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Mike Reptile 02-07-2009 08:10 PM

First Lizard with kids
 
Hello, My daughter has just turned 7 and with her birthday money she would like a pet. Not one for goldfish she has her heart set on a lizard.
This will be my (her) first lizard and only other experience i have with reptiles was a garter snake and a royal. Few questions to ask regarding this and any help would be much appreciated.

1) im thinking of getting her a gecko. am i right in thinking these are easier to maintain and care for as a first lizard ??

2) does anyone know of a good Viv setup for beginners with geckos in mind ? (just to point out 1 gecko may turn into 2 shortly after)

again any help is much appreciated. Im in Atherton and we thinking of going over to viper and vine as it seems to be best rep shop around tomorrow.

lil05 02-07-2009 09:10 PM

hiya if your looking for a pretty hardy quite cheap and easy to look after lizard id say a leopard gecko is a good place to start
they dont require a huge set up and the only extra heat/ lighting they need is a heat mat on a stat which after bought doesnt cost again (unless they need replacing due to damage or breaking)

you can buy good starters for leos aswel but alwasy bear in mind some pet shops will sell over priced setups which some unnescary (sp) equipment so do your research 1st and maybe getting your own setup rather than a "shop put together" setup might save you money

if money and size isnt an issue then a bearded dragon would be the best bet. They are out during the day (as leos are nocturnal they might not be always seen) and are very inquisitive and very loveable so can interact more with your daughter

but as i said they will cost that little bit more for the setups and food costs as they do get quite a bit bigger than leos (youll have to research them though but i personally think your daughter will like the bearded dragons more)

both of these are good starter lizards (there are more and if these dont appeal and you want something more different then i recommend blue tongue skinks)

Mike Reptile 02-07-2009 10:31 PM

Thanks, TBH the 2 we narrowed it down to was a leo or a crested gecko or a bearded dragon. i think the ease of setting up for a gecko appealed more. But i wouldnt mind setting up for a bearded dragon.

so Geckos just need viv with a heat mat on a stat and do BD's need heat lamps or night lamps aswell as heat mat ??

Like i said im going to a store tomorrow hopefully to get some good advice but any info from here is welcome :2thumb:

Meko 02-07-2009 10:39 PM

i'd go for a beardie over a leo due to your daughters age.
The set up is more expensive and bigger but they're more active during the day. I've got 2 leos and they're both out for the first time tonight... at 10:40pm and that's early for them

Mike Reptile 02-07-2009 10:51 PM

Excellent thanks, I think that settles it. were going to get a BD.

done some research and watched a few youtube clips think im a bit wiser now so hopefully will setup a good viv and have my daughter a great pet. Any more advice on Vivs for BD's would be ace.

thanks again.

Meko 02-07-2009 10:58 PM

tips for beardie vivs... yep!

seeing as it's mainly for your daughter, get creative and get her involved before you buy the beardie. build it a fake rock wall out of polystyrene so it looks more interesting and also more places to climb and explore.
It'll also get your daughter more interested in the new pet well before you get it.

for the viv, go as big as you can get / afford with 8 square feet of floor space being the 'minimum'.. that's a 4x2 or bigger.. roughly about 2ft high too or higher, this gives a decent amount of climbing space. you can go lower but your light bulb will take about 6inches off the roof height at the basking spot.

For light / heat for a beardie you need: a heat source (preferably a spot bulb) that'll give around 110f at the basking spot and around 80f at the cool end (run it on a dimming thermostat and it'll stop the temperatures going too high). you'll also need a 10.0 or 12.0 UVB tube and starter as they need UVB.
you don't need night time heating or a heat mat.

Mike Reptile 03-07-2009 06:20 PM

Been to the shop today and seen a starter set which has everything in it i will need.
Going to use calcium sand rather than wood chippings which it comes with and add a few fake plants and logs.

The Viv is only 3ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft and we are only getting a baby Beardie so will this viv be ok for a year or so until i will have cash to upgrade ??

sophs87 03-07-2009 07:52 PM

Calcium sand isnt the best it clumps up when wet, if you want to use sand use childrens play sand from argos, asda ect cheaper aswell, i think you have to sterilise it first by baking it in the oven.:2thumb:

Meko 03-07-2009 08:09 PM

hmmmmm...

1 - calci sand is bad, especially for babies. As said, it can clump when wet, cause impaction and a dead beardie.
2 - wood chip is crap, like with calci sand it can cause impactation if they swallow it.
Best going for tiles rather than a lose substrate

don't bother with the starter setup, quite often they put stuff in you don't need and don't put in stuff you do need. They're usually arse rapingly expensive too.

Don't get the kit from the shop, buy second hand if you need to or a viv from one of the viv builders on here.....
Exotic Reptile Housing - North East
Alfie99 - Southport, cracking people and cheap... their 4x2x2 vivs are only around £90 and perfect for a beardie.
Volly - merseyside
Jeff Pollit - Manchester
Loobylou - Essex
Lotus Nut - down South
Ratboy - Midlands

or you could build your own 4ft viv for under £50, it's easier to do than you imagine.

