The information on the BambooZoo site is as much as 10 years old and in the hobby much has been learned. Though, I believe there is merit in keeping the site open. There are many controversial issues presented in these pages. Please view BambooZoo as a starting point in your research.
These beings are as complicated as we are and deserve more than a basic 5 paragraph care sheet to maintain their health and well being.
My passion has changed. This is where I am today. Change the World.
MY YARD AS A RESOURCE
As a Canadian I appreciate spring, one of our favourite passtimes is gardening but we would also be inclined many days to name it our nemesis. There is a very close relationship between the yard and the operation of the house.
I am fond of wood accents, large branches and pieces that have been sawed with interesting shapes ...or even rounds from a fallen tree make good places to set things on top. As they have deteriorated and broken into smaller pieces they have found their way into the house. Spring is a great time for looking beneath for earthworms or carrying into the house directly placing into the tanks for the isopods (a.k.a. sow bugs, pill bugs, rollie pollies, potoato bug, etc.) These do very well on a soil base that is temperate to tropical. I screen the wood carefully to avoid bringing in earwigs, slugs can also be found on them though less often. And just after a great rain later in the season, snails are easily gathered and a treat for the water dragons. There is a risk of developing a worm infestation in doing this. I have not yet encountered this problem. I want my bugs alive and well......but if you prefer not to have them, placing the wood into the oven at 200 for an hour or two will kill off most life. The damper the wood, the longer the oven time. Or 10% bleach soak in a tub or other large container, followed by a thorough rinsing and sun baking for a few days. (Personally, I prefer not to use this method.)
**** Slugs and snails are known causes for worm infestations in tortoises kept penned outside and a close eye for symptoms should be kept if using.
Rocks can be soaked in bleach and rinsed if you prefer as well. Rocks are great ways for keeping nails without trimming. And climbing over and around ~ exercise.For the past couple of weeks most of the veggie eating reptiles have been eating from the yard. I gather a couple of grasses, the dandelions, hensand chicks that I tear into leaf pieces, thyme leaves are coming open as well. And I have found creeping charlie on a tortoise safe list a couple of years ago and incorporated it as well. The muslix mix will be planted this week and usable within a couple of weeks till the end of October. Beets, carrots, turnips and other root crops will be going in shortly after and available throughout the growing season too. Peas and beans, cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe all following. We also have a few strawberry plants and wild raspberry bushes...ouch!
This older bird cage is used for the ekkies but the bottom 3 ft square works well for the tortoises and the wood turtle. The torts are out in there long before the birds, there are days they share with the ekki's. The Eclectus will involve themselves with watching the tortoises. Didn't seem to affect the behaviour of the torts any.
The Veiled Chamelion and some of the smaller lizards like my little beardie will alternate in this small flexarium.
I decided to take the top portion of the L shape enclosure to put on the deck for the season. This will allow me to get all the midsized lizards into the sun. The water dragons, basilisks (when I can catch them), chamelion etc.
I haven't come up with a plan for the iguana unfortunately. The large enclosure he can dig underneath and this guy is a great digger. The top of the L shape does not have a strong enough wire to keep him in. The bird cage ~ the bars too far apart. The guinea pig cage not strong enough to hold him. Still working on it.
This larger enclosure has its own page:
From the inside out, I use the environment refuge thrown on the gardens or used in the composters. The used water being replaced is taken outside as well. Adding nutrition and different soils into the clay based gardens ensures they are grown with extra health.
There are currently 48 plugs being used on the main floor strickly for the pets, between heat and UVB lights, water heaters and filters. (Praying, yet knowing, that printing that statement is liable to have my husband chasing me till doomsday.....my hubby does great until the central air has to kick into the mix.)
I am working diligently on reducing my footprint and apologizing to the world. This year, one of the priorities will be to get everyone I can outside as often as possible. A few hours a week outside and the UVB lights can be turned off. Heat lights too, when the lizard is penned in the yard. I find my buddies with the exception of the tortoises are upset by being out so I choose to work small with hiding areas for their comfort. There are lots of loud and strange noises to contend with and a great time to be adding electrolytes.
It is more time consuming to work this way but the benefits outweigh the effort, in variety for the animals. Sometimes, heartbreaking if I have not got the environment and the animal matched with no error. I am looking for my female frilled dragon that squeezed herself through the bars of a guinea pig cage, only a half inch apart. :( It has been cool and wet out there this week. The days are not too bad, it is the night temps that have me very worried. It has been 5 days now. :( Below is what she managed to escape from.
In the fall I gather a couple of large bins full of leaves to add into the substrate mixtures over the winter season, when they are cleaned and adjusted. I have Maple and Ash leaves in the yard. Though, recommended are Oak leaves and Magnolia leaves will last forever, great hiding places for frog and toad abodes. Hardwood leaves will last longer than softwood. Mostly I can advise to stay away from pines and cedars.
Lets talk about worms for a minute. Dew worms or night crawlers generally need a cooler temperature to survive in a captive setting. They require refrigerator temperatures to survive.
For application indoors, look to the family of composting worms. Red worms and Red Wigglers (Wrigglers?) are capable of surviving in most moister environments, like water dragon enclosures, chams., 5 line skinks, geckos, etc. These worms take care of much of the tank debris, churning over the dirt, feeding on feces and left over greens that I have dumped onto the floor, and the leaves that are put in 4 times a year or so. They are an extra food source for the residents, a way to encourage foraging behaviours stimulating natural behaviour and increasing activity levels, nutritious and low fat, and able to breed and populate the tank.
There is an old technique for catching butterflies and other flying insects, honey placed on a tree trunk will attract them. I haven't gone this way yet as my education on insect variety is negligent. And winged insects might be a little tricky as to what may be safely identified.
With appreciation expressed to the many participating in building this site.