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  1. #1
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    Default Crested hatchling tank - naturalistic setup


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    My project for the next couple of months is to change the nursery tank a bit. It was filled with pothos, which makes it really hard to keep track of who's in there. The stuff grows so fast that it has to be cut back every two months.
    A few weeks ago I saw some Jewel Orchids for sale. I remembered seeing them in some pictures that Marisa posted. As well, I'd had them many years ago as houseplants, loved them, and just knew I could use them in the nursery.

    It's a 65 gallon tank, not the size normally recommended for hatchlings. In 12 years of breeding cresties I've never had a problem with hatchlings starving because they couldn't find their food in such a big tank. They know it's in the coconut shell, even find it if I have to move it somewhere else for whatever reason.







    And some of the hatchlings living in the tank.
    Busy sleeping, wishing I'd go away.


    Only a day old, but already nosy enough to follow me around the tank.

    Thanks Jaredjestes thanked for this post

  2. #2
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    Really nice set-up! In nature they have no border walls so larger would seem best to offer and let the individual gecko determine their own boundries. Your hatchlings are cute by the way.
    Andi - Gray Sky Exotics
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    Likes Elizabeth Freer liked this post

  3. #3
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    Love it! The setting reminds me of the fall with all the darker colored leaves all in all its a great setup and is housed by some cute hatchlings.

  4. #4
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    I thought I'd post an update on the Jewel Orchids in the crested gecko nursery.
    As you can see, they're doing well.

    One of the flower spikes starting.


    The spikes are longer than I remember from the ones I had years ago. They're up to the top of the tank and bent when they hit the screen top.



    I noticed a brown leaf hanging in the flowers ....


    .... and was about to remove it .... but changed my mind.

    This guy is about 2 months old, so you have an idea how tiny the flowers are.

    There are still 4 plants that haven't bloomed, so I might just have flowers until spring.

    If you want to look up the care info, the name is Ludisia discolor.
    Likes Elizabeth Freer liked this post

  5. #5
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    nice looking orchid and cute hatchling!
    geckos from around the world...

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    Hilde ~

    These jewel orchids and your hatchling jewels are just loverly . Great thing to have in your tanks these Winter months.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

  7. #7
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    Hilde, I love the setup! I have a question, though. How do you deal with hatchlings of different sizes? Or do you have a large enough volume that they are all one size? I feel like if I put all my hatchlings together they would bully each other.

    Also, how high humidity do the orchids require? I always thought high humidity all the time wasn't best.

    I really want to make a tank like this eventually, any advice is appreciated!
    TS
    ~Levi Storks
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  8. #8
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    These orchids don't need the high humidity that some of the showier species need. They're terrestrial, which generally goes hand-in-hand with lower humidity. They're also low light plants, so they do well in a terrarium.

    As for the hatchlings, they get along. I try to limit it to around 20 at a time. As the older ones grow, they are moved out to other enclosures - usually 15-20 gallon size in groups of 3 or 4. Again, they get moved to larger enclosures or smaller groups as they grow.
    The ones in this nursery have lots of hiding places so they all have their own personal space. The very young ones don't move around much to begin with, so as long as they can feel secure, there's no reason for a confrontation. There's ample food, and with 2 feeding stations, 4 or 5 can eat at one time. I've watched them for hours day and night, never saw a sign of any problem.

    I've raised hatchling cresties like this for over 10 years, very rarely do I have one that seems to need individual housing. It almost seems to me like they prefer small groups, maybe it's a 'safety in numbers' thing. If you're alone when a predator shows up, you have a good chance of being dinner. If you're in a group, the odds of somebody else being on the menu are a lot better. I do see them hanging out close together during the day, neighbouring leaves, sometimes two will share a leaf, but there's no sign of aggression.

    I think the key is lots of personal space for them - 2 in a critter keeper would be way more cramped than these guys in a thickly planted 65 gallon tank. They can hide in the plants, and under the leaf litter, under bark or in plain sight if they want. In critter keepers or small tanks they are very limited in what they can do. The more chance they have of natural behaviour - exploring, climbing, hiding, etc, the less stress they'll have.

  9. #9
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    Oh, cool! I'm going to have to get me some of those...

    Ok, that makes entire sense. I actually love keeping my babies in group, I feel like when I put them in groups they grow so much faster. I think space is a vital part of growing nice healthy geckos. All of my ones that have been in groups longer grow faster and more robust. So the oldest babies would probably be the ones almost 2 inches, or larger?

    Thanks so much!
    TS
    ~Levi Storks
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