click to enlarge It’s been a fascinating journey. From tropical fish to orchids to where we are now- geckos. From 125 fish tanks to an orchid room to a basement full of animals, it’s been a journey. What started out as a walled/plastic wrapped room to hold in humidity became our first gecko room- Room #1. There are now five rooms in total. In the following post, I will walk through in detail the different sections of the rooms. For those keeping 1- 4 animals, this might be a venture into total boredom. For those slipping down the path to maintaining multiple breeding groups of animals, I am hoping this is invaluable information. I wish I had this detail around 2005 when thoughts of becoming a gecko breeder were just starting to flicker to life. (all measurements are close approximations- this is for you engineers that may complain the numbers do not add up) ND T [ ... ]
Author - Christine Wise
Won in December 2014 for the 12 supreme days of Christmas held by Wally Kern of supremegecko.com
Received and assembled in January 2015 (Editor's Note- for more product information see Reptile Edge website)
Plan for viv crested gecko
Will contain eco earth that I also won in the contest from supremegecko.com, live terrarium plants, and crested gecko diet dishes also won in contest and the reptile I was asked to write this article pertaining to the viv and I must say I am very pleased with everything! The shipping got a little confused and I informed Jeffery that I hadn't received the package in the estimated time. He was very generous and understanding and actually resent me a whole new package with no cost. I'm greatly appreciative for his kindness. I'm not the best with putting together much of anything so luckily my boyfriend was more than willing to help me assemble it. The package itself was wrapped very securely and was not just th [ ... ]
This year has brought some success in our facility with breeding Micro Geckos- Paroedura androyensis, Hemidactylus ruspoli, etc. These are fun geckos to work with and I feel privileged to keep and breed them. However, as we add babies, it becomes nearly impossible to manage them the way we are, and something needs to change. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Not that I am the first to build a Micro Gecko baby rack, but the way I fit it into the space I had, and utilize the move enclosure to that space might be a bit unique. We'll see. As you can see, each baby has begun life in a small deli cup. Easy to monitor, not so easy to feed, water, clean. At one point, I was managing a dozen of these cups (along with other tasks in the facility) and had to find a better way..... My space for a rack was limited to 31 inches X 18 inches X 72 inches. Working the these dimensions, the first thing I started t [ ... ]Read More
CAP-ital Itea In feeding crested geckos, I use the MRP food poured into little cups. If you are feeding MRP, or even need a small water or calcium dish, a great little cup is the top off of milk jugs, water bottles, or energy drinks. Every visit from my wife's family brings in bags of caps! Clean Up - Clean Up I stopped by Menards a couple weeks ago and found something that will save me all kinds of time when I clean my glass enclosures- a 10 inch plastic putty spreader, for about a buck and a half. I empty the tank (glass enclosure) and with a couple swipes can collect all 'bottom material'. Easy! Dish It Up Looking for a cheap dish for your leopard gecko? Check your local garden center. Find the terra cotta pots and check out the smallest dish that the pots sit in (< 3 inches in diameter). These work well for water or calcium supplements. Down Under Need extra storage for your reptile supplies. Use the same type of sweater box [ ... ]Read More
In the early summer of 2011, Supreme Gecko was dealing with an overload of crested gecko babies hatching. Kritter keeper after kritter keeper was being setup. More and more time was being wasted open lid after lid. At around 30 KKs (this is in addition to about 60 other plastic enclosures setup for cresties already hatched, I was beginning to come to my wits end (a short journey for sure). Something had to give, and quick!
