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Pet Health, Interesting Facts, and Trivia
Heat and light are major factors in the health and well being of captive reptiles



BEARDED DRAGONS

Our choice for a first reptile. They don't grow so large that you cannot find a commercially available cage. They are docile and non-aggressive.
Size To about 16" - 18"
Temperament Non aggressive, very docile.
Cage A 50 gallon or larger terrarium for each animal. They do some climbing (preferably at least 2 feet tall). Use a soil/sand or orchid bark substrate. Landscape with select driftwood, branches, rocks, clumps of damp moss, and artificial plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is needed for long term maintenance of Bearded Dragons. See Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 or PowerSun UV
Heat Incandescent light bulb with a reflector situated over one side of enclosure should help provide the proper moderate daytime heat gradient. Also use an Under-tank heater and a thermometer.
Humidity Bearded Dragons do not require a lot of humidity, although warmth is essential.
Water Provide a shallow pan of fresh water for drinking. They particularly like to climb on a low branch which dips into the dish at one end where they can walk the limb to the dish and lean down to drink. Be sure to change the water frequently and wash the bowls thoroughly to prevent bacterial contamination. Also mist enclosure periodically.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, mealworms, butterworms, earthworms, and other small insects. Supplement with romaine lettuce or other leafy green vegetables to his taste. Especially like dandelion flowers. Supplement with Reptvite.
Sexing Hard to sex without professional help
Hardiness Usually does well in captivity and are a good, docile pet for adolescents or adults.


GREEN IGUANAS

This is very often the first reptile an enthusiast purchases. It is usually a mistake, as they grow to 4' (and up to 6') in length in just 3-4 years. No commercially avaialable cages are available for such a large reptile. Most young iguanas end up either dead or poorly cared for due to size problems as well as nutritional requirements of such a large lizard.
Information Compliments of ZuPreem Iguana Diets
Size Iguanas can grow to up to 6' in length and can reach 4' in just 3-4 years.
Temperament Young iguanas can make very nice pets. They are able to be easily handled (IF handling is started at a young age and continues throughout their life) and, they settle into captivity nicely.
Cage Babies and smaller juveniles up to 18" can be housed in a 36" or larger cage. 18" - 24" iguanas should have a 48" or larger cage. 3+ year old iguanas will need much larger quarters than are usually available commercially.

Because iguanas are arboreal (tree dwelling) reptiles, landscape and create a climbing and/or sunning area with select driftwood, hollow logs, or climbing ladders. Very large adults require a large wire enclosure set up in a similar manner.

For newly acquired igaunas, newspaper is recommended as a substrate. Placed on the bottom of the cage, newspapers allow the owner to closely monitor stools being sure to notice bloody or runny stools which might indicate health problems.

Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V. radiation is needed for long term maintenance of Iguanas, and especially critical for rearing babies and juveniles. Not all lighting is createed equal. Your iguana needs UVB radiation and the bulbs (even the best bulbs) must be changed approximately every 6-8 months to be sure that they are emitting the correct spectrum of light. (Read our lighting manual for more detailed information about UVA and UVB lighting)
Heat Under tank reptile heating pads placed under an enclosed cage will provide 24 hour bottom surface heat to keep the ambient temperature within the enclosure between 83-86 degrees F. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select sunning areas will provide the proper basking temperature between 93-97 degrees F.
Humidity The natural habitats of iguanas are quite humid, often 80% or higher. This is necessary for healthy skin and respiratory membranes. Moderate humidity is provided by a large water section and frequent misting of the enclosure. We also have automatic misters as well as fountains that will humidify an environment. Use a temp/humidity indicator.
Water Provide a large water section for drinking, soaking and defecation. Clean frequently with anti-bacterial cleaners to prevent bacterial contamination.
Diet Most iguanas die of dietary deficiencies. They are primarily vegetarians. A prepared and balanced diet is essential to growth, health, and long life. Dark green leafy vegetables, hibiscus plants (which are a particular delicacy for them), vitamins and calcium supplements are highly recommended. Babies have very high calcium requirements, and adults can suffer from bone deformations and other problems if fed diets inadequate in absorbable calcium/phosphorous or Vitamin D3.
Handling Extreme care should always be taken when handling pet iguanas, especially young ones. The safest method of handling an iguana is to grasp it above the arms and around the shoulders, being careful not to squeeze it too tightly. As the iguana becomes more familiar with its owner, it usually will become calm enough to walk freely through his or her hands. Always avoid sudden movements. It is very important to never pull or lift an iguana by its tail as this may result in the tail breaking off. While it will regrow, this is a long process and the new tail is rarely as attractive as the original.

We recommend that parents of small children not keep iguanas, as there is a possibility of contracting the disease Salmonella from the animal. Salmonella can be transmitted from an iguana carrier to owners of any age if their hands aren't properly washed after handling. But the disease is particularly life-threatening to children or persons with weak immune systems. See anti-bacterial cleaners to prevent contamination.

Hardiness Iguanas, if fed and housed correctly are hardy. Newly adopted iguanas should be handled sparingly for about the first week to two weeks. Babies and juveniles can easily be acclimated. Good for beginners if size and large cage needs are considered from the beginning.

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LEOPARD GECKO/FATTAIL GECKO

Eublepharus macularis
See also THE LEOPARD GECKO MANUAL
Philippe de Vosjoli, Brian Viets, Ron Tremper, Roger Klingenberg, DVM
Size Up to 9"
Temperament/Handling Good dispositions, easily tamed. Soft, delicate skin that should be handled with care. When grabbed or held by the tail, the tail will fall off.

Males are incompatible-keep separate.

Cage Leopard geckos are terrestrial lizards and should be housed in long, shallow enclosures. Minimum 10 gallon terrarium for 1 pair of adults or sub-adults. To add more females, a 20 gallon or larger set up is needed. Choice of substrate is often dictated by convenience or aesthetics. Use of a calcium sand substrate is fine, but we recommend that they not be fed on this substrate, as eating it can lead to sand impaction.

Landscape and create shelters and basking areas with select rocks, slate, cholla wood, driftwood, hollow logs, cork bark slabs, and if desired, live or artificial desert type plants.

