FAQs

UVB is an invisible ultraviolet spectrum of light. It is essential to all living animals, but especially to diurnal reptiles (definition: reptiles active during the day). Nocturnal reptiles also benefit from UVB, but it’s not as crucial. UVB light allows the body to synthesize vitamin D3, which is required to metabolize calcium. Without it, reptiles are unable to use the calcium in their diet and begin to take it from their bones which causes medical issues with their bones and nervous system and will eventually lead to death.

Do the research for the specific animal that you have, but a good rule of thumb is to program the UVB and daytime light/heat to be on for 12 hours and then turned off for 12 hours. During the 12 hours when bright lights are off, there should still be nighttime heat (black or red bulbs, heat mat, or ceramic heat emitter), this is also a time when the animal can get some rest without bright light distracting them.


All diurnal (definition: active during the day) reptiles should have access to UVB light. Turtles, tortoises, bearded dragons, iguanas, and chameleons are some common examples of reptiles that need UVB light. UVB lights should be kept on during the day and turned off at night and should be used along with calcium supplements.

Do the research for the specific animal that you have, but a good rule of thumb is to program the UVB and daytime light/heat to be on for 12 hours and then turned off for 12 hours. During the 12 hours when bright lights are off, there should still be nighttime heat (black or red bulbs, heat mat, or ceramic heat emitter), this is also a time when the animal can get some rest without bright light distracting them.


Yes, you will need to replace your UV light bulb because the output decreases over time. This means that it's important to your pet's health that the UV light bulb is always near full strength. We recommend replacing the UV bulb every 3,500 hours. So, if you have your light on 9.5 hours a day that means about once per year. Find out the ideal amount of time your specific reptile or amphibian requires UV lighting. Then, do the math to determine the point at which you will reach 3,500 hours by calculating how long the light is on per day. 
All animals can bite if they feel threatened or scared, or if they mistake your finger for food. Be careful not to handle your pet too aggressively and make sure to pay attention if it’s showing any signs of stress. Reptiles that are handled more frequently generally become used to handling and rarely bite.
Absolutely not! This is a common myth that has been around for a long time. When lizards eat the mealworms they crush them and even if they don’t do a good job, their stomach acid kills them. Mealworms make a great food source, but don’t feed them too much because they are also very fatty.
Every reptile has a general size it’s going to grow to. Keeping it in a small cage won’t stop it from growing, but it will affect its health and wellbeing. They can become sick, aggressive, and very unhappy if they are crammed into an enclosure that is too small. Make sure the habitat is appropriately sized for the animal.
Snakes aren’t as mobile as other reptiles, and need to feel like they are safe and hidden from predators. Putting a small snake in a large cage can be stressful. Hatchling snakes up to 24” do well in a 10 gallon Critter Cage, subadults (definition: passed the juvenile stage but not yet an adult) up to 40” do well in a 20 gallon long Critter Cage, and a 40 gallon breeder Critter Cage works for snakes up to 54”. A good rule of thumb is to upgrade the snake’s tank once they are 1.5 times as long as the length of the enclosure (measuring from left to right). Snakes larger than 5 feet will likely need a larger custom-made enclosure.
CLICK HERE for the Top 10 Best Beginner Reptiles and Amphibians and their care sheets. Thoroughly read through the care sheets and do some extra research to make sure that you can provide the chosen animal with a good forever home.
Leave it alone. It is safest and happiest in its natural habitat. Many of the animals you see in pet stores have been bred in captivity and are more used to human interaction. Animals outside can get stressed being in captivity and can die very easily. Take pictures, and enjoy these amazing creatures in their natural habitat, but make sure to leave them there.
Yes, many reptiles have Salmonella bacteria in their digestive tract. The TRUTH is you are much more likely to get Salmonella from undercooked meat, a dirty sponge in the kitchen, or many of the surfaces around you. Approximately 50,000 cases of Salmonella are confirmed each year in the United States. Of those confirmed cases, less than 0.1% are attributed to reptiles.
Once in awhile you will find a finicky snake that will only eat live prey, however, almost all snakes will willingly eat frozen rodents. Frozen is easier because you can buy more at once and keep them in your freezer and they are much safer since the rodent can’t bite the snake. It’s important to make sure when thawing out your frozen rodent before feeding, that you allow it to sit in hot water (from the sink, not the stove) and you must make sure that it is fully thawed before presenting it to the snake for feeding. When choosing a size, you want to feed your snake a rodent that is as large around as he is at the largest part of his body.
Do your research! Every species of reptiles and amphibians come from different parts of the world and have different care requirements. While care sheets are available, don’t stop there. Go to the library and check out books on the reptile you want to keep, search the internet for information and study up on their care until you feel comfortable that you can imitate their natural habitat correctly. Check out your local Herpetological Society, they will likely have keepers with years of experience that can help you, as well.
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