Pet Keen advocates for adopting before shopping. We understand there are many reasons for seeking a breeder, though, so we encourage it to be done the right way. We have not personally investigated all of the breeders below, rather, we have gathered their details for you to get in touch and ask all the right questions before you decide.
Hailing from the arid regions of Northwest Australia, the Ackie Monitor is a unique reptile that makes an exceptional pet. Unlike larger monitors, Ackies are suitable for first-time reptile owners. The lizards can live 20 years and typically grow up to 28 inches long. Compared to its cousins like the Komodo Dragon, the Ackie is a medium-sized reptile with a mild temperament who rarely displays aggression. Caring for an Ackie is a great responsibility that requires a balanced diet, ample tank space, and the correct environmental conditions. However, Ackies are much easier to handle than other reptiles, and after a short time, your pet will feel right at home.
Ackie Monitor Breeders in USA
Unlike some of its cousins, Ackie Monitors are thriving in the wilds of Australia. Although there are a limited number of Ackie breeders in the US, you can find the lizards in pets stores, amateur breeders, and adoption centers. Since there is a large supply of Ackies available, it’s wise to be selective and research the sources thoroughly.
Pet store lizards often live in tiny tanks without the correct temperature, space requirements, or diet. We strongly recommend purchasing an Ackie from a breeder or trusted rescue organization rather than a discount pet store. When you’re researching breeders, be sure to check their track record and read multiple customer comments and reviews. To make your search a bit less time-consuming, we’ve compiled a list of Ackie Breeders in the US.
Ackie Monitor Breeders Near Me
Snakes at Sunset
Located in Miami, Florida, Snakes at Sunset has sold and bred reptiles for 15 years. They offer a wide variety of creatures, including the glorious Red Ackie Monitor. They offer shipping to most locations around the world.
GIS Herps is an experienced reptile breeder that has operated out of Alabama for 25 years. You can view one of their Red Ackies enjoying a tasty meal on their Facebook page.
Since 1988, Underground reptiles have provided healthy reptiles to all states in the contiguous United States. Currently, you can purchase baby Red Ackie Monitors at a competitive price.
Ackie Monitor Breeders That Ship
Ackie Monitor Rescue
Rescue organizations provide an invaluable service to the reptile world. They rescue injured and unhealthy reptiles and treat them until they’re well enough for adoption. If you’re considering adoption, you can visit Creepy Critters Rescue.
Ackie Monitor Breeders Registered with [USARK]
If you want to check to see if a breeder is registered with the United States Association of Reptile Keepers, you can visit the USARK website.
How Much Does an Ackie Monitor Cost?
Ackie Monitors are expensive reptiles, and they also need a tank and other supplies to live comfortably. You can spend between $500 to $1100 on a juvenile Ackie. Although the Ackie population in the wild is large, most of the Ackies you’ll see for sale were bred in captivity. Red Ackies grow slightly longer than Yellow ones, and they’re slightly more expensive.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Ackie may not be the reptile for you, but you may be able to save a few bills by adopting a reptile from a rescue center. You’re more likely to find a young Monitor from a breeder, but rescue facilities offer juveniles from time to time. The cost of the creature is only part of the total cost of caring for an Ackie. A spacious tank can run you $800 to $1000, and you’ll also need a variety of insects, heating lamps, rocks, and plenty of substrate for burrowing.
The 3 Things to Ask an Ackie Monitor Breeder
Before you talk to a breeder, look online at the breeder’s site for some background information. Are most of the breeder’s customers satisfied? You cannot get an accurate assessment of a business merely from comments, but they can help you decide if the customers received healthy reptiles. When you speak to a breeder, you can ask:
1. Was the lizard born at the facility or purchased from another breeder?
Breeders sell each other reptiles frequently, and it’s usually safe to buy an Ackie that was born in another breeding facility. However, it’s wise to find out which facility raised the lizard so you can check their experience and reputation.
2. How old is the Ackie?
Breeders typically sell juvenile Ackies that are developed enough to care for safely, but some offer adults that have retired from breeding. Since the lizards can live a few decades, buying one that’s two or three years old is still a sound investment as long as the Ackie is healthy.
3. Does Your Business follow the USARK guidelines for proper breeding and handling?
If a breeder has never heard of the USARK and gives you a strange look when you inquire about the organization, look for another breeder. The USARK has compiled a set of guidelines for breeding, caging standards, escape prevention protocols, and conservation efforts.
The 4 Things to Know Before Buying an Ackie Monitor
1. Ackies Need a Spacious Tank
Although it’s not a giant lizard when it’s full-grown, the Ackie thrives when it has enough room to roam around. As a general rule, the lizard should be kept in a tank that is at least twice as long as its body. However, it’s wise to buy as large of a tank as you can afford. A four-foot tank is suitable, but it should be at least two to three feet deep. The lizards love to burrow into the ground, and you’ll need a substrate layer that’s six to 12 inches deep.
2. Ackies Love the Heat
Like every cold-blooded creature, Ackies require heat to moderate their body temperature. A durable UVB heat lamp can provide the warmth the lizard needs to survive. Monitors are very sensitive to chills and cold weather, and the tank should have a basking side and a cooling side. On the warm side, the temperature should reach 120°F, and the cooler side should not drop below 80°F. Leave the light on for 12 hours a day to simulate a typical daylight period.
3. Ackies Thrive in High Humidity
Ackies drink water to stay hydrated, but they also absorb moisture through their skin. The substrate material provides some moisture for the tank, but you’ll have to mist the tank with water if the ground feels dry. You can purchase a hygrometer to ensure the humidity stays between 70%-80%.
4. Ackies Can Be Tamed—With Patience
Eventually, you can handle your Ackie and even lightly stroke its back, but it may take a while before the lizard feels comfortable with your touch. Start by placing your hand in the tank and waiting for the Monitor to come to you. Be patient, and allow the Ackie to greet you on its own time.
Choosing an Ackie Monitor as a pet is a rewarding experience as long you can provide the ideal environment for the dashing reptile. Although it resembles a miniature prehistoric monster, the Ackie is an adventurous and even-tempered lizard that loves to spend time underground. After spending time with it and caring for the little creature, you’ll realize that no other reptile is as sweet-natured and amusing as the Ackie Monitor.
Featured Image Credit: Pr0t, Shutterstock