Posting the activities in the Supreme Gecko and reptile world on a daily (or almost daily) basis.
MON 12/15 Today is the normal crested gecko night but...... I am skipping it! Instead, I'm feeding dubias and mealworms to the growing crested geckos. Other cresties/gargoyles/chewies will be skipped. This is due to temps in the facility taking a dip in the latest few weeks. Again, while the babies are all getting their normal meals, adults will occasionally be passed over. Not much else is going on in the facility. I ordered from Josh's Frogs on Thursday 2 producing FF cultures. They came in Saturday with a cold heat pack and as dead as a door nail. Emailed Monday and Josh mentioned they should take 1-2 days to start moving. Now on day 3 and no movement at all (other than about 12 larvae in each). Emailed again. As my live food cultures are about a week from kicking off, I need to see some food coming in quickly!
FRI - SUN 12/12 - 1214 Major bug feeding. All the dubias are really crushing a new food I am working on. We have tons of small dubias but still need to work on a way to quickly get the harvested babies up to 1/2 - 3/4 inch size to feed the larger animals.
Again, with this being brumation season, there is really little to do in the room other than general checks on the babies and occasionally pulling out the tape measure checking room dimentions- I am always looking to improve space utilizes and adding more enclosures. The funny thing is that I have not had this many empty enclosures in the facility in I don't know how long (other than baby enclosures which seems to be pretty full). Time to add animals? Maybe. I would just like to have a productive season with the ones I am currently keeping :)
Spent a LOT of time Saturday and Sunday putting together new Collection pages. It has been YEARS since I updaed these pages and it is way past due, especially for the crested geckos! More to come on this.
THU 12/11 Nanette is basically keeping the place going right now. I get to do the fun stuff and she does all the work. Today, checking for babies, I found 11 P. picta. Incredible. Best day every. Most retic or stripped but still very cute.
WED 12/10 With work, family, the facility, and now the 12 Supreme Days of Christmas now in full swing it is becoming more and more difficult to find ANY time to post to the Daily Gecko News.
I can say that everyone is comfy in their brumation state- other than the young-un's. Feeding for them, watering for all. Means one thing- less gecko poop! Horray!
WED 12/04 I know. I have been so tardy with update. I will try to go back tonight to fill some in. It has been over hectic with the holidays but I will try to keep up with all the changes here.
Will not be easy as we're now heading into brumation. Temps are down and light cycle is lower (second of 3 decrease waves). Feedings for the adults will soon be eliminated. It will be a long, boring next several months.
The 12 Supreme Days of Christmas Day 2 starts! Make sure you get in on the fun. I cannot believe the donations this year!
WED 12/03 Winners of day one 12 Supreme Days of Christmas . Congrats.
Fed CGD, Fed wingless fruit flies to micros. Fed a few misc. geckos. Found another 3 baby P. picta.
Took a couple minutes out of the rush and shot this photo of one of the little P. picta. This is why we are working with this species!
From this point on until Christmas, my evenings will be filled with the giveaway event.
TUE 12/02 The 12 Supreme Days of Christmas starts. Donations are coming in daily even though we are already filled with gifts. Most days will be 2 gifts to be given away. The generosity is amazing! Last year we had such a great response but this year will be amazing! Please join the fun!
FRI 11/28 - MON 12/01 The time has come to prepare for 12 Supreme Days of Christmas . Vendors/breeders have been contacted, gifts are being setup per day, and timing throughout December is being set. This is such a busy time of year but it is so worth it.
Brumation has begun. Temps were set back a few degrees and the light cycle was set back an hour on both sides. I will do two more drop backs in the next couple of weeks.
Still finding baby Paroedura picta. I just love this specie.
Working on a couple of aspects of the web page. I changed developers after wasting at 7 months on this project. Working with a different developer and fingers are crossed that this works out.
THU 11/27 Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Know what I am doing? I am adding to my TODO worksheet. What is my TODO worksheet? You should not have asked. This excel list controls my non-work life. I know that sounds horrible but it organizes/reminds me of the things I should be working on. This list excludes day-to-day activities like feeding geckos, cleaning tanks, updating FB, etc. It does include plans on working on big projects for Supreme Gecko and even small projects (like buy new lights for African geckos). How anal is this! It is so structured that I have tasks for Today, Saturday, Sunday (that’s as far out as I try to plan) and future. My goal is to work 2 hours a day (14 hours a week). Again, this excludes FB time, normal care and maintenance of the geckos, shows, research, etc. That equates to 730 hours a year. Seems like a lot but, not really. Time goes quick. This is the only way I can stay organized.
TUE 11/18 Another 2 Paroedura picta babies and one crested. Checked on the P. picta to see if they are ready to sell and oh my, are they ready. I took a number of photos and put them up on the web page. Very happy with our P. picta projects this year. Not doing much of the extreme morphs but pleased with color and stripping patterns.
MON 11/17 Feeding cresties tonight. I am seeing more and more food left over in dishes. As the weather cools (10 degrees today driving to work) he geckos are eating less. Hatched 2 more P. picta. Still have about 3 dozen eggs! No special geckos but around 10 cresties to hatch out yet.
Brumation for the other animals (leos/weird geckos) will be commencing next week with the first of wave of cool down (lowering temps a few degrees and decreasing light timers by a couple hours. Two waves to go after that.
Added about 12 leopard geckos, 6 adult and 12 young crested geckos to the web store. Need to get adult photos out there soon so everyone can see these projects I am working with. This is one of my least favorite activities as it is so labor intensive. As an example, to add 10 animals usually takes around 4 hours (photography, cropping/editing), adding to the web store with descriptions and pricing. This is a reason why you do not see more animals added to the page. Sorry
SUN 11/16 Tasks today- check for eggs, clean dishes, photo leopards, catchup on FB messages and all Emailes.
Any eggs? Found the following- 5 Paroedura stumpffi eggs, 1 Hemidactylus tanganicus, 4 Hemidactylus ruspoli, 2 Paroedura picta, and 2 Pacydactylus rugosus eggs. Very excited as I thought everyone would have shut down by now. Put them away and realized I have Cyrtodactylus eloc eggs from 1 year ago still incubating (and P. androyensis from May and P. stumpffi from June). I hate to throw away eggs that look good but I think we can call these duds.
Putzing around the room to replace lights, clean dishes, sweep, etc. was 2 hours today. Much needed!
What?!? The leopard geckos all behaved and allowed me to take their pictures without running all over the place. It MUST be cooling down in the room.
So many messages. I am guessing that you could not guess how many message I get each day. I try to reply in 24 hours but honestly have been terrible about this lately. If you are one of my FB closest friends, you probably see more of a delay… and I apologize.
SAT 11/15 Tasks today- Finish pictures of cresties and shopping (sort of)
Did some minor feedings of the weird geckos and micro geckos. Trying to bulk up the babies. Took a bunch of new photos of crestie babies. Only one really fired up for me. Others look ok but not like they do when they fire up.
Shopping- purchased styro for shipping boxes. We use the free USPS boxes and buy our styro panels from Menards. Picked up new boxes to store the crested gecko diet we sell. About time- it’s been 8 years in the same buckets. Made a stop by LC Pets and sold 4 medium sized leos. Great store and wonderful dealing with Troy and Sam.
FRI 11/14 Full feed- catching up as we have so much going on this weekend. Animals all look very good and I am pleased going into this winter. Last winter was a different story as we had so much going on that the animals were healthy but not nice and fat like they should have been. Will do better this year.
Took photos of adult crested geckos for sale. Not all, just a handful. I’m very pleased with the animals this year.
Big feed to the insects! I am using up the remaining Bug Burger I have. Insects love it but I am working on a product on my own to save a bit of money.
THU 11/13 Soapbox time. No, I don’t use this blog to rant or rave about something but to point out something very positive. Living in Wisconsin presents ‘challenges’ in selling and ultimately shipping animals in the winter time. Seems like we only have two seasons in this part of the country- cold and bitter cold. Well, this week temps ducked below 38 (our preferred minimum shipping temps) and next week will be in the low teens! I always fear the reaction from customers when I have to tell them their new pets will not be delivered immediately to them. While we have spent years and years improving the shipping process, and feel confident, the last thing we want to do is overly stress the animals and cause any harm to them. Over the years, and having shipped hundreds and hundreds of animals, I can say that there was only one person that eventually did not want to wait for their shipping and asked for a refund (which we 100% honored). Most customers are absolutely understanding and trusting with this process. To that I say THANK YOU!
WED 11/12 Continue to hatch Paroedura picta (5 tonight!). Also had two P. stumpffi hatch out. Love their hatchling colors so much. Nanette has again already fed the cresties. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this. Work hours are 10 hours MINIMUM right now and this extra time allows me to work more with the animals.
TUE 11/11 An extremely busy week at work. It’s been difficult to stay up with the blog when so much is going on! This will be the first big gap of time but I will update with as much information as I can.
We setup a new enclosure in the family room. In the past, we have had enclosures containing Phelsuma madagascariensis and another smaller enclosure containing Eurydactylodes agricolae. It’s been about 5 or 6 months since animals have been on our main floor. I’ve added a pair of Phelsuma laticauda laticauda (gold dust day geckos). These are probably my favorite geckos. I know I’ve said that before but these are amazing little geckos.