Lighting Nocturnal reptiles that prefer to hide during the day. In the wild, leopard geckos hunt at dawn and dusk and probably get some UVB exposure during that time of day Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation or any form of supplemental lighting is not absolutely necessary for raising or maintaining Leopard Geckos in captivity, so long as they are fed gut-loaded insects which contain calcium supplements. Incandescent lights can be used as a heat source.
Heat Under tank reptile heating pads and hot rocks will provide daytime bottom surface heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Use a thermometer.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 82-90 degree F gradient, night 75-80 degree F. Moisten the substrate under favored resting shelters to provide humidity. To facilitate and promote proper skin shedding, provide a separate hide box or humidity chamber (such as a hollow log) with moistened (not soaking wet) spagnum moss in the chamber.

Recommended humidity of the environment should be between 40-60 percent.

Water Provide a small crock with fresh water for drinking purposes at all times and clean it frequently with anti-bacterial cleaners to prevent bacterial contamination.
Diet Insectivores. Invertebrate prey items including nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, mealworms, butterworms, jumbo mealworms and baby mice.
Sexing Males have preanal pores and hemipenal bulges.
Hardiness Very hardy, docile and easily maintained in captivity. A good first reptile for a supervised child

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PANTHER CHAMELEON/OTHER CHAMELEONS

Size (Panther: Chameleo Pardalis) Larger males up to 20", females to about 12".
Temperament Slow-moving gentle giants. Normally non-aggressive except males, which should not be housed together or within sight of each other.
Cage A minimum 55 gallon or preferably a custom built wood frame mesh enclosure at least 2'w x 4'h x 2'l or larger can house a pair or trio of Panthers. It is NOT a good idea to keep males together. Glass enclosures often cause stress as chameleons see their reflection and misinterpret it as another of the same species in their territory. No substrate -- bare bottom.
Lighting Unfiltered natural sunlight is best for synthesizing Vitamin D-3 and calcium absorption. However full spectrum lighting/U.V. radiation is needed. Full spectrum bulbs can be used in conjunction with black lights for maximum benefits.
Heat Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Night time heat can be provided by either red light bulbs or room heaters.
Temperature/
Humidity
General temperature 80-90 degree F day, 70-78 degree F night. Basking temperatures under heat lamps 90-95 degree F. Humidity is provided by drip system, water dishes with bubblers, and daily misting of enclosure.
Water Provide various bubbling water dishes, a drip system and frequent (daily) misting of enclosure. It is very difficult to get many species of chameleons to drink from a watering apparatus. It is often beneficial to actually carry the chameleon to the shower in a portable wire enclosure such as a bird cage, and gently shower the environment (including the pet). This allows water droplets to collect on the helmet and nose-bridge and to trickle into his opened mouth as it often does in his native habitat.

Initially, imports should be hydrated using a strong electrolyte solution via pipette for at least the first few days.

Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, jumbo mealworms, butterworms, grasshoppers, flies, roaches and occasionally pink or fuzzy mice.

Smaller chameleons can often be fed by placing insects inside a small ball-shaped fish bowl in their habitat. Crickets cannot climb out of the bowl, but the chameleon can send his sticky tongue into the bowl to snap them up.

Sexing Males larger, more colorful and with enlarged helmet and hemipenal bulges.
Hardiness Healthy specimens are very hardy once acclimated. However many imports come in heavily dehydrated, stressed and have internal parasites. Not for beginners.

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SAILFIN DRAGONS

Hydrosaurus amboinensis
See also GREEN WATER DRAGONS, SAILFIN LIZARDS & BASILISKS
by Philippe de Vosjoli
Size Average size 3', Large males up to 4'.
Temperament Initially very nervous, panic prone, with time most individuals will settle down.
Cage Babies and smaller juveniles can be housed in a minimum 30 gallon or larger sized terrarium. Landscape and create shelters and basking areas with select rocks, driftwood, hollow logs, cork bark slabs and sturdy nonpoisonous or artificial plants. Adults require a large wire enclosure set up in a similar manner.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V. radiation is needed for long term maintenance of Sailfins, and especially critical for rearing babies and juveniles.
Heat Under tank reptile heating pads placed under both water and land section will provide 24 hour bottom surface and water heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 76-88 degree F gradient, night 70-75 degree F. Moderate humidity is provided by large water section and frequent misting of enclosure. Use a temp/humidity indicator.
Water Provide a large (1/4-1/2) enclosure water section for drinking, soaking and defecation. Clean frequently with anti-bacterial cleaners to prevent bacterial contamination.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, butterworms, mealworms, earthworms, baby mice, goldfish and various vitamin/calcium coated leafy vegetables and sweet fruits. Babies have very high calcium requirements, and adults can suffer from bone deformations and other problems if fed diets inadequate in absorbable calcium/phosphorous or Vitamin D3.
Sexing Adult males have large sails on back and tail, also femoral pores. Juveniles must be probe sexed.
Hardiness Fairly delicate in captivity. Injury prone due to smashing into sides of terrarium, frequently develops mouth rot, and is usually heavily parasite infested. Must be treated for internal parasites. Babies and juveniles can easily be acclimated if properly set up and maintained. Not for beginners.

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GREEN/BROWN ANOLES

Anolis carolinensis
See also CARE & MAINT. OF GREEN ANOLES
by Philippe de Vosjoli
Size Females to 5" and large males about 7"
Temperament If sufficient hiding, feeding, and basking sites are available, groups with multiple males can be housed together.
Cage A tall terrarium, of at least a 10 gallon size, with reptile bedding, turf, soil/sand mixture substrate. Create basking areas with slabs, driftwood, branches, rocks and strong live or artificial plants.
Lighting For long term maintenance of Anoles, Full spectrum lighting U.V. radiation is recommended.
Heat For proper daytime heat gradient, incandescent light bulbs w/reflectors located above basking areas is needed. Nighttime heat source is not needed for Anoles under normal conditions.
Temperature/
Humidity
Moderate to high humidity is provided by daily misting of terrarium. Day temperature, 73F-88F degrees, night time 65F-72F degrees Use a temp/humidity indicator.
Water Anoles drink by lapping up water as it drips down foliage, therefore a drip system or water-covered flat bowls and multiple daily misting are critical in keeping Anoles properly hydrated.
Diet Spiders, flies and other small insects including nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets. A supplement of small amounts of strained baby apricots or peaches are beneficial. Feed 3-4 times per week.
Sexing Males have larger heads and throat dewlaps, also have enlarged post and scales.
Hardiness Anoles can dehydrate easily, however, when properly set up and maintained they are very hardy.

