Beyond The Care Sheets with Maddie Smith & Emzotic | Crested Gecko Care | S2E3

Beyond The Care Sheets with Maddie Smith & Emzotic  Crested Gecko Care  S2E3

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Em:Hey Zen friends, and welcome back to season two episode three of Beyond the Care Sheets. Today I am so excited to be welcoming, for the very first time ever here on Zen Habitats, Maddie Smith of Celestial Exotics. Today we're going to be covering everything pertaining to crested gecko husbandry. Let's see if we have the amazing Maddie Smith.

Maddie:Thank you for having me.

Em:Oh, it is such a pleasure. And let me tell you, I am so excited for this episode, because you know better than most how passionate I am about crested geckos. And you've been such a wealth of knowledge for me as I embark on my crested gecko journey. So, I'm hoping that you'll be able to share some of that incredible wealth of knowledge you have with our listeners joining us here this evening. Speaking of which, hello everybody, who's currently down in the chat. If you do have any particular questions for Maddie Smith, please do feel free to leave them down in the comments section below. Now, Maddie, for those who are not yet familiar with you, could you give us a little bit of background on who you are and what Celestial Exotics is?

Maddie:So, I'm Maddie and I have a YouTube channel that I post on currently about once a year. I have a video coming like within the next week, probably actually. So, perfect timing. And I also do Instagram, but right now I have an exotics breeding business. It's mainly crested geckos and it's called Celestial Exotics.

Em:Nice. Thank you so much for that. And you keep a variety of reptiles, but as we can see, you focus mostly on crested geckos. Who is this crested gecko in your hand and what makes them special to you?

closeup of a crested gecko on a leaf. Zen Habitats creates reptile enclosures that are perfect for crested geckos. 2x2x2 Zen Habitats reptile enclosures for crested geckos

Maddie:This is Demo Dog. She's one of my breeding females this year and she's special just because she's, like, really sweet and she's got a really big floppy head. She's going to squeak when I touch her flaps. She doesn't like it. Oh, actually, she's being good, but big flappy head.

Em:She is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for bringing her on. This is a crested gecko, for those of you who don't know, this is correlophus ciliatus. A very popular species of reptile and one that Maddie currently breeds. Now, how does the care of the crested gecko compare to other reptiles that you currently keep?

Maddie:Crested geckos are probably the easiest reptile I care for, just because they are like pretty good at normal room temperature being like 72 to like 78 degrees, which is perfect for my house. It’s usually around 75. They eat like a very simple diet compared to a lot of my other reptiles. Powdered fruit mix and insects so, that's pretty easy. And just overall, they're like, they're pretty sweet. They don't take up too much space because they're really tiny. So overall, they're like just really easy to care for compared to the other stuff that I have.

Em:For sure. And if you're interested in the other reptiles that Maddie keeps, she does have various videos when she shows off all of her reptiles. So, you can definitely go and check those out on her YouTube channel. Now, although that there's no such thing as a beginner reptile, we really like to stress that here on Beyond the Care Sheets, what makes the Crested Gecko so popular among new keepers?

Maddie:Honestly, I think the beauty of keeping crested geckos is you can keep them as basic and easy as you want, or you can get really complex with that and get into like UVB and lighting. Even like small heat spots in their cage, different gradients and everything. So, while they can survive perfectly fine in a cage that is one temperature and no lighting, technically, you could also like decide to make it very refreshing for them and do live plants and all different sorts of things. So, I think they're just pretty special because you can make it as complex or as easy as you want. So, they're just a great reptile to kind of start with and grow with, I think.

Em:I love all of that advice. Thank you so much. Now, speaking of the complexity of a set up for a crested gecko, do you find a particular benefit or drawback to either having an elaborate setup or a simple setup?

Maddie:Honestly, if you would have asked me this when I had two crested geckos, I would have been like huge cages with lots of foliage. And honestly, that does great for a lot of my geckos. But there's such like variation and individuals, even more than I've seen with any of my other animals, maybe because I have a hundred of them. But I've met some that could be in massive, huge enclosures and others that just don't really do great in that. Some that love their cage to be filled to the brim with different foliage and logs and everything, and some that don't do very well with a ton of foliage. So, it just really depends on like the specific crested gecko.