My first attempt to build a crestie baby tank failed miserably. Setup with 4 tubs per shelf and 7 shelves, it worked out well for about 2-3 months then failed to its one flaw- sag. Each shelf started to sag due to me being cheap and building the shelves from too thin of plywood. Stike 1! (ok, if you have to see this stand before we tore it down, please click Building a Baby Crested Gecko Stand)
Second attempt would not fail! I went with 15/32 (half inch) plywood. Much better. By this time though, another space u [ ... ]
Over the past 8 years, I have gone through a plethora of incubation materials. Why, to get better egg hatching results for my geckos, of course. I’ve taken on this exercise to determine the one with the best performance. Through the years, I’ve learned a lot about the process and have substantially improved my results. I want to share with you my findings. But, I think the results below will certainly surprise you! What are the qualities of a premium hatching material (gecko specific) Holds moisture for an extended time without being too wet initially Ease of setting up, determining when it is drying out, adding more water Cost. This is the total cost of using the product How it performs- How successful is the medium in hatching the eggs Quality not considered- Availability… every hatching material is currently available somewhere on the Internet. A couple of notes- This is truly not scientific and not a controlled test. Gecko [ ... ]Read More
I know you've seen them. I bet you have one or two... or even more. What a great idea. The first time I saw them offered on a web site, I had to have one, then two, until today I own about a dozen. The product I'm talking about is the magnetic ledges. They provide additional floor space but most importantly, especially in deeper enclosures, offer easy placement for food/water cups for your arboreal geckos. Priced between $ 14 to $ 28, if you have more than one or two enclosures, this can be a bit prohibitive. These are great devices but I have an interesting, and far less expensive option. Not only with this Do-It-Yourself project take less than 5 minutes to make per enclosure (probably a lot less than that for the second and third piece you make) but will cost LESS THAN $1 as well! I should call this product something like Ledge WOW, or Ginsu Ledge! Coming home one night my mind started wandering, as it sometimes does, about geckos and their care. [ ... ]Read More
HISTORY This summer, I realized that I need additional space for our medium sized animals- those crested geckos between 5-10 months old. These are the type of animals we are growing out for shows or hold-backs for our own breeding projects. I also have a number of individual, adult Rhacodactylus like Rhac. chahoua and auriculatus that need to be separated for future breeding weight gain. My good friend Mike M. stopped by one day and was showing off his beautiful animals. I caught a glimpse of a couple tubs he was using with a top opening door and I was hooked! It took me all of 2 seconds to see a stand in my facility with a dozen of these tubs just waiting for animals. SPECIFICS The Stand is actually 60 inches tall (although the top tub will push the height to about 75 inches. It is only 15 inches wide but is 75 inches long!It is made of 12 2X2s (total cost under $25 including a box of screws!) The tubs measure 18 X 23 X 15 inches which equates to 27 gallons e [ ... ]Read More
I'm always thinking- how can I better utilize the minimal space that I have and give our animals a better living environment? If I have 3 inches of empty wall space, that will bug me for weeks. Have you seen the classic movie Night Shift with Michael Keaton? To quote his character, "I'm an idea man Chuck". Well, sometimes that is how I feel as well- If I just move this here, and that there, I can gain those 3 inches back :) Recently, I was using a stand that held an eclectic group of tanks and animals on a make shift grey assembled shelving units. Something had to be done as this was major wasted space- different sized aquarium tanks. Also, as I was obtaining more and more arboreal animals, I needed a different setup completely. This space is about 3' X 30" X 6'. Not much space but plenty to bother me night and day drawing up plans and remeasuring every couple hours. I started going through option specific to talker enclosures- 20H aquarium, screen tanks, exo-terra. A couple of days [ ... ]Read More
Problem- Room to keep many newborn to 1 month old crested geckos. Currently have 25 kritter keepers that takes us about 10-12 minutes to feed and mist, and took up a lot of space.
Solution- one stand with 40 plastic tubs
Material- 11 34” X 14” shelves. 4 60” 1 X 3 legs. 40 9 qt tubs. Plastic screening for tub holes.
Air gun (could use screw driver/small nails). Scissors and soldering iron for holes in tub. Time- Build Stand- @ 3, cut and screen tub
Cost- 2 sheets plywood ($30), 4 legs ($4), nails ($4), screen ($2), tubs ($35) = $ 75
Feed Time- @ 4 minutes
Misting- @ 1 minute Result- $75, can keep 3 times the # of babies in same space, saves 5-7 minutes per feeding! Lesson Learned- I would use a bit thicker plywood to prevent any sagging. While the tubs support the shelves, the whole shelf would be more stable by going to the next thickness of plywood.
To be totally honest, this was not my idea. I am very original in coming up with methods of saving time in the reptile room or saving space so I can fit in that 'just one more enclosure'. But this one came from a friend selling gargoyles at the Wheaton reptile shows.
