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No frogs yet, but 2 uromastyx, 4 red ackies, 6 budgies, 100s tropical fish/snails/shrimp
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I'd like to go, but just dumped a bunch of money with a local monitor breeder and realize I had better not...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd like to go, but just dumped a bunch of money with a local monitor breeder and realize I had better not...
Pshhhhh, c'mon you at least have to go to pick up dry goods!

What monitors are you working with? I've been eyeing up Ackies for years, but I keep walking away from them.
 

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No frogs yet, but 2 uromastyx, 4 red ackies, 6 budgies, 100s tropical fish/snails/shrimp
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Ackies.

I have a 2-1/2 year old male red and just picked up three baby red x yellow mix on Tuesday from a guy in Baltimore.

I like the Ackies, small enough for easy handling/feeding and to be able to provide decent quarters in an average household, big enough to be interesting and show a lot of personality.

I had been looking for a female companion for my male that didn't have to ship across the country, but finally gave up and bought the babies - now I'm afraid I'll see the female I had wanted at the show and be in over my head, LOL.

After joining Dendroboard (brought here by all the great viv constructions), I want frogs now too...so there's that. I already accidentally bought a large bromeliad.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ackies.

I have a 2-1/2 year old male red and just picked up three baby red x yellow mix on Tuesday from a guy in Baltimore.

I like the Ackies, small enough for easy handling/feeding and to be able to provide decent quarters in an average household, big enough to be interesting and show a lot of personality.

I had been looking for a female companion for my male that didn't have to ship across the country, but finally gave up and bought the babies - now I'm afraid I'll see the female I had wanted at the show and be in over my head, LOL.

After joining Dendroboard (brought here by all the great viv constructions), I want frogs now too...so there's that. I already accidentally bought a large bromeliad.
Well luckily for you Repticon is semi hosed right now. Last minute and without any notice, Maryland State Fairgrounds told the Repticon staff that they needed to expand social distancing. All preorder tickets were assigned a random block of time for people to come in and look and purchase. No ticket sales are available at the door. And unless you were like me who found out just in time to order the last block of tickets (4pm to 6pm was the last available block today) you're going to have to hope you can find tickets for tomorrow, but I'm hearing it's sold out. Kinda suck as I I found this out while driving half way across the state from someone calling to tell me about the lack of door tickets. Luckily they were able to snag tickets from the website as soon as they couldn't get in the door.

How are you housing your Ackies? Communally in the long run? DIY enclosures?
 

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No frogs yet, but 2 uromastyx, 4 red ackies, 6 budgies, 100s tropical fish/snails/shrimp
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Well luckily for you Repticon is semi hosed right now. Last minute and without any notice, Maryland State Fairgrounds told the Repticon staff that they needed to expand social distancing. All preorder tickets were assigned a random block of time for people to come in and look and purchase. No ticket sales are available at the door. And unless you were like me who found out just in time to order the last block of tickets (4pm to 6pm was the last available block today) you're going to have to hope you can find tickets for tomorrow, but I'm hearing it's sold out. Kinda suck as I I found this out while driving half way across the state from someone calling to tell me about the lack of door tickets. Luckily they were able to snag tickets from the website as soon as they couldn't get in the door.
Dang, glad you were able to get in at all! Hope you enjoy!
How are you housing your Ackies? Communally in the long run? DIY enclosures?
I am hoping to keep them communally, which is most of the logic of buying three little ones at once - better chances of them getting along long-term. It also gives me a fresh start with taming - my male was 'pre-owned', not handled/mishandled and was terrified of everything. He's much better now, but it has taken a lot to get him here.

I have been nervous about introducing a new adult/semi-adult to my existing Ackie and had planned to introduce them both to the new quarters at the same time. The new quarters are nearly ready (glass man has been here to measure for the doors, starting the two-week countdown for cut/drill/temper/install) and I'm getting impatient. Between not being able to locate a female within a couple state's distance, being nervous about risking my male to an unknown and having a local breeder willing to work a very good deal for me on the little guys...on to Plan B.

My permanent enclosures are all DIY. Carpentry background + can't afford 'nice' custom enclosures = DYI.

My male is in a 35 x 24 x 36 enclosure (living space-outside is bigger) with glass sides and sliding glass doors, that I had built on the early 80s'. This enclosure is red oak framed/trimmed, with a plywood floor, back and top cover. The top housing encloses UV, spotlights and a ceramic heat element behind a ceiling of 1/4" mesh. There is a bar sink built into the floor that forms a hide for him, and that is warmed from below/at night with another ceramic element.

