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. =)