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  • Cleaning the Enclosure

    Hello! This month has been crazy! I adopted my 7 year old female crested gecko on August 14th. She laid (probably fertilized) eggs yesterday (9/6/17)! Woo!
    I assumed cleaning the habitat was something to be done as needed, but I just heard that it should be done every two weeks. So, I am very late! What should I use to clean the habitat? In her 181824 inch Exo-Terra, she has 2 fake bamboo sticks suction cupped to the walls, 3 large plastic plants with suction cups, 1 large silk plant with a suction cup, 1 large silk plant "vine", the Pangea Ultimate Gecko feeding ledge, a cork round, and paper towel as substrate. Her lay box was removed this morning and I will put it back in her enclosure once I can transfer the eggs to the incubation supplies I have coming in the mail. The incubation stuff should be here in 3-7 days. I will put the lay box back in her enclosure in 3-7 days.
    Since (ever since I got her) I have had trouble getting the humidity in her enclosure to drop low enough in the afternoon (the lowest it usually drops in the afternoon is 65-70%), should I look out for mold while cleaning the enclosure? If I do find mold growing on something, how should I clean it off?
    Is it okay if I clean the enclosure tomorrow instead of tonight? The enclosure it at my mom's and tonight I am at my dad's. I can go clean it tonight if it is absolutely necessary, but I am 2p minutes away, so it would be easier to do it tomorrow if that is okay.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!
    Last edited by CrestedCritters; 09-10-2017, 12:35 AM.
    0.1.3 Crested geckos: Bluebell, Petal, Meadow, and Solstice 🦎🦎🦎🦎
    0.1 Short hair calico cat: Cookie 🐈
    0.1 Syrian hamster: Posie 🐹🌈 (now over the rainbow bridge) 3.3.16 - 4.1.18 ❤️

  • #2
    Also, should a disinfectant be used? Or is using just warm water and a scrub brush okay? How Often do you guys clean your enclosures?
    Thanks!
    0.1.3 Crested geckos: Bluebell, Petal, Meadow, and Solstice 🦎🦎🦎🦎
    0.1 Short hair calico cat: Cookie 🐈
    0.1 Syrian hamster: Posie 🐹🌈 (now over the rainbow bridge) 3.3.16 - 4.1.18 ❤️

    Comment


    • #3
      i just recently cleaned out Disco's tank. it took me a pretty long while, but it looks a LOT better in there now!
      i got Disco sometime in April, and the plan was to clean it in October (6 months after initial setup) but i decided to do it in July/August because i didn't spot clean too often. i've always heard that 6 months is a good interval between full cleanings in a non-planted tank as long as you were spot cleaning, so i'm not sure where you heard the 2 weeks from. that sounds like an awful lot of work to me. i suppose, if you wanted to, you could just not set a date and could just clean when it felt necessary, but 6 months sounds like a good guideline to me.
      when i cleaned out his tank, i just took all of the decor out and scrubbed it with my hands in a mixture of water and vinegar, then in some plain water to get rid of any vinegar left on it. the walls and the bottom of the tank were washed the same way, though i rinsed it a couple extra times with the plain water.
      the vinegar seemed to do the trick alright, so i wouldn't say that under my specific circumstances that i'd need any chemicals. i don't think they'd do harm as long as you rinsed well, though. if i were to use one it certainly wouldn't be bleach is all.
      i've used coco fiber with a drainage layer in Disco's tank ever since i got him. the mold only forms around food (after it's sat for some time) and waste. after the cleaning it appears that some formed on his hammock and driftwood piece, though. i don't know how i'd wash it off effectively so i'll be looking out for tips on that here along with you. i'd definitely say to check for it when cleaning if the humidity gets a little too high.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have two 18x18x24 tanks. I use paper towels and plastic plants, mopani wood and some climber vines, a cork background and a couple of cork rounds, and the Pangea ledges and feeders. I clean my tanks every two weeks. It could probably go longer, but I don't want it getting too mungy, and it gives me the opportunity to check for mold (so far I haven't had any). I just use water and lemon juice to clean the glass. It takes me about an hour to do two tanks.
        Eileen
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          I use water and vineager .i do mine about two weeks. I soak the plants is vineagarr water at the very start, scrub the tank and rinse the tank, then scrub and rinse the plants. I have three different sized enclosures, but it's take about 45 minutes to do all three.
          .1.DOG Jiggles
          1.1.CRESTED GECKO Phantom & Lovely
          .1.YBST Cloveth
          .1.MINIPIG Judy(food&belly rub is kinda apig deal)
          1..RAT CoconutRatMinneapolis RIP
          1.0.2COCKATIELS

