July 2012

July 2012

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.

TUESDAY, 24 JULY 2012 >>

"It started with a Slider..."

Fourteen years ago today, my adventure into exotic pet care began with a hatchling Red Eared Slider.

The turtle in question is still going strong, and despite my interest in exotic pets snowballing since, she's remained at the heart of every animal-related thing I do, and holds pride of place in the reptilarium. I've had plenty of trouble with her over the years, and today she is still remarkably small for her age, but I've learned a heck of a lot about turtles and exotics along the way, and the experience has fuelled a lot of the work I've done since.

Like a lot of people, I followed the advice of the pet shop when trying to care for my first turtle, which amounted to nothing more than a small plastic tank, a couple of inches of water, and freeze dried shrimp for food. With no heater, filter, basking light, and an incorrect diet, my Slider didn't do a great deal of growing, or even swimming, but after I found a reliable book on their care, I began trying to create the best possible habitat for her. Hopefully they'll be many more turtle 'birthdays' to come!

young red eared slider trachemys scripta elegans terrapin ear red eared slider first pet trachemys scripta elegans terrapin ear Chinese softshell Turtle trionyx pelodiscus sinensis china bask basking area sunbathing does need

Celebrations aside, I've also been working on other odd jobs around the reptile room, including a new basking area for my Chinese Softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis). It's a simplistic structure, but took a while to get the placement right, and should also give me space to grow various Chinese-native water plants, without compromising the turtle's swimming space.

I've also been working to create an LED lighting system to illuminate my Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) setup during the day, although hopefully it will develop into something slightly more elaborate in the near future once I get the hang of things. I've also been making space for some Killifish species when I get the time, as the more I learn about them, the more fascinating they seem to get.

I've also added a new plant species to the shop, the Kangaroo Vine (Cissus antarctica), which I hope will appeal to the keepers of some Australian animals. It's a really attractive climber, and reasonably drought tolerant, so should withstand drier vivarium conditions. All are home-grown by myself from seed, and there are a few other species which should be available when they're a little more grown on.

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

TUESDAY, 10 JULY 2012 >>

"Breeding pair progress!"

After a long time searching, I finally managed to get hold of a male Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) to pair with my existing female!

The pair have been together for about a week now, and I even managed to record a *grainy* webcam video of them interacting at night. Both are feeding well, although it's become a challenge to try and make sure each gets a fair share of mealworms or roaches!

I've been wanting to establish captive breeding of Tokays since I purchased my female 5 years ago. They're amazing creatures, but unfortunately tend to be 'wild caught', with few people breeding them in captivity. Now the traditional medicine trade in South East Asia has become a major threat to their native populations, with many falsely claiming that they provide a cure for HIV and AIDS.

The new male is slightly more green and somewhat smaller than my female, who is particularly chunky, and although he seemed intimidated during her night-time investigations, neither have shown any aggression. Since the female was already established in the vivarium, I did swap some of the decorations to hopefully disrupt any sense of "territory" she may have had.

tokay gekko gecko, male female adult juvenile, captive care, pair couple trio tokay gekko gecko, male female breeding, captive care, pair couple trio honduran central american wood turtle, rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa, manni, incisia, painted mexican red legged wood turtle tortoise, planted vivarium habitat enclosure terrarium, water bathing soaking area pond

I've also been working away on my Honduran Wood Turtle (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa) enclosure, adding a new Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) to grow around the pond area, and playing around with building my a DIY filter, in preparation for a large wet-dry cascade filter I have planned to keep the water clean and fresh.

Lastly, some of you may have noticed the new Review! section of the site. It took a while to implement, but I'll be steadily adding new reviews of books, food and equipment which I've used or am using with my animals.

If you would like further information on this update, or anything else on the site, feel free to email me,
Paul Edmondson

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