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  1. #1
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    Med House Gecko Questions

    I found something swimming in my kitchen sink and went to kill it (assumed a cockroach came out of the drain) but found it was a tiny little baby gecko. It's common here to pay kids a dollar or so to find lizards which are then allowed to run free in residences, eating up baby cockroaches and crickets that slip inside. And I have irritating crickets that slip into the house somehow anyhow. But after reading up on it for a few hours, I see that if a breeding pair get in the house they can soon be dozens running around which would be a bit much. It was content to walk around on me for 5-6 minutes at a time before doing death defying leaps back into the sink. Seemed to look at me and then saunter around with that cat attitude. "you may be 500 times my size, but kiss my tail - i'm not afraid of you' type of look.

    So, after feeling guilty about almost flushing it down the drain I went out and spoiled it. A 12x12x18 terrarium, reflector dome light with a 60 watt bulb (temp until I find a good light type/location for it), a hide (fake rock, seem like the top would double for a place to bask), some good driftwood, a bushy fake plant, some coconut fiber and mid-sized aquarium rocks (1/2 and 1/2 to see what it likes), a little container for bottled water, spray bottle, feeder insects. Doesn't seem to prefer the coconut fiber over the rocks or vice versa but it's only been a few days. The rocks are easier to drink off of though.

    The first day I left it alone in a hide, just misted a bit twice a day until it became used to the new surroundings a bit. Then tossed in a pair of pinhead crickets that had been chomping on an orange slice and carrot slice. I didn't see the gecko eat them but it has a pretty big belly now so i'm assuming it ate at least one.

    I work nights and sleep days, so far I leave the light on during the day (i'm asleep) and off at night (i'm at work), but during my 'days' off i'm awake at night. While I see lizards outside climbing/basking on concrete walls during the day (100-115 degrees this time of year) mine doesn't seem to be very active at all during the day with/without lights or at night with/without lights. I'm guessing the ones I see loving the heat are Western Banded Geckos but not sure, coloring seems similar but they are much larger. I don't expect it to do tricks for my amusement but a little worried about the inactivity. No wall climbing, no plant climbing, just stayed in the hide until I gently took the hide away for an hour two days later to see if it was eating. It explored the ground and driftwood a bit and moved away from a pinhead cricket I dropped in whenever it crawled near, so again i'm assuming not hungry. But it's still getting used to the new place so i'll give it time and as few disturbances as possible.


    Mine looks almost exactly like this one in coloring, but a little smaller and thinner.



    -- How do you feed mealworms to a tiny gecko? I can't just put them in the terrarium, they'll roll around and dig into the substrate. And i'm very hesitant to use my big old fingers to catch and then hold this tiny gecko, plus who in their right mind would be hungry then?

    -- Gut loading crickets. All the care guides talk about gut loading feeder insects for a day or two first - i'm leaning towards orange slices for natural vitamin c, multivitamin sprinkled on crickets twice a week, and potato slices/carrot slices/bread - but i'm confused. When all the care sheets talk about gut loading for a day or two before offering them, does this mean you shouldn't feed them at all the rest of the time so they won't grow in size as fast? And if not, wouldn't you always want to feed your crickets good fattening healthy food anyhow?

    -- Temperature. Here in phoenix the indoor temperature is basically limited to how much of a bill you want to pay. 80 degrees indoors runs about $250. So for the room temperature it will be maybe as low as 65 in winter and 80 in summer. Other than a warm light on a rock surface to bask on do I need to worry about temperature?

    -- Humidity. I've been spraying the terrarium at night with bottled water in a sprayer, but the outdoor temperature here gets in the low 90s at night this time of year. There is no dew. Some humidity outside since it's a city and people try to grow plants/trees, but left alone it's mostly just dirty sand and we have probably 300+ days of pure blue sky. Rain isn't common. Other than just a spray or three at night do I need to do anything more? (there is a small water dish half full of rocks of course)

    -- Plants. Is it better to go with fake or real plants? A pothos seems like it would be a good fit.

    -- Handling. Is it better to pick it up and hand feed it so it can get used to me, or better not to?

    -- Cleaning. Feces and dead cricket body parts will accumulate, I was thinking about every two weeks just taking everything out and dumping the substrate/rocks, filling it up again with fresh substrate/rocks. Would weekly be better? Monthly? How much poo can a little gecko make?

    -- Glass cleaning. Any suggestions on a non-chemical way to clean glass well?

