Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wanna See What We Did In '09? - Facebook/Twitter/YouTube

MyBookTube.... What?!?

Years ago, when Nanette and I were monitoring the kid’s computer use and warning them about this MySpace thing, I never expected that we would have a social networking page. About 7 months ago I added a FB page. What a blast. I really enjoyed seeing updates from reptile friends and from family. The ability to jump on and chat with folks is so helpful, although some night I have to go off-line otherwise I just get nothing done!

The bad news is that FB is getting a bit overrun with apps- although I am sure farming on line is a bunch of fun, I find it hard to keep up with my own yard work much less take care of a virtual farm, or duke them out with mafia dudes, or take the "Which 60’s Muscle Care are You Most Like"?

We also added a couple fan page to share additional reptile information and would enjoy your input- Supreme Gecko (1,250 fans) and Australian Geckos

While I have not really ventured much into ‘twitting’ it is a nice vehicle to get instant updates on the Chicago Blackhawks games or when someone is cleaning their enclosures. I do hope to use this tool more in the future.

What a great way to share information among the hobbyists! We’ve posted some videos on topics such as setting up P. pictus geckos, preparing the Repashy MRP diet, and snippets (I love the word snippets... I think this is my new favorite word) of some of the reptile shows we’ve attended. As this is a new venture for us, we are very excited about sharing more in 2010 (another glimpse into our upcoming post on Friday)

Finally, if you have not already done so, we would really appreciate a friend request or subscription to Wally Kern in Facebook (or Supreme Gecko or Australian Geckos), Twitter, or YouTube if you find the information helpful.
If you are on one of these sites, post an occasional comment. 

Let's be friends on Facebook:

Follow us at SG on FB:

Let's follow each other on Twitter:

Check out our Videos on YouTube:

January 1st- 2010 Plans    DON'T MISS THIS ONE!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wanna See What We Did In '09? - Our Blog

Born in February, 2009 the Supreme Gecko Blog quickly became the #1 Google ranked gecko blog on the internet! I was really surprised to find this out but it is a fact we are now very proud of. Our intent early this year was to create an on-line vehicle to share information (like these 2009 Update entries) about our wonderful hobby with very little influence from the business side. This has been a labor of love and we appreciate everyone that is sharing in this experience.

As you know, I stepped out of the majority of updates in the middle of the year and Nanette took the reigns and ran with the Blog. Her most read posts involve keeping geckos from a non-reptile keeping person’s perspective. They are both fun to read and very informative as she covers areas most of us normally gloss over. Her most engaging Topic was of course the egg contest. With over 100 participants, I am happy to say that this became a fun and hopefully educational couple of months for all of us.

Let me ask a question, what would you like to see from these articles. We've had a lot of requests for a series focusing on what we will be doing in the future and as a result, I've put this thread together. However, I need your input on where we are going with the Supreme Gecko Blog. Let me know.

Finally, watch for a BIG change in 2010 (I have to stop giving clues to the upcoming threads!!!)

Tomorrow- Facebook - Twitter

Wanna See What We Did In '09? - On Line, Web SIte, Emails and Forums

I’m not even sure where to start with what we’ve done on-line this year with Supreme Gecko From updates to the Store, changes to our Email program, delving into the YouTube arena, to our involvement in Facebook and Twitter we contributed to as many different Web 2.0 networking activities as we have time for.

Supreme Gecko Store
A year and a half ago, we spent a lot of time get the Supreme Gecko Store on-line. In 2009, we sat back a little and made far fewer adjustments than we would have liked.
Few know this but you can find all kinds of articles in the Gecko Newsletter and Library section of the Store. You can also see some amazing photos of some of the geckos we’ve sold under Owner’s Gallery. Unfortunately, these  are rather difficult to add, maintain, and especially find by our customers. This will change in 2010 (oops, sssshhhhh!).
We did add P. pictus geckos to the store and have had a great response in sales.

Crested Gecko Food Site
As well, to help those that are purchasing the Repashy Superfood now on a regular basis from us we created the Crested Gecko Food site as a one stop shop for your crested gecko food needs (including the link to the YouTube video on how to prepare the food).

I hope you like our new Email format. We switched over in November to help with Emails- improve their content, manage addresses, and analyze our statistics. I have to say that you have way higher than industry standards for opens and clicks. Thank you and Way To Go! If you have suggestions for improvements to our Emails, please let us know.