MON 11/10 Well the day after show. It’s all about cleanup. We have many empty enclosures to clean and young animals to move to bigger enclosures. Still have to feed but also want to take advantage of the opportunity.
SUN 11/09 SEWERfest- Show day. Up at 5:30 am. Packed around 60 animals, our hardgoods, banner sign, and all other show requirements. On the road at 8 (a bit later than I would like). At the show at 9 (love the short drives- longest is 6 hours). Setup by opening bell at 10:00. This was a great show for us. We sold a number of different animals, food and supplies. The Clark’s Diet was the big seller. Show ends at 3 pm. Cleanup and put away and we are on the road at 4. All animals and supplies put away by 6:30. Makes for a long day but as they say “a bad day with gecko friends is better than a good day at work” J
SAT 11/08 Show tomorrow. That does not mean all our focus on the show is only on show day. I am going through all the animals that will go down with us. Checking supplies to make sure we have everything in order. Store runs to pick up candy and misc supplies for the show. Early to bed as tomorrow 5:30 comes way too early.
FRI 11/07 Animals will be headed to the web store really soon. Want to get through the show first and then start adding next week. Cannot wait. I love showing off the animals but hate the time it takes to process the photos and add them to the web page.
THU 11/06 Not much activity going on in the room right now. Struggling with fruit flies right now- trying to keep up with the supply and demand from the animals. Need to future out a balance somehow.
Had to put in a BIG order from Pangea for food. With SEWERFest coming up, I know we need food! Will be taking plenty of Pangea, Big Fat Gecko, and Clark’s Diet. In the past, Clarks has really taken off. We will see with Sunday’s show.
Headache! Major headache. Did not make it down to even look at the geckos. Anyone with a proven remedy?
Crested gecko (and gargs and chewies) feeding tonight. This usually takes around an hour of time. I started out and Nanette joined in the fun. Still having crested geckos hatch out but we are down to the very last dozen or so. When checking for new cresties, I did find one but also found two chewies! The eggs were laid in June and finally hatched (almost 5 months!). I'll take it.
(Nanette) WOW! I had a lot to do today. I fed the inside room, the cave geckos, micros, the weird ones (that is what I call the odd groups of geckos) and all the crested geckos all before 10 this morning. I misted the rooms as well. I had to make sure all the animals would be fed before we left for our surprise getaway later today. We had about 4 sets of pictus eggs to put away too.
(Nanette) Feeling the pressure a little - I have big plans for our weekend and know that the geckos need to be cared for before the weekend. So today I concentrated on cleaning up the room, doing all the dishes we used, filling all the water bottles, and any other miscellaneous stuff that needs to be done. Wally and I both worked on little things tonight. He checked on the eggs and found a few babies.
(Nanette) Feeding day for the inside room and the live foods we use. And yes I am getting used to the dubias. The inner room was pretty easy and I collected about 5 sets of eggs from our pictus geckos. That gecko is my absolute favorite gecko because they have such a fun personality. I like to dig around and look for the eggs. I did have one pictus think my finger was food today. He was disappointed when he discovered it wasn't.
(Nanette) Today I worked in the facility feeding one of my favorite groups of geckos- cave geckos. They are fascinating to me. I like the different types and the new rack is easy to work with. I also fed micros and set up for the feeding of the crested geckos. I always try to get them fed before Wally comes home so he doesn't have to do it. That way he can putz around with other things he needs to do.
MON 10/13 (Nanette) Today is feeding day for the inside room in our facility. This room has the leopard geckos, Australians, and some of the micro geckos. I am not a fan of the leopard geckos because they remind me of a snake and move a little to quick for me. Today when I was feeding the babies some of them were trying to jump up at me when I opened their enclosures. Several times I yelled at them like they understand me- "stop it or you won't get fed!" Of course, I didn't mean it and they all got fed. I have found that having a large plastic spoon with me that I can push them out of the way works great. I fed that room in about an hour and half today.
Day after Tinley- today was a looooong catch up day. I actually waited until today to put away our one purchase- a trio of Pachydactylus rangei. What a cool little gecko. They dig and dig and dig. I cannot wait to see their little burrows start developing. I set them up in a 12 quart plastic tub with normal play sand about 4 inches deep, and moistened. Two hides, a water, and a mealworm cup complete their setup. Very easy. Oh, and they are situated over a 3” heat tape (flexwatt).
Events for the day- Up at 6:30 to feed crested geckos, caves, and micros. Finished up around 8:30 as I did one last check of hides for the cresties. Not that I will not check in the next month or so, just not as detailed (will only look at the bottom of the containers). Found one set of eggs. Cresties are pretty much done for the season. Still have about 40 eggs cooking though.
Feeding dubias. Today they get apples and a heavy feeding of Pangea. This was premade earlier in the week, had too much for feeding the geckos so the extra went in the fridge, dried out a bit- like a thick pudding. They LOVE this!!!
Moved a few cresties to grow outs enclosures. This is something that I need to do more often. Setup 4 new adult enclosures to move over holdbacks- breeders for next year. Very exciting!
Tinley Park NARBC- The big show! Normally I am a vendor at this show but due to other commitments the last two years, I have not been able to setup for the Friday/Saturday/Sunday timeframe. So today, we went down as a ‘walker’ J So many animals! I wish we had more time. Seems every 5 steps we took (Nanette and I), we were stopped and had a chance to chat about geckos. So cool! Got there at noon, handed out some Clark’s Diet, and then started walking. I think we missed a lot of vendors that I wanted to see and talk to. So sad! But did get a chance to meet so many new people as well…. Almost as many as if we were vending.
Very encouraged at the # of outstanding geckos. Of course this is a snake show (boas specifically) but there were enough ‘different’ geckos available to make it interesting. And the beautiful crested geckos! WOW. Crazy. Always a great show to get the blood pumping and the thoughts flowing. Came home with tons of ideas.
Oh, what did we purchase? Well as I mentioned earlier, we picked up a great looking trio (1 male 2 females) of Pachydactylus rangei. What a cool gecko. More to come on these animals.
Tonight is a catch up to getting ready for Tinley tomorrow. Nanette is getting all the Clark’s diet ready to take down. Started out as only 1 order and our good friend Melissa Walker commented that we would be bringing it down. Now have a BUNCH of orders!
Checking the animals. What should I look for when down there? I’m ok with cresties, leos, picta, and all other animals. Will look for something ‘different’. Might only pick up the trio of Pachydactylus rangei from Oliver Kuepper from Raw Dog Reptiles. He posted on FB that a trio was available and I contacted him immediately. Really wanted to work with this cool species.
I finally had a chance to use the new hand blender. Yes, we had to get a new one as the old one was pushing about 8 years! If you multiply that out, you get over 1250 mixings!!! When the old mixer was ‘strobbing’ the lights when turned on, I thought that was a good time to spend $24 on a new one.
Checking for babies, found 2 cresties and 4 P. picta. I really need to take some photos for the page. Very sorry this is Sooooo overdue! Time just seems to slip away at night lately.
A bit of a slow night tonight. Working late and Nanette has caught up with everything. Checking on the animals, I am starting to think about next year already. Who will be held back, who will be grown out and sold. Always tough decisions.
Here's an article that always helps me- What Stays? What Goes? How to Decide.
TUE 10/07 Tuesday has been a catch up day for me on Facebook and Email. Spent a LOT of time chatting with friends. Heading to NARBC in Tinley this weekend and will be meeting up with a bunch of folks. Cannot wait. >Little time downstairs. Marked 2 animals that are heading out for shipping tomorrow and then checked for babies. 3 little cresties and one P. picta. My oh my is it slowing down. The leo incubator is not shut down for the season and there are only about 20-30 crested gecko eggs remaining.
I have to admit, I am a sucker for the Godfather moving. If they are on the tube, I cannot change the channel. I just cannot!
Coming home a bit early last night (only 10 hours), grabbed dinner, sat down in front of the TV, and started watching the Godfather II. Jordan and Nanette seemed to be getting into the saga so I decided to share this great movie with them. Of course I had to add commentary which they seemed to tolerate. The good- nice family sharing time. The bad- 3 hours gone! Could have used the time downstairs or catching up on FB/Instagram.
By the time I made it downstairs, found out Nanette had fed crested diet before I got home. How can I express my gratitude any more than I have? You must know the feeling when your To Do list gets a big check mark and frees you up to do other things.
>Nanette came down with me, fed the cave geckos while I fed the wingless fruit flies to the small geckos and caught up with a couple other small tasks.
Also, Nanette and I celebrated our 30th year anniversary today. I cannot think of what I would do without her in my life.
Long day- finished off a LOT of tasks downstairs.
Day started again at 6 am as Nanette joined me to feed the leopard room. What? Missing a Mack Super Snow? Why? The tub has no gaps to the rack at all! By the time I made it to the Paroedura picta tanks to feed, the little MSS walked right across my foot. Back in your enclosure You!
Fed the insects. We have an apple tree in the back that we do not harvest so I’ve started using them for insect food. With one of those apple core slicers, I can cut up apples and feed in a matter of minutes.
