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Monday, 11 November 2013

Your New Crested Gecko - What You Will Need

I'm planning on doing a few posts today on getting a new crested gecko!
Seeing as my crested geckos are breeding, lots of family and friends are planning on having one/some of the babies. I think it's important that people know everything about crested geckos before they get them. They aren't exactly your average pet, and vets and pet stores don't tend to specialize in them.
Here's my first of a series of posts on new crested geckos. This post is about everything you will need before you go ahead and buy your crestie.

Vivariums


The most important thing you will need before you get your new gecko is his home! You can find vivariums in reptile stores and most likely any pet store that sells reptiles. Look around in different stores near you before you go ahead and buy one; you may find that some are cheaper than others. You might even want to look online, but I would recommend  buying a vivarium first-hand.

Crested geckos require a 'tall' vivarium, and the smallest you should consider getting should measure 12" by 12" by 18" (approx 12 US gallons). This should comfortably home one adult crested gecko, at the most two.
If you're planning on having 2 or 3 crested geckos, you might want to consider getting an 18" by 18" by 24". This is the size vivarium I currently own for Rocco and Savannah, my own crested geckos. It is approximately the size of my bedside table/chest of drawers, although slightly smaller, and they have far much more personal space in this sized enclosure than the 12" by 12" by 18".
Exo Terra is probably your best bet for a vivarium: their enclosures are safe, well-ventilated, beautiful and very trustworthy.


www.exo-terra.com
Exo Terra 'tall' vivariums; left: 12" by 12" by 18", right: 18" by 18" by 24"

Another reliable vivarium source is Komodo. Exo Terra is probably the better option: the vivariums have backings that create a natural environment, they are very well ventilated and are a much more largely used company. I feel that Exo Terra make far more attractive enclosures than Komodo, but others may disagree!

www.exotic-pets.co.uk
The above images are examples of Komodo vivariums you can find (not tall).

If you're considering getting a vivarium, you might want to go look at the different variety yourself and consider which you prefer. Some stores even sell wooden vivariums, although these don't tend to come in the 'tall' option and they are less popular for crested geckos. They tend to suit leopard geckos more. However, you may find that the wooden styled vivarium fits in better with your room.
www.animalinstinct.co.uk
An example of a tall wooden vivarium (less recommended).

I think wooden vivariums are beautiful, I really do, although I feel they are far less practical for cresties. If you are looking for beauty in your vivarium, I recommend you do as I have done and find a beautiful backing, a heat light and some pretty plants or flowers to decorate the inside. The light makes a whole lot of difference to the vivarium's appearance.

Inside Your Vivarium


Inside your vivarium you need to make it as natural as possible for your crestie(s).
Below is a list of everything I have inside my own vivarium:
  • One large Exo Terra hanging plant (Ficus, silk)
  • One small Exo Terra hanging plant (Abuliton, silk)
  • One large Exo Terra jungle vine
  • Two ground plants (one large-leaved alike scindapsus, one philodendron)
  • Two forest branches (one small, one large)
  • One piece of cork bark
  • One Buddha vivarium background
  • One medium Exo Terra water dish
  • Coconut fibre substrate
  • One Exo Terra dial thermometer
  • One Exo Terra dial hygrometer
This amount of items isn't necessary, but crested geckos do spend a lot of their time hiding. It is necessary to provide your gecko(s) with the amount of equipment they may need to hide sufficiently.

www.vivariumguide.com

The above image is an example of efficient hiding apparatus for your crested gecko.

Something also important for your crested gecko's enclosure is climbing equipment.
Those of you with crested geckos will know they get most of their exercise from climbing. With the help of the lamallae on their feet and tail tip, crested geckos spend most of their time vertically. They get most of their exercise from climbing, excluding when hunting, and even climb to the top of the vivarium so to climb on the wire mesh!
It's not necessary to include lots of climbing equipment as crested geckos can climb glass and most other surfaces, but it's probably a good idea to insert some obstacles so your gecko has some interesting routes and gets some decent exercise!
Jungle vines are the best kind of climbing apparatus, as they can be wrapped around other decor and bent, twisted and turned into any shape or route.

www.flickriver.com

Essential Internal Equipment:
  • Thermometer (dial or digital)
  • Hygrometer (dial or digital)
  • Water dish
These are the only 3 essentials for your vivarium. Obviously, it is essential that your crested gecko has climbing and hiding apparatus inside the enclosure, but what you choose is up to you and how much you want to kit it out. The above 3 in my opinion are absolute essentials to ensure your gecko has a healthy living environment.
(To find out more about temperature and humidity in a crested gecko's vivarium, you can read my previous post at the following address: How To Keep Your Crested Gecko Healthy)

Other Necessities


There are other necessities that you will require before purchasing your crested gecko.

