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Thread: Terrarium/Vivarium Questions

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    Default Terrarium/Vivarium Questions

    I'm currently working on setting up my hatchling's tank as fully planted but am doing it over time instead of all at once. My new T5 came in so everything is getting enough light now. I have 2 scarlet star bromeliad pups and a small Phalaenopsis orchid I plan on adding to the tank. Should I remove the hatchling and allow the plants to take hold to the bark/branches and if so, how long should I remove him for? He is a 3 month old hatchling so he is very small and I don't know if he would even be able to damage the plants if they are secured well. If he is removed, the enclosure I move him to will be much, MUCH smaller since the plastic keeper he was in is currently occupied. I feel bad about downgrading him but if it is only for a week or two, I don't feel as guilty.

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    How big is this "hatchling?" And how big is the tank you're planting? How big is the container you'd have to move him to? If the hatchling is under 10g, I would suggest keeping it in a medium or large plastic kritter keeper or a 5 gallon tank until it reaches 10g. Anything larger than that for something less than 10g is generally not recommended. It's also not recommended to put a hatchling in a live planted tank simply because it's easier to watch for poop and such on paper towel, and hatchlings are more likely to become impacted on the substrate, like soil, that your plants will be planted in (well broms won't be but you know what I mean). Even though it's not recommended, that does not mean its impossible, it's obviously your choice on what you want to do! So with that said, if you'd like to continue to a fully planted tank, I'd say remove the gecko and let the plants take root, even if its very small, jumping from plant to plant during the night could put stress on the plants and even cause them to fall. If you're worried about the container being too small, why don't you just go get another plastic keeper or a sterilite tub for a meager $6-8 (sterilites are much cheaper than KKs)? Just fill it with some extra decor you may have lying around or toilet paper rolls or something similar and you'll be set while your plants fill in a bit.
    "Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it." -Henry David Thoreau

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    Thanks for the reply! I bought a couple Sterilites (I'm also adding to my WTF vivarium at the moment so I got a bigger one for them) at Wal-mart. I got a 7qt with a handle and clips for the gecko. He really is a hatchling. He's about 3 months old and about 4 inches long. Unfortunately, a good scale is something I can't afford right now since I've already spent at least $100 on my herps in the last month so I don't know how much he weighs. He came out of his egg the size of the breeder's 1 month old hatchlings though so he's probably a little large for his age. He has not taken live feeders (dubia roaches) for me since I got him and is just eating his CGD so he doesn't usually go near the soil but I might keep him in his new home for a little while longer to ward against impaction. (His new Sterilite is actually pretty cute!) How large should he be before moving him to the bigger enclosure? It's a 12x12x18 ZooMed and he loves to crawl between the lid and the bark background to sleep.

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    At 3 months old I'm guessing he is wayyy to small to be put into a 12x12x18. Geckos grow at varying rates, so it's hard for me to tell you if he's big enough without a gram weight. Given that he's so young though, I'm guessing he isn't more than about 3 grams which is much too small to be put into a 12x12x18. The 7qt sterilite is actually perfect at such a small weight, and he could be moved into his new enclosure (12x12x18) at around 10g. It might take a while because some geckos grow rather slow...but it really is better for him to be in something a little smaller so he can find his food easier. Generally when they start off in something smaller they grow faster because they eat more given that they feel secure in such a small space.
    "Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it." -Henry David Thoreau

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    can regular miraclegro potting soil be added to a vivarium without treatment?
    1.1.3 Gargoyle Geckos
    3 Ecuadorian Hermit Crabs
    3 Purple Pincher Hermit Crabs

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    I think regular miraclegro soil has some fertlizers in it, but I'm not sure. I just use ABG mix off of NE Herp for my plants to grow in. It works pretty well.
    "Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it." -Henry David Thoreau

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    The Neherp mix or ABG mix are the best of the best substrates you can use for a vivarium.

    I have had 1-3 month old hatchlings in my 12x18x20 newly planted tanks with varying results. I would say they usually do really well. They pretty much do no damage to the plants and they are at the stage where they are the most naive and curious so they will go all over the tank to explore. The only times I had problem is probably right now but it is mostly due to competition for food with multiple geckos in the same tank.

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    He seems to hang out in one particular spot in the 7qt so I'm not sure how he's liking it so far. He does seem to be growing very slowly but he refuses to take any feeders. I tried again the other night and he totally ignores the roach. Is there a way to get him to eat more of his CGD or "beef him up" a little bit? I worry that he is too skinny but all I can do now is offer him the original flavor CGD.

    And yes, he was actually quite curious and active in the large tank. He would sleep just under the screen lid/bark background gap but I'd often see him tucked under a pothos leaf or traveling along the diagonal stick in the middle. I think I will feel better about placing him back in once I get some leaf litter to cover up the soil (Eco Earth mixed with fine sand and a little bit of sterile potting soil). My mom and I miss playing "Where's Cake?" in the evenings.

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    How's the temperature and humidity in the 7 qt? If he's hungry then he'll eat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AeroWRX View Post
    How's the temperature and humidity in the 7 qt? If he's hungry then he'll eat.
    70-72 ambient house temperature and the Sterilite is actually holding the humidity constant after spraying so I've been trying to get him out and letting it "air out" before spraying it again. I do see little signs of him eating the CGD but he just refuses the dubia. Is there a trick to getting him to eat them or should I just let him decide on his own?

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