ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment for a Bearded Dragon

To house a single/pair of adults we would recommend a Vivarium such as the Viv EX55 55x23x24”, for a single Bearded Dragon we would recommend a 48”x18”x20 Viv Exotic VX48 as an absolute minimum.


For the VX48 & EX55. PT-2054 reflector and Guard  the UV Bulb PT-2189 Repto Glo compact new 26watt,
The UV tube should be no more than 10” above your Bearded Dragon, you can place a branch under the UV where it can climb onto to reach the UVA-B rays. Change the bulb year as the light quality breaks down dramatically, reducing the benefit to your Bearded Dragon.

Use a PT-2138 Sun Glo Tight beam Basking spot lamp S20/100Watt. This gives the Bearded Dragon a hot spot that it requires so that it can digest its food.
Use a PT2054 Glo Light 21 cm. The Exo Terra Glow Light gives you the versatility of placing heat and/or light sources in your Vivarium where needed.
You will need a Dimming thermostat. Use the thermostat for the heating/basking lamp PT2138. This should be put on a timer or only turned on during daylight hours 10-12, hours a day.
(If the room is cold at night less than 35f) Use a Royce Heat Mat 22×12” for either of the Vivariums. Place under the basking area and leave running 24/7. This gives some background heating for the night time. I would put the heat mat on a thermostat as well as an insurance against overheating.

Option 2 Lighting/Heating

Mercury vapour lamp Exo Terra solar Glo then use with PT2056 Glow Light 10” clamp lamp and a guard. With this you do not need a thermostat. To adjust the temperature raise or lower the lamp above the basking spot.


For baby dragons we recommend wallpaper, backing paper or newspaper for the first year. As they can get compaction of the gut by ingesting substrates, like Calci sand, sand, peat, corn cob, beach chips etc.

After a year old the best substrates are peat and playpen sand 1:1, Calci sand, beach chippings.


Use a PT-2803 Exo Terra Water Dish Large for adults and a PT-2802 Exo Terra Water Dish Medium for younger Dragons. Most Dragons do not drink from a bowl and should be sprayed twice a day, but a few do so a water bowl is recommended and should be used and the water changed daily. The water bowl should be kept at the cool end to avoid excessive humidity
Use a PT-2813 Exo Terra Feeding Dish X Large for adults and a PT-2811 Exo Terra Feeding Dish Medium for Youngsters. Use the bowl to feed their greens and vegetables.
Use a large piece of Cork bark tube of a PT-2852 hide cave for a baby dragon to sleep in. Make sure it is large enough for them.
Branches (Bog wood etc.)Branches need to be strong and sturdy. Fruit tree branches are good but not cherry as it is poisonous as are conifer branches. Scrub them clean with hot soapy water, rinse and allow to dry. Bog wood and drift wood are good.
Large basking rocks. A large piece of sandstone placed under the basking spot light is a good addition. This holds the heat and helps them to digest the food properly. Place a thermometer on the rock or branch that is to be used for basking and adjust the thermostat until it reads about 90°-100°Fahrenheit.
Artificial plants. PT-3000-3052 these are just for decoration and make the vivarium look more natural. I would say three plastic plants and a vine PT-3082

Vitamins T-268 Tetra Fauna Reptocal or Nutrobal + a Calcium powder. Many reptiles require a diet based on live or fresh foods, due to their specific feeding habits. These are readily available, but in themselves do not offer a balanced supply of nutrients. To ensure your pet receives a properly balanced diet, it is important to increase the nutrient content of these foods with a nutrient supplement.   


Bearded dragons originate from Australia; as juveniles they are semi-arboreal. As adults, they are more terrestrial, but will climb to bask and search for prey. Bearded Dragons can occupy a large range of habitats from the desert to dry forest and scrubland.

Dragons are not either the smallest or the largest of the lizard family and are known to grow on average 18-24 inches from nose to tail.

Bearded dragons are amongst the tamest of all lizards, and their outgoing personalities, activity level, appetites and interesting social behaviours make them a very captivating lizard to observe. They have a very rapid growth rate, so the 4″ hatchlings can grow to their adult size within a year.

Most bearded dragons adapt easily to handling and are calm enough to perch on their owner’s shoulder, or be placed on a countertop, or enjoy the view from a windowsill.


The minimum size vivarium for up to 2 adult dragons should be 48″ x 24″ x 24″ but I would recommend something bigger. A basking site should be provided under the hot spot and include UV lighting. Bearded Dragons need to bask and they need high temperatures to help with the digestive process. A basking area should be about 100°Fahrenheit with an ambient temperature of 75°F and then dropping to about 65°F at night-time.

Bearded Dragons need to have UV running for 10-14 hours a day. In the wild they bask in the sun to help with the digestion and the production of vitamin D. Obviously in a Vivarium they will not receive that much UV so a UV source is essential. Bearded Dragons need a photoperiod (to tell the difference between night and day), to do this you need to have your UV bulb on for 10-14 hours. The UV must be within 10″ of the bearded Dragon to enable the dragon to get the full benefit of the UV tube. The UV source will need to be changed once a year as it loses its efficiency. A ceramic heat emitter or a spot Basking bulb and a Pulse Proportional thermostat for the ceramic or Dimming for the basking bulb, to control the temperature of the vivarium. A thermometer inside the vivarium is a good idea so that you can check they are being kept at the right temperature. Some people use 2 thermometers, one at the cooler end and one at the hotter end to monitor the temperature range. If you use only one thermometer then place it in the middle of the tank towards the bottom.

A UV and Heat source that is becoming more popular is the Mercury vapour lamps like the Exo Terra Sun Glo. These bulbs do not work with a thermostat so to get the correct basking temperature you simply raise or lower the lamp.

A substrate is known as the material to line the bottom of the tank and these can range from newspaper, bark, and sand for reptiles.


Their stomachs are large enough to accommodate large quantities of food. Young Bearded Dragons do not eat as much vegetation as their adult counterparts. As a Bearded Dragon ages it may be persuaded to eat less animal matter and more plants, maybe levelling off at around an 80% plant and 20% insect diet.

