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 #2301291


Bigfishvi
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 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

Hi there! I came across this forum after looking for any and all information in helping me to raise my Eastern Fence Lizard! After camping in northern Florida, we found her inside of our car (very small, only about 1.5-2 inches head to tail), and i have gone and bought a 5.5 gallon Terra Tank for her along with a silk plant, tree stump hiding place, a water dish, some extra small crickets, a small, 50W Zilla mini halogen heat and light lamp, and some Eco Earth coconut fiber substrate, mixed in with an extremely small amount of calcium substrate (probablyl 10:1 ratio). Substrate is about 1 inch and a half deep. I have several questions though (i have seen mixed reviews on all of these questions and am unsure of what to do):

How many crickets will she need per day? She gobbled down 3 today, but I did not wan to over-feed her due to their seemingly gluttonous nature from what I’ve heard.

How often should I mist the enclosure? Should I mist the entire cage, or only specific parts (such as the silk plant)? I have seen anywhere from once every 2 days to 3-6 times per day on this aspect.

How often should her cage be cleaned? I know they are particularly vulnerable during their infancy.

Does she need some type of UVA/UVB light along with the heat lamp? Or should i choose one or the other (heat lamp or UVB fluorescent light)? If so, will sunlight on the porch for an hour or so suffice until I can get one?

Does she need any other supplements due to her young age such as mineral powder or a water supplement?

Does she need some sort of tall structure/more plants/stones? The tree stump seems to be what she likes to sit on, and it is about 2-2.5 inches above the floor of the substrate and is the current highest point.

Lastly, how long will the 5.5 gallon tank be large enough for her?

Feel free to give me ANY advice, it is all appreciated!! Thank you!



09/22/13  07:28pm

 #2301296


Bigfishvi
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  Message To: Bigfishvi   In reference to Message Id: 2301291


 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

Lastly, one last thing I forgot to add, the heat and lamp light is extremely bright and my lizard seems to be closing her eyes a lot when she basks underneath of it. Does this mean I need a different light, or is this just a basking pose? If not, is there another bulb I should use other than white, such as blue or red?



09/23/13  05:27am

 #2301325


ThesaurusRex
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  Message To: Bigfishvi   In reference to Message Id: 2301291


 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

Hi there!

Congrats on your new lizard. As long as she’s only about an inch long (we like to use snout-to-vent length), I’d recommend against Eco-Earth for now in favor of terrarium liner, or clean newspapers (that and non-toxic paper towels are easy to clean up with). She can accidentally ingest particulates and no matter how ’digestible’ they advertise it, it can still stop her up very, very effectively. Mixing it with calcium substrate is also incredibly unnecessary, but once she’s grown I don’t see the problem.

While they are opportunistic feeders, they really vary depending on the individual. Some will keep stuffing their mouths full of food, but others, like mine, will stop once he’s reached his quota of crickets. She’s tiny, so she’s going to need to eat a lot to gain strength. I’d give her 15-20 pinhead crickets initially, and just see how much of that she eats in 15 minutes. If all of it’s eaten, good. Keep that coming every day. If not, feed the amount she was able to eat from then on. Also I highly recommend that you augment her pinhead crickets with vitamin powder. I recommend Miner-All vitamin powder (as that’s what I use, and it’s the only powder I know of that gives multiple vitamins and minerals instead of just calcium, but does not include phosphorus which is already present in insects). Don’t feed her anything too large, either. The ’golden rule’ of feeding is nothing wider than the space between their eyes.

Yes, they are quite vulnerable as hatchlings. In fact, I can’t say with any degree of certainty that your lizard will survive infancy (but congrats if she does!). You need to keep the terrarium absolutely spotless. Clean up poop on the spot, replace newspaper/paper towel when necessary, and clean off her decor if she gets that dirty. Do not use chemicals. Wash your hands BEFORE as well as after managing her terrarium.