Moved the micros. Some of the baby micros are getting too big for the micro stand. Moved to either tubs on racks (for the special P. picta) or 10 gallon enclosures (for P. stumpffi and Hemidactylus ruspoli).
Checked for eggs- 6 eggs from P. stumpffi (3 groups) and 5 from H. ruspoli (3 groups). Seems like both species should be slowing down by now.
Battled the spiders. For some reason we have had an exorbitant # of spiders this year. I mean they are not all over the place but certainly behind tanks, under racks, behind the furnace. I moved Speckles tank and there were 3 huge webs with spiders the size of basketballs guarding them… well maybe not that big. Thank goodness for my handy dandy dust buster. Click on, sucked up web and spider on the first, and on the second. Third one is dashing right then left then right. Cannot get to it! Oh no, it made it to a crack in the edge of the drywall and disappeared (well, it came out once to quickly stick its tongue out at me then disappeared). I am calling this one a draw as I know that 3rd one is plotting against me as we speak.
Began the day cleaning tubs (21 of them). I usually cannot sleep Saturday mornings and was up at 6. Tubs took about an hour and a half to clean. Got a great chance to look at some wonderful holdback crested geckos. Need to decide if these are going on sale or will be kept for next year. Decisions Decisions.
Well, bad news. After a couple of months and probably a hundred hours working on a project for the web site, I am moving on without a completed project. So close! I swear I am within a half hour of coding by the developer to get this to work but he has delivered completely the opposite of what I have asked in one little piece of the project 3 times now! Time to cut losses and move on. Very frustrated but perhaps I can find someone that knows Joomla and will finish this off for me.
Finished the day feeding crested diet
CHECKING THE ANIMALS- Friday’s are always my fun day. I have my world famous To Do list (excel format broken down by day and what needs to be done in the facility, web page, etc.). If I can catch up on Fridays and take care of a ton of tasks, I feel like I am ahead of the game for the weekend. This Friday was spent going through all the grow out crested geckos- checking them out, looking at their size, determining if they are holdbacks going back into the breeding projects/to a show/on the web page. This is quality time with the animals and I LOVE this. It takes me a LONG time but is so valuable.
Doing this always seems like a frustrating endeavor. As the animals are anywhere from 7-11 months of age, I should have a good feel for their sex at this time. It always seems that EVERY SINGLE animal I check turns out to be a male! However, looking back at each tub, I now see more F’s than M’s. That is good news as females are certainly in more demand for breeders than males, and gives me more options. I find that there are 2 or 3 males that are certainly going into my breeding plans for 2015 but only 1 or 2 females. A couple animals I was really crossing my fingers on to be female turned out to be male. These will be GREAT projects for someone else as I have similar males already setup for next year.
A non-visit to the reptile room. I spent some much needed time on the computer to clear up a LOT of photos taken recently. How do you organize your photos? I've started to use Dropbox. What a blessing. I can now access info from anywhere. I have gone through probably a DOZEN little zip drives.... you know the ones- the little 'thumb drive' you can store data on that slides into the USB slot in the computer. They get dropped, they get erased, they get bent when you hit the little drive as you walk by the computer, and don't even ask what they look like when they go through the wash! Ugh. I do back up but there is ALWAYS that time period where you are between backups and have that 500 word article and photos you cannot replace when you lose all your data. Fun. Well hello dropbox and good bye data loss headaches.
WED 10/01 Happy October! For me, this is Month End/Quarter End in which Murphy's Law likes to make it's ugly appearance and let us know at work that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.... at the worst time. Boring details aside, a whole night gone due to support issues. I love my job but, on nights like this, I hate my job! No time for the facility as Nanette once again jumps in to keep us up and running.
Crested gecko feeding and checking on the babies. With 3 major projects at work, I'm putting in around 12-14 hours a day. I wish I had more time available for the animals but, I have to admit, tonight I am pooped! Did find a beautiful Paroedura stumpffi and a Hemidactylus tanganicus.
MON 10/29 Sometimes things go good. Plans are executed and results are achieved. And then there is my #2 project. This started 2 months ago and involved several web pages to be setup on our site. We have been so very close to completion many many times. I am using a Joomla developer (this is the platform my site is written in). Unfortunately there is always something wrong with the page, something missing, something not just right. I't been a challenge and I am certainly frustrated with the results (non-results). I'm hoping by the end of this week that we can see a finished product on the development end. At that point, I will have probably 200 hours of content building. This will be super cool when it gets done. Just waiting now.
SAT & SUN 9/24-9/25 2014
Saturday was an EARLY day- starting out at 3:30am (yes, that is on a Saturday!). Nanette had a Tastefully Simple show in the Wisconsin Dells (hour and 45 minute drive north for us). Setup by 6am. I volunteered to go up with her. Easy decision as we spend so little quality time together. After her setup, I found a little cubby hole to plug in and start reading reports from work. This was my chance at some quite time to catch up. My hope was to finish these report in a couple hours, take a snooze for about an hour, then work on The Most Underrated Gecko reports (have about 8 to enter in). No such luck on the nap. Finished off the reports, shot out to McD for an egg McMuffin, then right back to the computer. I pounded away for the remainder of the time, about 4 hours and really got a TON done. Happy to actually feel like I was getting ahead. Nanette and I have our 'lunch dates' where we head over to Panera's and work on the computers and chat a bit. This was like that except without Nanette. Still enjoyable as I was able to put a couple check marks on my to do list.
FRI 9/26 2014
Early night tonight. Wisconsin Dells tomorrow morning at 3:30 (not a weekend getaway). Checking leo eggs, we are down to 2 good eggs and 4 that I am holding out hope for.... but barely. Still have trays of crestie eggs. Hoping for about 40 more babies still this season. Racks still have room but, not much. Will be spending time taking pics for the store next weekend (maybe this weekend if I have time Sunday). Found a baby P. stumpffi and 2 H. ruspoli tonight. Also 2 more P. picta. Need to do some major moving this weekend to make accommodations. Have a After our Wisc. Dells trip (2 hours up, 2 back), we have a visitor this weekend to pick up some geckos. Fun to chat with fellow hobbyists.
THU 9/25 2014
I cannot tell you how much I rely on Nanette to keep things running in the facility. Tonight was a late one at work again as I didn't get home until around 8:00. Nanette did the leopards, cresteds, and bugs. Whew! While she does stay home during the days, she certainly has other priorities than working with the animals. It not only puts my mind at ease but she is the only reason I stay with this hobby as my work, at times, is so demanding.
WED 9/24 2014
Tonight was a tough one. I did not even make it down to the reptile room. Doesn't that wound terrible! Instead, my evening was a blend of watching Hockey (again, huge fan) and updating the web. What were the updates? Well...... they are coming. I can only say that this is something I've been wanting to do for a few years now, and needing to do for longer. Getting closer :) Oh, and we past the 10,000 words point in the blog! Whoot Whoot!
TUE 9/23 2014
Tuesday night. I find myself torn in watching some of the last baseball games of the season, hockey preseason games (yes, I'm a huge sports fan and especially hockey!), and working in the reptile room. Easy choice! All 3! I took off of work a bit early, got home with a charged battery (literally- for the camera) and whipped out about 2 dozen different animal's photos. Score! A little feeding, cleaning, moving babies and up stairs I go. Just in time for opening pitch and first faceoff. Double score. While the games were going (I channel flip so I catch about 4 games all at ones.... I am a MASTER at this!) I was able to do some Facebooking and enough photo editing to finish up one of my main projects. Fun and fulfilling to be productive. By the way, because you are reading this entry, you get a sneak peak into the big project I am working on (see photo). That's enough of a hint for now. Good night.
MON 9/22 2014
Nanette finished the crested gecko feeding. Currently using the Clarks Diet (we switch back and forth once in a while to give the geckos a different mix). I spent some time taking photos and hitting the computer. We had another 4 cresteds hatch as well as 3 leos. I cannot believe we only have about 4 leo eggs left this season!
> Went down late to put a couple crested geckos I was taking photos of and saw something scoot across the carpet. What! A Paroedura stumpffi male! I have no idea how he made it out of his tank AND was in the crestie room nearly 50 feet away. Back you go.
SAT SUN 9/20-21 2014
Long weekend for us. Geckos certainly took a back seat as our god-daughter was married Saturday and that was our day. I was able to take a few photos Saturday but not much other time in the facility. Sunday was light feed day (micros and misc.), some watering, and checking for babies. All the necessities to maintain the animals but not much more. This was sort of my vacation day as we were recouping from other activities :)
THU/FRI 9/18 & 19 2014
Taking TONs of pictures. I'm hoping #4 project, part 1 is complete by mid week next week. that means I have to stay on page to take even more photos than I've taken in YEARS! Part two I hope will start around Wed or Thursday of next week and probably, if I work REALLY hard next Saturday, should be close enough to announce by the following Monday. Fingers crossed. It's nice to have goals and stick to them. Animals are doing very well as we get closer and closer to cool down for the winter. WED 9/17 2014
Burning the midnight oil. Working on Project #4 (see below). Very little time downstairs as Nanette fed the leos and weird stuff tonight. More to come on #4 later. Sorry so short.
