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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, after thirty minutes browsing the internet, looking for advice on getting a reptile pet, and well, I found my way here.
I am looking for a pet reptile for myself, I am moving into a new room and i'd like a reptile. I have no idea what to get! I realise reptile's enclosures take a lot of money and care to set up and maintain. But I would really love some sort of Reptile as a pet! - initialy I wanted something like a chameleon but I understand that chameleons take a lot of care and are not for the inexperienced.

So, what I would like to is what is a good reptile pet to start out with?
And also what will it take to set up an enclosure for it?

Any help would be appriciated, :2thumb:
Regards,
Calum.
 

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Leopard Geckos and Beardies are recommended as the best "starter" lizards, snakes I'm not to sure off, maybe corn snakes? Good care sheets can be found in the care section :2thumb:

Also :welcomerfuk:
 

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now you'll get a few different answers, from snake to lizard and then on the lizard side from a leopard gecko to a beardie.

Have you decided if you want a lizard or a snake and if so; do you have time during the day or do you finish work in the late evening and would prefer something that is out in the late evening / night time.
 

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hi i was told that the best 1st lizard to get was a leopard gecko - so i bought two of them! theyre friendly, easy to keep and a really enjoyable pet-so id defo reccomend them to you! imeven planning on getting more - bit of an addictioon has started me thinks! hehe
 

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Bosc.......?



















Joke...... I'd say Leo or a beardie! :welcome: to the forum!
 

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to be honest you have done the one thing that we never even thought of before buying a 1st rep!! you asked the question to a bunch of expert-types!!!

we took our lil girl to the local pet shop to see the bunnies, and came home with a baby yemen cham!! she is a lil stunner and getting bigger by the day.
we have never had any probs or difficulties with her and she loves to roam the living room, and happily sits on my 2 year old's lap/shoulder watchin the tele!! (simpsons is her fave):lol2:

i wouldnt say she is hard to look after, but we have been on here getting advice along the way for a few things that arent obvious to us.

our next ones were red eye tree frogs, which aparently are REALLY expert stuff, but we have had 3 of them for a few months now, and are expecting to see eggs any day.

in our experience as long as you are confident, happy, have got a decent care sheet and good advice from the seller you cant go wrong!! :2thumb:

in the last few months our family has grown (check the sig) and we are prob getting a frilled drgon tmoz.
good luck with whatever you choose, and you know there is always ppl on here happy to share advice/experience.

: victory:
 

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depends...Snake = King or Corn snakes are very docile...with Kings growing abit bigger then Corns
Lizards = Bearded Dragon or Leopard geckos or Crested gecko

i think most beginner reptiles can happily live in a 3ft viv, 1 leopard gecko can be kept happily in a 2ft viv, beardies need a 4ft viv i think...and Cresties live quite happily in them glass exo terra vivs...(45cm tall ones as a minimum)
 

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Hi, after thirty minutes browsing the internet, looking for advice on getting a reptile pet, and well, I found my way here.
I am looking for a pet reptile for myself, I am moving into a new room and i'd like a reptile. I have no idea what to get! I realise reptile's enclosures take a lot of money and care to set up and maintain. But I would really love some sort of Reptile as a pet! - initialy I wanted something like a chameleon but I understand that chameleons take a lot of care and are not for the inexperienced.

So, what I would like to is what is a good reptile pet to start out with?
And also what will it take to set up an enclosure for it?

Any help would be appriciated, :2thumb:
Regards,
Calum.
The question is do you fancy a snake or a liz? Both do ideal starter 'pets'
 

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Just buting in to add Blue Tongued Skink to the lizard list, as it always gets forgotten but is such an lovely lizard to keep, and don't need to eat live food.
They need the same size viv as a beardie and are just as lovely and easy to care for, arguably more so... slower too, can't jump.. and deal with cooler temps better.

Depends what you want from a pet though, the usual answers are of reptiles that are easy to care for and are the easiest to tame.. and most popular.. but if you have a little more time on your hands, or arn't after a reptile you can handle and just want something you can watch, having a beardie or a bluey scratching at the glass to come out won't be your thing.

