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  1. #1
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    Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating

    Hello all,
    I am new to this site and I am new to Leopard Geckos. I have owned reptiles in the past including snakes, Iguana's and a Savana Monitor.

    Two weeks ago, I purchased 2 young Leopard Geckos for my 6 year old son. Prior and after the purchase I attempted to read every on-line article, care sheet and I purchased a book on Leopard Geckos at the pet store and I read it to my son. I knew in advance that the pet store employees were not a good source of care information for reptiles.

    Here is my situation: Most of the care sheets are consistant as far as diet and temperature gradients.

    Set up:
    20 Gallon long
    Zilla Terrarium Liner
    Undertank heater
    75 watt reptile day light
    50 watt reptile night light
    shallow water dish
    small shallow dish of calcium (Rep-Cal phosphourus free, ultra fine with d-3)
    Shallow dish for meal worms
    3 hiding places in 3 locations (one moist)

    My problem is that the geckos do not eat regularly. In the two weeks that they have been here. I have only seen one of them eat twice. I feed them crickets dusted with Calicum evey night and normally I remove the majority the next morning. They have not touched the mealworms and appear not to be interested in them at all. The mealworms are offered 24/7 in there feeding dish and are dusted with calcium.

    One of the geckos shed thee days ago and continues to be lethargic. It seems to hide more then it's cage mate and has since day one.

    From what I have read, most causes for being letargic and not eating are enviormental. I am haveing trouble optaining the recommended temp gradient.
    The ambient air temp is always in the 80f range. The surface temps varry . Above the undertank heater the floor reads slightly over 100f, the center of the tank floor reads 84f and the cool side reads 74-76f. These are daytime temps and varry slightly at night. I no longer use the day light because it makes it warmer on the hot side. I do use the night light on the cool side 24/7. One of the Geckos likes to bask in it. The humidity varries between 20% and 40% in the center of the tank. I buy the smallest crickets that I can. I haven't found pinheads and I use small mealworms.

    The both appear thin with thin tails. How long can they go with out eating properly. I was under the impression that they need to eat daily as youngsters. Do I need to force feed them? If so what, how much and how often? Is the temp gradient out of control?

    I understand that there is an adustment period for the new home. It has been two weeks and I have only let my son handle them once. I go in to the cage daily to clean it, change the water and to check if they are alive. Should they still be stressed out, Are they ill, should they eat daily? Is this just a simple temp adjustment?

    Please help,
    Eric






  2. #2
    Subscribed User fire2225ems's Avatar
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    they could possibly still be adjusting. but couple bits of more information we could use is are they together? What kind of substrate are you using? Have you tried feeding in a separate feeding container? Are they defecating?

    If you are really concerned about the weight loss you might try making a "slurry" to feed them
    Lacey's Recipe:
    Mix about a teaspoon of babyfood, a pinch of Ca and the vits, and 3 ground up wax worms together to make a paste. Next add pedialyte until you get a sort of runny consistancy. Suck this up into a syringe and drop on the geckos nose and hope he licks it up. Make sure the gecko doesnt aspirate the liquid. Serve at or above room temp.
    ~*~ SHELL ~*~

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

    ~ Immanual Kant

  3. #3
    Elite Member RedLocks's Avatar
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    If the geckos are housed together, that could be an issue. They may be stressing each other out, or one may be bullying the other. I know they were probably together at the pet store, but your temps and everything else sound good! If they are skinny, they may not have been eating well at the pet store either, and maybe separating them will get them on track! They are solitary animals and see the other as competition, not as a friend like we might like to believe. Like I said, everything else sounds like you have done your homework, so that is all I can come up with.
    Have you tried feeding them crickets from tongs or tweezers? If you can get a hold of one and hold it in front of them so that the cricket can still wiggle around, it may get their attention and they may grab it. Again, this works for some people...my leo refuses to eat crickets like this. Do the crickets seem to get their attention? If one runs by your leo, do they chase it or act excited or are they completely uninterested?
    ~Tamara~

  4. #4
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    Yes they are housed together. The non-lethargic one shows interest in the crickets. The other one doesn't seem to notice them. Do wax worms come in small sizes? I stopped by two pet stores and they both only had one size that appears too lagre for these little Geckos. Yes they are deficating. Which one and how much each one is going, I have no idea. The substrate is a Zilla Terrarium Liner. It is tanish brown in color. Since I stopped using the day light the ambient temp has dropped to 75f and the hot side surface temp id 95f.

