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Lighting Advice for My Crested Gecko

Discussion in 'Habitat Lighting' started by bdefrawi, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. bdefrawi

    bdefrawi Member

    Hi, I just recently got a crested gecko named Papaya. I have him setup in a Exo Terra 12x12x18 terrarium. I have a mixture of Eco Earth and Repti Bark for his substrate, a live Bromeliad plant, Zoo Med Twisty Vines placed vertically in terrarium and artificial Pothos foliage on the sides. I have him on a crested gecko powdered diet by All Living Things (bought at Petsmart), does he need additional calcium or D3? I feed him a cricket or two a week dusted with calcium because I am unsure if he is eating the powdered diet. My house maintains an average day temperature of 79-80 degrees when I am not home, and 75-77 degrees at night. I know that Crested Geckos don't need supplemental UVB/UVA light, but my plant does. I bought a Exo Terra Repti Glo 2.0 (26W) and it is extremely bright and I am worried that it may irritate/damage his eyes. I had a Zoo Med Daylight Blue Bulb 40W, but it was putting out too much heat and making it difficult to maintain daytime heat below 82-85 degrees and I found out that it wasn't providing UVB light for his plant. Any recommendations/advice on lighting would be appreciated. I am also open to any other suggestions re his enclosure/food if you have them. Thank you in advance for your time.

  2. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Do you by any chance have a picture of the diet you're feeding your gecko, or a link to it? I tried a Google search and couldn't find it. Repashy, Clarks, or T-Rex are what's generally recommended as the complete diet to feed your gecko, and by feeding such, your gecko does not need additional supplementation. However, my concern with the powdered diet you're using, based on my experience with other products by the same company, are that your gecko is lacking in nutrition.

    Yes, if you feed crickets, they will need to be gutloaded and dusted with calcium WITH D3 at every feeding.

    I would consider removing the Repti-bark. The Eco Earth is fine, but the bark can cause impaction if ingested. Regardless of your choice of substrate, I also wouldn't feed crickets on it for much the same reason. Geckos can be clumsy hunters, and it doesn't take much for them to wind up with a mouthful of substrate along with a cricket. Feeding your gecko in a separate feeding container, tong-feeding, or even covering the bottom of the tank with paper towel during feeding would all work to help mitigate the risk of ingestion.

    Using UV light of that wattage is fine for your gecko. As long as you have plenty of hiding spots in foliage or hides for your gecko to retreat to, you should have no issues with using it. Many will even argue that crested geckos benefit from UV light and should be housed under it at all times. I use a Reptiglo 5.0 for one of my geckos as she's in a planted enclosure as well, and some days she'll sleep directly underneath the light and I haven't seen any evidence of eye issues as a result.

    Are you using supplemental heat sources at night? Or is your house just naturally warmer? A drop in nighttime temps compared to daytime temps is recommended so they have a bit of a cooling period, just as long as your temps don't fall below 65F. If you are using additional heat sources for night, I would suggest removing them.
  3. bdefrawi

    bdefrawi Member

    photo 1.jpg photo 2.jpg photo 3.jpg

    Hi Cassi,
    Thanks so much for your advice. I have attached photos of the crested gecko diet by All Living Things with the ingredients. You will also see the Repashy diet (didn't like it). I was told to purchase the Reptivite to dust the crickets with, then I read that I should be dusting them with just Calcium, so I purchased the Exo Terra Calcium and have been using that to dust the crickets with. But then I read that crested geckos need D3 and the Exo Terra Calcium does not have D3, so I am a bit confused. :)

    Per your advice, I removed the Repti Bark first thing this morning! I have been feeding the crickets in a separate container because they would dig and hide in the Repti Bark making it difficult for my gecko to hunt and eat them.

    I do not use any supplemental heat sources at night. We put the A/C on 76 at night and set it to 79 when we leave during the day.
  4. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    The All Living Things diet does sound similar to Repashy, but I have no personal experience using it myself. I would say if your gecko will eat that but won't touch Repashy, then keep him on it because my guess is that it was designed as a competitive product, and if so, it's meant to be a complete diet for crested geckos. However, I would still advise feeding crickets (and/or other feeder insects) as you have been doing to provide variety and help your gecko grow (insects provide additional protein).

    A good rule of thumb and a way to remember which calcium is required is to determine whether the animal is nocturnal or diurnal. All lizards require vitamin D3, however, diurnal lizards are housed under UV light as it is a requirement for their care. UV light allows for the natural production of vitamin D3, so supplemental D3 is not required, except in very minimal amounts. By contrast, nocturnal lizards (i.e. non-basking lizards) such as crested geckos are not exposed to UV light, and even when they are housed under them, do not reap the same benefits from UV light as basking reptiles (primarily because they spend the majority of their time hiding). Therefore, the primary method of receiving vitamin D3 is through diet and supplementation.

    Reptivite is a multivitamin powder and should be used sparingly (no more than once a week). If you're using that in conjunction with calcium at every cricket feeding (once a week), then I would stick with plain calcium as the Reptivite contains D3 already. This is to mitigate the risk, however minor, of D3 toxicity over time (which occurs when reptiles are fed consistently high amounts of D3 that the body cannot utilize, and it builds up in the system over time).

    Everything else with your setup and care now sounds good! As for temps, yours are likely fine, especially since you aren't using additional heat sources. Misting well in the evenings will also keep the temps a bit cooler for him.
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Plants do not require UVB light. What plants require light in the red and blue color spectrum. That is why the plant "grow lights" are purple. Foliage plants need heavier in the blue range while flowering plants need more in the red.
  6. TheSmench

    TheSmench Elite Member

    Depends on what your are growing for plants to grow the foliage it needs to be 5000-6500k (blue/Green spectrum) and to flower needs 4000k-3500k (red/yellow spectrum). Most use 6500k to grow plants since most viv plants don't flower. If you have flowering plants use both kinds of light. The grow light you are talking about is garbage IMO

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