As for snakes.. i would agree with corn, but i'd also say don't just go for the first baby you see, handle some and maybe even the parents if you buy from a breeder, i'v heard of people buying a corn snake because of how tame they are suposed to be, and finding them difficult to handle and very hit and miss with their aim at feeding time.

The last bit i can say from personal experiance, as mine tends to go into prey mode and then decides that actually.. i'd make a much bigger and tastier meal. The rest of the time shes a bit timid though, silly snake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Right! Ok, cheers for all of the help and the welcomes!

I think i would prefer a lizard to begin with, Im sure that my mum would appriciate that (doesn't like snakes).. :)

Ok, And out of the Leo and the Beard I think I would like a Beardie.
I get home around 4-5pm each weekday, - I am still at school, after summer I start my final year.

  • If I do go for a beardie, what kind of prices am i looking at for a habitat for it?
  • And if I only get one will he/she get lonely?

  • Should I decide to get two is it wise to get one of each sex? Or both the same?
 

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if your set on a beardie, then i will say that they are great, as long as u know that they are a responsibility and you need to be bale to be ther for it each day, being at school is ok, u can feed it on a morning then pay attention to it when your home, my beardie loves to be held and gets upset if am out all day long. for the original price, it depends on where u go and what u get, for example u can get a second hand viv from the classifieds on here, but if u go for new stuff it wil be more expensive obviousley. for me, not including the vivarium and beardie, my equipment alone (heat, light, decor etc) cost me about £100, and then the vivaroum cost, which for me was only £45 as i built it myself, but as i said it depends where u get it.

now as for the amount of beardies, i think it is best to just get 1, they dont get lonely, in the wild they live alone and only get together to breed, and i think most breeders even keep there male and females seperate when not breeding, and under no circumstance should 2 males live together as they will fight, possibly killing eachother. if u are going to get a baby beardie u wont be able to tell its sex, so the best option (for me and a lot of people) is to get one u like and think has a nice look and personality, and then just find out its sex when its older, but only get 1, cos if 2 turn out to be boys, u have problems, u will need a new viv and equipment so u can seperate them. if its 1 male, 1 female, they will probably breed, and if a female breeds before she is around a yr n half old, it can cause her long term health prioblems. much easier to just get 1 special little guy, then u have no worries at all.

please discuss it with your parents so they know exactly what your getting into, as it is a long term commitement, but no doubt a rewarding one, and im sure you and your family will love your beardie. and congrats on being a responsible young adult doing plenty research before hand, well respected :2thumb:
 

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I say you should get a beardie, perfect for a starter reptile, you get alot of interaction from a beardie, not saying you dont with leo's etc, alot of fun, dont know what theyre like as babies as mine was 8mths old when we got him(rehomed), and its only space that has stopped me from getting another, but i think im gonna find a space shortly.

They can live quite comfortably in a 2ft tank until they get to about a year old, providing you handle him often and he gets excercise outside the tank.

You can pick up second hand vivariums on sites like gumtree if you cant find anyone in your local area on here selling one, can also buy beardies through gumtree too, again if noone on here is from your local area.

I have a leopard gecko too, but she was a rehome and is a grumpy little bugger but she has issues with people mistreating her in the past, so i couldnt advise you on leo's in comparison to beardies properly.

Get a Beardie!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, again, thanks for the help!

I had a look around on Gumtree and I got lead to this website :
Urmston Aquatics & Reptile Centres
And while I was browsing the website for Vivs I found a Viv Kit builder, it looks good to me, Medium vivarium kit (with Viv Builder)
Here is the specs I would have gone with ;

Substrate
; Plantation Soil
Heating; Basking Heat Light
Decor; Desert Decor
UV; 2% General UV
Food dish; Small
Water Dish: Small

Thing is, I'm not sure if that is all right, the tank is 36", comes with a Heat Mat, Thermostat, Thermometer.
What I'm worried about is the fact that im a newbie to reptile care, and i'm just getting ripped off. :help:
 

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A beardie will be happy in a 3x2x2 (36x24x24) ours in is one now, but i think when she is fully grown she will be up graded to a 4x2x2 (48x24x24).

