June 2011

June 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, 19 JUNE 2011 >>

"Turning cockroaches into gold!"

Of all the little beasties in my zoo, I think the cockroaches are the least popular. However, this week I made some money back by selling some excess Dubia feeder roaches, and of course the extra pocketmoney went straight to the local pet shop.

This weekend I picked up a pair of Golden Geckos (Gekko ulikovskii), which look well fed although stressed. Unfortunately, like Tokay and House Geckos, this species is more often captured from the wild than captive bred, as it proves cheaper for the pet stores.

My aim with keeping both Tokay Geckos and these new Golden Geckos, is to achieve captive breeding and hopefully reduce the demand for WC (wild-caught) animals in the UK. I do not know yet whether they are a male/female pair, but I have my fingers crossed!

So far I am finding this small species very charming and easy to handle, although they seem to be stressed out so aside from the handling used for these photos (and a few vent shots for sexing), I will be leaving these to their own devices for the next week or so.

Golden Gecko Gekko ulikovskii handling enclosure vietnamese vietnam Golden Gecko Gekko ulikovskii handling enclosure vietnamese vietnam Domino Cockroach Roaches Therea petiveriana bernthardi question mark

I have the pair set up in a 40L storage tub, with topsoil substrate, live spiderplant, and some coconut halves/pvc piping as hide spots. A small plastic dish of water is included to keep humidity up - gecko species are similar to chamelons and tend to only drink from dew droplets and condensation. Heating is provided by a side-mounted heatpad, and I have thrown in a few Green Banana Cockroaches as livefood for the next few days.

The rest of the zoo seems to be doing well. Unfortunately I had to buy in some tiny crickets this week (which I try to steer clear of since noisey escapees are inevitable) as one of my fruitfly cultures crashed and left my Congo Green Mantids hungry. Hopefully I shall have more cultures up and running next week. My numerous Domino Cockroach nymphs are beginning to mature into adult form however, which is when they gain their striking patterning. If all goes well, I should have nymphs of these available soon!

I hope you enjoyed the update, if you would like further information feel free to contact me,
Paul Edmondson

SUNDAY, 12 JUNE 2012 >>

"Rhinoclemmys makeover"

I had some time to work on my turtle setups this week. The Wood Turtles' (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa) enclosure was treated to a wealth of new plants, including spiderplants, creeping figs, a eucharis orchid, irish moss, russian knotweed and a variety of ferns. I've put a picture of the tank up to show how it's all growing in, it's really starting to look like a jungle in there now.

I added 12 more White Cloud Mountain Minnows to the Red Eared Slider enclosure as the schools of fish were becoming slim, and having a larger population of them ensures that they feel more secure and that each is picked on less. I removed the slider before I acclimated them, and then allowed them explore the tank for a further hour before she was returned. The slider enclosure is really starting to mature now, with the Royal Fern growing nicely. I'm still debating whether to plant the fern into the planter basking area, or keep it in the pot, I'm concerned that the soil will release a lot of nitrates into the water and cause the algae to spiral out of control. I'm sure the Flying Foxes would appreciate the extra food but it makes maintenance a lot more time consuming.

Chinese Softshell Turtle Pelodiscus Sinensis Trionyx Red Eared Slider pond Trachemys scripta elegans trootsi aquarium setup Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa manni enclosure tank aquarium vivarium Honduran wood Turtles

My Chinese Softshell, Pancake, is turning into quite a beast, and is next on the list for a tank makeover. His enclosure looks a bit simplistic compared to the rest now, so I'll need to start plotting some ideas to make it more stimulating. Unfortunately depite being a complete carnivore, he still enjoys tearing up any vegetation I put in his tank, so aquascaping it is going to be tricky.

Not much progress on the other zoo occupants this week, all are doing well but I haven't had the time to work on the Rainbow Boa enclosure or the Bullsnake tank, despite a vast array of ideas for both! Both little Musk Turtles are doing well, active as ever, and my Sailfin Mollies received a new aquarium heater, but no fry just yet.

Please enjoy the pictures of the Wood Turtle Enclosure, Terra my Red Eared Slider, and Pancake the Chinese Softshell. All seem to be thriving!
Paul Edmondson

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