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Dream Terrarium Part II

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Well, my 55 gal tank is set up and thanks to all the good advise, it is a success. It has passed the approval of my biggest critic (hubby), shop lights and all. Is there a way to post a picture without a web homepage? I don't have a homepage, but have a pic on my hard drive.

There are still a few minor adjustments to make, but mostly I am monitoring it to get the climate stabilized. The humidity keeps shorting out the battery in the digital theometer/hygrometer and the little plastic hygrometer does not seem to be consistant yet. Hope to get that figured out in the next few days. So far, 4 days later, the plants seem to take it well. The sundews are dewy, looks like a pitcher developing on the nepths and the non carnivors look happy. Have found a few patches of white fuzzies which I sprayed down with chamomile tea (wanted to try that before buying fungacide).

Thanks again for everyones input, it helped in developing a vission before beginning. Let me know about posting pictures, or maybe I can e-mail it to someone?

PS) My new delima is hubby likes it so much now he wants a lizzard in it. I do have a few thoughts on how I can make that work, but haven't given in to him yet.
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Yay! PLEASE, no lizard:
1. The Cp's will eat it.
2.The lizard will destroy the plants by digging.
I hope the weight thing worked ok.
 

Pyro

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There are a couple lizards that will work fine if you are really interested in doing it. I would recommend an anole or a plain old house gecko (either would be about $3 at a pet store.) My only word of abvice concerning them would be: Make sure the top is secure. Unless you don't mind a little bugger scampering around your house.

You could also do some of the smaller tree frog species like a Green or a Grey.

The good thing about all these species is that they are small so they'll take pinhead crickets wich are also the ideal size for VFTs, Sarrs and Neps
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If you need any more reptile help feel free to drop me a line but be warned, I'll chew your ear about them for hours if you let me
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Pyro
 
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oh,
I'm a herper, too. The problem is that they may starve if the CP's eat all the crickets, the will do their business where they want, unlike desert geckoes that have a difectorium. And the neps might er, eat em
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Good luck
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Lithopsman, thanks for the thoughts. I think I have figured out the answer to the problems your refer to (although maybe easier said than done). I think a piece of plexiglass about 4 to 5 inches tall, glued and sealed to the bottom of the tank from front to back (this is to keep the CP ground water from being contaminated), then a screen or net of some sort attached to the plexiglass up to the top of the tank, camouflaged with vine or plants somehow (still not fully worked out for aesthetics) but to contain the lizard away from the CP's. This will basically give him/her half the tank but appear like it is the whole tank. Although, I must say, if the nepths reach a size that would be able to eat a lizard, then I'd be proud as pounch
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; right now, they are barely big enough to eat a fruit fly
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. I was careful about the weight, and so far it appears to be holding well.

Pyro, thank you for the offer, I have a ton of questions and would be glad for you to chew my ear off with information.
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Pyro

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Lithopsman,

My 20 years of experience compeles me to reaffirm that anoles and house geckos would fit into this set up fine with little or no damage to the plants or the animals.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">The problem is that they may starve if the CP's eat all the crickets[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

Lizards are active hunters and will more than likely chase down every cricket. The plants will probably only catch a cricket here and there.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">the will do their business where they want[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

True, but even a colony of them would not produce enough waste to toxify the environment in a dynamic system like this. Mould will decompose it and the non-CPs will absorb it. I had a 55 gallon vivarium go 6 years before I changed out the media and there were no ill effects to any of the flora or fauna.

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">unlike desert geckoes that have a difectorium[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

In my experience only leopard and fat-tailed geckos do this, my Tucson banded hasn't in the 13 years I have had him.

My only concern would be that a lizard may run over a Drosera and tromp it a little but what with the caustic nature of the dew the lizard would probably learn pretty fast to avoid that area of the tank.

Linda,

You can email me if you like, messaging me is fine too. Or we can just chat it out here for all to see in the event that others get to liking this idea and want to follow along
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Pyro
 
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Wow Pyro, your comments are seving to make my hubby (Tom for the record) one happy man
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I was concerned about needing to segregate the CP's but was not looking forward to having to pull apart at least half the tank to do it.

My first round of questions really is the maintence aspect; how often the cage will need cleaned out (at least to the extent of digging all the way to the bottom of the tank on a regular basis). The research I've done so far does seem to indicate an Anole is the best choice, I think I'd call the tank to be a rainforest set up and that seems to be the best climate for an Anole. Will start calling local pet shops to determine what is available. Which leads to the second question, how to determine that the animal is healthy and pest free when I get it and that it really is the breed I'm looking for----I don't think I want one that will get much bigger than 8 inches or so and what I've read so far there are various breeds (if that is the correct word) and sizes.

Well, I'll stop the questions at that for now. If this thread gets beyond interest for people out there and think it is consumming to much space; please let me know, I dont want to intrude. Thanks.
 
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well, I have a leopard gecko, and in Reptiles Magazine, it said 70% of desert geckoes do. Some geckos here cost $200, it depends on variety
 

Pyro

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Plantslikebugs,

It depends on the gecko species
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The typical house gecko is only about $3, tokays go for $8-$15, leopards start at about $35 and go upto something obscene like $500. Other species usually have a price to fit their rarity.

Linda,

Always glad to help, especially in the area of herps
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So, answer time. For full media change out I would guess that 12 months would be about right but I have never done a dynamic CP vivarium so it might be more often. The best advice I can give is to keep an eye on your plants, they will let you know when it is time.

Here is a photo of a green anole. This guy can get to 12" but are mor commonly 6-8"
Here is a brown anole. Usually in the 4-6" range, these are harder to find in pet shops.
This is an okay pic of a house gecko. 3-5" and lots of fun. They can climb glass so are a bit of an escape hazard. Parthenogenic, so over time you will have the sudden appearance of babies.

For animal health, look for one that is obviously responsive and alert. Make sure that the colour is uniform and good. DO NOT get one missing a tail, yes they can grow them back but it is a pain to have to nurse on during that time. Avoid any animal with cuts or excessive abrasions. If you can, try to examine the animal for ticks and mites, these will be super tiny (pinhead or smaller.) If you find them I suggest you go to a different store, if one animal has them then likely they all do.

Good start?

Pyro
 
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I ususally do not bring forward old threads, especially when they get to the second page; but thought I'd continue this one more time and if there is not alot of interest, I'll let it die a natural death
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I have an Announcement to make, our small family of 4, plus a dog, plus a rabbit has now grown to include one cute little Anole (I won't count the twelve crickets that are intended to be food)
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I did some minor rearranging in the terrarium to provide more crawling space and added a pothos plant. I still need to get a tree branch or something for the nepth to climb and may have found one that will work.

The Anole is an interesting little guy, I think its a "he" cause I watched him do a bob and weave at his reflection for a while. He was bright green at the store but turned brown shortly after getting into the tank. He kind of hung out hanging from the top of the screen under the lights then disappeared for a long time (couldn't believe i lost him so fast
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) He finally reappeared by sticking his head out from the back of one of the mirrors and just hung there for a while. Infact, he spent the nite on the back of that mirror and was still there this morning. I put two crickets in this morning (but thats another story
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) and sprayed the tank down before I left for work.

So far, the CP's (working to stay on topic here), love the environment and he hasn't seem to bother them at all. Will see what happens once he gets accustom to his new home
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Pyro

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Ah yes, the "hide-n-go seek lizard." I forgot to mention that to you in all our communications. Lizards are by nature secerative and so it is good to provide hiding places for them so they are not stressed by constantly being "on display." They will come out and romp about as it suits them though.

Pyro
 
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