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Posted by Gex-anon on November 07, 2002 at 17:17:37:
In Reply to: Um Robert............. posted by gexfiles on November 07, 2002 at 13:45:33:
Actually Trace, the rubbermaid comment was meant as a joke. Last I remember being around the forums regularly(been probably a year I'd guess if not more), you were not a fan of rubbermaids and I was trying to make a joke of it. I had no clue how you were keeping your cresteds until this thread, last I checked in you only had a couple, not the much larger number you have now. You know I've kept animals in rubbermaids and I have NOOO problem with that. Consider the rubbermaid a good-natured jab;)
As far as the "border-line attack" goes, this forum is for discussion and I was merely adding my viewpoint on the no-substrate housing for really ANY animal, but cresteds in particular, and apparently a disagreeing view is taken as an attack on the forums now. And to Mike, had this been discussed privately through e-mail, noone on the forum would benefit from other viewpoints/ideas/discussion taking place as a result. Only you and I would be privy to the information, no?
I've read your argument. I find it interesting, but still do not agree with it. When you have an animal such as a crested, that is living in a container with no substrate that should be sprayed on a regular basis, tell me there would never be any water in the bottom of that cage. You can't because there always will be. Also, fecal matter is NOT the only place bacteria can live in that situation. Bacteria can live nearly anywhere. Now, let's say for argument's sake a crested defecates on the cage bottom. Now, let's say you don't notice it right away and spray the cage down. Since there is no substrate in the cage, where is that water going? Onto the cage floor and in contact with the feces. The gecko happens to be close to the floor and drinks from one of the puddles on the floor. Bingo! Contact with possibly infectious bacteria from fecal matter spread through the water. Now, in my observations of cresteds(limited to only about 5 years experience) I have found that if the animal has some sort of dry substrate beneath it when sprayed, they are less prone to drink from a puddle on the floor because most likely, it tastes bad(who wants mulchy water in their mouth?), and most of the puddle is absorbed into the substrate and the water drops are limited to the sides of the cage and any cage furniture(which can also harbor bacteria of couirse) as opposed to the cage floor where the majority of fecal matter will wind up(of course they crap on the sides, belive me I KNOW lol, but most of it ends up on the floor in the end in my experience). In my opinion, by leaving no substrate in the cage, when spraying you are creating a "primordial soup" for bacteria and infection. It is the same reason that it is no longer accepted practice to keep tree boas or tree pythons in the old way of a perch over a bare bottom tank with an inch or two of water, infections abound. Granted you don't have that much water in with your cresteds(I would hope not;), but the idea is generally the same.
Also another aspect(and major positive in my opinion)of keeping some sort of substrate in the tank is to lower stress level. Every crested I have raised has had more of a propensity for spending their days on the ground partially buried in the substrate. With papertowels they would wedge their way underneath and come back up at night, and with mulch I usually had to do quite a bit of digging to find the babies(I've had adult cresteds make simple tunnels up to 6 inches deep in which to sleep during the day). According to observations by deVosjoli and various others regarding wild R. ciliatus, they are oftenfound concealed on the ground in leaf litter and loose topsoil. My personal opinion is that by keeping them on no substrate takes an important natural behavior away from them that could quite possibly cause additional stress. And by the way, my crested cages always have plants galore for them to climb and hide in, but invariably would choose the ground to hide during the day.
If you wish to take my difference of opinion as an attack, unfortunately there isn't much I can do or say. Also, you guys may be total clean/neat freaks when it comes to your cages, but the average keeper isn't going to be watching the cage all day and night to catch every poop as it falls.