The local petco has some pink belly swifts that I've been admiring. They look like nice lizards, and I have a 55 gallon tank that might be nice for a family of 3 (husband and wife and wife.) Do these guys have a nice temperment? Are they tameable? Also, they are different species than emerald swifts or blue-belly swifts, right, so I would need to pick one type to keep and not mix them? Advice, experience? I'm getting kind of confused between names when I've looked on google.

My tank is planted with tropical plants, so I'm looking for critters that like it warm and humid, that don't dig a lot, and that aren't arboreal since my tank is long but not so high. I had originally wanted to have it be half aquarium, but I haven't set up the division yet and I'm thinking that it would be easier to keep the animal happy if I give up on that idea and set up the other side with rocks and a basking light. I know that swifts burrow some, but not as much as some lizards, and I haven't run across an animal that meets all my requirements. Can anyone think of something that would work better than a swift?
I wouldn't buy another animal until spring, but I'd like to have my choice made so I can finish setting up the tank. I'd rather find a local breeder, but my local petco isn't bad. I'm guessing that they are probably wild caught? They're really cheap... so far the only ones I've seen for sale seem to be wild caught. Is that a huge problem with these guys?
Thanks

Dawn Albright
http://www.dawnwich.com
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The local petco has some pink belly swifts that I've been admiring. They look like nice lizards, and I have ... seen for sale seem to be wild caught. Is that a huge problem with these guys? Thanks Dawn Albright[/nq]Ok, I'll see if I can answer a few of your questions here. I've never kept any of the South American swifts, so I could be off on a few facts. As far as tameable, I dont think they are. I have never kept a swift that wasnt flighty for its entire time in captivity. I guess they calm down a bit, but immediately freak out again when handled. To my knowledge, the pink and emerald swifts could be kept together if not overcrowded.

Perhaps a pair of each in a 55 gallon would be alright. I dont know how dry or wet they like it, so your on your own there. The spiny lizards I keep are all North American species that I've collected myself, so I know what environment they came from, you will have to do research for yours.
It seems that they would like a planted tank, but may prefer a more open rocky tank.The one problem I see is feeding the animals in such a large tank. You may consider putting the crickets in a large bowl, which will keep them in the same area for longer, and allow your lizards to feed. Otherwise, you will end up putting a lot more crickets in than get eaten. As far as other suggestions, I am setting up a planted tropical 55 gallon aquarium myself. I plan to use 2x2's to double the height of the tank, and screen the top half with window screen.

This will double the volume of the tank, as well as allowing more ventilation. I plan to put 4 pairs of different types of anoles in mine. There will be green anoles, brown anoles, blue anoles (anolis marmarotus), and crested anoles. I will also eventually add a few small ground-dwelling tropical species to the tank. One thing you will need to consider is having enough perches (tree branches) in the tank for everyone to choose their own spot. I believe the species you are looking at are more arboreal than you think, and you dont want fighting for prime spots in a community tank.
Thats all I can think of for now, I'll post again if i think of any more useful info.
-Ryan
As far as other suggestions, I am setting up a planted tropical 55 gallon aquarium myself. I plan to use ... looking at are more arboreal than you think, and you dont want fighting for prime spots in a community tank.

OOh.. now that is a brilliant suggestion. Double the height of the tank, and re-think arboreal animals. Wow. The specifics would require some thought, but that sounds like the perfect idea. I wish I'd thought of that.

Dawn Albright
http://www.dawnwich.com
As far as other suggestions, I am setting up a ... dont want fighting for prime spots in a community tank.

OOh.. now that is a brilliant suggestion. Double the height of the tank, and re-think arboreal animals. Wow. The specifics would require some thought, but that sounds like the perfect idea. I wish I'd thought of that.

That is an idea that appeals to me too! I have a tank which is 48" long but is only 12" wide so limits ground area somewhat. Now if I could double up on height it would be perfect for an arboreal species Emotion: smile

Ryan, do you have any plans of how this could be constructed please?

