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  • Keeping Snails as Pets
    to maintain damp conditions but not be prone to going boggy or sour and also be fairly easy and cheap to replace since you ll probably find you need to clean out the tank every few weeks Garden soil or compost are amongst the best but avoid soils that are sandy or gravelly as they are not ideal for the snails to move about on You ll also need to provide them with some places to hide during the day old broken flowerpots or some cork bark are ideal for this job Giant Snails For anyone looking for a rather more exotic kind of a snail to keep as a pet the ever popular varieties of Giant African Land Snails affectionately known as GALS to many of their fans take some beating Achatina fulica the East African Land Snail is one of the most commonly seen growing to a shell length of 4 6 inches 10 15cm this snail is one of the best kinds to keep and will breed very successfully in captivity Other species to be seen on sale include the Tiger or Ghana Giant Snail Achatina achatina which has a shell some 10 inches 25cm long making it the largest land snail in the world the Giant Blond Snail Achatina immaculata and the West African Land Snail Archachatina marginata Caring for Giant Snails Housing Giant Snails calls for much the same kind of set up as for their British relatives though the container obviously needs to be appreciably larger The main difference between keeping these tropical species and our own snails is the need for some additional warmth particularly in the winter months though this can be provided very effectively with heat mats underneath the tank A temperature around 21 26C 70 78F is ideal These snails enjoy burrowing so a good deep layer of flooring material is essential to allow them to bury themselves successfully perhaps as much as 6 or 8 inches 15 20cm being necessary for some of the big ones If you keep two or more of these giants together the deep floor will also provide your pets with somewhere to bury their eggs once they get around to breeding Feeding Snails All of these species British or African are wholly or almost entirely vegetarian and will benefit from as wide a range of diet as you can arrange for them including most supermarket fruit and vegetables and home grown items including many common weeds such as dandelion leaves Whatever you feed them it s important to wash everything thoroughly since snails are susceptible to pesticides and remove anything that is left untouched before it has a chance to go off Snails also need a source of calcium to keep them healthy and encourage proper shell growth which is particularly important for the giant varieties Putting a cuttlefish bone in the tank will allow your pets to meet their needs Whether you choose to collect yours from amongst the UK s native varieties

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-snails-pets.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Monitor Lizards
    terrarium ten feet by five 3x5m which you ll need to keep heated to 27 30 degrees C 80 86F rising to around 35C 95F at the hot end Ideally there should be an even hotter spot for basking and the temperature should be dropped substantially at night to mimic their natural environment Like other species of lizards they also benefit from UV exposure to help them form strong well calcified bones given their fast speed of growth A range of flooring materials are suitable for these lizards but they tend to be messy feeders and produce a large amount of droppings so it s probably best to pick something that can be easily removed for cleaning such as paper towelling or newspaper Bark chippings and gravel can give a more natural look to the terrarium but if you do use gravel pick a size that is not likely to be ingested along with food since this can cause digestive problems and avoid sand for the same reason Monitors like water so a dish large enough to allow your pets to get a good soak will be a much appreciated addition to their home though you will almost certainly be forever cleaning it Food And Feeding One thing that is very much in their favour is that unlike many varieties of lizards monitors are remarkably unfussy feeders and in the wild they eat almost any suitable prey that they can overpower In captivity various types of insects garden bugs pinkie mice adult mice rats and even eggs will be more than welcome in fact they often eat so well that they are prone to suffer from obesity The relative proportions of live insect to pre killed rodents or day old chicks has often provoked fierce debate amongst lizard keepers Given the habitat that these animals naturally occupy it s probable that insects make up the bulk of their intake perhaps up to 60 or 70 per cent but if your pets are doing well on a different diet it really isn t worth risking changing it Most monitor owners also make use of proprietary supplements to ensure that their pets get all of the essential minerals and vitamins that they need dietary calcium is particularly important for juveniles Although these lizards are challenging creatures to keep if you provide them with the right environment and put in the necessary work Bosc s monitors in particular can make rewarding pets and may live for ten years or more Previous Page Next Page You might also like Ideal Invertebrates for Beginners Emperor Scorpions as Pets Pet Cockroaches and Crickets Keeping Snails as Pets Keeping Hermit Crabs and Land Crabs Share Your Story Join the Discussion or Seek Advice Hi I have a bosc monitor He is about 5 yr old and 3 foot long The past 2 months he has not been eating we have took him to the vet and he had blood tests and x ray which came back ok