One of the most important requirements in this category is a form of temperature maintenance. This should be in the form of a heat mat or heat lamp.
Often you won't need to use your heat mat/lamp, and your crested gecko will be fine at room temperature. However, often at night times or in the winter, the general temperature can drop and leave the enclosure at low temperatures. Although it is important the temperature doesn't rise above 80F/26C, it's also important it doesn't drop below 50F/10C. Reptile specialists will inform you on which bulb or mat is suitable for your crested gecko.

www.ebay.co.uk

www.thescmas.com

As well as maintaining the temperature in your vivarium, it is just as important to maintain the humidity. This tends to be more difficult, and the natural humidity of your environment and the heat source you are using will affect how often you will need to top up the humidity.
It's easy to maintain once you know how quickly the humidity begins to drop in your environment. You simply need to purchase a 'mister bottle', which is a bottled pump that sprays a fine layer of water into the vivarium. Once you've done this a few times, you will establish how often you need to do so and how much you need to spray. Usually a heavy spray is required of an evening, and a light spray of a morning. It's easy enough once you've got the hang of it.

www.ebay.co.uk
Komodo water spray misting bottle!

The last thing you will need as an addition to your purchases is calcium and multivitamins. If you decide to feed your crested gecko on Crested Gecko Diet this is something you won't need to worry about, as all your gecko's requirements are already added to the mix. You will however need to buy these if you're considering feeding your gecko on live food, or fruit for a treat. You can purchase these in all reptile stores and most average pet stores, and more details on how to use these can be found in the link above in the 'Essential Internal Equipment' section.


I hope you enjoyed today's section, and I promise to post tomorrow or Wednesday with the next 'Your New Crested Gecko Segment': Buying Your Gecko.
Thank you for reading and for helping to make my blog a success. It means the world to me.

Regards,
Elly. x

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tigerlily's Rescue

Those of you that have read my posts will know that I've never been a fan of leopard geckos. It's mostly because I'm biased; I have two beautiful crested geckos, and in my opinion, no reptile can be any more beautiful than them. However, my eyes were truly opened today when I visited my local pet store.

I took Savannah earlier this evening to Pets at Home to double check her gender. We were 90% sure that she was female, but we thought it would probably be best to get her looked at by a professional. Thankfully she is female, and everything was fine. We saw the man at Pets at Home we usually see, one of the reptile specialists, and since we've had Rocco and Savannah we've gotten to know him quite well. Satisfied with his conclusion, I strolled off with Savannah to take a look at their collection of crested geckos.
When I returned, I seemed to interrupt some conversation between the reptile specialist and my mother. I just returned as he began a terrible story about a woman who mistreated her leopard geckos.

A woman had entered the store a few days earlier with her three leopard geckos. She didn't want them anymore. They were all in a terrible condition: their eyes had been glued shut and they were blinded, two of them were sick and could not eat, and they had all had significant troubles with shedding and so their feet were crippled and their skin was pale. They concluded that this was most likely due to the conditions they were put into: they had been given no moist/wet hide for shedding, they had been given the wrong bulbs and therefore were constantly squinting, and due to the fact they could not shed the overgrown skin had glued their squinted eyes shut. She had not sufficiently fed the geckos, and so two of them had taken to eating the sand in the enclosure and had become very sick.
Sadly, they hadn't been able to save two of the geckos, but the beautiful female Tigerlily was saved. The man explained that he knew we were caring and loving owners for our two cresties, and that he was hoping to find somebody like us to take on the leopard gecko and provide a suitable environment for her.

I was eager, and so was my mother, and we were heartbroken due to the story. We asked if we could see her, and he collected her from the back room. I was nervous, as I'd never held a leopard gecko before. I'd never really found them attractive creatures: their tails were fat and their bodies were bulky, they weren't soft like a crested gecko and one barely looked different from the other; but as the man handed me this poorly treated gecko, I instantly fell in love.
Her skin was pale and her feet were severely impaired due to the tangled shed. You couldn't even see her eyes, and they explained how they were sure she was blinded. They were working with the vets to nurse her back to health, and hope that in a couple of weeks she will have shed. They're hoping her feet will be back to normal due to this, her skin will be its natural bright yellow with large black spots, and once she's shed she will open her eyes. They're not certain, but even if this is not the case, I truly don't care.

She could not see me as I held her in my hands. Most people would have looked at her with her mangled feet, glued eyes and pale skin and called her hideous or pathetic; but as she sat calmly in my hands, licking me to get a sense of me and truly getting close to my body, my heart went out to her. She was beautiful. I needed her, and she needed me. I had to nurse her.