Em:I absolutely second that and as I've been getting more into crested geckos as well, your advice to me about a year ago when I couldn't get my young juvenile crested gecko Sploot to eat, will always stay true with me. I had him in a really large elaborate set up but in the end, I realized moving him into something smaller meant that he would be able to find his food more easily. And I saw rapid growth in how many grams he was putting on every couple of months, as opposed to really struggling to get any weight or size on him in the first year of his life. So, it really does depend, I think, on the individual crested gecko, just as you said. So, thank you so much for that. Now, speaking of juvenile crested geckos and adult crested geckos, is there a difference in care for the two of them?

Maddie:I would say in terms of like diet and everything, not as much. I try to keep the heat and the humidity about the same for both. But the biggest difference I have is I start my crested geckos, like you said, in a pretty small set up so that they can find their food. I've noticed geckos that are put into too large of setups, he just jumped onto my foot. Too large of setups too quickly, tend to like, almost get growth stunted and they grow and they turn really (unintelligible). This can also be due to like genetics, but they just don't seem to like get the nutrition that they would get if they were raised in a smaller set up and then moved into different setups as they grow. So, I do start my babies in different sized tubs, and I think I do about four upgrades from the time that they're hatchling to the time that they're adult.

Em:Wow, that is really awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. Have you found a particular difference between caring for males and caring for females in the characteristics, their behavior?

Maddie:Honestly, I do have a couple of males that I care for differently than my females. They tend to drop weight during the season. I think they're just really looking to breed. It's not all of my males (unintelligible), but I'd say a good handful. I actually downgrade them during the breeding season because they tend to like pace around and not eat as much. They're using so much energy to try to find these females and they're not eating as much. So, I found that they hold weight better in smaller enclosures during the breeding season and then they get upgraded in the winter when they're more chill.

Em:That's a really, really insightful perspective, and it takes me back to a conversation we had a couple of days ago where I noticed some interesting behavior on one of my crested geckos, and I wondered if that was to do with him being able to sense females in the room. Do you find a benefit to keeping males and females separated in completely different parts of the house, or are they okay actually in the same room?

closeup of a crested gecko licking its eye. Beyond the care sheets with popular youtuber maddie smith. Zen Habitats creates reptile enclosures that are perfect for crested geckos. 2x2x2 Zen Habitats reptile enclosures for crested geckos

Maddie:Honestly, I couldn't tell you with the different parts of the house thing because I've never done it. But I will tell you, I have had males and females next to each other in glass enclosures that I've had to block off because it seems like the male is constantly peeping through the glass at the female next to him and didn't eat as well. So, I would put black window cling film. It just like (unintelligible) to the side of the enclosure to kind of black off the side of the enclosure. And that seemed to help the males that were kind of peeping on the females all the time.

Em:I love that we don't want the males peeping on the females. For sure. They want their privacy. It reminds me very much of how people keep their betta fish. Actually, if they have two males in two separate aquariums, they'll sometimes put a divider so that they can't see each other, which doesn't initiate so much stress in them. So, perhaps with crested geckos being such visual hunters, being able to block off the sight of other crested geckos might actually be really beneficial. So, thank you so much for that and for everybody just joining us. I am live here today on Beyond the Care Sheets with Maddie Smith of Celestial Exotics. She's also an amazing guru at Zen Habitat. And she's talking to us today about the care of crested geckos. So, if you have any of your own questions, please feel free to drop them down below and we will answer them live for you if you're struggling with your geckos. Now, what kind of set up overall would you encourage people to go for, for a crested gecko? Because there are so many options. There are kits in the stores, there are bins, there are glass set ups. There's so many different kinds out there. What has worked for you?

Maddie:So honestly, I use a variety of different sizes. Bins are fine as long as they're like appropriate size. Glass is also fine as long as is appropriate size. I actually use a mixture of, I try to stay away from tubs just because I don't love the way they (unintelligible) for the adults. But I do use a mixture of tubs for my juveniles. And then I have my adults in glass and Zen Habitats and also in units that are made of like PVC. So, it just really depends on what kind of look you prefer for them. But the main thing is like kind of catering to the size of your crested gecko likes. The main size that I would recommend is 18 by (unintelligible) by 24 or larger, as long as your crested gecko can handle it.