    What kind of baby food? Just on the nose or can I shoot some in their mouths? What do you mean make sure that they don't aspirate the liquid? How much liquid is dangerious for them to ingest? I have had to force feed a baby Iguana in the past. I did try the long tweaser trick, but they had no interest. They also show no interest in meal worms.

    As far as them being housed together, They both appear doscile and show no aggression. They curl up together in the cold side hide out. They shared the same hide out at the pet store as well. That is the reason my 6 year old wanted both of them. I should have only got one. I do have his approval to return the lethargic one if necessary. After all they are his pets, right, LOL.

    As far as seperating them, Isn't a 20 long with 3 hiding places large enough for two baby Geckos? As far as feeding in a smaller container goes, What do you suggest? Should I just drop them in one at a time into a cricket keeper and see what happens?

    Thanks to the both of you for your thoughtful replies and suggestions.

    Eric

  5. #5
    Elite Member DarkMagician207's Avatar
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    i hate to say it, but just because they are curled up together and share the same spot, does not mean that they like each other or are friends. reptiles are for the most part solitary creatures. saying that they like each other and things like that are just human characteristics that we tend to give to our animals. they may be curled up on the same side because they both want that spot or that hide and thats their way of solving it.

    reptiles don't really show that they're sick most times until they really are sick. they may both appear docile and not be aggressive but there are signs that we do not see that may be stressing the other out. the one that is lethargic may be sick or be stressed because the other one could be eating all the crickets and bullying the other out of getting any food.

    another thing i noticed is that you said you don't know who is defecating and how much. that can be a concern as well because with two or more animals in the enclosure it does get very hard to monitor who is pooping and how regularly.

    i would separate them it sounds like something is going on. plus if one of your leopard geckos is ill, it call easily transfer to its cagemate.

    a 20 long with 3 hides is large enough for two baby geckos but that doesn't mean that it will always work out.

    hope that helped. good luck!
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  6. #6
    Elite Member SpecterGT260's Avatar
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    i believe that someone said they may have been underfed at the pet store. this is a real possibility as well, and while this shouldnt be the cause of ur problem it might add to its urgency...... the pet store we buy from uses a corporate care sheet which indicates a diet of 3-5 crickets a week for a baby gecko...... both of my GF's have eaten at least this a night. i would separate them and get them aclimated a little better, and wait to observe them both feeding.

  7. #7
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    Thanks again for the replies. I am aware that reptiles don't have human characteristics. My son sadly thinks that they are friends. Most likely, I will return the lethargic one today. My son is beginning to understand that the geckos prfer to be alone even though there are many housed together at the pet store. Yesterday, I bought pim head crickets at a different pet store. The original pet store doesn't sell pin heads. They only sell small and large crickets. However, they didn't eat the tine pin heads either and the pinheads just died over night in the tank. Still no interest in the meal worms. I will try to feed them in a small container tonight seperatly if I don't return one of them to the pet store today. They pet store has a 15 day return policy and today is day 14. Lately, the crickets die over night in the tank. I don't know why. They used to survive untill I removed them in the morning. I only have the one 20 gallon ong tank. So, housing them both seperately, long term is not possiple. I got rid of my other reptile set ups years ago including a 125 gallon tank for my adult Savana monitor. All I have now is this 20 Gallon tank.

  8. #8
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    You said one side is around 100degrees? If so, thats to warm. Warm side should be 85-90.
    MARSHA

    Hokey Pokey Anonymous, A place to turn yourself around!

  9. #9
    Subscribed User fire2225ems's Avatar
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    Quote Originally Posted by pctwst View Post
    What kind of baby food? Just on the nose or can I shoot some in their mouths? What do you mean make sure that they don't aspirate the liquid? How much liquid is dangerious for them to ingest?
    Any kind of meat baby food. Turkey usually works pretty well. If you can, try to get something organic that won't have a lot of sugar or preservatives in it. If you put it on the tip of their nose, they will generally lick it off. This is slightly preferable to trying to squirt it in their mouth as it is less invasive.
    ~*~ SHELL ~*~

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

    ~ Immanual Kant

  10. #10
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    Re: Young Leopard Geckos Not Eating?

    When I lower the hot side to 95f the ambient temp drops to 70-74F. Should I be more concerned with surface temp then ambient temp? I can get the right suface gradient but the ambient temp is in the 70s.

    I will try the baby food trick. Thanks to all for the advice. I still might return the lethrargic one later today.

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