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Feeders In Leachie Bioactive Vivarium

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  • Feeders In Leachie Bioactive Vivarium

    Hi all,

    I've been reading the wealth of info in these forums for a while now and now it's time for my first post. So, big thanks in advance for your insights!

    I've reviewed the existing threads related to this but I haven't found precise answers to my specific questions. If the answers are out there and I haven't seen them, apologies if this is redundant.

    My leachie (Moro/ Isle E) took a while to acclimate and return to eating consistently when I got her (got her at about a year and a half old from a friend). She eventually settled on a diet of a mix of Pangea Gecko Diet and Big Fat Geckos Juvenile and Breeder Diet which she's been doing very well on. Her schedule seems to be to clean her bowl every other day pretty consistently. This has been working well for her but I'd love to offer a greater variety of food options if possible. I've tried offering her super worms and small/medium dubia in the past but she didn't take any of them. My method for feeding these was to put a small slick-walled cup at the bottom of her cage with the worms or dubia in that so they couldn't escape but she didn't take them so I've started thinking about introducing dubia to her viv as an addition to her clean up crew (currently springtails and woodlice) but I have some remaining questions about that which haven't been answered in other threads:

    1. I don't have much concern that she's got a big appetite for dubia so not worried about her gorging on them and getting fat. If she decides not to take any of them, then they remain in the viv and act as additional clean up crew and help to turn the soil which sounds productive. Are there any possible down sides to this? My thought is that, as long a I keep an eye on their numbers (in case any female dubia were pregnant) it would seem fine and they can be contributing members of her environment. Could this work well or would this cause potential problems?

    2. In other threads, some folks raise the concern that if the dubia are acting as clean up crew, they'll be eating leachie poop, which could then be passed back to her if she decides to take any. I feel like this is actually not the most valid of concerns considering the natural diet of the various insects/isopods that leachies eat in the wild which is largely poop and detritus of various types. My thought is that this can also be countered to some degree by just leaving bowls of her occasionally uneaten gecko diet at the bottom of the viv to supplement the dubia's clean up diet. Again, my leachie isn't one for overeating so not too worried about her climbing to the bottom to overfeed on old diet. Thoughts?

    3. Final question deals with offering small feeder lizards like baby geckos and anoles which reflect a part of a leachie's natural diet in the wild (albeit somewhat traumatic of an idea for lizard lovers like myself). There are a few threads that touch on this and overall the theme seems to be that some people do indeed offer small lizards as feeders but the main concerns are verifying the source has bread out possible parasites and entirely avoiding any wild caught feeder lizards because they usually carry parasites that'll be passed to the larger animal. All that makes sense and I'm unsure that I'd even be interested in offering feeder lizards to my leachie but I can also see the attraction of having some smaller more active things to look at in the vivarium. So my question here is, if I found a source for clean feeder lizards and introduced them but the leachie decides not take them, would leaving them in the viv be stressful to the leachie or otherwise unproductive?

    Thank you for your help!

  • #2
    I guess my concern with introducing other lizards and the leachie does not eat them, would be that they will then grow and most likely start fighting - or having more babies...and then you'd be overrun with lizards. I think I'd keep offering a variety of worms, crickets, dubias, etc., and if he just doesn't eat them and he is thriving on his current healthy diet, just keep offering what he's doing well on.

    I have never heard anywhere about using dubias as a clean-up crew, so can't speak to that aspect.
    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
      Yea, in the end, she is doing totally fine so I have no concerns about her current didn’t or eating habits so if she ends up just sticking to what’s she’s doing now, that’s fine. With regard to feeder lizards, if I went that route, I’d only be looking at anoles and other appropriate small species that never get large. I don’t know of any sources that have been vetted as providing parasite free feeder lizards so unless I get a good recommendation on that I won’t even look at that option.

      As to Dubia as clean up crew, I’ve seen that done successfully before and they can be very effective, particularly at turning soil better than smaller Isopods. I’ve just wanted to get a take on that in a leachie specific viv in case that makes a difference. When I’ve seen it done, the main caution has always been that the keepers needed to make sure their animals weren’t gorging on the Dubia in addition to their normal diet. In cases where that wasn’t happening, the Dubia seemed to contribute positively.