Em:Amazing. And again, just going back, if you're new here, we spoke a little bit earlier on, which you'll be able to find on the main Zen Habitats page after this broadcast. We were speaking about how certain crested geckos are extremely individual and whilst two adults might be the same size, same age, same weight, one might thrive in a larger space, and another might not thrive in the same state. So, it really is dependent on your crested gecko. If you are interested in checking out a habitat for a crested gecko that enjoys more space, the two by two by two is a great option. So, definitely be sure to go and check those out on the website. The new Meridian, which goes together in seconds, it has just gone on for preorder. So, you could certainly go and check those out. Now, Maddie, you have a lot of crested geckos. I won't ask you off the top of your head how many you have, but what is your favorite care tip for managing a large collection of crested geckos?

Maddie:Use some sort of app to keep track of your weights because it is so valuable. Like you don't have to shuffle through binders or anything to try to keep track of everything. So, the app I use is called Reptile Buddy and I weigh them about every two weeks for babies and then sometimes more for adults, just depending if they look good. Usually once a month for adults. Especially because I don't want to bother my breeding females too much. (Unintelligible) like week and I'll probably weigh her before I put her back. But yeah, just keep all of your information in one spot. It's so much easier. You're not shuffling through papers and losing things all the time.

Em:I love that. And you did recommend Reptile Buddy to me and I've been using it religiously now for about a month and it's been a game changer for me. So, thank you so much for that recommendation. Now we have a question down here in the comments section from “Zen Friend 1.” We love the name. “I have a “garg”, a gargoyle gecko, which is very similar in many ways in care to a crested gecko. “I have a gargoyle gecko that's always fired up, but when I travel, I have a travel tank and he's always fired down. Is fired down better?

Maddie:I wouldn't say fire down is necessarily better. I’ve noticed like crested geckos tend to fire up, like when it's dark, when it's humid, when they're hunting, when they're breeding. But also, what I've noticed actually is when I go to expos that are long, my geckos tend to get over fired, which is what I call it, where they're fired up all weekend. And by the last day, they're just, they're half fired up, but they're dull. So, it's possible your gecko fired up. But he's been fired up for so long and kind of in that stressed fired upstate, that he's just over fired. And that's the only way I really know how to describe the over firing thing. But I just noticed it kind of recently because the last day they're not fired down, but they're not necessarily fired up either. So, I wouldn't say one is better than the other, but that's just my take, I guess.

Em:That's great. And then just off the top of my head, we're talking about how geckos fire up and fire down. What does it mean when a crested gecko fires up or fires down?

Maddie:So, well she's going to leave me. They will turn typically darker when they fire up. So, she's fired down right now. So, you can see kind of like olives and stuff in her color. But when fired up, they're really pretty black and almost like a white color. So basically, when they're fired up, they will change color typically to a darker color and then fired down it's just their natural, you know, naked state of being.

Em:Like resting, I suppose. I love it. Naked resting. Why not? Both. Now, we had another question from “Zen Friend 2.” “Are there any ways to help a juvenile eat crickets?”

Maddie:Oh, my gosh. Okay, so, yes, I start my baby crested geckos about two weeks after they hatch on like eighth inch crickets I believe. They're really, really, really tiny. And so many of them automatically have the instinct to run and hunt. But there are some that I get from other breeders and some that I hatch out myself that just don't take to them right away. So as nasty as this is, if you want to put them in the freezer to knock them out first, be my guest. But make sure they're room temperature before you feed and rip them in half and let them lick the guts. And as nasty as that is, they usually tend to lick the guts. They'll start biting and they'll chomp on to it. Eventually with that, they'll learn to just tong feed with whole crickets and then they'll get interest. Or you can try Pangea and then like doing it that way. But I've gotten pretty much every gecko that hasn't eaten insects as babies onto crickets that way.

Em:I love that. Now we in in the reptile hobby, here in the United States especially, are very used to feeding either Pangea or Repashy, which we know as a complete diet. What is the benefit of introducing insects or dusted insects into a crested gecko's diet? And is it essential?