They will need a UV light that is around the length of the tank i think ours is 30-36inches and is 12%. Which will also need a starter kit which can be brought from reptile shops to my knowledge.

They will also need a basking spot that reaches around 110F and we have a 100W bulb for this with a dimmer stat attached to it to stop it getting too hot. A Beardie wont need a heat mat as they take the heat from above not below.

They should be kept on substrate that isnt loose when as they may eat it which isnt good for them, i would recommend kitchen roll or tiles.

The decor shouldnt be too high as they arent the best of climbers but the basking spot will need to be raised enough to get the temp needed.

I have probably missed something but i think that is all :)
 

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Ok, again, thanks for the help!

I had a look around on Gumtree and I got lead to this website :
Urmston Aquatics & Reptile Centres
And while I was browsing the website for Vivs I found a Viv Kit builder, it looks good to me, Medium vivarium kit (with Viv Builder)
Here is the specs I would have gone with ;

Substrate; Plantation Soil
Heating; Basking Heat Light
Decor; Desert Decor
UV; 2% General UV
Food dish; Small
Water Dish: Small

Thing is, I'm not sure if that is all right, the tank is 36", comes with a Heat Mat, Thermostat, Thermometer.
What I'm worried about is the fact that im a newbie to reptile care, and i'm just getting ripped off. :help:
For a beardie, you'd want a higher-percentage UV bulb; you don't want a heat mat. You would need a Dimming thermostat for the heat lamp (which should be WHITE light because the beardie needs to be able to see it to know it's "daytime".)

Generally speaking I've found it's cheaper to buy vivarium bits separately and find the best prices before buying - a pre-made kit might be a lot more expensive than starting with a shopping list of things you need, then finding the best prices for each item on its own.

What I would buy if I were going to get a beardie (and didn't have oodles of spare equipment sitting around) is:

1 36X18X18 vivarium (with the idea that this WILL need to be upgraded when the beardie is older to a 48X24X24)
1 Dimming Thermostat (don't use Pulse Proportional, Temperature or Mat Stats). The probe will probably need to go on the warm end, though you'll notice the temperature dial doesn't go up to 110 (for basking spot). You'll use this to control the AMBIENT warm side temperature.
1 heat-resistant lamp fitting (usually ceramic, and you'll need someone who can wire it up for you) plus heat-resistant cable and a plug - this plugs into the Dimmer Stat.
1 white spotlight bulb to fit the ceramic fixture (usually Edison Screw) - for the size of vivarium I'd probably choose a 60 or 100 watt bulb. Don't feel like you have to buy a bulb with a lizard on the box. Bulbs from B&Q work just as well.
1 UV Starter (big bulky box that switches your fluorescent UVB bulb on)
1 24 or 30-inch 10% UVB tube - don't buy a 36-inch one, because it won't fit in the vivarium; they need space for the starter fittings. This needs to be placed so that your beardie can get within six inches of it, but ideally so he cannot jump onto it. Easier said than done!
1 digital internal/external thermometer; these have an external probe for you to measure the hot side temperature, and an internal temperature gauge to measure the temperature on the cool side. You don't need one with a reptile on the package either - try Maplin.
1 digital infrared thermometer - Try eBay for a model TN1. This is critical for measuring spot temperatures without moving your main thermometer or thermometer probe - which will let you tweak the thermostat too.
Linoleum or other easily cleaned substrate (slate tiles are great if you can get ones that fit!) - I do not think a baby beardie should be kept on sand or soil, as they can eat it and become impacted. Older beardies will probably be fine, but avoid "Calci-Sand" for any age animal.