TUE 9/16 2014
Next couple of nights will be heads down, computer open, 'get R done' nights. Early in the summer, I started 4 big projects for the web- 1) This Blog. 2) Resurrecting The Most Underrated Gecko Series.... and two more :) No secrets but I want to get more done on the final two before any announcements. We did feed MRP tonight and had a couple more crestie hatches. Stay tuned for more on Projects 3 and 4.
MON 9/15 2014
Catch up from the show- recorded sales from WIRE. This was a good show for us. Funny story- on the way home from the show, Jordan (middle son that helped out so much at the show) counted the money. He normally separates large bills from small bills. When he informed me of the sales, I was a little puzzled,; not overly concerned but felt we did better than his amount. Did you count this? Did you count that? Seemed like he was right on so I let it go. Not a bad show but just a bit less than expected. About 10 minutes, and on settling in for the rest of the trip home (falling asleep is more like it), all of a sudden I hear "What the! Dad, I we did better than I told you. I forgot to count the large bills)". Well, a few extra hundred dollars later and our good show went to very good. Nice! ">Tonight in the facility, we put away 2 P. picta and 1 crested geckos. Tomorrow will be a big day as we move some animals and feed crested gecko diet.
SUN 9/14 2014
Show day for the WIsconsin Reptiles Expo in Madison Wisconsin. This is a great, smaller show. We always do well here but more importantly always meet up with our wonderful friends in the area. Up at 6am (this is a later start for us as the show is only 1 hour away). Animals in deli cups by about 7:15. Nanette has everything SO organized. On the road by 7:30. A breakfast stop and we are in Madison by 8:45am. Lots to do with this show with the animals as we had 2 display cases and about 100 animals for viewing. Hardgoods were setup by Jordan (he did a great job with placement), and I focused on last second cleaning. Ready by 10:00 opening bell. Great crowd all the way through the end. Had so many first time buyers! Show ends at 3 and Jordan had us down and loaded back in the car by 3:20. I blabbed and blabbed and we were finally on the road by 3:30. Lunch on the way back and we were home by 4:45. Supplies all put away and unsold animals put back in their bins by about 5:30. Must have been something I ate as I was in bed the rest of the evening with a stomach that would not stop flipping.
SAT 9/13 2014
Saturday was Geckos, 2 hour drive for lunch with relatives, 2 hour drive back, and then last minute catch up for the show. Long day! We are down to about 6-8 eggs incubating for our leopard geckos. Still have about 4-5 trays of crestie eggs and 6 trays of picta eggs. Also incubating are a number of 'other' species. With the cooler weather, all animals are slowing down dramatically. It won't be long before I turn off the temps for the winter cooldown.
THU/FRI 9/11-12 2014
Well, the WIRE show is Sunday so most of our activity is centered around preparing for the show- selecting, numbering, moving animals. We will be bringing about 100 or so animals. This takes time. It's fun to sort and select the animals that will be going to other homes. Cannot wait to see the geckos on the table. Spent a couple hours cleaning and sifting dubias. We got almost enough babies to last about 2 months. After setting up THREE more tubs this week, I am hoping that by 2015 we are self sustaining in insects. That would knock off about $ 2.500 off our food bill. Can you believe that!!! Found a little Sphaerodactylus argus. They are so cute but WOW they are small.
WED 9/10 2014
Full crested (gargoyle/chahoua) feeding tonight. Then feeding Fruit flies. The flies are really taking off and doing well. The last two batches we setup using a homemade recipe. It's working great! Fed cave geckos, and Paroedura. Wanted to move the P. bastardi and found the female had died. Very very upsetting. No idea why. I am guessing it might be due to the male. these things can happen so quickly. I received 2 eggs, one hatched the other did not. I have checked the last 2 months without finding additional eggs. Tonight, I was going to move the pair and found the female had passed. So frustrating. Have 3 empty, fully setup ExoTerras readdy for animals. And not sure what to put in them. Any suggestions? TUE
Today was a push day. We rushed to number all leopards and cresteds (I do not number them until they are about 3 months of age and ready for sale). Next, they were recorded in the spreadsheet- I keep an Excel sheet for all geckos we hatch at SG. I am an insane geek with spreadsheets! Finally, all geckos listed on the store were marked on the tubs. Tomorrow, I go through all animals and determine what will be going to the WIRE show.
MON 9/08 2014
It appears I've missed several days. My apologies. It's not from a lack of activity, nor time. I'm just focused right now on another activity. You see, I still work, spent time with the family, and in the facility. But at this time of year, I have an obsession. While we watch the end of the baseball season and the start of football season, it is the first signs of hockey that really catch my fancy right now. I am in a few fantasy hockey leagues. Yes, that is my guilty pleasure. I pour over stats, try to determine the sleeper players that will light up the scoreboard, and prepare for all the drafts. This is how I stay in touch with a love for hockey that I have had for over 45 years. So, I will follow up with more updates to the geckos.... but right now, I have a draft to prepare for :) Stay tuned tomorrow for a LOT of updates.
FRI/SAT/SUN 9/5-7 2014
Completely redid the Holodactylus africanus enclosures. We have 2 pair in 2 separate 10 gallon setup. From below, I had them setup with 4-5 inches of peat/sand/dirt mix. I took all that out of both setups and added about 8-9 inches of straight playground sand. No sooner had we setup the enclosures again (adding food and water dishes as well as flowerpot hides) and added the animals all the animals were busy digging and disappeared under the sand! GONE! Well, I'll never see them again. I have 2 shelves in the hallway going from the old daycare room to the original gecko room. They're about 8 feet long and I store deli cups and the fruit fly culture materials on these shelves. Well, as you know if you follow this blog, I am running out of floor space for new racks. I came up with the idea to drop the bottom shelf, then move 3 12x12x18 Exo Terras to the lower shelf. I can fit 7 on the shelf and eventually another 8 small 8x8x8 cube enclosures on the top shelf. Yes! Another 15 enclosures. My new approach is to setup more 'display' enclosures and less 'rack' systems..... not completely getting rid of the racks of course but need to see more of animals in more natural settings. Photos coming soon.
WED 9/03 2014
Honestly, work was crazy and I did not even head down to the facility. Thank Goodness for Nanette's help.
TUE 9/03 2014
The tape measure is out. Well not literally but figuratively. Nanette and I hustled through some duties in the facility before heading up to enjoy an evening with the family. Before ending, we stopped and took in the room (both rooms). I have left only 4 areas that do not have racks/stands of geckos. Not that I need to fill these up right now but, in preparation for next season, we start our planning at the end of the prior season and it's that time. This fall, I will redo our egg incubation plans- maybe creating a whole new incubation room. That's one space. Also, I'm realizing the 3 large buckets of roaches can produce only about 1/3 of our insect needs. Time to add more buckets (and take up more space). Finally, our gargoyles need more room. Currently in 15 gallon enclosures, I am realizing these are WAY too small and want to set them up next year in larger enclosures (at least 20 gallons). So the mental tape measure came out. Nanette and I talked for a half hour about options. What to do with the bug room, the gargoyles, and the incubation room. We used top tops to plan our space. This goes here, this goes there. No resolutions but I can tell you, this is the most precious time I have. Anytime you can share your passion with the one you love, it's a good thing!
SAT/SUN/MON 8/30,31 and 9/1 2014
- Web cleanup- over 60 broken links. This happens over time. Over 1100 pages scanned and 60 links fixed. Whew.
- Clean up DropBox- I use this cloud ap for all my storage now. Pics come from Dropbox and they were so unorganized! Until this weekend.
- My Bell project- from Kelli Hammack. As this was my first year of breeding, I went back to my original records and verified my current and future plans with the line.
- Finished off accounting for July and August. This usually takes about an hour a month to record all costs/incomes/record names in our mailing list.
- Record and add to YouTube 3 videos (Isopods, Mealworms, C. elok)
- Redo 4 enclosures- completely tear them down, clean, new substrate, etc.
- Record all hatchlings and bad eggs. I record bad egg counts on the parent enclosures and record new hatchlings on the baby's enclosures. Very interesting counts this year.
- Setup a new enclosure for cave geckos. Wait till you see.
- Feeding Saturday and Monday (full room feedings)
Well, that would have been enough but I also worked heavily on the web page- special projects.
Too Much! Good weekend.
THU/FRI 8/28&29, 2014
Setting up for the weekend. It's going to be a long one- Labor Day holiday and I am loading up on projects! Thursday and Firday was feed feed feed. We had a number of P. picta, 2 leos, and 2 cresteds hatch out. I'm in the middle of a number of different projects. Some are for the current year and some are for next year (will share more as the projects have more progress).
TUE/WED 8/26&27, 2014
Misc. cleaning and feedings have produced some very fat geckos. I don't think I have ever seen our animals looking so healthy. Why- More feedings scheduled, Nanette helping so much, Fruit flies and dubias! Cannot say enough about the dubias. I keep going to the well and feeding hundreds of dubias every other day and so far not much of a dent in the babies from feeding the past week. Score!
Setup the Holodactylus tanks. I'm going with 2.2 in each. I hope this works out. Will have to get a picture once they setup their little burrows.
Mon 8/25, 2014
Monday Monday! Nanette helped out so much again by cleaning the enclosures next to the sink- 10 crested tubs (90qt?). The geckos certainly appreciate a full scale cleaning. Baby check- 3 cresties, 2 leopards, 3 cresteds, and one Paroedura stumpffi. Nice!