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CHINESE WATER DRAGON

Physignatbus cocincinus
Size Average 24"-30", large males up to 3'
Temperament Babies and juveniles can be easily tamed. Adult males can be very territorial. Imported adults may remain hard to handle and may bite hard.
Cage Babies and smaller juveniles can be housed in 20-30 gallon tanks, adults require a large enclosure set up with sand, reptile bedding or orchid bark substrate. Create basking areas with rocks, driftwood, and if desired, strong live or artificial plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is needed for long term maintenance of Water Dragons and is especially critical for rearing babies and juveniles.
Heat Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Under tank reptile heating pad placed under both water and land sections will provide 24 hr. bottom surface and heat.
Temperature/
Humidity
High humidity is maintained by large water section and frequent misting of cage or tank. Day temperature 76F-88F degrees, night temperature 66F-76F degrees. Use a temp/humidity indicator.
Water Provide a large (1/4-1/2) enclosure water section for drinking and soaking. Change water frequently, as needed.
Diet Babies have very high calcium requirements to prevent rickets. Vitamin/calcium coated crickets, jumbo mealworms, butterworms, night crawlers, feeder goldfish and baby mice.
Sexing Adult males have a large head, crest, and enlarged femoral pores. Juveniles should be probe sexed.
Hardiness Adults can be difficult to acclimate. Very hardy when de-parasitized set up and maintained properly.

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GREEN AMEIVA, JUNGLE RUNNER

Ameiva Ameiva
Size Large males are up to 20", average 15".
Temperament Very nervous, males can be territorial, therefore only 1 male per enclosure is recommended for smaller set ups.
Cage Minimum 30 gallon sized terrarium for 1 or 2 animals. Groups of 3 or more would require a 55 gallon or larger enclosure. Use orchid bark, aspen or reptile bedding substrate. Landscape and create shelters and basking sites with select hollow logs, driftwood, siliconed rock formations and cork bark slabs and slates.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is needed for long term maintenance of Ameivas.
Heat Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Under tank reptile heating pad placed under both water and land sections will provide 24 hr. bottom surface and heat.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 75-88 degree F, night 65-75 degree F. Moderate humidity is provided by water pan and frequent misting of enclosure. Use a temp/humidity indicator.
Water Provide a large shallow pan of fresh water for drinking, soaking and defecation. Clean frequently with anti-bacterial cleaners to prevent bacterial contamination.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, jumbo mealworms, butterworms, baby mice, canned dog food and various sweet fruits are sometimes also accepted.
Sexing Males more colorful with larger head and heavier jowls. Males have femoral pores and a thicker tail base. Should be probe sexed.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. Should be treated for internal parasites.

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MOUNTAIN HORNED LIZARD

Acanthosaura curcifera and A. armata (not Horny Toads "Phyrnosoma")
Size To about 12"
Temperament Non aggressive, very docile.
Cage A 20-30 gallon or larger terrarium for each animal. They need climbing room and do better in larger and taller enclosures (preferably at least 2 feet tall). Use a soil/sand or orchid bark substrate. Landscape with select driftwood, branches, rocks, cork bark slabs, clumps of damp moss, and live or artificial plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is needed for long term maintenance of Mountain Horned Lizard
Heat Incandescent light bulb with a reflector situated over one side of enclosure should provide the proper moderate daytime heat gradient. Use a thermometer.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 78-82 degree F, night 65-68 degree F. High humidity is provided by large, shallow water dish with bubbler, drip system, clumps of damp moss, and frequent misting of enclosure.
Water Provide a large shallow pan of fresh water with a bubbler in the bowl for drinking and/or soaking. A simple drip system is also beneficial. Be sure to change the water frequently and wash the bowls thoroughly to prevent bacterial contamination. Also mist enclosure frequently.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, mealworms, butterworms, earthworms, and other small insects.
Sexing Males with swollen tail base.
Hardiness Usually does well in captivity when treated for internal parasites and not kept too hot. Dehydrates easily. Does not tolerate temperatures above 85 degrees F very well.

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CHILEAN DWARF TEGU/MONITOR TEGU

Callopistes maculatus
See also GEN. CARE & MAINT. OF MONITORS AND TEGUS
Michael Balsai
Size Up to about 20"
Temperament Usually docile, may bite, can be housed in groups - very compatible. Very active.
Cage A minimum 20 gallon or preferably larger sized terrarium is needed for 2-3 specimens. Use a sand substrate, landscape and create shelters and basking areas with siliconed rock formations, hollow logs, cholla wood, cork bark slabs and driftwood.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of Dwarf Tegus.
Heat Under tank reptile heating pads and hot rocks will provide daytime bottom surface heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Turn off ALL heat sources at night.
Temperature/
Humidity
This species requires a warm-hot day/cool night cycle to thrive in captivity. Day 75-95 degree F gradient, night 55-70 degree F. Should be kept dry with low humidity. A yearly 6-8 week winter rest period should be given by simply shutting off all lights and heat sources, and withholding food. Use a thermometer.
Water Provide a small heavy crock with fresh water for drinking at all times. Clean frequently with anti-bacterial cleaners to prevent bacterial contamination.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, jumbo mealworms, butterworms, pink mice, small lizards, eggs and for variety try canned dog food.
Sexing Males larger with orange belly and sides, heavier jowls and femoral pores.
Hardiness Very hardy if properly maintained with a drastic day/night temperature reduction. Must be treated for internal parasites. May go off feed for extended periods.

