Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The dreaded cage cleaning

I figured, since I did a cleaning of Gex's cage on Saturday, I should blog about it. There's several levels of cage cleaning, starting with picking up the poop and uneaten food daily. If you do that regularly, you probably won't have to do a take-everything-out cleaning more than once/twice a year. It's also important to keep your pet's food and water dishes clean. This can be done weekly, but to reduce the risk of salmonella (a whole nother post), don't do it in the sink. Put some hot water in a special tub and do the washing there. If you do use the sink, be sure to wipe it afterwords with a bleach solution.

Even with all this, it's a good idea to do a thorough cleaning once a year. With larger tanks, it's much easier to do in the summer outside with a hose. Basically, you're going to remove all the substrate, clean the sides/bottom of the tank, wash the furnishings, and put everything back in as close to the original location as possible. Use soap and bleach, but be sure to rinse it all away so it doesn't harm your herps. You'll need to have a place to keep your herps while you clean, and an older, smaller tank or Rubbermaid tub with part of the lid replaced with screen works nicely.

I'm going to post some photos later.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Baby Froggie!

That's what little friend M calls Trogdor. She calls Jeremy her daddy, which is most certainly is not. I have been informed by my sister that J looks like Joe Namath.

So I'm at the kidlets' house this week. They are fascinated by Trogdor and his crickets in a box. Hopefully, they won't try to get him out of his travel box (plastic tub with part of the lid replaced by screen) when I'm not looking and the cats will leave him alone. The lid latches, so I'm not worried about the cats getting him out, just about them stressing him out.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Update schmupdate

1. Watching two very fun kids next week. Hopefully I won't want to kill them, although I do think my tubes may just up and tie themselves.
2. Trogdor just went through his second shed and is very pretty. Found a foot-shaped piece of skin in his tank, which was just odd.
3. Meeting with a baker on Saturday with the boy about a cupcake tree for the wedding.
4. Paid off Exploration Place (well, Jeremy did, but he hasn't put out any cash for the shindig yet, so it's all good).
5. Considering getting a short (!) haircut after the wedding. I want a spiff updo, so that's why the wait. That, and I'm a hair wuss.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Getting to know you

(This is a herp post)

First, a PSA:
Dear Jerkface,
If you order two geckos, please don't leave them sitting at the post office for 2 days! That's not very nice.

Second: The Point
The point is, taking proper care of a reptile involves a lot of research, pre and post purchase. Obviously, first you have to decide what type of herp appeals to you: snakes, lizards, frogs, whatever. I like lizards, followed by snakes. Then you'll need to limit yourself to a few species. Ideally, a beginner should pick a species that is readily available, captive-breed, and not too pricey (it's best to start with something inexpensive until you get the hang of reptile keeping). Next, break out the books. You'll find info online, at the libary, at the zoo...it's all out there. You should look for information about the herp's natural habitat (where in the world is it found, is it a desert animal or tropical, etc), about captive keeping (temperature, size of enclosure, need for UV lighting, food), and temperment (handleable or not).

So now you should know which species best suits you. Dont ever buy something just because it's cool- you must know how to care for it properly. If you don't do your research, your herp will die. Period. You must know at the minimum, the basics- heat, light, food, water, humidity, size of enclosure.

Once you bring your new pet home, don't stop researching. Keep up with the latest info on the species. However, now's the time to learn through observation. All reptiles are different, and all have different needs. Assuming you've set up your tank correctly, deviations from the norm are probably just the way your dragon is. If it's eating, pooping, and shedding on a regular basis, it's likely OK. You can learn what food your herp prefers- does the beardie like nastursiums better than collards for instance. Also, by handling your herp regularly (if it will tolerate it), you can keep a better eye on it's health.