August 2011

August 2011

All the information listed here is based on my own experience, please carry out your own research before attempting to replicate anything on this site.

SUNDAY, 28 AUGUST 2011 >>

"The week in a turtle shell"

The turtles in my reptilarium are some of my oldest and most spoiled exotics, so it's only fitting that I gave them some screen time this week to show off their enclosure updates! The Honduran Wood Turtles (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa) have a whole host of flora growing in their enclosure now.

Their swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) in particular seems to be making itself very comfortable, and has actually started cementing itself to the plywood back wall, similar to the way they attach themselves to trees in the wild. One of the spider plants in the tank has had to be replaced, as one of the turtles relentlessly dug it up and left it uprooted, which I suspect was due to some tasty creepy crawly using it's roots as a hiding place.

Red Eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans trootsi lemna minor pondweed duckweed pond aquarium tank enclosure Common Musk Turtle Stinkpot Hatchling Sternotherus odoratus terrapin Chinese Softshell pelodiscus sinensis trionyx asian softie duckweed aquarium enclosure

I also plucked up the courage to go an raid the local wildlife garden's pond for duckweed, despite looking mildly odd and unsubtle in my attempt to steal Lemna minor. After I managed to pinch a couple of handfuls, I found a new home for it in the aquariums of my Red Eared Slider, Common Musk Turtles, and Chinese Softshell. There were a lot of minibeasts lurking inside the duckweed, but considering these turtles naturally inhabit ponds, both captively here in the UK, and their natural habitats, I considered the risk of anything harmful being introduced on the duckweed to be minimal.

Chelonia aside, the other occupants of the zoo are doing well! I now have 4 or 5 headlight cockroaches (Lucihormetica subcincta) that have reached maturity, so fingers crossed I will have a few nymphs produced by this mini colony soon!

If you'd like any more info, don't hesitate to contact me,
Paul Edmondson

SUNDAY, 21 AUGUST 2011 >>

"Invertebrate expansion"

It's been a very busy few weeks! I finally managed to get the finishing touches done to structural part of my Ornate Wood Turtles enclosure. The turtles have been in it for about a year now, but I knew a bit more reinforcing needed to be done. Anyway, that's out the way, so I can focus on making the facade of it look a bit nicer!

My Congo Green Praying Mantids are growing well, and have moved on to cockroach nymphs and the occasional cricket as their staple. Mantids are very alien looking up close, but fantastic ambush predators. I have these guys in plastic pint cups for the moment, but I will be upgrading them soon to allow them room to moult and grow! Fingers crossed I will have an ooth or two produced by these guys before the year is over.

I made a foolish mistake this week of buying another Red Tailed Black Shark (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)for my Red Eared Slider enclosure. The one I already had was doing very well, and I am quite charmed by their behaviours, so when I saw an excellent looking specimen in the local fish store I couldn't resist. Unfortunately, despite the new addition being the larger of the pair, it was harassed by my existing shark, and I've had to set up a separate tank to keep it. It's a shame they didn't get along together, but the new arrival seems perfectly happy on its own.

Giant madagascan hissing cockroach holding handling gromphadorhina portentosa Congro Green praying mantis preying sphodromantis aurea african insect Giant madagascan hissing cockroach holding handling gromphadorhina portentosa

It seems my addition of a plastic greenhouse to my Reptilarium to keep the roaches and Golden Geckos warm and humid was not the only time I'll be finding a new use for gardening equipment with my exotics. I came across two large, strong plastic propagators this week for £1 each! I haven't decided what to keep in them yet, but they seem very handy to have, even for inverts such as my growing African Land Snails, although by the size of them they look capable of housing a couple of small lizards or frogs - watch this space!

Lastly, another few new additions this week were ~20 adult Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches. I already have a few large cockroach species, such as Aleuropoda and Tiger Striped, but I got these in a trade for some Blaptica Dubia, and they seem to be settling in well.

If you'd like to ask any questions, don't hesitate to contat me using the email link below,
Paul Edmondson

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