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GOLD SKINK/GROUND SKINK

Mabuya multifasciata
Size Up to 9'
Temperament Initially very shy, soon settles down in captivity. Males are territorial and should not be kept together.
Cage A 20 gallon sized terrarium can house 2 or 3 Skinks. Use a deep sand substrate. Landscape and create shelter and basking areas with select cork bark slabs, driftwood, rocks, orchid bark and hollow logs. Dampen a section of substrate.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of Gold Skinks.
Heat Under tank reptile heating pads and hot rocks will provide daytime bottom surface heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Use a thermometer.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 75-92 degree F gradient, night 65-70 degree F. Humidity is provided by the water dish, damp substrate section, and occasional misting of terrarium.
Water Provide a shallow bowl of fresh water at all times. Mist terrarium occasionally.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, mealworms, butterworms,earthworms, and other insect, also may accept ripened fruit.
Sexing Males usually more colorful with larger head and swollen tail base. For accuracy should be probe sexed.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. Should be treated for internal parasites.

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BLUE TONGUE SKINK

Size About 18"
Temperament Usually calm and easily handled
Cage A 20 gallon sized terrarium can house 2 or 3 Skinks. Use a deep sand substrate. Like a dry, forested environment with sand bottom, bark, rocks, and leaves. Likes a bathing dish, sunning area. Moisten an area of the substrate.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of Blue Tongue Skinks.
Heat Under tank reptile heating pads and hot rocks will provide daytime bottom surface heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Use a thermometer.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day degree F gradient, night degree F. Humidity is provided by the water dish, damp substrate section, and occasional misting of terrarium.
Water Provide a shallow bowl of fresh water at all times. Mist terrarium occasionally.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, mealworms, butterworms, earthworms, and other insects, also may accept ripened fruit and other plant matter.
Sexing
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. Should be treated for internal parasites.

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RED EAR SLIDER/PAINTED TURTLE

Chrysemys scripta elegans
See also THE GEN. CARE & MAINT. OF RED-EARED SLIDERS
Philippe de Vosjoli
Size Females up to 12", males smaller.
Temperament Calm, mellow disposition after initial acclimation period can be kept in groups.
Cage A minimum 30 gallon tank is needed for 2 small turtles, larger groups or larger turtles would need at least a 55 gallon set up. Purchase a screen cover for the tank.

Provide a water depth of 6"-12". It is best to have one end just an couple of inches deep (turtles like to sit in the water with just their heads out) and another area for really deep swimming.

Use a bare bottom or gravel substrate. Lots of floating plants should be used as well as some thick rounded cork bark floats for basking areas. Make a rock outcrop with slate or other materials with rounded edges for your turtle to crawl out of the water and place your basking lamp directly over the basking place. (new turtle ramps are available to make easy-to-access basking islands for your turtle).

Small turtles are hard to buy in most pet shops because the Dept of Agriculture has declared them a salmonella risk. Precautions should be taken to avoid bacterial contamination. Children (especially those small enough to put their hands in their mouths) should be supervised to see that they wash their hands with anti-bacterial preparations after handling turtles.

Lighting Although standard aquarium lighting as used for tropical fish is suitable for Red Ear turtles, full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended, especially for babies and juveniles.
Heat A fully submersible aquarium heater should be used to provide the proper water temperature. An Incandescent light bulb with reflectors situated over a select basking float will provide the proper basking temperatures during the day.
Temperature/
Humidity
76-86 degree F land and water temperature. Basking temperature up to 88 degree F.
Water Use chlorinated water to prevent a bacteria build up. Turtles environments are particularly dirty. Strong mechanical filtration is recommended between frequent water changes. Duetto filters are highly recommended. ZooMed makes 3 EXTREMELY good filters for turtle tanks; TWO filters will give even better filtration to larger areas.
Diet Feeder goldfish, earthworms, beef heart strips, snails, butterworms, crickets, various aquatic plants, romaine lettuce, dry fish and turtle food pellets.
Sexing Females larger, male with longer tail and long front toes nails.
Hardiness Very hardy when set up and maintained properly.

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GIANT DAY GECKO/DAY GECKO

Phelsuma madagascariensis
Size Up to 10"
Temperament Good tempered, but can be nervous. Males are territorial and may injure one another if kept together.
Cage A minimum 20 gallon terrarium can house a pair of Giant Day Geckos. Larger groups would need a 30-55 gallon set up. Use either an orchid bark, or a potting soil/sand substrate. Landscape and create plenty of shelters and basking areas with cork bark slabs, driftwood, branches, rocks, and lots of live or artificial plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of Day Geckos.
Heat Under tank reptile heating pads will provide 24 hours of bottom surface heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated above select basking sites will provide the proper daytime heat gradient.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 76-88 degree F gradient, night 62-75 degree F. Humidity is provided by the various watering systems and frequent misting of enclosure.
Water Provide fresh water in a flat bowl, or bubbling watering stations. A drip system should be used along with daily misting of enclosure.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated small crickets, mealworms, butterworms, jumbo mealworms, spiders, honey, sweet fruits and nectars.
Sexing Males have preanal and femoral pores, and a broader head. Females have fatty calcium deposits on each side of neck.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. May need to be treated for internal parasites. This species has very delicate skin, so use caution when handling.

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HOUSE GECKO

Hemidactylus frenatus
Size Large adults up to 5", average 3".
Temperament Males can be territorial. Needs lots of hiding places if kept in large groups.
Cage Minimum 10 gallon terrarium with sand or soil/sand mixture substrate. Landscape with select driftwood, rocks, branches, cork bark slabs, clumps of damp moss, and sturdy live or artificial plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation or any supplemental lighting is not required for this species, although if live plants are used a plant light is recommended.
Heat If needed, an Incandescent light blub with reflector situated over one side of enclosure should provide the proper moderate daytime heat requirement. Night time heat is not needed.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 70-88 degree F, night 62-72 degree F. Moderate to high humidity is provided by watering system, clump of damp moss, and frequent mistings of enclosure.
Water Provide a simple drip system, and or provide flat saucers with water and give daily mistings to provide a constant source of drinking water.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated small crickets, small butterworms, spiders, house flies and white (molted) mealworms. Should be fed at night.
Sexing Adult males have preanal and femoral pores.
Hardiness Very hardy, and easily maintained in captivity.