I have just built a much larger enclosure for him, with inside dimensions of 58" L x 31" D x 50" T. Outside is 60" x 34" x 68". I plan to put up pics and a narrative here as soon as I get it wrapped up and can upload pics to my site. I used foam insulation board to build a three-sided 'stack stone' structure with several shelves and and a hundred or so ledges. This enclosure also has a top housing to conceal the lighting, with UV, flood/spots and a heat element. I have completed everything except the final substrate (mixing that now) and the doors and have moved it inside. This enclosure is built entirely from Azek (PVC) with stainless steel fasteners, and the 44" W x 34" T glass doors. This allows me to keep humidity wherever I like without enclosure issues. PVC is heavy and due to the large size, I built it in three slide-apart component sections (bottom tray, main box, top housing), so it can be moved by mere mortals through normal doorways. The two 1/4" screen 'ceiling' panels can be removed, as can the solid top cover, and the fake stone work can be lifted out of the box once the top housing is removed and the caulk is cut.

The babies are in a very temporary 20 gallon aquarium with a minimally-vented solid top, 4" of damp coco-fiber substrate, a roughly built Rete's Stack for them to hide in/bask on. I have a heat lamp and small flood for light/heat/basking, with an under-tank heater to keep the substrate warm at night.

The short-term plan is to move the adult into the big enclosure and the babies into the one occupied by the adult now and use the aquarium for fish or something. When the babies get a little size to them, I'd like to move them into the bigger enclosure. At that time, or before, I have to consider selling the male, which I hate to do but don't realistically anticipate him accepting three new roommates,

I have the enclosures next to each other and the adult has noticed the babies. He cranes his neck and watches them, and it's hard to know whether he would eat one, two or all of them... My wife thinks he wants to be 'friends', LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Well, to report back on the show... It was a shit show... Some of the vendors backed out once they were provided a day and a half notice about the changes. Changes consisted of the new hours for both days that required them to be at their booths early and later than a normal show day. Not only that, the influx of sales were limited because the walk in crowd to the show didn't exist. Pre order tickets only and you were limited to your 2 hour slot. The cleared everyone out at the hour mark to let the next heard of folks come in. I heard a lot of people were complaining that this made browsing next to impossible. People were arguing over getting help from vendors like a packed NYC deli at lunch. If you didn't get the vendors ear you didn't get help because the ones that had what most people were after were slammed. Then you had some tables that were just empty from potential buyer. Not only that, but the Repticon staff were forced to go into a smaller building because some of the paying vendors bailed. With that being the case some vendors had to double up with other vendors in order to fit in this new smaller building while meeting the Maryland Sate Fairgrounds social distancing practices which exceeded the states. The Maryland State Fairgrounds had their local security everywhere and they randomly kept temp gunning people because it was hot in there and not all of us enjoy heat and sweat.

The Fairgrounds reaction to all of this left a sour taste in a lot of regular vendors and patrons alike. I wouldn't be surprised if Repticon Baltimore no longer exists and a new large show takes its place at a new location.

When it came to viv stuff, choices for stuff were limited. There were a few tables with your standard ABG, supplements, various cork round vendors, but no real large driftwood. If you were after darts your selection was limited to two good vendors and picking up 'unknown' strains of Dendrobates Sp. from the bulk animal vendors. Have to say, one of those vendors had some cool reticulated Auratus for sale, but I had to step back and not get them since they had no documentation on who they were sourced from.

The best table had to have been Shore Thing Exotics. I've read plenty about them on the forum, and well, they hands down had a good selection of frogs, ghost wood (for smaller tanks), some prebuilt vivs, and even a slew of geckos and feeders. If I had some vivs ready for frogs, I would have snatched up the single D. Auratus 'Pena Blanca' he had as well as some of his D. Leuc's 'British Guyana'. I never saw Leucs as something I'd be after, but those were almost orange instead of yellow... They were stunning frogs! I'm definitely stopping by his tables at future shows I see him at. We had a great chat and he filled me in on some of the projects he's working on.

E. Shell, you would have been fine at the event when it came to Ackies. I saw one and only one Red Ackie available that the vendor was asking $700 for. Not sure what they normally go for, but that's what it was listed at.