Popular feeder insects include crickets, cockroaches, locusts, silkworms, and Locusts. The mealworms have a fairly hard chitin (exoskeleton) and is generally low in the “meat to chitin” ratio, as well as having a poor calcium/phosphorus ratio, making it far less nutritious than other feeder insects. Chitin is hard enough that large amounts of it can cause impaction in the Bearded Dragons digestion system, and can lead to death, especially in younger and smaller animals. But as given As A treat are not a problem Waxworms and Morio worms can be given as a treat also, but sparingly as in most cases as they are extremely fatty, and in some cases very addictive. Although they can be useful in building-up an undernourished individual. The rule of thumb on feeder insects is that the food fed to the animal must not be larger than the space between the eyes; feeding something larger could make it hard for the animal to swallow the food and can lead to the aforementioned fatal impaction.

A significant portion of the Bearded Dragons diet may consist of leafy greens. Dragons enjoy many types of readily available greens, including Water cress, Kale, spring greens (occasionally), escarole, dandelion greens, & flowers, parsley, and carrot tops. It is also recommended that this portion of the dragon’s diet be supplemented with a variety of finely diced fruits and vegetables. Feeding a mixture of these plants ensures a wider variety of nutrients, and variations in texture to aid digestion.

Calcium should be added (a light sprinkling) to the food every day and added vitamins every two or three days. This is to boost the calcium for good bones and to add to top up the missing vitamins that is lacking in their diet.

Light & Heat

Bearded Dragons bask most of the day, absorbing the heat they need to digest their food. It is important that there are at least one or two good basking spots in the Dragons habitat. Rocks are preferable to logs as they hold heat better, though logs can also provide stimulation for the animal as they will climb up and down it any item taken from the outside must first be boiled or baked, however, to remove contaminants. A habitat should also include something the Dragon can hide under.

Bearded Dragons also need correct lighting. A UVB light is needed, with two options being available, Fluorescent strip bulbs, bulbs or mercury vapour lamps. These bulbs have variable ranges of UVB output; owners must ensure proper distance from bulb to the basking spot so the lizard can properly absorb the rays. Bulbs are typically replaced every 6 months. Without adequate UVB the Dragon will develop Metabolic Bone Disease and not eat as much. A Dragon needs between 12 and 14 hours of daylight; much less or more causes problems with their circadian rhythms and makes them lethargic and sick.

For heating, Bearded Dragons need bright white light during the day. Some owners use a red Infra red light at night for heating; this provides heat and you will be able to see it. It is unknown if this red light is visible to bearded dragons. Another option for maintaining temperatures at night is a Ceramic heat emitter or heat mat.

Temperature is one of the most important health factors. A bearded dragon needs the correct temperature to digest, so a good thermometer is essential. Analogue, Round, stick-on, and other non-digital thermometers do not measure basking temperature properly as they do not measure the actual basking spot, just the temperature of the air or glass. A digital thermometer with a probe or a Dial thermometer. Temps need to be 40C-43C (105F-110F) [basking spot] during day and 15C-26C (60F-80F) at night (the higher end of this range for babies, the lower portion of the range for adult Dragons). If the dragons do not receive the proper heat they will become lethargic, and they will eat less. Eventually the lack of proper heating will become fatal.


 This is another very important factor in keeping a healthy Dragon. Babies and juveniles are particularly at risk of impaction and are often kept on paper towels or newspaper, as they are easy to dispose of and clean up after, and there is no risk of the baby ingesting substrate. Tile is another popular choice, as is reptile carpet and also non adhesive shelf liner. As the Dragon gets older (about 8-12 months) it can be put on finely sifted playpen sand. Calcium sand is often used, but is also reported to be a cause of impaction due to ´clumping´ in the gut if ingested, while play sand will pass straight through a well fed individual. Rabbit food pellets, made of alfalfa also Bran are both recommended choices by most breeders as they are indigestible and also easy to clean. Walnut Shells should never be used; though they are natural they cannot be digested and are highly likely to cause impaction. Wood chips, and anything else of that sort are never to be used. They are large, with sharp edges, and can be swallowed. They are not digestible, however, and will swell and clog the gut, causing a very painful and potentially fatal impaction.

Also places for shade might be useful.

General Information

Natural sunlight is very beneficial and should be provided if possible. Bearded dragons should never be placed outside in a glass enclosure. The animal could easily overheat and die.

Bearded Dragons live for an average of 4-10 years depending on their quality of lives, if they have had good lighting and temperatures maintained as well as a good balanced diet then you could expect your dragon to live longer than a dragon that has not. But if you have a female that has been repeatedly bred then her life span can be expected to be quite short.

Bearded Dragons will keep you amused for a long time. Just observing and interacting with them is fascinating. There are 2 things that the Beardy does; one is to nod its head (which is a sign of dominance) and the other is the arm waving (this is a sign of submissive behaviour). When they sit with open mouths this is their way of cooling down their body temperature

It is not advisable to keep two males together as they will fight; more so if a female is present. If you would like to keep more than one Beardy then make sure that there is only one male in the cage.

Do not mix other reptiles with Bearded Dragons, as it is an accident/fatality waiting to happen.

ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment for an Asian Leaf Turtle


36”x15”x12” ( L B H) smallest for 1 adult Turtle. Only needs 6”-8” water depth


For Aquarium Arcadia control ACU18

Tube Arcadia D3 Reptile Lamp 24” 18Watt


PT-2187 Repto Glo 5.0 Compact New 26Watt to give UVA/B for shell and bones.

PT-2054 Glow Lite 21cm clamp lamp and safety cover.


For the Aquarium a Rena smart heater/thermostat 150w

Bare bottom or River/Aquatic sand not gravel.


Tetratec EX 700 External canister Filter.


Zoo med Turtle dock, Log Cave bark effect Medium and or long Cave Bark effect Medium.

Two thermometers one aquatic for the water and one for the air temp PT-2472 digital thermometer will do for both. To check the water temp leave the probe in the water to check the air temp just lift it up out of the water


The Genus Cyclemys (Asian Leaf Turtles)

This care sheet is intended only to cover the general care of this species. Further research to best develop a maintenance / reproduction plan for whichever species you are caring for is essential.

