Friday, July 16, 2010

New Blog

We are moving our blog to Supreme Gecko Blog to provide more functionality... See ya there.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Caring for Your Geckos Over The Holiday/Vacation

Woo Hoo! Forth of July weekend. Most of us have 3 day to celebrate, enjoy the fireworks, and did I say celebrate?!!?

If you are like me, you have family over and doing some cook outs and entertaining (or if you are lucky heading to a friends home that will be throwing a July 4th bash). How much time will we have for our geckos. Not much! But, there are a few measures to take to make sure they have a pleasurable 3 days as we will have.

1. Plenty of water. Make sure bowls are clean and filled. I make sure I do a little extra misting before the holiday as well.

2. Feeding. While I will feed before taking the break from the reptiles, I really don't worry too much about missing a feeding- related to #1, I will take 5 minutes sometime during the holiday to do a quick mist of the babies.

3. Insects- one word, CLEAN. Do that cleaning and you will not have an issue when you are ready to feed again in 3 days.

Take a few extra minutes before your holiday starts and your geckos will great you will big smiles when they see you again. Now, go out and enjoy the holiday- light a few bottle rockets, and have an extra brat for me.

Supreme Gecko Web Site

Thursday, June 3, 2010

To Substrate or Not to Substrate, That is the Question.

If I were a betting man, ok I am so who is up for a friendly wager, I would bet that one of the top 3 questions I am asked at shows is “What do you use for substrate for your animals?” This is such a great question and usually shows that the reptile keeper has been reading up on their animals. I love to talk about substrate because A) it holds so much controversy in the hobby, B) I am such a contrarian on substrate, and finally, C) there is usually such an easy solution available to hobbyists.

Read More Here

Saturday, May 29, 2010


In the next day or so, Supreme Gecko will have a new web site. The site will include photos, articles, videos, Hot Tips, and even Blog posts. I will occasionally post info here but if you want up to date, current information, you will want to check out our new Supreme Gecko web site.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's coming!

And it won't be long before it is here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What's Up?

This past couple of weeks have been crazy to say the least. With over 60 hrs a week to my 'real' job, reptile shows, normal family events, I have still been able to work with the animals and kick in breeding season.
No complaints about the schedule, as this occasionally happens to all of us and we all have to bend a bit in times like this.

The geckos are all kicking into the breeding season as we are getting our first eggs of the season- the Het for Raptors, just like last year. Newly introduced crested groups and laying as well. I think I even see eggs developing in the female aussies.

With everything else, I still have spent some time on a project that started back in November. That doesn't sound like a long time ago but for me, it seems like an eternity. I will share more about this probably by the end of the week. It's an exciting change for Supreme Gecko and we are excited to move this project forward.

Well, time for some more coffee and.... right back at it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wheaton Show Saturday 3/6

We are getting everything ready today for tomorrows show.
Here are a couple of animals that will be coming down with us.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Substrate- An Article About Nothin'


Should we use SAND on the bottom of our gecko enclosure? Should we use PAPER TOWELS? How about WOOD CHIPS? Or PEAT MOSS? We get this question about once a reptile show. Read on to find out what we do.

One of the biggest controversies you will find on the Internet is whether one should use sand as a substrate in their gecko enclosure (specifically leopard geckos). Want to start a "flame war" on any of the leopard gecko forums? Mention that your leopard gecko is sick and that you have been keeping her over sand for the past 6 months. If you post this.... DUCK! as the post will start coming your way!

So, you are asking, is sand bad? Well, my response is 'it depends'. For baby leopard geckos, never start your young animals on sand. Youngsters have smaller digestive tracks and are more susceptible to the sand causing impaction.TIP ALERT--- For adult leopard geckos, keep a small bowl of a quality calcium in the enclosure. Leopard geckos lick their substrate for trace elements (including calcium). A calcium dish will DRASTICALLY reduce the leopard's need to find other sources- including the sand. 

Now a word about wood chips - orchid bark.... DON'T! Do not pass GO, Do Not Collect $200! Any type of wood chip is BAD. They will somehow make it into your geckos' mouth and they will get caught in their digestive track! Some customers insist that their wood pieces are too big for the geckos mouth. Over time, big pieces become smaller pieces and one day you will see your crested gecko lunge for a cricket only to come up with a mouth full of small pieces of wood (otherwise known as splinters). Just DON'T  :)

Now for the better options- Peat Moss and Paper Towels. Both are good options for your geckos- paper towels for babies and adult leos, peat moss for adult crested geckos. The purpose of both is to hold humidity and they will do this. The reason we do not use either is simple- they can be hard to manage- they either dry out too quickly (especially in the winter) or become too wet and for peat moss, this means mold.
Again, not bad options, they just need a bit more management.

