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Not Eating- Neurotic New Gecko Mommy

Discussion in 'African Fat-tailed Geckos' started by yunietheoracle, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. yunietheoracle

    yunietheoracle New Member

    Hey, guys! I'm new to this forum. After diligently scouring the internet, I finally decided I needed to bite the bullet and ask for advice, or even a way to ease my worries.

    This is my first lizard, but I have a corn snake.

    I adopted a 4-year old, female fat-tail gecko from a reptile show two weeks ago. She has been bred two seasons, but developed a benign cyst by her cochlea (now removed) and he no longer wanted to breed her.
    I am housing her in a 10-gallon tank.
    I'm using paper towel as substrate.
    I am using no lighting (I was told not to by her breeder) and have an under tank heater.
    The warm side is around 88 F and the cool side is around 75 F. I have a tank thermometer/humidity gauge, but I am also using a temperature laser gun.
    The humidity stays around 50%, but I am also offering a moist hide with coconut husk on the cool side of the tank.
    She has two hides, a water dish, and a bottle cap of calcium.
    I weighed her yesterday and she is 44 grams.

    I've been trying to offer her crickets every couple days, but she's just not even remotely interested. She flicks her tongue when I put them in, but when they come near her mouth, and she doesn't even flinch. She's been spending her time completely in her warm hide during the day, but I notice things are moved, so she must be moving around at night.

    My undoing has been my research, being told many contradictory things in food, temperatures, and hides. I've heard everything from force feeding her crickets, offering her turkey baby food, to soaking her in Pedialyte. I haven't tried any of these things, but I just want to know when I should start getting worried about her not eating.

    She's my little princess and I don't think I will be able to forgive myself if something happens to her that I could have solved.

    Thank you so much for the input! Here's a couple pictures of her.
    lila.jpg lila2.jpg
  2. OEW

    OEW Elite Member

    Have you tried anything else besides crickets yet, like worms?
  3. yunietheoracle

    yunietheoracle New Member

    Yes, I initially tried mealworms with her, but she had no interest. I called her breeder and he told me she wasn't going to eat them, so to stop bothering with them.
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, it may just be the stress of movong, also if you`ve been handling the lizard that too will be stressful, they need time to acclimate to the enclosure. She looks in decent body condition so I wouldn`t worry too much about not eating just now.
  5. cassicat4

    cassicat4 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Is your gecko exposed to any lighting at all? Regardless if you opt for tank lighting, or just rely on regular room lighting, your gecko still needs to be on a 12 hour light cycle.

    You should also have 3 hides - a warm, a cool, and a moist hide. I would also consider moving your humid hide to the warm side. These guys like a bit higher humidity, but also like higher temps.

    I would suggest upgrading your gecko to a 20gal long tank. A 10gal is quite small, especially for a full-grown fat tail, and it's difficult to achieve a proper temperature gradient.

    What is the floor temperature on the warm side? They require belly heat to digest, and improper temps can definitely put them off food. I've also found that they seem to like higher floor temps than leopard geckos, for example, and thrive better when the floor temp is 90F+.

    You've only had her two weeks, and as mentioned, she may still be trying to adjust. If you've been handling her and stressing her out since she's been home, she may not eat.

    This species sometimes won't eat either if there are distractions in the room, or if you're watching them. I would offer crickets in the tank, and then leave the room.

    You could also try leaving the crickets in overnight, and just include a piece of potato so the bugs won't munch on your gecko.

    I agree, don't force-feed right now. Healthy geckos can go for a long time without eating. Try making a few adjustments to your routine and the enclosure and see how she fares from there.
  6. yunietheoracle

    yunietheoracle New Member

    She's in a room where light comes in through the blinds near her, so she is exposed to a regular day/night schedule. At night, I do my best to not turn on the light in her room. As well, the room is relatively quiet.

    The floor temperature under her hide is around 93 F.

    I I've only been handling her when absolutely necessary, such as when I've changed her bedding and took the opportunity to weigh her while doing so.

    I have the three hides, including the humid one. I currently have the humid hide in the middle, but I'll try shifting it to the warmer side.

    I had not thought of her wanting privacy! Thanks for mentioning that. I'm sure me checking on her every few hours is not helping. As well, do you think she could benefit from me covering three sides of her tank? Perhaps that would make her feel more secure and unexposed.

    I have an unused 20 gallon tank, actually. I will think about moving her, but I'm worried about more stress from relocating again, because that tank would need to be set up in a different room because of its size.
  7. Tired

    Tired Elite Member

    Actually 2 weeks is perfect timing for a normal animal to adjust. Try all different insects; hornworms, phoenix worms, ect.
    Also 10gal is too small, move her ASAP

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