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Old 08-01-2013, 04:27 PM
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Default The 'I know absolutely nothing about reptiles' Komodo review

The ‘I know absolutely nothing about reptiles’ review, Komodo 45x45x45

Ok, so I know absolutely nothing about reptiles, or how to keep them, or anything really, when it comes to it, so I thought that qualified me perfectly to come on the internet and write about it, and pretend I’m some sort of expert.

So, how did I end up with a shining new Komodo tank, surprising me at the door as I struggled to get it down my hallway? Well, it turns out that I had actually purchased it last weekend, to accommodate a Crested Gecko that has not yet arrived (but Niki is suitably excited for his arrival at some point this week).

So we got the vivarium out of its box, which weighed about a ton. (Ok, well, maybe not quite that much, but first thing in the morning, when you’re still reeling from the surprise appearance of a travelling tea salesmen (Seriously, I felt like I was in 1850 – we got a free packet of biscuits though, so it can’t be all bad!), it still feels pretty weighty).
When the box was open, the reason why became pretty obvious. There is (so I’m told), everything the prospective gecko owner could desire inside. We have a shiny new terrarium – 45x45x45cm and a thermostat, and heat mats and plants for our little crestie to climb, and big shiny heat lights (I feel like I’m about to start some illicit cannabis plantation in my front room). We even have a fogger! Probably, to anyone who knows anything about keeping reptiles, this is incredibly boring, but I’m going to turn off all the lights at night, and turn on the fogger, and spend the night pretending to be a velociraptor. It’s going to be epic, whatever anyone else says.

But aside from acting like a 5 year old at Christmas, it’s probably worth talking about the stuff that came – I mean after all, what else is the point of (attempting to be) reviewing something, if I’m not actually going to talk about what I got.



First off, the entire set cost £199.99 from Swell Reptiles. I assume they’re good, as the lovely Nicquita would never dream of ordering from unsalubrious dealers. For what we‘ve got in the package, it seems like a pretty good deal as far as I can tell. For our money, they’ve sent us;

·
1x 45x45x45 cm Terrarium
· Repashy Crested Gecko Food
· Compact canopy
· 2 rainforest compact bulbs
· Fogger for humidity
· Heat mat
· Thermostat
· Feeding and water dish
· Jungle vines
· Real natural driftwood
· Real Sumatra Wood
· Bark substrate
· Deluxe thermo-hygrometer

To the uninitiated (i.e Me) this looks great. It looks like the repashy hasn’t made an appearance but a quick call to the supplier, and it turns out I just missed an email saying it was out of stock, so it’ll be here in a couple of days. Everything seems to be of high quality, and the tank looks great. I’ve heard that some people dislike the Komodo tanks for having loads of plastic bits that obstruct view of their geckos when inside, but having just assembled it, it doesn’t really seem to be a massive issue – the black struts seem to account for about a cm off either end of each plate of glass – that’s still 40 glorious centimetres of viewing pleasure for you – it doesn’t sound so bad. I certainly don’t think it’s inferior to the Exo-terra equipment, when it comes to that at any rate.

We’ve got a nice big lamp thing, which I’m reliably informed is actually called a ‘compact canopy’. It looks great, and fairly sturdy too. My only gripe with it is that it doesn’t seem to have any proper way of attaching to the tank, and that seeing as we’re two of the clumsiest people who have ever had the misfortune to walk (or, in the this case, trip) the earth, I imagine at some point there’ll be a new order in for a replacement canopy.
The thermostat kit looks pretty good. We’ve got a heat mat from
Microclimate International, which is apparently 10x12in, so it should fill a good portion of whichever wall we put it on. It comes with Swell Reptiles own brand of deluxe thermostat, which seems well made. It has a failsafe built in that prevents thermostat failure from hurting the gecko too, which sounds useful.

The thermo-hygrometer looks like the sort of thing James Bond would plant under the villains car, so he could track his movements. I guess that means it’s pretty good. It looks cool, so I’m happy there. I’m told it’s wonderful and functional and monitors the humidity, so hey. Useful and good looking. Maybe I could get a job as an thermo-hygrometer?

There’s a bit of foliage that comes with the kit, so we’re in the process of putting it in now (by which I mean Nicquita is doing it, while I sit here and write about it). A couple of vines, some driftwood and some Sumatra wood, as well as a bag of substrate about the size of my head. I have a very big head, so this is good news. I’m pretty sure if I tied the jungle vines together, I could build myself a massive fishing rod, and head off to the river to catch some dinner (that said, would you eat anything caught out of the Humber? Probably not). After some effort, we got them stuffed into the tank, and I’m sure that our gecko, whenever he arrives will be very pleased with this state of affairs. We’ll need to get some more plants ourselves to give the little guy somewhere to hide, but really, when you consider how much stuff we’ve managed to get in this deal, it’s pretty good.

Putting the terrarium together was a bit of a challenge – turns out we’d got a bit ahead of ourselves and put the screws in before we’d put the top on it. Getting the screws out required a boiling kettle and two pairs of hands, but once they were out, it was smooth sailing really – everything slotted in, it feels sturdy now we’ve got it together, and the contemporary design will look great on a table in the corner of the room (I say contemporary, because I have no idea how else to describe it!).



All we really have left to do now is sort out the electronics, screw in the bulbs and then sit and wait for the delivery of our Harlequin. Oh, and find something 2 cm deep to insert the fogger into. Seriously, I’m in love with this thing.

So all in all, this kit looks great, has everything the prospective starter gecko owner could need (apparently), all at a pretty good price. Oh, and did I mention that it came with a fogger?