Besides leaving with feeder rodents for my ball python's (yay boxes and boxes of rats...) I left empty handed. Could have left with a pair of of Fischer's Chameleons (Kinyongia Multerberculata) or a pair of Helmeted Chameleon (Triceros Hoehnellii) that I've been contemplating working with, but I didn't trust the vendor and can see myself expanding with PDF's in the future and the Cham enclosures designed and have taken apart and sitting would be taking up a lot of space that could be used for PDFS if I decided to set them back up. Initially, I went with the expectation to be leaving with a few bags of ABG to re do my 12x12x24 floor portion, leaf litter, various wood and more plants to make my girlfriends head spin. She doesn't get why I like plants as her green thumb doesn't exactly work. It's more like a green index finger that points to what she brought home that she wants me to keep alive... Just ended up leaving with money in my wallet for the next big show.
 

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Thank you for the report! I was regretting not being able to attend this show, now I am glad I couldn't make it. I was mostly interested in large bits of wood and plants and it sounds like nothing going on in that respect. Sorry it didn't work out for you, but if it helps, your pain did help a fellow Maryland'er feel better ;p
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the report! I was regretting not being able to attend this show, now I am glad I couldn't make it. I was mostly interested in large bits of wood and plants and it sounds like nothing going on in that respect. Sorry it didn't work out for you, but if it helps, your pain did help a fellow Maryland'er feel better ;p
I tend to 'have' to go to shows, especially when my feeder source isn't delivering due to being at a show which means I have to pick up. Perk is knowing a bunch of the vendors that generally are there so I get a bunch of texts with heads up about how a show is going. I knew what I was getting myself into before I got there, but that was all from a snake keepers perspective. Figured I'd walk around the show and honestly it was disappointing. I'll start posting up more threads about local shows as they come up.

Not sure how many of you went to the Mid Atlantic Reptile Show (MARS) years ago, but there used to be a ton of big name viv vendors there. Josh's Frogs used to come down with a trailer full of their products, Black Jungle was there, I think even NEHerp was there a few times. Sadly I miss those days where if I wanted to build a setup I could start and basically have everything else I needed hand picked at a show. Now it's limited to a lot of online orders and if people are lucky a local community to purchase or trade plants or hardscape material.

What would be interesting would be a DMV swapmeet. It would allow local breeders to bring some of their frogs, others to be able to bring frogs they either produced and need to rehome or sell to help fund their hobby, or even allow people to bring cuttings from their vivs so that during a "trim" listings don't have to go up on Facebook or worse just putting plants into the trash.
 

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Years ago, the two best options for buying herps and dry goods were local stores and herp shows. Now, vending online is easier/more efficient for both buyers and sellers.

Speaking from the POV of a occasional local/regional show vendor, there are a lot of problems with shows that aren't related to the pandemic. They encourage impulse purchases of animals, a bad thing for the animals. They are stressful AF for the animals (a whole day, or more, in a too bright, often too cold environment), and the vendors (the next day is Advil and rest day). Easily 75% of attendees are sightseers, tire kickers and lowballers, which is somewhat demoralizing.

The swapmeet idea is nice, but local markets are very easy to saturate, so the utility of such events might be pretty limited. It would be fun, though. :)
 

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No frogs yet, but 2 uromastyx, 4 red ackies, 6 budgies, 100s tropical fish/snails/shrimp
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Well, to report back on the show...

...E. Shell, you would have been fine at the event when it came to Ackies. I saw one and only one Red Ackie available that the vendor was asking $700 for. Not sure what they normally go for, but that's what it was listed at...
Thank you for the report!
Sorry it wasn't better than that. Guess I lucked out in not planning to go this time.

$700 is the high end of a nice red Ackie, like a young adult breeding age female or a spectacularly colorful male. Yellows usually run slightly less. Most, including some very nice animals, are less costly. Younger animals typically go for substantially less too, starting around $300-350 for baby yellows and $350-400 for baby reds.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Years ago, the two best options for buying herps and dry goods were local stores and herp shows. Now, vending online is easier/more efficient for both buyers and sellers.

Speaking from the POV of a occasional local/regional show vendor, there are a lot of problems with shows that aren't related to the pandemic. They encourage impulse purchases of animals, a bad thing for the animals. They are stressful AF for the animals (a whole day, or more, in a too bright, often too cold environment), and the vendors (the next day is Advil and rest day). Easily 75% of attendees are sightseers, tire kickers and lowballers, which is somewhat demoralizing.

