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Chahoua basking and changing color

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  • Chahoua basking and changing color

    Hi everyone,

    I recently moved my chahoua to his new bioactive tank, which includes a rather bright LED light (arcadia jungle dawn) for the plants, but no UV lamp. I made sure he has a lot of shady places to hide from the light if he wants to, but instead he prefers to spend most of the day on top of the cork tile background (which did not reach all the way to the top of the tank :-)), seemingly basking in the light.
    His color also changed quite a bit since I moved him to his new tank, he used to be dark brown with a lot of orange on his tail and belly and a few dark green spots (first two pictures). The last picture was only two days later, where the brown is a lot paler, the green has become light green, and the orange has turned to pink.

    Is this just a normal color change or is it the difference between fired up and not fired up? Is it just coincidence that he changed that much after moving to the new tank or could he be stressed out / have been stressed out before? And if he is spending so much time 'basking', do you think he would benefit from a low power UV lamp above the cage (at least for 1-2 hours a day)?

    Lots of questions... hope some of you can give me some advice

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    1.2.1 Crested Geckos "Jackson Pollock", "Pumpkin Spice", "Nibbler", "Keikishoku" 1.0.0 Chahoua "Urmel" 1.1 Red eared sliders "Freddy Krueger" (25 years) and "Mucki" (45 years) RIP Peppermint (Green Anole)

  • #2
    I don't have a chahoua, only cresties, but I can say that most of them prefer to be as high up as possible but in the light to being lower down in the tank but in a hide during the day, and their favourite hiding places are both near the top of their tanks and dark inside. Are there any darker hiding spots near the top of your gecko's tank? Also, what's the temperature in there? Your gecko might be enjoying the heat of the lamp.

    Also, you describe your gecko as a male but my females also seem to like to spend time right under the lights when they're about to lay -- something to think about.

    Finally, I think if the gecko were uncomfortable, he'd go somewhere else, so I wouldn't worry about changing the lighting situation. After all, in the wild, they can expose themselves to the sun if they feel like it.

    Anyway, it doesn't sound like anything's wrong -- probably just something within the normal bounds of gecko behaviour (and geckos are inherently weird).
    3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)


    • #3
      Thanks, Treebiscuit!

      Urmel is definitely male, he has pores and a very noticeable male bulge, even though it is not obvious in the pictures. So I do not think he wants to lay eggs anytime soon :-).

      The second picture in the post above shows the whole setup with Urmel in it. There is a ledge just below his favorite hangout spot, and sometimes he hides behind the leaf I put there, but most of the time he is just out in the "sun". The LED lamp does not emit any noticeable heat, but maybe he is still trying to warm up. I am just wondering if he is trying to get some UV, because this is what he would get in the wild if he went out in the sun.

      Anyway, he seems to be doing fine and does not appear stressed out. Once the lights are out, he goes exploring everywhere in his little jungle. Just trying to watch out for any signs of stress after the big move.
      1.2.1 Crested Geckos "Jackson Pollock", "Pumpkin Spice", "Nibbler", "Keikishoku" 1.0.0 Chahoua "Urmel" 1.1 Red eared sliders "Freddy Krueger" (25 years) and "Mucki" (45 years) RIP Peppermint (Green Anole)