Presently the genus Cyclemys is split into 4 species. It is almost certain that this will be further split as further research is done on this wide-ranging genus. Much like the map turtles ( Graptemys ) of the American Midwest and South, there are distinct differences between populations found in different river drainages. Though Cyclemys species are often called Asian leaf turtles, this often leads to some confusion with other chelonians that have the word “leaf” in their common name such as the Black-breasted or Vietnamese leaf turtle ( Geomyda spengleri ) as well as the Vietnam leaf turtle ( Annamemys annamensis ).

At the present time this species is a frequent import in the pet trade. This may change though because of its presence in the Asian food markets. The availability of Leaf turtles as wild caught specimens is certain to decline in the coming years unless rapid changes are made in the culinary and traditional medicine practices of that part of the world. For more information on this please see the “Animal Markets of China” hosted by the World Chelonian Trust at .  Luckily at the present time Cyclemys dentata is being captive bred with some frequency and the other species are sure to follow as breeders focus more on this Genus.

Cyclemys have a rounded carapace (hence the Generic name which means “Circle turtle”) and grow to about 25 cm (10 inches) in length. The base colour is usually a variation of brown with the plastron and sometimes the carapace showing radiating lines on each scute. Cyclemys possess a distinct vertebral keel and a serrated rear carapacial margin. This is much more pronounced in the young and may offer some protection against predators such as frogs or fish that may opportunistically attempt to swallow the spiky shelled hatchlings. Large adults develop a transverse plastral hinge, which, in the case of females, may allow for easier egg passage during ovipositioning.

Young Cyclemys are fairly aquatic and can be kept much like any other basking turtle.  They do appear to become more terrestrial as they age with adults spending much of their time on land. In the wild, Cyclemys are found in or near ponds, small rivers, and slow moving streams. They are not strong swimmers preferring instead to walk on the bottom of a body of water rather than swimming freely. It is stated that adults spend their nights on land and move to water during the day.

Thanks to the success that breeders are having with the species (at least Cyclemys dentata) it is now possible to purchase hatchlings from captive born stock.  Such specimens are much more desirable as pets as they are much healthier and well acclimated to captivity.

HOUSING LEAF TURTLES INDOORS – The most useful form of indoor accommodation for hatchling Cyclemys consists of an aquarium. For hatchlings we suggest a water depth of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) with one end built up with rocks to provide a dry basking spot or a Turtle dock. A reasonable sized aquarium for a hatchling is a 20 gallon: 30 inches by 12 inches, (75cm by 30cm). As the animal grows the size of this habitat should be increased.

Water quality is very important. Many problems with Leaf turtles can be averted if one spends a little time and money designing and purchasing an adequate filtration system for your pets. Hatchlings are sometimes difficult to provide good filtration for because of the depth of the water.  For these a submersible foam filter or an external power filter and frequent water changes is the rule.

In one corner of the environment a reflector clip light lamp should be positioned over the dry basking area to provide artificial basking facilities. This should be positioned to provide a focal basking spot of 90°F or so (32°C) in that section of the habitat.  The habitat should also be equipped with a full spectrum fluorescent light to provide for UVB. A UVB source is necessary for Vitamin D3 synthesis (necessary for calcium metabolism ). If preferred to this lighting arrangement a Mercury vapour bulb may be used that fulfils both heat and UV requirements. Live or plastic aquatic plants are suggested to provide a sense of security and hiding places.

For adults an environment that is at least 50% land is recommended. The water should be at a depth that the animal may easily reach the surface while standing on the bottom.

DIET: This Genus is a true omnivore; the diet in the wild consists of figs, fruits, carrion, fish, and crustaceans. In captivity this should be duplicated as closely as possible.   Be careful not to overfeed your Cyclemys as obesity is a common problem.  Feeding 2 to 3 times a week for adult turtles and small amounts every day to every other day for rapidly growing hatchlings is appropriate.  Leaf turtles will readily accept many of the commercially prepared turtle diets that exist on the market today.

The diet offered should consist of:

Commercially prepared freshwater turtle diet

Fruits (figs and soft fruits)




Additional calcium supplementation is necessary if the commercially prepared nutritionally complete diets do not make up a large portion of the diet. Powdered calcium with vitamin D3 can be sprinkled all foods. Provision of a cuttlefish bone, which can be gnawed if desired, is also recommended.

MEDICAL: Newly imported Cyclemys often need immediate medical care. This species is often exposed to a number of pathogens in the Asian markets and thus needs prompt medical attention.  Septicaemia and protozoan infections are the norm for newly imported animals.

As dosage information available on the Internet or in hobbyist books is often dated and potentially dangerous, please work closely with your veterinarian to care for your animals.

It should be noted that turtle and tortoise care research is ongoing. As new information becomes available we share this on the World Chelonian Trust web site at . Serious keepers find it to be a benefit to have the support of others who keep these species. Care is discussed in our free online email community, which may be joined from the web address above. Please contact us about the many benefits of becoming a member of the World Chelonian Trust.

ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment for keeping Crested Geckos

Terrarium: for 1-2 Cresteds PT-2600 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 30x30x30m (12x12x12”) WxDxH

For 3 or 4 Cresteds PT-2605 Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 45x45x45m (18x18x18”) WxDxH

Lighting for the PT-2600: Compact Terrarium Canopy PT-2225 + Bulb PT-2190 Repto glo 2

Lighting for the PT-2605: Compact Terrarium Canopy PT-2226 + Bulbs 2 x PT-2190 Repto Glo 2.

Heating:  The bulbs when on should give enough heat. A heat mat a Royce 7×12” with a Komodo 300 thermostat as background heat set at 75F

Substrate: Orchid Bark

DécorVines PT-3080 – PT-3082 Plants PT-3040 – 3052.

Branches well secured,

Pool Bark Effect small


Crested Geckos (Rhacodactylus ciliatus) are native to mainland New Caledonia and at least one small surrounding island. Crested Geckos are mainly arboreal (tree dwellers), however they will seek out hiding places near the ground to sleep during the day. Crested Geckos feed on both insects and fruits and in most cases can be kept at room temperature.
The crested geckos ease of care, unusual appearance, and unlimited breeding potential, has contributed to their exploding popularity and has pushed the crested gecko to the forefront of the herp community.

