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CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet Help?

Discussion in 'Rhacodactylus' started by Amirra, Sep 28, 2008.

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  1. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Hey all I went to a Florida Expo today and got a Crestie, 3 weeks old, in the middle of a shed (I can see the shed peeled up from the tip of the nose). He's spunky, active, enjoys crawling on my hand, etc...:) So HAPPY!!!

    I have a twice misted 10 gallon tank, climbing branches, a corner mesh hammock, magnet hide rock, water bowl, and a shallow 1/2 inch deep dish of banana baby food mixed with reptolife plus by Tetrafauna that says "for all reptiles". Using paper towel as substrate, with a screen top.

    I'm confused about the food. I read some other posts on this Rhacy Forum about using the CGD vs any thing else, esp. babyfood. But the breeder I bought from at the Expo told me she uses baby food with the CGD mixed in and supplements and crix are optional. I also bought and read a book a couple months ago about CGs:

    Crested Geckos by Adam Black: A complete guide to Rhacodactylus (Publisher: T.F.H) (The cover is black and orange and has the head of a fire CG morph)

    And there is a whole section on diet that says baby food is okay, listing favorite flavors breeders recommend. It talks about the importance of supplements and how baby food needs to be mixed with them, not given alone. It even gives a supplemented baby food recipe for one week at a time:

    25 ml turkey baby food
    177ml fruit baby food (says banana, apricot, papaya, guava are favorites)
    2.5ml powdered calcium supplement w/ vitamin D3
    1.3ml powdered multivitamin supplement <<COULD THIS BE THE CGD??>>

    My CONCERN is that since the breeder said she raised hers on baby food mixed with CGD and Reptolife that it would be okay to do the same, but there are conflicting views about the horrors of baby food posted. Is baby food all that bad if it is supplemented? This "official" CG book is all for it as well as the breeder I bought from, and all her reptiles were active and healthy.

    And syringe vs plate of food: Do they even feed off the floor? I thought they wouldn't but the breeder said hers do, no prob.

    Any extra tips or links about Crested geckos for a newB CG owner would be greatly appreciated. My main questions are Where are the best places for food and water locations in tank, What type of food/ water containers are best, cheapest, most practical? How is the CGD prepared? Is it a powder that turns into a goo with water? He is licking water droplets from the misting job it did, so at least he is drinking. Is it common for a CG to not eat for a couple days out of stress of moving to a new home? Top priority now is getting my adorable little guy to eat, drink and be merry. lol :)

    Thanks to all!
     
  2. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    I think one of the biggest concerns about the baby food is all the sugar added as well as all the chemical preservatives that are included. Some people will get past this by buying organic baby food.

    They will eat out of a shallow dish. I had to learn by trial and error. I started off with ramekins that would hold about 1/4cup. I realized that with these I was either wasting a LOT of food, or it was too deep for the crestie to be interested. I then started with just a water dish type bowl on the floor of the tank and this didn't seem to go over well either. After a few other tries what I finally figured out that works is the little bottle caps from coke or water bottles. I fill those about half-way and keep it in the cage on the back wall about half-way up. This seems to work really well for me.

    When I first got mine I was concerned about him not eating. (I didn't realize that they don't eat massive amounts of food each night) and so I would do the syringe trick with just putting a little drop on his nose and letting him lick it off. I think this actually really helped get him to trust me. We spent a lot of time together the first couple of weeks I had him.

    best places I have found for my tank- food off the ground, water - on the ground in the middle (you get a little evaporation to help with humidity but not so much that it drys the dish out to fast)

    Anything like plastic bottle caps, or I have heard people use milk container caps, baby food jars, ect. You just want something that isn't very deep. I would also suggest not getting something very wide because the more the food spreads out the faster it dries out.

    CGD comes in a few forms. I think most people will agree that T-Rex and Repashy (both made by Repashy) are the best. The Repashy comes in all kinds of flavors and is a little more complicated to mix up (has 2 powders to mix with water). The t-rex comes in banana flavor and all you do is add 1 part powder to 2 parts water and you are done.

    Yes, he might be stressed out. Give him a few days to adjust. If you are really worried you can try the trick with taking a syringe or I actually just used to use a spoon and put a drop of food on his nose and let him lick it off. They don't eat a whole lot. I think my 8 month old only eats about 1/4 teaspoon a night.
    Your Welcome!
     
  3. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Thanks and CG pictures!

    Thanks so much Fire. That really helped. I have to change the water dish type, its too big. And I'll try to use bottle caps instead and start with a syringe.

    Pictures of Jespyr:
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Greetings Amirra-

    Seems Shell has answered your questions so congratulations on your new Crestie!

    FWIW: For my adult pair I feed only baby food supplemented with calcium and multi vitamins. I have nothing against CGD, I just never used it. I feed each one a milk cap full every other night. They get crickets once or twice a week. I have had them now for 5 years or so and they have consistently laid eggs. In fact, I now have 6 offspring! LOL

    I keep the water on the ground and place the milk caps in the back on top of a hide (basically just off the ground). Each night they each come out and eat their entire milk capful.

    Don't worry too much about eating right now. Relocation stress can have that effect on them.

    Enjoy your Rhacy!
     
  5. 30mm

    30mm Elite Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Well seems you are quite set!

    I can answer one of the questions that you had though.

    The best place for Rhac info are the Repashy forums. Excellent source of information and a great group of people.

    Good luck with the little guy!
     
