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Thread: My First Newbie Thread - A Few Questions

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    Default My First Newbie Thread - A Few Questions

    Hi all, I've read through several topics and this seems like a pretty helpful forum, so I just wanted to ask a few questions. I've read several care sheets on the web for my crestie, and I believe I have the basics covered, but I have a few not so typical questions that you may be able to help with...

    First off, I just bought my crestie from a local petshop on Sunday. I was just there with one of my roommates when the herp specialist caught me eyeing the cresties and offered to let me handle a few of them. I ended up taking home Barbarossa, a 7-8" long male. That's him in my picture.

    He responds to handling really well, and he is very active at night (I can hear him scurrying up the vines and plants and flopping against the terrarium walls as he jumps. My other roommate bought what we believe is a female, around 5" long. I can't really gauge the weights at this time. Currently they are both in a 12x12x18 Exo-Terra enclosure. For now, both geckos seem to be doing fine together, no noticeable agression.

    Questions:
    - Within the next 2 weeks I am going to move Barbarossa to a larger enclosure and sell the smaller one to my roommate. We will keep the two geckos separately in these enclosures. Will they be okay in the small tank for the time being?
    - The female seemed very nervous and shook her tail when I tried to handle her yesterday. I relocated the enclosure to my room where there is less noise and commotion and she seemed to calm down considerably. Was this just a sign of stress, or is it indicative of something else?
    - Based on the care sheets I read, I planned on feeding the geckos every other night with Rapashy CGD out of a little dish placed on the floor of the enclosure, and gut-loaded and dusted crickets once a week / two weeks. Is this sufficient nutrition?
    - Most people seem to recommend paper towels for bedding, but I already have a bag of coco-soft. I know it may be a little harder to keep clean, but is there anything wrong with using it?
    - Finally, I think I am having some trouble keeping the geckos hydrated. It is very dry in my house right now, and water I spray into the enclosure will be dry in about 30 min. Barbarossa had a partial shed yesterday but managed to get most of it off himself (I used some tweezers to remove the rest). Should I somehow suppliment the misting with additional water?

    Well, that should do it for now. Thanks in advance for your help!

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    Welcome to Pangea Redbeard, alot of good info and helpful people here.

    I would suggest to seperate them now if you can. Specially if you dont know the sex of the other. If you have two males you will have aggression between them. If you have male and female expect to have eggs.

    If you just recently got them I would try not to handle them for a couple weeks just to let them settle in.

    You dont really need to feed crickets since CGD has all the nutrients they need. But its always a plus if you can get them to eat dusted crickets just for variety.

    Paper towels is the way to go specially in the beginning just so you can see if they are eating and pooping.

    What is your temps do you have? You can always spray more then once a day if your house is very dry. Once in the morning and once before lights out. Heavier misting at night is recommended.

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    Redbeard-

    Welcome to Pangea-and welcome to your new addiction!!

    I think that Poke has just about covered everything you asked about.

    I would add two comments.

    As far as the Coco-loft goes-NEVER heard of it. Paper toweling is best not only for cleaning, but also to make sure your geckos aren't eating any of it and getting impacted. Any shredded, mulchy or fibrous substrate may be eaten and cause intestinal blockage.

    As for the humidity, you don't say where you live, but I'm in Buffalo, NY, and during the winter dry months (with the furnace running all day and night), I sometimes have to give 3 to 4 LIGHT mistings a day, but NEVER less than 2 even in the summer.

    One at night before bed-time and one in the morning.

    If the tank is really dry, I add one noonish, and if I have to, another at 5 or 6 pm.

    I hope this helps!!
    Last edited by samanthajane13; 01-27-2010 at 01:37 AM. Reason: typo
    Love and Light-
    Donna

    "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to the man. All things are connected."-Chief Seattle

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    HI, Welcome to Pangea, Im glad to see you have made it to the right place when it comes to you and your crested!

    -It sounds like your pretty sure you have a male and female and the female must be young if she is only 5" long so its best you seperate them right away. The male sounds like an adult, or close to it at 8", and will definitely try to breed with her if he has not already. I would recommend a scale for a couple reasons, like assured weight gain, but it sounds like the 12x12x18 is too big for the female and maybe just right for a single male at 10 gallons of space but will need a 20 ga at full adulthood. As far as humidity I found a humidifier to work wonders with that and went from misting 2-3 times a day to just once at night. Personally I prefer to raise the ambient humidity instead of constantly misting.