Maddie:So, I would consider it essential. Some people might not. I think not only is it essential for (unintelligible) aspects, because in the wild they're eating so many different types of little invertebrates and they even eat other lizards and little birds and everything. So, it's just so they're so used to eating that in the wild, so why not also in captivity? It's also a good enrichment (unintelligible). Bugs help babies grow so much more. You should always feed the crested gecko diet and make sure that they're eating the crested gecko diet before you start crickets. Because the nutrients in the crested gecko diet is essential for their growth and well-being. But I think there's nothing like a good fresh insect for them to grow because they just put on size so much faster. They seem so much healthier and they're obviously so much happier because they're running around and hunting them.

Em:Such great advice. I've certainly noticed with some of the juveniles that I have, they are so food motivated and they're so driven by that, that motion that the crickets have, that it really stimulates them to eat actually more than when I just have Pangea or Repashy in there. So, I think it certainly has additional benefits for sure. We have a great question here from (Zen Friend 3.) “I keep trying to do a bioactive set up, but I think my gecko ate the invertebrates and the plants ended up dying. How do I keep it alive? Is it even worth it?”

closeup of a crested gecko on a log. Small crested geckos. Zen Habitats creates reptile enclosures that are perfect for crested geckos. 2x2x2 Zen Habitats reptile enclosures for crested geckos

Maddie:It depends on if you think it's worth it. I think it's worth it just because it's so much easier to maintain in the long run. The biggest thing you want to look at is, what is your soil made up of? Is it too wet? Is it too dry? A drainage layer is really important for tropical setup so that plants aren't just constantly sitting in water. Also, a good grow light. The Arcadia Jungle Dawn is my absolute favorite. It's a little bit more on the pricey side, but it is just like unmatched when it comes to like UVB, or not UVB I'm sorry, full spectrum lighting for your plants. They just will explode with growth. Also, as far as your crested gecko eating invertebrates, that's going to happen. If you culture them outside of the enclosure, have a separate tub for them to breed and reproduce, then you can (unintelligible) every once in a while. So hopefully they can stay on top of cleaning up your enclosure while your gecko is also chomping on them. Or like (unintelligible) isopods in spring tails do a great job because typically the bigger ones can't really get the small little stuff. They might try, but it'll be less than if you're using like dairy cow isopods or power orange or something.

Em:For sure. Well, thank you so much for that. That was a great leap down there by Demo Dog. So, thanks for showing us how a gecko can be super springy. There's another question down here by (Zen Friend 4) “How do you hold a skittish crested gecko without it getting scared?”

Maddie:It can take some time. I even have some crested geckos that don't love to be held. I wouldn't say any geckos love to be held. They just merely tolerate it. She's just very good at tolerating it. If you're really wanting to hold a crested gecko, you could always try to hold them on some (unintelligible) or a plant or something and gradually work into your hand. Always do like a treadmill motion, so they're kind of running and jumping to your hands and such. But it just, it just takes some time. Small, frequent handling sessions, maybe like a couple of minutes a day. Always end on a good note, if they poop or pee on you. Make sure you like outlast them because they'll learn that if they poop and pee on you, they get to go back. So, they’ll just do that endlessly (unintelligible). I know it's annoying and disgusting, but just outlast them and they'll get used to it eventually. I think just small frequent handling sessions with treadmill hands is the way to go.

Em:Definitely. I would absolutely second that. And we touch very quickly on lighting a few seconds ago and the previous question. Where are you on the lighting debate with crested geckos, because so many will say that they are nocturnal and they will not benefit from U.V., whereas others say they absolutely require U.V. Where are you on this great debate?

Maddie:So, I would say kind of in the middle. I don't think that they necessarily need UVB to survive. We've had them in captivity for (unintelligible) plus years and people have not offered UVB and there are crested geckos that seem perfectly fine without it. But I think since (unintelligible) some in the wild (unintelligible), they would definitely benefit from having UVB bulb even if you have one. My ideal setup would be full spectrum light on during the day, UVB light on for a couple hours at dawn and a couple of hours at dusk, and then just back to the full spectrum, and then off. Just because they would be out to bask in the morning and evening when they're more active and then, you know, nighttime when they're also active.