Crested geckos can be housed in many different ways. The following can be used as a guideline but is not set in stone.
Crested Geckos can be maintained in simple conditions or in elaborate naturalistic vivarium. Hatchlings to four month old cresteds can be housed in 10 gallon aquariums. Four month old to adult crested geckos should be housed in a 20 gallon tall aquarium or larger. Three adult cresteds can be comfortably housed in a 29 gallon aquarium. Hatchlings, newly acquired animals, and sick animals should be housed in simple cages. These simple cages should contain plenty of climbing structures, some artificial foliage for cover, newspaper or paper towel substrate, and a small water dish. The cage should be kept particularly clean during quarantine. All newly acquired animals should be kept separate from any other reptiles in your collection for at least 30 days. All crested geckos should be lightly misted with water once every evening as they will do best with moderate humidity.
Naturalistic vivariums can be quite a visual spectacle and can add a new dimension to the keeping of captive reptiles. Crested Geckos are an ideal candidate for a naturalistic cage setup once they have passed the hatchling stage. I recommend Orchid Bark type substrate or something similar. This substrate should be used dry if your cresteds are breeding so that they do not lay their eggs in it. Provide a separate container (5″ X 5″) of moist peat and vermiculite (50-50 mix) or Moss in the cage for egg laying geckos. Hide the egg laying container by using a slab of cork bark to conceal it. Live plants can be used in the enclosure but care must be taken to prevent eggs from being laid in the pots. The best solution to this is to place a one to two inch layer of very course stones over the soil, these stones should be large enough that they cannot be ingested! Plants that can be used include any species of ficus, pothos, or philodendron, to name just a few. Cork bark and bamboo sections provide excellent climbing surfaces. Use your imagination and be creative, which is the key to enjoying a naturalistic vivarium!

Morphs and Colours

Crested Geckos come in a variety of different colour and pattern morphs.

Temperature, heating, and lighting

Temperatures for crested geckos should be maintained between 72° and 82°F for most of the year. At temperatures of 85°F or warmer, crested geckos will become stressed, which could lead to illness or death. A two month cooling period is recommended to allow breeding crested geckos to rest. During this period temperatures should be kept at 65° to 70°F.
A photo period of 12 to 14 hours of light is appropriate for most of the year, with ten hours of light being appropriate during the cooling period. Lighting is most easily achieved with the use of fluorescent tubes placed directly on the cage top. This will facilitate both the requirements of the geckos and the live plants within the enclosure should you choose to have them. It is unnecessary to use UVB lighting for crested geckos. For large collections consider lighting the entire room with natural or artificial light. Crested Geckos may cease breeding and laying eggs if they are given less than 12 hours of light.
In most situations room temperature is adequate for crested geckos, as long as the temperature stays within 70° to 82°. If you are attempting to breed you Crested Geckos, temps should be kept between 75° and 80° for optimum production. If temps cannot be kept in this range, a nocturnal red or blue heat light can be suspended above the cage for 24 hour heat. This type of light also allows for nocturnal viewing. Crested Geckos are not disturbed by this wavelength of light so it will not interrupt their photo period. Ceramic infrared heaters have also been used successfully; however these do not provide any visible light, making it difficult to view the geckos when they are most active.

Diet and Feeding.

Crested geckos feed on a variety of insects and fruits. Crickets, wax worms, small roaches, and other similar insects can be offered. Hatchling crested geckos should be offered 10-14 day old (1/8 inch) crickets every at least every other day. Juvenile and adult crested geckos should be offered appropriate size insects three or four times weekly. Offer insects that are no larger than the distance between the geckos eyes, however adults can eat items that are slightly larger than this.
Fruit baby food should be offered twice weekly for hatchlings and juvenile geckos and 3-4 times weekly for adults. The preferred flavours are apricot, peach, pear, apple, and banana; however other types will be consumed. This mixture can be spiked with a sprinkle of both spirulina and bee pollen once a week. Spirulina and bee pollen are nutrient dense super-foods that will enhance the nutritional value of the baby food.
The new powdered diets that are on the market are another excellent source of nutrition. You simply mix the powder with the correct amount of water and place inside of a dish in the cage. Some geckos take to this diet right away and others seem to be fussy, but will eventually eat it if you keep at it. If using this mix, make sure to remove uneaten portions every morning as it tends to mould quickly. In addition to the powdered food you should feed insects to your geckos at least once or twice a week.
You will need to supplement the diet of your crested gecko with a calcium and vitamin D3 powder. Hatchlings and juveniles should have their crickets lightly dusted with this powder twice weekly. Sprinkle a small amount into their baby food once a week as well. Breeding adults should have their crickets lightly dusted every other feeding and their baby food sprinkled every other feeding. Make sure the calcium supplement you use does not contain any phosphorus. You can check the calcium storage of your adult geckos by getting them to open their mouth and observing the calcium sacs (picture coming soon).
Vitamin supplementation is recommended for hatchling to adult crested geckos. Use a multi-vitamin made for reptiles and dust the insects with it once weekly.
Feeding your insects a high quality diet prior to offering them to your geckos is one of the best ways to prevent any nutritional deficiencies. This practice is known as gut-loading. Offer insects dark leafy lettuces, carrots, fruits, trout pellets, grains, and other foods. Crickets will eat almost anything so offer a variety of foods and your geckos will benefit greatly.

ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment for keeping Chile Rose Tarantula

Housing: Fer-Plast H43 Geo Flat Plastic Tank

Heating: Royce Heat Mat 7 x 12” Place under half the tank. Make sure it does not get too hot. We Recommend Habistat mat stat Thermostat.

Substrate:  Orchid Bark

Décor:  Cave small Keep some damp moss in this.            


Size: 4.5 – 5.5 inches

Life Span Females: 15+ years. Males 2-3 years

Housing: A small (5-10 gallon) tank is suitable. For terrestrial tarantulas the width of the tank should be two to three times wider than the leg span of the spider wide, and only as tall as the spider’s leg span. 2-3 inches of peat moss, soil, or vermiculite can be used as a substrate. Wood, cork bark, or half of a small clay flower pot can be used for a shelter/retreat.

Temperature: 70°-85° F (21-30 C)

Humidity: 60-70%

Feeding: Crickets and other large insects (must be pesticide free), occasional pinkie mouse for full grown spiders.

