75 Gallon Tank When Your Feeder Crickets Turn into Breeder Crickets | My Sudan Plated Lizard Experience | My Questions, Comments, and Concerns.

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As a disclaimer, I am not a reptile 'expert'. I'm a fish 'collector' first and foremost. I've done my best in terms of researching my animal and providing it adequate care, but if you're a reptile fanatic and/or have experience with these guys and can give me recommendations or 'Do Not's (something I'm currently doing 'wrong' or non-optimal)', absolutely have at it. I can only know what I know to know and I'm all about trying to learn more. .

I've got a 75G housing a Sudan Plated Lizard, his name is Hank. (I call him Hanky Pank - he sells propane and propane accessories-the running joke.) I got him at an adult size, he was totally brown (leather color) when I got him. Not sure, but given the research, and his size/condition when I got him, I believe he may have been wild caught?

As I'm typing that, I have not taken him to the vet yet, Suppose that's in order. How would I transport? Rubbermaid w/ towel/lid? I've had him at least 8 months, if not a year - would I know there were parasites by now? (assuming not..). His stool is large and whole, reminds me of the tortoises (I call them Turdoises) at work...

I chose the Sudan Plated Lizard as my first reptile because (I'm ambitious?...), well, I fell in love with him. I work at the store where I got him from, at the time, I was just learning the 'reptile' dept. and had to force myself to overcome learning how to tell if a snake is strike-y or just curious, or if that iguana is going to try to get out, or whip me. I was cleaning his enclosure a few days after he had arrived and noticed a lot of loose scales on the bottom. With a wet hand, I lightly ran my fingers over his back and the scales would come right off and stick to my fingers - so satisfying. Totally new to reptiles, I had assumed he was dehydrated and had stuck shed (now I know, Plated Lizards shed all the time, though, I'm pretty sure he still had stuck shed.) Additionally, he would cram his whole body into our largest circular dish, and every morning I'd have to shoo him out to clean his water. . I just had to try and do right by him, so I rehomed fish, drained my 27yr old 75G, set it up for him and home he came.

My biggest reason for 'rescuing' him. I'm all about research, once I realized I 'wanted' him, I learned that Plated Lizards are not real common (I haven't seen another since I've got mine) and that often-times, they're not housed correctly because most people don't know the first thing to do with them. (I might still be one of those people..) Their housing requirements aren't 'difficult' as I understand them, but they do require 'regular' care, and I felt like if anyone was going to provide 'extra' for this *less than spectacular* (they're not real glamourous either) reptile, I was prepared to do that - especially, if the poor thing had been plucked from the wild.

I just...couldn't have imagined selling him to someone who scoffed at me when I begged them to buy a 40B tank or skimped on Heating or UVB, I just couldn't.

I have him in about 3-4In deep (was 5-6in deep, will explain) of 75%coco husk/25%Repti-soil mix (with a BIT of sand on the left end above his heat mat-was going to mix half sand/half husk for humidity/burrowing reasons, then realized this wasn't the greatest idea about 1/8th the way through and changed my mind.)

He's got a (Exo-Terra Lg 25W, rated for 50-60G) heat matt, along with a (75 or 100W [dnt 100% remember, think its 100W] Exo-Terra) infrared heat bulb (basking) inside a dome fixture right above it.
A (Exo-Terra 200-Desert rating) UVB fluorescent light strip (48in), and about 5-10lbs of cork wood to explore in, under, and on top of.
His hide area is above his heat matt, and below his basking spot (so he can climb up higher to get warmer if he so pleases). His water dish is a Zoo-Med Lg size 'Corner' Dish (large enough for him to comfortably fit his 12+In body).
and of course, a screen top. I think the set up may be important for this next bit.

I USED to pop about 15-20 LG crickets in his tank at a time, about every other (or two) day, and he'd go crazy, taking mouthfuls of coco husk to get them all. He also gets spring mix and strawberries on occasion (though his diet is primarily insects as of now, is this okay for Sudans?), topped with freeze dried mealworms (like croutons!). I believe I need to feed him greens more often, looking into live plants and a mister system? (would this work in his current set up?)

