just got a new one

Discussion in 'Rhacodactylus (Crested) Geckos' started by plainsnymph, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. plainsnymph

    plainsnymph Embryo

    Messages:
    21
    So I just got a new little crestie. her name is shaka ( the unas in stargate sg1) I am worried she is not eating. I have been giving her mango baby food, and a peach apple blend, also some meal worms, a wax worm, the t-rex powder mix, ect. To me it looks as if she has not touched it. Tommorow i am going to get her some tiny 1 week crickets for her to munch on.
    I am worried that the tank is well to big and has to many things in it for her to find her food. She is in an 18 tall with a tall pothos two rocks and several climbing branches. Should I get one of those tiny cages for her to feed in, or to stay in until she gets bigger.she is about 3 inches big and super cute.
    Also we have her on walnut shell bedding, is this bad? Now i worry about her eating it, but it is so tiny it would pass I think.
    Also I was told to mist the cage 2 times daily and she would lick off water, and she didn't need a water dish, is this true.
    Sorry so many questions, its just my first reptile and I adore her.
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  3. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
    It's good you have quetions, this way you can learn.

    Your going to need to get a smaller tank for now, maybe a 10 gallon. Kepp it simple, non adhesive shelf liner, or paper towel as substrate. With maybe a couple branches here and there and maybe one or 2 plants. Don't get here a tiny cage to feed in, most cresteds will only eat in one environment and switching will cause stress and no eating most likely.

    Buy crickets ASAP. Mealworms have a hard exoskeleton and that young of a crestie could have a bit of trouble digesting. Make sure not to give wax worms too often. The T rex stuff is great but see to it that it eats more insects too.

    Yes walnut shell is bad. Its bad for any animal. It has trouble passing and when it does it can cut up the insides of the stomach or throat or anything! Plus it will get nasty when wet, which it will have to get.

    Yes mist the cage 1-3 times daily. I would add a dish of shallow water for added humidity and drinking. But generall they will lick it off surfaces after spraying.

    Do LOADS of research on crested geckos immediately so you can learn more about them. I beleive I answered all of your quetions, if you have more ask away!

    Awww heck might as well give you my caresheet that I created. I've given lots of times and many of you guys are sick of it but I'm sure you will find it useful plainsnymph. Use it as a reference and print it out if possible.

    CRESTED GECKO CARESHEET
    BY: JEFF HOWELL


    INTRODUCTION:

    Crested Geckos come from the wet and dense forests of New Caledonia and other surrounding islands. These small geckos can usually be kept at room temperature and have very basic care needs. Because of their amazing colors, alien like appearance, and their ease of care, crested geckos are becoming extremely popular in the pet trade, possibly being able to overthrow the leopard geckos rein of best pet gecko.

    Like other gecko species, they have adhesive like pads on their toes as well as their prehensile tail. This allows them to climb almost any surface and it gives them plenty of maneuverability in the forests from which they live. These strange geckos also have another odd attribute, they can jump several feet if they want to. They prepare themselves and seem to measure the distance and where they want to go, and then they take a huge leap. This ability allows them to hop from tree to tree in the wild, as well as escape predators. Another predator escape trick is to drop their tail. Unfortunately, they will not grow back this tail once dropped.

    Believe it or not, these lizards were actually thought to be extinct up until 1994 when they were “rediscovered” in relatively large numbers on the main island of New Caledonia, Grande Terra. From there they were taken to Europe then imported into the US.

    DESCRIPTION:

    The Crested Gecko (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) is a very strange but magnificent looking creature. They have small crests that almost look like eyelashes (giving them their other name, the eyelash gecko) which run down from the head all the way to mid back. They can attain a length of about 7-10 inches when full grown, males being larger than females. There are now a large number of different colors and patterns available including various yellows, oranges, reds, browns, grays, and even white and green!

    HOUSING:

    The absolute minimum cage size for an adult crested gecko is a 20 gallon high aquarium. While two, maybe three could be happily housed in a 29 gallon aquarium. Male crested geckos should never be housed together; they will fight for territory as well as mates. These lizards tend to do fine solo however females can be kept together with no problems under the right conditions. Crested geckos have been known to make small clicking and chirping noises to one another, especially during breeding season.