Temperament: Docile and calm.
Chile rose Tarantulas are one of the best starter Tarantulas for the beginner or a child. They do not mind being handled and are very docile and rarely bite. If bitten the bite is no worse than a bee sting unless the person has an allergic reaction to the venom.

ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment for keeping Costa Rican Tiger Rump Tarantula

Housing: Fer-Plast H43 Geo Flat Plastic Tank

Heating: Royce 7” x 12” Heat Mat.  Place under half the plastic Tank. Make sure it does not get too hot. We recommend a Habistat Mat Stat Thermostat.  

Substrate:  Orchid Bark

Décor: Bark Cave small. Keep some damp moss in this. 


Found in Tropical forests around Costa Rica and Guatemala.
Growth They grow to about 3 1/2 to 4 inches.
Humidity 60 to 70% is fine.
Housing Spiderlings can live in small plastic containers with holes in the top to allow air flow. Adults can live in a 5 gallon tank. Floor space is more important to this species than height. They should be provided with a retreat like a log or a piece of bark. If no retreat is provided they will dig their own. They require a substrate in the bottom of the tank, preferably a Vermiculite and potting soil mix although I found that peat coconut fiber (Coir) or orchid bark works better for this species. The substrata should be around 5 to 6 inches deep.
Venom All Tarantulas have venom. Although tarantula venom is harmless to humans, it may sting for a few hours. If bitten seek medical attention immediately just in case. Keep all other pets away like dogs cats etc because although the venom is harmless to us, to a cat or dog it could be a different story. Be warned.

ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment for a Golden Gecko


Vivexotics AX24 Available in Beech, Oak and Walnut


PT2052 Glow Light 14cm 5½” with a Zoo Med 14cm safety cover

PT-2190 Repto Glo 2.0 Compact NEW 13W

Heating: Exo Terra Ceramic Heat Emitter 40w, Safety Cage, Komodo Ceramic Fitting and a Habistat Pulse Proportional Thermostat


Orchid bark base and a covering of Moss on top.


Large water bowl.

Plants three medium and three large Exo Terra Silk plants

Vines. Two medium two large Exo Terra vines




Komodo Calcium powder dust food every day except when using vitamin powder.

Nutrobal, Repton, Reptovite or similar vitamins food dusted twice a week.

Common Name: Golden Gecko

Latin name: Gekko ulikovskii

Native to: Golden geckos can be found in the warm rainforests of Vietnam

Size: Male golden geckos grow to around seven inches, while females stay smaller at around five to six inches

General appearance: Golden geckos do not like to be handled. They are somewhat hyper and can stress easily. Golden geckos can and will bite when bothered.

Housing requirements:

Enclosure: A single golden gecko can be housed in a 10-gallon aquarium. Provide hiding spots, climbing branches and vines within the tank. A secure lid is necessary.

Temperature: Range between 78° – 85° F

Humidity: 70% – 80%

Heat/Light: Golden geckos do not need a UV light, but do need a nocturnal heat lamp to provide necessary heat. An under-the-tank heater can also be used to supplement heat if needed.

Substrate: A substrate of forest bark or any other lizard bedding can be used. Moss also helps keep the humidity inside the cage, and provides more cover for the golden geckos.

Environment: Golden geckos need a warm and humid environment. The cage needs to be misted at least twice a day and the geckos themselves should be misted. A large water dish is also helpful with humidity, even though very few golden geckos will drink directly from the dish.

Diet: A varied diet of Locusts, crickets, mealworms, wax worms and Morio worms works best for golden geckos. Make sure to gut load the insects and dust calcium/vitamin powder. Make sure no uneaten crickets remains in the cage, as crickets tend to bite at the limbs of the golden geckos and may injure them.

Maintenance: Dead crickets and faecal material should be cleaned out regularly and the water bowl should be kept clean.

Breeding: They reach sexual maturity at less than two years of age. Both males and females are territorial, so it is best to keep pairs separate to avoid fighting.

In order to get them into breeding condition they must have a cool winter period  an the photoperiod reduced to 4-5 hours, humidity  brought down to 50-60% an reduce the temperature to 20-22 C in daylight hours and 15-18C at night. This should be done August to October. Mating takes place in November.

Three weeks after mating the eggs are laid, a clutch of two eggs. She may lay as many as four clutches a season at intervals of 20-30 days.

The eggs are usually laid on a smooth surface and once the shells have hardened are not easy to remove and are best left to hatch in the viv. If this is done over the eggs with a clear plastic box with some holes punched in it. The adult’s will not bother the eggs but will eat the young if given the chance.    

The eggs hatch after 2-3 months depending on temperature which should be 28C for a mixture of males and females.

Hatchlings do not eat until the first shed about a week.

ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment Required to Keep a Fat-Tailed Gecko


Viv-Exotic VX24, this is big enough for an adult or pair.  VX24 available in Beech, Oak and Walnut


Is for viewing only we would recommend a PT-2110 Sun Glo Neodimium Daylight lamp 60 watt combined with an Arcadia ADCH reptile lamp holder.


PT-2045 Ceramic Heat Emitter Heat Wave Lamp 40w and a Komodo Ceramic Fitting. Combine this with a Habistat Pulse Proportional Thermostat; this should be set at 87–90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and turned down to 70-75 deg F during the night.

We recommend two thermometers PT-2465 place one at each end to show the cool temperature and hot end temperatures to indicate that there is a heat gradient effect.


For baby Fat-Tailed Geckos we recommend wallpaper backing paper, Kitchen paper or newspaper for the first year. As they can get compaction of the gut by ingesting substrates, like Calci sand, sand, peat, corn cob, beach chips etc. After a year old the best substrates are playpen sand, Calci or Desert sand.


Use a PT-2851 Reptile Hide Out Cave Small for youngsters and a PT-2853 Hide Out Cave Large for adults. A PT-2801 Water Bowl is required along with two or three plastic plants, these will give the Vivarium that finished natural look, choose from PT-3000 to PT-3052.


M-36 Zoomed Reptivite. or Nutrobal. Many reptiles require a diet based on live or fresh foods, due to their specific feeding habits. Should be given two to three times a week.

