African Fire Skink Enclosure

When in optimal housing conditions, African Fire Skink’s are bubbly, active and full of personality. 

Whilst hard to come by, they are growing in popularity. Those that are brought up in captivity for conservation tend to have a much calmer character. That is not to say that they don’t make a great pet reptile – as they are perfect for both novice reptile owners and experts. 

Before you think about the enclosure size, you must consider the size of the African Fire Skink. Typically, they span up to 15-16 inches in length – becoming full size at the one year in age mark. Males and females don’t have much difference when it comes to size, however, don’t be alarmed if the female is slightly smaller than you had expected. 

How to set one up 

Luckily, African Fire Skink’s are pretty easy-going. Hence, why they are great for first-time owners. So, let’s have a look at how an African Fire Skink enclosure should be properly set up. 

Due to their size, a 50-gallon reptile terrarium will be the largest size you’ll need.  Not only does that give them the freedom to run around vertically, but they also can move in other directions too. 

However, you could just about manage with a terrarium of around 30x12x12 inches.

To ensure that your lizard is happiest and show off their bubbly personality, include lizard habitat products in their enclosure. Basic products like plants and logs will give a homely feeling for your Skink.

What to put in it? 

Heating and lighting are most crucial when it comes to your African Fire Skink’s enclosure. To replicate their home environment, you should have both a hot end and a much cooler end.

As per most lizards, Fire Skinks love to bask in the heat and the best temperatures should reach around 96 degrees. However, when their night routine dawns, temperatures will want to be lowered to 70. 

It may seem daunting to try and remember the exact temperatures that you need to set for your lizard, so why not grab a reptile thermometer?

Once you’ve got those items on order, you’ll want an under-tank heater as well as dome lights to keep the heat at optimal temperatures. If you have chosen to go for a larger enclosure size, think about whether you need some side-mounted heaters to help distribute the heat.

Once you’ve got the crucial elements of heating sorted, the next order of business is your lizards desired substrate. The African Fire Skink is a burrowing lizard – as are most – as a way to practise basic survival instincts – however, it has adapted as such to make lizards much more comfortable. With this in mind, you’ll want to keep your substrate moist so that your lizard doesn’t get affected by any nasty diseases or struggles to shed. 

Exo Terra and Zoo med often have some of the best substrates for lizards – however, any nutrient-free soil will work well with some leaves on the top to help replicate their natural habitat. 

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Sailfin Lizard Care and Fire Skink Tank

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