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Old 25-11-2012, 04:44 PM
Hatchling
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Upstate NY
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Default Beginner Terrarium Questions

Yesterday, I got a 20 gallon tank from my neighbor. He had a spiny tailed lizard in it, named Stevie. He got rid of Stevie and I got the tank.

I have never kept a reptile, and I don't really know where to start (habitat wise). My tank is only 12 inches (30.5 cm) high. Is this tall enough? I want to start out with two anoles (females) and I don't know if this will provide adequate climbing area. I also don't know if this will "cook" the reptile I choose, if the light is to close.

I am also in the dark (pun intended) about lighting. I have looked around and I don't know what watt bulb I need. I also don't know if I need a timer for the lights, or if I can change them manually. Do I need two lamps, or can I change the bulbs back and forth?

Now, what kind of hides, vegetation and bedding will I need? I don't really have any questions on these, as I have not had time to do much research in those areas.

How difficult is it to keep crickets? I don't want to have them all die before I feed them to the lizards. Or is there a "better" food an anole? And what about gut-loading what I choose for food?

How much can I expect to spend on all of this? And how much will it cost to keep them? I understand this site is based on the other side of the pond. Between euros and dollars, and then just the different areas I bet this will be a tricky question.

Thank you in advance for all your help!

EDIT: I forgot about the question of cleaning. How often do I need to change the bedding? And how long before I need to clean everything completely? What is thought of as cleanging? Is it taking everything out and soaking it or something like just wiping off everything? If regular cleaning is simple, how often will I need to do a complete overhaul?

Last edited by Ryan313; 25-11-2012 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 25-11-2012, 05:29 PM
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Green Anole Care Sheet
Here you go dude, read that and plenty other care sheets for anoles.
Don't just read one and spare abit of time reading up on them and their care
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Old 25-11-2012, 07:37 PM
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Location: Upstate NY
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With more research, I found that the lower tanks are better for the lizards native to desert areas. I am starting to think my tank is to low for an anole.

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Originally Posted by mrkeda View Post
Green Anole Care Sheet
Here you go dude, read that and plenty other care sheets for anoles.
Don't just read one and spare abit of time reading up on them and their care
Thanks! That helps quite a bit!
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Old 26-11-2012, 01:07 AM
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No worries dude Keep us updated on what you decide to get
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Old 26-11-2012, 01:01 PM
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Hey, welcome to the world of reptile keeping!

Quote:
I have never kept a reptile, and I don't really know where to start (habitat wise). My tank is only 12 inches (30.5 cm) high. Is this tall enough? I want to start out with two anoles (females) and I don't know if this will provide adequate climbing area. I also don't know if this will "cook" the reptile I choose, if the light is to close.
Unfortunately, a 20 gallon tank is definitely not big enough for anoles. Although they are small lizards, they are very active! I'm struggling offhand to think of any lizard that will comfortabley fit in a 20 gallon tank as an adult, short of pygmy chameleons. 12" is very very low and personally I think your tank may be far more suitable for an invertebrate or amphibian. This tank may be suitable for a juvenile, nocturnal animal such as a baby leopard gecko - but you'll need to upgrade as they grow.

Quote:
I am also in the dark (pun intended) about lighting. I have looked around and I don't know what watt bulb I need. I also don't know if I need a timer for the lights, or if I can change them manually. Do I need two lamps, or can I change the bulbs back and forth?
If you did decide to go for an anole, or any other diurnal (daytime) lizard, you would need two types of lighting - one, a UVB light (usually in the form of a tube). This is usually 8 or 10% depending on the species. This looks like the type of bulb you get in fish tanks, but those are UVA, so you need to make sure it's specially a UVB one for reptiles. Without it, the majority of diurnal lizards will not be able to correctly metabolise the calcium in their food and will get a disease called Metabolic Bone Disorder, which eventually is fatal.

The second light you need for a daytime species is a basking bulb, providing a localised high heat output.

Nocturnal animals such as leopard geckos, crested geckos, snakes, and also invertebrates and amphibians do not need any lighting so if you're not looking to invest in a lighting setup, I'd be looking in that direction.

I think the rest of your questions may be better answered when you finalised the species you're going to keep and then people can give you a better idea

One thing I will say is that you may find, although your friend has given you this 20 gallon tank for free, the expense of setting up a reptile enclosure is often not the tank itself, but ensuring that the environment is correct in regards to heating and lighting and then adding safety equipment such as light guards, thermostats, thermometers, humidity dials and then the decor itself. You may find that your local reptile shop does a complete setup that actually saves you a lot of money - or you can usually find second hand setups - often with the animal - locally.

I'd recommend deciding what species is best for you - afterall, most reptiles live 10, 20, some even upwards of 30+ years, so deciding on the right pet for you and then creating the right enclosure may be better than trying to find something to fit into this tank you've been given.
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Old 26-11-2012, 09:02 PM
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Location: Upstate NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athravan View Post
Hey, welcome to the world of reptile keeping! ...Nocturnal animals such as leopard geckos, crested geckos, snakes, and also invertebrates and amphibians do not need any lighting so if you're not looking to invest in a lighting setup, I'd be looking in that direction...

So, none of the snakes would need a lighting set-up? Or where you expanding on what you said about nocturnal animals?

Originally, I wanted a snake. But, I don't think the other people in my house would be to happy about it.
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