Red lights for geckos

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Red lights for geckos

Postby Maddy615 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:33 pm

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I was recently told that red lights are bad for a leopard geckos eyes and they should have no light and only a heat mat. Is this true? I have a heat mat for her under the tank but I had also been told that heat mats weren't needed if you had a gentle heat lamp? I'm very confused, please help.
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Re: Red lights for geckos

Postby KeyBlu422 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:43 pm

Yes. red lights, despite popular belief, are not good for reptiles' eyes. It will interfere with their sleep schedule, often times anyway. As for leopard geckos, a CHE might work but since in their native land they absorb belly heat from the terrain, a heat mat is your best bet. Red lights really aren't that great. However, if the area you have the leopard gecko's tank is dark all the time, you can have some light for half the day to simulate day time/night time. Also, while not mandatory, a low power uvb turned on a leopard gecko's terrarium for a short while every day can be beneficial for the gecko.
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Re: Red lights for geckos

Postby Maddy615 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:32 pm

Thank you so much! I have switched my girl back to a heat pad and have gotten rid of the lamp!
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Re: Red lights for geckos

Postby KeyBlu422 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Also, having that light on to simulate day/night time isn't necessary either, just preference(so long as your geckos tank is already receiving indirect visible sunlight, if it isn't, I would recommend the lighting schedule). Forgot to mention, if you are planning to give your gecko light, don't go with a powerful basking light or something(can hurt eyes(as Leo's are crepuscular meaning they hang out at night and dawn)severely in some cases while dim room lights rarely, if ever hurt the eyes of a gecko). A dim, yellowish room light should do, I have one from Ikea and I have crickets and supers in my room which are both nocturnal, they seem to be minimally, if at all disturbed when I turn it on.
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Re: Red lights for geckos

Postby Taterbug » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:04 am

Just because leopard geckos are crepuscular does not mean it is ok not to give them a natural light cycle - this means clean white light, uva/uvb and darkness at night. There is a growing body of research showing many reptiles that do not absolutely require UVB still benifit from it. Providing a heat lamp for the day as well as a low output uvb lamp is ideal. For light skinned or albino morphs with sensitive eyes you will want to be more careful with how bright it is but for wild types and such a well designed enclosure (with fully dark and partly dark refuges) will allow for self regulation. You can supplement with a heat mat but heat mats alone are not really a good way to heat any Reptile.
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Re: Red lights for geckos

Postby KeyBlu422 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:25 pm

Taterbug, that is what I said. Also, so long as a tank is receiving indirect light, it doesn't need an actual bulb designated to creating a cycle. And, as Ron Tremper, a renowned leopard gecko breeder the who is also responsible for the Tremper giant geckos states, "The best way to heat your leopard gecko is by using an undertank heating pad or tape".http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care-Sh ... ard-Gecko/
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Re: Red lights for geckos

Postby Taterbug » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:49 am

Sorry, I wasn’t disagreeing just trying to clarify a bit. Ambient light isn’t going to give any UV and may or may not be adequately bright depending on your room/window situation. You don’t need super bright for Leo’s but enclosures tend to be a lot darker than we think.

Habitat design falls into basically two schools of thought. Efficiency and wild recreation. Large scale breeders are going to be after cost effective setups, while effective it’s not the most enriching environment.

Conductive heat sources like mats and tape simply cannot heat the surrounding environment. You end up having a small warm spot and the rest of the enclosure is cool/cold. Radiant heat sources (lamps, CHE, heat panels and heat projectors) warm the environment too. Using a heat mat inside the warm hide area to simulate warmed rocks all the time along with a heat source warming the environment during the day is going to give the gecko much more choice for thermoregulation.
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