Suggestions for day care setup? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Suggestions for day care setup?

So, I set up a 29 gallon fish tank for my kid's day care, and it's worked out really well. I've been keeping fish for years, set up a simple, moderately planted tank with tetras, cories, and Bolivian rams, and the kids love it.

However, they also wanted to set up a non-fish tank, either small reptile(s) (I was told no snakes) or amphibian(s). I have not kept anything like that since I was a kid, where my parents were doing most of the work. So, while I'm willing to research and do the work, I could really use a starting place.

1) Not too much space. They have a 10 gallon tank now, but I'm willing to upgrade that myself if it doesn't go beyond the footprint of a 30g or so.
2) Preferably takes frozen food. I can maintain live food for something, but they may not want to do that long-term.
3) Is okay with not being handled. These are little kids, so they won't be playing with anything, it'll be more like a terrarium.

Does anything fit those requirements? I'm willing to tell them if nothing fits their needs, but it would be nice for the kids if something did.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 09:26 PM
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A 20 long tank(or 29g if you wanted some "trees" to climb on) can be planted
and end up like a jungle scene/theme tank. A blue tailed skink doesn't get but about 4-5" and would be OK in that.
They will eat meal worms which are easy to "culture".

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 09:35 PM
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bullet proof glass and sealed off top.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 10:11 PM
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Crested Geckos are a good first time reptile that are surprisingly easy to care for. They can flourish on a diet of repashy crested gecko diet, which is a paste like substance. They're arboreal, so their tanks' footprint is pretty small. Just make sure they you do plenty of research before getting one, and don't expect the kids to do all the work, this usually ends up as a disaster.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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I promise you, the kids will do none of the work. This is for them to observe and discuss. I have a lot of faith in the teachers to avoid the kids being destructive or scary, as there are low kid-to-teacher ratios and they keep things pretty well controlled.

It will probably end up like the fish tank in that the classroom teachers will do the daily feeding and I'll do the rest of the maintenance.

I will start looking into these options. I appreciate the ideas, as I'm not a reptile person.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 03:34 AM
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Madagascar hissing cockroaches are really cool, and small.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-04-2014, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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I think those would be perfect, but I think the teachers might veto.

Does anyone have opinions on crested geckos?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 08:22 AM
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I have two Crested Geckos. They are handsome but you might want to think about them being mainly nocturnal. I never see mine until the evening. Leopard Geckos make nice pets but they are nocturnal as well. I was thinking of Hermit Crabs but read that they are also nocturnal which I didn't know.

How about some type of frog?

Here's a pic of my Cresteds.

If you decide on a Crested gecko there are a couple of good forums that specialize in them.
Good luck!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 05:20 PM
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I just posted on this subject in another thread, so the same info applies here too---

Crested geckos are often overlooked as beginner reptiles and I just cannot figure out why. I have bred them without even trying. Since they are a nocturnal species they do not require UVB lighting and, unless your house is extremely cold, they usually do not require a heat source. They do well at temps between 65 & 78. Although some people claim that they cannot get their cresties to eat anything but crickets, I have had great success in getting them to eat a meal replacement formula (I would recommend Pangea Reptiles' complete formula or Repashy's crested gecko diet). DO NOT feed them only insects and DO NOT use baby food as a staple diet (this can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease). Baby food can be used as a treat or an additive to entice them to eat the meal replacement formula, but I don't usually have problems getting them to eat the Pangea diet. I like to give my cresties a live treat about once every two weeks. I breed blaptica dubia roaches to feed my many insectivorous reptiles, but crickets from your local pet store (please DO NOT buy bait crickets, you don't know what chemicals or contaminants they have come in contact with) will do just fine too.

Check them out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

@Pannyx: Beautiful crestie you have there btw!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 07:40 PM
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Crested geckos are awesome. I second that.

What about wax moths? You can get wax moth larvae from pets stores (sold as Waxworms), and watch them pupate, emerge, reproduce, die, and the next generation be born. Very cool. My sister has a wax moth colony in her grade 2 class and the kids love it.

Mourning geckos have a similar diet as crested geckos, and they are parthenogenic (females reproduce without any ales) so you'd even get a life cycle happening in your vivarium. They are also very active in the day, and are always scrambling all over the place. They are also very sociable, and enjoy having other mourning geckos around.

Another option might be a paddletailed newt; they are semi-terrestrial, and are quite active during the day. They are generally happy eating newt pellets, frozen bloodworms, etc. They are not handle-able, as their skin is very sensitive and easy to damage. I would steer away from the also popular firebelly newts, though, as they are mildly toxic and can cause allergic reactions.

Frogs and toads will all require live food, so I'd avoid frogs if you don't want to keep live food around
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