There are some great forums out there, however our participation has slipped a bit this past year as we focus on other areas that just seem easier to use to communicate with other hobbyist. As our time shifts to other more interactive tools (more on this later in the series), quite simply we are just running out of time. I cannot tell you how many nights a week I end the evening on FB chat with “Well, it’s after midnight and I need to get some sleep… gotta go” :)
Saying this however, if you ever want to get a question asked immediately, catch me on FB Chat.

Tomorrow- Blog

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wanna See What We Did In '09? - Shows

This past year, we vended at 34 shows! 34 Shows! That works out to be about 2/3 of every weekend!

We would not be so involved if we did not enjoy discussing animals with you the customer so much. I wish we had more time at these shows to chat with every single person that attends and stops by our table. My sons and wife have done a wonderful job helping out, but I still feel I miss out when someone stops by buys animals and supplies and I do not get a chance to ask about their animals.

One important point I wanted to make about our shows. I try very hard to remember everyone I meet in person and on-line but it is simply impossible. If we do not greet you by name or ask about specific animals you keep, do not be offended and please feel free to let us know who you are and what you keep (or whether you have purchased animals form us in the past). This is a great reference point for us.

If you have never been to a reptile show, you are really missing out! There are so many wonderful animals that you would never see anywhere else. Also, if you are looking for advice on keeping or breeding your animals, a reptile show is the place to be. Come see me at one of the local Wisc/Ill shows ... Reptile Show Schedule

Tomorrow- Internet

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wanna See What We Did In '09? - Supplies

Just a couple of quick notes on our Supplies. Taken from suggestions by you, we continue to expand the supplies we carry. This past year, we included calcium and vitamins, Exo Terra breeding cages, and finally started carrying the Repashy Superfood CGD 1 Part. We delayed this decision until a couple of months ago as we felt offering both 1 part and 2 part diets on the web and at shows would be a bit confusing. We were very wrong as CGD has clearly out sold MRP in the past couple of months.

The demand for the Repashy food moved us to create a completely new page for the food. You can find it at 

Repashy Crested Gecko Diet

If you are in need of any other supplies, let us know and we will gladly take a look at stocking it on our Store and at shows.

Tomorrow- Reptile Shows

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wanna See What We Did In '09? - Our Animals

You know I love talking to each of you about your animals, and always will.
However, now it’s time for a Toby Keith song- "I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, … wanna talk about number 1 oh my me my".

Our Animals-

Crested Geckos- What a Year!

The year started strong as we continued to keep up with demand for our Reds, Pinstripes, and other color morphs. Late in March we began to realize that things were slowing down. Eggs were taking longer to hatch. Females that had begun to lay in February had not laid any eggs in March! Well, we were unable to reverse this the entire year. As our stock of young animals decreased our wish list grew and grew. As frustrating as this was for us, all we can say is that 2010 will be different and we WILL BE providing animals for our loyal customers from the wish list.

Leopard Geckos- What a Year!
I believe we had such a decrease in the number of crested gecko babies this last year due to the number of leopard gecko babies delivered in our facility in ’09. Funny how things like this work out.
Our focus for years has been SHTCTS and this year we produced some of our finest. However, we also bred the following- Mack Super Snows, Enigmas (het Raptor), Blazing Blizzards, Reverse Stripes, and Raptors. All these special animals were held back and will be part of our breeding program in ’10.
It was a great year for our leos. Just glad we built those extra racks!

Pictus Geckos- Almost every one that purchased a Paroedura pictus from us this year Emailed/talked to us at a show and told us they were so happy they purchased these fun and entertaining animals. We will continue to offer P. pictus next year and might have some exciting news about our group in a few months. (that was just a quick peek into our Jan. 1 ’10 post)

All other geckos are doing well and continue to provide enough babies to offer to our customers.
We developed an interest in Australian geckos in a big way last year by adding about 10 species. It is a long process with these animals and we will not have any available for sale in 2010.

Finally, one of our hardest decisions this past year was to move away from breeding bearded dragons and chameleons. Our facility is not large and cannot expand without doing something drastic so to make room for other animals, the dragons and the last of the veiled chameleons were sold. I’m already missing the chameleons, the first reptile type I started keeping back a number of years ago.

