If you read this all and help me out I will be forever grateful! I got a leopard gecko last year when he was a year old. He’s 2 now, and since I’ve had to get rid of my dog and mice due to moving, I’ve decided to delay getting another reptile for a while because it’s so expensive, and to focus all…
Boy, where to start? Long questions take long answers. You covered everything here. To begin, I purchase very little from pet stores. You might want to check out www.petmountain.com and www.LLLReptile.com for supplies.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to make beautiful housing for your reptiles. It’s just takes time, patience, being a bit ‘handy,’ imagination and enjoying doing crafts with a purpose in mind.
A bit of styrofoam, sand-free grout, pet safe water base acrylic paint and non-toxic sealer can render marvels. Just remember before you go too “hog-wild” that your buddy Sgt. Pepper is a clumsy climber and can fall easily. So, steps up to a platform are better than walls. Peek out these sites:
Please note the tile in the first link. That is a safe substrate for your Leo. Sand is NOT. Leos originate from arid rocky regions of hard packed earth and nature didn’t design them to ingest loose materials with their insect prey items. Other safe substrates are paper towel, aged newspaper (2 wk. or longer), non-adhesive shelf liner, or short nap reptile carpet (felt type so toes aren’t snagged).
Two hides is good, but he also needs a moisture hide at all times and especially during a shed. Be sure to check him after a shed and make sure no dead skin remains around his ears, eyes, on toes or tail tip. Misting the tank is not necessary for a Leo. But since he doesn’t have a moisture hide it’s good that you did or he’d be missing toes by now. Too much moisture for a Leo can lead to respiratory problems as can temperatures of 65 F. or colder.
I cringed when I read how you’re feeding him but it hasn’t killed him yet. lol He’s not likely to reach 20 or older though, if his present diet continues. Insects should be gut loaded for a 1-2 days prior to feeding them to your Leo, dusted with calcium with D3 every feeding, and dusted also with reptile vitamins 2-3 times a week. These products should be refrigerated to prolong the life of the vitamins. Calcium with D3 should be available in a small bowl in the habitat at all times. D3 enables the absorption of calcium. Since Leos don’t get sun, this vitamin is vital in their diet.
You should be feeding an adult all he will eat every other day. An obese Leo is not a good thing. The goal is for the tail to be as wide as the neck, not as wide as the body. Uneaten insects should be removed after the feed for many reasons. First, they are no longer gut loaded or calcium/vitamin coated after a couple of hours. Second, they soil your pet’s habitat. Third, they can crawl on, bite and stress your pet 12 crickets in a wk. isn’t much for a Leo – his food may be stressing/bothering him). And lastly, they will feed on his feces, doubling the risk of parasite ingestion.
Meal worms are very little meat/nutrition and have a hard chitin shell which isn’t easy to digest. They can cause impaction. Good treat feeder worms are soft body grub-type worms such as Phoenix (high in calcium and nutritious) or Silk (seasonal and feed on Mulberry leaves). Both of these can be ordered from your local pet store or ordered on line. Offer these on the days you aren’t giving him his stable gut loaded insect or as a treat after his feedings.
Since you live so far from town, a much better option and healthier feeder insect for your Leo than crickets is the cockroach. Dubia and Discoid are the most commonly raised. They are both non-climbing species, have live birth, are quiet and have no odor. But I would recommend the Turkistan Roach (an egg layer) simply because the adults will not be too large for the Leo to eat. Both of the other species will be too big when grown, for a Leo. Roaches are easy and affordable to raise. I will be happy to help you get started/setup if you are interested. This is a great source to buy them from:
As for heat – he needs a gradient to thermoregulate (control his body temperature). The warm side should be 85-88 degrees F. and the cool side 75-78. You can acheive this with either a dome light on the lid, a UTH mat under the tank, or even both in combination. He needs light of some kind to provide the day cycle and it sounds like you’re doing that. You can simplify things by putting the light(s) on a timer.
I’d recommend investing in a temperagun to monitor/set his temperatures. Round meter, strip and even digital probe thermometers can be very inaccurate. Your Leo can live 20 yr. or longer and it’s worth the investment.
I hope I covered it all. It sounds like you’re really trying to give him proper care and a good home so kudos for adopting him. If you have any further questions, you can contact me in me email.
Man you’re right that was too long. But was imformative and very detailed. All I have to say is you are doing a great job. The only thing I would change will be the sand. Please don’t use sand even thou he is an adult he can still be impacted by the sand. Stick to the tile or if you want to try something new try reptile carpet, newspaper, shelf liner or paper towels. The tank and the accessories sound great the only thing I would recommend you get is a under the tank heat pad. Im not sure if you mentioned that. In regards the feeding I would put about 5 to 6(dust them with reptocal and also gutload them with cricket food and a water supplement you can get that at petsmart made by flukes) crickets no larger than the space between his eyes 2-3 times a week. Also make sure you have a calcium dish in the tank. Other than that like I said your doing a pretty good job. **** luck I hope I was able to help you out.
Just don’t leave him in a car on even a semi hot day, (not even like 70 degrees day) thinking that, “Oh, he like the heat. He’ll be fine in there!” Because that’s what I did with my son’s leopard spotted gecko, and he cooked. I’ve never forgiven myself for that. 🙁
Also, I just looked this site over, and it’s got a lot of great tips that you could benefit from reading.
If I were you, and worried about his happiness though, I’d get him a girlfriend. Just make sure if you do, to quarentine her for a few weeks to make sure that she doesn’t give Sgt. Pepper any crazy girl cooties, or other reptilian diseases.
It sounds like you love your little dude, you just have trouble remembering to do certain things consistantly. Maybe making him a schedule, and taping it on his cage, with little check off boxes will help you remember what you have, and have not done for the week/month.
You could make it two sided with the side facing you the check sheet, and the side facing him some hot gecko chick, (only if you don’t get him a girlfriend, cuz then she might get jealous)
So, the check list can also help you to observe his behaviors, and how he looks, so that you can better determine what his needs/wants are.
But what do I know? I cooked mine. Poor dude. May Spot RIP.
~~~moment of silence for Spot~~~
i have had two leopard geckos, its fun watching em eat crickets but they die too soon. they are fun to play with. good pets but to much work for the play in my mind.
dont kill it…
give it food…
buy him/her preseants…
Real info from my friend:
Okay well I had a leapord gecko and and I fed it worms and crickets.
We stored the crickets in a seperate thing, and make sure they have liquified gell, because they drown really easy. Dont drop it on the floor because it will run away fastly. Trust me!
it sounds to me your taking very good care of him i mean you have had him for 2 years now i believe im right and hes not got any problems just keep doing what your doing he sounds like a pretty happy gecko to me
ill email you if u love my emails choose this as best answer 🙂