Meko 03-07-2009 08:14 PM

Forgot to add.. they grow quite fast so it won't be too long before you need to upgrade, when you do you'll need: a bigger viv, a bigger UVB tube and a starter to go with it as they're wattage rated.


The calci sand is also very expensive as well as dangerous, probably cost a few quid to do the viv.

And don't let them sell you a 'reptile' bulb, they don't exist... it's just a spot light that you can get for under a quid from Asda with a picture of a lizard on the box.

LauraandLee 03-07-2009 08:17 PM

Thing a beardie would be great our son is 5 and we have beardies.
They are so laid back, also very tame and bigger to handle.

scalez 03-07-2009 09:29 PM

meko's said it all really.
xD
i recomend the arcadia d3+ 12% uvb bulb or the reptisun 10.0
here's a good caresheet from hadesdragons on here.
http://www.hadesdragons.co.uk/care-art.htmlhttp://www.hadesdragons.co.uk/care-art.html
have a read through it has a checklist for everything you need as well.
don't go with the starter packs, they're generally really poor.
keep away from calcisand and wood chippings.
if you still want sand childrens play sand will be fine, or you can use lino, tiles paper towels or newspaper.
while he's young it would be better to feed him in a separate tub, as they're clumsy eaters and would generally get a gob full of sand as well.
it would probably pass, but it's still a risk when they're young.
they're fantastic animals.
here's a good site to order your stuff from
Livefood UK Crickets Locusts Mealworms Reptile supplies mail order
i use these for my uvb bulbs, i get my spotlights from tesco or asda though, saves me £4. xD

niliano_05 03-07-2009 10:10 PM

i agree whwn my bd's were on calci sand they werent to happy now on tiles happy as ever. They are great animals i have 1 well 2 rankin aint much diff. But my 2 year old loves her they are loving and friendly and love attention.

bbear690 03-07-2009 10:45 PM

I Just got a baby beardie for my 4 year old and its fab!!!!!

I just love her some much, they are mega cute and great for the kids to handle x

Mike Reptile 04-07-2009 12:07 PM

Thanks again.
The idea of getting the starter kit was just so i had everything all in one go rather then shopping and forgetting something :oops:

i think i may speak a viv builder then. maybe see if they can make it to a specific size to fill the space i have for the viv, there will be more room for the beardie that way aswell.

lil05 05-07-2009 12:22 PM

a starter kit will have everything with it yes but you can also buy everything you need much cheaper than the kit price .. if your worried about forgetting something just write it all down 1st then make sure its there from what people have said you will need

also id go for lino if i was you .. you can get some really great styles and its quick and easy to clean so less hassle and messing with mess :P

Meko 05-07-2009 12:24 PM

lil05 doesn't read all the thread before posting either :whistling2:

lil05 05-07-2009 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meko (Post 4242963)
lil05 doesn't read all the thread before posting either :whistling2:

i attempted it .. you all write really long things ..
even if i have repeated it least he wont miss it if he skims reads aswel :P cause its there more than once .. see i have my uses

Meko 05-07-2009 12:26 PM

you do :flrt:... but i wouldn't say posting on forums is one of them :Na_Na_Na_Na:

lil05 05-07-2009 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meko (Post 4242976)
you do :flrt:... but i wouldn't say posting on forums is one of them :Na_Na_Na_Na:

ill go be useful somewhere else then :P and help someone before you do :Na_Na_Na_Na:

Meko 05-07-2009 12:31 PM

that'll never happen :whistling2:

lil05 05-07-2009 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meko (Post 4243003)
that'll never happen :whistling2:

has before and will do again :P

Meko 05-07-2009 12:35 PM

that's only because i sleep from 12am till 6:30am and work from 8am till 6pm.

Mike Reptile 05-07-2009 06:03 PM

haha, Im very greatful for all your help. i used the list from the hades dragons site and ordered everything seperatly :thumbsup: this way i got a 4x2x2 Viv and most of the stuff for under £200 (the starter set was £245)

the Viv and lighting stuff should be here this week im going to set it all up and do some over night temperature checks to make sure everything is right.

Also need to get some features for the little fellow. Then he/she should be with us at end of week.

Many thanks again, Excellent forum full of very helpful people.

Mike Reptile 15-07-2009 09:59 PM

Update and more advice needed
 
Right, ive had the Viv with most of the features set up for over a week and im slightly confused by the temps.

Ive raised the basking lamp as far as poss and with a 60W spotlight its still 115f directly under it. this setup is running about 77-80f in the cool end.

Although i have a dimmer stat these measurements are without it.

Are these temps ok ?? if i was to use the dimmer (habistat 92f max) what spot should i use and were would you put probe ??

Thanks again.

Mike

RNelson 15-07-2009 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Reptile (Post 4312182)
Right, ive had the Viv with most of the features set up for over a week and im slightly confused by the temps.

