Advice for Hatchling Rack Planning

Over the last few years I have started investing in high quality animals for future breeding projects. I am new to breeding though I have taken my time to research breeding and prepare for everything I will need beforehand. I am beginning to shop for a hatchling rack and was hoping to get some insight from established breeders.

The animals that will be breeding are:
Dwarf retics
California kings
Honduran milks
Leopard geckos

I want to get into this slowly and I am only planning on breeding one pair of animals a year at most. I was hoping there might be racks out there that support at least two tub sizes as I know the dwarf retic hatchlings will certainly be bigger than the other species. Any information on tubs sizes, number of tubs, brands, etc is appreciated. Basically I’m hoping to get one rack that can comfortable house all these species if that’s possible, but if this is not a great way to go about it I’m all ears.

I was also wondering what I should be expecting for dwarf retic clutch sizes? I’ve read 8-16 or thereabout but I could not find many sources on the topic.


What’s the size of your female? Length and girth roughly?


I’m not promoting anyone, just what I have seen on YouTube.
ARS, Freedom Breeders, vision racks, C serpents and plenty others.
I saw a versatile rack on ARS website that had different sizes in the same rack. If that is what your looking for. I am sure that the others probably have them too.
I plan on building my own racks. I will have Ball Pythons only though.
Hope this helps.


My female is a little under 8 feet and maybe 8-9 inches around (circumference) at the widest part of her body. She’s fairly small and about 5 years old.


Thank you! Some of those I have looked at and there are some I haven’t as well. I’ll be sure to check them all out. The versatile racks definitely sound interesting.

Sounds like a nice small Tic. And you said she’s a Dwarf? For that size you sure she’s not a Super Dwarf/Dwarf?

Given her length and girth, I think you could expect anywhere between 16-23 eggs, depending on her percentage of local she has in her. Usually the pure locality island tics will give you a little smaller clutches.
If she has more mainland blood in her, in theory her eggs will be larger so you can expect less of them which would give you a smaller clutch. If she has relatively high percentage SD/D lineage, you will get much smaller eggs, meaning she can produce more and your clutch will be bigger.
For example one of my friends had 2 clutches last year.
One from a 25% Kalatoa, 11ft long and maybe 12-13 inch girth. Can’t recall the exact number but she laid 24-26 eggs or so.
His other clutch came from a 75% Kalatoa, 8ft long at most, and same girth as your girl maybe a bit larger. She laid 23 eggs, but the eggs were half the size of the 25% Kalatoa’s clutch.


Be sure to check out Reptile Basics for their Vivarium Electronic’s VE-6 rack. It has 6 levels and can hold 3 different size tubs, the smallest tub fits 3 per level, mid size tub fits 2 per level, and the full size tub fits 1 per level.
We have a lot of their products now and not one complaint, plus their customer service is top notch.


Thank you for the wealth of information! I think both she and the male are a bit of a mystery on what locality they are. I was given a certificate for both of them so I will check if locality was mentioned on there.

1 Like

Of course no problem.
You can always share a picture of the adults too, it’s hard to id just off a photo, but I may be able to see what locality influences they have.


I totally understand wanting to try to use a combo rack - they are pretty handy because of the interchangeable tubs size. But keep in mind that the manufactured plastic racks often have one single plug to power the heat, vs. the ARS/Freedom Breeder that can be controlled per level.

I bring this up because the hot spot you need for leopard geckos will probably be uncomfortably warm for kings and milks.


Yes absolutely. Like I said I don’t plan on breeding these animals all at the same time. I literally have a single pair for each of those species and I kinda wanna tackle breeding each one at a time.

These photos are from 2018 (really need updated pics, apparently I haven’t done a photo shoot on them in a good while).

Top is the female, white albino genetic stripe
Bottom male, purple albino goldenchild pos het genetic stripe


For a rack for small hatchlings like kingsnakes and milksnake, you will need to make sure there are no gaps between the rack and the tub. They are able to squeeze out of impossibly tiny spaces.

1 Like

Man those are spectacular! Very nice pair you have there, I’m jealous.
Those are going to be hard to try and id. Whenever you have G-Stripe or GC, those morphs make it near impossible to even guess due to the lack of dorsal saddles I would need to see to make an educated guess. And then you throw in Albino and there goes the color tones I was hoping to see to connect which locality they could be from.
From their head shapes and sizes, they do appear to have some good Dwarf influence. Mainland heads are usually bulky and not as elongated and “slim”.
But take that with a grain of salt because there is really no way to know without proper documentation from the seller or breeder.
Those are really fantastic Retics you have there, man that will be a great pairing!


