Revised to- The Great Gecko Project =) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Revised to- The Great Gecko Project =)

I am in the planning/reasearch phase of putting together my very first vivarium for my very first reptile. I've fallen head over heels for Crested Geckos!

I've ordered some Philippe De Vosjoli books on vivariums and crested gecko care (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1882770803, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/188277096X, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0976733471, and http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0793828910), and also joined and am reading lots of threads on Pangea's forum.

It will probably take me a few months to put together everything I need, but I've decided I want live plants for sure, which means I will have a soil-based substrate. I'll be reading more about the pros and cons of various options, but right now I'm planning on a clay drainage layer topped by landscape cloth topped with a mix of Miracle Gro Organic potting soil and Eco Earth. I plan to feed mostly Crested Gecko Diet prepared food and either hand-feed or move the gecko to a separate container for live feedings to avoid substrate injestion. I've read a little about the benefits of adding live springtails to the substrate, so that's definitely something I'm considering.

I'm planning on ordering an Rzilla cage ( http://www.pangeareptile.com/store/z...ic-atrium.html) and modding the bottom with an acrylic panel to hold in the substrate and moisture.

I know I want to heavily plant it, so that's my current research project.

So far, I'm leaning towards a dwarf mondo grass and moss carpet, lots of Pothos vines for climbing, and perhaps a spider plant mounted in a corner or a rear wall. That's as far as I've gotten so far...

Are there any good options for flowering plants that can handle this level of humidity, are gecko-safe, would not get too large, and are NOT bromiliads?





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post #2 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:29 AM
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Sounds like a cool project! I have a R. auriculatus, and I love her!

As far as plants, maybe something like a Phalaenopsis orchid? The leaves are nice, wide and sturdy and can definitely stand up to a Crestie's climbing. Creeping Fig or Ivies might be a good choice as well.
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Got Plants?-6 CO2 + 12 H2O → C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

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Always interested in trades for aroids, carnivores, orchids, ferns, or whatever else you think I might like to try
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post #3 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:30 AM
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I think you should get a gargoyle gecko. Lol. But in all fairness the books tou ordered are really good. Best of luck
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post #4 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks you two!

I'll have to check out that orchid, Lego. Are they pretty easy to keep? I've never had much luck getting orchids to flower for me after the first year... I think I tend to water them too much?

Yeah, I've been watching your garg thread, F22. I really have my heart set on a Crestie, though.

Also trying to figure out what lighting I'll need... I'm totally comfortable with lighting an aquarium, but a fish out of water when I'm... well... out of water! Would a dual bulb T5HO on legs be about right? I don't want bright light at all... I want to avoid needing ferts other than the soil.





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post #5 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:58 AM
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My cresties have always preferred the dark and dim over the bright. Trying to get a balance between plant growth and not stressing the gecko out too much might be a bit tricky.
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post #6 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Shopping list & budget thus far:

VIVARIUM SETUP:

Rzilla cage- $40
Acrylic panel mod - $10
Background - ???
Substrate - $20
Lighting - ???
Plants - TBD
Wood - TBD

FEEDING:

CGD - $10
Repashy insect gutload - $10
Live crickets - as needed
Calcium + D3 - $5
Magnetic feeder & 2oz plastic cups - $20 http://www.pangeareptile.com/store/p...up-holder.html

MISC SUPPLIES:

Dechlor- $5 http://www.pangeareptile.com/store/r...lorinator.html
Soaking bowl - $5
Thermometer & humidity gauge - $6 http://www.pangeareptile.com/store/z...ity-guage.html
Humid hide - TBD
Disinfectant - $10 http://www.pangeareptile.com/store/3...infectant.html
Water spray bottle - $2
Digital scale - $10





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post #7 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 04:32 AM
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I think you should get a gargoyle gecko. Lol. But in all fairness the books tou ordered are really good. Best of luck
I sometimes wish I went with a gargoyle gecko instead of a crested!
1) they look meaner
2) I have nightmares about my young crested losing its tail (as they don't grow them back)

But I still love my crested. The feel of them walking over your hands is amazing.