    The enclosure should be ventilated, and because crested geckos are arboreal height is better than length when it comes to housing. For a happy gecko, the enclosure should be 16+ inches and the cage should have plenty of foliage and climbing materials. They tend to only come to the ground to hunt or explore, so be sure to make any hiding places above the ground. They seem to enjoy hiding behind or on leaves and other plants best.


    These geckos can be kept on a number of different substrates. The most preferred by far are coconut fibers and potting soil. However I advise that you take out any stringy pieces of the coconut so that the gecko does not choke if ingested. They can also be kept on peat moss, shelf liner, paper towel, reptile carpet, or wood chips. If using wood chips please be sure they are too large to swallow. The cage should be spot cleaned when necessary and should be completely changed every month or so.

    For new or sick animals, keep the cage setup simple. Use paper towel and only a few different hiding spots. Make sure it is kept sanitary at all times and keep the gecko as comfortable as possible.

    HEATING/LIGHTING/HUMIDITY:

    Another reason the crested gecko is such a great pet, is because they can usually be kept in room temperature. The daytime temperature should be about 74 – 80 degrees F. While the Night time temperature should be about 65 - 75 degrees F. You should allow a period of cooling during the winter, especially if you plan on breeding. Do not let the temperature exceed 84 F! In the wild they are protected from the intense heat by the trees, they can stress out and die from temperatures being to hot.

    A 12-14 hour period of light is beneficial to the crested gecko. It should vary from season to season, becoming cooler and darker during the winter and hotter and brighter during the summer. Being nocturnal, these geckos do not need UV lighting; however it won’t hurt to have it. It is somewhat beneficial to them.

    The humidity for a crested gecko should be between 60%-90%. Daily spraying 1-3 times a day should keep the humidity high enough. Mist the cage heavily at night when they are most active. It seems that they become more active and willing to feed after being sprayed.

    DIET:

    Crested geckos are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and fruit. This is yet another reason why they make such wonderful pets. They can be fed crickets, silkworms, and roaches. Mealworms and waxworms should be fed sparingly due to the high amount of fat in waxworms and the hard exoskeleton in the mealworm. They can eat many types of fruit, which can be served in baby food. They will eat peach, apricot, banana, pear, apple, and others will also be accepted.

    Younger animals should be fed insects every day or every other day, while adults will eat insects 3 times a week or so. They should be fed 2-6 food items about ½ -1/3 the space between the eyes. The rest of the diet should compose of various fruit baby foods. Adults should eat close to a tablespoon of baby food at a feeding.

    They should also be fed the crested gecko diet made by Allen Repashy of the Sandfire dragon ranch. It has all the essential nutrients needed in it to keep a crested gecko happy and healthy. Some may stick their nose up to it, but you can offer some mixed with the fruit baby food for those picky eaters. For added protein, your gecko can also eat meat baby food such as chicken. But please, never solely feed baby foods only, it is best to keep their natural instincts as best mimicked as possible. Therefore hunting is somewhat essential.

    For young cresties I recommend offering different supplementation. They should be fed crickets or baby food dusted with calcium 5-7 times a week when young, and about 3 times a week when adults. They should also be fed a multivitamin supplement that can be dusted onto food items 1-3 times a week for babies and only about once a week or every couple weeks for adults. They should also be fed spirulina and bee pollen once a week mixed with baby food for added nutrients.


    NEVER FEED things that you just find in your yard! Fireflies are extremely deadly and can kill your gecko if eaten. The risk of parasites or if the bug got into pesticides is too great to risk. Only feed insects that you are sure are safe.

    For water, a small and shallow dish should be available at all times. Most will learn to drink from this however they will get most of their water from licking surfaces that have been recently sprayed with water.

    HEALTH:

    The crested gecko is a very hardy lizard in captivity. There are very few diseases they can get, and most are treatable by a vet. One of the biggest concerns is shedding. While shedding the gecko will turn very dull, and possibly almost white. Don’t be alarmed if you see your gecko eating its skin after coming off, this is 100% normal. The entire process can take 15-45 minutes. Be sure to keep the humidity very high so they can get it all off easier, and if there is some still on the toes or around the tail be sure to keep the humidity up. If you are worried that the shed skin will not come off, take a cotton swab and dampen it. Then slowly push the shed skin off. This is important because if the skin does not come off, it can constrict and completely take off the toe of the gecko.

