Hello! First time reptile owner from Oregon :)

Vastra

I ate all your bees
Messages
27
Location
Oregon
(Edit: He's eating again! Three young crickets just today. :) )

Hey guys! :) I'm a cat person and recently got my first leo, Minimus Shakespeare, he's four years old and as best I can tell in good health, I found him on craigslist and the set up he came with isn't ideal but I'm trying to improve it and would like to make his tank more natural.
I would love to see how you guys did your tanks, especially ones inspired by the leopard geckos natural habitat, and your favorite substrate mixes, also any advice for a newbie would be great! :)


Here's a little information about my gecko's set up:

His tank is a 10 gallon, possibly 10 long but I'm just eyeballing it, I want to upgrade him to a 20 long or close but haven't got the budget so I'm waiting for a cracked one I could fix up for free.

He came with sand but this weekend I plan on replacing it with slate tile and leaving just a little sand to fill the gap. later on I want to build up a hill behind his hide using a clay+sand+ecoearth mixture with large river rocks or slate pieces and plant some desert grass, suggestions on the right mixture would be great, I know I can use the excavator kit but I'm not sure I want to yet and like the idea of something custom and cheap.
I've seen some people do hardened clay and others leave it a little softer in places to stimulate digging but I don't know what the impaction risk is with softer mixtures. Has anyone tried a black sand+powdered clay cat littler mix? Or some other clay-ish substrate that might look nice with slate and cool stone?

I bought him an undertank heater and he loves it but his tank is too cold so I want to pick up a lamp and run it on a timer for a few hours every day.

He has a water bowl he walks through every so often and I'm wondering if leos need to be misted? He had a wet hide during shedding but wouldn't use it that I know of and I took it out when he was done. Making him a new one now.

For the calcium in his tank he has powdered cuttlebone, I want to pick him up Tetrafauna Reptocal Reptile Supplement to dust his food with because I heard good things about it but if anyone has more information on this brand that would be great!

Here's a picture of him (assuming this sort of link works? Image insert didn't.), sorry for the phone quality. :)


This was from his ad but I can't get a picture nearly as nice. :p



I'm excited to join, this seems like a great place for information, thanks for reading! ^^
 
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Christywoowoo

New Member
Messages
149
Location
CT
Show Off Your Cages

Here's a thread on people's set-ups ^^ I'm sure you can get some inspiration from the many many pages of tanks.
Getting rid of the sand for the most part is definitely a good idea.
Don't feed your gecko on the sand, or he will eat mouthfuls of the sand when he goes for the mealworms. I wouldn't worry about his not eating until he reaches 3 weeks or so or starts to lose weight significantly. He's fairly chunky.

I actually would remove the sand and replace it with paper towels until you find yourself some tiles or some other more suitable substrate.

He should also have a humid hide available 24/7.

Edit: The hide in the picture looks a bit too small for him. He should have a hide on the warm side, and a wet hide on the cool side of the tank.
 
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Vastra

I ate all your bees
Messages
27
Location
Oregon
Hi! thanks for replying. :)

I love that thread!

He has a new mealworm bowl now with a little extra calcium in it.

Oh good :) I thought he was pretty big. If he gets close to three weeks/looses too much weight would a gecko protein shake be a good choice? Or is that an indicator that he is sick?

I will lay towels over the sand tonight to reduce his exposure but don't want to move him out of his tank for a long time so close to the next substrate change, he lets me pick him up sometimes and I put him in a bin to soak when he had trouble shedding around his toes but he doesn't like the bin and after trying again when he wanted out not much has changed.

I will make him a humid hide in that case. :)
The hide in that picture is a little test one I made out of clay, it shrunk when drying but he rests on it, it's not his main hide as he has a large cave I got a in a hurry after buying him, unfortunately it's oversized so I plan to incorporate it into a hill soon and sculpting a wet hide and a second dry hide into the hill or something similar, may use the clay hide in it for structure since it will be coming out of the cage at that time anyway.
 
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