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Lizard questions

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm not exactly thinking of getting one, im mostly curious. But does anyone have a Lizard? Are they hard to take care of? Are they agressive? What do they eat...ect...
post #2 of 20
All of your questions are dependant on species
Different species can have some very different requirements.

There are herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores.
Some need a desert climate, some tropical, some temperate.

In general and IMO, the herbivores require the most in terms of care, except for maybe the chameleons, which are pretty specific in their requirements.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ohhhh.....well can someone recommend a species? LOL like one that isnt agressive and doesnt eat meat.
post #4 of 20
Well, depends on your definition of meat

I got the most enjoyment out of my vivarium.
It was a 50gallon tank with a small, shallow pond in 1/4 of the tank.
Live tropical plants, live mosquitofish in the pond, and I had a pair of green treefrog, a pair of brown anoles, a pair of green anoles and a pair of house geckos in it.
It wasn't heated, but I kept my apartment very warm.

The frogs need crickets, but the geckos and anoles need crickets as well as soft fruits.
But in the evenings, when I turned out the lights, I got to hear a chorus of happy frogs chirping and happy geckos barking.

My setup was given to me, so all I had to buy were the animals, but you could do similar with a 10-20 gallon tank (no pond) and two or three house geckos or anoles for around $100-$200 intial setup costs.
Just be sure the strip light tube is replaced with a full spectrum reptile tube.
post #5 of 20
One of the easiest beginner lizards are leopard geckos. They're not particularly fast, they don't need uvb lighting, and can easily live on a diet of mealworms or superworms (these being two easy to get, sound and smell free feeder insects to keep).

Leopard geckos also have several different color morphs. (I have two normal spotted ones and one super hypo tangerine carrot tail)

Cage requirement is a 20 gallon long for an adult, hatchlings to juveniles can be kept in a 10 gallon for a while. Lids are a must if you have a cat.
Only one gecko per cage, they are territorial and are likely to bully or even fight each other (most lizards do this though).
With regular holding they can become quite tame and generally spend most of their time lazing about... like a cat. If you've never had any sort of lizard you'd be best to start with a juvenile - one that's already a few months old, or a tame adult.

However, you're still looking at $150 + for initial set up not including the gecko.

Crested geckos are another option that are easy to keep and can be fed on a 'diet' called Crested Gecko Diet - with insects once a week. However these can climb glass and can be more flighty.

Or... if you're willing to spend plenty of $$$, have lots of free space, time to study up on diet and care needed bearded dragons are a favorite of many people.
post #6 of 20
I have a Leopard Gecko. He eats Mealworms every other day. I should be giving her crickets also but they require you to go to the store a lot more. The meal worms come in cartons and go in the fridge where they sleep because it is cold. I put them in the bowl in the tank and spray them with a squirt bottle to get them moving (my gecko likes it that way). I must say that they are very boring though. I could hold her but I know most lizards don't like being held so I don't do it much. She sleeps all day because she is nocturnal and is slow. I would have liked a lizard that moved around the tank more, but I still love her.
post #7 of 20
I have two lizards.

The water dragon eats meat... crickets, pinkies and I have even given her chicken and venison on occasion. Lizzie is almost 2 feet long from nose to tail.


The iguana eats vegetables and some fruits. Baby is a little over 4 feet long.

Both of the girls are water trained just like we train our cats to be litter trained. We can hand feed them and carry them around with use.

That doesn't mean they can't be aggressive though. They have moody days and can be little snots to handle. I'm always telling Baby, she is PMSing.
post #8 of 20
We have a Mali Uromastyx, and she is awesome. They are generally easy to handle (ours loves to come out to play!) and are herbivores, they will eat crickets but don't need them with a good shake on supplement. They don't need water (although mine likes to take a dip) and they are desert dwellers - our tank is 75 degrees on the cool side and at night, and 120 degrees on the basking side. They are pretty tough, too - their skin isn't as thin as some others I looked at when we were first getting into lizards. They get to be about 18 inches from nose to tail for the boys, only about 15 for the girls, so the tank space requirement isn't huge.