Ive raised the basking lamp as far as poss and with a 60W spotlight its still 115f directly under it. this setup is running about 77-80f in the cool end.

Although i have a dimmer stat these measurements are without it.

Are these temps ok ?? if i was to use the dimmer (habistat 92f max) what spot should i use and were would you put probe ??

Thanks again.

Mike

115 sounds fine to me, I'm new to lizards myself but been told to start between 110-115 so 115 is spot on also when isit your lil girls bday wish her happy bday and hope she likes her BD, I'm setting mine up soon just building 4x2x2 myself and then to buy bits etc :)

Mike Reptile 17-07-2009 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Reptile (Post 4312182)
Right, ive had the Viv with most of the features set up for over a week and im slightly confused by the temps.

Ive raised the basking lamp as far as poss and with a 60W spotlight its still 115f directly under it. this setup is running about 77-80f in the cool end.

Although i have a dimmer stat these measurements are without it.

Are these temps ok ?? if i was to use the dimmer (habistat 92f max) what spot should i use and were would you put probe ??

Thanks again.

Mike

Anyone else please ????

bradhadair 17-07-2009 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Reptile (Post 4320734)

Originally Posted by Mike Reptile http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/image...s/viewpost.gif
Right, ive had the Viv with most of the features set up for over a week and im slightly confused by the temps.

Ive raised the basking lamp as far as poss and with a 60W spotlight its still 115f directly under it. this setup is running about 77-80f in the cool end.

Although i have a dimmer stat these measurements are without it.

Are these temps ok ?? if i was to use the dimmer (habistat 92f max) what spot should i use and were would you put probe ??

Thanks again.

Mike

Temps are fine, I don't use a dimmer stat personally, all my beardies are at 115f under the basking spot and about 80 at the cool end, and they always move to just where its comfortable for them. But thats just my experience :lol2: but then contrary to what other people say i also have a heat mat in there for night-time temps on a stat, my beardies go to sleep on it lol, and thats because even in the summer my house gets cold at night (we're talking less than 45f!) stupid new build crappy council building grrr :bash: oops rant lol...

good luck with it all!

Mike Reptile 17-07-2009 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bradhadair (Post 4323064)
Temps are fine, I don't use a dimmer stat personally, all my beardies are at 115f under the basking spot and about 80 at the cool end, and they always move to just where its comfortable for them. But thats just my experience :lol2: but then contrary to what other people say i also have a heat mat in there for night-time temps on a stat, my beardies go to sleep on it lol, and thats because even in the summer my house gets cold at night (we're talking less than 45f!) stupid new build crappy council building grrr :bash: oops rant lol...

good luck with it all!


Thanks alot mate. temps are 115 in basking and 80 in cool without the stat so seems ok like that.

minimum recorded night temp has been 67f

jamestheball 17-07-2009 10:16 PM

Don't worry about night temps too much, I've caught beardies in Oz in temps of about 13C, they were running around looking quite happy. You would be surprised how cool it gets in Australia. down to about -10 at night.

liz200898 17-07-2009 11:14 PM

Why a lizard for an 8 year old? i don't mean to offend but whats wrong with a cat or a rabbit also expensive the grand total for everything for my beardied dragon was about £300+

scalez 17-07-2009 11:33 PM

because cats and rabbits stink!
i really don't see a problem with an 8 year old having a reptile, as long as the parents are responsible for the reptile, by giving it the right care, diet and environment.
it's all good, i mean if i was 8 saying that i have a bearded dragon as a pet sounds much more exciting than 'i have a rabbit'

: victory:

liz200898 17-07-2009 11:42 PM

This is very true i've just seen far to many parents getting their kids reps not realising that you actually have to care for them and they get neglected im not saying all parents are like this as i said ive just seen it a lot they are expensive and need to be looked after properly, i met this guy couple weeks back who brought a C water dragon and a baby bearded dragon for his kid but the kid put them together for a laugh and the baby beardie got eaten =S low maintenence pets for kids they seem to get bored easy my younger brother didnt realise his goldfish had died for 8months LOL!

Quote:

Originally Posted by scalez (Post 4326630)
because cats and rabbits stink!
i really don't see a problem with an 8 year old having a reptile, as long as the parents are responsible for the reptile, by giving it the right care, diet and environment.
it's all good, i mean if i was 8 saying that i have a bearded dragon as a pet sounds much more exciting than 'i have a rabbit'

: victory:


Meko 18-07-2009 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by liz200898 (Post 4326516)
Why a lizard for an 8 year old?


i'm guessing it's because she has her heart set on a lizard (first line of the first post)

Grond 18-07-2009 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meko (Post 4327130)
i'm guessing it's because she has her heart set on a lizard (first line of the first post)

:lol2:

And if you read the rest of the post, you'll find that the OP is the girls Dad and is going to some lengths to get things right, so I think he'll look after it just fine!


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