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Thread: New to reptiles, Vivarium and Chahoua plans

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    Default New to reptiles, Vivarium and Chahoua plans

    So after a ton of research I have almost settled on my set up but for peace of mind sake I am asking to verify my readings. I am asking for all of your opinions as everyone here has more experience than me (which is zero). I have been doing salt water aquariums for over 10 years so I do come with some knowledge and a few tricks. I am going to set this tank up and work on getting everything to exact levels for geckos and plants for the next month, then come April 6th&7th I will go to Repticon in Denver and find my gecko.

    Here are my ideas:

    18x18x24 Exo Terra OR take the old 90g saltwater show tank out of storage and make a see thru or room divider style viv. as it is already drilled with bulkheads in the bottom for a water feature.
    -modeled in a vivarium style, possible water feature

    Plants-thinking of purchasing from Lowes
    -Bromeliad, Money Tree or Madagascar Dragon Tree or Pony Tail Palm, Ferns, Orchids or Anthurium, Bamboo, and some sort of climbing or vine type plant (climbing fig?)

    Watering
    -mistking or fogger? maybe both?

    Gecko Species (male or female????)
    -this will house a single Chahoua or crested. Much prefer the Chahoua if I can get my hands on one. Do Chewies climb as much as cresties? stick to glass? And I have also read that they are heavier so they need stronger branches to climb on than a crestie?
    -natural style set up with isopods and springtails

    I am in the Army and this tank is primarily for the ascetics of the living room as my current house will not support the weight of a full fish tank. I am very involved with my pets and try to create the best ecosystems possible. I want the gecko to be as happy as possible as well. I will be gone for a few days here and there hence the misting system. I can get my neighbor to feed but that is about as far as they will help. I also have a 3 year old son that is also going to be taught about responsibilities and taking care of pets with this little project. I welcome any of yours opinions and criticizems. Thank you all in advance.

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    Oh, and if there are certain breeders I should be on the lookout for at the Denver Repticon then please let me know. I figure if I am going to invest in a pet that will live 15 years then I might as well buy a true beauty instead of a normal run of the mill specimen.

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    just a quick fix. chewies live longer then 15 years. theyve said they can live up to 30 i believe
    1.1 pine island chahoua

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    also a quick suggestion is if your going to be away for a few days a week or so maybe a crested would be better. there a good starter gecko to learn on before going for more expensive ones. but you did say that neighbors would handle there feeding. id make sure there ok with feeding them and dusting there crickets. these guys LOVE crickets. (chewies that is. although cresteds love em as well) research is always best. if you can save a few dollars with the fish tank go for it. but remember that they prefer height over length. so if its tall enough then by all means go for it! a mister as well seems to be perfect i dont think youd need a fogger as well. as for the plants i cant help you with since i dont have a planted viv.....yet. but there is a few threads about safe plants to use and experiances. good luck with whatever you choose
    1.1 pine island chahoua

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    Although I don't have any actual experience with a vivarium set up (I do have quite a few Chahoua though), I have done considerable research on vivariums and naturalistic habitats and plan to set one up when I have the right space available. New England Herpetoculture has some great resources, even if you choose to buy your products elsewhere, on their website. For example, see their Vivarium Construction 101 (http://www.neherpetoculture.com/viva...ruction101.htm).

    There is sub-forum here dedicated to Caging and Terrariums. Another great resource is the Dendro Board (http://www.dendroboard.com/), just keep in mind most of those folks focus on frogs that need higher levels of humidity than the Rhacodactylus species.

    As far as a Chahoua is concerned, here are a few points to note:

    (1) They can be picky eaters when it comes to Crested Gecko Diet (and the other all-in-one-diets). I have personally just started experimenting with mixing my own diets like others on this board have done for a while now, but this could complicate things for your neighbor when they come over to feed. (There are ways of dealing with it, such as freezing your own prepared diet, but something to consider before choosing a Chahoua.)
    (2) It's generally the feeling (although not exclusive) that they NEED crickets, at least once per week.
    (3) Typically it's best to put an established juvenile or adult gecko, regardless of the type, into a vivarium, this way they have no trouble finding food, etc.
    (4) If you go the Exo-terra route, I would seal in the top of the enclosure (e.g., cut a piece of plexiglass to cover the screen). Otherwise, you'll lose valuable humidity. You don't want to over-saturate the enclosure either.
    (5) Chahouas are typically larger than Crested Geckos and can even reach 80 grams+. This may effect the type (and size) of the plants in your enclosure.
    www.GoldCoastGeckos.com

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    M. Chahoua, R. Leachianus, C. Ciliatus
    a.k.a. "Chewies", "Leachies", "Cresteds"

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    Thank you both for your input. I really do appreciate all the help I can get.

    So I fully understand the lifespan of a Chewie, hence the reason why I want to own one. If I am going to own a gecko and since they live for such a long time I want to have a very special specimen. The way I look at is this is a 20 year investment so why buy a run of the mill petco gecko? I will just end of regretting that move and since I will only ever have one tank then I might as well go big right outta the gate. The point of this enclosure is to have a single gecko and an amazing piece of living art in my house. I have no problems with feeding live crickets and dusting them. My neighbor doesn't either so feeding will not be an issue. I will make my own prepared diets or whatever is necessary to provide for this little guy or gal. If you guys only knew the things i went through to appease my salt water pets. That was enough to drive a person insane.

    I have been reading more on chewies and have been adjusting my plant types accordingly. I am selecting more "tree" style plants with stronger limbs for the added weight of a chewie. I am leaning more towards a male as I do not want to deal with eggs, and never want to have babies, calcium crashes, gravid issues and such. And I have been leaning more towards a baby chewie as a I have a 10g tank that I was going to put inside of the 90g while he is small. The 90g measures 50L x 19W x 26H so there is more than enough room in there i think.

    The more I think about it though I am almost debating dropping the cash for the 36” x 18” x 36” Exo Terra. After messing with my neighbors exo terra that they use for their leopard gecko I am falling in love with a front opening tank. Like I said, 20+ year investment right.

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    I have kicked around the idea of making the 90 a see thru or room divider if you will. I understand that this can stress a gecko. Is there any other reason why its not normally done? I feel that my 90g tank when fully furnished would provide adequate hiding spots for a single gecko and should not stress them out too bad??? Your opinions on this please?

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    i think its because that geckos like dark and quiet areas. a devider like that would be visable from both angles making it feel vunerable and stressing it. even if it has plants and such it can still see clear through each side. thats why alot of people that own leachies and chewies cover up sides of there cages to make them feel safer. thats just my .02
    1.1 pine island chahoua

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    I can see how this has the potential to affect their stress levels. And to be honest thats the reason why i have not already done so. I want the gecko to be as happy and healthy as possible so I will most likely have to scrap the see thru idea all together. I know its possible for a chewie to live in the 18x18x24 exo terra, but would the 36x18x36 be a more appropriate fit for the chewies size when full grown?

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    Put a tunnel in or a super good hide. I believe in the wild, they have open sides all around. It will be important to leave it be for two or three weeks to allow it to settle in. I just bought the mist king system for myself and am very happy with it. I am always running and its good to have that off my mind. A fogger i believe won't create water droplets on the plants and glass that a crested gecko will need. I may be wrong on this, i was told that when i was shopping around for a mist system. As far as plants go, i'm not crazy on the idea of garden intended plants going in a terrarium. I'm just sketchy on what would be sprayed on them. check this out www.neherpetoculture.com/geckoplants.htm
    Brandon Terry <<crested gecko 0.0.2>>

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