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Thread: First Time Gecko/Reptile Owner Questions and Concerns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Default First Time Gecko/Reptile Owner Questions and Concerns

    Hi there (first time poster here),

    Just wanted to start out by saying thanks, as Pangea has been a fantastic resource for information and answers to my numerous questions regarding my first gecko, a gargoyle named Dover. Anyways, I have a specific question that I struggled to find answers/opinions on online, so I was wondering if I could get some personalized help. My gecko has only been in his new planted vivarium for a total of 4 days now, and I have been able to observe some patterns that I wanted opinions on. So his favorite spot to be all throughout his slumber during the day and even into the early dark is in the very top corner of the exo-terra, right where the foam background meets the screen top. He even gets so close that he puts his tail up in the little space that is left between the screen lid and foam.

    The first 2 days, I put a CHE in the back top corner, to create a gradient where it would be in the low 80s up top, and then get down to the low 70s in the opposite bottom corner. When he started residing only up top, I originally thought it must be cause he loves the heat, since he stayed right under the CHE. Even when the temperature would spike closer to 85, he would adamantly stay in place.

    I got the idea to try and put the heat lamp on the front side, in the opposite corner, to test and see whether or not he was staying there for the heat, or for the high up position considering its the highest place he can comfortably reside since he tends to lose traction easier on the front glass. After 2 days of moving it to the front, I can safely say that he is staying up there for the elevated position, and not for the heat, as always returns to the same spot after coming down for food late into the night.

    So with all this being said, I know that he likes to be up high in that spot right at the top of the foam board. Since I didn't put any cover options to hide under up top, what I am worried about, is my LED light strip is too bright in his eyes. Since I moved the CHE dome up front, the LED strip has to be in the back, which shines directly onto him as he sleeps all day. I was wondering if you guys think its okay that the LED is blaring down on him in his favorite spot, or if he isn't that sensitive to light. It's a really bright LED for plant growth (Current Satellite Plus) which is why I am just a little worried. Yesterday, I ordered some jungle vines with a fake plants to wrap around them in hopes to provide him some shade, but I just wanted to know for certain whether or not gargoyle's eyes are sensitive to light during the day. I obviously turn the LED system off at night, but I run it for up to 8 hours during the day to stimulate plants growth since there isn't much sunlight in the room I keep him in.

    Thanks in advance for any advice offered, as I want to make sure that Dover has the most comfortable life possible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts


    I'd say the LED could well damage his eyes over time if he doesn't have an option to stay in his favourite spot with cover. The easiest solution is to move some plant cover up top so that he has the option to hide from the light. It's great that you're offering him the option to thermoregulate and a decent light cycle, they do have to be setup well in order to have no detrimental effect.

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