Em:For sure. Now we had two great questions, which kind of coincide and it's asking you whether you have a preference for feeding crickets in an escape proof bowl or simply free in the enclosure. Is there a benefit to one or the other?

Maddie:I prefer to do it (unintelligible). I mean, I have a lot of geckos so if I were to put them all in separate tubs to make them eat, it would just take literally forever. It already takes me like 4 hours. So, I do it in the enclosure. I also think it's very beneficial for them to hunt. But you just do have to realize that you're probably going to have some crickets around your house and you might even get some crickets breeding in the enclosure if you're going to (unintelligible), which technically isn't the end of the world, but it can also be a bad side.

Em:For sure. Now (Zen Friend 5) has asked, “how many times do you need to feed adults?” I'm guessing this is in a week rather than a lifetime. So, how many times a week would you choose to feed your adults, or your juveniles and adults if it differs?

Maddie:So, I actually feed all of mine on a schedule, as long as they're not overweight. Which I don't think any of mine are, except for maybe a few. But they're lying, so I just let them regulate themselves. But I do like a feed then starve type of scenario. So, I feed them the gecko diet the first night. The second night I let the crested gecko diet sit out. And then the third night I take the crested gecko diet out and I feed crickets on the starve night. If they don't eat crickets, you don't have to feed that night, but I do crickets on the third night. So, it works out to about like twice a week for bugs, I think. And then (unintelligible) for crested gecko diet, if I'm “mathing” correctly.

Em:I love it. I think you're “mathing” just perfectly. Now (Zen Friend 6) says “Maddie, when did you fall in love with crested geckos?”

Maddie:So, I fell in love with crested geckos, I actually got my friend's first crested gecko for her back in 2015 when I worked at PetSmart, and we had a returned crested gecko come in that she wanted. And I was 18 at the time, but since I worked there, I was able to adopt it and so she got him. And she got into breeding, not him, but (unintelligible) at that time and that's when I really started like falling in love with them and I really loved them. And then when I got my own, I was like, “Oh my gosh, I want to work with these.” And mine was just like my, my girl Poppy. I still have is (unintelligible) just insane. And she has not slowed down, but they're just like, they're so different. All of them are so unique and I just think that's awesome.

Em:That is really, really great. Thank you so much for that. And I do apologize if I butcher your username, but (Zen Friend 7) has asked, “do you have an issue with a gecko grabbing a mouthful of substrates when you feed in the enclosure? How do you deal with it?”

maddie:I have very rarely seen that. A lot of times I see the gecko go up to the plants and they'll grab them in the plant. I have noticed a couple of times that they bite the substrate, but I use a mixture of play sand and soil. It's mostly like fine topsoil. They spit it out pretty much right away. So, if not they should be able to pass it. A healthy gecko should be able to pass a little bit of substrate. So as long as you're not noticing them like grab mouthfuls every single hunting, I think you should be okay if they swallow just a little bit from now, now and again.

closeup of a crested gecko. Zen Habitats creates reptile enclosures that are perfect for crested geckos. 2x2x2 Zen Habitats reptile enclosures for crested geckos

Em:That's so funny that you say that because I have two or three crested geckos here at home and when I have them on a coco fiber mix those two or three, every time I would give them crickets, would get mouthfuls and I'd have to go in there and just slowly bring it out. So, I actually switched them to paper towel, which esthetically is not as pleasing, but if you do have worries about impaction, then that's something you can do just to mitigate some of that worry. There's another great question here. By (Zen Friend 8), what plant types are safe for crested geckos for their enclosures and where can you buy these plants?

