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Covered in substrate

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  • Covered in substrate

    I'm a first-time crested gecko owner, so I'm new to a lot of this. When I got my little guy (hes about 5 months old now I think) his tank came with a bag of coconut fiber eco earth. I kept him on paper towels for a while so I could see if he was pooping, and decided after a couple months to put substrate in the tank instead to help with humidity. He ended up immediately covered in substrate. I've been super careful not to let the substrate get too wet. I'm really worried about him somehow getting impacted because of it so I've switched back to paper towels, but where am I going wrong? Is he just too small to be in substrate right now?

    Note: I'm not sure how much he weighs. I ordered a scale to weigh him with and it should be coming any day now, so I'll update when I weigh him!

  • #2
    Coconut fibre is just not a good fibre for cresties because of the risk of impaction. Since your gecko likes to dig, you could either convert your habitat to a naturalistic viv with soil or you could fill a lay box with soil and maintain the paper towel for the rest of the enclosure. As long as the soil is small particles and not long fibrous bits, the risk of impaction should be minimized. Another thing you could do to raise the humidity in your gecko's enclosure is to keep water in a big flat dish that will let your gecko drink from it and/or wallow in it without the risk of drowning. I've got dishes like this in the paper towel-lined cages for two of my males. Both also have some live plants in pots in their cages; plants can also help keep humidity regulated. (The cages are near a window that lets in natural light). My male geckos enjoy climbing on the live plants and they hardly ever disturb the soil. Even the male I have in a naturalistic viv with a big water dish basically never digs, but sometimes I see him taking a bath. My females, on the other hand, are in a large naturalistic viv that also contains a big water dish. They dig all the time when they're gravid to the point where they've uprooted various plants. Anyway, all this is to say that there are techniques both with and without soil to help maintain humidity. If damp soil is the only way your gecko can get into a humid environment, it will dig regardless of whether it's male or female. If a water dish is available and your gecko is male, he may not dig, but a female will really, really want to dig to lay eggs regardless of the humidity.
    3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)