New to breeding AFT and have a few questions!

Kylegep

New Member
Messages
15
Location
Cincinnati, OH
First off I'd like to say Hi, I believe this is my first time posting on this site. Now, I am a Ball python breeder and have a large interest in AFT. I have a few basic questions to ask about them.
1.) How do they do with Inbreeding? With my BP's I only do 1 generation or Parents to siblings, then out breed.
2.) Are they temperature determined sex? At what temps are they?
3.) What is proper weight for them to breed?
4.)How long do they incubate for?
And if I think of anymore I'll post!
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
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11,440
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Somerville, MA
Welcome to GF. I'll try to answer some of your questions:
1. Inbreeding: as with most reptiles, there's a balance between inbreeding to fix a trait and outcrossing to strengthen the line. I don't have enough fat tails for this to be an issue but in general I would cross parent to offspring and then outcross in the next generation as you suggest.

2. Temp determined sex: yes they are. I believe the minimum temp which would get you all females is about 82.5. They seem to run a few degrees warmer than leopard geckos in terms of temperatures. I incubate my fat tail and leo eggs together. I would guess that 85-87 would get you a male/female mix, but other breeders would have to confirm that

3. Proper weight: I would go with 40-50 grams for the females. I wait till 50 grams for my leos (which is what I mainly do) but find the fat tails to be a bit smaller. Females should be at least 9 months and older is better.

4. Incubation time: currently I'm incubating at 84-85 degrees and it's taking about 9 weeks. At a degree or two lower in previous seasons it was taking 10-11 weeks. One thing that's been a little disconcerting this season is that the fat tail eggs have consistently been deflating about 10 days before hatching, but they have been hatching.

I find with fat tails that the experience of having things totally out of your control and just having to wait and see what you get really applies. The fat tails will breed -- or not. They will produce eggs --or not. The eggs will hatch . . . the babies will live. . . you can see a recurring theme here.
Good luck with them.

Aliza
 

Treefolk

New Member
Messages
190
Location
Northern California
I can't answer your questions because I don't own any fat tails yet.

However, based on all my research, if you're a successful bp breeder, you should have any easy time. Breeding weight quicker, less space required, smaller eggs to deal with, ect.

I would ask Travis at Enigmatic reptiles about tails. He's the straightest shooter I've seen and clear up a lot of contradicting information for me. Much respect to TUG and JMG, but their care sheets are wack and make looking into getting tails complicated, when they aren't. If you've had Leo's, it appears to be almost identical.

I remember when I was getting into Leo's and people were telling me to cool them before season. Who does that now? Nobody. Same thing with fat tails. And you don't need to keep them on moss or coco. Can keep them on same stuff Leo's are kept. Just always need a humid hide. That is the type of stuff you will run into that is just straight up false.
 

Enigmatic_Reptiles

Quality is Everything
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6,779
Location
Corona, CA
Welcome to GF and it is always good to see an interest in proper care prior to jumping into a species...and for that I applaud you.

Aliza has already answered the questions and I agree with most of what she said. My responses would be as follows;

1. The term inbreeding is manipulated throughout the reptile community to sound less harsh. If someone said I have inbred this animal for 5 years that sounds less appealing than terms like line-bred or being a polygenetic trait. AFT, like many reptiles do quite well with line-breeding for a couple generations but will need out-crossing to prevent increased defects and other issues related to inbreeding. That being said, many AFT morphs are relatively new and the lines have not been around long enough to be in need of immediate out-crossing. After 3 years of working on anything I would out-cross for strength regardless of project integrity or phenotype diversion. I too work with balls and when you see things like lines of Pastels (Graziani, Citrus, Blonde, etc.) this too would fall under inbreeding/line-breeding which is done to accentuate on certain traits to refine them to a look unlike the others. Moral is, inbreeding is ok in moderation and records are a must.

2. Yes AFT are temp sex determined. I incubate my females at 82.3 deg and males at 88.4 deg. There are always going to be random abnormalities when temp sexing, but these are a general area for sex determination. Obviously closer you go toward each other the more odds of random sex determination occurring.

3. Ah the weight question. I keep my breeder females in the 35-45g range and males no more than 5g heavier. We see AFT and visually they are similar to Leos, but they are NOT leos. Heavier AFT do not reproduce well and IMO I think people keep their leos too heavy as well. We see a Leo with a fat tail and everyone says it looks healthy. When has an animal with that much excess fat been classified as healthy? They do need fat storage, but the excess fat can lead to Fatty Liver, Cardiovascular problems, Reproductive issues, etc. We (as reptile enthusiasts) seem to forget about common health problems in EVERY other species and think that our reptiles (which have a slower metabolism) need this crazy amount of excess fat to be "healthy". This is about as thick as I prefer my tails to be (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=328838930559041&set=vb.226575520734555&type=3&theater). There is obvious storage, but by the end of the season this storage will be about 75% utilized. Enough to be healthy, but not fat.

4. Aliza's incubation times are about what I am getting. I use a suspension method and have had great success and hatch rates. I know I operate on a smaller scale than many others, but I have had a 9 egg average per female, 100% fertility, and 100% hatch rate to date.


Here is a link to a video I did on AFT care (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=328838930559041&set=vb.226575520734555&type=3&theater)
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
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11,440
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Somerville, MA
I would post a picture but I don't have time to fight with photobucket tonight. I have a very small AFT population (3.4, eventually to be 3.5) and keep them in three planted tanks.

Aliza
 

Enigmatic_Reptiles

Quality is Everything
Messages
6,779
Location
Corona, CA
I am a firm believer in individual housing so I won't suggest a size for communal. I use 16qt tubs for my breeders and will introduce the male for no more than 3 days at a time. I find that AFT are more reclusive and enjoy more crevice style hiding than over head. They are often wedged in between the walls and hides or tucked as tight as possible to the inside of the hides.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
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11,440
Location
Somerville, MA
It depends on the gecko. I have had geckos produce reasonably well for 5 years and others produce for 1 year and then just not produce anything else.

Aliza
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
11,440
Location
Somerville, MA
I have been told that geckos have a finite number of eggs, so I guess it's a question of whether you "use" those eggs in consecutive years or skip years.

Aliza
 
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