    HANDLING:

    Personally, I find these geckos to be even tamer than leopard geckos. They are much easier to control because they cling to you with their toes and they have soft skin. These geckos will generally allow you to handle them for short periods of time, if handled gently. These geckos tend to calm down with age, and will usually become very laid back in most cases; however there are a few who are flighty. I don’t recommend handling young crested geckos under the age of four months; this is the stage when they are most likely to drop their tail. Keep handling as enjoyable and stress free as possible; never handle your gecko roughly, if they drop their tail it will not grow back.

    My crested gecko is very tame from a little secret I found out. I only feed my crested gecko fruit baby food outside of the cage, therefore every time I walk into the room he runs up to the top of his enclosure waiting for me to open the screen top. The moment I open it, he leaps onto my shirt for his daily 20 minute handling session that ends with his baby food treat.

    SEXING/BREEDING:

    Crested geckos are not completely sex dependent like some other species. However when the temperature is cooler more tend to be more females than males and vise versa but this is not always true. Crested geckos are sexable between the ages of 4-6 months. Males develop obvious hemipenal bulges at the base of their tails at this age, and can easily be told apart from females.

    Crested geckos are relatively easy to breed. Most will breed readily once placed together however most breeders recommend a winter cooling period to stimulate natural behavior and give the females a break from breeding. Females are capable of being bred at about 12 months of age while males at about 8 months. Both should be healthy and plump for breeding. Be sure to supplement the female with added calcium during this time to help reduce calcium deficiency.

    Females like to lay their eggs in moist dark places. If you use coconut fibers, then be sure to be on the look out for eggs if the female is gravid. Place a laying box in the enclosure that measures about 5” x 5” x 4” with a hole at the top for entrance and exit. The eggs should be removed within 24 hours of being laid or they will dry out. If the eggs are kept within the enclosure and optimal hatching requirements are met, than the eggs may hatch inside of the cage. However I advise that you take the newborns out immediately or the adults may make a meal out of them. The best way to get a female to use the nest box would be to have a simple setup with few plants and simple substrate. Females can lay 1-2 eggs per clutch and they can lay up to 18 eggs per year. The average being about 12 eggs.

    Once the eggs are collected you can place them in a sealable plastic container with about 1 or 2 holes in the side for ventilation. I don’t recommend putting holes at the top due to evaporation. You can open the incubator 1-3 times a week for several minutes for added ventialation. You can use a variety of substrates for the incubator, including perlite, vermiculite, potting soil, or coconut husk. Most breeders prefer perlite over anything else, which you can purchase from most garden stores. Place about 2 inches of the substrate in the container and keep it at a 1:1 ratio of water and dry substrate or a little wetter. The temperature should be between 73-80 degrees Fahrenheit inside the incubator. After about 60-90 days there should be little crested geckos exploring their new and bazaar world.

    HATCHLING CARE:

    Hatchlings are best kept in small Rubbermaid containers with paper towel or non adhesive shelf liner as a substrate until they are about 1-4 months old. The only furniture that should be found in the cage during this time would be a couple of hides and a shallow water dish. I advise you to keep hatchlings in separate containers until they reach about a month old, to reduce stress and the risk of nips from cage mates. Then once they are about 4 months they should be back in their own enclosures to avoid territory or breeding disputes with males. Once they reach sexual maturity you can keep them in adult sized enclosures.

    Newborn crested geckos will not eat until after their first shed, which can be anywhere from 2-5 days after hatching. Feed hatchlings small crickets that are about ½ the distance between their eyes. They should consume about 2-6 food items daily. Babies should be fed more meat than fruit, and should be offered baby food about 1-3 times a week with crickets also. Be sure to take all crickets that are not eaten out of the cage so not to stress your gecko.