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DiscotheGecko View Post
            i just recently cleaned out Disco's tank. it took me a pretty long while, but it looks a LOT better in there now!
            i got Disco sometime in April, and the plan was to clean it in October (6 months after initial setup) but i decided to do it in July/August because i didn't spot clean too often. i've always heard that 6 months is a good interval between full cleanings in a non-planted tank as long as you were spot cleaning, so i'm not sure where you heard the 2 weeks from. that sounds like an awful lot of work to me. i suppose, if you wanted to, you could just not set a date and could just clean when it felt necessary, but 6 months sounds like a good guideline to me.
            when i cleaned out his tank, i just took all of the decor out and scrubbed it with my hands in a mixture of water and vinegar, then in some plain water to get rid of any vinegar left on it. the walls and the bottom of the tank were washed the same way, though i rinsed it a couple extra times with the plain water.
            the vinegar seemed to do the trick alright, so i wouldn't say that under my specific circumstances that i'd need any chemicals. i don't think they'd do harm as long as you rinsed well, though. if i were to use one it certainly wouldn't be bleach is all.
            i've used coco fiber with a drainage layer in Disco's tank ever since i got him. the mold only forms around food (after it's sat for some time) and waste. after the cleaning it appears that some formed on his hammock and driftwood piece, though. i don't know how i'd wash it off effectively so i'll be looking out for tips on that here along with you. i'd definitely say to check for it when cleaning if the humidity gets a little too high.
            Thank you! What was ratio of water to vinegar? What type of Vinegar did you use?
            Originally posted by TAD View Post
            I have two 18x18x24 tanks. I use paper towels and plastic plants, mopani wood and some climber vines, a cork background and a couple of cork rounds, and the Pangea ledges and feeders. I clean my tanks every two weeks. It could probably go longer, but I don't want it getting too mungy, and it gives me the opportunity to check for mold (so far I haven't had any). I just use water and lemon juice to clean the glass. It takes me about an hour to do two tanks.
            Thank you! If you find mold, is there a special way to clean it? Is mold dangerous? Do you clean the plants and decor in any way? If so, what do you use? Is it okay if I wait until Monday to clean my tank, or is it necessary to clean it now? Monday will be 4 weeks since I got the gecko and she was put in the tank.

            Originally posted by Lovelyanddekstest View Post
            I use water and vineager .i do mine about two weeks. I soak the plants is vineagarr water at the very start, scrub the tank and rinse the tank, then scrub and rinse the plants. I have three different sized enclosures, but it's take about 45 minutes to do all three.
            Thank you! What kind of vinegar do you use? Is it a 50/50 ratio of water to vinegar? Is it okay if I wait until Monday to clean the tank or is it necessary to do it now? Monday will mark 4 weeks from when I got my gecko and put her in the tank. It would just be easier to clean it Monday because I don't have to run any errands and I don't have work that day.
            0.1.3 Crested geckos: Bluebell, Petal, Meadow, and Solstice 🦎🦎🦎🦎
            0.1 Short hair calico cat: Cookie 🐈
            0.1 Syrian hamster: Posie 🐹🌈 (now over the rainbow bridge) 3.3.16 - 4.1.18 ❤️

            Comment


            • #7
              I use f10 veterinarian disenfectant on the glass of the cage and on decor that is pooped up. I spot clean whenever I can, usually a couple times a week after Im feeding or handling him. The napkin bedding I use will be changed usually 2-3 times a months, really depends on how soiled it is. I will do a full tank scrubbing once every 4 months or so. One gecko, or at least mine, does not seem to be too messy. As for mold, Ive never seen or had it in mine, if I did see it on decor I would most likely use the f10 and bleach while scrubbing it and thoroughly drying it and making sure it is mold free before going back in, might even just toss it out. I think you will more likely see mildew than mold. Mildew is more easily cleaned with some disinfectant or removing the patch of substrate. Congrats on the adoption.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CrestedCritters View Post
                Thank you! What was ratio of water to vinegar? What type of Vinegar did you use?
                i'd say a ratio of about one part vinegar to two parts water. it was really only because i didn't want to use too much on the cleaning of his tank since the rest of my family uses vinegar for other things as well. seemed to work fine despite this, as i said. it was just white vinegar.
                i'd also like to add that i'd probably clean his tank more often if i used paper towels. i use that coco fiber with the drainage layer, which takes a good extra hour to completely take care of. i'm astonished that everyone else can manage to clean multiple tanks in just 45 minutes, even with the same washing of the walls and the decor that i have to do. when i changed the substrate, i started by dumping most of the coco fiber into the garbage, shaking the screen in-between the layers off of my deck, rinsing it, patting it (somewhat) dry, then took all of the hydroballs (drainage layer) out of the tank and swept the rest of the coco fiber up and tossed it. i washed the bottom the same as everything else, and back in went the hyrdoballs, screen, and a fresh layer of coco fiber. it doesn't sound like much, but it really was!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used driftwood for a while, but despite cleaning it really well and baking it besides, it still continued to get moldy. I finally tossed it and got water-safe wood (mopani and ghostwood). I haven't had mold problems since. When I wash the decor, I generally just use Dawn dishwashing liquid and very hot water, and rinse extremely well. I clean the glass with a water/lemon juice mixture, and that has worked well for me.