Unfortunately though, we lost our second young P. androyensis baby. Just when you think you are getting the hang of it, Mother Nature backhands you one across the back of the head.
Big crested gecko diet feeding as the two younger sons helped out and we finished in about 35 minutes.
SAT/SUN 8/23&24, 2014
The Ying and the Yang- This weekend started off with a number of ToDo’s knocked off the list. It’s been a LONG time since I was able to add animals to the web site. I feel bad that I do not do this more often but increased sales tied to last year’s decreased # of animals produced let to some tight times.
Major feeding Saturday morning as we hit the whole room. Many P. picta eggs. No leos at this time and only one set of crested. That seems odd as the cresties should still be going. I believe we caught them mid run. I will be watching this.
Let me take one minute to complain. I rarely do this but will today. I hate taking photos of the animals. I’ve watched other, had people over to the house, practiced and practiced. I just hate it. Many shots turn out ok but most do not. It just feels like the biggest time waster I have in the facility right now.
Which leads to- Sunday was photo day for the crested collection. I have not done this for a couple years and am way overdue per the new groups I’ve added. You know what they say, if you have a big task you don’t want to do, break it down into smaller tasks. Well, I did. I setup only about 7 groups to be photographed. I could not get the lighting right, the animals never fired up, I shot some pictures but none of them turned out. Wasted couple of hours. Grrrr. Maybe I will brake this down over the next few weeks into even smaller sections and only do one group at a time. Very frustrated.
On much happier news, I did move forward a new project that should be completed by end of year. Fingers crossed.
FRI 8/22, 2014
Today, we received a new gecko. Holodactylus africanus. These are WC (wild caught) and not seen that much in the hobby. They need heat and humidity... and love to burrow. Right now, they went into a couple of enclosures with lots of hiding places including cork bark laying on the substrate.
Normally on shipments like this the animals are in transit for days and days- no food, no water (unless supplied at the broker). Well, these came in from the importer very healthy! I could not be any happier. Of course, my first task was to really mist these animals down. I will setup their enclosures as they prefer tomorrow. Very excited to work with these animals.
A new animal (not new species to our facility) also came in yesterday. Unfortunately in the last few years, I've lost my group of Lygodactylus kimhowelli except for one bull male. Well I also added a female for htis lone male. Hope you are happy Mr. kimhowelli.
Wed THU 8/20 8/21, 2014
It always seems that the middle of the week is so busy. I have my To Do list and keep moving everything to the next day. Not a matter of procrastination but super busy at work. So how do the geckos do so well with minimal care from me during the work week? One word- Nanette! In the last two days, she has cycled through feeding every single animal. She also mists and does so much more (washing dishes, etc.).
I tend to use the evenings when I get home from work to check for babies, feed the tiny micro babies, check misc geckos, and other 'fun' stuff. I also catch up on Emails, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Whew. Sometimes it gets crazy around here.
If you haven't figured it out by now, Nanette does almost all the work during the week AND helps out on the weekends. It is always busy around here (my To Do list is up to about 200 hours right now... yes, I am that much of a geek!). I don't know how in the world I would keep up without Nanette's help.
By the way, the photo is a grindstone- as in 'nose to the grindstone'. Anyone remember that saying?
TUE 8/19, 2014
Another very productive day. I finished off adding THREE Most Underrated Gecko articles (thank you contributing authors). They will be published in the next few weeks. One went up today- Pachydactylus parscutatus by Rachel Hampton. Great little gecko and certainly on my wish list.
Cleaning day- 8 enclosures cleaned. They needed it as I believe I missed these 8 during the last cleaning. This is actually a fun time for me as I take my time and really handle and examine the animals. Each of the occupants are doing well. Nanette would have cleaned them in about a half hour. Took me a full hour.
Feeding of leo babies. WOW are they all growing quickly. I have to get more photos up on the page but here are a couple.
MON 8/18, 2014
3:30 in the morning and I'm working on the web site. Sometimes it goes that way.
Monday was a good day as we had 6 P. picta hatch, 1 crestie and 1 leopard. Spent time checking out the Micro Stand. Right now, we have a few H. ruspoli, H. tanganicus, 1 P. rugosus, 1 P. ibityensis, and a few 'special' P. picta growing out. Fun times.
Well, all the breeding groups of micro geckos are eating well again as we have had another outbreak of small flies. Fly strips are up and the issue really is not bad in the facility but the some crested gecko diet dishes seem to be full with larvae. As I've mentioned before, hate the flies but WOW, this is such a great food source for the tiny geckos.
FRI/SAT/SUN 8/15/16/17, 2014
TANK DECORATION- One of my goals this year is to provide more decorative enclosures- Both visually appealing and functional for the animals. Earlier in the week, we picked up a 5 gallon bucket of slate from the quarry. Yes, the city I live in is surrounded by quarries. A few pieces of the slate were cleaned and went right into the Tropiocolotes tripolitanus enclosure. Now there are layers the animals can select to hide in. I still feel this enclosure needs more hiding areas to help the geckos feel more secure and will keep working on this.
It seems the whole weekend was spent doing miscellaneous ‘chores’. This is very typical of my weekends- fixing lighting, watering plants, cleaning SHM and incubation boxes, cleaning emptied enclosures from sold animals, photo sessions, scraping glass fronts, washing dishes, etc. Many activities that do not directly impact the animals. This weekend was no different. While the entire room was fed (Sat. non-Rhacs, Sun. night for the Rhacs), 80% of my time in the facility this weekend was devoted to keeping the place running. While I do not mind most of these tasks, any fixes (setting up lights as an example) in the facility just seems to be time spent away from the animals.
Tonight, watch for the next installment of The Most Underrated Gecko.
WED/THU 8/13&14, 2014
We are cleaning our closet. In our facility, we have several storage areas. A number are against outside walls and very cool in the summer. We store our crested gecko diet there and it works perfectly well. Another closet is for show supplies. Just the right size. Another closet fills the space under the stairs heading down to our facility in the basement. This is our 'catch all' Well over the years, it has caught ALL the crap we have. We have a new 'Weekly' goal. One goal that is a bigger goal to accomplish and this week was cleaning out this closet.
Why? Well, I want to move the show supplies into this one and free up the 'show' closet as our new walk in incubator! Big project that I will tackle this fall. Very exciting and I hope it will bring more time savings and stability to our incubation process. Right now, I have 4 different places that we incubate eggs and, while it is fun walking around to check eggs, I want to have all eggs in a more controlled and certainly stable area. I would like to take some photos of the progress for the site so stay tuned.
TUE 8/12, 2014
Another FUN day at the Supreme Gecko facility.
First- yet another thank you to Nanette. Late night getting home from work (12 hour day again) and I came home to the crested geckos already being fed. I cannot tell you how much this helps me out.
What this allows me is the ability to spend time with the babies, eggs, moving animals around, and other misc. activities. You know, the fun stuff. I love feeding and checking the geckos out but you know I enjoy finding babies.
First up was finding the dubias. I bet we have 10,000 babies between pencil erasure and dime sized. These are perfect for feeding the smaller animals. A whole carrot was cut up for them and I am sure they finished in that night! Mist once in a while, heat, and feed them like crazy and they grow like weeds.
Next up- babies. Found another 4 P. picta, one crestie baby, no leos, 1 H. ruspoli and one H. tanganicus (see below for pictures of their siblings), and finally a P. androyensis. These are absolutely one of my top 5 geckos of all time but I tell you- the babies are a bit tricky. Attention EVERY day!
Finally, over the weekend, we hatched out our first Tropiocolotes tripolitanus. Tiny? What do you think?
Paroedura androyensis on the left and Tropiocolotes tripolitanus on the right.
MON 8/11, 2014
Came home with a hundred items on my To Do list. As always, something always pops up. Today it is photos of new hatchlings and setting up a new enclosure for some baby P. picta. Hatchlings- 1 Hemidactylus ruspoli and one Hemidactylus tanganicus. The H. tanganicus was especially quick and only hesitated for a brief second for a couple of quick shots. Included in the babies was one nice full pinner crested gecko, 1 enigma leopard gecko, and 5 P. picta.
Finally, I've included a couple of photos of the 2 Bells hatched out in the facility. This really has the blood pumping for leos again!
SAT/SUN 8/09&10, 2014
Goals for the weekend- Take photos of animals and setup 2 display tanks. I've included the 3 photos I shot but I really wanted to take a bunch more for the store page. Display tanks setup- 0. Reason, I just could not come up with a design/right animals to set. Still noodling on this one. I think one will be a 30 gallon setup for cave geckos. The other enclosure (18x18x18 empty Exoterro) still needs occupants decided.
Long weekend with plenty done downstairs. Setup new mealworm bins (I raise my own). Complete dubia feeding Sat./Sun. morning. This includes putting mealworm cups in each bin that did not have them (@ 50!). Setup Aussies with new hides (deeper so they stay moist longer). Even got out and did some shopping Saturday afternoon.