About a month ago, I moved some cork around in his enclosure and noticed his soil was too dry, so I gave it a good mist. I only mist him when I notice the first layer of soil is fairly dusty, but this time was a good (get to the bottom layer) soaking. About a week after the fact, I noticed what looked like mold or fungus towards the front of the glass..[YIKES...oops...know not to do that again]. (with a bioactive enclosure, this would be less likely?)

I was lazy, instead of removing ALL of his substrate and replacing it, I removed the area's that I could see (taking extra /immediate area's too just in case) and left it be to dry out again. (I know (believe, correct me), Sudans are alright in a general Humidity around 50/60%, so I don't mist him often, and usually when I do, it's only to wet the first 'layer' - Maybe 2, 4 times a month)

The kicker, about 3 weeks after I first noticed the 'mold/fungus', I started to notice tiny...things...rummaging around through the husk. Upon inspection, the way they were moving - baby crickets. ****? I initially thought this was REALLY cool, (I mean, Hey, Free Food AmIRight?)

NOW, about 2-3 weeks AFTER that...there are medium sized crickets, small/medium sized crickets, small crickets, pinhead crickets, and they KEEP going...WhatDoIDo?!?!

In fact, there are so many crickets, that the local big rumped spider had decided to take up residence in Hanky's enclosure (not one, but two, worried there are also more)

As of now I'm leaving things be, but I am worried that these crickets are going to start (if they haven't already, though he looks clean) nibbling on my Hanky Pank...and I don't have a plan other than trying to trap and remove them to a holding/grow out tank (or donate them, to avoid the hassle...)

About Hanky, I mentioned he was leather brown and was believed to have had some stuck shed. Now, his creme colored lines show through real bright, He has a tinge of light blue under his throat and a bit of reddish orange on his neck. His general color is more contrasted now too. I would post a good picture of his color, but he hides from me most of the time. (Least, when I don't bother him to check in on him)

Unless...I catch him on top of his Cork Log right under his basking lamp early in the morning before the lights go on, He'll let me push my nose to the glass until he makes eye contact with me, at which point he'll dive off and scurry into his cave.

This has been my fun experience keeping my Sudan Plated Lizard (and cricket colony..). If anyone has any advice or idea's for me, they'd be much appreciated. . Thanks for reading my book.
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I know nothing about these lizards, but I want to see pictures!
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I know nothing about these lizards, but I want to see pictures!
I plan to post good ones on here soon, will post them on this thread. I know I've taken pictures of him before but I can't seem to find any on my phone. x.x. Gotta restock.

Oh! and...his scientific name is Gherrosaurus Major... Gherrosaurus. How Could You Not Love That..
I wanted to name him Sergeant...and I probably would've called him Sergeant Gherry. But my dad calls him Hank so, it stuck.

EDIT: Wait, Of Hanky or the Crickets? lol. I'll be sure to document both. x.x.
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Well, mainly Hank. Wouldn’t say no to seeing the crickets, though.
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Amazing what proper keeping does

For the crickets...well that's why I do not use crickets among other reasons. If you want rid of them catch all of them you can...change the substrate and vac out the enclosure. I would suggest getting rid of them as crickets can and do oftentimes chew on lizards...your enclosure may be large enough that this isn't an issue but at the minimum its probably annoying.

I breed dubia roaches...theyre not annoying and they don't infest anything. Theyre pretty incapable feeders actually as I feed them to my lizards in a crock...they cant climb out.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
These were taken 8/10/2020 around 12:30 am. Was only able to get a few before he decided I was looking too close.

So I got a few of his enclosure. I know it looks like I just piled the cork in his tank, but he's basically got a 3 lvl condo with a pool.

PS: I never got around to switching out his background. x.x.

PSS: I'll add onto this thread as I get more pictures of Hanky and his adventures. I'd really like to get some of his color, someday I'll upgrade this camera!


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