With the increase popularity of reptiles it’s no surprise that people are becoming more interested in how properly care and keep there animals as healthy and as natural as possible. It’s for this very reason that many companies who specialize in the manufacturing of reptile and amphibian items are hard at working developing excellent products to better the lives of the animals that are been maintained by their devoted owners.
A few years ago you would have never had so much opportunities to maintain the level of care for reptiles, and one of the neatest little features that have come to the forefront is the idea of enhancing the natural colourations of your reptile.
This blog post, is as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, is specifically geared towards how to bring out the natural colourations of your reptiles. You would be surprised at how much colour your reptiles and also your amphibians are hiding.
To bring out these colours, it is determined by three main factors that we will examine individual, these factors are: heating, lighting and food/water.
Heating and lighting are two different things, although they are sometimes confused with each other because the way heat is emitted and given to your animal is usually either through a heating pad that is placed beneath the terrarium, or through a lighting source (hence confusion). Heating provides your reptile (also amphibians) with the energy they need to get their blood pumping, because they are cold blooded animals it is essential for them to have a heat source.
By maintaining proper heat, as well as humidity, this will drastically reduce stress, and allow the reptile to function properly. When they function properly, blood (and all it’s goodness) can circulate properly, the colours of the animal flushed and full, which is what you will need to help bring out those colours you want to see. Think of heating as a building block, you need something to build on.
We already discussed that lighting is vastly different from a heat source, even though a heat source may produce light in the form of a bulb it is not in fact a light source. A good majority of reptiles can survive without a proper light source, but many cannot live properly without one (chameleons are a great example).
A light source, is in essence, a bulb that properly distributes the appropriate amount of UV light, you know that same radiation that is emitted by the sun? Yup, reptiles need that, but you can’t just stick a reptile under sunlight. You need a UVB bulb because, these bulbs are special designed specifically for certain reptiles and amphibians who dwell in certain habitat and simulate the appropriate UV they require.
Without a UVB you won’t be able to fully bring out colours of certain reptiles (such as the chameleon). There are plenty of reasons why, but a good one is actually because of their bones. UV synthesises Vitamin D this in turn makes sure that the bones of your reptiles and amphibians are healthy and strong. Many diseases regarding bones for both reptiles and amphibians are common in captivity due to the ignorance of those who don’t know that these animals require the appropriate lighting.
Now, there is another kind of lighting that has caught the interest of the hobbyists, and that is spectrum lighting. Spectrum has dual purpose, one it really brings out those colours (which is the whole point of this blog post) and really brings them to the forefront, but also because reptiles and amphibians don’t see like we do. This bulb drastically reduces stress, lighting from a basking bulb may cause stress to your animal because of the fact they don’t see like we do, this lighting makes the way the reptile see the world in more natural way, and reduces the stress that our lighting and that of the basking bulb can produce, and at the same time bring out those colours we are looking for and want to see!
FOOD and WATER
It should go without saying that proper maintenance of your animal will make sure that it will remain healthy, happy and content. However, food and water are almost always overlooked, people just don’t think about it.
Let’s talk about water first, water runs the risk of unhealthy bacterial growth the longer it stays out, the longer it is introduced to UV light and heat. Water is so vital to all living animals, that it should be one of the first things you think about when maintaining your animals well being. The cleaner, the healthier the water, the healthier your animal will be.
Now food sources, for the most part people know what to feed their reptiles, but very few know about additional items that can be used to enhance the food source they are using. If it is a pellet base diet you should be supplementing the diet with appropriate vegetables and fruits such as romaine lettuce, the majority however feed their reptiles an insect base diet. For them, there are special powders that you can buy which contain within them the appropriate minerals and supplements they wouldn’t normally receive in captivity through their main source diet. For those who are feeding vertebrates such as rats and mice, make sure they are as healthy as can be, and you should also be feeding various fruits and vegetables.
These are just some of the many ways to bring out the natural colours of your reptiles. Been mindful, and actively utilising these items at your disposal, your reptile will be blooming with colour in no time at all!