(p.s first post ftw!)
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:42 PM
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this gave me a few giggles this post.

my review from a novice crestie keeper.

eco-earth is the prefered substrate for geckos over 15grams (i.e not babies) as it holds humitdity better.

needs more bushes and foilage and hidey spots. the poor thing is gonna be terrifyed most likely.
more hidespots and plants = gecko feels more secure

as you have a compact top with bulbs in, you don't need a heatmat at all.
the heat gradient should be from top to bottom. with a heatmat in at the bottom there is no gradient.

cresties prefer not to eat off the ground, so you'll probably want to incomparate a food bowl high up. nutella lids are a good idea, they're shallow and you can wrap a vine around them to suspend them.
or buy some magnaturals which are notoriously hard to source.

foggers tend to break, so manual misting is probably better

------------

my 45x45x60 exo with my hatchling in it.
kitchen roll will be switched to eco earth when she grows up.
more plants will be added when she grows up (live ones)
heatmat behind the background at the top will be switched to an arcadia canopy when she grows up.
mines sparsly planted as shes still a baby and i need to keep track of her but theres a buddah, stick on branch, big cork bark piece, small cork bark piece, and 4 big bushy plants, as well as 2 vines, nutella lid food bowl for repashy, shallow water bowl in the corner, kitchen roll substrate, foam background, heatmat with stat, and 2 digital hydrometer/thermometers in there.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuesaur View Post
this gave me a few giggles this post.

my review from a novice crestie keeper.

eco-earth is the prefered substrate for geckos over 15grams (i.e not babies) as it holds humitdity better.

needs more bushes and foilage and hidey spots. the poor thing is gonna be terrifyed most likely.
more hidespots and plants = gecko feels more secure

as you have a compact top with bulbs in, you don't need a heatmat at all.
the heat gradient should be from top to bottom. with a heatmat in at the bottom there is no gradient.

cresties prefer not to eat off the ground, so you'll probably want to incomparate a food bowl high up. nutella lids are a good idea, they're shallow and you can wrap a vine around them to suspend them.
or buy some magnaturals which are notoriously hard to source.

foggers tend to break, so manual misting is probably better

------------

my 45x45x60 exo with my hatchling in it.
kitchen roll will be switched to eco earth when she grows up.
more plants will be added when she grows up (live ones)
heatmat behind the background at the top will be switched to an arcadia canopy when she grows up.
mines sparsly planted as shes still a baby and i need to keep track of her but theres a buddah, stick on branch, big cork bark piece, small cork bark piece, and 4 big bushy plants, as well as 2 vines, nutella lid food bowl for repashy, shallow water bowl in the corner, kitchen roll substrate, foam background, heatmat with stat, and 2 digital hydrometer/thermometers in there.
image

Just to verify, Chris is a novice, I've owned a crestie before and am aware of gradients I'd probably not use a heat mat in summer, but through winter, out house isn't the most hospitable :p the foliage is just what came with the terrarium itself. I'm sure Chris said we'd be getting more plants? I intend to fully kit it out with more plants, there's bark that needs to be boiled before going into the tank. Also need a couple of hides for the little guy

In regards to misting, I have a spray bottle on hand :p Chris is just in love with the fogger mechanism. He likes pretty coloured light :p Also intending to probably get a mag natural feeding shelf, as I've always loved the look of them.

To add to that, the canopy has UV rather than heating. Something I'll probably mess around with at a later date
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Last edited by Nicquita; 08-01-2013 at 04:52 PM.. Reason: Missed something
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicquita View Post
Just to verify, Chris is a novice, I've owned a crestie before and am aware of gradients I'd probably not use a heat mat in summer, but through winter, out house isn't the most hospitable :p the foliage is just what came with the terrarium itself. I'm sure Chris said we'd be getting more plants? I intend to fully kit it out with more plants, there's bark that needs to be boiled before going into the tank. Also need a couple of hides for the little guy

In regards to misting, I have a spray bottle on hand :p Chris is just in love with the fogger mechanism. He likes pretty coloured light :p Also intending to probably get a mag natural feeding shelf, as I've always loved the look of them.

what is it with men and flashey toys?

seems like your good to go
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuesaur View Post
this gave me a few giggles this post.

my review from a novice crestie keeper.

eco-earth is the prefered substrate for geckos over 15grams (i.e not babies) as it holds humitdity better.

needs more bushes and foilage and hidey spots. the poor thing is gonna be terrifyed most likely.
more hidespots and plants = gecko feels more secure

as you have a compact top with bulbs in, you don't need a heatmat at all.
the heat gradient should be from top to bottom. with a heatmat in at the bottom there is no gradient.

cresties prefer not to eat off the ground, so you'll probably want to incomparate a food bowl high up. nutella lids are a good idea, they're shallow and you can wrap a vine around them to suspend them.
or buy some magnaturals which are notoriously hard to source.

foggers tend to break, so manual misting is probably better

------------
Glad you enjoyed it

As the regards the fogger (which seriously, is the greatest thing ever), I give it about a week before it gets broken. Anything where the instructions are in Chinese isn't usually something with an amazing lifetime. I think manual misting will probably become a neccesity very soon!
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuesaur View Post
what is it with men and flashey toys?

seems like your good to go
I know, right?

Honestly, the only other thing I've seen him so excited over was Lego :p though even I have to admit, the fogger looks pretty cool...
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:27 PM
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Ok, so, now we've put some more foliage (and a gecko!) in, this is how it's all ended up looking



and one with Owl, the new arrival

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Old 12-01-2013, 04:46 PM
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Hope you have years of fun with the little one.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:52 PM
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Thanks

She's actually a 21st birthday present for Nicquita, but she is really awesome, and I'm just as excited as she is
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:11 PM
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You can never go wrong with a reptilian birthday present
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