    LONGEVITY:

    Crested geckos are strong and hardy. Because they have only been kept in captivity for a few years their true life span is not know. However it is believed that like most other lizards, they are capable of exceeding 20 years. With proper care, these lizards can live anywhere from 10-20 years.
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  5. KLiK

    KLiK Member

    Messages:
    2,384
    i agree with JEFFREH on everything he said with the exception of you needing to get a smaller tank for now. my solution is so get a small Kricket Keeper and leave it in the tank and put the crickets in there. the crestie will find the KK and hop in and eat all the crix it wants. that is what i do and my crestie is doing great
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  7. plainsnymph

    plainsnymph Embryo

    Messages:
    21
    well last night she ate about 3 meal worms some mango baby food and a bit of the t rex diet, it looks like i just needed to give her time.
    So the walnut shell is that bad? hmm wish I would have know it was expensive. Guess i will go and take it out soon and put in something else.
    Today i am going to go buy crickets for her.
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  9. KLiK

    KLiK Member

    Messages:
    2,384
    i use reptibark in my crestie's tank. it helps keep the humidity high too
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
     
  11. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
    Sorry klik forgot about your technique. I decided to try that last night and I believe Spike is very stupid because he ekpt diving into the glass! I would try klik's idea plainsnymph but if your crestie gets comfused (like mine) then you can try taking some vegetation out, lowering the cage size, etc.
     
  12. v2r

    v2r Embryo

    Messages:
    13
    for babies use a large kritter keeper or a small rubbermaid or a 2 1/2 gal tank. it will be easier for them to find the food. get some pinhead crikets the smallest you can find. try mixing a small amount of babyfood with the trex diet. all should be fine.

    vaughn
     
  13. Carlos_n_Paco

    Carlos_n_Paco Embryo

    Messages:
    376
    cresties aren't the smartest of hunters, they're very clumpsy actually.....personally, I'd advise against the repti-bark as well, but that's just MHO. I use repti carpet in almost all my vivs anymore....except my AFT's of course.......but, to each his own I guess.

    with a crestie that young, you should def. have it on papertowel @ least for now & put him/her in a smaller critter cage with just a few things in there so he/she can find the food when hunting. Good Luck.
     
  14. plainsnymph

    plainsnymph Embryo

    Messages:
    21
    eh i put in paper towels as the substrate. got some crickets, added a small water bowl. I think shaka is eating but the other juvinile i got ( flame red) is not. She is smaller then shaka. I am still feeding baby food plain and sometimes mixed with crestie diet. some mealworms, a wax worm here and there and tiny crickets. Shaka has been eating them but not so sure about the little one, it just lays on the bottom of the tank hiding for the most part. the little one is skinny, eh maybe i worry to much but i want to see her put on some weight, eat a bit. grow bigger. How fast do they grow anyway?
    I havn't gotten a tiny scale yet to weight them.
     
  15. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,350
    I know you've been warned about the mealworms but it doesn't look as if you really took that advice. I can tell you that you are playing Russian Roulette with your crested's life if you continue to feed it mealworms. You need to make sure you follow the advice you're given unless you have more experience than these folks here.

    It's bad enough to read someone's beloved animal has died a horrible death because of ingesting mealworms and they just hadn't heard they were bad but when someone has been warned and the same thing happens it's just a sick, unneeded suffering death to an animal that could have easily been prevented. On top of that the owner is sick since they know the animal's suffering and death was their fault.

    I urge you not to continue to feed mealworms to your crestie. If you do and it dies because of it, it's your fault.

    These aren't cresty stories and mealworms but here's some good info on what has happened with mealworms and bearded dragons.

    http://www.reptilerooms.com/forumtopic-6256.html
     
  16. plainsnymph

    plainsnymph Embryo

    Messages:
    21
    fine, didn't know this was such a huge debate, and didn't mean to get myself in the middle of it. They don't eat the mealworms anyway. but just so you don't jump on me again and call me a sick individual i will throw them away right now.
    Might I ask what you feed your cat?
     
  17. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,350
    I didn't call you a sick individual. I think maybe your temper is a little flared and you read it wrong. I said if an animal does and the owner know's it's his/her fault they are sick because of it. They feel sick because of guilt. Sorry you misunderstood.

    Good, I've accomplished what I wanted to. Sometimes it takes some convincing for people to understand certain things and I'm glad you understand now.

