Hello-New member in Maryland

Hi all. new member here, but have been using the site for several years to look at ads. I just realized there is a community function available here, so I joined.

I’m located in central Maryland and have had reptiles and other pets since childhood.

I currently have 5 tropical fish aquariums, a flock of 8 budgie parakeets, 2 Moroccan Uromastyx, 5 Ackie monitors and a clutch of Ackie eggs in the incubator.

I enjoy learning and look forward to participating in the community here.



Welcome to the community!
Feel free to add some pictures of your pets.

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Hi @eshell
Welcome to our humble reptile community :tada::tada::tada:
We are a group that loves to be encouraging, and believes that everyone can find a place here, even those without a reptile. I am personally so happy that you chose to join this community because this is a place that you can grow alongside other enthusiasts. Definitely feel free to add pictures of your collection (especially, your fish for @dlhirst ). Again, I am looking forward to you expanding in this wonderful community of people.


Welcome! I am so jealous- I’ve wanted a uromastyx for years!! Definitely share pics if you have the time. :blush:

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Welcome to the forum!
Cannot wait for baby ackie pics!! :star_struck:


Welcome! Hope you find what you are looking for here :slight_smile: that is alot of birds haha, i see so many people who cant even care for 1, glad some people can handle them and thrive :slight_smile:

@lumpy Fish, Ackies… I just like pics! :slight_smile:

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Thank you all for the very nice welcome!

mblaney, here are the two uros. They aren’t as warm as they could be, and so they aren’t colored up especially brightly at the moment the pics were taken. They get a lot more yellow under the heat lamps:

gouhlishcresties, I can’t wait either, but this will have to hold us both for a while longer:

verinium, with the birds, it really is ‘the more the merrier’ and other than a little increase in noise (!) and mess, not much harder to take care of. Here is my grand-nephew with some of them - not sure who is having the most fun:

dlhirst, I am at my office and don’t have any aquarium pics on this computer, but here are some Ackies.

The pair of large adults. Female is the lighter colored animal on top:

I’ll post some aquarium pics and pics of the younger adult ackies later.


I found a picture of the second uromastyx after coming off a basking spot and his colors are much more vivid:

Also forgot to mention my pet wasps, and I have some pics from last year and the year before below. I didn’t have time to capture a queen this spring and didn’t raise a colony this year. The species is Polistes parametricus, a very peaceful, easygoing breed…for wasps.

Last year’s new queen, learning to eat honey from my fingers:

This pic is the finished colony from year-before-last, when they were about to be put outside so they could mate and hibernate. They became very tame and I could brush them with my finger and get no response at all. Raised two colonies indoors and never got stung. The adults eat honey, nectar and pollen, and feed the larvae with insects (I fed them mostly small hornworms and waxworms).


You have some stunning animals there!
loving the budgie on your grand-nephews head, and those ackies are absolutely beautiful! The other half has wanted them for a while but it’s finding the space!

I’m hoping to make my 1st ever herp a uro…nice animals!!

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Pet wasps! That is so cool :sunglasses: Down here in South Fl nests just keep growing all the time it seems.

Those monitor tanks look insane! Do you have a full length picture?

ghoulishcresties, thank you! Ackies should have as much floor space as you can muster, and a lot of vertical space is a bonus - they are very active.

beast-blade-wolf, the uromastyx are unique, in that they are vegetarians and not at all food motivated. They are used to having their food wait for them, and it is hard to entice them with anything to get them to move ‘now’. The best results I have had have been with nasturtium flowers, which are easy to grow and they love. Most other lizards are predatory and understand that, unlike greens and flowers, their food has to be eaten now or it can get away. They are also relatively slow growing. If you are very patient, they are very pretty and do get tame.

Here are a few pics of a few tanks for dlhirst:

A 40 breeder with:
Celestial Danios, Corydoras, Otocynclus, Cherry Shrimp and Mystery Snails, all born here. Plants are all real, mostly green and red crypts, java fern, java moss and guppy grass. The Celestials spend every morning in mating rituals and usually at least one or two pairs end up breeding. Their tank -mates usually clean up the eggs, but if I let the plants grow in a little more densely, I can get babies to survive. Same with my school of White Clouds in another tank, if I let the vegetation thicken up, I get babies.

A 20 Long with:
Celestial Danios, Corydoras, Cherry Shrimp and Mystery Snails. Plants mostly red crypts, some java fern and a big, semi-floating wad of guppy grass mixed with cabomba.