Found this weekend- another 4 P. picta, a couple cresties (they are about to really go nuts as so many are around 2 months incubation), 2 leopard geckos (near the end of this seasons run as there are only about 20-30 still cooking), and one little special baby- I will try to get pics and show it off tomorrow.
Make sure you check out the latest article on Hemidactylus tanganicus.
As promised- a couple more photos of the leopard geckos we are hatching this year-
FRI 8/08, 2014
Setting up for a great weekend. Tonight, we moved some P. picta around and got all our foods read (gutloading) for the big feed Sat. morning. Will post a fun article sometime this weekend. Stay tuned.
Thu 8/07, 2014
One of the visions of this daily blog entry was to highlight those hobbyist either just getting into the hobby and doing good things with their animals/sharing information or highlighting outstanding animals. Today, I want to focus on Luis Zaldivar. Check out the amazing colors on his gargoyle below (photo by Luis Zaldivar). And I've seen others in his collection that are OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! Take a gander over to his page (click here) and check out his amazing aniamls!
Wed 8/06, 2014
Most of the time, I already know what I will be writing before starting each day's entry. Today, nothing. I did check the Paroedura stumpffi enclosure and found 2 eggs. Score. We hatched out 2 P. picta babies as well last night. I'm between fruit fly cultures (set them up last week and will be waiting another week and a half for hatches so I am searching around for small foods for the micros. Thank goodness for isopods.
Thursday night I will be posting a new Most Underrated Gecko selection so stay tuned.
TUE 8/05, 2014
Found 5 babies yesterday. Three cresties, one leo and one picta.
As promised- a new article today- Dubias Down! Dubias Down! In a story about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly this would certainly be the "Bad" segment.
MON 8/04, 2014
Two things- 1. We are bac up. Due to a hacked site, incorrect config settings on the site, and other activities we have been down about a week (maybe a bit longer)... but we are back! Tomorrow wil see some major changes. 2. Last night was a family night with my wife and neighbors hitting the state fair and taking in a concert (MercyMe). Great time. Nanette fed during the day and found 3 little leos. Will start taking more pics of the newborns. I really have to share more about our projects this year. Thanks for everyone's patience.
MON 28, 2014
A slower night last night. 3 new crestie babies, a couple P. picta, and no new leos. No escapees, no overturned insects, no major maintenance issues. We had the exciting job of cleaning crickets and feeding dubias. Some pretty basic stuff. That's good as last weekend's excitement really called for a calmer, quiter day :)
SAT and SUN 26 & 27, 2014
As you see, I've missed 3 days. Mentioned below, the Supreme Gecko site was hacked. Why? To be very frank, I was a bit careless. I have had, over the years, about 6 different people work on the site. Each person has been very helpful. The resources come from a few places but most recently oDesk and Fiverr. Both great sites to get good help with most anything technical. Well, this past 3 months, I've had a number of very small changes made and, you guessed it, have not changed the password. This is a big no no in web site security. I am gambling a bit with getting outside help to work on the site but always back it up before and after. Well, no more. The issue has been fixed, passwords have been changed, and I am less trusting on all but the couple of developers that I have worked with the longest.
As for the missing 3 days.... oh do I have stories for you. I am in the middle of writting a couple of articles and will let everyone know when they are posted.
Thank you all for hanging in there with me during this time of frustration. It will be well worth it as you will see.
TUE 22, 2014
Well, this is about as late with an update as I have ever been. Sorry for the delay. CGD feeding and we bounced through the room in about 1/2 hour! Yes, Jordan and Tim (and Christal) helped.
Animals are doing great, web site not so much. Somehow we have been hacked again. The issue is an ad spam buried somewhere in the code of the site. Only affects a handful of those loading the page. This time pretty minor but has still taken me a lot of time to resolve. Hopefully we will be back to normal tomorrow.
MON 21, 2014
First, just to get it out of the way- more vacuuming, replaced one of our original shop lights (10 years of service!), washing dishes (that well over 200 little black dishes), fixed/taped down a couple of lines of heat tape, fixed timer on another shop light over one of the gargoyle racks (was off a couple hours but the timer had fallen behind the rack and was nearly impossible to reach). Thanks to Jordan, Timothy, and of course Nanette we whittled this work down to about an hour or so. I always look at this as being so painful. Yes, it needs to be done and helps the animals but its time NOT spent directly with the animals.
Now the fun part- spent another hour and a half cleaning some of the weird gecko tanks. Hit the Paroedura stumpffi first. Surprise- one of the females turned out to be a male. I’m still ok with my ratio. Checking for eggs and found 5! On to the Cyrtodactylus elok. Female is as ornery as ever. Will charge me from across the tank. No eggs but she has completely regrown her tail and looks very healthy. Hit the Paroedura bastardi tank (10 gallon with peat moss/sand substrate and sphagnum moss on top, a big pathos, large slab of cork bark, and a saucer hide. The pair is looking great. 2 eggs! On to the Pachydactylus rugosus. Cleaned tank, sifted for eggs, no eggs. They scarfed down a bunch of young dubias! Hit the Hemidactylus ruspoli. 2 eggs! I have 2 pair setup. Love these animals. In fact, I have 4 growing up in the leo room (nice and warm). Cleaned their tank and I guess they are grown up already. 4 eggs! Need to sex and separate. Cleaned the Paroedura vazimba tank. No eggs but the female has regrown her tail and you cannot tell she lost it in when she was shipped in.
Finally, putting away the eggs and found a little Paroedura androyensis. Forgot how very small these babies are. Also found 2 beautiful P. picta, 2 nice crestie babies, and 2 leos.
Whew what a night. Finally, went down stairs to check lights (thought the crested room lighting not auto shutting off at 10 like it should. Wore my new head lamp- setting on ‘RED’. Very cool. Will have to get a video. Will have to get a video. Found an escapee baby crested- sitting right on the stand (within a foot of its box!). Full disclosure- yes once in a great while we will lose an animal. This one I noticed was missing Sunday morning so it was not out very long. I have a Hemidactylus tanganicus that got out around 1 month ago. It is running around down stairs and eating well on something- maybe spiders J as I find a poop dropping here or there occasionally.
SAT/SUN 19/20, 2014
So much done this weekend. From a web page standpoint, the July Newsletter went out. Not on the list to receive it, just comment below.
The first Most Underrated Gecko II post is up. Check it out under Phelsuma klemmeri.
Posted a few pics to Instagram. We are at 1,300 followers. Very pleased to see so many new faces the past month or so.
In the facility- Crested egg collection is way down. Not sure if the week of AC slowed them down so much or what. Only about 6 sets collected Sunday morning. Yes, we fed Sunday morning (6am) instead of Saturday night. Nice little change. Two cresties hatched this weekend, both from Red Lining (Red Pinstripe).
A couple new leos were added to the baby rack. Still focused on the classics and these two were SHTCTs.
Six new P. picta babies. One super nice T-albino (or whatever they are calling them).
Lots of just basic cleanup and tinkering in the room this weekend. I cleaned under racks- and actually washed all spare tubs. This was an all afternoon Sunday job believe it or not.
FRI 18, 2014
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT- The Most Underrated Gecko series is back! See the Announcement HERE. Very exciting! I hope we can make it to The 12 Supreme Days of Christmas giveaway at the end of November. Every week, I will be publishing a new view from a new breeder letting you know why they feel the gecko they selected is the Most Underrated gecko.
Also, throughout the series, there will be giveaways and contests so stay tuned!
THU. July 17, 2014
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT- Well, sorry, I was a day off. Tomorrow night (Friday) I will be sending out the July Supreme Gecko Newsletter. To coordinate this release, I will be making the announcement. I know about 20 people that already know.
Today, we found 4 baby P. picta and another 2 baby leos. Crested babies will be coming shortly as there is a bit of a lull right now. The calm before the storm?
WED July 16, 2014
In preperation for a big announcement tomorrow, I will keep this post very short. Yesterday was leo feeding day and we found no leo eggs (gettting to be the end of the run I believe) and only 4 P. picta eggs. From the leo incubator, we found 6 new babies- 4 are MSSs and so very cute. I love the Snows. Good day for leos.
TUE July 15, 2014
I am a huge baseball fan. Getting home a bit late last night, and with the baseball All Star game on, my two younger sons pitched in (see what I did there) and helped feed the cresteds. Normally an hour process with my wife and I, we knock it out of the park in less than a half hour. After checking for babies (3 P. picta and 2 leos), back up stairs we went to enjoy the game. Can't beat fun at the ol' ballpark.
MON July 14, 2014
During the past few months, things have been going pretty well in the facility. Eggs galore, holdback animals are growing, and a couple new animals have really made things very positive when working with the animal.
Yesterday however was not a positive day at all. First, I found 2 P. picta females that had died. I have some guesses and top of the list is male aggression. From the two groups, both had been together for years. Some group I keep together and some I do not. Well, I will certainly change strategies and only keep males with females during breeding times (2-3 day sessions). Lesson learned. This will take more enclosures but I CANNOT lose any females with some of the projects I'm working on.
It was bad enough to find the 2 deceased female P. picta but I also, and the end of the day, found a deceased female Paroedura androyensis. The is the second one in 2 weeks! I am stumped and heartbroken. Right now, I am scrambling to come up with the cause but I cannot. Really odd.