The swapmeet idea is nice, but local markets are very easy to saturate, so the utility of such events might be pretty limited. It would be fun, though. :)
As someone who has worked many vendor style events over the years (both animal and non animal related) I completely understand your take on it. On the animal side the WORST is being a vendor and selling to someone that's about to make an uneducated impulse buy. I always made a point to never let an animal go with someone if they had no where for it to go or were obviously getting into it for the wrong reasons and basically raised the flag of putting an animal in danger if it was leaving my booth and going home with some rando. There is a whole other side to impulse buys though. Keep in mind that we're not talking about little Bobby who is crying to his parents that he wants an animal and Mom and Dad give in and try to make it work, and we're also not talking about Felicia who is looking for a pet as an accessory. Let me apologize now if I used your name, I just pulled them out at random and mean no offense by calling out those situations and tying your name to it. The impulse buy I'm getting at would be someone coming into a show looking for some locally sourced/bred Terribilis after months of research and planning and has everything setup and is ready to go. Sadly they don't happen to find what they want at the show, but rather than leaving decide to spend more time out of their day looking at what other vendors have and possibly chit chatting with vendors to learn more about the hobby they have dedicated their time into researching. Their heart was set on their 18"x18"x24" viv build to house a trio of them, but they stumble upon a vendor with some Tinctorius that for some reason catch their eye in a way pictures never did. They end up talking to the vendor and find out more about the Tinctorius and start to get that itch that has them interested in these as well as their initial goal of housing Terribilis. Per some contemplation and a handful of back and fourth wandering through the show they end up coming back to the seller they spoke to and decide to pickup a pair or Tinc's. This isn't a fully uneducated impulse buy, but more so someone finding out they were interested in another species and were able to house them safely in an enclosure that was already setup, established, and waiting on frogs. There are also the other walk in crowds that have the one person in a group that were not really looking for something, but get drawn in by a table of gecko's or darts and speak to a handful of vendors to learn more. As they wander around with their friends they are on their phones doing a bit of research and they end up not leaving with an animal, but everything they need to setup an appropriate enclosure for them as well as a few business cards of breeders/vendors that carried what ever animal it was that they were interested in. Those are the walk-in sales that not only made me smile as a vendor, but were great to see as they were educated choices, though not initially planned, that were made at a show. As someone with a ball python collection that is working up to breeding, I've been in this boat. I go to a show looking for a specific morph and another catches my eye. I'm able to house them as I keep them in a racked system and have space for them, but again, it wasn't planned. Some of my favorite and most dear ball pythons came from those moments where I stumbled upon a morph I wasn't expecting to see, or let alone see for a price I was willing to pay.

When I was working with a vendor I did my best to not trash talk or get in the way of sales of other vendors unless I knew they were selling something to someone that was illegal (say a person trying to buy a venomous snake at a show, but the person lived in a state where venomous reptiles were forbidden to be kept without a license.) Now that I'm someone who attends shows as a patron, I kind of have a way around hinting to someone that an animal is not a good idea to bring home without being that person who comes up to a family and says "you might want to reconsider." One great example is if say some family goes to a show and their kid grows heart eyes for a reticulated python a vendor has out. The parents may not know anything about snakes or knowing what they are getting into, but they want to support their children's interest in the husbandry of an exotic pet. One way to make sure they are getting the right info without being a jerk to a vendor is politely standing to listen in to a vendor explain something as a lot of people do this anyways. At that point you can ask the questions that the people who are about to make a mistake may not be asking. My girlfriend does this with some sort of magic. She will politely ask "How large do they grow?" or "What is their expected lifespan in captivity?" and some of these questions, though most animal lovers would know to ask, are completely unknown questions for someone who hasn't been around exotic animals. I've seen some kids jaws drop when they start to put some of the information together and get worried. Or in some cases the parents realize that the animal they have been talking to a vendor about is outside of their care after it gets beyond the size they pictured in their minds. These tactics generally don't hurt the vendor, if anything the promote more conversations which either leave the vendor making a bigger sale or stop them from having to deal with someone coming back up to them later in a show trying to return an animal that they had just sold.

Overall, any event that involves animals is stressful to the animals. Sadly, this is a risk the vendors take when setting up at these shows. Some take more risks than others, some take zero risks and either don't bring/deal with temperamental species, or they have enclosures that do their best to mitigate the stress of the new and temporary surroundings. Not all animals are content like a baby bearded dragon who is basking under a hot spot and haslive food available all while themselves being intrigued on all these people taking a look at them. Gecko's for example, though fairly simple to care for, are high risk animals to have at a show. Some species can drop a tail which puts them at risk for an infection because someone happens to sneeze loudly next to their deli cup that they happen to be stuck in for a few hours/days.