So that was it.
Tomorrow, I'm going down to visit her again. I'm going to ask about housing, and whether he thinks it is suitable I can house her in my spare, tall vivarium. If not, I'm planning to get an RUB (Really Useful Box) approx. 48 liters to house her in.
I'm so excited, and I've completely changed my mind about leopards after his experience.
I will make sure pictures are taken tomorrow. Her condition will probably sadden you, and although you may not find her as beautiful as me, please respect her and what she has been through.

I named her Tigerlily after my following interaction with an adorable kitten in the store. She was very vocal and she was beautiful, and they had named her Tigerlily. I thought this was a gorgeous name, and was perfect for the leopard gecko. 'Leopard' reflected the 'Tiger' part of her title, and 'Lily' had several reasons. Lilies are memorial/funeral flowers, and so she is named in memory of her brothers. It's also generally a very pretty, feminine name, and I believe it reflects the beauty that I see in her.

I'm looking forward to showing you Tigerlily tomorrow.
Be open-minded in life, and things may surprise you.
Elly. x


02/11/2013


I told you I'd be updating this post two days ago, and I'm sorry, but we didn't actually manage to see Tigerlily until yesterday evening.
When we got there, she was halfway through shedding. We could see her beautiful, natural yellow and pattern underneath. The 'pure leopard gecko', the man said. Her feet were still mangled, her eyes still shut and her mouth looked a little injured. He said, however, that she had been opening and blinking her eyes, which is very good news. He also said that her feet probably won't be of brilliant use to her in the future, as she has lost multiple toes and they will still be pretty crippled. Not to worry though, because she moves about brilliantly and seems to get around without any pain. She has been eating much, much better, and she's starting to gain more shape to her tail. This means that there is more fat and energy in her body, as the tail is where this is stored.
I'm so happy that she is getting better, and I'm hoping for her sake that her sight will return so that she can hunt again and not have to continue being hand-fed. I love watching Rocco and Savannah pounce at their prey!

I'm not sure whether my Dad is keen on having Lily in the house. I already have 2 crested geckos, and once they've mated I will soon have more. I know that she will be quite a responsibility because of her condition, but I feel like Lily needs me.
If Lily does not go to me, she will go to my boyfriend Jack, who I know you have all heard of. He's rather fond of reptiles, and he came with me to meet Lily yesterday. He loved her, although like me has never been fond of leopard geckos. I know that he will make a brilliant home for her and treat her kindly and lovingly if I cannot do this myself.

Below is one of the pictures of Tigerlily from yesterday evening.
It was difficult, with the man standing right there and waiting for us to finish, for us to get a really good picture off my phone, especially with her wriggling around. We managed to get a few, and enough for you to truly understand her condition.
I hope you think she is as beautiful as I do.
If anybody has any ideas for middle names (we have 'Savannah Sahara' and 'Rocco Woody') then please get in touch and let me know! Comment below.


She's so beautiful, and I'm very proud of her for doing so well in that short amount of time from when I had last met her.
Thank you for reading about Tigerlily's story.

I would really like to express that, if you plan to get a gecko, reptile or any pet for that matter, you know that you will be a loving and devoted owner. You have an animal's life in your hands the moment you take on a pet, and to hold a creation of God in your hands and care for it is surely the most rewarding thing in the world. Please, if you do take on a pet that is dependent of your care, care for it. Be there for it. If you can't provide everything you need for it, you should not be taking it on.
Make sure you know everything there is to know before you take on any animal, so you can provide the best possible life and give them everything that they will need for their health to be the best it possibly can.

Elly. x

Picture Blog Post

Annnnnnnnd, as I promised, an entire blog post dedicated to pictures of Rocco and Savannah!
Wow, you guys have missed out on a lot...
I hope you enjoy these!

 A picture I snapped of them sleeping side-by-side a while ago... Rocco often sleeps upside-down like this! So funny.
 Just showing you their tails!
 This has to be my all-time favourite picture. Ever. It was my screensaver for weeks.
One day I caught some pictures of Savannah licking her lips and her eyes, and I got this one of her 'smiling'.
 Just a picture of  her licking her chops!
 Showing you how she wraps her little feet around my thumb. I love how small she is... Or was! She's grown so much :-(
 Rocco almost always sleeps on the big leaf at the front of the vivarium. He curls up his body and just chills out in the open.
 Here's a picture of him climbing the vivarium wall. He does this every night, and then climbs the wire mesh. His sticky paws against the mesh causes a ripping sound, and it keeps me awake most nights. Anyone else relate to this?
 A very cute little girl curled up on one of the poppers.
 And again! Bless her.
 Rocco was also very cute, and was holding his tail as if it were a branch.
Look at those male parts, too!
 We were cleaning out the vivarium and put Rocco and Savannah in the baby/egg box. They were not happy.
 They stared me out and made me feel guilty.
 I was rather amused to find Savannah perching on the thermometer one day.
The thermometer is right at the top of the glass with no climbing apparatus near it, and the wall was wet at the time... I'm not really sure how she got there! Must have jumped!
 Rocco and Savannah are finally starting to discover the 'pond' in the vivarium! Here's a picture of Rocco drinking from the bowl (and Savannah looking very pretty!).
 And another! Proud of my boo.
 Here's just a picture of them in the newly-arranged vivarium.
It looks so pretty.


