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Posted by Rob Carmichael on January 02, 2002 at 21:10:57:
In Reply to: Gila display cage: looking for useful suggestions posted by Pete...H on December 31, 2001 at 13:09:12:
We have a beautiful 4-year old male that came from Mark as well. When he is in his "maintenance" set up, we keep him in a 4' x 2' neodesha cage. The cage is heated with an overhead incadescent low wattage reptile bulb that attaches to the outside of the cage (60 watts) that is on for approx. 4 hours each day. this provides a localized basking area of approx. 86-88 deg F. and he does spend a considerable amount of time basking but usually for brief periods. Additionally, there is a small undertank heater attached to a helix to provide 24-hour heat (set at 84-88 deg F depending on the season). Cage temps range from the mid 70's to the low to mid 80's with a night time drop. Our gila has done wonderfully with this arrangement. Our basic set up consists of CareFresh Bedding that he loves to dig in, a large piece of cork bark that he spends much of his time hiding under and a very large but shallow water pan that he soaks in (and spends a great deal of time in!). When we take him to shows, we keep him in his neodesha but replace the carefresh with crushed walnut shells, decorative rock and a desert plant or two....it looks real sharp. Other than that, our gila gets 1-2 medium sized mice every couple of weeks (or, on occasion, a young quail) and his activity levels are very good, stout but not fat and very alert. Twice a month we supplement (JUST A LITTLE) with equal parts of RepCal and Herptivite. These are one of my favorite animals and I look forward to adding more to our collection at the wildlife center I direct. Have fun with your's.
: For being such a good guy this year, Santa brought me a hatchling suspectum. Actually, if you ask my wife I probably wasnít as good as I think was and rather than Santa showing up at my door it was Mark Seward (who doesnít even resemble Santa). Thanks Mark!
: Currently, Iím in the process of putting together ideas for a display cage for the Gila and Iíd like to solicit some suggestions from all you seasoned keepers. What I would like to know is how you have combined the type of enclosure (glass, plastic, or wooden) with the type of heating arrangement (in/out of cage, thermostat yes/no, brand names, etc).
: Right now I am considering either an 18x18x48 or 18x24x48 glass enclosure (as I canít find enough info on Vision cages to make an informed choice) to be placed on a wooden aquarium type stand with an internal heat source like the Heatwave Pig Blanket or the Kane Heat Mat, which are available through Bush Herp Supply and Herpsupplies.com respectively. What bothers me is that these heat sources will be visible in the cage and will be in potential contact with the aspen substrate. Iíd consider using the mylar heat tape but am concerned that I would not be able to get enough air circulating between the bottom of the tank and the stand upon which it would rest.
: Any and all input on your setup(s) would be appreciated, even suggestions as to what not to do or products to avoid. Thanks in advance!
: Pete Humphrey