There are many many good days but a day like today seems to overshadow them. Have to find a positive to lift the spirits.
SAT/SUN July 12-13, 2014
First off, I realized even more how much I really rely on Nanette. She has been hit with a very nasty cold bug and I asked her to relax the whole weekend. What takes her and I a couple hours takes me a whole morning.
Saturday was spent feeding the baby leos, collecting babies (2 picta, 4 crested, 4 leos), checking enclosures of the 'weird' geckos for any issues- no issues. I call them weird as we have different groupings for reference when Nanette and I talk- leos, cresteds (includes chewies and gargs) micros meaning anything on the micro stand and the adult day geckos (Sphaeros, Gonatodes, Lygodactylus, etc) and then everything else (weird stuff).
Sunday, oh Sunday. The big feed. From one end of the facility to the other. All animals (including the weird ones). Total feeding time (as I checked all hides, cleaned poop, filled water dishes, etc) was about 8 hours (broken in 4 sessions as I spent time with Nanette when she was awake. Found 10 more sets of leo eggs, 6 sets of cresties, and 6 sets of picta eggs. One note- I fed dubias to the cresteds and the LOVED them. It just takes a little bit longer then crickets as I wanted to get just the right size.
Finally, the weekend was capped with an excellent BTR from Gecko Nation Radio, hosted by DavidsFineGeckos. Special Guest Jon Boone and co-host Joe Hupp made for an indepth, and at times exciting (charged by a rino is very exciting) couple of hours. Listen to the recording here- http://www.blogtalkradio.com/geckonationradio/2014/07/14/living-the-gecko-dream-with-jon-boone
FRI July 11, 2014
Recently, we hatched out a Pachydactylus rugosus. We purchased a pair a year ago at SEWERFest and I was thrilled to get our first baby so quickly. Well, another animal I have been waiting YEARS just caught me by complete surprise! I purchased Sphaerodactylus torrei from Nick Esposito I belive 4 years ago- 2 youngsters that were labeled as a pair but turned out to be two females (it happens). Jon Boone (why does this name keep coming up?) was able to find me a male about a year ago. Joy! Yesterday, while cleaning Sphaero. tanks, I saw something small move through the bottom litter. It looked like the female but was much smaller. Could it be? YES! A baby S. torrei. Huge excitement. I soon located the male and then the female (one female was lost when I introduced the male last year- I am guessing from setting the pair bond betweem M&F). And then, as I kept removing objects from the enclosure, 2 more little ones!!! I never saw any eggs, never saw ANY of the young ones before now. What a blast. This has been one of my favorite gecko species since I first saw it 4 years ago. SCORE!
THU July 10, 2014
This one will be quick everyone. Not because there was nothing going on in the facility yesterday but because so much went on.... and I have so little time today to post. Sorry!!! Promise- I will catch up on everything in tomorrow's post. It might just be article' sized!
I can tell you there is a lot going on with the web page, the facility, new babies (major happy news!!!), and sadly Tinley Park in the fall.
More to follow tomorrow.
WED July 9, 2014
I almost started this entry off with "I Got Nothin'". I did not make it down to the facility last night as Nanette had already finished a light feeding during the day, checked for eggs, and checked on any babies- Nothin'. Then I thought, well, what the heck did I do all last night. Other than a short bit of family time (Video of Christal playing with a light beam in the kitchen), I did post pics to Instagram (up to 1234 followers!) and a few pics and comments to FB. I'm realizing I use FB about 90% of all social media tools for communications. What did I do on Twitter-Pinterest-4 Square-etc. Nothin'.
Also, I spent a LOT of time specing out a BIG change to the web page and shooting it over to a developer. What can I say about the change at this time.... Nothin'.
Speaking of Facebook, LOTS of controversy over someone receiving a gecko, gecko dying, bad communication, alleged bad gecko food, alleged possible parasites, possible law suit. Whew. Crazy. I enjoy the hobby I am in.... except for all this (do I dare say the "D" word?) stuff. What was my contribution to the conversations.......... Nothin'!
TUE July 8, 2014
Last night was CGD night. As you may know, this is an every other night feeding. If I do not mention this activity in my notes, it probably means Nanette fed CGD that day (or fed insects to the Rhacs).
Found 1 set of crestie eggs. Not surprised as we were not really looking that hard. We did have 2 leos hatch though, both enigmas. I know, you are probably cringing at the combination of words leopard gecko and enigma. This is a difficult decision for me but I am breeding in a VERY small and controlled program. To date, I’ve only had one animal with sever issues and one that had slightly noticeable issues. Hard to deal, for sure.
Could not find my baby Pachydactylus rugosus. Panic! Noticed 2 separate tags labeled H. ruspoli on the mini rack. Looked in both and (let me show you my surprised face!) found the missing P. rugosus. Whew!
MON July 7, 2014
Today was moving day. We packed up and moved 15 leopard geckos to their adult containers. They will not be ready for breeding this year, but will grow out for 2015. The count- 5 Tansuns, 2 mack super snows, 1 blizzard, and the rest SHTCTs. What no W&Y or other fancy named leos? I love the classics and am setup to work with just a limited # of morphs. This works for me.
Now, we have more room for more babies coming in the next month. Still will not be enough room though.
Found 2 baby leos, no cresties, and 1 small P. picta. Really good night.
SUN July 6, 2014
A couple of catch up items- yesterday morning I found 7 hatchling leos, 1 crested, and 3 P. picta. It has been such a different year with the leos. Last year we only hatched around 30 babies. This year, we are around 60 or so and have around 50 still cooking.
Fed cresties last night. Only about 6 sets of eggs. They couldn't be slowing down already could they?
Our fly outbreak has subsided substantially. I still see them swarming a cgd dish or two but there are far fewer.
Fed all the medium sized geckos (non crestie-leo-picta) and everyone looks good.
Fed the micros- one female P. androyensis passed away. This was one of the originals. Sad day.
SAT July 5, 2014
This could be an article but I will add here- What to do when you have family over for 3 days and have a basement of geckos to care for.
- Prioritize. If you only have a little time to spend with the animals, determine what has to get done and what can wait. For me, the order is- Check for babies, feed babies, feed insects, feed micro-geckos, feed adults, look for eggs, and finally any maintenance work. We will be skipping a crested gecko diet feeding Saturday to enjoy family time, but will catch up Sunday night.
- Use early morning and late night to your advantage. You may be able to get up an hour before the visiting cousins, sisters, and brothers get up or after they they hit the sack.
- Get them involved. They may not be willing to feed dubias or clean gecko poop but why not ask them to help feed? You may actually find a gecko enthusiast among the family.
FRI July 4, 2014
Happy Fourth of July. Quiet time here in the facility. We put away one crested baby and one little P. picta. Fed the baby leos and off to quality time with the family. Please enjoy a safe holiday weekend with the ones you love.
THU July 3, 2014
Fed cresteds last night (5 sets of eggs). Remember how I mentioned that this blog would contain both the good AND the bad. Well, here comes a dose of the bad. We currently have a breakout of tiny flies. The bad- they are in each of enclosure- 2 or 3 so not terrible. They are annoying, we have fly paper up, but they are just annoying. They don't head to the rest of the house so it's not terrible. The good- when I check (and here is your GROSS alert so turn away if you are eating) crested gecko dishes, when there is extra food, sometimes there will be fly larvae in the dish. Well, this is perfect food for the many micro geckos that I keep. Feeder Gold! They love it and of course the worms are gut loaded with the best food. I will certainly get this outbreak under control but for now, the little geckos are getting fat fat fat!
WED July 2, 2014
Not all days at Supreme Gecko are pretty colored, new baby geckos or exciting 'first time every breeding' in the facility. Look up the word mundane. It means boring. Today in the facility it was mundane. While we have 3 P. picta babies and 8 eggs, one baby crested, and one P. stumpffi, the rest of the day was pretty much uneventful. Sometimes, games are not won by the come-from-behind homer in the 9th but more often it's that perfect bunt in the 6th that puts runners in scoring position that matters most (ok, so I am a sports fan). So last night we cleaned dishes, refilled SHM containers, fed the insects, moved the fruit fly cultures, checked temps, and peaked in on babies to make sure everyone was doing well. B-O-R-I-N-G. But sometimes that's what it takes. For those coming to this site to check out what really happens in a mid/small sized breeding facility, there you go. For those hoping for some 'firework' pics of our geckos (see how I nicely segued into July 4th)...... should be an exciting weekend coming up. Don't miss it.
TUE July 1, 2014
Happy July!!! It's been a long time but checking the incubators and checking hides came up with a big fat NOTHING yesterday. No little leo squeelers, no 2 inch long cresties with springs in their legs, no pearly white eggs burried in the hide material...... I miss the good ol' days. My guess is that tomorrow will be a FULL day :)
Well, the insect chow is a huge success. Gone in 60 seconds (well 2 days for sure)! As I refine the ingredients, I will be sharing more info.
MON June 30, 2014
I had to go and ruin it. After stating on FB that I was two weeks into this 'journal' and have not missed a day so far. Well, I jinxed myself and we lost power yesterday for 6 hours (starting at 6pm). Not a big deal as all major feeding and misting was done Sunday/Monday morning. Blankets were drapped over all incubators but that was about all we could do. When power came on, we went down and took off the blankets so they would not 'over' heat. Hopefully I can look forward to many little smiling faces Tuesday.