We are very proud of the road we took with our animals in ’09 but realize we did not exactly end up at the destination we had planned back on Jan 1. This just enhances our excitement for the upcoming year (see our thread in a few days on 2010 Plans!)

Tomorrow- Supplies

.... '09 - Facility Part 2

One quick update to the post today- I would be remiss (or to put it bluntly, in a heap o’ trouble) if I neglected to mention the most significant development in the facility this year.
Since keeping reptiles, my wife Nanette has been of the opinion that they are beautiful animals… and nice to look at from a distance. Not until this summer did she actually start handling the geckos (at least the small crested geckos for now). This is a HUGE step for her and it has not only helped out in the reptile room but also opened up sharing more about the hobby and about the animals between the two of us.
She still uses a long black plastic spoon to ‘control’ the geckos when she is feeding and watering. As long as she uses that big spoon on the geckos only!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wanna See What We Did In '09? - Our Facility

Our facility has stayed a constant 30 x 20 feet over the last 5 years. Half our finished basement is Nanette’s daycare facility and about half, the facility- divided into the cool side (cresteds) and the warm side (leopards).

The cool side, where we keep crested geckos, gargoyles, days, and insects (including our 2 chests of mealworms, did not change dramatically in 2009. In the Spring, we ended our venture into keeping roaches. Not that they were not doing well, they were doing too well and unfortunately, it became too much work to try to keep control of the little buggers.

So their containers went bye bye and 8 60 qt tubs were added to the baker’s shelf. It seems like they immediately filled with half a dozen female crested gecko hold backs from ’08. This also gave us some ‘extra’ space we desperately needed… which immediately filled up with a couple of purchases and animals we are taking care of for close friends that moved this past fall.

In addition, the area where the bearded dragons were kept (more on this tomorrow), changed over to another adult crested gecko village of 6 more groups! These were the major holdbacks from ’08 and are the animals we are most excited about in 2010. Pictures will be coming as soon as ’10 babies are available!
Finally, as we held back a number of high color gargoyles from last year, we added 5 more aquariums for these females. Hope I can find a male somewhere to help out the other two boys, whew!

The warm side, where we keep our leopard gecko collection, R. chahouas, P. pictus, and Australian geckos, saw a significant change. Out with 2 plastic shelving units and 1 wood stand holding 29 gal. & 20L aquariums. In with two racks that hold 72 15 qt tubs. In addition, we put up another stand to hold 8 arboreal plastic containers. Thank goodness for teen age boys and air hammers (just don’t ask the boys how dad did with the gun)!
This put us up to 7 racks in a very small space. Oh, in addition, I have a wooden stand holding a 30L and two 40 breeder tanks!

We are officially out of room in our famility. Where to expand now?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at Scott Smith All Animal Show 12/20/09

Thank you Scott for the nice gifts, Santa walking around , and the fun Christmas spirit at the show Sunday. This always makes for a festive mood for everyone.

With our truck in the shop (ok, my wife’s SUV) we crammed everything into my midsized car. This was cool for me as it made the 2 ½ hour trip down a bit more comfy. Jordan did his usual 'load and doze' for the trip. We got a late start and I thought we would have to hustle big time when we pulled in but the car must have another couple of gears the put-put truck doesn’t have… as we pulled in about 10 minutes earlier than we usually do.

Bringing down some cresteds (this is a heavy crested gecko show), a handful of gargoyle and P. pictus geckos, and some very nice leopard geckos we filled up the car with the rest of the supplies, including the tubs of Repashy crested gecko diet.

Interesting show as we met customers looking for a special Christmas present for their family or customers looking for some high end animals. I personally enjoy working with both new hobbyist looking for their first pet and with the advanced breeding searching for that one of a kind gecko. While we sold many leopard geckos in the lower dollar range, we sold our three best looking leopards as well.

Funny thing about our supplies sales. As you may know, we bring most of our reptile supplies to the shows. Vermiculite and SHM (Supreme Hatch Material) sold very well. A couple of products we sometimes sell out of- calcium and vitamins saw no sales at all!
Then there are the paper cups. We use these for crested gecko diet and sell them in counts of 50 – 100 – and 250 boxes. Well we sold OUT of the 250 boxes where we usually sell one or two.  Sorry we were out of the plastic cups again Steve!
The big seller at this show was of course the leopard geckos. Their colors really sold themselves!