Since we have quite a number of enclosure, we try to balance making things as easy for us but also as comfortable for the animals as we can. So your question now is what do we use in the crested and leopard gecko enclosures at Supreme Gecko?

We use Nothin'!  Well, that is partially true. For adult leopard geckos, we prefer a bare bottom tank. For baby cresteds and leopards we keep the bottom bare but will crumble up a full paper towel and throw that in the corner of their enclosure. When we mist, we hit a couple extra pumps on the paper towel to soak them pretty well.

For adult crested geckos, we prefer a different approach. As we have humid hides in our adult enclosures (crested and leopards) we will leave the crested enclosure bottom bare but will take cheap plastic plant strings with big leaves that you can purchase in any $1 store and cut them up into 4-6" sections, then scatter them over the bottom of the tank. As you will be misting the enclosure every day/every other day, you should never have an issue with humidity anyways. The advantage to this approach is many- it's very inexpensive, makes for a decorative enclosure, cresteds like to hid under the leaves, and this is super easy to clean- just throw the plants in a bucket and let them soak overnight.

I hope this shed some light on how we have adult and baby geckos setup in our facility. Leave us a comment if you have any questions or would like to start a Flame War  :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NARBC- Tinley Winter 2010

Do you know what is involved in doing a show like this? I bet not (unless you are already selling at one of the NARBC shows). While there is nothing so exhilarating as setting up to sell animals and supplies at one of the largest reptile shows in the world, it does come with a cost.

First, let me say that I look forward to these shows- meeting up with other vendors like Matt and Garrick, meeting new vendors like Charles and Brian, and talking to long-term and with new customers. I enjoy seeing the new animals that others are working with.

However, we start preparing for a show this large weeks in advance. Supplies need to be checked, Emails written, orders organized, and animals checked and marked for the show.

This weekend, we left Friday afternoon at 1, drove to Tinley Park Illinois, and arrived at 3 pm. Settup took about an hour and we were off meeting other vendors. Shortly afterward Christopher my son left for dinner and then up to the room to do some gaming. Me, I was back to the show for the USARK/PJACK discussion.

Saturday was all show. Saturday night with a bunch of fun talking to other vendors again (like Charles and Brian) till... well Sunday morning.
Sunday more show. I love these shows as we get such great customers with such great questions!
Show finished up at 4pm. We were packed back up and on the road by 5. Home by a little after 7. Animals were put away by 8:30.

One thing that really hits is that when we get back from a show like this, all our attention goes to the animals. Monday and Tuesday was pretty much feeding, cleaning, and checking the geckos. Lots of fun but no time for Emailing other hobbyist and no facebook time!

So much to do with these shows but I wouldn't trade it for anything! I cannot wait for Tinley in the Fall!
All photos by Cindy Bensaid

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blog Talk Radio- Aussies!

This is a must listen to if you keep Australian Geckos, or are a fan of Marcia McGuiness- This Friday night!!

Blog Talk Radio Link

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How big is Tank, our largest leopard gecko?

Last year Tank weighed in at 84 grams. That is a tank!!! He has certainly grown this past year but let's see how much. We are hoping that he pushes over the 90 gram mark.  Cross your fingers and check out the video.
Tank over 90 grams?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

P. pictus egg setup for incubation

Featured video of the week- how we setup our pictus eggs for incubation.

P. pictus egg incubation

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Musical Chairs

Yesterday was musical chairs for the leopard breeders. The heat is on in the room, the animals are eating like nobody's business, and I am moving them into their breeding groups for the year. This is the exciting time of the year as I envision some of the neat combinations that may be produced.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back from the dead

Wheaton All Animal show this weekend. I purchased a box of small crickets at the reptile show yesterday. Due to other commitments, my middle son and I met my wife and youngest at the soccer complex to watch him play.
Middle son drove the car home and unloaded our animals but did not get the crickets. I remembered this morning and pulled them from the car where they had been in the 35 degree temps for over 12 hours. They were all motionless at the bottom of the box, as expected. We put them in the house and around noon my wife checked them. She said that about 90% lived! It took them several hours to even start moving again but once they did, they were bouncing all over the box like popcorn

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day Gecko One, Day Gecko Two

Last night’s routine- feed Crested Gecko Diet, and mist the adults and babys…. Oh, and find a place to put a newly hatched day gecko. We fed and misted without issue and Wally headed up stairs to finish some Emails- actually I think he was more into watching a hockey game.