The tire kickers, pedestrians and sightseers are a mix of good and bad. Again, sometimes those sightseers happen to be one of us that just joined the forum after going to one of these events. They may never have had their interests perked to know more about the husbandry of these animals without having being exposed to them in person. The hagglers you have to take with a grain of salt, no matter who you are, you know you always want the best deal. Most vendors know this and adjust their list prices accordingly. Someone may have something that sells for around $200, but lists it with a markup to say $260 expecting to be lowballed or bargained with. I've seen and personally dropped prices at events based on talking to someone and seeing that the animal is going to a good home. That or say someone came to pick up an animal and had everything setup, but happened to either have forgot one key part of their setup. One great example I've seen recently was a snake vendor that cut the price of a snake for a kid who had worked all summer to get an enclosure setup for it. The one problem was the kid's heating system for the enclosure used a rheostat instead of a thermostat. For those who don't know, rheostats are dangerous when it comes to a heating element for any reptile. The seller took a loss on an animal and told the kid and his parents that if they came back to his booth with a thermostat for the enclosure, with a receipt, he'd bring the price of the individual snake down the difference of what the kid ended up spending. I believe the kid was setting up an enclosure for a Rosy Boa if I remember correctly, and depending on morph they can be anywhere between $120-700. The kid was only picking up a $120 Boa, but the seller took a loss of around $50 because he was trying to promote the hobby with an enthusiastic kid. He didn't even point to a specific vendor to get a commission off the sale of the hardware. Some vendors are in it to make a living, some are in it to assist funding and feeding their hobby. Others I've met are just current and/or retired educators that are trying to educate on something they are passionate about.

Thank you for the report!
Sorry it wasn't better than that. Guess I lucked out in not planning to go this time.

$700 is the high end of a nice red Ackie, like a young adult breeding age female or a spectacularly colorful male. Yellows usually run slightly less. Most, including some very nice animals, are less costly. Younger animals typically go for substantially less too, starting around $300-350 for baby yellows and $350-400 for baby reds.
Ah, that makes sense. As I mentioned above, it was probably listed that high due to having some wiggle room for hagglers. BTW, I think I stumbled upon whom you picked up your baby Ackies from while on another site. You picked up some nice babies :) Wish I had the space available to setup an enclosure for one.
 

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The Fairgrounds reaction to all of this left a sour taste in a lot of regular vendors and patrons alike. I wouldn't be surprised if Repticon Baltimore no longer exists and a new large show takes its place at a new location.
It already has been replaced, for me. The Battlefield Reptile Expo in Gettysburg is much larger than Baltimore Repticon, and better in almost every way, including the venue. Ever since that show came into existence, I haven't returned to Timonium.
 

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I'm torn on this (not sure if you saw the other thread I posted up on Battlefield).

As much as I'd like to say Battlefield is my 'go-to' show I feel like there are a few things missing in terms of selection and breeders. I love the venue, and it doesn't help it's only 35 minutes away, but I've found that it's just far enough away that some southern breeders (specifically southern VA and NC) don't show up to it. This is a draw back to me as those breeders are not only people I've grown to know and talk to (even outside of events), but I feel that some of the vendors that are at Battlefield are not as experienced and are the 'newer' breeders on the market, so they lack the history that other breeders have with the animals. Also, I find that Battlefield is not as 'all encompassing' as Repticon. I know when I generally go to Repticon, outside of COVID, I can leave with what I'm after and be happy on the deal I got. At Battlefield, I feel like unless I've reached out to some of the vendors before the event I won't be leaving with what I'm after unless I pre-ordered it. Specifically, this is on hardgoods, not animals.

The perk to me about Battlefield is the more upbeat vibe behind it, bringing in the hobbyist mindset on a lot of the vendors, as well as bringing in Northern vendors that would not otherwise come to a show in my area. The whole transition from MARS to Repticon left a lot of vendors upset, and left the show with less big name vendors (Josh's Frogs being one of my big examples.) Due to that some of the vendors that left Repticon are now attending Battlefield, though sadly the bigger ones are still gone. I just wish they put more effort into finding a mix of vendors. It's great for those who are after snakes and geckos (like most shows), but if you're after the oddball stuff, specific hardgoods or plants your options are few and far between. Overall this is said across most show events in my area, but I feel Battlefield tends to have less of those things. Being that the show is new it seems that the event coordinators are working to keep enough vendors that deal with species that could/can/would tempt in the walk-in crowd as well as the husbandry behind them.


At the end of the day, both shows have their pros and cons. It really depends what you're after and being sure to do your research on whose vending before you go and trying to figure out if someone will be there with what you're after.
 
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