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Old 08-04-2013, 12:31 AM
Egg
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Default Help Please Newbie baby crested gecko advice

Hi, I'm new to the forum and have been reading loads of threads. We got our new baby crested gecko a few days ago and have been getting loads of conflicting advice ever since, I think my head will explode!

My main concern is we were told we could to set up the vivarium (exo 45x45x60) for the little one and so we've spent six months saving money and doing that (my little boy and me). We've planted it with eco soil (with draingage etc) and added moss (on the advice of the shop), live plants, climbing silk plans, vines and it looks great. We have a good temp range and humidity (although I'm worried that we are misting too much but if we let it dry then the humidity goes down to 30-40).

My main concern is that the viv is too big, and when the shop told us to feed it baby food i lost all confidence in their other advice. We were told to only feed it dusted crickets (and the baby food) (how often should we dust crickets? and should we really feed it 4-5 per day? (I have already ordered some CGD repashy food).

I'm a very worried first time reptile owner. I thought I had read up on the care of cresties but since we got it I've found countless threads I hadn't found before and now I'm worried we've got it all wrong!

It's a beautiful creature and I just want to keep it alive. Any help greatefully received.

Thanks. p.s Ruben is my 9 yr old son, he loves reptiles of all kinds and had led us into this world!

Last edited by Ruben2013; 08-04-2013 at 12:40 AM..
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:34 AM
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Hey.
I am in the process of doing the same thing building up a set up so I can get my first Crestie and have been doing a lot of reading up too and you are right there seems to be a lot of conficting acvice, but there are a lot of people here who know what they are taking about so I am sure you will get all the help you need!
But, for what its worth here are my thoughts.....LOL

General consensus seems to be to keep a baby in a small enclosure, however I have also read, and of course its true, that in the wild the baby would do fine in a huge enviroment! But I look at it like this, a captive bred gecko will probably have been kept in a small container to start off with, so putting it straight in to a large terrarium will be a shock. So I guess the question is when you bought it from the shop how was it housed?? If it was in a small container then you may want to think about finding a slightly larger container and aclimatising it to that, and then moving up to a larger one, and so on till you get to the size of your terrarium, within reason of course. If you do decide to go straight to the 45x45x60 then make sure there are more than one places for it to feed as it will probably not want to move around that much untill it has settled.

Dont feed it baby food, it is not good for them! you did right to get the CGD, although watch what it is eating, if all it knows is baby food you may have to add some baby food to the CGD at first to get it used to it and feeding happily.

From what I have read live food should only be given 2 or 3 times a week as a treat and dust every time with Repashy calcium plus, make sure the live food is only as big as the gap between the geckos eyes so it isnt a choking hazard, only put in enough for it to eat that night and try to remove anything that hasnt been eaten, crickets can hurt your gecko if left in and they get hungry! I guess that is all down to a bit of trial and error!!

Anyway, as I say I am far from an expert, just trying to help and I am sure some of the more clued up people on here will be more than happ to help you!

Good luck

Paul.

Last edited by Paul_c; 08-04-2013 at 03:02 AM..
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:49 AM
Egg
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Thank you so much for replying, it sounds mad but this is keeping me awake! You've given me some good advice. Do you know what a crestie in shock would look like?? Ours jumps on my son's finger when he's put his hand in the viv, he's slept on the vine leaves and is currently just moving about the viv. I just don't know what's normal.

Some more info for the experts. We bought the gecko from a small place that sounded good until they talked about the baby food. I didn't feel i could argue as this is our first reptile. It was housed in a medium size viv. They told us that they had fed their cresties on 3-4 small crickets everyday. The moss sounded like a good idea for humidity but now it's impossible to see if there are any crickets left and we've put in 9! (I think i'm going to spend today hunting for them but they could have buried themselves!).

The first place we went to was a large local shop and we ended up being advised to buy the following:

Reptil Jungle Daylight (24W/4000K)
Sun Glo (exo terra) 40W a
Heatwave (exo terra) desert Medium
A canope for the top of the viv

I didn't argue and they took my son's money (took him 8 months to save).

