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Rich
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PostSubject: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:41 am

Ok folks - thought id start a new thread for my main tanks new life - so here we go, from a fresh, my Crested Gecko Vivarium thread.

I dont have any geckos yet but here are some pics i robbed from the net so you know what they look like










First stage means simply emptying the fish tank, removing heaters, filters, substrate etc and cleaning the tank with a 5% bleach solution, rinsing and drying well. This actually too 4 days - this time of year is quite cold so take a while for a large area to dry completely.

Then I attached a 3D rock surface background - I swas hoping to get a wood/bark background but it would have costed nr 60 for my size tank so I opted for a cheaper version costing a little over 20 total - its an exo terra polystyrene background - exo terra is a hagen product Wink Its simply held in place with aquarium safe silicone sealant. At this point, I also had to fill in some gaps in the back of my tank which were a design feature to allow filter pipes for aquarium use - ideal escape routes for wayward lizards and crickets Very Happy I simply used offcuts of the background for this and stuck them on in the same way - its a bit unsightly on close insoection but not too noticable once everything is in place.

Then I put in a layer of aquarium ceramic noodles - you can use river pebbles too. This is a base layer and enables some drainage as the crested gecko needs a humid environment which necessitates regualr spraying with water.

On top of this I have put several layers of newspaper, this will be covered in ecoearth and cocofiber mixede with moss, this will therefore hold more moisture and keep humidity longer, but these wont be added until i AM SURE THE GECKOS ARE HEALTHY AND EATING. Newspaper will enable me to see the droppings etc more easily and is also very easy to change. Kitchen roll is just as good. However, I am trying to achieve as natural a look as possible so at a later date, the earthy substrates will be added.

The next pic is a little uninteresting but shows the modifications I had to make to the lid for its purpose. Again a replacement lid was too expensive (100 for a vivarium hood), and even then id have needed additional materials to make it fit my non standard sized tank. Using a dremmel and cutting wheels, I cut 2 large holes and glued two wall type vents (this is to allow ventilation) these are plastic and cost about 6 each - I also fitted a basic light fitting to allow for heating (more on heating later). A proper reptile bulb guard was well over 20 - I got his stainless steel lamphade fror 7 and all i had to do was make a door to cover the hole in the bottom (to stop the geckos sitting on the bulb and burning) - ive tested this guard, and it does not get hot even after several hours of the bulb being on full.

Once all the glues were dry - I then went over all the joints, screws and gaps with more silicone sealant, mainly to make it all waterproof but also extar sticking power and safety for the geckos.

These crested gecdkos have 'stickyfeet' and can get to any surface and climb on glass with ease, therefore everything has to be safe and secure.



Now the decor can begin, so I placed the largest, heaviest item in first, a lafrge bamboo root, then I added two feeding shelves, these are held on by strong magnets. I figure given these geckos are arboreal (tree dwellers) eating off the ground is not 'normal' for them so these shelves enable me to feed them at a more natural level in the enclosure - its also not as far down to reach the bowls for feeding and cleaning Very Happy I will be adding a shallow water dish sometime soon and this too will maintain some humidity.



The decor continues, adding hanging plants (all silk for ease of cleaning) and vines, tree branches etc, all fakes. I used a large and medium vine, twisting them together along with an ivy type plant to create a natural looking creeper.

Others were fittede around the tank and some where pushed into the polystyrene background. I left a reaqsonable amount of open air around the heater bulb as well as other gaps in the foliage to replicate natural gaps in tree canopies in the geckos native environment, this also allows them to 'jump' as they would do in the wild.



Just more decor



As the vivarium currently stands. I am waiting fir4 a few odds n sods to arrive to finish the setup, namely some thic bamboo canes and cork bark so I caqn build some refuges/sleeping areas as well as adding some branches (more climbing areas) and a shedding/nesting box or two.

I also want to fit a misting machine of some sort (probably a habamister) to automate this part of the care regieme but in the meantime, a handheld plant sprayer will surfice.

Also fitted are a number of thermometers and hygrometers, and a dimming stat to control the temperater in the enclosure. This alters the power feeding the 60w red bulb according to the temp, unlike most stats, instead of simply being an 'on or off' control, it dims therefore the changes in temp are more evenly controlled. The stat has been set to 22deg c with the sensor about 2" away from the light bulb. This allows for a hotter region closerto the lamp itself (which will reach about 25deg c) whilat maintaining a comfortable 22deg c down to (in the cool end) 20 deg c to enabkle thermoregulation of the geckos.