A 10 gallon tank with our adopted/rescued fish:
A few Fancy Guppies, a mixed school of Cardinal/Neon Tetras, some kind of reddish-purple Danio and Cherry Shrimp. Plants are some kind of tiny swordgrass, a big wad of java moss and some red crypts.

Hi Lumpy, here is another wasp pic.

I was feeding her a hornworm to give to her larvae and it fell off my pointy stick (bamboo skewer) onto my hand, and she chased it down and killed it on the back of my hand. I had to sit there and let her process it. I worked my phone out of my pocket with my other hand and managed to grab a pic. Definite test of nerves, she was my first wasp and when she flew down onto my hand, I was pretty sure I was gonna die.

Interesting process of preparing prey for their young. They do not sting their prey. Their first line of physical nest defense is to bite, and that’s also how they kill prey. They have a pretty solid pinch, like an equal size beetle. They catch small caterpillars and bite the heads off in two or three bites. They then squeeze the juice out and drink it for later regurgitation. They roll and squeeze and roll and squeeze, and end up with a wrung-out pellet of caterpillar skin and meat.

They fly back to the nest with the pellet and bump heads with the first nest-mate they encounter. The nest-mate grabs it and together, they chew down through the pellet and split it neatly in half, and each then goes to the next nest-mate and repeats the process. Everybody gets a piece.

Once all of the adult wasps have a piece of the caterpillar, they walk all over the nest and dip down into each occupied cell, feeding the larvae with the meat and regurgitated juice…Mmmmm… The teamwork is amazing!

I’ll have to close this post to switch my phone from hotspot to file sharing to get pictures out of it, and I’ll post a full-size pic of the large terrarium.


It is something that I have never heard of before, it sounds fun and stressful.

Welcome to the community! Love all the pictures of your animals. Your tanks are my favorite! Something about a well balanced fish tank makes my insides happy haha :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I feel “overgrown” fishtanks are sometimes looked down-upon, but they are truly like a slice of what they’re supposed to be; a river.

Notice I’m using “overgrown” very loosely

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My big terrarium is made of PVC sheets and is waterproof up to the top of the bottom dark green 1 x 12. The top ‘box’ assembly houses the lighting and timers. This is an early pic, the glass doors haven’t been installed yet and it is still not fully furnished, but I put it here so you could get an idea of the depth of the substrate and overall height of the enclosure (5’8"). It is 5 feet long x 2-1/2 feet deep. All of the substrate is not in yet in this pic, and when I was finished, it was almost level with the rim of the left flowerpot before they packed it down. It keeps compacting and could use another couple buckets of substrate right now.

I took this pic earlier today. You can see the big male laying up on the shelf on the rocks, which is the hottest place in the tank at late morning. Not sure where the female is, probably sleeping in the top log.

All of the horizontal cork logs are hollow, and the vertical ‘trees’ are solid dogwood from a dying tree in the back yard. The horizontal log in the middle, with the holes, was ‘customized’ by the birds, who enjoy chewing stuff and were focused on opening up some cracks in the bark.

A view into the upper portion:

I have since removed one of the bulbs on the right side (too hot) and gone to halogen (better IR wavelengths). The fluorescent fixture is a reflectorized T5-HO with a 6500k tube and a 14% UV-b Arcadia tube. The fixture on the far right is a ceramic heat emitter, which helps keep the rocks on the top shelf hot (125oF), but needs to be replaced with a deep heat projector that provides less (unusable) IR-c and more IR-b & IR-a. I knew less about this when I built this terrarium and bought some of this stuff.

The terrarium will break down into three pieces that two of us can handle easily and will go through a standard residential door. I am working on a second one like this now, maybe not quite as big. I have already bought some of the material and am refining my drawings. I also have some smaller enclosures that are not as nice.


Wow is all I have to say!!! One day when I get an Ackie, I plan to build something like this. I love the idea of having a display cage!


Hi akmorphs, thank you very much!

Yes lumpy, the aquariums are overgrown, and about once a month I clip enough stuff to keep the girls at PetSmart happy. There are several staff members at my local store setting up their own tanks and I’ve been unloading my clippings on them. Even the crypts put out runners and babies.

Thank you for your kind words regarding the enclosure. I was stuck with putting it in the living room and was kind of compelled to make it something more than a plywood box.

This is one I had built in the early '80s and have pressed into lizard service for the smaller guys.

The white PVC board in the front was to keep the little guys from getting stuck behind the right-side door panel where the glass slides, but, the way they climb, I didn’t need it for long.

There is a bar sink built into the bottom that is filled with substrate and affords a total substrate depth of over 14".

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