In this day and age of bewildering choice of lights, housing, heating, feeding and different opinions on general care, it can be very confusing to anyone looking for their first reptile pet. Equally confusing is the fact that more experienced customers may have had a system that worked for them in years gone by, but are now being told that there are better ways.
We work very, very hard to make sure that the advice we give to customers is the very best; we regularly liaise with specialist vets and competent, forward thinking breeders to keep our knowledge up to date. We read scientific papers and we study the wild lives of the species that we are privileged enough to be able to keep as pets in this country.
We also strongly believe that when you are selling live animals, you have a responsibility to that animal. That responsibility includes making sure that its new owner will be able to use the knowledge and experience we have built up over many, many years to give that animal the best life possible.
We very rarely flat out refuse a sale, but we are prepared to ask that conditions are upgraded before we will transfer ownership of an individual animal.
Yes, we absolutely agree that animals will survive in lower specification housing than the standards we insist on. But that’s our point; if it’s just surviving, that’s no life for a pet. It’s battery farming for reptiles, and best left in the past.
So here are the basic requirements we insist on for the species we sell most often. Obviously, we very much prefer if these standards are exceeded – so does your new pet!
Unless specified, all these animals are happiest living alone.
- Bearded Dragon:
120cm x 60cm X 60cm/4’ x 2′ vivarium. 10% T8 lighting with a reflector, a white basking spot, digital thermometer and a knowledge of day and night temperatures.
- Leopard Gecko:
86 x 49 x 56cm/3’ wooden vivarium, or 60 x 45 x 45cm/2’ glass terrarium*. Basking bulb on a thermostat, supply of UVB light – compact bulbs are acceptable for glass enclosures. Digital thermometer, and a knowledge of basking spot and day and night temperatures.
- Crested Gecko:
45 x 45 x 60cm/2’ tall glass terrarium. Heat mat on a thermostat, source of UVB light – compact bulbs are acceptable. Digital thermometer, and a knowledge of day and night temperatures.
- Corn Snake:
vivarium 120 x 60 x 60cm /4′ for an adult. Wall mounted heat mat on a thermostat, white basking light to provide daytime hot spot. Digital thermometer, and a knowledge of day and night temperatures.
- Royal Python:
120 x 60 x60cm/4’ wooden vivarium for a baby to adult. Ceramic heater controlled by a thermostat, digital thermometer and a knowledge of day and night temperatures.
A tortoise table of at least 90x60cm/3’x2’ (for Mediterranean) or vivarium 120x60cm/4’x2’ (for tropical species ONLY). Mercury vapour bulb (or equivalent) over tables, separate UVB source and basking spot for vivariums. Digital thermometer and a knowledge of day and night temperatures. All Mediterranean tortoises MUST have access to an outdoor enclosure when the weather is appropriate. It’s not so important for tropical species, but it’s still a good idea.
*_Why the difference in size for a single gecko? It all comes down to temperature. Wooden vivariums hold heat better than glass, so it takes a larger area to be able to create a suitable temperature gradient. Glass loses heat far quicker, and so the same gradient can be achieved in a smaller space. If you can prove to us that you have a wooden vivarium with the correct temperature gradient that also meets the other lighting requirements, we will happily let you take a gecko to live in it.
At the end of the day, we are not only looking to improve the welfare of the animals we sell, but to make your experience of keeping an animal as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We’re more than happy to discuss the requirements of each of the animals we sell, and help you decide which creature is right for your space, your lifestyle and your budget.
Come in and visit us, we’d love to see you!