I then went to the smaller shop and they said the JBL bulb (£22!) was unnesseary and suggested a night glo (40W) which made more sense. So now we use the sun glo during the day and the night glo at night. Of course this means we'll never be able to leave the house!!!

Is that any good?

The idea of aclimatising it to a larger place sounds good but to tell you the truth I don't think we can afford to buy another viv and we don't have a lot of room We'll try to putting the CGD in a few places when it arrives.

I'm going to weight Rexy today and hopefully the food will come soon. Can I feed it some mashed up pear in the meantime?!

I'll stop now and go and stare at him some more.
Thanks again.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben2013 View Post
Thank you so much for replying, it sounds mad but this is keeping me awake! You've given me some good advice. Do you know what a crestie in shock would look like?? Ours jumps on my son's finger when he's put his hand in the viv, he's slept on the vine leaves and is currently just moving about the viv. I just don't know what's normal.

Some more info for the experts. We bought the gecko from a small place that sounded good until they talked about the baby food. I didn't feel i could argue as this is our first reptile. It was housed in a medium size viv. They told us that they had fed their cresties on 3-4 small crickets everyday. The moss sounded like a good idea for humidity but now it's impossible to see if there are any crickets left and we've put in 9! (I think i'm going to spend today hunting for them but they could have buried themselves!).

The first place we went to was a large local shop and we ended up being advised to buy the following:

Reptil Jungle Daylight (24W/4000K)
Sun Glo (exo terra) 40W a
Heatwave (exo terra) desert Medium
A canope for the top of the viv

I didn't argue and they took my son's money (took him 8 months to save).

I then went to the smaller shop and they said the JBL bulb (£22!) was unnesseary and suggested a night glo (40W) which made more sense. So now we use the sun glo during the day and the night glo at night. Of course this means we'll never be able to leave the house!!!

Is that any good?

The idea of aclimatising it to a larger place sounds good but to tell you the truth I don't think we can afford to buy another viv and we don't have a lot of room We'll try to putting the CGD in a few places when it arrives.

I'm going to weight Rexy today and hopefully the food will come soon. Can I feed it some mashed up pear in the meantime?!

I'll stop now and go and stare at him some more.
Thanks again.
A shocked gecko looks like this

Sounds like he's being a pretty normal gecko to me. Its nice that he jumps on your sons finger when he puts his hand in. Will make for a happy gex and a happy son!

I don't know about feeding pear actually. Have a search of the forum for it.

Have you got your heat source on a thermostat?

Oh and

Rob
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Ruben2013 View Post
Hi, I'm new to the forum and have been reading loads of threads. We got our new baby crested gecko a few days ago and have been getting loads of conflicting advice ever since, I think my head will explode!

My main concern is we were told we could to set up the vivarium (exo 45x45x60) for the little one and so we've spent six months saving money and doing that (my little boy and me). We've planted it with eco soil (with draingage etc) and added moss (on the advice of the shop), live plants, climbing silk plans, vines and it looks great. We have a good temp range and humidity (although I'm worried that we are misting too much but if we let it dry then the humidity goes down to 30-40).

My main concern is that the viv is too big, and when the shop told us to feed it baby food i lost all confidence in their other advice. We were told to only feed it dusted crickets (and the baby food) (how often should we dust crickets? and should we really feed it 4-5 per day? (I have already ordered some CGD repashy food).

I'm a very worried first time reptile owner. I thought I had read up on the care of cresties but since we got it I've found countless threads I hadn't found before and now I'm worried we've got it all wrong!

It's a beautiful creature and I just want to keep it alive. Any help greatefully received.