I love our Mali, she is very personable and will step right into my hand when I reach in for her. She loves to explore my house (but you of course have to be careful doing that!). She will also take treats from my hand and she's just a really nice girl!
post #9 of 20
The only lizards I've owned were anoles (the little ones that are sometimes called chameleons) and an iguana.

The anoles were a lot easier to care for then the iguana. If I was getting another lizard, I'd go with the anoles
post #10 of 20
My daughters science teacher recommended bearded dragons as a beginner lizard, a good site is Capital dragons, they sell them and leopard geckos, lots of info and pics
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Or... if you're willing to spend plenty of $$$, have lots of free space, time to study up on diet and care needed bearded dragons are a favorite of many people.
I'm not sure what you feel is plenty of $$$ but if you check around, the initial cost of a Beardie is not that much more than any other herp set up.

My son has a Beardie and we started out in a 2 foot x 2 food glass tank that was supposed to be more for small rodents and Keero was on sale, so my son only spent about $150 total for everything he needed, including bedding and food for start up.

Of course as he got bigger we went ahead and got him a bigger 50 gallon tank that was set up for lizards and passed on our smaller one to a friend with a snake.

I love him, he's an awesome pet. Stormy will accept any animal, he was raised with hamsters and rats and other small pets so as long as you tell him that the newcomer is a baby and he needs to take care of it, he's cool about it. Now, Spooky, she's not sure what to think of him so he doesn't get the run of the house as much as he used to. We keep him on his leash and make sure spooky knows that she isn't to get too close to him. Now, since she's seen him run, she doesn't really want to be too close to him anyway.

I think that any pet combination can work if you're willing to take the time and precautions to make sure both types are have what they need, space of their own to go to and patience to blend them together.

When we combine the houses and there are more cats, he will be in my son's room, so he wont be in the main part of the house where the cats will have the run.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbjerkness View Post
My daughters science teacher recommended bearded dragons as a beginner lizard, a good site is Capital dragons, they sell them and leopard geckos, lots of info and pics
I'm not sure about capital dragons. But, as is best if you're going to purchase any animal, try to find a reputable breeder or adopt. Many reptiles in pet stores (just like with cats and dogs) may have came from questionable sources - breeders mass breeding to supply pet stores, or are possibly not as healthy.
Also to anyone interested in getting any reptile. Find a good reptile forum. The care tips and help from other knowledgeable and experienced keepers is better then just going by a care sheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxersncats View Post
We have a Mali Uromastyx, and she is awesome. They are generally easy to handle (ours loves to come out to play!) and are herbivores, they will eat crickets but don't need them with a good shake on supplement. They don't need water (although mine likes to take a dip) and they are desert dwellers
The one sentence is a little unclear, I think you mean they're omnivores?
No matter what the lizard species, you must provide supplements. And always provide your animal with water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferocity302 View Post
I'm not sure what you feel is plenty of $$$ but if you check around, the initial cost of a Beardie is not that much more than any other herp set up.
Enclosure generally costing over $100. Of course you can spend less at first and get a smaller enclosure for a hatchling but they'll eventually grow out of it. Then you have to buy another cage, thus spending more overall anyways. They also eat a lot, I've seen many people complaining about how many crickets a young beardie can go through in a week.

To the OP, if you're leaning towards a leopard gecko or bearded dragon try this forum http://www.reptilerooms.com/PNphpBB2+main.html
These are their most active sections on the forum with many experienced keepers.
post #13 of 20
They will become omnivores if offered crickets, but can thrive on veggies only. I don't give mine crickets at all, he eats veggies only, with the occasional apple or grape as a treat.

They get water from the veggies they eat, and you don't have to provide water (but can - some Malis do like to soak). In fact, you are not supposed to leave water in the tank, because it will cause the air to be too humid, which is bad for them.

This is from a caresheet for Malis:
There is little to no need to give your uro standing water in their enclosure and it can be harmful by raising humidity levels within their cage giving them a lung infection. They can get all of their water in their food and you can spray their greens before feeding for extra moisture. Also you can bathe your uro once a month and they may or may not drink.

