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    Default Another substrate question.


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    Hi everyone! Just got my first AFT last week and so far so good! Just had a simple question about substrate and ANY suggestions. Which one is preferred as a more naturalistic substrate? I've been reading through the forums all night, some use sand some mix sand and peat moss others use paper-towels, but whats going to make him feel right at home? Right now he's in an 18x18x18 zoomed tank with UTH, ceramic heater (Cold here in winter), two hides (one moist) and his water dish. He has half slate and half plantation soil currently. Ambient temp is 78-80f and substrate temp over UTH is about 88f. Humidity 30-50% or so outside the moist hide. Is this acceptable? He's eating A LOT ( I dust the crickets with calcium and vitamin powder and feed the crickets a paste of wheat flour and oatmeal spread on apples/oranges and greens) and he seems to be drinking plenty. He's not too active. caught him out an about maybe 3 times since I got him. Otherwise I just get quick glimpses as he switches hides. I believe he's young since his tail is kind of thin and he is kind of small 5 1/2" - 6". I'm planing on changing up the look of the tank in a month or so when I do a full clean and I'm just looking for suggestions for improvement! I'm open to ALL criticism and opinions!
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    I use paper towels myself. But zoomed makes an ultra fine sand if you want to go that route. Temps sound good. I keep my cool end around 70 and the heated side about 86. Like you, i rarely see him out unless to feed or mosey around at night. My only question is, u said a ceramic heater? Do you mean a heated rock or something he can rest on?
    Garrett
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  3. #3
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    My bad.. I meant ceramic heat emitter that goes in a lamp fixture above the screen top. I'm not too fond of heat rocks or anything they can come in direct contact with. So he's probably just shy? haha I haven't handled him at all really. How long would you suggest I let him settle in for before I try to socialize with the little bugger?

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    We've got ours set up with an under the tank heater on the dry sand/peat moss side and some rocks to provide cover. That's where she spends 95% of her time. Then on the wet side, we have peat moss, some live plants and a hide for humidty.

    This species isn't the most active, and they do prefer to spend most of their time hiding where it's warm. I really only see mine when she's out hunting bugs.

    I would give your gecko a solid week to settle in before you start handling. Very hardy species, but still best to let them adjust some.

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    Thanks for the replies. On the 19th I switched over to the repti-carpet stuff. (Because I do worry about impaction with the plantation soil or is this safe?) I set the tank up exactly the same just different flooring. He did not eat or do ANYTHING for 2 days! I was also having problems keeping humidity up and he never went to his humid hide... So late last night I went back to the plantation soil and withing 30 minutes he was out moseying around. I put in some crickets and he ate um almost immediately. I thought he wasn't eating because of the stress of changing things around but that doesn't seem to be why. Does the substrate really make that much of a difference with these geckos? I've never had a terrestrial gecko before. My first lizards were 2 brown anoles I had 6 years ago which successfully laid and hatched eggs (when I thought I had 2 females) and a Neon tree dragon who died after I had her for 5 years

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    [Edit] Wow, sorry, just saw that this was an old thread!

    Personally, I've always kept my AFT geckos in fully planted terrariums, unless I am dealing with a very tiny baby. I prefer to use organic top soil with some peat moss mixed in. I have several girls living in a tank that is 4' long x 20" wide and because they are amel/albino they're more light-shy than your average AFT. But as soon as the tank lights switch off and the house gets darker they are out and they are all over the tank most of the night - they'll watch me on the computer, they'll look around for food, and they'll dig around the tank making new possible hides and burrows. So I find them much more active and engaged in this type of environment (they're not as lazy as they seem when you give them stuff to do).

    However, I understand that this can make people really uncomfortable so I think that if you still want to give them more enrichment but keep yourself worry-free you can make at least the humid hide something like soil/peat moss, so they can still burrow out a comfy spot but the rest of the cage is safe for hunting if you free range crickets/roaches. Just an idea!
    Biologist | Keeper of Chameleons and African Fat Tailed Geckos

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    Again I hate to necro but I don't see the point in making a whole new thread...

    Does anyone use a substrate moist enough to keep springtails in it? I'm thinking of redoing the tank with eco-earth/ABG/sand and since I'm redoing some other cages with false bottom and more water I've been thinking the springtails would also help keep cleanup to a minimum. I'm just wondering if anyone's had an active springtail culture thrive in a AFT cage before.
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