Viridios

New Member
I will be getting a leopard gecko shortly, and am working on designing its habitat. I haven’t had a leo for about 15 years, so I’m approaching this as though I know nothing.

I will be using excavator clay for the majority of the substrate and had a few questions.
1) Can I use desert matting under the clay so I’m not using as much clay? I’m thinking about putting the mat that came with the setup down, then using the clay in a semicircle along the back and sides.

2) I would like to include live plants, and was wondering which ones are safe. I know things with spikes (I.e. cacti) are out, but what about succulents or grasses? I’ll be keeping them in pots in custom fit holes in the excavator clay with trays underneath to catch any excess water.

3) can I use a dish with larger stones inside the humid hide for water storage?

Thank you all in advance
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
I haven't had experience with excavator clay so I can't be too helpful there. Be aware that excavator clay is heavy. Some people make nice enclosures with styrofoam and foam insulation stuff. You can always google leopard gecko habitats to get more ideas.
Since leopard geckos don't eat vegetation I assume that as long as they don't get cut by the vegetation it should be fine.
I'm not sure what you mean by water storage in the humid hide. However, if you do use stones, make sure they're pretty big. I had a tray of smooth rocks 1/4"-1/2" in diameter and one of my geckos ended up with a broken jaw from trying to bite it (the jaw healed).

Aliza
 

Viridios

New Member
I live in a place that is VERY dry. It’s so dry that I’m going to have issues keeping the RH anywhere close to the ~30% needed (right now my apartment is MAYBE 5% RH...). Because of this, anything I put in the humid hide will evaporate very rapidly. For this reason I’m thinking about using a deep bowl filled with large rocks and filling that with water. This way I won’t have to mist or fill it multiple times a day.

I ended up using expanding foam to make up the bulk of the back area, and will cover that with the excavator clay. This way it decreased the weight and the cost. I’ll be using balloons as forms for tunnels and hides while building the setup.
 
the only issue I would think would happen is scale rof and the gecko may not even go in there. My recommendation would be to try and make the humid hide as closed as possible. And making the entrance to the hide on the side rather than the top. That way when the water goes to evaporate it is caught by the top of the hide. Also make sure the humid hide has a closed bottom and put it in the middle of the temp gradient in the tank
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
You could also use coco fiber for the humid hide since I don't think it will dry out that quickly (and you just add a little water and shake if it does dry out). If you do that, you may want to put the entrance to the humid hide on top so the gecko doesn't toss all the coco fiber out of the hide when it goes in.

Aliza
 

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