked into any cage design.
Exo Terra Primate Skull Terrarium D
Looking to add some fun to your blue tongue skink enclosure, while providing your skink with what it needs to feel secure and less stressed? The Exo Terra Primate Skull can be a welcome addition to your enclosure, offering a hiding place for your junior skink.Made from durable material, this hide is easy to move around and clean.
Exo Environments Bent Log Hide Away
This is a wonderful hide to add to your skink enclosure. Hand painted for the best detail, it offers a great basking area and hide, ensuring your skink can soak up the heat it needs during the day. The hide is made from a durable poly resin, making it quick and easy to clean.
How to Disinfect Hides and Other Decorations
Its recommended that you spot clean the blue tongue skink enclosure daily, removing any waste and mess. This will reduce how often you need to do a thorough clean. Use a reptile disinfectant and clean the inside of the enclosure along with any decorations. You can often remove decorations into a tub and clean with disinfectant, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before returning to the tank.
Remember to always take the size of your skink into consideration. If you are still setting up a junior tank, then you can consider a smaller hide. A fully grown blue tongue skink can reach up to twenty four inches and both hides need to be long enough for them to climb into and turn around with ease, without causing damage or getting stuck.
The most important facts to remember when choosing your hides is to look for a cool hide and a warm hide that has a basking area, so your skink can soak up the heat.