New Pygmy Eating Habits Worry

lexievw

New Member
Hi all, I will post pictures soon but wanted to throw out my newbie question. Just got a pygmy yesterday. I have a 18x18x24 glass enclosure with hydroballs, carbon, and coco soil layers, real plants, 5.0 and 75 watt lights and a monsoon auto mister.

Brought him home yesterday with some pinhead crickets and he chowed down and ate 4 right away. Today I couldn't get to the shop that had pinheads and ended up getting the smallest 1 1/2 week old crickets I could find. I haven't seen him eat them. I also noticed that he has been munching on one of the plants (nontoxic). Could these relate? Is he still settling in? Am I being an overworried mom? How long can my pyg go without eating crickets (he is about 8 months old)? Please advise and thanks in advance for your input!
 
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Lingling

New Member
Congrats on the new pygmy :D I just got my first pygs this week, and they aren't quite entertaining little things! Is yours captive bred or wild caught? It will take him awhile to settle in, either way. Has it only been one day that you haven't seen him eat? They're very sneaky little things... perhaps he has eaten and you just missed it.

You might want to be careful with that 75 watt bulb... that sounds like it will get too hot for a pygmy. They like their daytime temps in the low to mid 70s. You'll have serious trouble if it gets much warmer than that.

Post pics of your little guy/girl once it's all settle in :)
 

melric

Established Member
I've only ever seen my little guys eat two or three times. If the food is dissapearing I'd say that's your indicator he's eating. About the basking lamp, it's a bit strong. In fact, I've read you don't even need one. As long as where you keep them is room temperature. Mine don't have a basking lamp and they do well.
 

mphelps

Established Member
I agree with the other comments. Nix the 75 watt bulb immediately. As long as the enclosure is well lit with some combination of fluorescent bulbs which includes a 5.0 UV-emitting bulb, that's all you need. I have never seen any of my pygmies bask, and they thrive at ambient temperatures in the low to mid 70s.

Some keepers don't even use a bulb with a rating as high as 5.0, but that's what I use on my pygmy enclosures and the animals are doing well.

If your pygmy ate 4 pinheads yesterday, there is no need to worry yet. Just make sure that a small number of small, gut-loaded crickets is available in the enclosure. You can try hydei fruitflies as well. Mine love those. Once your pygmies are settled in, feeding a small number of bugs every other day will be fine.

I have never seen a pygmy eat vegetation, but there's nothing you can do but provide the right environment for them and then sit back and watch. A small amount of vegetation shoudn't hurt them.
 

lexievw

New Member
I woke up this morning and there were missing crickets! Sound like he is eating after all. :D

About the heat lamp, I am just having the hardest time regulating the heat in there, it tends to get colder than warmer (so far, we will see how I will be able to cool it down in the AZ summer)! So I use the lamp during the day to warm it up to 70-75. Otherwise it dips below 70 and I think 65-70 is what I ideally want at night correct? Any ideas as to do this better? The Monsoon mister seems to take care of the humidity but the temperature I am still struggling with.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Look for the feces to check for eating. That was the only indication that mine were eating or drinking for the first 2 months. Now they eat and drink in front of me all the time!

If the lamp truly gets the air temp to that range then it should be fine, but where are you living and how cold is your house that you need a 75w bulb to heat a small glass cage (that retains heat a little too well)? What are you measuring the temps with and where? When my house is 60 degrees (which is much colder than most people allow their homes to get), my same size viv stays at high 60s, usually low 70s using a 13w UVB bulb, which barely gives off any heat at all. So that's why it sounds a little weird to need that wattage bulb to achieve those low temps unless your house stays in the 40s indoors.
 

EvilLost

New Member
I just want to put in a word of warning: I noticed that you have one of those stick-on dial thermometers in your enclosure. Is this how you are measuring your temps? If so, you should know those things are entirely a scam and a waste of money...they do little more than monitor the temperature of the glass it is attached to. In my experiences the enclosure is almost always warmer than those dial therms read....


*highly* recommend buying a point and read digital thermometer. they can be found for around $20-25
 

lexievw

New Member
Thanks for the great advise. I think I will pick up a digital thermometer later this week when I get paid next (expensive little guys)! He seems to be doing much better and eating like a pig (I mean pyg).

One quick question though, I am having problems spotting pygmy poo, any advise of how to spot it? Also, sometimes the calcium powder from the crickets gets sprayed in the cage, what is the easiest way to clean it up?

Thank you all again for helping me, I just want to make sure Norman has the best home he can have!
 

lexievw

New Member
I also have a questions about misting. It is so dry in AZ that I feel like I need to mist every 2 hours for 60 second. Is that too much? It seems like all the leaves are dry within an hour so I don't think I am drowning the terrarium but I want to make sure I am not hurting him!

As stated before, I should get a digital thermometer, is there something I can get for the humidity too (or a combo thing)? Thanks again!
 

lexievw

New Member
OK I bought a digital thermometer today, great advice!

I have also introduced fruit flies into the cage (crickets were a lot of work and I needed to try these). Any advice of how many to put in cage at a day? I do coat them with calcium but I want to make sure I give him enough food.
 
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