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Thread: Leopard gecko questions for experienced owners!

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    Default Leopard gecko questions for experienced owners!

    So I'm going to be treating myself to a little birthday present come January in the form of a new desert-dwelling buddy. I've read a few caresheets, and I plan to do a lot more research in the coming months, however I do have some questions for those who already own a leopard gecko or who have experience with them,

    Would this terrarium be a good size for a juvenile - adult leopard gecko? Do they need to start in smaller enclosures like cresties?

    Are mealworms or crickets the 'go-to' feeder? What other options are there? I'm fine with feeding whatever I can get my hands on as long as it contributes to a healthy gecko lifestyle ;P

    What would be considered a 'good price' for a regular ol' leo? I know this question is difficult because breeders and stores will always have varying prices, but what sort of range should I be expecting?

    I've heard heat lamps are not recommended, however I have a very cold room (my cresties need 40w bulbs to stay in the mid to low seventies!). I'm planning on using an undertank heat pad for the warm side of the terrarium, but I think I'll need to provide some sort of heat source on the other side as well, will a lamp do or should I try for a lower wattage heat pad?

    And any tips on leopard gecko ownership in general would of course be appreciated

    Thanks!

    Melissa
    0.1.0 F.catus (kitty kat) - Wanda
    1.0.1 C.ciliatus - Poe, Wicket
    1.1.0 B.orientalis - Morgoth, Malgus (Morgy and Malgy)

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    As you may know I recently got my juvie Osiris who is the cutest little bugger ever.
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    First off I wanted to say that they definitely are not desert dwellers, they live in the arid scrubland of Afghanistan and such where it's rocks and soil and scrubby bushes everywhere, no sand.

    That terrarium is a really good size! Make sure to use paper towel substrate or repticarpet over the heat mat and a thin layer of eco earth on top (Leo's can't really get impacted by eating eco earth and it helps to absorb the poo smell as they normally go to the bathroom in the same spot.)
    A 40 watt bulb over the cool side to keep it around 75 is perfect and a 60 watt bulb over the warm side to keep it around 80 with the 90 heat mat Is perfect. 2 warm hides and 2 cold hide and a moist hide on the cool side is good, also some fake plants are good as extra hides and climbing area and to make the terrarium look good. A medium sized shallow water dish and a plant tray (for catching water under plant pots) with mealies in it is perfect. Also for a leo, a small dish or bottle cap of calcium is needed and dust the food with calcium + D3. Personally I can't stand crickets so I only feed meal/king worms with the occasional wax worm as a treat and Osiris is doing awesome, once my petland gets more worms in Stock I'll probably be getting some phoenix worms to widen his diet a bit which is healthy. I'd say for a 5-6 month old juvie that weighs 28-32 grams, 5 crix every other day and 10 small mealies very other day from crix is a good diet. The occasional couple wax worms is good as a treat or to fatten up thinner geckos.

    I got Osiris from the Crowfoot petland for 75$ (glad I got him as he was the only male with 4 females and one tiny hide that they all squished into)
    Hope I could help!
    Sam
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    I agree. The tank is of appropriate size.
    I use a 30 gallon long for my girl.
    Having kept this species for the last 8 years and have had no trouble with feeding both crickets and mealworms. The key to a healthy diet is variety. I also supplement with Superworms, roaches and the occasional waxworm.
    Since I have a long tank, I have a longer UTH. You'll want it to cover a third of your floor space. I also use a Ceramic Heat Emitter on the warm side to boost air temperatures on that side. The important thing is to have a temperature gradient. That way your gecko can thermoregulate. CHE's last longer and are more efficient. A better use of your funds.
    As far as for pricing, you'll find a multitude of prices. Petstores usually have them for rather cheap but are often not healthy. I'd gather your supplies and set up your tank a good week or so ahead of time so that you can monitor temps and make sure it's ready for the little one.
    I'd recommend going to a reptile expo or show nearby and looking for one from a breeder there. You'll probably find some really pretty kids for some decent prices as well as a healthy gecko produced by a breeder that's been well started.
    Kelly @ OUROBOROS EXOTICS
    Currently working with Gargoyle geckos, Crested geckos, Leachianus geckos,
    E. Agricolae and E. Vieilliardi
    Facebook.com/OuroborosGeckos
    ouroborosexotics.wix.com/geckos

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    Thank you both! I will definitely be letting the tank sit for a week so I can make sure temps are in order and everythings working right, I did the same for my cresties before I got them.