In a tank of this size, a regular heatmat just isnt good enough. Crested geckos can be kept at room temperatures, but my room is cold in the winter 18deg c during the day, and dropping to 15 at night. Crested Geckos prefermto be kept around 24 deg c - I dont anticipate the heater being on much during the year anyway - this is just a safeguard for the colder periods. will also be installing a fan system for the warmer months as these geckos can survive for long above 30deg c.



Once I get some geckos (im aiming for 2 females and 1 male) I will pozt more pics - but this wont be until newyear now probably.


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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:04 pm

What a great thread, thanks Rich.

As I mentioned a while ago my niece wants a gecko (not sure if she wants to keep it here or at home but I know I will end up looking after it at some time!) so can I pick your brains?

Is there a recommended size of tank per gecko?

Do they have to be kept in pairs or are singles ok?

The background you have added (looks great by the way), is that a personal choice or do the tanks have to have it for some reason?

Do you have to change the noodles at all - I imagine they will get soiled over time?

Sorry for all the questions Rich, hope you don't mind.


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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:59 pm

They look like dinosaur descendants- which they probably are

Good luck with your vivarium!!
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:40 am

Depends on the gecko as to the size of enclosure - leopard geckos cant climb so a regular tank of about 2 foot long for one is fine but the ones im getting are tree dwellers so prefer a taller tank over a long one - my tabk isnt ideal for them but i have the room in terms of length to make up for it - also, my tank is deeper than stabdard so i just about get away with it.

Leopard geckos are a desrt species so need more heat as well as uvb etc - slightly harder to keep but still relatively easy - lots of info online for both species.

I dont incvisage the noodles getting grubby - im hoping i can get the main substrate bioactive hense the noodles Wink - if this does happen then no cleaning out will be necessary in the future Smile - there is a good layer of newspaper down atm - which i will still use when i add the proper substrate - this will keep the 'mess' off the noodles and the only waste to reach the noodles will be liquids and mainly run off from the daily humidifying misting.

A very good tank for geckos (or vivarioum) is by exo terra and for cresteds is 45 x 45 x 60 cm

You wont need such a tall one for leopard geckos since they wont be climbing. Your best bet is really to search online for complete setups as you save a few quid in the long run - I will be getting an additional crested gecko setup in the new year to act as my quarantine or break period tank - if i get a male as well as females, it does em al good to be separated for a month or two during the winter.

The background isnt essential but it does add some thermal insulation much in the same way as it does in an aquarium - and as my gecks are climbers, it will give them something different to explore - also makes it easy to fix plants into Wink

I have got some more insulating to do tot he tank still, ie on the sides and maybe the lid as well - I bought a roll of 3mm polystyrene for 5 for this job

If your getting a gecko for a youngster - decide on what sort of running costs your willing to pay for - leopard geckos will only eat live foods - crested geckos will do without (although mine will get bugs once or twice a week) - most geckos can regrow the tail if they shed it - but creted geckos will not regrow a lost tail.

You can keep most lizards in singles.

The best thing really is to do research and lots of it and to plan way ahead. This will sound odd but I have found that keeping lizards isnt too far removed from keeping tropical fish Wink

Oh - and if you read 'you can feed crested geckos baby food' this is pig poo - well, you can feed them human baby food but its like feeding a child only on mcdonalds - its ok as a treat or as a means of getting meds into them but not as a staple diet - your better off buying the proper CGD (Crested Gecko Diet) and a lot of places now sell it (online or pets at home etc) with this stuff, you dont need to worry about the extra mineral suppliments which you normally do for other repltiles, unless of course you opt to also feed live food then its advisable to gutload the live food and then calcium dust them etc prior to feeding.

Ive had leopard geckos in the past, they are easy to keep, dont smell, dont bite (and even if they do it doesnt hurt) and dont make noise - but having seen cresties, I think the cresties have more interesting characters and maybe better suited to kids in terms of entertainment value.

They all live at least 10 years so are not a 'disposable' pet like say hamsters are.

As said - homework is needed Wink

The following two links are good sources of gear and caresheets the first link has the best 'starter' kits Wink - most of my gear came from the second link

http://www.reptilecentre.com/

http://reptilekeeping.co.uk/index.php
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:44 am

thats looking very nice mate you have got that just right and your pics are brilliant well done.

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:16 am

Got my beasties today - 2 female (I think/hope) Crested Geckos

Ive gotta say - they are SSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cute - even more so in real life than the pics Very Happy

Anyway - im letting them settle in for a while but will get some oics when i can Wink

Now for names... Diana & Mary?

nah - no animal deserves that sort of abuse so early on :d

scared sofa
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:40 pm

looking forward to seeing the pics rich.

