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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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I just set up a vivarium for my new Crested Geckos. For the growing medium I used 2 parts Fir bark chunks, 2 parts partially composted leaves, and 1 part coconut coir. I planted a croton, a red-margined dracaena, a pothos, and some alyssum (which I seeded directly, it's sprouting now.) The problem is, I forgot to add the fertilizers that were in the recipe.
My geckos are already in the tank, and the plants seem fine so far.
But What fertilizer can I use that will not harm my geckos....any ideas? There is a crappy pic attached, but my camera just ran out of batteries, so I can't get another just yet. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 04:24 PM
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Bottled, untreated mineral water.
Rain water, if you don't live in the city or near an incinerator.
Compost Shake, not cow dung!

Compost Shake
- Slice of banana and the peel (As thick as your thumb width)
- Slice of tomato (Half of a quartered tomato, 1/8.)
- Mostly white leaf of lettuce (The size of a small plate)
- Slice of cucumber (As thick as your thumb)
- Slice of bread (The end piece, I knew they had a purpose)
- A leveled tea spoon of sugar (The smaller spoon)
- A pinch of salt (One tap of a salt shaker)
- Half skin of an onion (The size of a half dollar)
- Half of one segment from dried garlic core (The center has little tear drop shaped things, use half of one of those)

* Place all of that in a blender with half of a cup of mineral water or spring water, (NOT TAP WATER).

* Blend until all signs of chunks are gone.

* Microwave for 1 min. and let it cool down.
(The microwave part is to kill bacteria, mold spores, remove unwanted pesticides, and to soften up stubborn chunks for the final mixing)

* Blend it again to finish the mixture.

* Place a coffee filter in a small strainer.

* Pour the mixture slowly through the coffee filter, into a clean container.

* Throw away the pulp that remains in the filter.

This mixture is concentrated food. To keep it from fermenting, you have to freeze this. Make them into ice-cubes, then move them separately into zip-lock bags.

When you are ready to use them, place the desired amount in room temperature mineral water. One cup of water per cube.

Allow it to dissolve completely, then spray on your plants, like you are misting them.

Follow up with a water only misting after half an hour of drying, and let the lights stay on for 24 hours the day that you do this.

You should not have to worry about mold and fungus and bacteria. Any mild odors will fade in 24 hours. Ohhhh - Aroma therapy...

Info on the shake ingrediants... I can't find the original article...
- The banna peel... (At the bottom)
- The garlic... (Pesticide mostly)
- The onion... (Fungus control)
- The sugar... (Molasses subsitute) (At the bottom -"Thatch")
- The tomato...
- The lettuce...
- The bread...
- The salt... (On page two)
"The study showed that salt content in compostplays an integral role in suppressing diseases and increasing crop yields."
- The cucumber...
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Where did you get that recipe?
I am wondering if just making a compost proper would be quite as good
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-23-2003, 01:50 AM
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Can't just use jobe's plant sticks, eh?

I don't know much about reptiles and their sensitivity to fertilizers...
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-23-2003, 01:53 AM
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The recipe was originally posted in the farmers almanac for "Care of nutrition depleted houseplants". Only the microwave part is mine, through practice, it had better results.

I am not sure what you are talking about when you say "Compost Proper". If this involves any fertilizer, your gecko will die. Unlike open terrain, where a gecko might only get sick. This is a contained unit, and anything you place inside will be concentrated into the local atmosphere. Eg. even a diluted solution of 1/100 can cause problems, because eventually the creature will have absorbed all of the toxins. To top that off, a solution of 1/100 will not help the plant.

Giving a plant fertilizer (Chemical fertilizer) is like giving a non-athlete steroids. Without additional effort and nutrients, the steroids will just make a big flabby person. Plants are the same way, without having nutrients in the soil, replenished from rainwater and bugs, the fertilizer will make your plants tall and weak, causing them to die quicker.