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MAP TURTLES

Graptemys geographica
See also THE GEN. CARE & MAINT. OF RED-EARED SLIDERS
Philippe de Vosjoli
Size Females to about 11", males to about 7".
Temperament Initially very shy and nervous, will usually settle quickly.
Cage A minimum 30 gallon tank is needed for 2 small turtles, larger groups or larger turtles would need at least a 55 gallon set up. Provide a water depth of 6"-12". Use a bare bottom or gravel substrate. Lots of floating plants should be used as well as some thick rounded cork bark floats for basking areas.

Small turtles are hard to buy in most pet shops because the Dept. of Agriculture has declared them a salmonella risk. Precautions should be taken to avoid bacterial contamination. Children (especially those small enough to put their hands in their mouths) should be supervised to see that they wash their hands with anti-bacterial preparations after handling turtles.

Lighting Although standard aquarium lighting as used for tropical fish is suitable for Map turtles, full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended, especially for babies and juveniles.
Heat A fully submersible aquarium heater should be used to provide the proper water temperature. An Incandescent light blub with reflectors situated over a select basking float will provide the proper basking temperatures during the day.
Temperature/
Humidity
75-80 degree F land and water temperature. Basking temperature up to 88 degree F.
Water Use chlorinated water to prevent a bacteria build up. Strong mechanical filtration is recommended between frequent water changes. A Duetto filter is highly recommended; even two filters will give better filtration to larger areas.
Diet Feeder goldfish, snail, crayfish, earthworms, crickets, butterworms, aquatic plants and romaine lettuce.
Sexing Adult females are larger with a larger head. Males smaller with a longer tail and long front claws.
Hardiness Usually hardy, however some specimens may have difficulty acclimating to captivity, especially older animals.

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CHINESE REEVES TURTLE

Chinemys reevesi
Size Large females up to8-1/2", usually both sexes are 4"-6".
Temperament Very calm, mellow disposition, can be housed in large groups.
Cage A 10 or 20 gallon tank is suitable for 2 or 3 smaller individuals. Use a bare sand or gravel substrate. Provide a water depth of 5"-8". Add plants, driftwood, smooth rocks, and some rounded cork bark floats for hauling out. Larger groups would need a 30 gallon or larger set up.
Lighting Standard aquarium lighting as used for tropical fish is suitable for Reeves Turtles.
Heat A fully submersible aquarium heater should be used to provide the proper temperature range. Use a thermometer.
Temperature/
Humidity
66-80 degree F range
Water Use chlorinated water to prevent a bacteria build up. Strong mechanical filtration is recommended.
Diet Feeder goldfish, night crawlers, snails, tubifex worms, shrimp and strips of beef heart.
Sexing Males usually smaller, with longer tail, enlarged at base.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. Very cold tolerant.

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MUSK TURTLE/MUD TURTLE

Sternotherus odoratus
Size Females to about 6", males usually slightly smaller.
Temperament Shy, but can become aggressive, may bite hard. Compatible in groups of same species, not recommended for housing with more aggressive feeders such as Red Ear Sliders.
Cage A 10 or gallon tank is suitable for 2 or 3 Musk Turtles. Larger groups need at least 20 gallon or larger set up. Use a bare sand substrate. Prepare a water depth of 3"-5". Create hiding places and a basking area with select fresh water driftwood, rocks,and cork bark floats. Sturdy aquatic plants can also be added.
Lighting Standard aquarium lighting as used for tropical fish is sufficient. Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is unnecessary for Musk Turtles.
Heat A fully submersible aquarium heater should be used to provide the proper water temperature. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors will provide the proper daytime temperatures.
Temperature/
Humidity
70-88 degree F range.
Water Use chlorinated water to prevent a bacteria build up. Heavy filtration is recommended between frequent water changes.
Diet Crickets, snails, clams, earthworms, butterworms, beef heart strips, shrimp, tubifex worms and DEAD feeder goldfish.
Sexing Males have much longer tails than females.
Hardiness Very hardy when set up and maintained properly - long lived.

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EASTERN BOX TURTLE/ORNATE BOX TURTLE

Terrapene Carolina
See also THE BOX TURTLE MANUAL
by Philippe de Vosjoli
Size Up to 8-1/2"
Temperament Very tame, calm disposition, can be kept in groups.
Cage A minimum 30 gallon or preferable larger tank can house 2 or 3 box turtles. Use a 2"-3" layer of potting soil/sand mixture or orchid bark substrate. Landscape and create shelters and basking areas with select driftwood, hollow logs and cork bark slabs. Larger groups would require a 55 gallon sized or larger set up. These turtle thrive best when housed outdoors under natural sunlight with shelters, burrowing facilities, accessible shallow water and, if necessary, winter protection from the cold. Will hibernate.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is required for these Turtles. Exposure to unfiltered natural sunlight is recommended.
Heat An under-tank reptile heating pad placed under 1/2-2/3 of enclosure including the water pan will provide 24 hours bottom surface and water heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflector situated above select basking sites will provide the proper daytime heat gradient.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 70-88 degree F gradient, night 55-70 degree F. Moderate to high humidity is provided by the large water pan and frequent misting of enclosure.
Water An easily accessible large shallow pan of fresh water should be provided for drinking, soaking and defecation at all times.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, mealworms, butterworms, jumbo mealworms, pink mice, night crawlers, snails, slugs, canned or moistened dry dog food, and supplemented with bananas, strawberries, black berries, grapes, apple, melon, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and various other fruits and vegetables. Feed often. Variety is essential.
Sexing Males larger and usually more colorful, with concave plastrons, and a longer tail swollen at the base
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. These turtles are susceptible to respiratory infection, abscesses, limb and head swelling, shell infections, and gastroenteritis problems. Therefore selection of healthy specimens is very important. Should be de-parasitized.

