Help with setup

PaysonHobbyist

New Member
Messages
2
Hello,

I recently purchased two leopard geckos at a reptile expo and talked for quite a while to the breeder before doing so. It was very informative and exciting but this is completely new to me as I have no experience with reptiles. I am typically the type of person who does a ton of research or my own first but this was an impulse buy of sorts and I am kind of regretting it. Not because I regret having the geckos but because I regret not doing more research and being more prepared beforehand.

I have a simple enclosure set up for each of the geckos but want to make sure I have done it correctly and see what I can do to make it more comfortable and natural for them.

I want to make sure sizes of everything I have are okay and also make sure I am not missing anything.

I have the same setup for each gecko (one male and one female). Here is what I currently have.

I have a 10 gallon aquarium with a screened lid.

I have a small heat pad that covers just over a third of the tank under the tank with a thermometer that keeps it around 90 degrees.

On top of that I have medium sized hide that I am afraid may have too small of an opening when they get older and also takes up a lot of the tank as it is kind of flat and spread out.

I have not added anything for humidity yet but will be adding a small Tupperware container with damp spaghnum moss today. I am not sure what size container to get or how large of a hole to cut into it or if I should get a specific one from the pet store. It will go on the cooler side of the enclosure.

I also have a hide on the cooler side that is one of the cork (I think) logs. I guessed on the size based on what I thought (with my lack of knowledge) would be good.

I then have one shallow dish for water and one plastic dish for mealworms and a calcium (without D3) to keep in there.

For substrate I just have newspaper and paper towels although I think I want to get a reptile carpet instead.

I keep my enclosures next to a window that does not get any direct sunlight.

Please advise about this setup and if I am missing anything or have something that is not good. Also, eventually I want to make it look nicer. Can you please tell me what would help with that? I like a more natural look typically so I am specifically wondering if rocks, wood, plants, or anything like that would be good and what to keep in mind.

I also want to make sure that small crickets and mealworms are the best diet for them and how many of each to feed, how often?

Lastly, eventually (in about 6 months or so as my geckos are 4 months old currently) I want to breed them and will be looking for help with that. I plan to add a 20 gallon tank similar to my setup at that time and move them each into that enclosure at that time until they breed and then move them back to their own enclosures (with a laying bin for the female in hers) I will not do this until I feel very comfortable and confident on the care of them and feel completely ready but I am wondering if this is a good plan for mating so they can get started in the next few months if I feel comfortable at that time in my abilities to provide great care for them and to successfully and responsibly breed them.

Thank you for any help or advice you can give.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
11,352
Location
Somerville, MA
In general, things sound pretty good. Here are some specific comments:
--when your geckos get more adult sized, they will each be most comfortable in a 20 gallon long
--I assume you mean you have a thermostat keeping the temp at 90, as opposed to a thermometer (the thermometer just measures, the thermostat regulates)
--google "leopard gecko enclosures" and I''m sure you'll find lots of ideas of what to put in there
--consider ceramic tile instead of reptile-carpet. Tile is easier to clean and looks more natural, in my opinion
--You can keep a bowl of mealworms all the time. Experiment with the crickets. Put a set number in and if they gobble them up, add a few more. If they don't eat them all, take some out. Eventually you'll figure out how many to put in.

Aliza
 

PaysonHobbyist

New Member
Messages
2
Hello again and thank you for your response.

Yes, I meant a thermostat. Sorry for the confusion on my part. Having said that, I do have a thermometer in there too.

So I have looked a lot at "Leopard Gecko enclosures" and various forms of that and now I am very confused. I think I have a good setup for what I have right now and will look into a 20 gallon in the future as a possibility. I have a couple questions about that, though.

While researching, I noticed a lot of people (mostly breeders) who have their geckos in plastic bins and reading more about that I see that many say a 15 quart container is fine for adults (shoebox size for babies). Many say that Leopard geckos like less space rather than more because it is easier to catch food that way and other reasons. That seems really small to me and I am wondering if people can weigh in. If a plastic tub were to be used what size would you recommend and what size/how many holes would need to be drilled in the sides? This is more of an interesting discussion to me, not what I plan to do.

Also researching, I see lots of ways to do things. Some say to use 3 hides (one moist, one on the warm part and one on the cool part), some say to use only a moist hide and some say 2 hides (one moist and one on the warm part). Some people say to put the moist hide on the hot part and others say not to. As for food dishes, some say to have a water dish and a food dish where dusted food is put and so is the extra calcium and others say to have three dishes and keep all three things separate. Some also say to put things (sticks, rocks, etc.) for the geckos to climb on and others say to leave it out. It is all confusing. I am hoping for more advice and hopefully a discussion on that and why people do what they do so I can decide what works best for me.

As for food, I am a little confused about the mealworms. Do I fill the bowl or just keep 10-15 in there or what? How often do I fill this/feed crickets?

Thank you all again for your help/advice and hopefully a discussion.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
11,352
Location
Somerville, MA
Tank size: Some leopard geckos are very active and some stay in their hides all the time. For that reason, if possible, it's good to give them a fair amount of space. I would recommend a 32 quart tub if one is using plastic. It's hard to get a good temperature gradient in a smaller enclosure, which is another good reason to go with a larger one.

Furniture (hides): For a single leopard gecko I would minimally put a warm hide, cool hide and humid hide. I put the humid hide where I have room for it. Sometimes it's on the hot side and sometimes on the cool side. Some geckos really like to climb, so ramps, sticks or rocks (secured, so they can't roll and hurt the gecko) are a good idea for them.

Dishes and supplements: It's easiest to have a water bowl and a bowl for mealworms, if that's what you're feeding. It is easy for leopard geckos to actually get too much calcium. To avoid this, either dust feeders every other feeding with an all-in-one (calcium, D3 and other vitamins) like Repashy Calcium Plus or dust every other feeding and alternate between plain calcium and D3+ vitamins and minerals. Except for new hatchlings, it's not necessary to leave a bowl of calcium with or without D3 in the enclosure. If you're feeding mealworms, you can sprinkle your supplement on for the days that you're using it. 10-15 mealworms is better for feeding because if you put a bowlful in, some will escape by climbing over the others.

There is more than1 way to do things. That's why you see differences of opinion. Read people's reasons for doing what they do, make some choices based on that, and observe your gecko carefully to see if it seems to be eating and content.

Aliza
 
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