Thanks. p.s Ruben is my 9 yr old son, he loves reptiles of all kinds and had led us into this world!
Hey Ruben awesome you got a crestie i warn you now this post is going to be reasonably long lol i just want to help and give you advice obviously you can ignore it or take it as it is lol

anyway here goes

if its a baby i really wouldnt have put it straight in the 45x45x60 its way to big. All my babies go into a 30x30x45 until they reach 25g and then i put them into the bigger exo. In regards to substrate again as a baber just use kitchen roll a good absorbent one dont introduce them to eco earth again until you upgrade them to the bigger exo. this is so they dont accidentally eat the soil and get impacted and so that there setae (sticky toe pads) dont get clogged with fine earth particles.

Humidty - should never drop below 50% always try to keep it above this. mine all sit between 70-80% i mist twice a day morning and evening.

Food - NEVER feed baby food it has no nutritional requirements for a crestie and i hate people that feed it i dont understand why lol oh well rant over. Repashy is the best CGD available so im glad you have that on order lol

livefood - dont feed mealworms they hold no nutritional requirement at all and they contain to much chitin (exo skel) you can do hoppers (locutst) mine dont eat them at all but others do. The best bet is just silent crickets dusted with nutrobal. dont over feed just give once or twice a week as a treat almost give them as many as they will eat mine plough through between 5-10 crickets so yeah lol.

UVB - if you dont have UV get some lol some owners/breeders dont use it but i assure you times have changed and they certainly do a hell of a lot better with it. get a 15w-20w 7% UVB Arcadia will be the best bulb you can get. I promise you your crestie will live a long healthy life with UVB as long as you meet all the other husbandry requirements. Ive noticed the colours on all my cresties are a lot brighter/richer with UV and my cresties are more active at night as well.

Temperatures - just to give you a comparison. during the day mine are 23-25c and at they night they drop 18-20c

you should get rid of those bulbs that sun glo and night glo lol for starters the wattage is HUGE lol and during the day as long as the room is bright or they are opposite the window then they will be fine lol natural light is the best light !! obviously have theat UV going as well lol.

Also that heatwave thing is pointless - mats only give you isolated heat - cresties need a thermal gradient so a heat source on top of the exo will suffice like a ceramic heater or something.

I know this all seams negative but you have been ill advised by this shop which is a shame and i hate that some people take advantage of new reptile owners.

Im glad you asked on here lol

if there is anything else you need please dont hesitate to give us a shout lol

Mike

p.s - WELCOME TO RFUK lol
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Last edited by RhacodactyBoy; 08-04-2013 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: ive lost count how many times ive edited this !! haha
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:56 AM
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Reptile keeping is not a precise science - there are almost always multiple ways of keeping reptiles, with conflicting "opinions" from all over the place. Feeding crested geckos baby food used to be a very popular way of getting them started - especially since balanced crested gecko diets are a lot newer to the market than the geckos themselves, and it's only recently that we've had good quality USA formula available directly from within the UK.

Some baby food is fine and millions of cresties out there have grown up healthy and strong on the right mix of vitamins, the right brand and formula of baby food and livefood - it goes wrong when people just think baby food means anything, and end up buying a brand with a lot of chemicals and additives, or very high calorie/sugary ones and think that baby food is a complete diet - it is definitely not!

As you've got yourself some Repashy, that's a more balanced alternative without having to worry about all the extras - but I just want to say that the advice you got about baby food wasn't in itself, wrong - it's just an alternative and perhaps you didn't get the complete advice, as saying "just buy any old baby food", would be far from ideal.

With the lighting, well I'm afraid you were sold some extras you didn't strictly need there. If you can however still take them back for a refund you might want to. You always want to make sure the viv isn't overheating - if you're using 3 different bulbs and a heat mat, and don't have a thermostat, your going to get way too hot. If you can take the bulbs/canopy back and just ask for a thermostat instead, that really would be better. A good quality digital thermometer would also be an investment worth having.

I also don't think the viv is too big. It's bigger than I start with - but the only issue is to make sure he's getting food, otherwise the viv can be as big as you want.