    -- Supplements. Would it be good to give a gecko a few drops of flukers repti-aid every few months even if nothing is semingly wrong? http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753955

    -- Water. The bottom 3 inches of my terrarium are glass and I can easily make a larger water area if needed. Do they enjoy swimming or sitting in the water once in a while? From doing hours of research and reading a lot of care pages, seeing a lot of pictures I see them in pretty much all types of terrains and living naturally in all sorts of climates. Naturally I'm trying to reproduce the environment outside where I live but if they like to swim i'll gladly make a shallow 'pond' for both swimming and cooling off.

    Tips and suggestions welcomed. I know the first will be 'let the wild one go and only keep ones bred in captivity' and I will if it's better off that way, but at the very least I want to fatten it up some more. It's just so tiny and skinny. =)






  2. #2
    Elite Member Spyral's Avatar
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    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    These geckos are very adaptable! I live in Phoenix also and have some living outside my house.

    You can feed him mealworms in a jar lid so they don't crawl into the substrate. You can also buy a feeding bowl that might look prettier.

    You can buy a gutload or just do what you've been doing with the orange slices. It's important to get a good calcium dust that has a small amount of vitamin D. Dust your crickets and mealworms as well.

    Leave some water out for him, and mist lightly. They don't need tons of humidity.

    Pothos would be great, but may not live in just the cocofiber. You could get a small potted pothos and put in there, should be perfect. Fake plants are also fine, it's up to you.

    I would avoid handling until it settles in more. They can be pretty delicate.

    Just scoop out any poop you see and stir the soil every few weeks. Clean the glass with vinegar & water if hard water builds up.

    For supplements, be sure to get a good insect dust. Fluker's is probably worthless....

    You can keep a water bowl in there but they don't need a water feature. They're from semi-arid regions.

    Good luck with him!
    19.15.34.2 Crested Geckos | 1.1.0 Ornate Uromastyx
    1.1.0 Egyptian Uromastyx | 0.1.0 Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

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  3. #3
    Elite Member crepers86's Avatar
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    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    I see them here all the time around my house in the Houston area. I will catch them from time to time give them a little treat of a few crickets or meal worms. then I will normally release after a day or two. I do the same thing with the green anoles I find roaming around too. I just love watching them but I wounder sometimes how they feel to be free then captured and and locked in a cage, so I just end up putting them back outside. I find them from time to time in my house, and those I don't really miss with. Sometimes I will leave a little cap of freeze dried meal worms for them to come and munch on in my room and they do sometimes

  4. #4
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    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    Thanks!

    Wait a sec... so their food does not HAVE to be live, just preferred?

    I'll stop and get some freeze dried mealworms on the way home in the morning, sounds perfect for now. Small, doesn't have to be chased, won't burrow into substrate or hide under rocks.



    ** While usually the only interesting insects I see are Palo Verde Beetles, found this guy chilling out while at work tonight.

  5. #5
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    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    I let it go tonight.

    It put on some weight and is much more energetic, placed it out back on the concrete block walls where I see all the other lizards sunning during the day near a few natural hides. Evening, so it should have a safe night to explore the new world.

    When taking it outside it jumped off my hand and onto the desk, then ran back into the terrarium. =/


    Of course now I have an empty terrarium. Suggestions for a low maintenance starter lizard? Green Anole?

  6. #6
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    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    Can barely believe this, but when I came home there was another tiny baby house gecko in my kitchen sink. Sink is empty, no food laying around, all the drains in the house are kept sealed so the stray huge cockroach doesn't creep in.

    Never seen a gecko or even insects in this house (rare cricket gets in until I track it down and squash it)

  7. #7
    Elite Member justor's Avatar
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    • My Reptiles

    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    We had a praying mantis living in our house for almost a month before we lost track of him a couple weeks ago. We didn't feel the need to get rid of him... he was just sitting on our window screen most of the time eating bugs. I think he made his way back outside though. While he was living in the house he molted on our window sill, it was really cool.
    /Austin

    "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Dr. Carl Sagan

  8. #8
    Elite Member Spyral's Avatar
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    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    Lol! They are probably getting in from another area and are just gravitating to the sink for coolness and moisture.

    A green or brown anole might be a good choice for your terrarium!
    19.15.34.2 Crested Geckos | 1.1.0 Ornate Uromastyx
    1.1.0 Egyptian Uromastyx | 0.1.0 Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

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  9. #9
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    Re: Med House Gecko Questions

    Let the new one go tonight on the concrete block walls in my backyard, it has lots of cracks to hide in. Just wanted to make sure it got a few good meals before moving it from kitchen sink to the grand outdoors.

    Starting to think that 12x12x18 is too small for even one house gecko. Might just raise crickets in it and stock the backyard with them for the wild geckos to eat -IF- I can figure out a way to transfer them from terrarium to outside. Maybe just a see-thru trash bag around the terrarium and open the door for a few minutes, close the door, close the bag, transfer them.

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