Also on diet:
Uromastyx are strictly herbivores. The majority of their diet consist of dark leafy greens such as escarole, curly endive, and dandelion greens, avoid using kale, spinach, mustard, or turnip greens. Also an assortment or veggies can be added like squash, zucchini, carrot, and peas and green beans on a more limited basis. Edible flowers will also be readily accepted by your uro dandelion flowers, hibiscus, rose petals and some others but make sure they are pesticide free.
http://www.repticzone.com/caresheets/390.html
post #14 of 20
I'd like to add that no matter how cute they are, iguanas are NOT a good starter reptile.
They need a lot more care than most people give them (or even realize they need) and in most cases they are aquired too young.
Nothing makes me more sad and angry than seeing very young juvenile iggies in the hands of beginners.
In all honesty, they really should not be available for sale until at least a year old as the little (8 to 12 inch) juveniles have a very high mortality rate.

Snosrap I know can tell you how heartbreaking it can be to rescue an adult iggie that has grown up with less than ideal care. At least in Baby's case rescue wasn't too little, too late.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I'd like to add that no matter how cute they are, iguanas are NOT a good starter reptile.
They need a lot more care than most people give them (or even realize they need) and in most cases they are aquired too young.
Nothing makes me more sad and angry than seeing very young juvenile iggies in the hands of beginners.
In all honesty, they really should not be available for sale until at least a year old as the little (8 to 12 inch) juveniles have a very high mortality rate.

Snosrap I know can tell you how heartbreaking it can be to rescue an adult iggie that has grown up with less than ideal care. At least in Baby's case rescue wasn't too little, too late.
I so agree

plus the space requirement is often over looked for any adult reptile.... This is my main reason for not having a Iggie
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxersncats View Post
They will become omnivores if offered crickets, but can thrive on veggies only.
......
Also on diet:
Uromastyx are strictly herbivores.
Oh ok I wasn't sure if they went through any stage at hatchling to juvenile ages that ate insects (or more insects) like some species do.
By the way, I don't quite agree with that care sheet's supplementing suggestion. Grocery store greens and veggies vary a lot of calcium content, they cannot be relied on to meet the dietary needs. Also no mention of calcium D3 to calcium with no D3 dusting schedule. ...but I'm needlessly picking at details here.

However if the original OP decides to get a lizard such supplementing will be very important.

For some reason, every time I see Uros in Petsmarts they always have the food dishes full of nothing but birdseed. I know Petsmart's care of any animal is more than questionable but that always struck me as just plain stupid... (and yes, I do vaguely remember reading some where that a little birdseed could be sprinkled on top of their salad mix)
post #17 of 20
I keep birdseed in the bottom of her dish, sometimes she eats it, sometimes not. I wouldn't give her *just* birdseed, but she does like it. But I have a parakeet, so I always have birdseed available.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestions guys. Like I said im not really looking in to by one right now, I just find lizards really cool and wanted some info for future refrence. I think a small lizard would be good. I wouldnt be able to feed any animal meat, like how some people feed their snakes live rabbits and mice and ahhhh I cant do that, thats why I'd be looking for something that is vegetarian haha.

Im not a vegetarian myself, but I wouldnt want to be feeding my pet mice and rabbit o_o
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roimata View Post
I wouldnt be able to feed any animal meat, like how some people feed their snakes live rabbits and mice and ahhhh I cant do that, thats why I'd be looking for something that is vegetarian haha.

Im not a vegetarian myself, but I wouldnt want to be feeding my pet mice and rabbit o_o
A lot of snake keepers do not feed live animals, it's irresponsible. The snake can be injured, it's easier to transfer parasites that way, and it's just plain inhumane.

Most smaller lizards commonly kept as pets are insectivorous, meaning they eat insects. Are you squeamish over bugs?
post #20 of 20
I used to have a leopard gecko. I thought he was really cute! Very easy to take care of as well. As others have stated, they eat meal worms and crickets. I usually gave him meal worms because it was easier that way, but I liked to catch crickets in the summer time and feed those to him. It was fun and we always had so many in our yard! Mine did not like to be held at first but once you had a hold of him, he would calm down. But, I gave him away to a friend only because I was getting married and my husband doesn't like lizards! But oh well!
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