For baby Rhacs, I would keep a little piece of egg carton, small plastic plant, and a wadded up paper towel to mist and hold humidity. Now, I put this ledge in and it adds more area. This is so easy to make and is so inexpensive. For small kritter keepers, I can make 6 in about 6 minutes and about 2 bucks total.
If I were a betting man, ok I am so who is up for a friendly wager, I would bet that one of the top 3 questions I am asked at shows is “What do you use for substrate for your animals?” This is such a great question and usually shows that the reptile keeper has been reading up on their animals. I love to talk about substrate because A) it holds so much controversy in the hobby, B) I am such a contrarian on substrate, and finally, C) there is usually such an easy solution available to hobbyists. Controversy, What Controversy If you want to spark a heated conversation at a reptile show, bring up the fact that you keep your bearded dragon over sand you collected at your local beach, or your leopard gecko over calci-sand, or especially your crested gecko over orchard bark. Say this loud enough and you will turn the heads of every vendor at every table down the row. Why Are There So Many Opinions There are many opinions on what substrate to use because there is [ ... ]Read More
WINE COOLER INCUBATOR
A couple years ago, we were running out of room in our Hovabators and needed additional incubation space. A close friend that works at a TV and appliance store presented me with a Wine Cooler- with glass door and all!
To prepare the unit, we had to take the hardware, including the cooling unit. Be very careful with this if you are planning on building your own unit from a Dorm Fridge or Wine Cooler unit.
Once the additional hardware is removed, we included an 8 inch wide flex watt tape attached to a thermostat.
This unit will hold around 60-80 deli cups full of eggs!
We have had so much success with the Hovabator incubators. The cost is usually under $50 and you should be able to find them in most stores setup to support the urban shopper. They are easy to calibrate. Once they are set, they usually stay set. They will hold 18 deli cups for incubation.
If you are raising any number of crested gecko babies, a rack that will hold more than a few individuals is a must. In this article, we'll take a look at building a stand that will hold 40 - 50 young crested geckos that can be built for under $ 50 (excluding tubs) and in about 3 hours with just a few basic woodworking skills. The Tubs The most important part of this rack is deciding on the size of the tubs you use. We were fortunate to find 19 quart tubs that were perfect for the area we were working with. It is extremely important to understand the dimensions of these tubs as the best scenario is to find a container that will measure out to a full shelf width. Let me explain. The tubs shown have a width of 13 1/2 inches. The width of the shelf is 15 inches. Perfect! NOTE- make sure you measure the widest part of the tubs. I'll come back to the ventilation later in the article. The Wood This is so simple it will surprise you. The hardest part of the project [ ... ]Read More
Our primary leopard gecko grow out rack.
Another melamine rack that is super easy to build and maintain.
This one handles 6 qt tubs which are perfect for newborn to about 3-4 month olds.
11 shelves and 4 tubs per shelf make for quite a few babies. We actually start them off in pairs also
so this rack could hold up to 88 young geckos!
This is one of our primary Breeder Racks (Rack 01).
The melamine racks are super easy to build and use. This one is about 5 years old and holding up perfectly.
With 9 shelves and 5 tubs across, we can fit 45 single animals on this rack. The heat source is 3 inch flex watt tape on each shelf. Three shelves are wired together, thus the 3 dimmer switches.
We use 12 quart rubbermaid or sterlite tubs. As well, we have the option to include a 27 quart tub in place of 2 smaller tubs. We sometimes do this for groups of 1.1 or 1.2.
Which Is The Best Enclosure- Glass or Screen A glass enclosure is better for your animals as it holds in moisture. No! Screen is better as it allows more air movement through the enclosure. For the past couple of years this debate has been raging at the reptile shows I've been vending at and attending. As the focus has been on maintaining crested geckos and, I provide glass tanks with screen tops, I have been very interested in this topic and have kept an open mind (and closed mouth) listening to the discussions. Well, last year I decided to take the debate a step further. Knowing this question would be posed to us in the near future by customers, we had to be able to answer this question with an informed, intelligent and most importantly, helpful answer. I am a believer in gathering facts, comparing results, trying something different, going out on a limb- finding out for myself rather than buying into a concept whole heartedly. There is so much information on the [ ... ]Read More