I stayed behind to throw out the used paper cups…. Oh and to put away that day gecko. I finally decided on a XX-large deli cup, moistened a paper towel, and started to work on the tiny, lightening fast green gecko. If you know day geckos, you know what I mean when I say that I did not enjoy him leaving me down there with this task. The small incubation cup’s top was opened with hands cupped around the top, it was placed over the deli cup, and a gentle nudge coaxed the baby right onto the paper towel. Quickly putting on the XX large deli cup lid on, I proudly joined Wally upstairs for the rest of the evening.

This morning, we went down together to check on a few animals. As he noticed the new baby in its new deli cup home, and before I could share my victory from the night before he asked, “Where is the other egg”? “What egg”, I said. Well, he pointed out that 2 eggs were hatching, the new day gecko hatched from one, and so there must be another one.
I never knew day gecko eggs stuck together and thought I was throwing out a hatched egg! Ugh! I could have cried. Wally retrieved the other egg calmly and mentioned that it would be fine. Well, it might but I will not be… until I see the little head poking through the now-incubating day gecko egg.

Posted by- Nanette

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday's Lake County Reptile Show and Lovely Young Ladies

Just a very quick update on the LCRS this past Sunday.

Jordan and I setup and greeted customers by the 10:00 open Sunday and quickly realized that the cold would keep a few folks bundled up at home. We met a number of new customers, including 3 inquisitive, young ladies (more on this in a moment) but also spent a lot of time talking to families/individuals that had purchased from me before. One family even brought in their two new baby crested geckos from a pair that I had sold them about a year ago. This just made my day!

Another note- if you are planning on purchasing animals from me at this show in the next few months, please let me know in advance. I will not be vending at the February show (will be at the NARBC show in Tinley Park instead- Sorry Ron and Nick).

Oh, the young ladies.... they are around the same age as my son Jordan (high schooler) and I found him spending MUCH more time answering their questions (many but very good questions) than I was. Slowely exiting the table I stood there and watched him interact with the ladies as I snickered with one of the show organizers. Well, last night I received a phone call (Ashly I believe was her name). If you know me, I don't give out our home phone number simply because I am in and out so much, it is easier to catch me by Email or Facebook or one of the many forums I'm on than by phone. The young lady had a great question but it was not until I hung up that I connected the dots and determined that Jordan had given this very lovely young lady our home phone # the day before at the show. She must have been disappointed when she had the 'grumpy old man' instead of the hansome Jordan answer her question.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Have A Big But!

I just realized I have a big but. Sometimes it is because of work. Sometimes it is because of time constraints. Sometimes it is because of the weather. Sometimes it is because of some factor out of my control. I have a big but! I would like to do so many more things with my family, with the geckos, or with my web page BUT I have some other commitment that in my mind sometimes keeps me from these other things. It's just a matter of getting off my big BUT and doing it!

I do have a solution for this and I will be writing a future article on this called "Procrastination- how to avoid the common pitfalls". I think I will start on this tomorrow :)


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Paroedura pictus Hatched With Parents!

We answer the question- “Can Paroedura pictus babies hatch and live with their parents?”

A little over a couple of months ago, I was asked if one could leave the eggs of P. pictus with their parents and expect the newborns to be ignored after their hatching. What a great question and one that needed to be answered as I could find nothing on the internet about this.

So, for 3 lays I left the eggs in with the female (15 qt tub, ½ inch sand and a couple of hides- and no male). Checking every other day when I fed, I could see the eggs just peeking over the sand, under their private hide that the female seemed to ignore. I never saw any sign that the female even cared about her earlier laid eggs.

Finally about 65 days post lay of the first eggs, I lifted the ‘egg’ hide and there it was. One solo hatchling. Well, I reasoned, I’m sure the female has been in contact with this miniature pictus so they must be able to co-exist. Right?

Moving the ‘egg’ hide caused a disturbance that initiated activity under the ‘female hide’ and it wasn’t long before she poked her head out and bolted out of the darkness of her hide. She raced to her feeding dish, which I had already added 4 or 5 small mealworms, and hungrily wolfed one down. I love watching animal behavior and this was starting to become fascinating to me. The female spotted the youngster and bolted over.

All that I can do from this point on is report the facts- The female nudged up to the smaller animal, licked it one time as geckos do when meeting up with another conspecific, then proceeded to treat it just like she would any other food item.

I neither wish to debate that this is what happens in nature nor whether this is inhumanity. I will note that baby pictus cannot be allowed to hatch in their parent’s enclosure and that I am not the one that will be performing these type of tests in the future.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Crested Gecko - Baby Setup

We keep our baby crested geckos in small Kritter Keepers so we can manage them better- watch what they eat and whether or not they are pooping.

Crested Gecko - Baby Setup

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wanna See What We Have Planned for 2010?

So is it Twenty-Ten or is it Two Thousand Ten?  Guess I have a year to figure this out.