I'd need to access it from the front somehow as the tank currently sits on a 3' high stand. It would also need to be fairly lightweight for me to lift off to clean the tank below from time to time. I'm probably looking for something around 24-30" high, as the tank is 18" high so that would give me up to 4' of total height.
And finally, what species of lizard could I consider keeping in something of that size? Not anoles as I'm not particularly interested in those, although I do rather like the Knight anole species.
Oh and Dawn, I'm not familiar with American swift species but I once kept a Madagascan swift and no way could you handle that one. I think they'd be better kept for display purposes only.
Chloe

"It's the easiest thing to live in a refuge from the world ... but it's the hardest thing to live in the world alone."
http://mysite.freeserve.com/mistress of dragons
What are this mysterious swifts actually? A google research gave me pics about everything except animals, and the dictionary says that they are birds, but talking about 'ground dwelling', 'anoles' and 'keeping them in tanks' makes me think it's something else. What?
Anna
What are this mysterious swifts actually? A google research gave me pics about everything except animals, and the dictionary says that they are birds, but talking about 'ground dwelling', 'anoles' and 'keeping them in tanks' makes me think it's something else. What? Anna

Try Sceloporus variabilis, or "pink-belly swift" including the quotes. But I didn't find very much even with google. This group has been a lot more helpful. It's a nice enough looking lizard, and cheap too, but not gorgeous.

Dawn Albright
http://www.dawnwich.com
What are this mysterious swifts actually? A google research gave me pics about everything except animals, and the dictionary says that they are birds, but talking about 'ground dwelling', 'anoles' and 'keeping them in tanks' makes me think it's something else. What?

Genus Sceloporous. Also known as fence lizards and blue-belly lizards. They are common small lizards in the western U.S., frequenting drier areas. They have rather spiney looking scales, a stout body, short neck, usually drab brown markings, and the males have bright blue patches on the belly that they use for display to each other. You can find them crawling all over rocky outcrops or sunning themselves along nature trails over here, the rustling of the blue-bellies dashing off into the brush is a common accompanyment to any stroll outdoors in areas that are not completely covered by asphalt, concrete, or manicured lawns.

Luke
OOh.. now that is a brilliant suggestion. Double the height ... like the perfect idea. I wish I'd thought of that.

That is an idea that appeals to me too! I have a tank which is 48" longbut is only 12" ... something around 24-30" high, as the tank is 18" high so that would giveme up to 4' of total height.

Well, I haven't yet drawn out plans. Basically I will use 2x2's (very cheap and lightweight) for the structure. My tank has a plastic lip around the inside of the top. I plan to cut 2x2's so that they rest on this lip, and in each corner a support go to the top. Build another rectangle of 2x2's that will go on top of the corner supports and that makes the support for the screen.
The door will be a little more tricky. I'm still playing with a few ideas on how to do the door.
To hold the structure to the tank I think I will get some wooden slats (2" wide, about 1/4" thick) and make a shim on the corners that will go over the plastic top of the tank. Basically just mounted so that they are connected to the wooden frame and overhang the side of the tank a few inches. I may drill a hole into the plastic and secure the frame to the tank with a screw in each corner.
Its all still being designed, I hope to build it sometime next week. Total cost should be around 10- $15.
I'm also thinking of screening in the bottom of the aquarium stand and turning that into another terrarium : )
Taking any and all ideas for constructing the door in the front of this whole contraption !
As far as ideas for filling the terrarium, I am buying a pair of emerald tree skinks, as these have been a species of interest since I saw my first one a few years ago. Glades Herp has a few CB emerald skinks for $25 and I will have a pair next week !
Mountain horn dragons would be another species for this type of terrarium. Green basilisks would do well. Chinese water dragons. most any arboreal species.
Some info on emerald swifts; Southern mexico to panama - Males more brightly colored, females more muted - Upland species requiring higher humidity than most swift species- gives birth to up to 5 live young - can grow to 8 inches -
-Ryan
What are this mysterious swifts actually? A google research gave me pics about everything except animals, and the dictionary says that they are birds, but talking about 'ground dwelling', 'anoles' and 'keeping them in tanks' makes me think it's something else. What? Anna

They are a type of lizard and that's all I really know about them.

The bird species known as swifts are related to swallows
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