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-monitor-lizards.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Hermit Crabs and Land Crabs
    be careful to leave them undisturbed when they are actually moulting since they re very vulnerable at this time and easily harmed Land Crabs Large attractive land crabs such as the West African Rainbow Crab Cardisoma armatum a striking purple bodied species with reddish orange legs also make interesting pets In the wild these crabs live in burrows along rivers and the coast so their homes need to have a good deep floor covering to allow them to behave in a natural way and they ll also appreciate a range of bits of cork bark and other hiding places in the tank There are a number of varieties offered for sale as pets from time to time including other Cardisoma species and the Indonesian Land Crab Gercarcinus ruricola Although they spend almost their whole time on dry land they will still need access to water so housing them either calls for an aqua terrarium with a sizeable island area and well filtered water or a terrarium with a big enough water dish to let them submerge fully Food And Water Both kinds of pets are natural born opportunists scavenging and eating almost anything However they seem to bore easily so most owners try to provide a good variety of fruits vegetables cereals meat and even small amounts of cat or dog food but they are inclined to be very messy eaters so it s important to clean up after them thoroughly Crabs need water but chlorinated water seems to be harmful although your pets may take their time before showing any ill effects Since they are sensitive to a range of chemicals especially copper it s probably best to allow tap water to stand for a couple of days before use rather than try any of the de chlorinating treatments

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-hermit-crabs-land-crabs.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Stick Insects and Praying Mantis
    come from tropical or semi tropical regions they will need to be kept warm around 25 degrees C 77F although some kinds such as the familiar Indian Stick Insect Carausius morosus thrive at room temperature Most but not all stick insects require fairly humid surroundings the commonly sold Indian Stick Insect again being one of those to buck the trend and live in much less moist conditions than many of its relatives Some humidity is required by praying mantis a gentle misting of its container every couple of days usually being all that is needed Food And Feeding Diet is one big difference between these two kinds of insects whereas stick insects are plant eaters and most species can be happily kept together all of the world s 2000 or so species of praying mantis are carnivores and distinctly cannibalistic when the circumstances arise For obvious reasons the mantis is a solitary pet All stick insects seem to find bramble a very acceptable food with many other kinds also enjoying the leaves of oak hawthorn and privet It s important to provide their food as fresh as possible so keep an eye on things and replace it if it s beginning to look wilted and past its best Unless you re sure about pesticide use around the area you re harvesting for food it s a good idea to wash the leaves and stems routinely which is also a good practice to follow if you collect material from the roadside Suitable prey for praying mantis depends entirely on the animal s size since they are very unfussy in terms of what kind of other insects they ll eat Young ones will need fruit flies or very small crickets while adults will consume large crickets and almost anything else you can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-stick-insects-praying-mantis.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • How to Keep Millipedes & Centipedes
    tanks the container should be about as wide as the length of the largest individual it will house and at least twice as long Centipedes need a tank of at least the same relative size but taller to prevent these swift and agile animals from scurrying out if you take the lid off Bear in mind each one you keep will need its own home centipedes are not sociable beasts Most millipedes commonly offered for sale come from the warm forests of Africa Central America or Southeast Asia and so high humidity is called for which is often easiest to achieve by regular misting of the tank from a hand spray Adding a small water bowl or water soaked pad many pet shops sell purpose made sponges for this job also helps maintain humidity as well as obviously giving the animals a drinking place Sterilised potting compost or sphagnum moss makes good flooring material especially since most species like to hide by burrowing down during the day to emerge and forage at night For forest dwelling centipedes the same kind of arrangement will suit them too while any desert species will need a drier sandier environment with a few rocks or stones added to make hiding places Food And Feeding Feeding habits are one of the major differences between these two types of animals with millipedes being gentle herbivores and centipedes active and highly aggressive hunters Although some kinds of millipede can be a bit fussy in their diet most have remarkably wide tastes happily grazing on all manner of things including vegetable peelings dead leaves over ripe fruit salad leaves and mushrooms Ask your dealer for a recommended diet but it s also worthwhile experimenting a little to see what your animals seem to like Millipedes need fairly large amounts of calcium in their diet to stay healthy so it s a good idea to put a cuttlefish bone the sort widely sold for caged birds in their tank Some keepers also add a little fish food or rabbit flakes from time to time to meet their other mineral requirements By contrast centipedes will eat just about anything smaller than themselves which generally makes them fairly easy to cater for in captivity the usual diet of crickets mealworms and assorted garden caught bugs will be readily consumed Most kinds can be relied upon to feed well while the appetite of the various species of Scolopendra is legendary Handling Your Pets Although millipedes are harmless vegetarians many kinds produce a toxic skin secretion as a form of chemical defence and in some varieties this can be very strong so washing your hands after touching them is clearly important Centipedes on the other hand are armed with forcipules a pair of curved jaw like claws through which it pumps venom into its prey or your fingers if the occasion arises and the venom of many of the commonly kept Scolopendra sp is very potent Handling these animals many of which can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/how-keep-millipedes-centipedes.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • How to Keep Scorpions
    fresh Food And Feeding Scorpions are active hunters and in the wild consume a wide variety of insects and other prey In captivity they will happily take the normal kind of food items such as crickets and locusts depending on their size but some wild caught bugs from the pesticide free areas of your own garden will certainly be welcomed too Feeding is best done at night since these animals are nocturnal and naturally secretive With scorpions uneaten food can often be the first sign that something is wrong so it is important to pay attention to any change of behaviour or appetite at feeding time Good Starter Species With 1 500 species worldwide of which around 100 are known to be potentially fatal to humans good identification is the key There are some general rules the thinner the pedipalps pincers or the lighter the animal s colour the more venomous it is which hold true at least as a rough guide but it goes without saying that if you aren t convinced that your supplier really knows what s in the tank don t buy Growing to 6 inches 15cm in length and coming from West Africa the Emperor or Imperial Scorpion Pandinus imperator one of the largest of the world s scorpions is an ideal species to keep although its smaller relatives are best avoided This is a species for which the rules hold true a black coloured animal with very robust pedipalps the sting of Pandinus imperator is much the same as that of a bee Alternatively some of the Asian species notably the Thai Black Heterometrus spinifer and the Javanese Jungle Scorpion H javanensis are also good for inexperienced keepers Almost as large as the Imperial Scorpion these animals are very similar in their needs all