Komodo Cricket Dust which is pure Calcium which should be given every day.

The best way to dust the Crickets etc., is to put a small amount of the Calcium or vitamins into a plastic bag add the crickets etc., shake them all up then add the insects to the vivarium.

The Calcium can also be placed into a small container (Coke bottle top) and left in the vivarium as a lick.


Fat tailed females may be kept in groups or solo. Males may not be housed together. We suggest housing males separately from females to avoid excessive breeding and stress. Glass enclosures work best for viewing, although many breeders house these geckos in Rubbermaid tubs or large sweater boxes. A 10-gallon enclosure is the minimum size for an adult.

Rocks, fake plants, and logs for basking and hiding are preferred enclosure furniture. Make sure ample cave space is available, both on the warm side and cool side of the enclosure. Substrate choices can include play sand, newspaper, bed-a-beast (coconut fibre), and peat moss. Fat-tails like to burrow in slightly moist substrate to rehydrate, so we use combination of coconut fibre, peat moss and cypress mulch.


A range in temperature is much appreciated by geckos so they may thermo regulate. Temperatures may range from 90 degrees F down to 75 at night-time. We suggest overhead bulbs or ceramic heat emitter for heating, unless you are housing in Rubbermaid and need to use heatmats. Place the heat source on one side of the tank only. Red bulbs are nice for viewing nocturnal geckos. Don’t use heat rocks.


Make sure a shallow water dish is available inside the cage at all times. We also suggest lightly misting the enclosure daily. Make sure the substrate is never wet for long. When a fat tailed gecko is preparing to shed, they appreciate moister caves. We suggest using moss that can be misted daily inside one of the caves.
One method we suggest for keeping fat-tails hydrated is to use about 4-inches of substrate where the lower inch of substrate always stays damp. This way the fat-tails can retreat from the heat to thermo regulate and to rehydrate as well. Providing a hide that consistently stays cool and damp allows for higher basking zone temps and thus increases the metabolism of the fat-tails.


Crickets and mealworms make up the majority of the Leopard gecko diet. Hatchlings should be fed 2-week-old crickets. Adults can handle adult crickets. Mealworms may also be offered. Be sure you acquire your crickets from a clean source and feed them fresh food (you may use “gut load” if you like) and water. Don’t offer mouldy food to your crickets (this can cause serious disease). Small pinkie mice may also be offered to adults occasionally. Gravid females especially relish these.

Be sure to supplement the diet with calcium and D3 and vitamins. We suggest a 1.3 ratio of Nutrobal to Komodo calcium. Place crickets in a plastic bag, add the supplements and shake to coat crickets. Do this every day for young geckos and then taper off to twice a week for adults (especially reduce the vitamin supplements). Make sure to offer more calcium to gravid females.


Fat tailed geckos require a period of hibernation or brumation. Only breed your geckos after temperatures are back to normal, and your gecko is healthy, eating well, and has a substantial fat deposit (a nice fat tail). Your females should be at least one year old. Introduce a female into the male’s tank (or even vice versa) and copulation may take place. You may opt to leave the male and female together overnight or for a few days. It is thought that they prefer to breed in the early evening hours, but we have witnessed copulation at just about any time. It’s normally best to remove the male from the female’s enclosure after copulation to avoid stress. A female will retain sperm and can produce multiple clutches from just one breeding. Eggs are usually laid in twos. Make sure the female has a lay area (cave) with moist substrate to dig into to deposit her eggs. Gently place eggs in a dish of moist vermiculite and incubate at around 85 degrees F. The eggs will hatch in 45-90 days. Make sure the vermiculite stays moist but not wet.

ValueAquatics Care Sheet Equipment for keeping a Cobalt Blue Tarantula

Housing: Fer-Plast H43 Geo Flat Plastic Tank

Heating: Royce Heat Mat 7” x 12” Place under half the tank. Use a Habistat mat stat Thermostat set to 83-85° F.

Substrate:  Orchid Bark

Décor: Bark Cave small keep some damp moss in this. 

Cobalt Blue Tarantula (Haplopelma lividum)

The Cobalt Blue Tarantula is one of the more beautiful, yet one of the more aggressive species of tarantula. The Cobalt Blue Tarantula looks almost black at a glance, but upon closer inspection, with certain lighting, this species shows a bright blue overall colour! These tarantulas are very popular, but are not good for beginners. Cobalt Blue Tarantulas are extremely aggressive and fast. Even the spiderlings of this species have been known to show aggression! The Cobalt Blue Tarantula is uncommon in the wild, but is becoming more and more popular in captivity. These tarantulas spin large webs even though they do spend most of their time in their burrow if given the opportunity. The Cobalt Blue Tarantula is an amazing tarantula for anybody who dares to keep it!
Range Tropical forests of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Type Burrowing
Diet: Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, and other large insects.
Full Grown Size. 4 to 5 inches
Growth Fast speed.
Temperature 80° to 90° F.
Humidity 78 to 82%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3″ leg span may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.
Temperament Aggressive and nervous.
Housing Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 10-gallon tank. Floor space is as important as height.
Substrate 5 to 6 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.
Décor No decorations are really needed. Moss can be added for floor cover, but leave some areas open for burrowing in the substrate.
For water use a shallow water bowl and change the water every day. Do not have the water too deep or the tarantula can drown. I prefer to spray the tank once a day and the tarantula will came out and drink from the droplets; this is more natural to them.

*Please note that ALL tarantulas have a certain amount of venom. Although most people are not affected by this species, some people may be allergic to the venom, or just more sensitive, making it a dangerous situation. This is one of the reasons that people should not handle this tarantula. Affects of these tarantulas´ natural defences may vary between people. All tarantulas should be considered dangerous, so be careful, because you don’t want to find out if you are allergic or more sensitive the HARD WAY!

Value Aquatics care sheet Equipment for a Leopard Gecko


Viv-Exotic VX-24 or LX24, these are big enough for an adult pair. Available in Beech, Oak or Walnut


Lighting is for viewing only we would recommend a PT-2110 Sun Glo Neodimium Daylight lamp 60 watt combined with Komodo ceramic lamp fitting.


