Bioactive Leopard Gecko Experiements

Music

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Rachel, how many pounds of excavator clay did you buy for this? I'm currently planning my bio-active leopard gecko enclosure and I'm trying to make a list of things that I will need to buy. I have a 30x12x12 or 20L aquarium that I will be doing this for.

my ten gallon is 12 pounds which needs abit more.

thinking 30 pounds for a 20 long if u want a bit caves.
 

indyana

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Rachel, how many pounds of excavator clay did you buy for this? I'm currently planning my bio-active leopard gecko enclosure and I'm trying to make a list of things that I will need to buy. I have a 30x12x12 or 20L aquarium that I will be doing this for.
I would estimate that I used 7 or 8 pounds per enclosure because I bought a 10 lb bag for the first setup and have a bit leftover, then bought a couple smaller bags for the second and had a bit leftover from that. Note that I was using the mix described earlier in the thread though, where the excavator clay is only a portion of the substrate and not pure excavator clay.
 

JessJohnson87

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I was going to order 20 lbs of it, that way if I decide to make burrows out of the clay I'll have extra. I still want to utilize belly heat like you did.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

Music

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i had noticed that with excavator clay ONLY above the UTH the temp is still warm but not hot.

while the soil covering a bit above the UTH.

note that i put UTH inside the terrarium. no risk of fire...as my research.
 

Music

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one more question!

can i do this?

the excavator clay mix with topsoil and that it?

and will mealworm only be enough of the cleaner crew?

do they eat the hard urate part? which i think at one forum thought they would not eat them...oh yeah at ur gecko time article!

so what do u think about that?
and why do u need a drainage thing for the live plants?

thanks!
 

indyana

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1. For my setups: I had floor heat outside the cages, stuck to the bottoms. I left a portion of the floor bare right over the heating element, inside a cave, to provide a hot spot for digestion. If you do not want to do this, you will have to use other heating methods to get a spot hot enough safely. I can't provide recommendations with the heat inside, as I've never done that.

2. I'm pretty sure you could mix only clay and topsoil, but we warned that it might not harden as well. Clay and sand act as the "cement" in my substrate mix, so I'm not sure what results you will get. Maybe try a small handful mix first to see how it looks when dry (I did that a few times when figuring out substrate for my cages).

3. Superworms are larger and will clean more, but you could probably use more mealworms to make up for it. You will eventually need isopods and springtails to complete the crew though. It's best to have a variety, as they may eat different things.

4. No one eats the hard urates. As mentioned in the article, I remove them if they start to build up.

5. When I water the plants, a lot of water drains through through to the bottom. The drainage area gives this somewhere to go instead of soaking through the substrate. Not absolutely required. Many people don't bother, but I like doing it.
 

Music

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for the part of Urate, uuh if no one eats them how does it get decomposed/? i thought bioactive is suppose to be decomposing poop(all parts) ???

then why do we have to pick up the poop?

and i heard that super worms eat gecko? is that true? i have a friend and he had bitten by super worms?

or king worms would that work? thanks a lot!
 

indyana

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In the wild, urates would get disintegrated by weather/wind action and be worked into the soil, but I always take them out when then build up. There's not a lot of wind going on in my terrarium, so they just sit there. :) Some people bury them, but I don't think there's anywhere for them to go in the shallow soil we keep in our cages.

Bioactive tries to mimic the natural world as much as possible, but you can't exactly replicate the entire desert...

No, superworms don't eat geckos. They can bite, but they would much rather avoid a potential predator like a gecko.

If by king worms, you mean the giant mealworms, I'm not sure whether those can mature into beetles and breed? I think they are treated so they will not pupate.
 

Music

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humm...

i am starting the bioactive WITHOUT A CAGE!

so here i have a pond(yup, fish in there) and the land area are appro.22 gallon!

i have a cool thread here that had some cool ideas!

one thing: i DO keep live plants...will mealworms, super worms isopads and springtails destroy my mini garden? if so...how to to prevent that?

and one dummy question but, can a leopard gecko(or the beetles whatever) fell into my pond? and die?

(ps: i don't want ammonia raise...in my pond so yeah!)

thanks for reply! do u have some updates on ur hawk eye?
 

indyana

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The insects might chew the plants, and I don't have a good idea for preventing that other than putting some alternate food in there for them. Also, you have to be careful of toxic plants being eaten by the insects and the toxins transferred on to the leopard gecko when they eat an insect, so most people only use plants not known to be toxic to other animals.

And yes, having the open water does introduce the possibility of something falling in and drowning. I often have to rescue beetles from my water dishes, even though I try to make it difficult for them to get up onto the dish stands.

All the geckos are still doing well. Not many interesting photos lately though; all photos start looking pretty much the same. lol
 

Music

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lol thanks for the reply!

i will make sure that i will do that!

what chances are that the leo climb away from the cage? like can they climb?

i never see mine climb before though....but can it climb though?

thanks!

how about the first bioactive leo? lol...
 

indyana

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Yes, leopard geckos are good climbers. They can't climb completely smooth surfaces like glass (no "sticky toes"), but anything they can get a grip on with their nails, they will try to climb. They can also jump a little bit.

And yes, Amoré is also doing well! I've been leaving them alone except to check for stuck shed every week or so because it's still winter here. Spring is just around the corner though... :)

Quick photo of Hawkeye from this week, out poking about in the morning.

 

Music

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ahhhh that so cute!

for the heat thing i have a 22 gallon surface theres no top, and will the UTH's heat get lost? thanks!

am i able to get those springtails at any kind of reptile show upcoming? thanks!
 

indyana

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As long as you have a UTH the right size and do not pile too much substrate on top, the gecko can get warm by laying on the UTH. You'll have to make sure you have a surface that reaches ~ 90 F (32 C) for the gecko to warm itself.

Not sure whether anyone at your reptile show will be vending springtails, but you can certainly look.
 

Music

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lol he's like

ahhhh...the morning of Pakistan! nature! i finally got rid of that strange thing who, don't know why is holding something and try to do something to me!

and oh yeah, right uh for the cleaner clew, do u HAVE TO cycle for months? what if i DONT have a spare heat mat or any heating source for the bioactive space? thanks!
 

indyana

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I usually let my enclosures set for at least one month. Gives the plants time to take root and lets me get the heating and watering right. You don't absolutely have to.

If you're going to keep a leopard gecko in there, there has to be an area that gets warm enough for digestion or the gecko will not fare well, which means providing some source of heat. There no getting around that.
 

Music

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Calgary
thanks!

i have a spare tank so that my gecko can live in(10g) while i construct but when i move the gecko there i will be moving the UTH too.

do those UTH need replacement every so often?(two years?)

do u HAVE to crush poop for the insects to eat? why and what if i don't?

thanks!
 

indyana

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Location
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I only replace a UTH if I need one for a new tank (or if the heat stops working or something). I never move mine because I use the ones with strong adhesive, and trying to pull them off after sticking them on can damage them.

And no, you don't have to crush the poop. Sometimes, I move the poop under a log or something if I want to tidy up, but for the most part, the bugs eat it within a few days (except urates).
 
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