Reptiles are fascinating creatures, and they make amazing pets, too! Raising your own reptile is a fun hobby that puts you in touch with nature every time you tend to their habitat.
Turtles, lizards, geckos and frogs make excellent first-time reptiles. There are a variety of species that you can raise with little experience, including bearded dragons, Pacman frogs and red-eared slider turtles.
At Hikari, we provide a variety of products to help you nourish your new reptile with a vitamin-enriched diet.
What Reptiles Need
Cats, dogs and small domestic animals need far less than a reptile to bring home. Because reptiles are cold-blooded, they have to be placed in a tank that is adapted for their unique biology.
For an aquatic turtle, lizard or gecko, you will need to purchase the following supplies before bringing your new friend home:
- An appropriately-sized terrarium or tank with a fitted lid.
- Food and water dishes that you will wash regularly.
- A humidity gauge and thermometer for temperature control.
- Substrate (flooring material), plants and decorations.
The type of tank or terrarium you choose will depend on the size and needs of the reptile. Aquatic turtles, for example, need space to both swim and perch on a rocky bed or stone. The depth of the tank should be at least 40 gallons for a juvenile turtle.
As turtles grow, they will require more space. But to start, a 40-gallon tank will give you enough room to ensure your pet can swim freely and not escape its enclosure.
Small lizards and geckos have varying size needs, ranging from 10 to 20-gallon tanks for babies to 40+ gallons for adults. The reptile associate at your local pet store can fill you in on the right size and suggest the best products for your new pet.
They will also be able to help you decide on the right type of lighting and substrate for your reptile. Substrate is vital to establishing the right temperature in the tank as it aids waste removal and temperature balance.
Choosing the Right Food
While many reptiles eat live prey, such as hornworms, crickets and fish, Hikari also offers unique, specially formulated foods that contain all the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy.
Unlike live foods, Hikari’s CrestGel, DragonGel, LeopaGel are dietary pastes that contain less odor and make far less of a mess than live food. However, they are highly rich in nutrients and provide a complete diet for your pet’s species.
When it comes to dry food, the Hikari Dragon Delite, Saki-Hikari Turtle and Pac Attack foods are the best choice for bearded dragons, aquatic turtles and Pacman frogs. These are comprehensive, complete dietary solutions that require no live feed to keep your reptile strong and healthy.
When choosing the right food for your reptile, live vs. packaged food comes down to a matter of preference, accessibility and affordability.
At Hikari, we’ve made our products to be convenient for everyone. Reasonable prices and generous package sizes allow you to care for your reptile without spending more money on buying and storing live feed.