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/how-keep-scorpions.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Tarantulas & Spiders
    which naturally live in rainforests Getting both of these right is important since they affect both appetite and the animal s ability to shed its skin Ground dwelling tarantulas also need a generous layer of flooring material sphagnum moss vermiculite or shredded cork bark are ideal which will let them burrow together with some suitable hiding places and a water supply in a shallow bowl or proprietary tarantula sponge Food And Feeding Spiders are carnivorous hunters and will eat almost anything smaller than themselves which is why they should always be housed individually For most varieties their natural prey principally comprises a variety of small insects and other arthropods so a diet of locusts crickets and mealworms will be fine with the occasional supplement of a few wild caught items from your own garden The golden rule is never overfeed pet spiders since over stuffed animals can have problems moulting for tarantulas once or twice a week is normally often enough and always remove any uneaten food or remains of insects that have been devoured promptly Handling Tarantulas It comes as a bit of a surprise to most people that tarantulas are remarkably fragile and even dropping a relatively short distance can cause them injury or even death Humans can be injured too many species have the ability to flick irritant hairs from their abdomen and their bite which though generally no more harmful than a bee sting can cause a bad reaction in some people As a result the British Tarantula Society recommends a no handling policy but this needn t spoil your enjoyment of your pet After all countless fish keepers around the world don t get to stroke their pets either Top Tarantulas Although there are many types commonly seen on sale some of the best ones

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-tarantulasspiders.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Swifts and Fence Lizards
    30 x 12 x 16 inches 75x30x40cm will be adequate for a male and two females though a larger tank would be better Sceloporus are territorial animals so it s unwise to house males together A good lid is also essential as these lizards can jump surprisingly well Woodland and grassland species can be kept on a floor of purpose bought bark chippings sterile compost or sphagnum while desert species will require drier sandier conditions The tank should also contain plenty of hiding places cork bark caves along with suitable logs and stones for clambering over and a shallow water bowl The heating requirements vary slightly with the species but as a general rule the daytime temperature should be around 25 30 degrees C 77 86F with a warmer basking area and a night time drop to 16 or 20C 62 68F though tropical or desert dwellers will probably like a little more warmth Most Sceloporus keepers tend to use ceramic heaters or spot lamps to achieve these requirements rather than heat mats or hot rocks largely because these lizards often burrow and digging themselves down onto heaters runs the risk of getting severe burns Your pets will also need exposure to a suitable UVB source for 12 hours a day to stay healthy Food and Feeding These lizards are carnivorous actively hunting their prey which in the wild comprises a wide range of insects and other assorted arthropods In captivity almost any appropriately sized live food will be acceptable from the normal standbys of crickets and mealworms to any wild caught garden insects larvae and earthworms Sceloporus seem to do best if they have a number of different foods in their diet so it s worth trying to replicate something of the variety they would naturally encounter whenever you

    Original URL path: http://www.KeepingExoticPets.co.uk/swifts-fence-lizards.html#Newcomment#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-24