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First Crested Gecko Babies! First Crested Gecko Death :(

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  • First Crested Gecko Babies! First Crested Gecko Death :(

    So, I was excited to get my first hatchlings on Saturday. Today, 6 days later, the oldest one was found dead. What did I do wrong?

    I'm pretty new to crested geckos, but I've had the parents for several months. The babies are in a small wire cage (still probably huge for them). Paper towels on the floor, shallow water and food dish. I've offered them baby food and crested gecko diet every day or two and mist the cage probably once a day. I haven't really confirmed them eating or drinking, but I figured they were since I never see the adults do it either (except with live food).

    Not enough moisture? I read they don't even eat for the first several days. Temps are 78-82.

    What did I do wrong?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    how large is the "wire cage"? can you get pictures of them so we can see what you're talking about?

    you get a confirmation of eating by either finding food missing from the dish (if you use a thin layer of cgd you'll be more likely to notice it) and by finding poop in the cage. also, some hatchling reptiles wont eat for the first week, partly because they shed for the first time and have eaten that.

    if your temps jumped up to 82 degrees in their cage, that could have gotten him, especially if he was weak at all.

    if they were housed together, it is possible that there already was fighting between them.
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    • #3
      I am not the most experienced breeder. However, can you clarify what you mean by wire cage? Never heard of anyone keeping crested hatchlings in wire enclosures (does not mean it isn't done I suppose). But one issue I would see with that would be the ability to keep up humidity and drafts out.
      I think 5 species of geckos is enough! Lets not talk about the snakes!

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      • #4
        My guess is it was the lack of humidity in a "wire cage" (do you mean screen?) you also described it probably being too large for them? Exactly how big is it? It could be a combination of these two things that led to the death of your first born Im sure the others will be fast to follow suit if you dont move them into a Kritter Keeper, or something similar.
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        • #5
          Ditto everyone's concern on the "wire" cage. I would think that would not hold in humidity at all. Hatchlings can get dehydrated very quickly. I think most people keep hatchlings in either a plastic "Kritter Keeper" or a 6 quart plastic bin, sometimes called a "shoe box", like the type made by Sterilite or Rubbermade from Walmart etc.

          Did you observe any indications of a successful shed? Or an incomplete shed? I find it helps me with my less-than-eagle-eyesight to take photos and look at them on the computer, zoomed in. I can then see sometimes stuck shed covering limbs, toes, tails. That is a sign of incorrect humidity (plus the stuck shed needs to be somehow carefully removed).

          Were you misting at least twice a day, probably more for a wire/screen cage? Maybe putting a wet paper towel over the top?

          Also, why the baby food?

          If you figure out what went wrong and correct it, hopefully the second hatchling will be ok.

          ETA: Also, I personally would not want hatchlings to get up to 82 degrees. That's the maximum temperature (I think 85 degrees for extended times can cause stress and maybe even death?), and I wouldn't want to subject hatchlings to that. If that's what you aim for, it may get above that, or parts of the tank may get above that, and hatchlings may not know or be able to find a cooler spot. Personally, I keep mine at room temps, no extra heating - usually that's about 71 degrees in the room, and in a misted cage it is usually between 65 - 70 degrees. They may grow slower but I think it's safer.
          *** My "N" key is actig up. Luckily, there's no "N" in "crested gecko" or "Rhacodactylus ciliatus".***

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          • #6
            Originally posted by carrucha View Post
            What did I do wrong?

            The babies are in a small wire cage (still probably huge for them).

            I've offered them baby food

            mist the cage probably once a day.

            Not enough moisture?

            What did I do wrong?

            Thanks.
            I just re-read your thread...and I think you may have answered your own questions...also in the word PROBABLY I'd take that as maybe not everyday. I definitely think it was dehydration that killed your baby. Put the remaining babies in a KK, and NO baby food.
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            • #7
              It sounds like a combination of dehydration, improper housing, and babyfood would all contribute to your young gecko's death.

              For your remainging baby, pick up a small kritter keeper, some fake plants, and mist twice daily. Hatchlings are a lot more sensitive to dehydration than adults. Make sure you are providing a shallow water dish and CGD everyother day. Babyfood is for babies, not geckos.

              I'm also interested in a picture of your wire cage for the adults, because the way you make it sound, the adults housing should probably be modified so they don't meet the same fate.
              Krystal

              Gekkonidazed Geckos

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              • #8
                Thanks for the responses (though probably a little harsh for a new member's first post).

                Yes, wire = screen = mesh = whatever you want to call it. The holes are probably 2mm large or so.

                Probably = probably, which is different than probably not. It went with the word once and meant >= 1, not <= 1.

                The cage is probably 10x10x16 or something. It's pretty much like these, though not as nice, http://www.sandfiredragonranch.com/i...products_id=87 . In fact, that's probably the one the adults are in. I'd prefer glass probably, but that's what they came with when I bought them. Many people are selling cages just like these as specifically for crested geckos, eg. http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/...te-cage-setup/ . So if that's not an acceptable setup you need to direct your attention to them.

                Many sources talk about screen cages and baby care, such as this, http://www.reptilehabitat.com/crested_geckos.htm . "For crested geckos, a screen cage is better then a cage that is built of solid material like woos or glass; this is not saying that the latter material is bad. Mesh is better because it allows for more ventilation and doesn’t trap heat inside the cage."

