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Mossy Leaf Tailed Gecko- Newbie

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  • Mossy Leaf Tailed Gecko- Newbie

    Hi there, Im very new to the website. A little about my background, I have been keeping aquatic turtles successfully for 5 years and axolotls for a little over a year now. Recently I have been thinking about keeping non aquatic reptiles and my choice will be geckos. As for species I have been doing extensive research on what I might be interested in keeping and the mossy leaf tailed gecko is definitely on top of my list.

    Now I am by no means unfamiliar with proper reptile/amphibian care however non aquatic reptiles are a new territory for me so I wanted to ask for some advice and have all my information straight before I make any gecko purchases in order to be able to provide the best care for my pets.

    I am aware that leaf tails are fairly hard to care for however one of the reasons I picked them is because of this challenge. In the future I would like to breed them but before I even attempt to do so, I wanna make sure I master their care and am able to successfully keep them alive and thriving for a year or two.

    Now to my specific questions.

    1) I have been reading a bit about bio active habitats and their benefits to the animal. However I am curious about how to start up a proper bio active substrate without getting any harmful mites or creatures into the cage. I have read a few sites that say they just get their substrate from out in the wild. This seems like a good way of introducing harmful species to the habitat. So if this is indeed a bad idea, the people who have successful bio active habitats, how did you start your substrate?

    2) For aquatic turtles and axolotls the rule of thumb is the bigger the enclosure, the better (as long as you have enough hiding spots to ensure the animal will feel safe and not stress out. Is this also true for geckos? I have read contradicting opinions online. I am thinking about keeping a male and a female in a 48x18x24 aquarium. As long as I provide enough hiding spots and a nice array of natural decorations, will a larger cage be better than a smaller one? I just think that with a larger tank that I already have at hand (currently empty) there is more vertical space available than lets say my 40 and 20 gallon tanks.

    3) I read that they prefer a temperature drop at night as they are nocturnal animals. My house stays at a consistent 72 degrees and obviously making the habitat warmer is easy however I find it to be a challenge to reduce the habitat temperature below room temperature as there are not really any commercial products for this purpose ( that I am aware of). Any techniques or products you guys use to reduce the temperature of your habitats?

    Any additional tips and advice you can give me for the proper care of these beautiful creatures will be very much appreciated as I am a bit suspicious of what I read online on random blogs and reptile sale websites. It seems like there is not much information available in regards to the care of leaf tails as there are for other species (i assume due to the difficulty of care and reduced amount of success people have breeding them). Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    Your biggest issue is the ability to create temperature fluctuitions for a cooler temperature gecko in a stable temperature setting. Keeping proper humidity for this species is also a major concern. Finding a cooler place like a basement or conditioning the air will allow for control of temps by raising them.with lights durring the daytime. If you can't control these factors you will not have a pleasant experience.
    Many of the Sikorae are wild caught and they do not fare well. Make sure you go with captive bred, well started animals for your first attempt. Many people buy imports because of the cost and some sellers will mark up the price and call them long term captives. Don't buy into it. A reputable breeder should help you with your questions and give a clear depiction of how your gecko was being kept while in their care. Follow their advice and don't change up the environment too much from what it is accustomed to. A gradual change as they grow will be less stressful. Stress can greatly impact these geckos. They are not an animal to be handled frequently. Clean soil mixes can be purchased as well as clean cultures of clean up insects. Again, if you can't control the temperatures and humidity, you may be doomed from the start.