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Clark the Golden Gecko

Discussion in 'Geckos - Other' started by bowsertime, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    Hey all.

    A friend left me a message on Facebook in the middle of last week, saying that her son was no longer living with her and he had left his pet gecko behind. She knows I keep a lot of weird animals, including reptiles and amphibians, and decided giving me the gecko was a better idea than trying to find someone among her younger son's group of friends. So, that said, I am now the proud new companion to a golden gecko named Clark.

    Clark was, unfortunately, pet store-bought and lost his tail by accident about a month ago. This aside, I think he has quite a bit of weight on him and looks fairly healthy. She tried feeding him freeze-dried insects, but he didn't (understandably) want any part of it, so she gave him live crickets, which he apparently enjoyed. I'm not sure if she'd been dusting them and there was some mold in his 10-gallon tall terrarium, but... all is well now, as it's been totally hosed down, every ornament cleaned, and coco fiber substrate changed out for a nice, muddy-smelling forest moss substitute.

    Unfortunately, Clark is very shy and I've barely seen any of him since he's come home with me. I don't expect to right away - first, he's a goldie, second, he's just been rehomed. I think he snuck a butterworm out of the dish already, though! He has gorgeous eyes, but he's very dark in colour. The first night he was brought home, I checked on him in the dark and he was hanging from the top screen of the tank. Upon noticing me... he let go. Kerplunk. Scared the bejeezus out of me. :<

    I think he's settling in quite well now. He used to run around like a nutter every time I bumped his table a little, but now I can open the tank's doors and he won't even move. I've finally gotten his humidity to 80% and he has heat lamps running day and night (daylight bulb during the day, red light at night). His temps run around 72-77F at night and about 78-85F during the day... I think I'll want to get that a little higher. I looked into getting him a fogger for his humidity at first, but on recommendations from another goldie owner on another forum, tried a 'warm wet towel atop the tank' trick and it worked beautifully.

    So, to sum it up...

    - 10 gallon tall terrarium with plastic hanging plants, a grounded plastic fern, forest moss, and a stryofoam 'cliff' wall he can climb
    - 60W daylight heat bulb during the day, 60W red heat bulb during the night, roughly a 12h/12h split
    - 75%-80% humidity, sprayed 2-3 times a day as needed with towels re-wetted every morning and night and a pair of custom-cut glass panels to sit the light on so he doesn't burn himself hanging from the screen
    - 72F-77F at night, 78F-85F during the day - working on getting this higher
    - Has lost his tail (and it looks kinda funny because of it), but has some considerable weight on him - I'm almost concerned he's overweight, but his previous owner says she was only giving him 2-5 crickets every night or so
    - Has a fresh dish of mixed fruit baby food in his tank, changed nightly
    - Has a fresh dish of water in his tank, also changed nightly
    - Hygrometer/thermometer suctioned onto tank walls

    Anything you guys think is missing here? I'm working on getting him a bigger tank - and following that, more hiding places. I can't fit any grounded hiding places there because of his baby food dish, water dish, and worm dish.

    I have a heat bulb on during the day which brings things up to about 85F. I had a red heat bulb on during the night, but I don't think he likes it very much, because he wouldn't move at all, as if the daylight bulb was on. One night, I left it off to experiment and he was exploring everywhere, so I've been leaving it off at nights... but his temps aren't really great because of it. Any advice? Would a UTH help out here?

    He also hasn't shown much interest in the worms beyond the one butterworm that he -might- have eaten... there was a mass escape of worms that day because my worm dish sucked, but that problem's since been fixed, the substrate all dug out, and I still haven't found the butter. I'd rather not play with crickets, but I guess I'll have to do if absolutely needed... any ideas on how to keep them from escaping?

    THORGECKO Member

    You can decapitate the rear legs of the crickets to keep them from jumping. They will just scoot around with the front legs.
  3. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    Taller tank- they are arboreal. My golden is in a 18x18x24 Exo-terra. I use real and artificial plants and mist daily. I use a soap dish for water- she runs through it at night. Cover three sides of the tank for added security. Remove the baby food- too much sugar- you can use crested gecko diet for an additional food source - banana or mango mashed up if you ever do have a concern about low weight. His tail will grow. I found out that Rool had lost hers twice while at the pet store. They love moths if you can find a resource for safe, untreated moths. I use Eco-Earth (coco husk) and organic potting soil. I haven't found a moss I am comfortable using since I don't use a feeding dish. Rool also has a coconut hide, where she spends most of her daylight hours.

    LOL Decapitate the rear legs?? I don't remove the legs, hunting prey is good for them.
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LOL! Decapitate means to take off the head!
  5. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    Hey guys. Thanks for the replies.

