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Posted by Pennebaker on April 15, 2003 at 02:40:50:
In Reply to: Re: Palmatogecko rangei substrate choices? posted by GECKOS UNLIMITED on April 14, 2003 at 23:59:15:
Really though, I don't do things the way most 'breeders and keepers' do Nathan. It's one of the reasons why i have great success with many difficult species. It would be nearly impossible to convince me that 'most ..breeders and keepers' are compassionate enough to empathize with the preferences of their pets. Sad but true!
Nathan, you sound at least as jaded as i, and i find it hard to believe that you over-estimate the abilities of new keepers. So why recommend a breeding set-up for people seeking basic care info? It makes sense to do so if they are asking about breeding, but otherwise, why do it?
So your rangei thrive on 1-inch of sand. That's great. I'm sure it's very convenient for you, especially during egg-laying. My point is that rangei PREFER to have more substrate to burrow-in. This has been made apparent to me numerous times with numerous different rangei.
More sand means more thermoregulatory and humidity options, PERIOD. More of these options means a healthy and more content gecko. A female rangei that's given very little substrate to burrow and lay in and then pumps-out as many eggs as possible is not a content rangei in my book. They may live, they may even 'thrive', but I'd bet dollars-to-doughnuts that they would prefer to have more substrate and more options.
Whose being served by offering less substrate? Is it the human or the gecko? My point is that in my care sheets i try to put the interests of the animals before the convenience of the keepers. The average keeper does not normally do everything they are told is neccesary for their reptile anyways. Why aim low? American herpetoculture is already known for its cramped, spartan style of enclosures. I don't like fitting molds.
My overall point is that in my care sheet I try to encourage people new to rangei to create a more naturalistic environment that the gecko appreciates and can thrive in, not just one that is convenient for the owner or convenient for people interested in breeding.
I'm sure you must understand that many of the people who read care sheets and are interested in acquiring a rangei are not always gung-ho on breeding. Offering-up advice (suitable perhaps for a novice breeder) to someone who is just getting into rangei seems misplaced and illogical to me.
Your reaction to breaking rangei eggs is consistent with most breeders I've known: A more natural set-up is avoided because collecting eggs become too incovenient or potentially damaging to the eggs. There are ways to get around everything, it's just that most people are too lazy or too busy to make concessions and instead make their reptiles sacrifice their preferences.
I have a system where my gravid rangei are given 4+ inches of sand. I have a nearly perfect collection rate largely because the females always lay in the same general zone of humidity and temperature; ie i know where the eggs are going to be 90% of the time and it takes just a couple minutes to unearth them(with a brush so I don't break them) ;)
Even though Rangei have a propensity to lay many clutches per year(sometimes too many), the actual time whene they are physically laying eggs is very small compared to the time when they are not laying eggs. To me, it just doesn't make sense to relegate a species to a breeding set-up if they are not laying eggs and it certainly doesn't make sense to do so year round.
In closing i would care to mention that I felt compelled to respond to your posts on this subject for many obvious reasons that i'm sure you are intelligent enough to assume. I have not said that your way is wrong and will kill rangei. I have not said that your methods are untrue or unneccesary. I have questioned your compassion for your rangei and the context of your advice, but this was done in an indirect manner, which is exactly how you got this started.
I generally avoid posting on these forums to avoid conflict. I do not come here and market myself under the guise of pretending to help someone else like many breeders i see on these forums. To be honest, i don't have the time or the desire to debate this point with you further. Let's just say we politely disagree on husbandry advice and leave it at that. If you feel the need to vent or to bash me, please email me personally.
:As mentioned in my previous post,play sand is fine. I have raised numerous juveniles on play sand, but I prefer finer sand. Loren, you need to do your homework before making comments like "most compassionate people will give their web-foots more substrate." Most P. rangei keepers and breeders that I know prefer to keep the geckos on 1/2-1" of sand. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a shallower layer of substrate, and all of my P. rangei are thriving. Since I am a breeder, I find it rather labor intensive to search through deep layers of sand for eggs. When I used to keep the geckos on a deeper layer, I often accidentally broke eggs.