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Good techniques for raising your new hatchlings

This is thankfully pretty straightforward:

  • First step is on hatching to transfer to the new gecko to the nursery container. The first type I use is a medium sized Exo Terra Faunarium.

medium faunarium

  • I place folded up kitchen rolls on the floor as a substrate. Add two milk bottle tops - one with the calcium/food mix and the other with water. No food tray at this point. A small exo terra hide and a moist hide I make from small sealable containers from ASDA with damp sphagnum moss inside them.
  • Transfer of the hatchling is fairly simple. I place the hatchling incubation container in the Faunarium and encourage the hatchling to leave - this involves hissing screeching and biting! LOL - they will leave eventually though. TIP - if you have a particularly stubborn hatchling who won't climb out use a spoon. Put a nice shiny spoon in front of their face - the site of their huge reflected face pretty much spurs them into action. - Despite having a nice hide you will find they will jam themselves behind anything suitable at the rear of the tank for a few days.
  • The hatchlings will not eat for about a week. They will go through their first shed first. This shed can also leave some problems with retained skin. Use the advice in the health section on how to assist the gecko removing this skin if it occurs.
  • After a week I add a Brandessa Conserve jam jar lid ( from ALDI which I have found to have deep enough sides to prevent mealworms escaping) with the micro mealworms in it suitably dusted. After a few days you should start seeing faecal matter in the tank - good sign - they are eating!!
  • After 2-3 weeks start monitoring the size of the hatchlings - if one of them looks smaller than the others - food bullying "might" be occurring or the hatchling simply doesn't realise the mealworms are food. Try holding a wriggling worm in front of the hatchling with a tweezers - very often they just need to be "taught" that these things are actually food. If one of the hatchlings does seem not to be growing as fast as the others, I have successfully kick started them with the smallest Waxworms I can find in my food stock. they are so soft that the hatchlings will manage them fine - they are invariably greedy then, having had some food they want more food whatever it may be; and tend to take to the mealworms in short order. Do not provide Waxworms too frequently at this stage only 1-3 MAXIMUM on just one occasion or you will inevitably doom yourself to a waxie addict!
  • At about 10-12 grams in weight their food becomes regular sized mealworms exclusively
  • I keep a maximum of four hatchlings in this size Tank until they reach about 12-16 grams in weight - at that size they go 2 to a tank. At this size their moist hide goes up to a larger sized ASDA container.
  • When they reach about 30 grams (if I still have them or that long) they go 3 to a tank in the Large sized faunariums. At this size their moist hide is made from a cricket food tub to accommodate them.

Large faunarium

  • I clean, water and feed every 2 days or so.

It's that simple.

Oh - the heating is taken care of with a long narrow heat mat - commonly called a snake mat at the rear of the small faunariums -on a shelf where they are kept. This makes it nice and warm at the rear and cooler at the front  - a good gradient.

As for handling and health - refer to the appropriate sections of the site for more information.

F. Passaro

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