YES, YES YES she NEEDS THE UVB, I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! Diurnal lizards are almost completely dependent on UVB radiation for Vitamin D synthesis and metabolization, without it they will develop Metabolic Bone Disease, their bones will be mushy and cannot grow properly, and if they manage to survive will grow up to be very badly deformed. Get a 10.0 UVB bulb and place it on top of the tank. Baby lizards also need lots of heat so they can keep their fledgling immune system up and going (don’t be too shocked if your new lizard doesn’t make it). I’d usually recommend against leaving a glass terrarium outside, because that’s too much heat and will act like an oven cooking your lizard (which is in fact how someone on this forum lost one of their fence lizards). Leaving it out for an hour though and carefully monitoring it might be different. I suggest getting one of those thermometer strips and placing it inside the terrarium to more closely monitor temperature. Do not let it exceed 100 F. Also note that sunlight on the porch will NOT provide UVB light, as glass filters out UV.

In short you need both a UVB light and a source of radiant heat to keep the terrarium hot.

You do NOT need to mist the enclosure under normal circumstances. Your house provides all the humidity she needs, just place a spot for a small water dish (keep it fresh!). I suppose you should probably mist the silk plant (not sure what that is) regularly to keep it hydrated, but other than that it should be fine.

As long as the terrarium looks visually stimulating (read: not like a bare prison cell. Your setup is alright) and her basking spot is hot enough (around 95 degrees), your terrarium should be fine. The 5.5 gallon will be large enough until by the time she starts becoming an adult, in which you will have to upgrade to a 10 gallon tank.

Also, yes, I would recommend getting a blue light to replace your white one. It’s possible to blind your lizard with the brightness that comes from a light like that.

Let me know if there are any other questions!



09/25/13  01:32am

 #2301329


Bigfishvi
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  Message To: ThesaurusRex   In reference to Message Id: 2301325


 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

Thank you very much! I meant to update on what i had bought yesterday and forgot last night, however, i went out and bought an 18" UVB fluorescent strip light as to not hurt her eyes, a twistable "vine" for her to climb on and get closer to her UVB light, a blue bulb (although that seemed to short out only a few minutes after i got it, so i will have to return and buy another one :/), and a humidity+temp reader. Basking spot is around 95, humidity between 40+60 throughout the day with just a water bowl that is cleaned and changed every day. I will change the Eco-Earth for paper towels this weekend when i get the chance to clean the cage, it seems that she prefers to eat off of her basking spot anyway when the crickets go right under her nose, so I don’t believe she has ingested any of the Eco-Earth. I will also stop mixing it with the calcium substrate :) I’ve noticed that she also stops eating when she has had her fill, and have taken out excess crickets after she was done. I could not get any pinhead crickets, but the extra small ones are indeed smaller than the space between her eyes, and it seems she likes between 2-4 of them a day. I will go to Petco again when i get the chance and see if they have some Miner-All, or another suitable vitamin powder :) I have been cleaning her water dish daily, and will start cleaning her basking spot daily as well. As for outside time, I already got the temperature gauges and UVB strip light, so I don’t need to worry about that. I have both UVB and a light/heat lamp now :)

Thank you so much for the info! I will keep you updated on her condition. She seems to enjoy the higher spots, and can be quite the character when she hangs upside-down from the mesh on top of the terrarium or watches the crickets next to the terrarium in the morning. Thanks again!



09/25/13  10:16am

 #2301348


ThesaurusRex
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  Message To: Bigfishvi   In reference to Message Id: 2301329


 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

No problem! And I’m glad you are willing to be so diligent about your new lizard! You have no idea how rare that is...



09/26/13  04:11am

 #2301355


Bigfishvi
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  Message To: ThesaurusRex   In reference to Message Id: 2301348


 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

I’ve always waned to have a reptile as a pet, so taking care of her is the right thing to do :) If you don’t have the income or the perseverance to keep an animal safe, healthy, and happy, the don’t bother getting one in the first place since it will only have a negative impact on the animal and you will probably end up releasing it to get rid of it. I have swapped out the Eco-Earth for paper towels and cleaned all of the fixtures and her terrarium. I’m hoping my diligence will be enough to help her make it past adolescence!
Thanks again, all of the info was very much appreciated!



09/26/13  04:52pm

 #2301459


ThesaurusRex
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  Message To: Bigfishvi   In reference to Message Id: 2301355


 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

You’re welcome, and thank you! If you have any more questions, you know where to come!



10/01/13  04:15am

 #2305682


LizardLoverGirls
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  Message To: ThesaurusRex   In reference to Message Id: 2301459


 New to Fence Lizards, Advice??

I have 4 ...? Message me TTYL



06/16/14  07:55am


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