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First Time Leo

Discussion in 'Leopard Geckos' started by akbaby907, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. akbaby907

    akbaby907 Active Member

    Looks like my roommate has decided on getting her first leopard gecko, an eight month old female, and I'm trying to help her best I can. I've owned and cared for snakes for a few years now, but have no experience with any other reptile. This will be her first reptile. We've both read over the care sheets and have a few questions before she purchases.

    The gecko will be in a 10 gallon tank for a few months and upgrading to a twenty when my boa upgrades. She's a pet as of now, don't think either of us plan on breeding at all.

    1. What's the general preferred method of heating? We have access to heat pads and heat lamps. All will be regulated with reliable thermometers and a dimmer. Also have a reliable reptile vet in the area.

    2. Substrate? We're being given a piece of reptile carpet for now. Wanting to avoid sand. I saw a bag of "river stones" at the pet store marketed for small turtles. The size of the stones looked to be about the size of my thumbnail. Would that be okay by itself as a substrate?

    3. Are crickets a necessary prey item or can you vary between like the different worms listed on this site's care sheet? We've been told her favorite foods are wax worms and meal worms.

    This is her, not sure on morph so any guesses/confirmation would be appreciated!
    10474301_10203225338626418_1653875522_n.jpg 10473191_10203225338666419_551494725_n.jpg
     
  2. CrazySnakeLady

    CrazySnakeLady Elite Member

    I like to use an under tank heater because they are nocturnal and bright lights can blind them. You could try a red light or something like that though, if that is something you'd prefer.

    I use paper towels as substrate. Easy to clean, but not exactly "pretty". The problem with the ReptiCarpet and geckos are their nails. They can get stuck and possibly ripped out.

    I don't feed the one I'm fostering crickets because he doesn't like to eat in front of people and I don't like leaving them in over night. I only feed him super worms. So you can feed him a just 1 insect diet if needed. Be careful with wax worms (fatty) and mealworms (impaction due to hard shells).

    She is absolutely gorgeous! I don't know morphs on these guys though. Good luck :)
     
  3. 1. What's the general preferred method of heating? We have access to heat pads and heat lamps. All will be regulated with reliable thermometers and a dimmer. Also have a reliable reptile vet in the area.
    An under the tank heater 1/3 the size of the tank is great! Leos are nocturnal, so they don't really need lights.

    2. Substrate? We're being given a piece of reptile carpet for now. Wanting to avoid sand. I saw a bag of "river stones" at the pet store marketed for small turtles. The size of the stones looked to be about the size of my thumbnail. Would that be okay by itself as a substrate?
    You can use slate, it's neat and holds heat well! :)

    3. Are crickets a necessary prey item or can you vary between like the different worms listed on this site's care sheet? We've been told her favorite foods are wax worms and meal worms.
    Wax worms shouldn't be a main food because they are high in fat and are addicting, like a candy bar for leos. :) You can get crickets, mealworms, Phoenix worms, horn worms, dubia roaches, silk worms, the more in variety the better!

    She is some sort of albino(my guess would be rainwater) they are difficult to tell apart, could you get an eye picture? :)

    (Also, make sure they get calcium and a multivitamin, these are important!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  4. aeral

    aeral Elite Member

    Regarding diet, I feed mealworms as a staple and supplement with crickets and hornworms. My leo will also eat the mealworm beetles.

    Do not use river rocks for substrate. If you would like something a little more decorative, go for tile. It works great and keeps the heat. My leo seems to prefer it over any other substrate and it's super easy to clean.
     
  5. herplover15

    herplover15 Member

    Hello, for your first question about heating, I would suggest using an undertank heat pad. Since leos are nocturnal they don't really need any special lighting system. For substrate, reptile cartpet might be ok but every now and then one of the lizards claws can get caught in there and it's a real pain to get it out so i would just stick to paper towel or newspaper as it is easy to clean. When it comes to feeding, it is a good idea to switch the prey up every now and then to keep things interesting. You can use crickets, mealworms and even dubia roaches. Also be sure to powder your prey with calcium dust every few days so they can get the proper calcium intake. Good luck with your new friend! :D P.s I am not sure what morph she is but she is beautiful. Good luck!
     

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