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My moorish/crocodile gecko

Discussion in 'Geckos - Other' started by triciaj1, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. triciaj1

    triciaj1 Member

    I'm new here so I hope I'm putting this in the right place.

    We got this moorish/crocodile/wall gecko on Friday. My son named it Jack, my husband named it Houdini because we have heard that these types of geckos are escape artists and so we now have a gecko with the name Jack-Houdini!! (silly, I know) Obviously, we're still not sure of his gender and yes, he does have a broken tail. We have experimented with several different things for the setup of its home and I think I have finally come to this. We started out doing a setup like the leopard gecko because thats what we were told to do but he did NOT like the peat moss at all. So I took that out, I hate the repti carpet because the crickets get underneath I'll probably be going with a very thin layer of sand. I was told that with this type of gecko to use play sand and not calci sand...does anyone know if that is true? This has been a huge learning process for me through website after website of reading and looking at pictures. We got the rocks from outside, rinsed and bleached them and then rinsed them and let them air out...AS SOON AS I put those in the cage, he started to act happy. He wasnt just setting in one place all day like he has been since we got them. We created a hiding spot and I think he liked that. I also read to include some fake foliage for hiding so I went to hobby lobby and bought some, rinsed them off, stuffed them in and he has been hiding in the leaved of the little "trees" since I brought them home earlier. Oh, yeah, I had to make the back of the tank look cute so I cut out some construction paper stuff that I bought too, and put it on the tank. Please, constuctive criticism will be greatly appreciated!

    Please tell me if you cannot see these! I apologize about the bluriness of the pics, he doesnt get in very good places to take them.

    Here he is basking:
    On the glass:
    On the screen top:
    Hiding under his branch:
    The new setup:
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I personally know nothing about this species but we have a few "geckophiles" who should be along shortly that may give you some advice.
    The only thing I can contribute is to make very sure that the rocks and the branch cannot in any way shift and crush the gecko.
    I also would advise not to rely on the stick on strip thermometer. They measure the temperature of the glass surface they are stuck to and are totally irrelavent to the temperature in the tank.
  3. triciaj1

    triciaj1 Member

    The rocks, I have made sure that none of them were "loose." I was afraid of that--about the thermometer. It never gets over 90-95 on that strip and it makes me wonder what the temp is directly under that light. Another thing I'm wondering about is...for the "geckophiles"...I have been setting him in front of the back door, in the morning sun (keeping in mind that I'm in w. texas and its been almost 90 here every day) and he will not come out from behind the rocks. I read that our room temp "night temps" are ok and that he does not need any night lighting. So, obviously, they live in the dark at night...I guess he'll be ok at night without light?
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Never set an animal in a glass enclosure in direct sun! It can quickly overheat the enclosure and cook the inhabitant. Think getting in a car with the windows rolled up. This is a very hazardous situation.
    The simplest way to check your temps is to get a digital thermometer with a remoter probe. Look for them at WalMart or garden centers in Hardware stores. This will let you move the probe around to different areas of the tank to see what is happening temperature wise. They also have a minuimum maximum feature that will allow you to wee what the range of temps have been.
    I personaly use an infrared temperature gun. You just point it at the spot you wish to measure and it gives you a read out.
  5. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    The issue of sand is one that everyone disagrees on.... Yes the animals are in sand and dirt in the wild, but they also suffer from impactions in the wild like they can in captivity if kept on sand as well. I would say that the safest way to go is either nix the sand and go with something else entirely (tile works great...) or if you really want sand would suggest not feeding it in the tank. Rather get a smaller tank to feed it in... good luck!
  6. triciaj1

    triciaj1 Member

    ooohh, yes, never thought about that.

    about the sand--I guess I'll stick with this repti-carpet.

    I wonder though...this thing cant be very old but it sure is mean. It bit me night before last and it was just a little pinch on my pinky finger...but just a minute ago, I was looking for a cricket and it jumped up on my arm, I guess trying to get out of the cage and I put him back down in there...but then whenever I tried to pick him up, he had his mouth wide open ...the ladies at the pet store had absolutely no problem holding it, I wonder why that is?
  7. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would try to stick it out with the carpet, maybe weight the corners down. I use carpet with lots of slate rocks and tiles and stuff on it, but I put meal worms in a dish and feed crickets outside of the tank or they are fed one at a time from tongs (tedious).

    From what I have read they are more of a look-but-don't-touch gecko, but Tokays are rumored to be the nastiest gecko out there and some can be tamed down.

    Also does anyone know if the need UVB lighting?
  8. triciaj1

    triciaj1 Member

    I do know that they require UVB lighting, which will be taken care of next week....but what I dont know is if they need that light on during the night or just during the day along with the basking light.

    I have read about the moorish being a "look at" gecko only too. I'm wondering if I should sell him back to the pet store and get me a leopard...they seem MUCH nicer :D
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    They should not be exposed to light 24 hours a day. It plays havoc with their bodys biological clock!
    Just like us they need a dark "night time".
    Most use a 12 on 12 off time frame.

    If you are wanting something more handleable the leopard gecko would definitely be a better choice.
  10. sprkn1

    sprkn1 Active Member

    i would definitely go with a leopard gecko for a first time gecko owner. If you want to stick it out with the croc gecko, make sure you set up a moist hide to aid with the shedding. And you do not need the uvb, technically you do not even need the basking light and just need a good uth (undertankheater): most if not all nocturnal species of reptiles do not need UV rays (correct me if im wrong). You can pick up a digital thermometer for about $7 at target or walmart. I had no problem keeping my adult leopards on sand, but you really have to watch their "going" making sure they are not compacted with sand. If it is a baby i would go with paper towels, or slate tiles. I know paper towels dont look that great, but the health of your newly aqquired pet is first issue. I had trouble with the repticarpet with my lizards' toes getting stuck between the fabric. But great set up though, most first time owners have trouble setting up a new enclosure, so good job.
  11. sprkn1

    sprkn1 Active Member

    o btw, in regards to gecko's being in the sand in the wild, it is true but also untrue. You can find sand within their environment in the wild, but does not account for its entire natural habitat. They live amongst rocks and even can be found in human settlements. So to say that they live on sand in the wild, is such a misconception, go out in their natural habitat and i doubt you will see only desert sand, but a mix of sand, dirt, and rocks, also with shrubs and other desert vegetation. And like said above, if you will stick with the sand, definitely feed in a small tank, critter keepers work best.
  12. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    if you want to stick with the repti carpet try triming the edge just a bit so that it lays flat. It looks like in your pic that there is a bubble from it being to wide... If it is flat the crickets are less likely to be able to get under it.
    No Night Light needed.
    And part of the issue with the bites may be that it is in a new place and scared and was trying to defend itself. It doesn't know you and just reaching in and grabing it kinda seems like predator going after prey....

    Good Luck!
  13. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    I wasn't trying to say that... But I know that people that keep their animals on sand will argue the point that if there is sand out in the big bad world and they have survived that they should be able to survive it in captivity. I NEVER said that was my belief. I think that in some cases it can be safe, but it is ALWAYS a situation where you have to weigh the risk vs. the gain....
  14. triciaj1

    triciaj1 Member

    thanks everyone!
  15. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    It sounds like most of your issues have been addressed already. The habitat looks good, but make sure the rocks don't move. Carpet > sand. No light at night, no sitting the cage in the sun, and they don't need UVB. And yes, they will bite. Moorish geckos are definitely a look-don't touch pet. Most small lizards are, leopard geckos just happen to be a rare exception. I have a white-spotted wall gecko myself and they're not much different than moorish geckos (same genus).
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