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CHINESE BOX TURTLE

Cuora flavomarginata
Size Up to 7-1/2"
Temperament Very tame, docile tempered, can be housed in groups.
Cage A minimum 30 gallon or preferable larger tank can house 2 or 3 specimens. Use 2"-3" layer of a potting soil/sand mixture or orchid bark substrate. Landscape and create shelters and basking areas with select driftwood, hollow logs and cork bark slabs. Larger groups would require a 55 gallon or larger set up.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of these turtles. Occasional exposure to unfiltered natural sunlight is also recommended.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad placed under 1/2-2/3 of tank including the water pan will provide 24 hours bottom surface and water heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflector situated above select basking sites will provide the proper daytime heat. Use a thermometer.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 75-85 degree F, not below 65 degree F at night. Moderate to high humidity is provided by the large water pan and frequent misting of enclosure.
Water An easily accessible large shallow pan of fresh water should be provided for drinking, soaking and defecation at all times.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, mealworms, butterworms, jumbo mealworms, pink mice, night crawlers, snails, slugs, canned or moistened dry dog food, and supplemented with bananas, strawberries, black berries, grapes, apple, melon, spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and various other fruits and vegetables. Feed often. Variety is essential.
Sexing Males with longer tail swollen at the base.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. Not very tolerant, should be de-parasitized.

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CORNSNAKE/RED RATSNAKE

Elaphe guttata
Size Up to 6', average size 3'-5'.
Temperament Very docile and even tempered - tolerates frequent handling etc.
Cage Adults can be housed in a 15 or 20 gallon terrarium with either aspen, pine shavings, potting soil, reptile turf, or orchid bark as a substrate. Never use red wood or cedar shavings. Can be set up with just a hide box and a small water crock or landscape with select rocks, driftwood, hollow logs, and cork bark slabs. Babies can be housed in correspondingly smaller containers.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended, although not required for maintaining Cornsnakes.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad placed under 1/2-2/3 of tank will provide 24 hours bottom surface heat. Supplemental daytime heat can be provided by placing an Incandescent light bulb with reflector over one side of enclosure.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 75 - 85 degree F, night 65 - 72 degree F. Low to moderate humidity.
Water Provide a small heavy crock of fresh water for drinking. About once a month, Cornsnakes should be allowed to soak in a tub of tepid water for approx. 20 minutes, to aid in proper skin shedding.
Diet Pre-killed or live nutrient fed mice. Babies can be started on house geckos, anoles, or pink mice.
Sexing Should be probe sexed, can every the hemipenes in baby males.
Hardiness Very hardy and easy to maintain in captivity.

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KINGSNAKES

Lampropeltis getulus
Size Up to 6-1/2'
Temperament Usually very docile, but should be housed seperately as Kingsnakes are sometime cannibalistic (especially babies and juveniles). Adult pairs can be housed together for breeding purposes.
Cage Adults can be housed in a 20 gallon or larger tank with either aspen, potting soil, sand, reptile bedding or turf, pine shavings or orchid bark substrate. Can be set up with just a hide box and a small water crock or landscape with rocks, cholla wood, driftwood, hollow logs, and cork bark slabs. Babies can be set up in correspondingly smaller containers.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended, although not required for maintaining Kingsnakes.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad will provide 24 hr. bottom surface heat and should be placed under 2/3 of enclosure. Supplemental daytime heat can be provided by placing an Incandescent light blub with reflector over one side of enclosure.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 75-88 degree F. Low to moderate humidity.
Water A small heavy crock of fresh water for drinking should be available at all times. Clean frequently with anti-bacterial preparation to prevent bacterial contamination.
Diet Nutrient fed rodents, also birds, snakes, and lizards.
Sexing Should be probe sexed, can every the hemipenes in baby snakes.
Hardiness Very hardy and easy to maintain in captivity.

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COMMON WATER SNAKES

Nerodia sipedon; formerly Natrix sipedon
Size Up to 4-1/2, average 3.
Temperament Initially may be nervous or aggressive (especially adults). May discharge a foul smelling substance from the vent when handled, and MAY BITE. However, with time these snakes become tame, often accepting food offered from fingers.
Cage A minimum 15 gallon or larger sized terrarium can house a small group of 3-5 water snakes. Use either reptile bedding or orchid bark substrate. Landscape and create a shelter with select hollow logs, driftwood, rocks, and cork bark slabs. Provide a completely dry area, and lots of ventilation.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V. radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of Water Snakes.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad placed 1/2-2/3 of enclosure will provide 24 hr bottom surface heat and dry area. An incandescent light blub with reflector situated over one side of terrarium will provide daytime temperatures.
Temperature/
Humidity
Temperature should range from 68-85 degree F day, 60-68 degree F. night. Some humidity is provided by large water pan.
Water Provide a large heavy water pan for drinking, soaking, and feeding live goldfish or tadpoles. Clean frequently with anti-bactrial cleaners to prevent bacterial contamination.
Diet Feeder goldfish, chopped raw fish, earthworms, tadpoles, frogs, toads and baby mice.
Sexing Should be probe sexed.
Hardiness Extremely hardy, but must have a completely dry area and lots of ventilation in enclosure to prevent skin diseases from forming.

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GREEN SNAKES

Opbeodrys aestivus and Opbeodrys vernalis
Size Up to 4-1/2"
Temperament Non aggressive disposition, tolerates handling, does not bite, although may appear nervous at first.
Cage A 20 or 30 gallon tank will house a small group of these snakes. Use either reptile turf, aspen, potting soil, reptile bedding or orchid bark substrate. Landscape and create climbing and hiding places with select driftwood, rocks, branches, cork bark slabs, hollow logs, clumps of damp moss, and strong live or artificial plants. Climbing places are essential for these tree snakes.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/.U.V. radiation is recommended for the behavioral/psychological benefits provided. (May stimulate a feeding response in reluctant feeders.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad placed under 1/2-2/3 of tank will provide 24 hr bottom surface heat, while an incandescent light bulb with reflector situated over the same half of tank will provide the proper daytime heat gradient.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 75-88 degree F, night 65-74 degree F. Moderate to high humidity is provided by the large water pan, clumps of damp moss, and an occasional misting of enclosure.
Water Provide a large pan of fresh water for soaking and drinking.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, butterworms, spiders, night crawlers, various other insects, anoles, tree frogs and baby mice.
Sexing Should be probe sexed.
Hardiness Very hardy when fed a varied diet. May need to be de-parasitized.