Use a Royce Heat Mat 10×12″ on 24/7 as background daytime heat. Along with PT-2044 Ceramic Heat Emitter Heat Wave Lamp 40W and a komodo ceramic lamp fitting and a Safety cage. Combine this with a Pulse proportional Thermostat; this should be set at 87–90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and turned down to 70-75 deg F during the night.

We recommend two thermometers PT-2465 place one at each end to show the cool temperature and hot end temperatures to indicate that there is a heat gradient.


For baby Leopard Geckos we recommend brown wrapping paper, wallpaper backing paper or newspaper for the first year. As they can get compaction of the gut by ingesting substrates, like Calci sand, sand, peat, beach chips etc. After a year old the best substrates are playpen sand, Calci or Desert sand, Aspen


Use a PT-2851 Reptile Hide Out Cave Small for youngsters and a PT-2853 Hide Out Cave Large for adults. A PT-2801 Water Bowl is required along with two or three plastic plants, these will give the Vivarium that finished natural look, choose from PT-3000 to PT-3052.


T-268 Tetra Fauna Reptocal. Many reptiles require a diet based on live or fresh foods, due to their specific feeding habits. These are readily available, but in themselves do not offer a balanced supply of nutrients. To ensure your pet receives a properly balanced diet, it is important to increase the nutrient content of these foods with a nutrient supplement.


The Leopard Gecko is found in the arid grasslands of Pakistan and India. It normally grows to between 6 and 8 inches long. They will become quite tame with handling and make excellent pets. When choosing a Leopard gecko make sure that the eyes and skin are clear, it has a robust body and that it is alert, active and responsive.


A 24″ x 18″ x 20″ vivarium will house up to 2 geckos. The more geckos you keep the bigger the tank must be. Full spectrum lighting is not essential as geckos tend to hide up in the day and are more active at night. A 60 watt coloured bulb or Ceramic heat emitter should be enough to heat the above tank to a basking area of about 87 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and then bring the temperature down to between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for the night. This can be controlled by use of a dimmer switch or a dimmer thermostat. You will also need a thermometer inside the cage.

Paper makes an excellent substrate to put on the bottom of your tank for hatchlings up to a year old, and once they are older you can use reptile sand.

Geckos like places to hide so kit out your tank with some rocks and artificial plants, which will give them a choice of hides.

A shed/hide box with a hole at the side for entry/exit and filled with moist vermiculite is ideally placed at the cooler end of the tank and is excellent for aiding the gecko to shed their skin. Make sure to keep this box moist, so give it a spray each day.

Small water bowl for drinking.


Leopard Geckos like crickets; this is their main diet. Make sure that the crickets you feed are not too big for the animal to handle. A good measure is to feed crickets, which are no bigger than the size of the gecko’s head.

Prior to feeding your gecko you will need to gut load the crickets, which means, feed the crickets up so that they have some goodness to give the gecko once eaten. Things that can be used are orange slices, vegetables; tropical fish flakes and dried dog food. Feed the crickets 12 – 24 hours before you feed the gecko. You will need to dust the crickets with a calcium supplement prior to feeding. For young geckos you will need to feed twice daily and dust at every other feed and then from about 6 – 7 months old reduce it to twice weekly.

Only feed as many crickets that can be eaten in a 10 – 20 minute period, otherwise you will have a lot of crickets running around the cage and it has been known for crickets to damage sleeping geckos. Other insects that appeal to the gecko are mealworms, but only feed these about once a week, as they are not especially nutritious. It is advisable to snip/pull the head off the mealworm prior to feeding and offer them in a small shallow bowl. Wax worms are another favourite but only use these as a treat and feed them no more than about 2 or 3 each week. Once the gecko has reached adult size then feeding them a ‘pinkie’ (day old mouse) once a week will also help to keep them nice and healthy.


Always handle your gecko with care, especially the tail. This is the gecko’s defence mechanism and if pressure is applied to the tail then it can drop off. A new tail will grow again but will never be as nice or as long as the original.

Never keep two males together as they can fight, especially if there is a female around.

Spend time getting to know your gecko, don’t just watch, really observe as they will keep you fascinated for hours.


ValueAquatics Care Sheet for Water Dragons



Vivarium for an adult should be 6’ x 3’ x 6’ LxDxH

Vivarium for a juvenile Vivarium AX48


For the AX48 The Komodo Black Dome 21cm and Zoo Med Clamp Lamp Safety Cover 20cm

PT-21897 Repto Glo Compact new 26watt (UV Bulb)


For AX48 PT-2046 ceramic heat emitter 100watt.

The Komodo Black Dome 14cm and Zoo Med Clamp Lamp Safety Cover 14cm

Habistat Pulse Proportional Thermostat. With day night setting

PT- 2472 Digital Thermometer

PT- 2477 Digital Hygrometer


For AX48 Strong branches well secured and vines PT-3080-PT-3082. Plenty of plants select from our range PT-3000 to PT- 3053.

A large water bowl needs to be kept in the vivarium and the water changed daily as they defecate in the water. Something like a strong cat litter tray half filled, this also helps keep the humidity up.

Substrate: moss and or Orchid bark


Species, Range and Description

P. cocincinus. Eastern and south-eastern Thailand, eastern Indochina, southern China.

P. lesueurii. Eastern/south-eastern Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria)

Water dragons are native to the Southeast Asian mainland and Indo-Australian archipelago. Most imports arrive from Thailand or southern China.

Males typically reach 3 feet; females are somewhat smaller. Males develop larger heads, jowls and crest on the back of the neck, and their femoral pores are somewhat larger than on the female.

Always have new animals checked by a vet for internal and external parasites (take a fresh faecal sample if you can – or get one to the vet at the soonest opportunity), hydration, nutritional status and overall health.

Captive Environment

You will need a large vivarium, one larger than most people think will be needed by a lizard of this size. The reason most are missing much of their faces, rubbed off from the snout back past the front teeth, is that water dragons will literally rub their flesh off and break their jaw bones trying to get out of a too small enclosure. They need space at least 2 x their total length – so you are talking min 6 ft long (side to side), at least 2-3 feet deep and 4-6 feet high to do it correctly.