    I've heard as far as substrate goes, you can use ceramic tile in place of paper towel and reptile carpet to create a natural look? From what I've seen, as Last_Creature pointed out, these guys are more of a rocky terrain animal than a sand animal (and i've heard all the horror stories of sand impaction)

    Would these tiles with a layer of eco earth underneath provide enough of a barrier between the heat mat?

    Melissa
    0.1.0 F.catus (kitty kat) - Wanda
    1.0.1 C.ciliatus - Poe, Wicket
    1.1.0 B.orientalis - Morgoth, Malgus (Morgy and Malgy)

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    Yeah a tile over the heat mat or over the whole bottom and then a thin lair of eco earth on top is perfect. You should go checkout the YouTube channel "Leopard Gecko talk" she's amazing and has Leo's for 9 years and has awesome setups for her leos, really worth watching some of her Leo videos! She's also got 2 cresties and replies to any comments it's awesome
    Sam
    C.Ciliatus 4.1.4.4 E.Macularius 1.2.0 Lampropeltis getula floridana 0.1
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    I'm actually subscribed to her already, she's awesome

    So, would the terrarium I linked be okay for a juvenile or should I get something smaller for it's non-adult stages?

    Melissa
    0.1.0 F.catus (kitty kat) - Wanda
    1.0.1 C.ciliatus - Poe, Wicket
    1.1.0 B.orientalis - Morgoth, Malgus (Morgy and Malgy)

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    As long as you put the food bowl (if you're feeding mealies) near the warm hide and, if you're feeding crickets, just make sure the gecko is finding them, the planned terrarium is fine. I use ceramic tiles for my gecko cages. Instead of putting eco earth over the tiles (which is fine: I do have one bioactive enclosure that is all eco earth), once you figure out where the gecko is pooping, just put a 4" bathroom tile there and you can pick up the tile and clean it off after the gecko poops. All the other advice is fine above. In the US, big chain pet stores are selling leopard geckos for about $30 or so. The Urban Gecko (theurbangecko.com) is a breeder in Ontario whose geckos tend to be on the expensive side, but I think it's worth contacting them to see if they have any cheaper geckos that aren't on their website.

    Aliza

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    That's awesome that you're already subbed to her, she's super awesome!

    Yeah your terrarium is perfect, my boy wants to explore everything and he would love a terrium like that to run around and explore, I'm sure any juvie Leo would love it, they're so active. The urban gecko is a great place bit definitely on the pricey side.

    Aliza-over here in Canada everything is way more expensive than in America, a 30 dollar gecko in America costs almost 55 dollars here so the cheapest you'll find a Leo in a pet store here is about 60$ and people online are selling theirs for fairly expensive as well unfortunately, just wish we could get out of this recession already!
    Sam
    C.Ciliatus 4.1.4.4 E.Macularius 1.2.0 Lampropeltis getula floridana 0.1
    Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Aryas-Exotics-1841922079418266/
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    I'm thinking I'll probably spend a little extra and try to purchase from the urban gecko, I've heard really good things and they have some for around 125-175 which isn't too expensive for a nice leo here in Canada.

    Thanks for the help everyone!

    Melissa
    0.1.0 F.catus (kitty kat) - Wanda
    1.0.1 C.ciliatus - Poe, Wicket
    1.1.0 B.orientalis - Morgoth, Malgus (Morgy and Malgy)

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    Hello!
    I am new to this forum, just signed in, however, I am not new to geckos, have had dozens of geckos over the last 13 years.
    That terrarium is actally a great size for a single Leo, enough space for him to thrive!
    Regarding the heating, I agree with Kelly on the Ceramic Heat Emitters, leopard geckos do not enjoy lights that much, and the CHEs provide a great heat source.
    It would be great to see a picture of the set up when you have it all ready!

    Saskia!
    Ig: @Geckowoman
    7.9.0 Eublepharis macularius - Leopard Geckos
    1.3.0 Hemitheconyx caudicinctus - African Fat Tailed Gecko
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