It is so great to see long time customers and new customer (like Samantha… wish I knew everyone’s name)

Wishing everyone a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.
May your 2010 see healthy animals that bring a smile to your face everyday.


Wanna See What We Did In '09?

So a whole year has passed and what have we done at Supreme Gecko? It seems like it has been a long year but it also seems like we blinked and it disappeared. Our family has grown in a sense with girlfriends (for our 3 sons! I’m no Tiger!)  More cars in the driveway, more contention for the TV on Sunday nights, oh how I hate Desperate Housewives! Ok, so I do want to know who survives the plane crash.

In the facility, things are hopping! Nothing stands still- new racks go up, tanks move, and decorations are constantly being rearranged. Animals move from one enclosure to the next. Babies are raised and find new homes on a daily basis!

On the Internet, well, the internet is changing at light speed and we are right behind it. Our Store page was about the only constant this past year!

Shows- every weekend seems to bring another show… and one weekend this fall two shows the same day! This is where we have the most fun, talking about the animals and sharing experiences with you.

Through the next few days of December, starting tomorrow morning, we’ll add posts on all the activities here at Supreme Gecko and will finish off on the January 1st with our big plans in 2010 (well, we have a few that will be kept in the Secret Envelope but most will be put right out there)

Tomorrow- Facility Changes in ‘09

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thinking about '10

As I sit my rocker near the fireplace, my mind wanders off to the much anticipated breeding season of 2010.
Most '09 babies have either been designated as holdbacks or have found new homes with other first time keepers or fellow breeders. Empty baby containers abound and glisten as though they were brand new, awaiting the pitter patter of tiny little toes.

New New Year will hopefully bring many exciting young animals to our facility. We plan to try some very interesting combinations of leopard geckos, some tried and true color forms of crested geckos as well as a little first time dabbling with our australian geckos.

What are you planning on working with next year? Will you try to develop a new morph/color strain? Will you refine the beautiful colors of your line bred Carrot Tails? Will you redesign your crested gecko enclosure?

With temperatures cooling down this time of year, now is the time to think about and make plans for next year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Gift for your Reptile Keeper- 6 Great Ideas

I'ts beginning to look a lot like Christmas
You may be in panic mode already. Been there! Christmas is just around the corner and you don't have any idea what to purchase for your reptile keeping loved one. Not to worry. I have 6 great ideas on what you can find to keep them or their reptiles happy over the holiday season-

# 6-  A reptile setup. You can never have too many reptiles :)  or reptile setups. If they have one already, get them another one. For under $40 you can pick up an nice tank, top, light and a few decorations at your local Reptile Show.

#5- A thermometer. What a great stocking stuffer. Imagine their surprise when they get past the mentos, socks, and oranges. Also, their animals will benefit from them knowing the exact temps in their enclosure. You should be able to find a nice thermometer for around $12.

#4- Magnetic Feeding Ledge.  For any arboreal (climbing) animal. This will give them a high resting area as well as a little shelf to put food/water dishes so your reptile enthusiast does not have to reach all the way down to the bottom of the enclosure. Priced around $18 - $20.

#3- Does your reptile friend enjoy talking about their animals? I bet they cannot wait to show off their prized boa or crested gecko to friends and family. Well make sure Santa brings them a YouTube camera and they will be able to share their enthusiasm with the world! Spend a little more and really make their day (and your day when you borrow it for the family). Look around and you can find one under $99.

#2- If they are a reader, you cannot go wrong with finding them a great reptile book. Here is a trick to find books at sometimes 1/4 the cost! Go to and look under used books. I found two Australian Gecko books last year about this time. Yes, I bought myself a couple of presents  :)   Julie Bergman (click on book to the left) has a great day gecko book.

And the #1 gift you can purchase for your reptile loved one.....

A Supreme Gecko of course!  We have some wonderful animals and would enjoy helping you find one that would make the perfect present. In fact, someone is getting a pair (male and female) of P. pictus for a loved one. Of course they will not be in this person’s stocking- we will be shipping out after Christmas but I am sure they will be pleasantly surprised.