    -The feeding schedule you presented was a good one and though they can survive without bugs, if they like them its good to feed them. Just be sure to gutload and dust!

    -The female was definitely stressed after just being moved and housed with a male. I agree with seperating then and then maintain a feeding schedule without any handling for a few weeks.

    -I havent heard of the coco-soft substrate either but papertowels are also beneficial to use with a new gecko to help make sure they are pooping and not impacted already. After your sure they are healthy a switch is easy.

    -Its also always good to leave a bowl of water out, especially in dry areas, since cresteds do have the ability to find water. ANother option would be a humid hide, which I have also used, and those work pretty well.

    Hope this helps, and Congratulations!
    STEVEN

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    All, thanks for the responses so far.

    When I get home tonight I will swap substrates to flat paper towel. The coco-soft is coconut husk, and therefore quite fibrous and mulchy. The guy at the pet store swore by it, but I'm not taking any chances.

    Separating the two should not be an issue, as we have several smaller terrariums available (we have had multiple fish and turtle arrangements). I will do that tonight as well.

    Glad to know my feeding plan is solid, I have not yet fed any crickets, but I will probably grab some this weekend and see how my crestie like them. As far as watering, I have been misting about 4 times a day at regular intervals, taking care keep the substrate dry. I will probably reduce this to 3 times, and leave a standing water dish in the enclosure.

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    Unlike many turtle and snakes enclosures, there is no need to keep the substrate dry. The main reason i use Coconut fiber bedding is because it moist (not dripping wet just moist). This is an easy way to keep the moisture in the enclosure up with minimal misting. But i dont feed crickets to my crested, so i need not worry about impaction.

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    Well I have some good news and some concerning news.

    The good:
    + I changed my bedding to paper towels last night, and everything went smoothly there.
    + I saw a HUGE poop on the background of the enclosure, which came from my big boy gecko. So it looks like things are working for him at the moment.
    + There were tons of white droppings (assuming this is pee) in the enclosure now. Looks like they are getting plenty of water.
    + I fed some CGD last night, and woke up to find a few lick marks in the edges of the dish, but I think these were from the male only.

    The concerning:
    - I was unable to separate the geckos last night, but I am doing it tonight for sure.
    - I now think a lot of the scurrying I hear at night is the larger male gecko chasing the smaller female. Thankfully there are no other signs of physical aggression.
    - I think the female is a little too intimidated by the male to make her way down to the dish to eat, but I believe she is getting plenty of water. I will feed her again when I separate them tonight.

    Quick question: It would be ideal if I could just get a 18x18x18 or 18x18x24 enclosure for the big guy and let the female stay in the 12x12x18. Would that be too big for her? As I mentioned in my first post, she is about 5" long, not sure about weight yet. Will buy a scale at the pet store tonight.

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    I like the good news and the concerning news sounds like it will be taken care of tonight...I think your right about your assumptions(including the pee) and just make sure, for sure, for sure you seperate tonight. The 12 x 12 x 18 will be fine for her. Make sure any decor that was shared is washed and cleaned if its to remain with the female.
    STEVEN

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    a sigh of relief....

    we got the two geckos separated last night. the male is now enjoying a very spacious 18x18x24 enclosure... the exo-terra tanks were on sale at the pet store and this one was only 7 bucks more than the 18x18x18. at first i thought it would be a little big for him, but he has made his way around the whole space. i fed him a little bit just to see if he would find the food bowl, and found lick marks this morning...

    my roommate thoroughly cleaned out the small enclosure before moving the female to his room. we used windex to clean the glass and then after drying went back over it with wet paper towels to remove any residue that may have remained. just to make sure she had some nutrition he fed her off the tip of his finger and she ate a ton, but i warned him to force her to eat from the food dish from then on.

    we'll see how things go for the rest of the week.

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    Awesome! Sounds like you got things under control. Enjoy your Companion!
    STEVEN

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