Lauraleellbp, Here's a site you can check up on some plants list; http://www.joshsfrogs.com/category/5...rrarium-plants
although the name of the site is the same as mine and also in MI, unfortunately its not mine I just buy there since its one day delivery!

Don't buy too much pothos! they grow super fast. I bought one bromiliad and never used it :P Also if you buy any substrate that come in dry blocks, don't buy too much of that either! I soaked one block with water and it was enough to fill my tank over halfway.

My crested likes my fake plants more then my real ones. I also can't get poop stains out of my real plants. My crested also never used the log hide I had for him so I ended up never using it.I never use any heater mats unless the heat dies in my house during the winter(its also harder to use with a good layer of substrate), I use a infrared bulb above my tank. It keeps it at 72-75 depending on room temps. But these are just what I do and what I've experienced with the personality of my crested.
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post #8 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Plant research thus far:

Rex begonia vines (Cissus discolor) http://www.floridahillnursery.com/in...roducts_id=135

Prayer plant (Maranta): http://www.gflora.com/index.php?cmd=...y&genus_id=166

Fittonia: http://www.gflora.com/index.php?cmd=...ody&genus_id=5

Ficus pumila 'variegata' (Variegated Creeping Fig): http://www.floridahillnursery.com/in...products_id=23

Seemannia sylvatica: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53149/ (I think I just found my flower!!!)





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post #9 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 02:27 PM
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Have you checked up on Dubia roaches? They have some better benefits compared to crickets. They don't climb, smell, and live longer. They also have a better meat/shell ratio. I first fed my crested crickets but with all their jumping it was a pain. I simply don't like to handle crickets :P
You can also gutload insects with things you probably already have in your house to save a couple bucks to buy something else. Sometimes I just gutload them with crested gecko diet.

If you're getting a young crested, they eat very little cgd. Not as in they don't like it, just that they eat very little and it will be hard to tell if they're eating or not. I have yet to catch my crested eating his cgd by himself! I first spoon-fed him to make sure he was eating. After that I watched for his poop to make sure he was eating


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post #10 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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There is NO way a roach is EVER intentionally coming inside my house. *SHIVER* None. Crickets and most other bugs I'm fine with. Roaches are an entirely different story.

I'm thinking I'm probably going to start off with an adult my first time out the gate. I've been reading how juvies need to be kept in smaller containers for the first year to be sure they're eating, etc, and though I do have a 5.5gal I could use, I'd rather start off with using the viv.





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post #11 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 02:44 PM
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Oh yeah, I see that you live in Florida also! My mistake


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post #12 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Thanks you two!

I'll have to check out that orchid, Lego. Are they pretty easy to keep? I've never had much luck getting orchids to flower for me after the first year... I think I tend to water them too much?
They really aren't that difficult to keep happy. The main thing is that you want to keep them moist at all times, but not wet. Overwatering is definitely the easiest way to kill an orchid. If it's alive, but not wanting to flower, you may not have enough light over it.

In the viv, I'd just tie or glue the plant to a piece of wood or something and cover the roots in sphagnum moss.

Another plant suggestion...what about a Nepenthes? N. ventricosa would be a really easy one to try, and they can take quite a bit of physical abuse.

Got Plants?-6 CO2 + 12 H2O → C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

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post #13 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Lego, I may give one of those orchids a try.

I kinda don't want to go the carnivorous plant route, though, not for this viv anyways.





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post #14 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 09:05 PM
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African violets are safe and a good choice as long as you don't over water.

--SoY
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post #15 of 184 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 09:16 PM
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Some aquarium plants have nice flowers when grown emersed. My Rotala macrandra is blooming right now and it looks awesome. Hydrocotyle also flowers quite a bit for me.
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