The Argentine tegu is an amazing large reptile to have, they are often called the ' dogs of the reptile world'. These tegus are surprisingly intelligent, in fact they are so intelligent they can be house trained. Argentine tegus can make great pet lizards providing you are willing to put in the work to look after them. The price of an Argentine tegu can vary from anywhere between £100-£300.
Even as juveniles these reptiles need a fairly big enclosure, an enclosure of around 36' 18' 17' will be sutable for a while however you will need to be ready to get a bigger enclosure sooner then you think as they do grow a lot in a short amount of time. For an adult the enclosure should provide a little more space then needed in order to allow room for growth and just because these reptiles like the extra space, a good size would be around 8f,4f,3f.
Like most reptiles these tegus need a cool and warm side of their enclosure so that they can switch between when needed, to provide the heat you can either use a heat mat or a heat bulb, if you choose to use a bulb you must ensure that you cover it with a bulb guard in order to protect your tegu from burning itself, with a heat mat a thermostat is a must, this is to prevent burns aswell. On the warm side of the enclosure you want to have the temperature at around 32-35c, the cool side at around 23-26c and any basking spot that you may have should have a temp of 37-43c.
In regards to lighting you should place a light inside the enclosure and you will want to try and provide as naturalistic of a day/night cycle as possible so leaving their light on for 12 hours then turning it of for another 12 is a good way to provide that however you may want to try a few different ways, you will find a way that is best for you and your animal. UVB is a must for these reptiles, you should provide them with a uvb bulb at the warm side of their enclosure, the bulb should be left on for around 14 hours a day in order to provide then with the correct amount of uvb.
The argentine tegu needs a humidity level of around 70-95%, gaining this level of humidity can be gained through a mix of things, depending on what substrate you choose it could help rais humidity. This high level of humidity is needed to help the tegu in shedding its skin and with keeping them hydrated.
There are many different substrate choices out there and it can be difficult to find the perfect one for you and your animal straight away but eventually you will find the right one for you! There are a few good options for your tegu such as, Cypress mulch, Repti Chip and Eucalyptus mulch, you should try to avoid certain substrates such as sand which could cause impaction. Tegus are burrowing reptiles so when laying out the substrate you should ensure you include enough depth that the tegu can burrow.
Tegus are naturally omnivores so it is important to provide them with a mixed diet, defrosted mice/rodents can be offered to adult tegus, along with eggs, fish, some meats, fruits and vegetations., it would be a good idea to dust food with calcium powder. Fresh water should be provided everyday in a large enough bowel that your tegu can soak in them but not deep enough that they cannot leave on their own.
It is important to try and spot clean your tegus enclosure once every day, this is to remove all poo, leftover uneaten food, any wet substrate and general dirt.
Once a month you should fully deep clean the enclosure, a deep clean involves removing all decor, throwing away all substrate, and removing all food dishes, then disinfecting everything including the decor and food bowls.
The decor for your tegu will be pretty simplistic, a few half logs, cork bark slabs, large logs and sleeping hides. You can also buy some decor for when your tegu is outside their enclosure, some people like to provide large dog beds for their tegu.