Thank you for hanging in there this past week. You’ve read through many posts summarizing the happenings at the Kern home in 2009. This post will give you some insight to my plans in 2010 with the animals, facility, and internet presence. While this could go on and on, I will try to keep this under 50.000 words…. Or so.

To reiterate from the prior post, we are very proud of the colors of the crested and gargoyle geckos born in ’09 but really struggled producing enough to grow out to adults or to fulfill our wish lists. Our main issue related to selling our bearded dragons. How could this be linked you might ask? Well, we kept our dragons next to our cresteds and their extra heat warmed the entire room by at least 6-7 degrees! By selling the bearded dragons and taking out the 8 heat lights, our cresteds basically ‘cooled’ the entire year! The electric bill went down considerably but the number of crested/gargoyle babies went down by 2/3!!! Plans for 2010? As we are in the middle of winter (yes, still cooling) in Wisc. our Rhacodactylus are still cooling down. Once we start warming up naturally, our plan is to warm up the room with a small space heater.
We held back some high harley, Reds, Mocha’s babies, Pinstriptes, and some amazing red Harleys. As well, we held back our better gargoyles and the 4 R. chahouas from last spring.
We are planning to breeding 4 types of day geckos this upcoming year- P. standingi, P grandis, P. laticauda, and P. klemmeri.. We really enjoy working with these beautiful animals and will be holding back several, and  offering some on the Store and at Reptile Shows.
Leopard Geckos- with many beautiful, different morphs bred here last year, we are most excited about mixing and matching in 2010. One aspect we will focus on will be the Raptor morph. This will be introduced to many other morphs and hopefully will produce a number of new variations (at least new to us), including Radars, Diablo Blancos, dreamsicles, and others. As usual, we will concentrate on our carrot tails as these are still one of our favorite leopard colors to work with.
Pictus- In 2009, we bred a number of P. pictus and held several back. We also purchased a line from a close friend that is an outstanding red variant! Photos will be coming in early 2010 so stay tuned!
Australians- We are working with a handful of these cute, small animals. They include knobtails, velvets, Diplos, and Strophurus. As everything was cooled this winter, our fingers are crossed that we can bred enough to offer some to our friends. However, we will probably hold several back to add to our collection.

Where in the world will I go with all the new animal that are expected to be hatched in the new year? I don’t know! I usually plan this out so well but, here I sit....  :)
If all the kids don’t move out of the house, I’m going to have to start looking around for some rental property!

No real plans here. We like to consider ourselves the one stop shop for your gecko needs so, if you need something, let us know!

Reptile Shows
About once a month, I’m asked if we do the Texas, or California, or New York, or some other show. I wish we could get around more to these great shows but we just have no time. I’m hoping that through the year we will be able to expand out a bit and do other shows in the Midwest. Of course, if someone would like to sponsor a business to fly out to one of the coasts to do a show, I know just hte person that would be excited to come out.

Blog / Web Site / YouTube / Email / Forums
In reverse- one area I feel I neglected this past year was in participating in forum conversations. I will change this in 2010 as this is such a pleasure in my gecko keeping experience and I enjoy sharing what I can to hopefully help others in the hobby.
Our Emails will be more frequent as the goal will always be to share information- such as upcoming shows or a short note on something like hatching out a chahouas (like our November Email). If the Emails come too frequently or you do not want to see them, please click the link at the bottom… or better yet, let me know what I can change!
YouTube One thing we will continue to do is educate. Whether it is learn from our success or even sometimes learn from our struggles (like the crested gecko issue in '09), we enjoy sharing with other hobbyists as others have shared so much with us. SEND US YOUR SUGGESTIONS!
Finally Web Site- I will not go into this too much on this as I don’t want this to sound like I'm promoting our store but we have BIG plans for the site in 2010. This seems like a never ending quest for me but my goal is to provide more, and easier access to the information.
Blog- See above comment about our Store page. We will be looking at a completely new format to make this easier for us to maintain and most importantly for you to access.
Stay tuned!
Facebook / Twitter /YouTube
As there is some much potential to meet new people, we will continue to support the Supreme Gecko and the Australian Geckos pages on Facebook as well as keeping up with our Wally Kern page.
Twitter is growing so very slowly for us as we have a difficult time keeping in touch 24/7 with the tool. We might spent some time getting more Tweet Knowledgeable this next year. If you have suggestions for us, we are all ears

In summary- we have many plans for 2010- When I say many plans, I want to emphasize that we will be breeding for color, breeding for new morphs, changing our web site, offering more videos to provide more to you, the hobbyist. Again, I can only do this through your suggestions and comments so please let me know what you want to see.