I figured those gene would make it hard to discern, but I’m happy to hear them get such a nice compliment! I’m very excited to have these animals. Haven’t had a chance to look at the documents yet cause I have tucked away in a file folder and work has been crazy. Worse comes to worse maybe the breeder can look into it for me.

With your expertise, what size tubs and how many should I plan on getting to make sure I can accommodate the number of babies they might potentially have?


That’s always a great idea, they will more than likely have records of their past clutches and be able to track that down for you.

I would personally build a rack for the hatchlings. Then you can have multiple heat tapes on different temperatures for each species you’re breeding.
For Retics, I would not go over 88 degrees. Personally 86 degrees is perfect from what I’ve found and the breeders I work with.
For amount of tubs I would say shoot for 30. That should be more than enough and if you need less, it’s easier to have a few extra tubs then need to add more later. As far as size, Retics are not shy like ball pythons. So that’s really up to you. I’ve kept them in CB70 tubs without any issues on feeding as hatchlings, but for space efficiency you can use something that’s roughly 10 inches long, 4-7 inches wide and 4-6 inches high, I can’t recall the name of the tub that size I used to use, but I’ll look once I get off work and track it down for you. Even a little smaller would be ok.


@fatalis, the tubs I would recommend for Super Dwarf or Dwarf hatchlings would be the V-15 at the smallest, and V-18 for a little better fit overall. You can find them off of the Vision Products website.
Doesn’t have to be Vision, just my personal preference for tubs.


@mnroyals I snapped some pics of my female last night. Don’t think her being any older would help identify but she was looking fly with a fresh shed.


Man she is a knockout! Her and the male you have will produce some really nice offspring.

So to start here are the 7 locality’s that we have in the hobby right now and their average sizes.
Selayer (Dwarf) 9-13ft
Jampea (Dwarf) 8-12ft
Kayuadi (Dwarf) 7-11ft
Tombolongan (Dwarf) 6-10ft
Madu (Super Dwarf) 6-9ft
Kalatoa (Super Dwarf) 6-9ft
Karompa (Super Dwarf) 5-7ft

The two most common locality’s in the hobby over the past decade have been Kalatoa and Jampea.
Tombolongan is extremely rare, and Karompa is even more so. Karompa was successful bred in captivity in the US last year for the first time.
So you can 99% guarantee yours are not Tombolongan and 100% not Karompa.
Kayuadi and Madu are still rare, but common enough to where yours could possibly be from one of those locals.

I don’t believe that she is Selayer, they are more bulky like mainland tics and I don’t see the head shape in your girl to think she has Selayer.

It’s incredibly hard and obviously can’t be guaranteed to id a tic from a picture.

But your girls head slightly makes me think she could have Madu local in her, more likely she is Jampea given the availability and affordability of that local. Jampea and Madu have very similar head shapes, Madu is slightly more elongated than a Jampeas head. But they are very close and hard to tell apart.

I would definitely try and contact the breeder and see what locals he works with. And even better see if he has documentation to prove what yours are. Unfortunately without proper documentation, you really shouldn’t sell a tic as a Dwarf or Super Dwarf. And also they need to have at least 50% blood of any given local or combination of locals to be labeled as such.

I don’t doubt yours are one of these locals mentioned. Your girl looks healthy, vibrant and for being the size she is, I would be surprised if she didn’t have Dwarf blood or SD blood in her, because she’s very small, especially given she’s an Albino GS.

I know this isn’t concrete proof of what you have, but I hope some of this information helped you.
And also, if you get a clutch in the incubator, send me a DM. You might have a future customer because those tics are straight :fire:.


@mnroyals Thank you once again for all the great information! I figured Kalatoa or Jampea was most likely. I found the documents I got from the breeder but all it says is that they are 50% dwarf, but not what locality, so I emailed them and we’ll see what they say.

I really hope they have some amazing offspring. I’ll be sure to keep you in mind! Probably will have a lot more questions by then too, haha.

The male is in shed right now so I’ll be sure to get some updated pics of him too, the old ones don’t do him justice.

On the topic of incubation… any recommendations on incubators?