  6. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Thank you all for the expedient replies. Like I said, I am VERY excited. I hope to gain experience with this lil guy and get "it" a companion in the future. :)

    Thank you for all the help!
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Are you talking about the ones that sit freely in the tank or the ones that have half of the rock inside the tank against the glass with the other half outside so it can be removed for viewing inside the "cave"?
     
  8. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Congrats on the new Crested! I wouldn't be too worried about eating, it's hard to tell when small ones have been eating anyway (they really don't eat much). I feed mine a natural diet of one part banana, one part water, and add 1/4 tsp vit with D3 and 1/2 tsp Cal. to every 12oz. I'll also add berries or honey every now and again for something different.
     
  9. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Yes Merlin that is the magnet rock I was referring to: half in half out. I've considered taking it out today because s/he prefers paper towel or hiding in the ridge of the screen lid. Would it be a good idea to take out this rock? I know these rocks were made for leopard geckos (my original occupants) and burrowing species so I figured I had a fat chance of that hide being attractive to Jespyr. My Crestie finished its shed last night so I woke up to a beautiful uniform orange-tan coloring instead of the charcoal color when I purchased him :)

    Got the CGD and a syringe (measured in tsp.) today at Pets Mart. How much tsp of mix/ baby food does a 3 week old normally eat?
     
  10. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Jespyr after shed pics!

    Here he is in his new skin glory, about 3.5 inches total. I posted a pic of his tank for critique. If you notice I propped a soda cap for food against the lizard hammock, and the other, wider white top is positioned against the branch and fake tree. I want to keep it simple until he is older, and then I'll be brave enough to try a more exotic setup.

    Since the pic was taken: added a thermostat, still not sure about rock.
     

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  11. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Yeah I would take it out. I doubt she will use it. I have some ground hides like half logs, an upside down pot bottom. What you can do is add some half longs standing up on end. Just need to find a way to attach it to the tank so it wont fall over when she crawls in it. Also the one thing about that magnet cave. They slam hard and can crack the glass and can also get parts of the gecko in it.
     
  12. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Thanks a bunch!

    Well I went ahead and took the rock thing out. Jespyr seems fine with paper towel for now, but I'm on the lookout for arboreal hides.
     
  13. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Mixed CGD with Banana baby food and syringed it to Jespyr. He willingly ate 10+ licks. Left it in caps for free feeding during night. :)
     
  14. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Greetings Alexa-

    I think your set up is adequate but I would suggest a fake plant or some sort of foliage for him to hide in. They like to be up high and hidden, this gives them comfort and security. I know you want to keep it simple, but surely one plant or vine won't hurt. ;)

    He's a beauty! I just love Cresties!
     
  15. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    I bet you could do a modification of a hide that I made for mine and be really happy with it. I used a large T joint for pvc pipe. I think it's 2" and while I covered mine with silicone and EE, you could just leave it plain. But if you got a small section of pipe and a T joint then you could make a hide that is off the ground. (I would go with like inch and a half or something slightly smaller than the 2". They seem to like the tighter spaces. I also made a tree out of pvc that was REALLY easy, that you could probably use for your tank as well. I will see if I can find my how to thread for ya.
     
  16. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

  17. 30mm

    30mm Elite Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    I agree with Dom, you actually won't need any hides if you have a good thick plant in there for him.
     
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Just to expand on the magnet caves. The main worry is when you move the outside of the cave to look inside and then replace it, the magnet pulling the halves together have caught animal's legs in between the cave and the glass and broken the leg.
    Another one of those "It sounded good in theory" ideas that have some serious drawbacks. I'm glad to hear its out of there.
     
  19. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Yea, the magnet idea is scary. Thanks for the advice Merlin. Maybe I can incorporate the pieces separately in another project one day....

    I checked out the thread from fire: How do you maintain/clean that amazing set up? How often do you have to re-pot your plants?

    I do have a couple pieces of twisted grapevine that would work really well, resembling twisted, dead wood. But, it's been sitting outside for a year now. Can I spray it with the hose and then stick it in the oven at 350 to dry it out like eco-earth?

    And right now J's 10-g tank is horizontal, but I've read of the technique of sitting tank on one end, how do you get the top to stay put when you mount the tank? Do you mount the tank on blocks or something?

    Thanks for all the helpful advice! Jespyr ate from the syringe and pooped on the side of his tank today, all good signs :)
     
  20. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: CG Newbie!! I Am So Excited!! A Little Diet He

    Actually I have been surprised to really only find urates or feces on the ground lately. When I do find them on the "tree" I usually either wipe them off with a wet cloth or use the stream function of the spray bottle to knock it off and then pick it up, and then I just scoop them out from the bottom. The roly polys are doing a good job at keeping the feces to a minimum though. When the waterspots on the glass get bad enough that I have trouble seeing in, I am able to just pull the "tree" out to be able to wipe the glass down with a wet papertowel and then a dry one.

    The plants I have not had to replant yet, but I have not had the best of luck with them either. 2 of the pothos in the cups on the background are actually doing really well, but everything else has died. At the reptile show a couple of weeks ago I picked up some creeping something or other and planted that in various locations, some of it is doing well, some not so much.

    Washing and baking the grapevine should work, just make sure not to bake it too long or it will become brittle.

    To turn the tank into a verticle setup most people will get 2 peices of plexi glass cut. One siliconed into place at the bottom to hold in the substrate, and one siliconed to hinges to open and closed. (hinges would be siliconed to the tank) Although, if I remember correctly you only have a 10gal which will not be big enough for long. Your best bet would be to go out and pick up a 25 or 30 gal tank, or even bigger. Another favorite option is to convert a piece of furniture.
     
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