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GARTER/RIBBON SNAKES

Thamnophis sirtalis..ssp.
Size Up to 4-1/2", usually 2-1/2-3-1/2".
Temperament Initially nervous and may discharge a foul smelling substance from the vent when handled. However, time in captivity usually eliminates this problem, and Garters soon become tame, often accepting food items offered from one's fingers.
Cage A 10 gallon or preferably larger tank can house a small group of these semi-aquatic snakes. Use either aspen, reptile bedding, potting soil, reptile turf or orchid bark as a substrate. Landscape and create a shelter with select driftwood, rocks, cork bark slabs, hollow logs, clumps of damp moss, and if desired, sturdy live or artificial plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of Garters.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad placed under 1/3-1/2 of enclosure will provide 24 hr bottom surface heat gradient. An incandescent light bulb with reflector placed over the same side of enclosure will provide the proper daytime temperatures.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 68-85 degree F, night 58-70 degree F. Moderate to high humidity is proved by the large water pan, clumps of damp moss, and an occasional misting of enclosure.
Water Provide a large shallow water pan for drinking, soaking and feeding live goldfish or tadpoles. Clean often as this water will become quickly fouled.
Diet Live goldfish, night crawlers, tadpoles, frogs, insects and baby mice.
Sexing Should be probe sexed.
Hardiness Very hardy and easily maintained in captivity. Cold tolerant.

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ARGENTINE HORNFROGS

Ceratophrys ornata
Size Females to about 6", males to about 4".
Temperament Very aggressive, will bite hard. Babies and juvenile must be kept separately.
Cage Babies can be kept in small deli cups or displayed in small plastic animal containers. Sub-adults and adults should be displayed singly or paired up in a 10 gallon tank.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is not needed, although it brings out the best colors in Horn frogs.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad is needed for around the clock heat, and low wattage Incandescent light bulb with reflector can also be used as a supplemental heat source.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 74-86 degree F, night 72-78 degree F. Babies and juveniles do better at a constant 80-86 degree F daytime temperatures.
Water Either sloped smooth gravel into a shallow water section or a layer of gravel with a sunken shallow water dish for soaking and defecation. Ease of cleaning should be considered when designing or landscaping a Hornfrog vivarium as they urinate and defecate frequently, requiring regular cleaning. CAUTION: USE ONLY AGED OR DECHLORINATED WATER AT ALL TIME.
Diet Small babies can be fed guppies or small crickets, otherwise Hornfrogs can be maintained on a diet of feeder goldfish and smaller mice. Babies should be fed every 2 days, juveniles every 2 to 3 days, and adults every 7-10 days. Do not overfeed! Also feed from tongs to prevent gravel ingestion.
Sexing Adult males are smaller, have dark looser throats, and have nuptial pads on inner thumbs.
Hardiness If kept singly and maintained properly Hornfrogs are very hardy.

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AMERICAN TOAD/COMMON TOAD

Bufo americanus
Size Females up to 4", males somewhat smaller.
Temperament Mellow, calm disposition, can be housed in large groups.
Cage A 10 gallon terrarium is suitable for housing 3-4 toads. Larger groups require 20 gallon or larger set up. Use either a soil/sand mixture or orchid bark as a substrate. Landscape and create shelter with select cork bark slabs, driftwood, broken pottery, clumps of damp moss and if desired sturdy live or artificial plants.
Lighting Being nocturnal, full spectrum lighting/U.V. radiation is not needed for Common Toads. Although some type of lighting should be provided during daylight hours if live plants are included, use a plant light blub.
Heat Unless located in very cold climates, supplemental heating is not necessary for these toads. However to provide proper temperatures, An under tank reptile heating pad placed under 1/3-1/2 of terrarium should suffice.
Temperature/
Humidity
Day 65-78 degree F., night 58-72 degree F. Some humidity is provided by large water pan, clumps of damp moss, and an occasional misting of terrarium.
Water Provide a large shallow pan of fresh water for drinking, soaking and defecation. CAUTION!! USE ONLY AGED DECHLORINATED WATER and clean frequently as needed.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated crickets, butterworms, jumbo mealworms, beetles, mealworms, pink mice and feeder goldfish offered from forceps.
Sexing Females larger, males call and have nuptial pads on thumbs.
Hardiness Very hardy and easily maintained. Should be treated for internal parasites.

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EASTERN, RED SPOTTED NEWT

Natophalmus viridiscens
Size Up to 4", usually about 3".
Temperament Very compatible in groups or but should not be mixed with other species of newts in community tanks.
Cage For ease of maintenance these newts can be set up in a 10 gallon aquarium with a gravel substrate and plenty of aquatic plants. Provide a water depth of 4"-8". Add some rounded cork bark slabs, floating islands, or rocks that allow the newts access to dry areas and for basking purposes.
Lighting Standard aquarium lighting as for tropical fish is sufficient for most Newts.
Heat Supplemental heating is unnecessary for this species, under normal condition. Heat rocks, heat pads, or heat lamps may produce too much heat and lead to dehydration.
Temperature/
Humidity
55-75 degree F, this species prefers cooler temperatures.
Use only dechlorinated/dechloramined water, with under gravel or mechanical filter such as Duetto or other submersable filters. CAUTION: USE ONLY AGED OR DECHLORINATED WATER AT ALL TIMES.
Diet Tubifex worms, blood worms, wax worms, black worms, night crawler sections, daphnia and small insects. Takes live, dried, and freeze dried foods, but live food is preferred.
Sexing Males in breeding condition develop enlarged back legs, with nuptial pads and a swollen vent.
Hardiness Very hardy and easy to maintain in captivity.

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See tap water purifiers.