    I don't have a cat. Why did you think I had a cat?
     
  18. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
    This is starting to get crazy :roll:

    wideglide was trying to give helpful advice in order for your crestie to be happy and healthy, and to ensure a long life. He wasn't calling you a sick individual, or trting to get on your nerves. What he is saying is correct and I back him up on it, so there isn't a need to ask what he feeds his cat or something stupid along those lines...

    Then what do they eat?
     
  19. Carlos_n_Paco

    Carlos_n_Paco Embryo

    Messages:
    376
    if you don't like/follow the advice that ur getting here from experienced owners, then don't keep asking for it.

    ...maybe ur little one isn't eating because you have it in with a bigger one & it's getting bullied for food, this is the exact reason why they should be kept by themselves.
     
  20. plainsnymph

    plainsnymph Embryo

    Messages:
    21
    my little one is actually eating fine now. i havn't had anyluck with the t-rex diet mixed with baby food, so the only thing they are eating now is crickets. I have offered many kinds of smashed fruit, many varietys of baby food. they don't like it. and the little one is only a bit smaller then shaka.
     
  21. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,350
    Have you tried taking a little bit of baby food and putting it on your finger then slowly putting it up to your crested's snout? Maybe that will help. The first time I fed my cresties I did this and it worked awesome.
     
  22. Carlos_n_Paco

    Carlos_n_Paco Embryo

    Messages:
    376
    juvie cresties should be eating crix anyway....IMHO more protein, better for them all around they need that as young'ns to grow strong & fast, if he/she's eating bugs ok......then just let him/her eat the bugs & don't worry about anything else. When I got mine as a youngster.....it ate crickets right from the get go & that's all he ate, so that's all I fed him, today.....he's a year & 1/2 old & still eats nothing but crickets.....never gets tired of them,(knock on wood)....I'll give him some babyfood occasionally (as a treat) now and then, but I dust it w/repto-cal 1st. As you can see.....he's doing just fine. =o)

    [​IMG]

    here's another one showing his colors a bit better........

    [​IMG]
     
  23. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,350
    Have you tried breeding? I'm just wondering because sometimes you don't see things that may be going on inside and I think breeding success kind of indicates the level of health sometimes. I'm asking because I have to believe there's a reason breeders and so many others suggest baby food.
     
  24. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

    Messages:
    5,483
    I can think of a couple of things, the price is prolly the biggest.

    There are no large benefits from babyfood at a young age as Kurt said. I would never solely feed it like many breeders recommend. A thing that pops into my mind why breeders recommend no live feeders is price. I'm sure (epseically if you are going to be a "big time" breeder) that feeding babyfood is much easier, much cheaper, and you wouldn't have to worry about cricket keeping and feeding and escapes etc.

    At the age Kurt's crestie is at it should be eating a diet of about 90% insects to 10% fruit. He is achieving this with the occasional treat of babyfood. What I like to do for my adult is feed close to a 40-60 ratio of crickets to fruit babyfood. With a small dose of spirinula(sp?) once a week and the T-rex crested gecko diet every couple days.

    So for plainsnymph, just keep up your tiny cricket feeding. Stop with the mealworms, and try to feed more protein. If they aren't eating crickets that well and they are losing/not gaining any weight, then feed babyfood. Cresties have a tendancy to be picky and choose one flavor of fruit babyfoood they enjoy. Don't let them do this, offer as much variety as possible and to get them to try different things offer some other type of babyfood or the crested gecko diet mixed into the favorite babyfod. Try chicken babyfood mixed within as well, to add protein.

    But like I said, keep up the cricket feeding. Don't feed babyfood too often, and never let up on crickets. Once it reaches adult size you can cut back some of cricket intake and add more fruit to the diet.

    Sorry for jumping around and if this is confusing, hope it helps some though.
     
  25. wideglide

    wideglide Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,350
    I gotcha now. I think this is the first time I've seen percentages stated with regards to live versus baby food feeding and I think it makes perfect sense. I have gotten the impression from what I've read so far on cresteds that the ratio can be about 50/50. Thanks for clearing that up, Jeff!!
     

Share This Page