Beginner reptiles... - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-12-2004, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner reptiles...

I've had the privilege of caring for a beautiful Green Iguana for four years now. She had been living with other people for two years prior her adoption into my family. They did a great job taking care of her, but had to give her up due to unfortunate circumstances. This was my first reptile, and while I have done much research on Iguanas and other reptiles and handled others since, it was probably not a good idea that I start with an Iguana. All I have to say is that I got VERY VERY lucky. She is very sweet, loves being handeled, and loves people (not to mention that I actually enjoy all the work necessary to care for her! )

After having her with us for four years my younger sister has taken an interest in reptiles and was considering getting one for herself. I decided that she definitely shouldn't start with anything like an Iguana or Monitor lizard. I was thinking more along the lines of a Leopard Gecko or perhaps even a Berdie.

PLEASE... any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. We're looking for a reptile that doesn't require that much work and is fairly cheap to care for. Thanks a lot folks! You're all very helpful!

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2004, 01:53 AM
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How does she feel about snakes, and the prospect of feeding them prekilled, frozen and thawed rodents? In my experience the most common species of colubrids (corn snakes, rat snakes, king snakes, some milk snakes) are absolutely tough as nails and don't require much work.

Otherwise, leopard geckos are great beginer lizards. Beardies do require a bit more work, but as long as she knows and understands the work involved (and has finances to get a suitable habitat) one of those would be great.

How old is your sister? That would be helpful in considering what herp would be good for her.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2004, 11:08 AM
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Crested geckos have also been recommended as a beginnger lizard in Reptile magazine.

From experience I would recommend Collared Lizards as beginner lizards. They are small, hardy and fairly friendly. If you do decide to go with collared lizards, recommend that you do not use a fine sand substrate especially if you feed them in their cage. They can eat the sand and suffer from compaction.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2004, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your excellent advice!

My sister is going to be twelve, which is why I was concerned as to what to get. She is very responsible, but at that age kids can easily forget their responsibilities. That's why I wanted a pretty low maintanence reptile. I will be helping her out in the beginning though. Also, a reptile that doesn't mind being handeled very much would be great.

Thanks so much everybody! You've been a great help!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-13-2004, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Lizgirl
They can eat the sand and suffer from compaction.

For lizards, leopard geckos, crested geckos, fat-tail geckos, bearded dragons. For snakes, garter snakes, corn snakes, rosy boas. For turtles, three-toed box turtles, greek tortoises, or if you want something aquatic, common musk turtles.

They all have their different quirks, dietary and housing needs, but once set up are usually pretty low maintenance. Lizards and turtles in general are going to be more expensive because of their lighting requirements. Aquatic turtles even more so because of a tank that will hold water and a filter on top of that. Myself, really, I would recommend a bearded dragon. They make excellent pets, are omnivorous so feeding is pretty straight forward. They don't require a huge cage, they don't mind being handled, and are going to be always captive born - since they aren't legal to export from Australia.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2004, 11:07 PM
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Err...Maybe a little to simple, but how about Green Anoles?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2004, 06:08 PM
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leopard geckos
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2004, 07:24 PM
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I suggest leopard geckos, or maybe fattails, or madagascan ground geckos. Leopard geckos have the most colors and are very tameable in my experience. I've also heard that cornsnakes make good beginner pets.
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bearded dragon, bearded dragons, box turtle, corn snake, corn snakes, crested gecko, leopard gecko

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