Water dragons can be kept together, with one to three males in a room-sized enclosure. Some females can be domineering and may not want any other females around…others can co-habit with 3-4 females. You must monitor them all the time to assure all are feeding and basking properly throughout the year. If any are not, you are most likely seeing the results of intimidation and will need to increase the number of basking and feeding areas and/or increase vivarium size or separate them.

Water dragons are semi-arboreal but also need enough water to submerge and swim comfortably in, as well as branches for climbing, and plenty of ground area for roosting and feeding. They also need the appropriate thermal gradients, photoperiods, and a UVB light.


Mixture of 2/3 peat soil + 1/3 clean sand with areas of bark. They can also be kept keep on fake Astroturf. They have very active digestive systems so lots of messy poop if they do not go in their water.


Placed on the diagonal for climbing, horizontal for roosting.


Suggestions for suitable live plants include dragon plants (Dracaena), Pothos (Scindapsus aureus), Ficus benjamina trees, Monstera deliciosa (philodendron) and Staghorn ferns. Plants will need to be replaced or rotated as they are shredded by claws or even eaten.


Day time: 84-88° F with drop to 75-80° F at night. Must have a basking area going up to 90° F during day at one side of vivarium. Use thermometers! No hot rocks – use overhead basking lights and an under-tank heat pad or one under the indoor/outdoor carpeting substrate.

UVB Lighting

Must have direct sun or a suitable UVB-producing lights.


Must be available at all times for full body immersions up to at least 1/2 their height. Must be cleaned and disinfected daily…two days okay if they do not defecate in it! If they dive into their water from a shelf or branch, you need to make the tub deeper so they do not injure themselves.


Hatchlings and Juveniles:

2-3 week old crickets and or small locusts which have been previously gut-loaded (e.g., not straight from the pet store!) Also offer finely chopped vegetables and fruits (see iguana salad ingredients for a healthy salad). As the dragons grow, offer only slightly bigger crickets, Locusts and add in some mealworms and baby (pink) mice, and occasionally a waxworm for a treat. Smaller food items are more nutritious and more efficiently digested than fewer bigger items. Feed every 2 days – or more often if they look hungry.


Small mice, 4 week old crickets, winged Locusts, Morio (giant mealworms) as well as plant matter. Feed every 2-3 days – or more often if they look hungry. Also feed plant matter, such as greens and fruits (see iguana salad for recipe).

Miscellaneous Care Issues

Claw tips may be clipped.

Water dragons, like sailfin lizards, can be held but they do not like to be clasped. Hold gently with your hand held loosely cupped around them.

Common Ailments in Captivity – caused by captive environment

Abscesses – infections due to injuries or stress

Internal Parasites (filthy import and pet trade conditions) (see below)

Metabolic Bone Disease (Calcium Deficiency due to- poor diet, inadequate UVB and/or heat

Rostral/Snout Damage – too small an enclosure

Stomatitis (Mouth rot) – snout damage, systemic infection due to improper environment or stress

Swollen/Infected Limbs – fractures due to MBD or getting caught in inappropriate tank setups.

Articular/Periarticular/Pseudo Gout – improper foods and insufficient hydration

Respiratory Infection – inadequate heat; stress

Gastroenteritis – protozoan, bacterial or worm infections (see below)

Diet-related Parasitic and Protozoan Infections

Gastrointestinal parasites may inhabit the mouth, coming from infected prey or from regurgitated prey that brings up parasites from lower down in the intestinal tract. The parasites live out parts of their life cycle within the intermediate or primary host, taking up residence in and migrating through different organs and systems. Many such parasites come from fish and amphibians that are used by the parasite as intermediate hosts during their life cycle. Some of these parasites, such as Rhabdias spp. may cause abscesses within the mouth or may migrate to the lungs. These are commonly found in garter snakes (Thamnophis spp.), grass snakes (Natrix spp.), and water snakes (Nerodia spp.), and other reptile species fed primarily on fish. The reptiles themselves may be treated with levamisole at 10 mg/kg sq. Feeder fish may also be treated, left to swim for 24 hours in a gallon of water mixed with 250 mg of levamisole.

A protozoan infection due to amoeba is a problem world-wide and can cause serious health complications and mortality, including in captive reptiles. The cysts are ingested either through eating an infected reptile’s faeces or that of some other infected animal, such as wastes from feeder animals. Once in the gastrointestinal tract, the amoeba becomes active (trophozoites), and start reproducing by binary fusion. They start invading the mucosal lining of the GI tract, get into the blood, and spread through out the body through tissues and organs. Some trophozoitesr are transformed into cysts which are then excreted in the faeces, waiting to be ingested by another host. Faecal smears are required to visualize cysts and trophozoites; cysts can be found using faecal flotation, with faecal samples containing mucous or blood being the most likely to contain the cysts.

An interesting note… The most common – and pathogenic – amoeba in reptiles is Endamoeba invadens. Some reptiles (crocodiles, box turtles, garter snake, Northern black racer) may serve as a reservoir for this protozoan, carrying it and spreading cysts through their faeces but not themselves showing any signs of illness. Certain reptile families seem to be particularly susceptible to dysentery from E. invadens infections (boids, crotalids, elapids, viperids, varanids), with giant tortoises as water snakes being most susceptible. This can be a problem in captive collections where enclosures are set up to house aquatic or terrestrial turtles and semi-aquatic or terrestrial lizards, such as sliders and water dragons. Accurate amoeba identification is essential as other amoebas are not pathogenic in reptiles. If a faecal sample is not available, a colonic wash may be used to acquire a specimen for testing.

Post-mortem exams of reptiles killed by E. invadens and other pathogenic amoebae reveal inflammation, ulceration, or necrosis of the gastrointestinal tract or colon. The intestinal wall may be thickened with necrotic membranes. The bowel may be so involved that it is apparent that ingests was not passed through in some time, which would be consistent with antemortem wasting, anorexia, and bloating. If spread through the blood stream, the liver, kidneys and other organs may contain abscesses, necrotic areas, and evidence general inflammation.

Amoebic infections are treatable once they are identified as such and the infection is detected and treatment started before tissue and organ damage is advanced. Maintaining proper environmental temperatures, exercising proper hygiene and quarantine procedures, and ensuring the infected reptiles are adequately hydrated will help increase survival rates.