I have recently been given the opportunity to work from home full-time for my main job. I was wondering, what would be some suggestions as to a good “desk animal” (or beside the desk animal)? Something that would not have a super large foot print (~10gallon tank), won’t be super stressed by me being in its area most of the day, and is capable of breaking up the mundane parts of a desk job. I’m experienced with snakes and some lizards, but am not opposed to inverts or amphibians if they check all the boxes. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks y’all
Small aquatic turtles. A Mud or Musk turtle could be happy in a ten gal tank. They will swim to the glass to watch you. Who doesn’t like a turtle?
Not really a reptile or ambition, but you could fit a pair of hermit crabs in there
A turtle of sorts might be an option. They seem like they would be entertaining to observe throughout the day. I’ll have to delve into a bit of research beforehand of course as I have not yet kept any aquatic turtles. Thank you for the suggestion!
I had not even considered hermit crabs! I’ll have to look into those a bit more. You mentioned a pair, are they able to be cohabbed?
They’re actually very social and need to be kept in pairs at the minimum, but since you are only planning on a 10 gallon I wouldn’t get too many. They’re really cool, enjoy a diverse diet, and are a lot of fun to watch
That’s interesting. Seems to check all the boxes thus far. Thank you for putting them on my radar to consider!
A baby would be ok for a 10 gallon, but they need more space/water once they get to adult size. Too small a tank wouldn’t give them the ability to swim as much as they need, and make keeping water quality difficult.
Be sure to check out the Orchid Mantis. I used to work with them as a kid and I miss the cryptic beauty they display. We are currently trying to get back into keeping them. They’d be perfect for an attractive display in a front-opening display with loads of beautiful foliage. Definitely something to take the stress away from a desk!
A pair of thumbnail dart frogs would be good! You can plastic wrap the lid to keep the humidity high plus they’re diurnal frogs! Biggest challenge would be the humidity but it’s not hard to keep it high. You could make your own little slice of rainforest right on your desk! In my experience dart frogs are generally indifferent about my presence, if you have a male you might even hear him start calling for a female!
I strongly disagree with hermit crabs or turtles. Hermit crabs start small but will outgrow a 10gal, plus 10gal doesn’t give you a good height for the crabs since they need a substrate deep enough to bury themselves in when molting and they also like to climb.
No turtle should ever be kept in a 10gal imo, it’s waaaay too small for an enriching environment and for them to swim around in. Water quality for a turtle is going to be easier to maintain in a larger aquarium, plus with turtles you’ll need both supplemental heating and UVB. Those along with the filter is 3 plug spaces taken up already, and depending what you do at your desk that might be less than ideal.
Orchid mantises sure are gorgeous, this might be a good excuse for me to get into keeping them as well. Would they thrive in a bio active, or are they prone to eating all your isopods and such?
I like the sound of that! And all dart frogs I’ve seen are absolute lookers. Thank you for the input on the aquatic side of things as well. Shortly after diving into a bit more research I found that even with a small enough species in a small tank like that, water quality can shift drastically very quickly. Too quickly for my liking. Thanks again!
I will agree with this for the most part, but mud/musk turtle babies would be good to start in a 10 gallon if you are looking to quarantine them. The babies are about the size of a quarter.
Anoles would be cool to keep! Green or brown anoles would be okay for a 10gal iirc.
Green anoles would be fun to watch from what I’ve seen of them, but never owned. In your experience, are they easily stressed by your prolonged presence?
Supplemental heating and UVB.
Would you need this for the Anoles? I thought that Anoles would need UVB but not sure about the heating though. And I also wonder if they would get stressed like what @samuraiwack said
All anoles need UVB; Green and Brown Anoles need a basking spot of 90 with an ambient temp or 80 and a night drop of 10 degrees. I am not familiar with the care of other anole species so I can’t comment on their temperature requirements.
Have you thought about mourning geckos? Just a thought since they are small and I think some people keep them at room temp without any issue. I have no personal experience though.
Geckos in the genus Eurydactylodes (Chameleon Geckos) stay small and can be kept at room temperature without UVB. Their care is very similar to Crested Geckos only smaller.
Mourning Geckos might be a strong contender! I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that they are parthenogenetic. Thank you for bringing them up, I don’t know why they had slipped my mind.