Welcome Steve, our newest family member

Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
Hey everyone,

My name is Matt, and my son Danny just turned 6, and he received a leopard gecko...that he named Steve. Yes, he came from ++++++++, but we really liked his coloring, and he instantly took a liking to me so he came home with us. I keep saying 'he' just because his name is Steve, we have no clue on sex...yet. We've had him for 2 weeks, and he's been on a diet of mealworms, eating like a horse. He's eaten roughly 90 mealworms in 2 weeks. We now have another 100 to hold us over until the 500 get here from rainbow. That way we can get a head start on gut loading them a bit (apples?), and have enough food to last us awhile. We live an hour from the nearest mealworm store, so having stock is important. Yes, we have also been dusting mealworms from day one. Anyways, here's some pics from the day Steve came home, and the 10 gallon tank he called home for 2 weeks:



And Steve:




He had a 5w under tank heater, 75w daytime light (mainly for added heat) and a 75w heat lamp (night time heat). Worked pretty good, IMO. We're seriously considering breeding a bit depending on how much interest my son (continues) to show in Steve, so we picked up a 30 gallon tank and stand from a friend for cheap. Pics of that:



I've since ditched the 75w night light (left) for a 250w red heat lamp on a dimmer so I can fine tune things a bit more, and see better at night. I figure I can use the old 75w heat lamp for the mealworms in the winter months. I also used a heat gun to remove the 5w under tank heater and move it to the 30 gallon. It still get's warm, not sure if I broke it or not. I know he's got a warm spot when he wants it though. Here's some pics of Steve as of last night, 13 days after coming home with us. I'm not an expert, but he looks healthier, right? Anyone have any advice or feedback?


 
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Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
Thanks! My wife and I had a Leo before, named Chicken Joe, but when we moved to MO we had to give him to my best friend (ironically named) Steve. Chicken Joe is now 10 years old and still livin the good life with (human) Steve in TX. I won't lie, after reading what I have lately about (lizard) Steve, I didn't raise Joe correctly. He was on sand, only was fed crickets, and I just left the crickets in there so he could eat at his leisure...I honestly meant well, I just listened to the pet store (not a big name, though).

Needless to say, I'm trying to do the best I can with Steve. Any advice on anything I should do differently? I haven't tried handling him too much, he's been moved around so frequently the last few weeks, I figured he doesn't need the added stress.
 

kobikthegecko

New Member
Messages
14
Location
Rhode Island
Try putting your hand in the tank every day for five minutes before you actually pick him up. I don't think it stresses them out by doing that because less than two months later my leo Kobik was crawling right onto my hand. Good luck with Steve!


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Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
Will do, and thanks for the advice. Ever since we put him into the 30 gallon I haven't been able to hold him at all. As soon as he sees my hand enter the cage, he heads for the hills. He's still eating (and pooping) a LOT at one point he had 13 meal worms in one 24 hour period. I'm trying to keep his limit at 10 for now.

Back to the handling, Should I just put my hand in there for the 5 minutes and if he's still hiding out just let him be? I'd have to take nearly every rock out of the tank to get him (when he is in his favorite hide, of course). I was thinking that maybe as he got a little older I can start to slow down the feeding a bit so he'll come out looking for food more often, thoughts?

Thanks again!
 

kobikthegecko

New Member
Messages
14
Location
Rhode Island
He sounds healthy! Every leo is different, mine came to investigate my hand the second time I put it in the tank. Steve may be a little skittish, but you can try gently touching him if he's out in the open. If he's in his hide I wouldn't suggest it because you want them to feel like they have a safe place to go where you won't bother him. If he doesn't run away when you touch him, try to pet him and go from there. I assume your putting the mealworms in a bowl, so maybe you can move the bowl further away from his hide so he'll be forced to come out to eat. I also have a over head heat light in my leos tank and I find that wherever I put it, she lies directly under it to bask. Try that and maybe you'll be able to view him more. Steve's colors are beautiful, I love the little bit of blue on his head.


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Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
When I got home from work last night I saw him out and about so I stuck my hand in there and he didn't run away!! I moved my hand when I saw him perk up and look like he was about to bite me, lol. He was very hungry, I fed him 6 meal worms and he subsequently passed out right after that. I really like the blue, too. I hope it sticks around through his changes.
 

Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
Steve shed again last night, 10 days between shedding. We were in the midst of some "remodeling" so he was back in his 10 gallon when "nature called" him. When he first came Pet's Wart, we had a little coconut hide for him, and he seems to like it a lot but it didn't help with shedding so much. I finally saw some trust in him because he really worked with me when he was shedding. I pulled out his coconut and set a few rocks in place as a hide for him, and he never flinched. I misted him with some water and he walked right out in the open for me to mist his entire body, etc. Later last night after all of the shedding business he was out exploring, so I stuck my hand in, and he walked right up on me! Spent about 45 min on my arms and shoulders, it was pretty awesome. Today he is pretty excited, to say the least. If anyone wants to see, I have some progress pics. Here yea go:







Exploring, stupid reflection ruins the picture:


And his 3 week shot:


Oh and while holding him last night, I was able to investigate a bit, and I'm 95% sure that Steve is indeed a male!
 

DrCarrotTail

Moderator
Messages
3,590
Location
Ridgewood, NJ
Cute guy you have there and he looks super healthy! I am a bit biased about overhead heating and would just make sure you're measuring the temps on the floor with some sort of probe thermometer to make sure they're in the 88-92 range and that he has a spot in the 75-80 degree range to go to cool off if he wants. I find the lights often overheat and dry out enclosures but they can be used if you watch the temps closely. I'd also make sure he has a moist hide to go into if he wants a bit more humidity. Congrats on your new friend!
 

Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
I've been reading a lot on that, and I'm not sure how I'd pull off heating from underneath, since I have a foam\fake rock as substrate (with reptile carpet, too). This heat lamp does have one major hot spot, but it's not THAT hot, I can hold my hand there with ease. He seems to favor the hide closer to the heat lamp, with the new rocks at least. For now I have to temp probe in the hide he spends most of his time in, and it's typically 88-90*F. I do end up filling his water bowl twice a day, I know he doesn't need that much water but I figure it might help with humidity a bit.

I'm not sure why, but he seems to have forgot about the Altoids container I use for meal worms. Ever since we finished up the new hides he hasn't eaten out of it. I've fed him by dropping some meal worms in front of him, he really chows down on those, but won't pay attention to that little tin.
 

DrCarrotTail

Moderator
Messages
3,590
Location
Ridgewood, NJ
The important thing is that he can get out of the heat when he needs to or his metabolism may go into overdrive and he won't be able to eat enough to gain weight. I might try putting the probe in a few other spots in his tank to make sure there's a hide that's around 75-80 degrees where he can go to cool off. These little guys really do best when they can press their belly onto a warm spot to digest which is why I usually recommend tank floors of ceramic tile, slate or some other surface that can conduct the heat from an UTH. Your setup looks amazing and he looks healthy but I'd double check the temps on the cool side of the tank just in case.
 

Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
I did before the remodel and the right side of the tank was in the low 80s\high 70s. Ironically at that point he stayed over on the colder side, but he didn't have much of a hide over on the hot side. He did have one, but it wasn't part of the main group of rocks. Not sure if it matter or not, but he has reptile carpet in the cooler hide, along with under the bridge.

I'll move the probe around right now to see if the temps have changed at all.
 

Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
Looks like it's settling at 83.9*F with the daytime light on. That side has a light that turns off at night, so it'll get a bit cooler then.

Edit: AI work nights, and checked the cold side hide's temperature when I got home from work and after the full night of cooling off it was at 74.3*F.
 
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skellie

New Member
Messages
17
Location
NC
My geckos seem to do best with many hides over a broad range of temperature. One of my hides goes over 100 F and they sometimes use that, but for shorter periods of time. Their favorite is 93-96 depending on the exact location in the hide and the coolest hide is 77.
 

Booba5185

New Member
Messages
13
Location
MO
I'm thinking he is finally getting used to his new home. Today he ate 10 mealworms for breakfast (or dinner, since I work nights), then proceeded to roam all over the habitat. I almost have it to where he'll eat out of my hand, so that was really cool. Ironically he seems to thing the cooler hide is his bathroom, so I do see him in there, but not for very long...and he leaves me a present. He REALLY seems to like that hot hide though.
 
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