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RE: update- soaking

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Posted by: ckingii at Tue Jan 20 01:09:56 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by ckingii ]  

My frillies will never drink from a water bowl. Avoiding stagnant water in the wild is a good thing, but in captivity it's a pain. They will use a water bowl for a toilet. This is sometimes handy when you want to take them out and let them run around with less fear of them making a mess.

I will mist my frillies by spraying them, gently but directly, with warm (95F-100F) water. This will trigger a licking reflex in some of them. I'll try to dribble a slow stream from the sprayer until they take their fill. For some, I'll use a small plastic bottle, filled with warm water. I'll drip this onto their snout till they start to drink.

Food with a high water content is useful. Hornworms and silkworms are a good source of water for frillies that are hard to get to drink. One of my adult females is very skittish and won't move or do anything while she sees a human. She gets a daily hornworm, which she won't eat until I cover her cage and go away. Some females are like that.

Your large cage looks nice, but based on my experience, is probably too cold to prevent your frillie from going into winter shutdown.

Regurgitation or no interest in food sounds all too familiar. When starting out with my first frillies I didn't provide enough heat, light and humidity. It was really hard to find out what exact environment they needed because of the scarce and sometimes incorrect info out there. The owner of the shop where I purchased them told me to make their cage like a hot, muggy, New York summer day. That was the trick, and they took off.

I've attached a photo of a setup that I've settled on when a small cage will do. It's a 24H x 24W x 18D Exo-Terra glass terrarium, and is good for an adult female or a sub-adult male. When you go to a larger cage, you'll need to scale up the heat and light. A bigger cage is nice, but if it's too cold, the animal won't thrive.

Under the glass bottom is Exo-Terra Heatwave Desert Large (25W), on 24x7. On top of the glass bottom I have a layer of cage carpet and a terry cloth towel. This makes clean up easier, and when misted, the carpet/towel over the hot bottom adds a sauna effect.

The back and sides have a layer of white packing foam taped on the outside to help insulate the cage.

On top of the cage, at the back, I have an Exo-Terra CF Hood with 3X Exo-Terra Desert 10.0 UV bulbs, on from 8AM to 10PM. On top in front I have a 60W flood light, on 8AM to 10PM, and a 60W heat bulb, on from 10PM to 8AM. Note how I have closed up all of the top to keep heat in.

This setup has 85W heat at night and 163W heat and light during the day. When they outgrow this cage, they go into a custom 48H x 36W x 18D cage with more that twice the heat and light wattage. Room temps are 68F-75F in the winter and 75F-85F in the summer, and the cages are typically 20F hotter inside than room temp.

Provide vertical surfaces to climb.

Mist heavily 1 or 2 days, then let it dry out for a day or two dry so that it doesn't stay swampy and breed bacteria and mold.

Cover at night and some of the day to help the frillie if it's acting scared.



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