New Leopard Gecko - Double-checking some things

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New Leopard Gecko - Double-checking some things

Postby LucisAbsentia » Sat May 27, 2017 4:41 pm

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Hey guys! This is going to be long.

Alright, so last night I acquired a leopard gecko from a friend who can't take him with them on their move. I wanted to make a list of things to double-check I have everything right, because I trust the keepers on this site a great deal, and I like to hear personal experience even after a lot of research.

This gecko has a 20G tank, and currently one hide, some plants, a big piece of driftwood, and a shallow water dish. He's housed on mostly sand and has an infrared light that they kept on at all times. Also - a heat rock.

Now, I want to change a few things. I honestly hate sand as a substrate. Not only do I not want to take the risk, but I find sand to be very uncleanly in a tank and it's just not my preference. I want to change it out for the Zilla reptile carpet. I also bought a second hide to use as the moist hide, more fake plants, and some stackable rocks. Would this be appropriate for a setting, all of those things plus the water dish?

In terms of heat and light: I do not want to use that heat rock. Again, I know they've apparently made safe ones, but I do not know what brand this rock is, and I do not trust it. If I place the infrared over the basking hide or the stackable stones to capture warmth, would that create enough of a spot for him to get by, or must I invest in an under-tank heater? (The only reason I didn't today was because they were out of the size for 20G, go figure). Also, is it best to have that soft blue daylight bulb for day, and use the infrared at night? Or just use the infrared? I've read multiple different things about lighting.

Lastly, I want to ask about feeding. I feed both of my other lizards crickets for the most part, so I'll be using those (at least for now). I /hate/ leaving crickets in tanks. I know leopard geckos are nocturnal, but will I be able to feed him during the day so I can prevent just putting crickets to roam around him? Also, will he need both calcium and multi-vitamins, or just one? I've also read to leave some of the powder in the tank and they will lick up as much as they need. Is this true?

I know this seems like a lot of questions, but I was unsure of the setup the previous owners had until I received the new little boy. I did as much research as I could, but I wanted to get some other input so I can give him the best.
LucisAbsentia
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Re: New Leopard Gecko - Double-checking some things

Postby illuminis » Tue May 30, 2017 9:09 am

I am not an expert but here is what I have learned over the 6 months with mine (2 rescues):

1. They don't need any type of light. One of mine is blind because of lighting issues. They are nocturnal so regular room lighting during the day is enough to have them know a day/night schedule.

2. The only heat I use is an UTH(under-tank heater) on one side of of the tank covering about 1/3 of tank. Not sure on how it really suppose to be but I have a temp gage just under the warm hide to keep the temp about 86-90.On that side is a hide. In the center of tank should be a hide that is considered a moist hide. I use a tuperware container with a hole in the side with shredded paper towel dampened but not dripping. And then there should be a hide on the cooler side as well.
2a. Mine are quite lazy and not active daytime. Some people I see that their's are active early evenings but mine wait until all lights are off at night. I, personally, am still in the process of fixing their tanks. So, having stuff for them to climb on at the moment they use their hides and such. I haven't gotten the drift wood yet. But, I do know they don't have strong toes so not to have things too high off the floor of tank.

3. Sand is not good. Paper towels is what I use but you can use tile or non-adhesive shelf liner. I'd use the liner or towel because of heating.

4. As far as feeding, if you get an escape proof dish you can use meal worms. I have 2 extra small dish like caps. One has calcium and the other has the vitamin (and yes, they to self regulate) and then a small dish that has water.

I hope this helps a little. Like I said I am by no means an expert but this is what I have learned from my research and talking to a few people who have raised them.
illuminis
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Re: New Leopard Gecko - Double-checking some things

Postby LucisAbsentia » Tue May 30, 2017 10:02 am

Thanks so much! I appreciate the response. Okie, I'll probably just stick to the infrared then (I know they don't need light, but everything I've read says infrared is okay because its low enough not to disturb them, it just provides some heat. I also like to be able to see him at night bc I'm a worrier). And I'll get another hide for the cool side! I don't have anything too high climbing-wise, so that should be okay. Thanks so much!!
LucisAbsentia
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