    I'll be heading to the pet store tomorrow to pick up a 20g tank for him - hopefully, they have 20g highs. If not, I'll settle for a 20g horizontal and compensate with lots of foliage and climbing spots for the Clarkster.

    His substrate is now Exo-Terra plantation soil, which is basically just shredded coco husk according to the bag. He's been walking around and exploring at nights and got into his baby food a lot (and dragged a ton of soil into it too), but I've since taken the baby food out so he doesn't become a sugar fiend and he hasn't come down much since. He stays in his trees all day and most of the night. I hope he gets a little more adventurous when he gets his new house.
  6. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    Couldn’t find a 20 high at any pet store around me... the biggest chain store had 20 longs, but only those designer reptile types which are upwards of $80, so I took a trip to a smaller store to get a 20 extra long, thinking I’d put it vertically for him. Didn’t work out so well... so I took my leo girl, Stella’s, 20G long and decked it out in more climbing walls and foliage than it’s ever seen in its entire career. The hard part... was getting Clark out of his old tank. He was the most stubborn I’ve ever seen him. Usually, you can catch him on the wall, close your hand around him, and he’s yours. This time? No dice. He sticks himself to the top corner, where if I open the lid, he’s gone, and if I open the front doors, he’s outta’ there. After about two hours of this epic conflict (much to my leo’s annoyance; she kept coming out of her hide like ’can I come out now? Is it dark yet? No? Meh...’), I finally had enough, grabbed Clark, and got my just rewards for it:


    But in the end, Clark is in his new enclosure and that’s that. Pics up tomorrow.

    Attached Files:

  7. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    You don't have your golden in with your leo- do you? I think I must have misread something.
  8. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    No no, Clark has his tank and Stella has hers.
  9. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Sounds like a Golden Gecko to me! LOL
  10. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    Breathing again LOL. Those Exo-terra tanks go on sale occasionally, you can also check ebay and craig's list for deals. Sounds/looks like the little bugger is going to have to be happy where he is for awhile! I have been bit once or twice but she never drew blood, poor little thing looked like she was trying really hard too. I have to find that thread, Merlin had something funny to say about that.
  11. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    lol, definitely a goldie... I think he's very cranky because since January with his old owner, he was in a 10g high Exo-Terra. I've read that goldies can get even spazzier if in a too-small enclosure, so... upgraded! I just hope he gets used to things and starts eating. He's shed recently and I don't see much skin, so there's that, but I'd be happier if he started to eat normally.
  12. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    Here's his new setup... he's behind the large rock in the corner, stuck on his climbing wall, but you can't see him:


    Attached Files:

  13. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    Good news! Clark likes the new tank. I guess he worked out all his aggression on my finger last night. He's hanging around the ceiling and his plants like a little acrobat as we speak.
  14. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    Golden geckos are obnoxious, independent, little freaks of nature. I am glad he is a happy boy. Can you weigh him? just wondering how large he is compared to Rool... LOL!
  15. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Your too funny! LMAO
  16. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    I am really not willing to test the little biter again... I'd just like to leave him alone as much as possible, change his water/food, and spray his tank down if I could, until he gets a little less skittish.
  17. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    Dream on- the only time Rool has let me hold her was when we had the ice storm that knocked out our power, she was cold and I was trying to place her in her emergency container with heat packs, my hand was warm - she would not let go. I was kidding about weighing him ;).
  18. bowsertime

    bowsertime Elite Member

    Aww, that's cute to think about... 'nooo, don't let go of me, I'm coooold ;-;'. I've been able to hold Clark between transitioning from tank to tank if I can catch him... first time, I think he was just scared because I took all his hiding places out first. Then he sat pretty quiet in my hand, all held snugly, and... almost got out of his temporary cage when I put him back in. Serves me right for letting my guard down. :/

    Any tips for Clark here? If he doesn't warm up to the supers I've put in his dish, I'll have to drop some crix in for him at night. How long should I leave them in? How will I know if he's eaten them (there's a lot of foliage in there now... they might even drown themselves in Clark's bath/humidity pool before he even finds them)? How do you see where your goldie has pooped? That last one might sound like a stupid question, but I've never seen Clark's poo except for when I've taken his climbing wall out and found little brown stains on it. Goldies don't seem to be neat like leos, arranging their poo carefully in one little corner of the cage... and cleaning up his wall will be next to impossible when he's chilling on it most of the day and would probably freak out if I started toothbrushing it off.
  19. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    That tank looks great! Have you thought about a cross branch through the middle? That will give him more climbing areas. :)
  20. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    Put the crickets in a clean plastic container, deep enough so they can't jump out. Use a large clean rock, inside the container, to keep it from tipping. I use a tall glass vase for my cresties crickets. She climbs in and snacks. Rool likes to poo in her water dish or on her hammock, it looks like bird droppings to me.

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