View Full Version : Natural tank questions
11-02-2006, 02:48 PM
I am thinking of doing a natural tank for my crestie. I plan on getting one more (so ill have 2 females) in an 18x18x24 tank. I think a natural tank would be better, more appealing to me, and more stimulating for my crestie(s). So, i am a complete newbie to natural tanks.
I know that whatever plants i purchase at the store should not be added to the tank immediatly, I should keep it out of the tank for around a month. I have already purchased a "lucky bamboo". What other plants are ok in a crestie enclouser....or, is there a list of "dont" plants?
2nd question, how would I clean it? Or since it is all natural, its self cleaning?
3rd question, what natural substrate can I use?
4th question, what wattage and brand of a UV light should I purchase?
Sorry for so many questions. Oh, and I would prefer not to have to order anything online. I have a Petsmart, reptile wrangler, super pet, and other similar pet stores.
11-02-2006, 03:14 PM
first off with a natural tank I would not put any type of plant that produces a berry of any sort since it could be toxic and kill them. As far as plants to put in you could use, pothos, ficus, snake plants, ivy. Ive had pretty good luck with all of these. In terms of cleaning with only two being in there I would not think that you have to clean it that often but it all depends on the animal ya know. I tear mine apart completley about every three months or so depending on how the tank is doing. I use coco fiber for substrate and just mix it up all the time and pull the crap out whenever I see it and wipe the plants down if they go on them. I use florescent ligths on mine just plain old ones that I use to use for my fish since these guys don't need light anyway. hope this helps some
11-02-2006, 06:53 PM
ditto to what dragonflames said.
1. i use pothos, bromeliads, orchids, dracenas, anything that doesnt ooze something, and that is sturdy enough not to get crushed. take a trip to home depot, and drop like 20$ on plants there. heavily hose off the foliage, because they use fertilizers and chemicals that you dont want in your geckos. then break all the dirt away from the roots and replant it. they use mirical grow and perlite which i HATE. leave the re-potted plant in the pot for a few days, to adjust to the tramua it just experienced while you go out into your yard and find some bug. pull out worms, rolly pollys [pill bugs/isopods] and put them in your tank. if youd like to, buy an african black milipede and some roaches and put those in too. theyll eat up the extra gecko food, poop and keep the place clean.
2. since bugs rock, and plants have benficial stuff. hahah, you really dont need to clean it. get a straight razor, and scrape the glass of poo as needed, and occasionally stir the dirt around. thats all it really needs.
3. id suggest using coir [ground coconut fiber], or peat moss, or a mix. both dont have large chunks like orchid bark, which i dont like, and they hold humidity well. if you only want to set up your cage once, and not tear it down every 3 months, stop by the hydro grow shop. pick up a bag of hydroton, and cocomatt, which is coconut fiber pressed into matt form. layer hydroton, then cover it with the matt, under your dirt, to create drainage for your plants. IF you wanted to go all out you could get an air stone and pump and create a bare minimums deep water culture. if that was the cage, you would cut a hole in the cocomat so your roots could access the hydroton directly, but for our intents and purposes of drainage, its really not neccisary, and it gets dirt in the hydroton.
so you have your dirt full of worms and bugs, and your plants and your drainage [optional] set them up, with a bunch of pieces of cork and some logs, i prefer like grapevine [which will mold/rot if its constantly exposed to moisture] or cork branches, or things like that. you can use dried bamboo, but the crickets will crawl inside and hide. you can even get some live moss, free it of bugs, and place it not directly under the lights, on the cool side of the cage.
4. if youre going to get a light, you might as well get a uvb light. you can get the fixture at home depot, and a cheap-o timer. i personally use reptisun 5.0s. its not neccisary, but its benifical, and i find it works well.
if you really want to througly leech the plants, then give them nothing but water for however long, and that will help get more of the bad stuff out. OR you can just go to an organic nursery where they dont just pesticides or fertilizers.
if you want to see pictures of my set ups, just drop me a line. hope this helps.
bleeding_sarcasm, what orchids do you use???
11-05-2006, 01:41 PM
phalaneopsis and catyleyas mostly, but i think just about anything will work, as long as they are sturdy, and dont have fragine leaves and stems. dendrobiums probably wont work as well. we kept a vanila orchid in with our ciliatus for a long time.
I have orchids and it would be great if I could keep them in with my geckos. Could you tell me more about your orchid set ups? Where you have them, how you "plant/place" then, temps, lighting, watering, and humidity? I might actually get mine to rebloom. lol
11-09-2006, 04:28 PM
i am actually researching how to put them in as we speak, i have a small collection on my patio, and i want to mount them on the cork that i have siliconed to the top 1/2 of the cage. so they will be getting the majority of the light and i wont be soaking them. so if anyone wants to chime in with links for how to mount orchids on cork, i would greatly apreciate it.
11-10-2006, 11:47 AM
Hello....I too am new, but this is my tank (I took some pics and will be posting them at some point).
I have a 10 gallon glass tank that used to be my fish tank (1/2 the price of those sold as "reptile") and a wire screen topper that makes it double in height. I got mine for about $30 at Petco. It's nice for 2 reasons...The main one is that it's easy to take off and put on (had 2 clips). I also have plastic vines hanging from it and they love climbing around in them and many time find my 2 sleeping in them. Since it's winter time and I don't ahve the heat on all the time I have a night time bulb on top of the topper for some heat and it doesn't get too hot in there.
At the bottom I have a planted pothos, a moveable branch (from Petco) that has wire in it so can bend and be more flexible), a cork log, coconut fiber for substrate (that I stir every couple of days with a chopstick), a "stone" water dish and a food dish. I know you don't want to do a lot of shopping online, but I did find a food ledge for $15 that you can either tape or use strong magnets to hold to the side. I paid the couple dollars extra for the magnets, that way you can move it around. Found it at pangea.com It came in the mail a couple days ago and I love it. No more substrate getting into the food.
I've looked around for "bigger" tanks, but can't find anything I really like or that isn't the same size or smaller than what I have for a lot of money. I'm trying to talk my dad into building me one I design for Christmas.
11-10-2006, 01:23 PM
Just a thought with orchids-
phalaneopsis might be the best from a light standpoint but I would worry a bit about damage to their roots or flower runners.
dendrobiums would be great as most have 'stalks' the cresteds can explore however, they need a bit more light. You could winter the Dendrobium inside and summer them outside as they need a cool down period. Check for bugs before bringing them in of course.
Bulbophylums is another orchid that you may wish to investigate.
The one thing I would really stay away from with mixing orchids and cresteds is that sometimes the orchids come with a coconut 'chip' mix rather than a bark mix. These chips are meant to absorb water and keep the orchid roots most until they dry out again. If the chips are too small, this could be an issue with the geckos injesting them. One solution might be to try the clay pellets used in hydroponics.
11-11-2006, 01:04 AM
thanks for the suggestions. i wasnt going to plant my orchids in soil at all, and free the roots from whatever substrate they were in and do the sphagnum moss thing.
my friend aneesasmuse and i are going to the flower mart in the city to cruise for flowerless orchids for cheap. and then shes going to show me how to mount them on the cork. ill post pics later!
11-11-2006, 06:13 AM
You might want to read this thread for tips on natural substrate http://www.forums.repashy.com/showthread.php?t=1252
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.