9. Nighttime Temperature Drops
Many GTP keepers use a nighttime temperature drop (NTD) as part of their daily husbandry practices. On the other hand, some keepers chose to only use NTD’s as part of their breeding protocols. But as GTP husbandry evolves it may become more evident that a NTD is beneficial to your animal’s health. Chondros are actually found in a variety of climates, including steamy coastal marshes, mangrove forests, rain forests, as well as the cooler mountain ranges. Clearly they thrive in the wild with a far greater temperature variation than we provide in our cages, and all of the climates that they inhabit experience a NTD to some degree.
Like most other variables, there are no set rules regarding NTD’s. Also, it should be emphasized that while a more significant drop (cycling) is employed during the breeding season, the following recommendations are for non-breeding, or maintenance. While some keepers may use a drop of only 3 degrees, others might drop temps by as much as 5 to 10 degrees year round (again, with the exception being during breeding season). Some factors that should be considered when deciding on how significant of a drop to use include, the practices of the previous owner of a newly purchased animal, your geographic location and time of year, the response of your animals to your set NTD, and your particular husbandry philosophy.