Last year I hatched out around 8 crested geckos. I kept them in a 30x30x45 Exo Terra. No lighting, no canopy, a small heat strip on the back of the exo, attached to a thermostat - but it never one triggered, because room temperatures were more than adequate. I feed my baby cresties 3-4 times a week on livefood, personally I prefer hoppers, and always have fresh CGD available daily. Note though - previous to Repashy being available in the UK, I fed a good quality nutritionally balanced baby food, mixed with nutrobal and I never ever had any problems with it.

Important note: I'm saying that Repashy is far better than baby food, but Repashy has been in the UK market a limited amount of time, and crested geckos have been bred and raised here for the last 30+ years without dropping dead because of baby food, as long as the correct nutritional balance was still found... so don't panic.

It sounds like you're doing plenty of research, don't worry if you get conflicting advice - the likelihood that even if advice seems different from different places, they all have their pros and cons and you just have to read around and make a decision.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:14 PM
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See, I told you would get great adivice!
If I were you I wouldn't worry about the size of the terrarium unless you feel that there is a problem and as you say the gecko is moving about etc then just keep your eye on it. I would do as said in the previous posts and remove the substrate for now. Put the moss in a plastic container so it can be added to the terrarium but easily removed to be cleaned if you need it to keep the humidity up.
But the best thing you can do for it after that is leave it be for a couple of weeks! let it get used to its new home. you don't want to add to the stress by constant handling and opening and shutting the door lol





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Old 08-04-2013, 01:53 PM
Egg
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Default Thank you

This is amazing. I've never used a forum for anything before and want to thank you all for the time you've taken to answer my questions, and for not making me feel stupid!

I'm still a little confused about the bulbs (we have three and counting!) but I'll post again after I've taken out the substrate, reorganised the viv and re-read the posts. We have a digital thermometer which we've moved around the viv to make sure there is a heat gradient. We didn't attach the heat mat because once we put the moss in the temp at the top got to 25c and at the bottom was 18c ish.

We live in a small, old and cold house so need some heat for the viv as the ambient temp in my sons room is 15-18c (no oil/central or electric heating) just jumpers, water bottles and wood burner downstairs!

I'll post some pictures as soon as I learn how to!

Thanks again. Jacqueline (Ruben's mum)
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruben2013 View Post
This is amazing. I've never used a forum for anything before and want to thank you all for the time you've taken to answer my questions, and for not making me feel stupid!

I'm still a little confused about the bulbs (we have three and counting!) but I'll post again after I've taken out the substrate, reorganised the viv and re-read the posts. We have a digital thermometer which we've moved around the viv to make sure there is a heat gradient. We didn't attach the heat mat because once we put the moss in the temp at the top got to 25c and at the bottom was 18c ish.

We live in a small, old and cold house so need some heat for the viv as the ambient temp in my sons room is 15-18c (no oil/central or electric heating) just jumpers, water bottles and wood burner downstairs!

I'll post some pictures as soon as I learn how to!

Thanks again. Jacqueline (Ruben's mum)
you are most welcome !! as you can see you will get 100% sound factual advice we are always looking to help people

with the size of the viv its not a huge problem just make sure there is plenty of cover if your gunna stick with the 45x60 loads of plants and hides and ledges etc just so he/she feels safe.

As paul said dont touch it for two weeks lol YOU MUST RESIST haha let him/her settle into the new home and get used to things then you can start introducing yourself and handling etc

FYI those pictures didnt work WE LOVE PICTURES lol so sort them out haha

Mike
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:17 PM
Egg
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Hi, do i have to upgrade to premium membership to upload pics? The viv is full of hidey places and plants and I will be having strict words with Ruben about leaving alone, especially after we have to take it out to reorganise.

I'm not sure what you mean about the wattage, will it harm him/her? at the moment we have the sun glo in (40W) and it produces enough heat at the top (25c) and changed to blueish night one (40W) to simulate night and it heats too! I get the UVB and will look into it.

Thanks again.
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