March 18, 2011 -
Reptile Facebook Chat
PetSmart hosted a live one hour reptile Q&A with John Gerstenberger, PetSmart’s Merchandising Operations and resident expert on reptiles and other specialty pets, on March 8th.
Check out the full Q&A below. Want more information? You can access reptile care information anytime on our reptile page
or visit your local PetSmart to speak with a Pet Care associate.
Tammy B: Can you please help with what type of vitamins I should be getting? Should it just contain calcium or can it contain all vitamins?
@Tammy: Uromastyx will get most of their nutrition from a proper diet. That said, we recommend you use a calcium dust applied to their food 2-3 times a week
@Tammy: Almost forgot! Equally important to the food, is proper UV lighting which helps synthesize Vitamin D3. Make sure you replace lights according to instructions on the package. (can be as often as every 6 months.)
Melinda V: Are silkworms the most nutritious worm for reptiles?
@Melinda: No, but they make a good supplement. Some of the best insects for nutrition are gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, and super worms.
Rene R: Can crested geckos have wax worms?
@Rene: Yes, but you should limit their consumption as they are high in fat and are best used as a supplement. We recommend feeding wax worms no more than once a week.
Amber C: I was wondering, I have a crested gecko and he HATES crickets. He just has a calcium supplement, some baby food, and crested gecko diet. Is there any safe fruit to give him? He's about a year old.
@Amber: You can try other insects such as small mealworms to see if that stimulates any feeding activity. Regarding fruit, try bananas, papayas, peaches and other (soft) fruits.
Wendi L: My son has a bearded dragon a little over 1 year old. It has recently stopped eating fresh veggies. It still eats crickets and seems healthy. Any thoughts on how to get him to eat again? Also how often should he soak in water?
@Wendi: Dragons are a little like kids, and sometimes they're picky eaters. Don't be alarmed that it's eating more crickets, but be sure to continue to offer the veggies - it will eat them when it's interested in them. Is your beardie soaking in water?
Wendi L: We give him baths. Just wondering how often he should have them?
@Wendi: Baths, while not bad for your beardie, are also not required. Misting (spraying the tank with a spray bottle) the tank once a day lightly and feeding vegetables will keep them properly hydrated.
Tammy B: The lights I have do not say I have to replace them, I have the halogen reptile light, lasts 1 year, has the UVA not sure how to get the UVB, any suggestions?
Kiki C: There are some great Yahoo groups dedicated to specific species, their habitats, nutrition, and mating habits. The group "the Naturalistic Vivarium" is a great resource for amphibian and reptile info. Light bulbs should be replaced every 6 months, as the UVA and UVB rays start to diminish after that point. It's frustrating to throw away a good bulb, but your pet will suffer if it's not getting enough of the proper rays. That is, if it's not a nocturnal lizard.
@Tammy: @Kiki provided some great info! Thanks for the recommendation.
Tammy B: One last question, how long during the day should I leave the light on a 150 watt halogen for my euromastyx?
@Tammy: If you're using the bulb for heating and lighting, generally 10 - 12 hours is the max you should leave it on.
Melinda V: Are the Exo Terra solar glo bulbs the best bulbs to use to act as a basking/UV light since they produce high UV output? Or is there a better brand of bulbs you'd recommend?
@Melinda: These are referred to as combination bulbs (provide UVA/UVB and heat), and are very effective at meeting your reptiles needs.
Ramiro P: I forgot another question, sorry. For the UV light do I just buy any random UV bulb? I need one for a 5" bearded dragon.
@Ramiro: Great question! Actually, you need a UV bulb that is specific for desert/arid environment. This means it has a higher concentration of UV. Popular brands include Zoo Med and Exo Terra.
Ramiro P: What is the smallest tank a full adult bearded dragon can live in?
Lauren M: What size tank would be good for one full grown female red eared slider???
Lauren M: And also would plants be a good idea to put in the tank and if so which kind??
@Lauren: We recommend a tank as big as you can afford - the more space the better. However, a minimum of 75 gallons. Assuming you're talking about live plants, anacharis and anubius are good options.
Rene R: What humidity level does a green iguana need?
@Rene: We recommend 60% - 80% humidity for a green iguana.
Charles R: Is it a good idea to keep my hermit crab with my 3 turtles?????
@Charles: Depends on the turtle. For example, Red Eared Sliders are opportunistic omnivores, which means they might eat the crab.
Heidi H: I have a beardie that’s maybe about 5 months old and he keeps trying to bite me when I try and pick him up. His cage is kinda small for right now. Is he just being territorial or could it be something else?
@Heidi: All animals have personalities, like humans, and some are more aggressive than others. With that being said, interaction is what's key. Typically, the more you interact with your beardie, the more social he'll become with you.
Sasha C: I have red eared sliders, is it ok to put a frog or any other reptile in with them?
@Sasha: Yes, you can. You'll need to make sure you have enough space. Each species will need their own area in the tank, which means you will need a very large tank. For example: 120 gallons would not be uncommon. If you have any concerns about them not getting along, you'll want to keep them in separate enclosures.
Mary C: I have wanted a chameleon for ages, but everyone tells me they're too difficult to keep. But no one can tell me what makes that so. Can you tell me what makes them "so difficult"?
@Mary: It partly depends on the chameleon you'd like to keep as a pet. Part of their difficulty is the specifics of their environment requirements (humidity, decor set-up, etc). With that being said, Veiled Chameleons are a good starter chameleon. It should be noted unlike some other reptiles, chameleons generally do not like being held.
Dianne N: Hi. My beardie has been trying to climb out of her cage a good bit recently. She's in a glass terrarium and she'll rub her head on the sides and try to climb the walls. Is there something I need to change to make her calm down?
@Dianne: How old is your beardie?
@Dianne: We're heading into the Spring season, and it's possible because your beardie has reached full maturity that she is actively seeking a mate. This is only one possibility and it's not uncommon for reptiles to show a lot more activity during the spring time.
Melanie F: I bought 2 red eared sliders from the same clutch and have them in a 30 gal tank. I am wondering why the one is now 3 times the size of the other one.
@Melanie: Generally, female red eared sliders grow larger than male red eared sliders, so that might be why. Also, one may be more dominant than the other and may be eating more of the food. We highly recommend you move them to a larger tank - they will outgrow the 30 gallon tank very quickly. Minimum size is 75 - 80 gallons for 2 full grown sliders.
Tammy B: Please tell me some info on breeding euromastyx lizards. Thank you.
@Tammy: PetSmart's goal is to support Pet Parents in the care of their pets, but unfortunately we don't provide information on reproduction. You may want to contact your local vet.
Sarah B: You need a Q and A on fish, since people don't know how to take care of them. Goldfish don't go in Betta fish bowls people!
We had a Q&A on fish on Twitter. You can find the full Q&A on MyPetSmart.com. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will send you the link!