Maddie:So, this is kind of a topic that people disagree with me on. There are calcium (unintelligible) in a lot of common plants that you would put in enclosures with reptiles. So, pothos, monstera, dracaena, a lot of, I don't know if sansevieria has it or not, but a lot of different type plants have calcium oxalate, eaten and ingested. It's supposed to be bad for the gecko or reptile in general, but luckily those don't typically chomp on plants. So therefore, I think if your gecko is not sampling the plants, you're pretty safe to add whatever you'd like. The one I would avoid is probably dieffenbachia, because it does have a bit higher calcium oxalate in it. So, I would avoid dieffenbachia. But other than that, I prefer to use things like pothos. My favorite plant to use with my crested geckos, because I find that they love to sleep in it, is dracaena and it's the Janet Craig variety. It's very green with a lot of different pockets in it and gets pretty tall. So that's pretty good. So yeah, pothos and dracaena are probably my favorite to use. Also, sansevieria (unintelligible) don't die from root rot if you have like a good drainage layer because I've had a couple of them die. They make great places for the gecko to like rest on.

Em:That's amazing. Thank you so much. And (Zen Friend 9), we love your face as well. Now what should a “crestie” owner do if they discover that their crested gecko has dropped their tail?

Maddie:So, if a crested gecko drops the tail, you don't need to panic or put anything on it. They (unintelligible) in the wild all the time. (Unintelligible) they're running over in the wild like, you know, dead things or like (unintelligible) and you know. So, you don't really need to worry as long as you make sure it closes up early and isn't getting like any signs of like swelling or infection. You really don't need to do anything. If you are worried about it, just add them to a sterile set up until you notice that the injury closes over. I've had multiple drops. I've never really had to do anything super special. They all just heal up just fine.

Em:Same with me. I've got a lot of frog butts and I've never had any infections. It seems like they, even though they fail in many ways as a reptile, just in their survivability, if that's even a thing. It’s just, I don't understand how they can survive in the wild because they’re so “derpy”. That is one thing that their anatomy seems to have gotten correct is that they very rarely get an infection. So, I think if you're really worried, maybe just put them on some paper towel for a couple of days and they should be just as fine. Now how do you feel about cohabiting males and females or two females, even for that matter? We know that two males of any species are more likely to fight, but is it possible to cohabit successfully crested geckos, or how do you feel about it?

Beyond the care sheets, a Zen Habitats series where reptile experts and influencers chat on Instagram live.

Maddie:So, I do know people that successfully have females and some keep their pairs together for some months or all year round. I personally don't. I have cameras on my geckos and I have tried to cohab females just to see how it went. And there was a lot of behavior of them picking on each other at night. Most people would be like, oh they're totally fine during the day, but if you really watch them at night, you’ll notice there is some bullying behavior that you might not be seen during the day. And usually, like, what I know is it’s the one female keeping the female away from the food bowl, which is something you never want to have happen. So, I would say if your experienced with geckos you can try to do females together, but I personally wouldn't recommend it just because it's not necessary. There's not really a benefit to keeping multiple together vs. keep them separate.

Em:How would you feel about cohabiting juveniles together?

Maddie:So, I actually am trying this year something a little bit different than I did last year. I immediately at hatch separated clutch mates at hatch, but this year I'm actually going to keep them in together until they're about three grams, I think. I did have a clutch hatch pretty small at the end of (unintelligible) and I was recommended by another breeder to keep them together so that they would have like a healthy competition of food and encourage each other. And so far this year, I have noticed that they do seem to eat more when they're together. I think it's just the competition of it, which also tells you it's probably not good long term, but in really small babies, it's a good thing. From what I've seen so far. I've only had a couple so far this year. I would have to update later on, but that's my finding so far.

Em:That's amazing. Thank you so much. Now (Zen Friend 10) says “Just stopping to say hi and how much I love Celestial, my Celestial gecko. Cannot recommend Maddy as a breeder enough. She's so incredibly intelligent and caring of this wonderful species.” So that’s some lovely feedback and (Zen Friend 11), that we had on last week as our bearded dragon expert says, "Hey, Maddie and Em. My crestie refuses bugs. Have any of yours refused them as well?”

Maddie:Yes, I’ve had geckos that are very passionate about bugs when they're younger, and go off of them when they (unintelligible), but I think it's honestly because I see often that they just get tired of them. I'll still offer (unintelligible) maybe instead of twice a week, I’ll offer them once a week. Just see how they respond to it. Sometimes they'll grab them like enthusiastic about it or they'll tong feed every now and then. But yes, I definitely have had geckos that kind of lost their enthusiasm about bugs over time.

