Looking after livefood in the summer months.

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As a seller of thousands of livefood insects we occasionally hear people making comments about shorter lifespan and dead on arrival livefood insects. Much of this is common sense, and some of it is totally out of everybodys’ control. For example whilst in transit conditions can easily kill or shorten the lifespan of livefood.   Temperature problems are the biggest killer of livefoods – it’s that simple. In the winter it gets too cold, and in the summer it can get too hot. The easiest months are spring and autumn! When we pack a tub of livefood in the winter we pack with extra insulation (no heat packs as the tub gets too warm and the livefood is killed). However, in the summer we cannot do this to insulate the…
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Arcadia LampGuardPro

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Arcadia LampGuardPro   LampGuardPro’ is a versatile lamp caging system that protects both your animals and UV lamps alike.   This easy to use lamp cage has been designed by experts to allow as much light through the mesh as possible. This ensures high levels of protection while maintaining maximum levels of essential UV-B. We achieve this by using a specially chosen mesh size and shape, paint colour and by applying a thick gloss coating over the wire. By doing so, we have been able to ensure that as much light as possible passes through the mesh and that your animals remain well supplied for. Commercial mesh coverings can reduce light-flow by 40% from new, LampGuardPro gets this down to around 15%* of total light energy and remains quite stable…
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Repashy Cherry Bomb

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Repashy Cherry Bomb   We are proud to introduce “Cherry Bomb” a complete gecko diet that builds on the success of our Pineapple Express seasonal blend. Pineapple was such a great appetite stimulant, that we decided to keep a healthy dose of pineapple in this new blend as part of the mix. The new main fruit ingredient is of course dried Cherry fruit. The cherries we are using are not the tart variety, but the sweet black (Bing) type. They have a great smell and sweetness that gecko’s can’t resist.   Some might ask why we are using cherries as a Spring seasonal blend when they are typically a Summer crop…. The answer revolves around the flowers. April is when cherry trees in North America typically are in full bloom.…
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Emerald Swifts (Sceloporus malachitus)

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When I was a child, over forty years ago I kept wild caught Sceloporus lizard species. They were commonly offered for sale, and were more often than not the spiny desert species originating from the USA. They were often sold as Fence lizards, and almost always kept as a desert species, no matter what their requirements consisted of. I cannot remember if this central American species was available, I don’t think it was, but certainly it’s reputation of being a difficult captive will likely originate from keeping them too dry and hot. Emerald swifts (Sceloporus malachitus) come from Mexico and further into Central America. Their habitat is quite specific, they occur in high elevation cloud forest – it’s quite cool and humid. Keeping them hot, as for example a Bearded…
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Aquarium of Genoa

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Whilst visiting the area, I thought I’d have a look at the aquarium in the historic old port of Genoa, Italy. The area has been developed into a series of attractions, and also includes a Biosphere and a Maritime museum. The aquarium itself boasts it is the largest aquarium in Europe and was opened in 1992 as part of celebrations of Christopher Columbus finding the New World – the whole area is very proud of their connection with Columbus.   For the marine and freshwater vertebrate / invertebrate lover, the aquarium boasts 33,000 square feet of large and small aquaria. Larger species includes manatees, various sharks, dolphins, turtles and Rays. There is a vast array of smaller aquaria with seahorses, fish, jellyfish, crabs and various others.   The reptile and…
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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands

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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands Burgers Zoo, named after the original owners, opened in 1913 and I one of the largest zoos in the Netherlands. It is a mix of old and new, like many old European zoos, but does not have many of the original buildings. There are several themed areas, when I visited I enjoyed many of the sections including the oceans, bush, desert, mangrove. Safari and the newest, Rimba (South Eastern Asian Rainforest). Much of the signage is supplemented in English too. The ocean section has two large tanks, each 3000000 litres, and in total there is 8000000 litres – sharks, state of the art coral and tropical fish. My least favourite exhibits were the gorillas and chimpanzee enclosure - this has altered little since it was built…
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Natural Terraria Department

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We are always looking to give a better experience at Coast to Coast Exotics. We installed a new department some four years ago dedicated to natural terraria, as this has become more and more popular with our customers we have relocated and refurbished the department. It's now closer to the main showroom, right next door, in fact. Natural terraria are nothing new in the hobby. When I first started, some forty years or more ago, all my terraria were planted with real plants, complete with drainage layers and what is now referred to us clean up crew (Woodlice etc). It's documented as long ago as two hundred years, there are several books on the topic from that long ago. The idea is to keep a natural ecosystem where plants and animals benefit…
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Reptile Egg Incubation

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There are many ways if incubating reptile eggs. By far the easiest is to use a purpose designed reptile incubator. There are several brands to choose from, virtually all the big names offer an incubator. One of the cheapest and most popular ones is the Lucky Reptile Egg-o-bator. At first glance it looks a little novelty based with its egg shaped design and cheerful graphics. But it does the job for a clutch or two of small species eggs, such as geckos and snakes.   There are some options that will make incubating reptile eggs much easier. The first is the incubation kits from Hatchrite. The are available in small and large size and include everything you need to successfully incubate your eggs once you have purchased the incubator. Follow…
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Trip to Australia – Northern territory, Darwin and Kakadu National Park

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After leaving the “Red Centre” we visited the Darwin area and the vast Kakadu National Park. It’s a huge area of varying terrain and habitat. Our base was another small holding, relatively close to both Darwin and Kakadu in a rambling place called Humpty Doo. The small holding was owned by a family that were heavily into animals, and again like the one we stayed near Alice Springs the local animal knowledge was invaluable. We needed to visit Darwin, as a friend has (now had) a reptile exhibit at Crocosaurus Cove. The city is quite small scale, generally with low level buildings and lots of public Parks. There are lots of opportunities even within the city to see wild native reptiles and amphibians. Crocosaurus Park, whilst worth a short one hour…
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Tortoise Diets

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There are several artificial tortoise diets on the market at the moment that can complement the dietary requirements of the commonly kept species. These should not be used solely in their diet, and are designed to be used with weeds. There are also weed seeds and weed growing kits for those that do not have easy access to their own source of safe, clean weeds such as dandelions.   Pellets; There are several on the market, some are better than others. We particularly recommend the ProRep Tortoise food in jars.  ProRep's low protein, high fibre tortoise food combines a range of natural foods, including grasses and edible weeds, which are chopped and then formed into cobs, before being gently dried. Because they are not cooked at high temperatures or finely…
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