CHINESE FIREBELLY NEWT/JAPANESE FIREBELLY NEWT

Cynops orientalis
Size Up to 4", usually about 3".
Temperament Very compatible in groups or but should not be mixed with other species of newts in community tanks.
Cage For ease of maintenance these newts can be set up in a 10 gallon aquarium with a gravel substrate and plenty of aquatic plants. Provide a water depth of 6"-10". Add some rounded cork bark slabs, floating islands, or rocks that allow the newts access to dry areas and for basking purposes.
Lighting Standard aquarium lighting as for tropical fish is sufficient for most Newts.
Heat Supplemental heating is unnecessary for this species, under normal condition. Heat rocks, heat pads, or heat lamps may produce too much heat and lead to dehydration.
Temperature/
Humidity
55-75 degree F, this species prefers cooler temperatures.
Water Use only dechlorinated/dechloramined water, with under gravel or mechanical filter such as Duetto or other submersable filters. CAUTION: USE ONLY AGED OR DECHLORINATED WATER AT ALL TIMES.
Diet Tubifex worms, blood worms, wax worms, black worms, night crawler sections, daphnia and small insects. Live food is preferred.
Sexing Males in breeding condition have swollen vent and extended tail tip.
Hardiness Normally hardy and easy to maintain. Cynops Pyrrhogaster is hardier than its cousin Cynops Orientialis. Cynops Pyrrhogaster is more aquatic and is less likely to get internal infections from stressing.

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LAND HERMIT CRAB

Coenobita clypeatus
Size Up to 4" in very large example. usually smaller though.
Temperament Usually good tempered but can pinch hard when handled.
Cage A 10 gallon aquarium with a screen top or a similarly sized enclosure is adequate for keeping a colony of crabs. Use a sand substrate. Landscape with various select pieces of driftwood, branches, cork bark, rocks and a variety of switching shells for the animals as they grow. For shop set ups and large colonies, create a back wall of silicones rocks for climbing and place 1" of water on the bottom of tank. This will cause the crabs to stay on the rock wall and in full view. Feeding dishes can also be siliconed to the back wall. This set up is easily cleaned by rinsing and siphoning the bottom water. Small bird cages and custom wire enclosures also work well with these crabs.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended but not necessary for long term maintenance of Hermit Crabs, standard aquarium lighting is sufficient.
Heat Under normal conditions supplementary heat is not required for Hermit Crabs.
Temperature/
Humidity
65--85 degree F room temperature. Humidity is provided by water section and occasional misting of enclosure.
Water Should be provided with a shallow easily accessible water crock for drinking, soaking and defecation. Clean as often as needed. CAUTION!! Use only DECHLORINATED-DECHLORIMINED WATER AT ALL TIMES.
Diet Commercial hermit crab chow, chicken scratch, corn meal, peanut butter, apples, pears, bananas, lettuce other fruits and vegetables, toast, occasionally supplement in small amounts with a vitamin/calcium powder. Should be fed a small amount every other day for optimum health.
Sexing No dimorphism, cannot be sexed when in shell.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained.

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ROSE HAIR TARANTULA

Grammostola gala
Size Up to 5" with legs extended.
Temperament Docile easily handleable - makes a good pet, house separately.
Cage Can be kept according to size in either glass or plastic storage jars, plastic terrariums, or glass tanks. Use either damp paper towels, damp vermiculite, orchid bark, or a soil/sand mixture substrate. Landscape and create shelter, burrows and climbing areas with select driftwood, cork bark slabs, hollow logs and if desired live or artificial plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is not required for maintaining captive tarantula. But if live plants are used, it will make them flourish and will bring out the best colors in both plants and spiders. 15-25 watt Red bulb should be used if one desires to watch normal behavioral patterns, as tarantulas are nocturnal. Caution: to avoid decimation when using Incandescent red light blub, check temperature with thermometer before placing animal in enclosure.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad placed under 1/4-1/2 of enclosure will provide a 24 hr bottom surface heat gradient (remember to keep substrate damp in some areas at all times). And if necessary 15-25 watt Red bulbs can be used for daytime heat supplementation. Use a thermometer.
Temperature/
Humidity
75-85 degree F. Moderate to high humidity (required for proper molting) is provided by damp substrate, small water dish and frequent misting of enclosure.
Water Provide a shallow dish of fresh water (i.e. bottle or jar cap) at all times for drinking. Mist enclosure frequently.
Diet Nutrient fed crickets, jumbo mealworms, butterworms, mealworms, roaches and other various insects. Feed about once a week. Adjust feeding schedule according to weight of spider, do not allow to become obese.
Sexing Adult males have palpal bulbs on the second set of legs (pedipalps). Also most males have a more slender appearance than the female.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained. Dehydrates easily.

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JEWEL LIZARD & OTHER CHILEAN SWIFTS

Liolaaemus tenuis tenuis
Size Up to about 4-1/2".
Temperament Not panic prone. Compatible in large groups.
Cage A 10 gallon terrarium is suitable for housing 3-4 Jewel Lizards, larger groups require 20 gallon or larger set up. Use a sand substrate landscape and create shelters and basking areas with select cork bark slabs, orchid bark, driftwood, rocks, cholla wood, and sturdy live or artificial desert type plants.
Lighting Full spectrum lighting/U.V.radiation is recommended for long term maintenance of Jewel Lizards.
Heat An under tank reptile heating pad and hot rocks will provide a 24 hour bottom surface heat. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated above select basking areas will provide the proper daytime heat gradient. Turn off all heat sources at night.
Temperature/
Humidity
This species requires a warm-hot day/cool night cycle to thrive in captivity. Day 75-95 degree F gradient, night 55-70 degree F. Should be kept mostly dry with a damp section in terrarium.
Water Provide a small shallow saucer (i.e. jar lid) of fresh water at all times. A simple drip system and/or occasional misting of terrarium are also recommended.
Diet Nutrient fed and vitamin/calcium coated 3 week old crickets, small butterworms, mealworms, ants and various other small insects.
Sexing Males are much more colorful being a bright turquoise blue, with an orange or yellow head region. Sometimes these lizards will be dull color when exposed to low temperatures, but when asking at 95 degree F they can become extremely colorful. Females are more of a uniform blue, black, green color. Also males have preanal pores.
Hardiness Very hardy when properly set up and maintained with a drastic night time temperature reduction. May need to be treated for internal parasites if loosing weight and not feeding, when all other conditions are correct.

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Pet Health & Trivia Directory