No announcement yet.

Halmahera gecko not eating (HELP)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Halmahera gecko not eating (HELP)

    Hi there,

    My name is Robbert, my first post on here, and I am dealing with a difficult situation with my halmahera gecko.

    Bit of background about me:
    As a teenager I kept leopard geckos successfully, as well as a tortoise. This had to be given up due to a move abroad a number of years ago.
    I have experience in keeping all sorts of fish as well, and always do my due diligence.
    (I want to stress this - as I am already feeling like a failure with this species)

    Background on the purchase:
    I bought two of these beautiful geckos at a tradeshow in Conroe.
    While initially I was planning on buying crested geckos or gargoyles, I had read about halmaheras, and their similarities in needs to the prior mentioned geckos.
    (other than the RV and the preference of having a warmer spot in the terrarium)

    I bought a couple, understanding they were captive bred.

    The male was/is a solid 9 inches, that lost his tail before, but had fully regrown before I bought him.
    The female, who I lost recently, was 5-6 inches.

    18x18x36 glass terrarium, with a screen top. Bioactive with dwarf isopods, isopods, lawn shrimp and springtails.
    Plenty of cork and wood to hide in, as well as a lot of live plants.

    Lighting is a biodude full spectrum light

    Temperature is 74F in most of the terrarium, as well as a small ceramic heat emitter (40w) to create a heated area in the top. This turns off at night.
    There is also a small heating pad at the bottom, opposite of the ceramic heater, which is connected to a thermostat, set at 74F.
    The latter I setup because, even though we live in Houston, our springs can be chilly at night.

    Humidity is 85-95% in the morning, to 65-70% in the afternoon, and up to 85-95% at night.
    I have a mister, but mist the terrarium manually to ensure all plants are watered/humidity is maintained.

    Water is filtered (by Britta) and de-chlorinated.

    Pangea and Rapeshi, as well as feeder insects as a snack.
    Water provided through misting and a water bowl on the ground and halfway up the back. (these animals will come to the bottom to drink)

    Initial concerns:
    The geckos were extremely skittish. Even though halmaheras are known to be skittish, they were borderline suicidal at times. Even after a month or two of leaving them alone to adjust.
    The male escaped at some point while cleaning, and he bit me viciously, almost like a Tokay.
    Our female started to deteriorate quite rapidly after those two months, I'd only seen her eat once every so often. (in a matter of a few weeks (noticeably)

    After the female's passing, my fears were confirmed that these geckos may have been wild caught, and not captive bred.
    The male would eat every once in a while, including licking honey off a chop stick (done no more than once every two weeks).
    Neither have shown interest in super worms or meal worms though.

    Current concern:
    Since the male now also has started to get worse, I decided to take him to a vet that also is knowledgeable on reptiles.
    Initial testing showed no obvious signs, even though they did agree that this male appeared to be wild caught.

    I placed him in a smaller tank (12x12x18) to have more "control" on him, and collect fecal matter.

    So we proceeded with fecal matter testing, x-rays and (a failed) blood test.
    I was worried about parasites, but all came back was that he has a vitamin deficiency. I am aware of this issue, as he is not eating!
    The vet wants to go for a daily hand feeding with additional calcium, but given the fact he gets extremely stressed while handling, I don't think this is the right avenue.

    After he came home, I was able to hand feed him with a chopstick, and food on the end of it.
    After a few dabs on his nose, he started to lick it off the skewer.

    Now when I try to do this, he will try to run out of the terrarium, instead of eat the food.

    My thoughts on my new attempted approach:
    I am going to try and entice him with crickets. Even though a lot points out they can live without insect feeders, and he has not shown interest in live food so far, I hope this will get him to eat.
    (since crickets are a different shape)

    I am also placing fernwood in the large terrarium to keep the humidity above 70% at all times.

    Please let me know if you have any tips on how to help him, as I don't know what else to do anymore.

    Best regards,

  • #2
    I've never had one, and don't know much about them except for the little I've read on care sheets. When I saw they were not very handleable and could be aggressive, that was enough to say no to this particular type of gecko for me. Here are a couple of good care sheets:

    It sounds as if you are doing everything right. But wild-caught animals just don't seem to live as long as captive bred, even if well-cared for. Is there enough foliage in your tank that he feelsl secure? Are the sides of your tank covered? Perhaps he feels too exposed, or does not feel like there are enough places to hide, and that's why he tries to get out...just a guess...

    TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
    Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0


    • #3
      Just as a suggestion...if you lose this one and would like an easy keeper that is diurnal, consider a CB western bearded anole (Cuban false chameleon). I LOVE mine - very docile, easily handleable, active during the daytime, very similar care to a crestie or gargoyle, and has the larger size (mine is about a foot long including tail at 3 years old). He is easily my favorite reptile, and had I known about them before I got my crestie and gargoyle, I would have gotten him sooner!
      TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
      Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0