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  1. #1
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    Default New tokay owner: need some advice and clarification


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    Hey everybody! I am new to this site, and to the world of geckos. After many years and many arachnids, I decided to diversify my collection and picked up a Tokay off an acquaintance who was not caring about it or for it. I have him set up in a temporary enclosure while I sort out what I really need here, with the help of you fine people. I have a lot of questions..

    The first one, about feeding. I have a roach colony from which I feed my tarantulas (B. giganteus). Because not much is known about tarantula nutrition, and rumors that calcium is not good for them, I have never gut loaded before. I bought a separate bin to start doing this for my gecko, and I am going to follow the recipe in Maurice's gut-loading sticky in the feeder forum. I read all I could find on this topic, but I am confused about a couple things. One, since this recipe contains calcium + D3, can I assume this meets requirements and I don't have to dust them with the powder (which is what I do for my turtle)? I also have reptile vitamin powder, do I still have to dust with this? If so, how often?

    I have had this guy for four days. He was stressin' out and I left him alone for a couple days, but since then I have tried twice to feed him, with roaches and mealworms and he has not gone for either. Is this normal... in how long would not eating become an issue? I was trying to tong-feed, I worry that if i let the roaches loose in the enclosure they will hide :/

    Now about humidity and heat. The temporary enclosure has coconut fibre and husk with moss on top as substrate, a couple plants, and plenty of vertical hiding spots. Right now it is just being heated to about 85 degrees with a regular (not UV) light bulb, but I worry that this light might be stressing him out and drying the enclosure out too quickly; I've been misting a lot, but the droplets on the side and the moss seem to be dry in less than a half hour. But i've been keeping the coco stuff moist, there are springtails living in it.

    Is this alright as a temporary enclosure for maybe a few weeks until I can upgrade him to a way bigger and better tank?

    I have more questions about the final enclosure but this is already so long and I'll let you guys answer these questions for now

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Aimless's Avatar
    Aimless is offline Super Moderator
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    if he has good, secure places to hide the light should be OK for the time being. to help humidity stay up, possibly cover most of the top with foil. lights will dry things out, though.

    tong-feeding could be stressing him out. you might try putting the roaches in something smooth-sided, like one of the ziploc or glad containers, so your tokay can find them easily late at night when you're sleeping (idea graciously given by Ethan).

    for diet, I know what I do and it works well, but there are more experienced people here that should be able to clarify for you as far as the supplements. I gutload carefully, and while the tokays are growing I also dust about 1/2 the time, but taper this off at adulthood and just continue the gutload. I think some people continue to dust, but it's all about balancing with what the roaches are eating, IMO? roaches have a good C:P ratio inherently and I don't really want to mess with that too much where it's not needed.

    so far it seems that you're ok; can you post a photo of the enclosure?
    Morelia spilota harrisoni * Liasis fuscus * Liasis mackloti * Liasis mackloti savuensis * Anteresia maculosa * Python regius * Gekko gecko * Rhacodactylus leachianus * Correlophus ciliatus * Blaesodactylus boivini

  3. #3
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    billewicz is offline Senior Member
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    So, first off, welcome to our little Tokay community.

    As to you first round of questions, I dust every time. New arrivals, gravid females and their prodigy are the intended targets but invariably the male that's pair up gets his dose too.

    Also, place the roach cup right next to the vertical hide he/she is hanging out in, and at the same time if possible, up against the glass. You're trying to put the feeder right under it's nose so it does not have to go far to get them. And staying vertical while hunting is very important for Tokay. Basically don't put the bowl or container out in the middle, in open space.

    You can skip the meal, super and wax worms, etc. They just do not move fast enough to get the attention of most Tokay. This can be true for some roaches as well. Also, this Tokay probably has only had crickets served to it so it may not be happy with the roaches just yet.

    For finicky Tokay raised or boarded on crickets only, I'll mix in roaches for a while. I like Rusty Reds, ( Blatta laterals ) because they are faster and more visible over Dubia's, and do not burrow under the substrate.

    Letting the water dry out in between misting's is OK for Tokay. You can pour some water into the substrate for the Springtails if needed. You do want good ventilation and high humidity. Mist early in the morning and just before lights out, or twilight which is when they tend to come out most to drink, eat, etc.

    Give your Tokay some time to settle down. Tong and hand feeding will come a few months down the road once it figures out your comings and goings and relates your actions with din-din in stead of capture.

    And please continue to work through the various older posts on these subjects as they have been commented on extensively.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    Michael's Tokay Hoard @ www.billewicz.com
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the helpful replies, guys. When I get camera access, I'll post a picture.
    He doesn't seem to be interested in roaches yet... I put the cup under his hide, and found him in the middle of the night with his face in the cup; he attacked and killed the three roach nymphs but didn't eat them
    bought some crickets last night, they've been gut loading and will feed them tonight and hope this sparks his interest. Should I let them roam and hop all over the tank and let him hunt, or rip off their jumping legs and put them in a cup lol?.. I love playing God.

    Now I am in the process of building his final enclosure. I got a 75 gallon tank that I am converting vertical, going to make a custom background and etc. I am thinking about heating now.... i've read a lot of Under tank heating being best, as it distributes heat evenly through the enclosure and dries out saturated soil. I worry about this though, because I am a big fan of microfauna as janitors (my final tanks always have isopods, springtails, little earthworms and millipedes) who all require a damp substrate and I'd rather not continually dry it out and have to re-moisten it. I have a really long heat cable thingie that I was thinking I would coil all over the back of the enclosure (behind the great stuff background, because straight against glass it gets too hot) Do y'all think that would be okay?

    this forum is awesome and using the search function has given me a lot of inspiration and information. wee!
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  5. #5
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    billewicz is offline Senior Member
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    I use a heat pad, tape or rope under about half of the enclosure so that I get the evaporation from the soggy substrate, especially during the 'rainy' season. Although your Springtails don't mind a flood, the isopods and red wigglers do.

    I tend to dry a section that includes the area under the vertical hide so any Tokay laying low within does not get tail rot. (Regardless of how tall the enclosure is, I've noticed certain Tokay, especially one of the paired ones will stay low in the hide leaving their tail tip to lay on the substrate.) The other part of the floor stays damp so the isopods can rummage.

    You will have the luxury of micro-tuning your enclosure and can pay very close attention to what works for you. Having almost 200 enclosures here, I can't tweak them all. I tend to have more under heat during the rainy season where I'm misting 3 to 4 times a day to offset the extra accumulation of water. It's a balance for me to vaporize most of the water without over heating the enclosure since that time of year is cooler in Indonesia.

    If I ever rebuild the enclosure rooms I'll install a drain system.

    As to your crickets, you can put them in a glass/plastic container as well but do not pull the legs. If Tokay liked stationary targets, we could feed freeze dried insects. They respond to motion.

  6. #6
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    The D3 content of that formula is small enough to prevent toxic levels even when used in combination with a calcium + D3 dusting schedule.

    The primary reason for its inclusion is to provide at every meal a small level of the vitamin that can't be groomed off by the feeder insect.

    I have used the diet in combination with dusting and without, some species do fine with nothing by way of dusting, others need a bit more.

    It was my intention to devise a safe lower limit and I believe that the measure listed achieved just that.

    Maurice Pudlo
    To learn and to teach

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