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Exo Terra Help

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  • Exo Terra Help

    Hi all,

    This is my first ever post on Pangea, and I have a question/concern regarding the new vivarium I set up for my new gargoyle gecko. On the top of my standard Exo Terra 18x18x24, the foam background goes almost all the way to the top in the back, but leaves a 2/3 inch ledge thats about the same size deep. My new garg has some strange obsession with this small space, and has spent almost every day and night either patrolling the border of the foam or falling asleep with his toes and tail on the little ledge that it creates. He constantly tries to push his head towards the crevice, but he is no where near being able to fit (about 9 grams and 1 year old). I have only ever seen him come down twice, and both times he just quickly got some food, and then headed straight back up to further investigate the small crevice. I was wondering if there is something I should do about this, as it seems like he thinks he can squeeze his way up there or something, and he hasn't spent any time really in other places that I have for him to hide in. I have a tall dracaena this has leaves for cover, and plenty of spaces on the lower levels to seek cover, but instead, he stays out in the open at the very top edge of the vivarium nearly all day and night. I will even come down randomly late into the night around 4AM, and he will be awake and trying to see up into the crevice.

    One possible thing I considered, was that I made the mistake of allowing a couple of crickets into the vivarium for him to eat on the first night, but he wasn't at all interested so I think they may have gotten away as I can't seem to find them anywhere. I happened to see one of them climbing the foam backboard towards the top, and while I can't see the crickets body anywhere near the top ledge or behind the foam, I was thinking that he could maybe be smelling it or something?

    Long story short, I am wondering if anyone else has ever had a problem like this, or if anyone has advice to offer about if I should do anything about it, or if I should just leave him alone. He may just love being up high, but it's just very peculiar to me how he constantly has to be either pushing his head towards the gap, or putting his tail or feet up on it.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    It's probably just his favorite place to hang out at the moment, and that will probably change in time.

    Two things you could do - replace the backboard with a cork background (silicone it to the glass), or fill in the gap in the current foam background with aquarium-safe silicone so that there's no chance of more crickets getting in there, or of him getting partially stuck (foot, tail, etc.).

    As long as he's eating and healthy, there's probably no need for concern. How long have you had him? It does take a while for most of them to feel settled enough to go exploring more.
    Last edited by TAD; 12-28-2017, 02:10 PM.
    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
      Thanks for the response! I also kinda just assumed he's settling in, as I have only had him for 6 days now. The one thing that really throws me off though is that on the first and second day, he was exploring an incredible amount. He was climbing every single plant I put in there, and all of the walls too, and seemed to be super comfortable. He even ate right away on both of his first days. But then once he noticed that gap up top, for the past 4 days, he has almost exclusively been up there trying to get closer to it.

      I was thinking of using clay to fill in the gap, as I am unfamiliar with foam and there is a craft shop right near my house. He was certainly eating without any worry on the first few days, but for these past few days, I have rarely seen him get away from the top ledge. Even just last night I snuck down around 4AM to see if he had come down, and he hadn't. I'm sure I'm just being OCD since he's my first gecko, but I miss when he was bravely exploring and spending time in the foliage and on top of the bromeliad.


      • #4
        Lots of geckos love that little crevice. They sometimes get behind there and give people heart attacks thinking they escaped too! Thing is, with time it won't be able to fit anymore. As long as he is eating, i wouldn't worry about it. If it bugs you, you can remove the backdrop till it gets bigger. He likes small spaces b/c he feels safe there. If it were me, i'd actually have a gecko that size in a smaller enclosure till it hit about 25g b/c they tend to eat better/more in smaller enclosures but since that is the size you have just watch to be sure he's pooping, eating, and growing.