March 7, 2020
A Quick Overview of Common Reptile and Amphibian Pets
If you are interested in keeping reptiles or amphibians as pets, you probably have some questions. And it's a good idea to get those questions answered before you make a purchase. Here is some basic information on types of reptiles kept as pets, and care tips.SnakesSnakes are lovely creatures, and many times it's tempting to buy on impulse. But research first to make sure the snake you want is not going to grow too big, or require a diet that makes you squeamish. Feeding your snake crickets is entirely different than feeding a live rabbit, for instance. The following are general tips, but make sure you have the space, time, and temperament for the kind of snake you are getting.Keeping snakes warm is important. Experts do not recommend electric "hot rocks," as these only heat the area of the snake's body that is touching it. Instead, snakes need radiant heat. You can use a shop light-like lamp or radiant heat panels with attached thermostat to make sure your snake's habitat is the right temperature.Bedding can be newspaper or newspaper covered in rubber mats - but not just any rubber mat. According to experts, the best kind of mat is the stuff you see in public swimming pool changing rooms and health club shower stalls. It consists of rubber squares in a waffle pattern held up on dozens of rubber pegs.LizardsLike snakes, there are many types of lizards. The most common ones are iguanas, bearded dragons, and geckos. So the following tips cover those species.Like snakes, all lizards need warmth. UVB lighting is also important. Radiant heat, not heat rocks or hot surfaces, are the best way to heat your lizard's tank. UVB lamps should be on about 12 hours a day.Iguanas prefer a vegetarian diet consisting mostly of leafy greens (ignore outdated information about feeding your iguana animal protein). Geckos and bearded dragons like a mix of greens, vegetables, and insects. Don't forget water. A shallow dish should have fresh water in it at all times. TurtlesThe most common kind of turtle people keep as pets is the red slider turtle. Often the size of a silver dollar when purchased, these guys can get pretty big - up to 12 inches long. If you can't accommodate one this big in a tank, consider a pond or a smaller species! Here are some turtle-keeping tips.Your tank can begin at a standard 10 gallons, but as it grows, you will need a larger one (and an even larger one!). You can use large plastic storage bins instead of aquariums, sources say.Water for a red slider needs to be about two times as deep as your turtle's length. A 2-inch turtle will need about 4 inches of water, in other words. But your turtle needs more than water; it also needs a basking area and some gravel sloping down to the water area.
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