                  If you use vinegar, just plain old white vinegar will work, but make it a mild mixture, and rinse REALLY WELL. I don't think I'd use it on wood, as the wood would absorb it and you'd have a hard time getting rid of the smell.
                  Eileen
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I use Apple Sider Vingeager. I'll use 1:1 or 1:2 parts vinegar/water. Then I rinse really well , to eliminate the smell. Yes it's fine to wait til Monday, just no longer then like two more days.
                    .1.DOG Jiggles
                    1.1.CRESTED GECKO Phantom & Lovely
                    .1.YBST Cloveth
                    .1.MINIPIG Judy(food&belly rub is kinda apig deal)
                    1..RAT CoconutRatMinneapolis RIP
                    1.0.2COCKATIELS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TAD View Post
                      I used driftwood for a while, but despite cleaning it really well and baking it besides, it still continued to get moldy. I finally tossed it and got water-safe wood (mopani and ghostwood). I haven't had mold problems since. When I wash the decor, I generally just use Dawn dishwashing liquid and very hot water, and rinse extremely well. I clean the glass with a water/lemon juice mixture, and that has worked well for me.

                      If you use vinegar, just plain old white vinegar will work, but make it a mild mixture, and rinse REALLY WELL. I don't think I'd use it on wood, as the wood would absorb it and you'd have a hard time getting rid of the smell.
                      Thanks everyone! What is the ratio of water to lemon juice? Does this disinfect?
                      0.1.3 Crested geckos: Bluebell, Petal, Meadow, and Solstice 🦎🦎🦎🦎
                      0.1 Short hair calico cat: Cookie 🐈
                      0.1 Syrian hamster: Posie 🐹🌈 (now over the rainbow bridge) 3.3.16 - 4.1.18 ❤️

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just wet a paper towel or sponge, and squirt some lemon juice on it, then dry with a dry towel. It cleans well, but does not disinfect.

                        You can get disinfectant for reptiles on eBay or Amazon, or pet supply sites - chlorhexadine disinfectant, or F10 veterinary disinfectant - both work well.
                        Eileen
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TAD View Post
                          I just wet a paper towel or sponge, and squirt some lemon juice on it, then dry with a dry towel. It cleans well, but does not disinfect.

                          You can get disinfectant for reptiles on eBay or Amazon, or pet supply sites - chlorhexadine disinfectant, or F10 veterinary disinfectant - both work well.
                          Thanks again!
                          I ended up using Zoo Med "Wipe Out" reptile tank disinfectant on the inside of the tank, and I used a very mild mix of distilled white vinegar mixed with warm water (I used about 4 cups of vinegar with 3 gallons of water) to clean the fake plants and decor.
                          0.1.3 Crested geckos: Bluebell, Petal, Meadow, and Solstice 🦎🦎🦎🦎
                          0.1 Short hair calico cat: Cookie 🐈
                          0.1 Syrian hamster: Posie 🐹🌈 (now over the rainbow bridge) 3.3.16 - 4.1.18 ❤️

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ...ok, so I am so CONFUSED! The pet store(I know right lol) said to clean the tank weekly/bi-weekly. We are using the eco-friendly coconut substrate(not sure on exact name) that came with the exo-terra created gecko set-up. I see moisture between the glass and the substrate but have not found any md yet. I have been cleaning up any feces I see and clean his food/water dishes daily and replace with new. I am just concerned with a couple of items:
                            1. How often should the tank be cleaned, as in everything stripped out and scrubbed?
                            2. How often should the substrate be replaced?
                            3. How much substrate should be used? Does Cheese need 1in, 2in...or 6in depth on the substrate?
                            4. Cheese is mainly on a pangea fruit mix, which is new for him bc at pet store they were fed mainly crickets. After his first week, we went strictly to pangea mix and haven't seen as much feces...see him eating at night though...should I worry?
                            5. We thought after 2 weeks that Cheese was comfy enough for us to start getting him used to our hands and handling him in his enclosure, but afraid to stress him and lose his tail. What's some of your best practices as far as handling baby created geckos?
                            Mrs.Shud
                            3 CG
                            1-2 minature pinschers
                            2 children(3)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1. How often should the tank be cleaned, as in everything stripped out and scrubbed?

                              Spot clean at least once a week. I clean my fake plants and decor every 3rd week.

                              2. How often should the substrate be replaced?

                              I would say 3-6 months for replacing substrate, if you are spot cleaning.

                              3. How much substrate should be used? Does Cheese need 1in, 2in...or 6in depth on the substrate?

                              2" should be fine.

                              4. Cheese is mainly on a pangea fruit mix, which is new for him bc at pet store they were fed mainly crickets. After his first week, we went strictly to pangea mix and haven't seen as much feces...see him eating at night though...should I worry?

                              If he's eating the Pangea, that is all he needs. It is a complete diet. Any other insects are a supplement, and mainly for enrichment.

                              5. We thought after 2 weeks that Cheese was comfy enough for us to start getting him used to our hands and handling him in his enclosure, but afraid to stress him and lose his tail. What's some of your best practices as far as handling baby created geckos?

                              Baby steps. Get him used to your hand being in with him, and work up to several minutes at a time. Then let him walk over your hand without trying to hold him. Again, work up the time slowly. Then hold him inside the tank, and work up the time. Then hold him outside the tank, and work up the time. You get the idea. When you try handling, approach him with palm up and slide your hand under his chin until he steps up.
                              Eileen
                              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

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