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:07 pm

They would be proud to be so named Rich Very Happy

Have you already got one in the tank though Rich, so you have 3 now?

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:27 am

Just two girls atm *well, me n shop are 75% sure they are both girls)

I may get another gorl at some point or a little boy with the hope of there being the sound of tiny sticky feet Very Happy

For now - im just getting used to them and how too look after them - but, well, they are SSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cute Very Happy

And unlike fish food - their food is great - as i was let down (again) by the post, I had to make my own gecko food - now people say feed em baby food but its fulll of sugar and they get hooked on it and then wont eat what they are supposed too,

Anyway - went to shops and bought soft fruit, so a couiple of mangos, bananas, peaches, pears, figs, melon - skinned n pipped it all and then whizzed in the blender - omg its the best smoothie i ever had - the family were scoffing my poor beasties din dins Very Happy

just added some reptile vits to be on the safe side and the little monsters soon woke up when i put these two lovely smelling pots of goop in for them Very Happy

Anyway - I think i got a pic or two so will see if they are good and worth posting or not - otherwise youll have to wait a while longer Wink

As for names - well, its tradition that a gecjko in this house is called Oakley (after the sunglasses) cos they look like they are wearing them Very Happy but maybe i should keep that for the little boy (when/If) i get one.

Dunno - naming animals is hard
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:29 pm

So in the pics of your tank what is that at the back on a branch? Look at taknk pic 3, to the right of what I think is the light - looks like a lizard shape scratch


Must be a ghostly apparition scared sofa

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:16 am

its a piece of wood you soppy mare Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:24 am

Thats not a piece of wood.

It's got a leg!!!!! Shocked


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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:02 am

I promise you - your still a soppy mare Very Happy lol!

As your such a smarty pants and copy n pasting links - howabout using a art pakage and zooming :p

I rearranged everything since that picture - I promise there were no ickle beasties until this Monday evening

Did I say your a soppy mare? oh well, just in case

SOPPY MARE respect fighting
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:47 pm

I promise you I will get my own back for all the insults Rich.

Be afraid...........................Be VERY afraid!! Twisted Evil

laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:41 pm

is that before or after you get your eyes tested and new glasses made up
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:41 am

Funny you should mention glasses.

I couldnt find mine anywhere last night - searched the house for hours for them and couldnt figure out where they had got to.

Found them this morning in the dogs crate, totally out of shape and one lens missing!

I have got them back into some sort of decent shape and will be fine as long as my right ear moves up an inch or two Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:11 am

use a lighter to gently heat up the arm and straighten it - you may want to remove the lens first just in case but if the dog ate them - the lens' are probably scratched anyway

gonna buy new ones with or without using insurance?

Least geckos dont eat the furniture or glasses etc Very Happy just if they get out - you gottacheck floors, walls and ceilings for them Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:32 am

Your dog ate a lens? God save his insides.
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:50 am

laughing

Dont worry k, he hadnt eaten it, it had just fallen out. I found it and replaced it Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:00 am

The Geks are settling in now - started eating - although they seem to prefer chasing crickets to eating fruit but still, for now im happy theyre eating something (after 7 days of not eating at all)

They are starting to explore their home more too now - again, spent the last 5-7 days just sat in one corner - i was worried about 1 of them but she is out n about today so i know she at least alive - probably so hungry she's now hunting crix Very Happy

Anyway - im not handling for another week or so but will get some pics when the gecks are somewhere i can get the photos - they are normally nocturnal - and whilst coming out now - still quite shy - one of hem wouldnt come out last night until EVERY light in my room (except their heater) was well n truly off Wink

Did I mention they are SSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cute Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:22 am

Cant wait to see the pics when you have them Rich, they sound great.

This thread is the Number 1 fav of T, who is hoping to get one next year, if her Mum has a moment of madness laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:33 pm

lol cresties are great i ive no regrets at all
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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:59 am





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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:00 am

I see they have settled in now then Rich Smile

He (she?) looks great, quite big too!

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PostSubject: Re: Rich's Vivarium Thread   Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:03 am

only about 4 inches long atm - will grow to 8 - 10 as these are girls - boys grow bigger

Quite docile - least this one is - the other is shy and a grump (barks if you try to go near it Very Happy )
and the other one is prettier but this one is cheeky so i got he photos just before they had their shower n dindins which is why she was waiting at the top Very Happy

I got close with the camera wgich is why she looks big - the redness is from their lamp - they are olive green in colour
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