                "Babies: Crested gecko babies are indeed quite small, starting out at barely an inch when they hatch. Individuals up to 4 inches long, from head to tail can easily be housed together in a 10-gallon tank, 20”x10”x12”"

                I'll take dehydration as cause of death, but babies aren't even supposed to eat for several days and the gecko was 6 days old. So starvation isn't possible unless the gecko was malnourished from the egg to begin with.

                82 degrees is on the warm side, but plenty safe, so I don't believe that either.

                The younger sibling hatched like 5 days later, so they didn't have much time together.

                Why not the baby food? Is this an argument for baby crested geckos or in general? It's well documented that baby food is a great food for them though not completely adequate. It's in there because my adults like it more than the official stuff, so I'd like to confirm that they're eating.

                Unfortunately my crested gecko book never warned me of care any different for babies than adults.

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure what book you have, but it sounds like much of the info you have about crested care is outdated at best and simply inaccurate in many respects.

                  82F is in the danger zone- as a fluctuation of just a few degrees can be fatal. Deaths have been documented at 85F. I am careful to keep mine in the 70s.

                  Humidity is key, and I can't imagine reaching 80% humidity in a mesh/wire/whatever enclosure. Cresties need a good humidity cycle- with 80% humidity in the evenings while they're active, drying down to about 50% during the day.

                  We are all aware that crested geckos were originally kept alive on baby food diets, but "incomplete" has proven to be a gross euphamism for what happens when cresties are kept on babyfood as the staple part of their diet- please refer to the sticky at the top of this forum and you will see pictures of what WILL happen to geckos that are fed primarily baby food. Repashy and Clark have the only two "complete" diets that are proven to be complete enough to raise healthy geckos. DIY crestie diets are difficult at best, and I wouldn't personally recommend trying DIY to anyone without years of experience with cresties under their belt before even attempting it.

                  Every single one of these points holds true for both adults and baby cresties- so it sounds to me like all of your geckos may need some changes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lauraleellbp View Post
                    I'm not sure what book you have, but it sounds like much of the info you have about crested care is outdated at best and simply inaccurate in many respects.
                    Agreed. Everything in your last post, points to highly inaccurate information.

                    82 is too warm for babies, hatchlings need more humidty because they are more succeptible to dehydration, and babyfood is not appropriate for crested geckos.

                    And my hatchlings eat within 2 days. Usually not the first night, but the next for sure. And there's poop within 3-4 days.

                    We can help you on this forum, if you are open to listening. The trouble with the Internet is people can post care sheets.and it doesn't matter if the information they are sharing is correct. The care sheet you just linked is terrible. Horribly terrible.
                    Krystal

                    Gekkonidazed Geckos

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                    • #11
                      Oh- another possibility-

                      In the past year or so we've learned that crestie eggs incubated at lower temperatures (high 60sF) produce much better developed offspring, whereas eggs incubated at higher temps hatch much more quickly and sometimes produce dangerously underdeveloped hatchlings. If your eggs were incubating at the same temperatures as you report your enclosures have been running, this may be at least a contributing factor to your losses.

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                      • #12
                        Im very sorry your little baby died its always so heartbreaking.
                        But now, moving forward, this is why you should never feed baby food to cresties:
                        It WILL lead to this (not might, WILL):
                        http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...ad.php?t=27483

                        Reading through threads like this (link below) should help you decide to cut out the baby food all together.
                        http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...ight=baby+food

                        While there is a lot out there that says baby food is ok for cresties, theres a lot more that says its NOT ok. The care sheets and books that say to feed any kind of baby food are really out dated and every new, up to date care sheet will clearly steer you away from ever introducing baby food to a gecko.
                        I know there are a million other threads on this website alone that will go through the reasons why you should stop feeding baby food and also show you how to smoothly transition from the baby food to CGD only.
                        Hopefully this helps

                        Best of wishes with the second baby!!
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by carrucha View Post
                          "Babies: Crested gecko babies are indeed quite small, starting out at barely an inch when they hatch. Individuals up to 4 inches long, from head to tail can easily be housed together in a 10-gallon tank, 20”x10”x12”"
                          I keep hatchlings in a large deli cup for a week, so I can make sure they are eating/pooping. Then I move them up to a shoebox sized sterilite bin until they are about 8-10 grams, then they are moved up to a 10 gallon sized enclosure.

                          For hatchlings, 10 gallons is too big. And I never house hatchling/juvenile cresteds together. They are separated from day one so I don't have to worry about bullying, nipped tails, dropped tails, and eaten tails.
                          Krystal

                          Gekkonidazed Geckos

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                          • #14
                            The trouble with forums is people can post whatever they want as well. When some people here say one thing, the "Internet" says another and an actual book all about crested geckos yet another we have a problem.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by carrucha View Post
                              The trouble with forums is people can post whatever they want as well. When some people here say one thing, the "Internet" says another and an actual book all about crested geckos yet another we have a problem.
                              We are not trying to be harsh, as you stated before. We are just trying to help you. It's true that online anyone can post whatever they want. So you have to do the research, read everything you possibly can, and decide what is true. Books are outdated. I'd read reputable breeders caresheets for the latest information. And if it were me...I'd listen to us forum members We are so into our cresties and their care that we are on here all the time reading and swaping the most current information.

                              Also notice that all of us are saying the same thing....so we MUST be right
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