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Old 09-28-2010, 10:45 PM
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Picklepaige Picklepaige is offline
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Default Reptiles!!

So, I'm getting VERY interested in reptiles. I've never had them before, so I'd like some input

What is a good beginner reptile? I really like the look of leopard geckos (they seem the "tamest" of the smaller reptiles.) Ball pythons are also sparking my interest, but I don't think I could feed rats. Mice? No problem. Chicks? No problem. But I can't feed a rat, not after my Brutus. Could I substitute rats with baby bunnies?

Also, once I get the "feel" of reptiles and their care, I'd like to move on to something more advanced. My absolute WANT when it comes to scary critters is an Argentine Black and White Tegu. They are pretty much the only reptile that gets DOG tame. They are soooo cool.

My best friend had an iguana, as well. He was a neat little dude, but not the friendliest. Granted, he was a baby, but I've heard it's kind of a chance with iguanas as to how aggressive/tame they're going to be.

So...tell me about reptiles! Any species is fine, not just the ones I listed. I'm just trying to get a feel for them
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:34 AM
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AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
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Reptiles ROCK.

I personally have two geckos, a leopard gecko and a crested gecko.

The leo, Basol:


The crestie, Ysera:


Both are VERY easy starter reptiles. A gecko habitat can sometimes take some time to prepare. It took me forever to get Basol's hot and cold temps correct, and I had Ysera's vivarium a month before I had her because I have natural growing plants in it and wanted them to thrive a bit before adding a reptile.

But once you have the habitat ready to go, basic care is EASY. Leopard geckos eat live insects, like crickets, mealworms or superworms. I feed Basol mealworms and superworms, because they're easy to keep in a little crittert keeper and are easy to pick up and place, as opposed to stinky houdini crickets. Crested geckos can survive entirely on a muddy substance called Repashy's MRP crested gecko diet. Mix one part with two parts water and serve. Done.

Leopards, just feed them a few times a week, keep an eye on their temps and provide fresh dish of water daily. Cresties, mist their viv twice a day and feed them fresh mud every day or two. Easy maintenance.

I find both to be more visual pets than tactile, as are most reptiles. Both of mine will tolerate being held, but they aren't content to be held for long periods. I have both in my office where I can watch them as they do their gecko things.

I've also heard excellent things about ball pythons and bearded dragons as first reptile pets. Both of them require much larger habitats than a leopard or crested gecko, though, so it's a preference thing. You can feed ball pythons pinkie mice their entire life, I'm told by some ball owner friends.

Hope that helps! If you have questions about leopards or cresties, I'm happy to answer.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:12 PM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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Rosy Boas and Rubber Boas, Adult Corn snakes, king snakes, leopard geckos.

I usually tell first time reptile owners to avoid reptiles who need special lighting, super fancy meals, or are exceptionally long lived.

Small colubrids are easy easy reptiles. Don't require much space, aren't dangerous, and eat a prey item once a week and usually easy feeders. Defrost a rat pup... done

Leopard geckos are easy lizards and don't have the temperament of other geckos which are FAST and in some cases like the taste of manflesh. Tokays are the worst for biting.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:24 PM
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I only have experience with Leopard Geckos, I've had mine for about 6 years now. I personally fine her very boring, but that's just me. I mean she's fun during meal time but other than that she chills out all day. The hermit crabs I find fun because they climb, dig, interact with each other, change shells, etc. Tammy doesn't do too much lol.

Basically I feed her every other day or so, she mainly get meal worms but I'll buy a thing of crickets on occassion, they are just a bit more difficult to keep and they don't last as long. I gut load the food and sprinkle either calcium with D3 or vitamins on them a few times a month.

She has an UTH on one side, I've heard conflicting things about whether or not to use lamps, some say it bothers them and that they only need belly heat, other say lamps are fine, so I don't know about that. I have one hide on the warm side, one hide on the cooler side, and a moist hide on the warm side as well. The moist hide allows them to shed easier, it's a real pain for me and especially for Tammy when shed gets stuck on her toes. They can't have sand as a substrate as they could ingest some and get a blockage (especially when young), I use tile but you can use reptile carpet and probably some other things.
They are very clean, their urine is solid and they tend to go to the bathroom in the same place every time.

You can tame them, I don't handle Tammy much at all which probably wasn't a great idea because she gets shed stuck on her toes so much.

They are easy beginner animals, less fragile (IME) than the hermit crabs are. Just be ready for the commitement, they can live into their 20's.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:03 PM
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I currently have red eared sliders, and a russian tortoise! I LOVE turtles/tortoises!

But I have had leopars geckos before, and they are another favorite of mine! I recommend them, they are easy to handle, cheap and easy to feed (who feels bad about feeding crickets and mealworms?) and are relatively easy to take care of!
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:19 AM
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I have a corn snake. Now if you want easy to care for go corn all the way!
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puppydog View Post
I have a corn snake. Now if you want easy to care for go corn all the way!
I agree with this, if you're looking into snakes. I have kept ball pythons, king snakes, and corns among others. For a starter snake, I kept ball pythons, and had bad experiences with biting without food scent present. I've known a lot of others who have had the same issues, but I'm pretty sure it's not the norm necessarily.

Corns are just awesome, IMO.

I also did turtle rescue for a little while, mostly red-eareds and painteds and they were awesome to have too. Mine were all pretty animated but cleaning the tanks became a little too much for me once they got bigger.


Good luck! Reptiles are awesome to keep. Eventually when you want to move up to other species, you'll be so happy you got into them. There's so much to choose from.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:24 AM
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Corns are awesome but can be a little rough to handle for a first time snake owner. It's part of the reason I like Rubber and Rosy Boas. They're so stinking calm and not bitey where my first corn was liquid lightning.

If I ever get snakes again I think I'll be getting sand boas. They're so beautiful.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:41 AM
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I have hit it lucky with my girl, she is a dream. You can pick her up when she is eating! I have once had to convince her to let go of a rat pink because she had taken it by the shoulders and was muscling along anyway. I got her to release and she took it again no problem. I <3 my girl.

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