 Rocco on his leaf
 Savannah copying him!
 Savannah very cutely clung on to the end of the jungle vine. She looks terrified for her life.
 And here's my handsome boy on the prowl!
 Here's Rocco all fired up the day after shedding.
He looks SO bright and orange on his back! He's absolutely beautiful.
 And again!
You can kind of see his bulge here, too. I meant to take a picture of it... It's gotten huge recently! I'm proud of my big boy!
 And again.
 And again, prowling towards Mama.
He seems to have this permanent little shiny spot on his head. It's kind of cute and makes him look messy - I've tried many times to wash it off but it seems to just stay.
 The handsome chappy licking his eyeball! Cute or gross, whatever tickles your fancy.
 A nice close-up of his handsome face. He's such a gorgeous boy.
 And again with the eye-licking!
 Savannah all fired-up! You can see that she still stays a lovely golden colour down her back, with fewer dalmation spots than Rocco.
 Her sides go a grey/brown colour, but in some lights they can look almost blue. She's not the golden girly she used to be!
 Here's my little trooper climbing the glass. She looks like a starfish!
 And again. You can see how much she's grown here.
 From the side.
 One of my favourite things about Savannah is her 'leopard belly'. It's really distinctive and different to Rocco's, and I love how the grey-blue spots contrast the bright yellow belly.
 Another one of her beautiful belly.
 A close-up of Rocco licking his eye! I love how it cups around the eyeball. So clever!
 These were taken just yesterday, when I found Rocco sleeping on his leaf.
 He's so big and heavy that his body actually weighed down the leaf - he's almost falling off! Half his body isn't even on! He can't be comfortable, surely!?
 A closer up picture showing his body half off the leaf. Haha, so funny!


I'm afraid that's about it for the pictures at the moment (the good ones, anyway!). I know you all enjoy seeing the pictures of them.
Rocco has become extremely sexually mature recently, and Savannah is almost there. They're coming up a year old now, and we all know that Rocco grows at a very fast rate, but Savannah has had a large growth spurt or two recently! She's almost the same size as Rocco now. I don't know where my little baby has gone!
We're about 90% sure she is female, and I am slightly wary about the small chance of her being male. Now that they're becoming sexually mature, I don't want them to fight if she is.
However, we're pretty sure of her gender, and we are expecting babies soon if she's female. Soon being months most likely, but that's soon enough for me!
I'd love to have another female at some point, maybe for Christmas or my birthday, but my parents don't seem too keen. Hey ho. I have these 2 and I love them endlessly.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Elly. x

I'm back!

Hey everybody! I'm back!

I'm so so so so so sooooo sorry about suddenly disappearing without any warning.
I'm officially back for good, and I'm planning to be blogging regularly from now on... I promise!

I've been away for a while for many reasons.
I ended up in hospital a little while ago, as you all know, and I was quite poorly. They decided they were going to do some basic operations just to see what was going on. Due to that I was recovering for a while, I had a wedding which I was asked to play piano at, and on top of all this I had college work. Not only am I doing 5 A levels, but I'm sick and doing 5 A levels. Due to hospital and doctor visits and having to take time off because of pain etc, I'm behind everybody else... This means even more work is given to me at an impossible rate and I am often going out of my mind!

This entire post is dedicated to my apology due to my sudden disappearance.
However, I'd like to thank all of you for keeping the views rolling in. Obviously, I have been away so there aren't as many new posts for people to feed off of, but I really feel like people are enjoying what I have to say.

Later on today, I'm going to be posting a whole post with pictures of Rocco and Savannah I feel you've missed whilst I've been away!
Do forgive me if I put up pictures you  have seen before in previous posts, but honestly guys I'm so tired. I'm sick with a viral infection and I have work overflowing my brain and oozing out of my ears.... You have to allow me to make a few mistakes!

I have missed the blogging world, and writing this is genuinely putting a smile on my face already.
I'm so glad I'm back and that I've finally gotten round to posting.
You will have a picture post coming your way this afternoon, and I have a couple of advisory posts in mind that will be heading your way this week!!

I hope you're all doing well.

Elly. x