Em:That makes sense, and (Zen Friend 10), if you're wondering how to get your “crestie” at all started on the bugs. We did cover that a bit earlier on today. So, once this live has ended and it's on the Zen Habitats Instagram page, you'll be able to refer back to that and find the answer to that question. It's kind of gross, but it's also really, really useful now. We're vastly running out of time here, but we have time for, I think, two more questions. One of them, which I think is really important, is that breeding crested geckos is so popular right now. Do you have any words of wisdom for those who are just getting into breeding crested geckos as to how to select good quality crested geckos for breeding? Or is it okay to purchase too from, say, a chain pet store and breed those? Is there a difference between them?

Maddie:So, I definitely think there is a difference between them. You'll notice, geckos from breeders tend to have better structure, or breeders that are focused on crested geckos, I guess have better structure. A lot of times will have better color overall, they’ll seem healthier, and be more robust. And a big thing is lineage. So, they'll have a lot of breeders with lineage on their geckos. So, you can trace them back sometimes several generations and keep track of things like their parents and how their parents progressed. So that's really cool. You're looking into breeding. I would just research a ton before you start. You can go on to Facebook because it’s a really good place to find really good information. There's a lot of Facebook groups, a crested gecko pairing and discussion, I believe it's called, (unintelligible) like learn what babies come out of which pairings and what other people that have bred them for a long time are recommending. Another group to try to join is what's my (unintelligible). There's a couple of them on Facebook and that's a really good way to learn different geckos and what makes them worth different prices because there's a vastly different range of prices and geckos. So those are the big things also if you could try to find a mentor, somebody that's been breeding for a while, give you advice and that you can go to when you have roadblocks in your journey. We all have some inevitably in the beginning. But yeah, I guess just research and try to support ethical breeds that really care about their animals. (Unintelligible) with like a big thing. Grow them out, get them at like five grams, ten grams and you will pay way less in the beginning. For Geckos, which might turn out really incredible. I've had a gecko that I paid a couple hundred for turning into a gecko that's probably $6,000 thousand. So it's just like really nice when you can watch the progression of a little tiny baby to, you know, a full grown adult. Very rewarding.

Em:Absolutely. And thank you for being my unofficial mentor. I kind of adopted you as my mentor, and you've been absolutely invaluable. I see that you've been helping (Zen Friend 11) as well, so thank you so much for sharing that information. Finally, Maddy, is there anything about crested geckos that you really wish people knew and that you would just love to share about? To everybody who's listening.

Maddie:They're not boring. There's so many different colors, so many different personalities. There's a kind of range of sizes. She's pretty big. There's some smaller ones, so they're really not like as beginner of a pet as people would think. They're not lame. If you have a crested gecko, you're not boring. They're really fun. And I encourage you to look into just how many different color variations they come in, because I think they're like one of the coolest reptiles because you don't have to track genetics, so to speak. But lineage is like really fun to track and see like what comes out of what. And I think they're just very underrated. Even though they’re one of the most popular anymore (unintelligible). People think that they're basic.

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Em:Yeah, they're definitely anything but basic. And Maddie, thank you so much for taking time out of your Monday evening to join us and to share your expertise and your knowledge. It was such a pleasure to have you on Beyond the Care Sheets. So, if you are just joining us, that was Maddie Smith of the amazing Celestial Exotics. You can find her on Instagram. You can also find her YouTube channel, which is Maddie Smith. And you can learn so much from her. She has such a wealth of knowledge. Thank you all so much for joining us on season two episode three Beyond the Care Sheets. We will be back again next week for an extravaganza, bringing back all of our guests from this series. And it was just such a pleasure to have Maddie on. If you're looking to share this information with anybody who's really into crested geckos, but they couldn't make the live, feel free to share it with them. And it was just such a wonderful experience for this episode to make it happen. Thank you so much to the Zen Habitats team, especially over to Joanne who organized everything. Kaylee, Doug and Justin who are in marketing dream team. So, thank you so much for making today's episode possible and happen. Of course, we can’t do it without all of you who join us live. So, I'm really glad that you came and joined us. Feel free to follow us if you're not yet following us and also share this live with anybody who you think would benefit from it. And we will see you next week. But until then, bye.

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