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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Skinks Setup Steps


Experience Level: Beginner

Skinks in habitat

Blue Tongue Skinks

Did you know? Blue Tongue Skinks get their name from their brightly colored blue tongue, where Schneider Skinks are more known for their distinct orange and yellow coloration. Skinks have long bodies with short legs.

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

Blue Tongued Skinks originate from Australia, where as Schneider Skinks are native to Africa and Asia. Skinks are territorial and are best housed alone.

(A) Use a 55-gallon (48" long) or larger terrarium for Blue Tongue Skink. For Schneider Skinks use a 40-gallon (36" long) terrarium, although the larger the better.

(B) Screened lid, if not included with habitat.

Step 2Heating and Lighting

• Every habitat should be equipped with two (C) thermometers (one on the cool side and one on the warm or basking side) and one (D) hygrometer.

• The basking spot should be the warmest point in the habitat and is created by a (E) high-wattage heat bulb placed directly above the basking spot. During the evening hours, the basking light is turned off.

• Use a ceramic heat emitter, under-tank heater or night heat lamp as needed to maintain
nighttime temperatures.

Target Range 
Humidity 30-50%
Day-Cool Side 70-80° F (21-27° C)
Day-Basking Spot 90-95° F (32-35° C)
Night 65-75° F (18-24° C)

• Skinks are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Use a daytime (F) UV (ultraviolet light) bulb to provide 12 hours of visible light per day.

• For night viewing, use a night-specific bulb to minimize visible light provided to your reptile.


Step 3Substrate and Decor

(G) Use a 3-6" (8-15 cm) layer of calcium sand or reptile bark bedding.
• Clean out waste weekly and completely change bedding at least once a month.

(H) Include a wood/rock hiding place lined with moist peat moss in the cool area of the home for hiding.


skinks in habitat

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for reptiles. Prior to handling your pet, give him 3-4 days to adjust to his new surroundings while monitoring his behavior for any signs of stress or illness. Shortly after purchase, ask a veterinarian familiar with reptiles to examine your pet.

• Runny droppings for more than two days

• Eating or drinking less; weight loss

• Swollen joints

• Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

• Shedding problems; discolored skin

• Avoidance of the basking area; more time spent hiding

If you notice any of the above signs, speak with a PetSmart store associate or reptile veterinarian with questions about the health of your pet.

Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.