SUN June 29, 2014
Morning of feeding geckos, checking eggs, and feeding the insects. Using a new self-prepared food. We will see how they like this.
Found a set of eggs in the Pachydactylus rugosus and the Hemidactylus ruspoli enclosures. Such cool little geckos!
Check out the New Addition to the Supreme Gecko facility- New Rack For the Cave Geckos.
SAT June 28, 2014
Morning of feeding- the warm room (this includes the leos, picta, and aussies). Another 11 sets of leo eggs and another dozen picta. The other baby H. ruspoli hatched.
Interesting news of the day. Went to feed the Paroedura stumpffi AND FOUND A BABY IN THE ENCLOSURE! Holy cow was I surprised.
Late night Saturday found me in the facility 'putzing' around. Everyone needs putzing time- clean up, move stuff, any non-gecko related activity. Mine was washing dishes, sweeping, and general cleanup.
FRI June 27, 2014
Checking on leo eggs. Ya gotta do it. Once a week, I go through all leo eggs to check for any issues, and add water to any needing it. Had to toss about 4 bad eggs tonight. I hate tossing them if they look a little yellow or not so good. These were bad! Out you go! Did have 3 nice ones hatch out. Since people are starting to as what kind, one was a Tremper reverse stripe and the others, raptors. Cool! Two baby P. picta and no cresties. Oh, one Hemidactylus ruspoli. Score!
THU June 26, 2014
One of those days- work, has finally caught up to me as I came home, ate dinner, turned on the NBA draft and quickly fell asleep. Woke up far too late to head down stairs. I love my wife. She picked up the ball and during the day fed the warm room (no eggs surprisingly) and fed the micros (fruit flies). Checking for babies however, she came up with 4 beautiful crestie babies, including one from Hi Sierra- a high harly project we started last year.
Looking forward to a very productive Friday-Weekend.
WED June 25, 2014
Today, I wanted to take a moment and highlight a couple of Facebook groups that I find myself visiting more and more. One is the Goniurosaurus group (click the name to go to the group). The other is the Coleonyx Keepers group. Both have active members. Both groups share amazing photos of the animals in their groups. Goniurosaurus (cave geckos) and the Coleonyx are super popular right now. Most importantly, I feel, is that both groups share information about these wonderful animals. Unlike a lot of forums (or even Facebook groups on more popular species such as leopard gecko and crested geckos) the keepers in these groups are super helpful, polite, and genuinely free sharing information about their animals. If you have not visited these sites, please do. Yesterday was pretty much a day off for me.
Nanette fed the warm room and collected only 2 sets of eggs from the leos. I think they are winding down for the season. Thursday night will be a big night for us as we feed CGD and have some significant tasks to get done. As always, watch for updates (and photos of course).
TUE June 24, 2014
Quick update as last night was re-certification training for work. It's the annual event where all office staff waits until the last minute then watch 8-10 videos on 'safety in the workplace', hope they don't fall asleep in the middle and have to restart, then take a test after each one. 3 hours! Every year! If I've scored 100% for the last 6 years, could I possible opt out of these?!?
No new leos last night as I did find a couple eggs that went full term and deflated. Very odd. Happens once in a while but we were having such a great successful hatch rate with eggs this year, this is still surprising. Four baby cresteds, no P. pica but I did find 1 little Paroedura stumpffi that made up for it.
Fed fruit flies to a dozen enclosures. WOW, when you get the flies from Josh's Frogs, you really get a ton! The two containers I got last week will be producing for at least another week and I will certainly have enough surplus to start another half dozen containers (started 6 new ones the prior evening.
MON June 23, 2014
What's Cooking? Today my attire consists of an apron as we made up 6 new fruit fly batches (the micros go through a LOT of fruit flies) and a new recipe for bug food. Thank you Oliver Kuepper for the information, hints, and tips. This was all guesswork as I had no idea on how much of what to add. We cooked up enough to feed about a months worth of dubia feedings.
We did find 1 P. picta, 1 leo, and 4 baby cresties today. All eggs look good and we expect to see a HUGE July.
I move two young chewies to their own enclosure today. First time together so we shall see if the pair hit it off this season.
SUN June 22, 2014
Very typical Sunday at Supreme Gecko as I was down in the facility on and off for most of the day. One difference, woke up around 4:00am and shot down to feed the cresties CGD. What takes Nanette and I under 1 hour took me 2.5 hours as I did the search for eggs, moved animals, cleaned a couple of enclosures, etc. Productive day as we pulled 26 sets of eggs! New record.
I love Sundays as I wonder around the room doing misc. gecko stuff. If I see some animals out and about, I just stop and watch. Fun!
The count for new animals- 2 P. picta and 2 new leos. One is crazy looking and I will have to post a photo later (RED?!!). Found one lone Tropiocolotes tripolitanus egg (they lay one at a time). Also found one bad egg from the Nephrurus wheeleri girl. So sad but it means breeding season for the Aussies may be kicking in early.
Here is one of the photos from yesterday. This is Goniurosaurus orientalis. Now you know why I took so much time feeding/taking photos yesterday.
SAT June 21, 2014
A couple hours with Nanette feeding the warm room (aussies, picta, leopards). I believe we found 12 sets of leo eggs and 10 sets of P. picta eggs. I love working with Nanette. Gives us some quality time to talk but also she helps me focus and get the gecko job done (otherwise I dilly dally around all day checking out the animals.
Speaking of taking my time, fed the cave geckos. It took about an hour when it should have taken about 10 minutes. Lots of photos- you will see them coming shortly.
What a pain in the patutee- I cleaned one of the three dubia containers. I was wondering why I seldom saw many babies. Well, I found them, buried in the mess that was the substrate. If anyone knows of a good way to separate the bottom junk from the little ones, please let me know.
Tomorrow will be crested gecko feeding/check for eggs. Hope I can get up by 6 am so I can get other things done.
FRI June 20, 2014
Listened to Late Night Leo's episode with Kasi Faulkins. Great episode.
Was hoping to get a big time start on all that needs to be done downstairs but only spent about a half hour- 1 P. picta and 4 baby leos. Came up to watch the Milwaukee Brewers (I'm a huge baseball fan) and could not break away to get back down. Lost a male P. picta. No idea why. He seemed to be fine this past week. Up early tomorrow and will probably be down about 6 hours.
THU June 19, 2014
The wingless fruitflies came in and look great. Thank you Josh's Frogs. Will be setting up new cultures this weekend.
One lone P. picta baby tonight. That's ok. I walk past the crested and leo ends and all I can hear is "Let Me Out!". Did find one Paroedura androyensis egg though. Always fun to collect eggs.
Good news- little P. androyensis is eating. Bad news- the young T+/Caramel P. picta did not make it. Was just too small.
Had a couple of quick fixes to the web page- What a great site Fiverr is!
Working only 8 hours tomorrow! Cannot wait to come home early and start the weekend in a big way in the facility. Lots of plans!
WED June 18, 2014
Well sports fans, this will be a short and mostly boring report. Tonight was spent cleaning deli cups from the hatchlings. One lone baby leo.... but a nice one. This came from a line of Mack Super Snows and Reverse Stripes. Hmmm what would that look like?!? Guess we will need a picture. Coming soon :)
TUE June 17, 2014
Put in an order for 2 Fruit Fly cultures from Josh's Frogs. No idea why my latest batches did not take but no time to wait for a reptile show as I am feeding micro crickets right now and the container is getting low.
Nanette fed and watered the leo room (leopards, picta, and other warmer animals). Another 5 eggs from the P. picta.
Today's babies- 1 crestie (pinner), 2 baby leos, 1 Hemidactylus tanganicus, and one really small Paroedura androyensis (this is usually the size that does not make it but we will give some TLC).
Margaret Sharapan stopped by to pick up Maple who has been with one of our males. Surprise! 2 beautiful pearls in her home away from home hide. Fingers crossed.
Hemidactylus tanganicus adult
MON June 16, 2014
11 hour work day. How lucky am I that Nanette fed the crested geckos tonight?!? Gave me time to check babies and for eggs- 2 P. picta, 3 cresties (2 from Prince William that look like full pinners and only one from Mocha II group that I believe may be a beautiful red), and one Pareoedura stumpffi. Checked on the Oedura monilis, they look sooo nice.
Posted photos of the Coleonyx elegans to Instagram.
Sun. June 15, 2014
Hatches- 1 baby leo and 2 P. picta. Setup 3 new pairs of P. picta (with T+/Caramel males).
Spent way too long picking through the cleaned dubia containers for babies. There has to be a better way!
SAT 6/14, 2014
Went down to the facility to check babies and feed a couple odd ball geckos (Cyrtodactylus marmoratus). Note to self- bring down wet-dry to catch a couple spiders... the BIG wet dry!
Spent about 5 hours at Panera! Catching up with FB. Posted reminder for everyone to check out Oliver Kuepper's Raw Dog Reptiles- Great Blog!, and a cool behavior video from Jim McDermott. Posted photos of the Coleonyx elegans in Coleonyx elegans in Coleonyx Keepers.