Buying Lizards online?

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Kurt_
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Buying Lizards online?

Post by Kurt_ » Thu May 22, 2008 10:03 pm

Is there a place to buy lizards online? (Bulk [ie. 5] is okay, too)
Is there some sort of law against importing the said lizards into Canada?

For those interested: I am looking to buy lizards and geckos and reptiles of the sort for ~>$50, pair them up with a used aquarium (~>$50), a heating pad (~$10), some rocks and the likes (free), and sell them for $150-$200 locally. The problem: the friend I have who breeds and sells lizards currently only has a few eggs, which will hatch in about a month. A more steady supply would be great.

So...where do I go? I plan on checking out the prices at PetSmart, but I plan on ridiculous prices ($200 or so for a single lizard). Remember: Importing to Canada differs from importing to the U.S.A.

Anybody bought this sort of thing (alive!) online before? I know at work (a garden centre) we regularly import fish from all sorts of places, China included
Hey, sup?

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Post by mothatrucka » Thu May 22, 2008 10:28 pm

Seriously man, have you put any thought into this at all? Reptiles are fairly fragile pets that require delicate handling. You can't just put them in a tank and hope they mate. They're more likely to fight than anything else.

Do you have a second tank for the eggs/babies? The adults are known for eating them. Are you going to be able to rest the female, away from the male, or are you going to just use her to pump eggs out until she dies? Breeding lizards require a very specialized diet to stay healthy enough to breed. What do you plan on doing for food? Going out and catching bugs isn't going to do it. They need live crickets, and the ones raised in pet stores are a lot cleaner than just going in your yard and scooping them up without knowing what it's gotten into.

It's probably going to be over a year before you can breed some. They need to recover from the journey and learn to trust you and each other before they'll breed. I know several breeders with over a dozen geckos they want to sell. A healthy pair can lay a new nest of eggs every month. What if you don't sell them as fast?

Look, breeding animals is NEVER a good "get rich scheme". It's expensive, difficult, and time consuming. Animals are bred for improved characteristics. No one's going to want to buy a cheap lizard that'll die in a month because you're an amateur breeder who doesn't know what you've gotten into.

If you really want to do this, start reading on the care of lizards. Learn how to tell when they're sick or healthy. Learn how to care for them no matter what. Learn all about what they can and can't handle. Talk to a REPUTABLE breeder, not your friend with a couple of eggs. Trust me, dropping a pair of lizards into a tank with some rocks from your backyard is not going to get you rich. Do you even know how to tell the gender of a lizard? This is not going to make you money. I can't recommend going on with this at all.

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Post by teraflop122 » Fri May 23, 2008 5:36 am

Welcome to the forums!

Lizards may be overly difficult, but gerbils aren't. Put two gerbils in a spacious cage with a mound of food, and water, and you'll have dozens of gerbils in a couple months. Of course, I doubt you'd make much money at all selling gerbils.

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Post by Kurt_ » Fri May 23, 2008 8:45 am

Dude, chill. I'm not breeding them. I'm re-selling them. The profit comes from cheaper-than-petsmart lizards and cheaper-than-petsmart used tanks.
Hey, sup?

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Post by mothatrucka » Fri May 23, 2008 1:39 pm

Sorry then. My mistake.

In answer to your question, I've seen young geckos go for as low as $30, but I haven't seen anyone willing to ship to Canada. I assume you're too far from the border for an easy pick-up?

Try looking up lizard food wholesalers, too. I've known a few companies to include a few bonus animals with large orders of food. That would help you feed them, or even provide starter food in your packages.

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Post by jperryss » Sat May 24, 2008 11:34 am

I know mothatrucka already said most of this, but I'd like to expand a bit.

Reptiles are not like cats, dogs, hamsters, etc. If you're not familiar with reptiles and never had them as pets, let me tell you that there is a LOT more to keeping them as pets than throwing them in a tank with a heat rock (despite what Petco and Petsmart tell you).

First of all, I would NEVER buy a reptile online. IMO you CANNOT get a real good look at the condition of one with out seeing it in person. Small wounds from a run-in with a cagemate? Missing fingers? Underweight? All things that can easily be NOT shown in pictures.

There are accessories that you need with the tank. Like lighting. Many reptiles (mainly the green ones) need some type of UVA/UVB fluorescent lighting (it helps their system process the calcium in their food, and keeps them green, among other things). This is in addition to a heat lamp, size will depend on how big the tank is, where the lamp is, and what temp you're trying to maintain.

(Heat rocks are dangerous, BTW. Very few knowledgeable people use them.)

Every type of reptile has a native habitat. The goal with keeping reptiles as pets is to come as close as possible to replicating that habitat in your own home (which is impossible, BTW, but some people have come pretty close). Some reptiles need a hot, dry climate (like bearded dragons and a lot of geckos) and some need a warm, muggy climate (chinese water dragons) and some are in between. And most will need a drinking supply of water at a minimum, others need a dish big enough to swim in.

And unless you're selling these the day you get them in the mail, you're gonna need to feed them. And without calcium/vitamin supplements, many reptiles will get sick or their bones will weaken.

Personally I think you're wasting your time.


Sorry, that whole spiel went on way longer than it was supposed to. :D

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Post by Kurt_ » Sat May 24, 2008 6:22 pm

No worries, I read it all with no boredom.

Those are all good points. However I have time. The setup would be in my room, so whenever I'm home (after 6 or 8 pm, depending on the day) they'll get plenty of attention. A heat lamp is no problem. A normal light with tin foil wrapped around it would do the trick, no? A UV-B bulb is doable. All the other stuff, of course.

However, this may not be worth investing in unless I can get most of it for free.
Hey, sup?

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Post by mothatrucka » Sat May 24, 2008 7:36 pm

My sister keeps turtles, and for her UV-B light, she just bought a bulb that fits in her desk lamp. It was around $10, but it's fairly long lived. She also put a heat bulb in another desk lamp and covered the top of the aquarium in foil.


If you have cool parents, think about setting up your own cricket farm. If you get enough crickets breeding, you could also sell your extras. If this was my project, I'd actually start there, just becoming a food supplier. Then, any money you start making can immediately be reinvested in expanding.

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Post by Kurt_ » Sat May 24, 2008 7:40 pm

Cricket farms would smell horrible and would be VERY loud. And if even one escaped, you'd be up all night trying to find it. That's a bad idea for most. A separate shed for it, however, would be alright, but it's worth the trouble to just buy them at a store.
Hey, sup?

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Post by jperryss » Sun May 25, 2008 11:31 am

Agreed on the cricket farm, too noisy and too stinky for most people.

As for the heat lamp, I never thought of wrapping foil over a normal lamp, so I'm not sure how safe that actually is.

You can do one of two ways:
1. Get a ceramic heater. A little expensive (about $25 here for a 200w) but they last forever.

2. Look for heat bulbs that give off no light. We had a 60w one that was completely dark. When the light was on, all you could see glowing was the tiny coil inside the bulb. Still got hot though.

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