Organic compost is the only way to safely maintain this environment. Show-tanks will use fertilizer, but there animals are disposable. They just buy more, animals are cheap. Eventually throughout time, the animals will absorb whatever toxins that the plants don't. And the tank will end up sustaining life after a few deaths.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-23-2003, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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You are a deeply opinionated person, and I have read things from you on these forums with which I agree, and things with which I disagree. I agree that chemical fertilizers are dangerous for animals (especially amphibians), but I think you are a bit over-reactive. By Compost Proper, I meant an organic compost that I would compose of garden vegetables, kitchen waste, etc. I really do appreciate your recipe though, and may give it a try. I disagree that the animals will eventually absorb all of the toxins in the tank however, when those toxins are simple plant fertilizer(chemicals quite normally found in soils. I think that your scientific knowledge was more or less entirely denigrated in the discussion of ultrasonic foggers where peterryan2001 pretty much put you to bed. Thanks anyway, but try not to be such a knee-jerker, I got the feeling you were itching for a fight by the tone of your last post. We're supposed to be helping each other right?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 02:24 AM
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I agree, I was a bit rash. Even misinformed. Like he said, I was only half right. That wasn't my fault. I was portraying what I had learned, up to that point. However, he took things to an entirely different level when he started directly attacking me... over and over... for things that I was directly "COPY AND PASTE" from the websites that I linked to.

Some fertilizers are naturally found in soils, some are not. Their concentrations is what makes them toxic. Rarely will you find fertilizer concentrations of those levels in nature, that is why they are produced, not harvested. Oxygen is toxic at high levels.

Ammonium-nitrate {NH4NO3} smells like rotten feet, and has high concentrations of urea. (Smells like pee)... for example, and can kill an amphibians in doses as small as 100 PPM (MSDS numbers from government research) but will make even dead plants sprout life. (Exaggeration) To activate compost, pee on it. (Not exaggerated)

Fertilizers and Pesticides all have restrictions on use because of the dramatic effects they have in ANY concentration on the environment. (I worked as an irrigation engineer at Bakers Tree Farm owned by The Robert Baker Companies for two years. We sold millions of plants every year. Dealing with all these chemicals and their toxic levels, so toxic at times that you can't breath without an oxygen mask, and you have to wear a full rubber body suit.) The laws are only enforced on commercial industries because of their tendency to use what works with the best yield, as opposed to use what is safe. Which translates into environmental disasters like the whole DDT situation.


Since the recipe I posted was stuff that you find in your kitchen, wouldn't that be a Compost Proper? (Except for the table salt, which would hardly ever be found in that form naturally, without minerals only {NaCl})

The recipe I gave was suitable because of it's non-toxic, and odor-limiting, and complication-limiting, functions. If you don't mind mold, sour smells, have a month or two to wait for break-down, and possible over-dosing, then don't try the shake.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't mean to be inflammatory, either, so my apologies are hereby extended for the blithe criticisms. You seem to be very rational, and I appreciate the help. I did actually try your recipe, I'll let you know how it works. Happy Holidays!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 10:09 PM
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I didn't take offense, and appreciate your observations, they show interest in the topic at hand. I don't mind digging deeper, for as much info as is possibly needed, for further evaluation. I thought that your inquiry was justified and well worth the extended effort.

I still wish I could find that original publication. I am almost positive it was from the 1999-2000 issue. There was a whole section on home propagation and indoor plant care.

You wouldn't happen to want any moss powder, would you? I am collecting and harvesting some mosses that naturally grow in semi-moist, and mostly sunny areas. The first batch should be ready within a few weeks. This will be cleaned, dried, and powdered, for delivery. Just sprinkle where you want it to grow, and spray with lightly acidic water. It isn't really powder, it is more like individually separated leafs and spores, mixed with starter clay.

I am testing Gatorade and Power-Aide diluted in water as a viable source of acidic watering. Don't ask where I got that from! It wasn't from the farmers almanac!

I am also testing the possibility of shipping a semi-moistened version of this. It would come presoaked into a papertowel sheet. Just tear it apart, and lay the papertowel where you want the moss carpet. It will take longer for that idea to test.

Right now some of the moss is being dehydrated, but I think I am going to save some of that for the next generation of harvesting, and the rest will be to test the towel thing.

Happy holidays,
Jason D'Angelo
[email protected]
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 03:04 AM
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Seems like you could also make a compost tea from any good organic compost.

How to make compost tea among others should provide instructions.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 12:01 PM
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Cool, some-one else knows about this stuff! I just wish they would have listed the composition of their compost... (Most people tend to think of manure as compost, but that is just waste and bacteria.)

I wish that I could find more stuff like this for this forum. Thanks okie.

You loose a lot in two years, whole websites just disappear!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 01:08 PM
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I'm glad you guys resolved this. The lesson is to be careful about the information you repeat without checking its validity. I know many times I'm in a rush to answer someone's question and feel like just copy-and-pasting but elect rather to not answer it at all until I had time to check into it further at a later time.

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