As for the bowls and decor....
I wouldn't buy reptile-specific stuff. I find that ceramic plant pot saucers work very well as reptile food and water dishes; use a glazed one for the water.
Bogwood and rocks are great - try an aquarium section instead of the reptile section... although you COULD just get rocks out of the garden or from a garden centre and wash them down with a very dilute solution of bleach and water, then rinse VERY well with boiling water. Cork bark from reptile shops is an exception to this - it's good stuff, light and you can get lovely half-tubes of it. Again, that'll need to be thoroughly cleaned before it goes in the cage.

Last but not least... get your entire viv set up and running at the correct temperatures (basking, warm side ambient and cool side ambient) for at least a week before you get your beardie.
 

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we took our lil girl to the local pet shop to see the bunnies, and came home with a baby yemen cham!!

Without meaning to offend, I don't think this should be publicised as a way of choosing a pet. Best thing to do before getting any pet (not just reps) is to read up on requirements and get the equipment first, preparing environment for your pet. I would also criticise the pet shop for just letting you go without having set up ready.

Sorry to moan,:blush:
 

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we took our lil girl to the local pet shop to see the bunnies, and came home with a baby yemen cham!!

Without meaning to offend, I don't think this should be publicised as a way of choosing a pet. Best thing to do before getting any pet (not just reps) is to read up on requirements and get the equipment first, preparing environment for your pet. I would also criticise the pet shop for just letting you go without having set up ready.

Sorry to moan,:blush:
NP - oooobviously it wasnt as simple as that, we spent a good 2/3 hours in the pet shop, talking to the experts, reading books and all info we needed, and making certain that we had everything we needed and knew how to set it all up to benefit Llama the best possible. granted i now know we should have had a set up ready, but i still go to that pet shop, and they are still (IMO) the best one i have bin to, especially locally.

:2thumb:
 

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get a beardie if you can afford the set up and have room for the 4ft tank! They really are sweet little reps...they are really comical and very loving - love to come out for a run or sit on your knee watching tv and have their head tickled.

If you want to go for a tiny baby and spanking new set up then will be more pricey.
But we bought ours from classifieds with full set up and beardie all in for £200 and he was only 8mths old so still young!

If you are after a tiny baby though I would recommend checking out the classifieds on here you can get some really nice colours from breeders and they are cheaper than buying from a pet shop where you would probs end up with a normal for more ££, plus you get to see the parents etc.

Also something to think about is do you have someone who will look after it when you are away......its not quite like looking after a dog, some people are really squeamish about the live food thing and wont touch them!
Alot of rep shops do bording so worth asking your local shop if you dont have a willing family or friend!

When you finally get your new rep whatever you decide dont forget to post piccies!!
Trust me you soon will be addicted and want MORE...my boyfriend bought me a leo to stop me asking for a dog and not even 12 months later I am on 3 reps awaiting my 4th!!! :2thumb:
 

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Hey, Now Im not trying to sway your opinion here but I have a beardie, a crestie. Beardies are great fun, easy to handle enjoy basking on your shoulder if your warm.

Cresties on the other hand are nocturnal, but handle great in the evening hours jumping from hand to hand with a little wiggle, however they cost far less to set up. My gecko set up recently cost me £35. This is because i have most of it already. A suitable exo terra 30x30x45 terrarium great for them. it has an imitation rock back, great ventilation and glass on all sides.
They need spraying once a day to twice a day with water to keep humidity up.
They need no more than a heat mat, if it gets cool in the viv. Real or fake vegitation. A suitable substrate that absorbs water and releases it throughout the day keeping humidity up. ( kitchen roll can be used ) moss is also good costing under £4 a bag. This would cost overall in my opinion no more than £70 (including viv new) if you dont pay top price.

Beardies however need about £60 on set up alone on the cheap. And they need a large viv. which would cost £45 minimum because they need UV cresties dont.

The two reptiles cost about the same, and both need the same vitamine supliments. So for cost cresties are cheaper than beardies. If you can afford the extra then go for either which you prefer

I have both and i dont have a favourite, hope this helps :D

p.s. if your family dont like creepy crawlies, then you can get a crested gecko complete diet no live food. Beardies however need live food

Good luck :2thumb:
 
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