View Full Version : Hello from Enzo and me!

10-27-2008, 06:18 AM

I needed to join a gecko forum to help ensure I give my pal Enzo the best life I can give him! My girlfriend and I found him in some local classifieds with the tank and everything we needed. He is a madagascar day gecko which i believe is phelsuma? (noob :()

So far I absolutely love this guy (had him about a month or so). He is so friendly and has never ever tried to make an escape! He also loves to eat applesauce off my finger :) It's amazing what a personality these things have!

right now he's in a large and tall tank (dont know the size) however i found an 18x18x18 (is this a good size?) exo terra for an amazing deal locally. Do you think this would be a wise choice? I like the idea of having the front doors even though i have a feeling he would just block them all the time haha.

Anyways heres a picture. Looking forward to being a part of your community! You'll notice the tank is very spotted - this is how it was when i bought it, I'm finding it difficult to get it off but if I end up with the exo terra it wont matter anyways!

10-27-2008, 08:18 AM
Great friend you have there . I think enzo would be happy in a exo 18 x 18 x 18 . I would pic up the tank and put coco fiber bedding with bamboo and some live plants , like snake plants to help with humidity . He would benefit from a UVB bulb combo of like exo terra's repti glo 5.0 and 2.0 . Keep us posted and provide us with some whole body pics of Enzo .

As for the spots Im betting its hard water stains and you can scrap it off with a razor blade . I would mist him daily with distilled or RO water .

10-27-2008, 09:28 AM
Thanks for the great reply!

I know the spots were from hard water, but again thats from the original owner. we use a water softener here but ill switch to r/o anyways..

I will work on getting the larger exo terra!

right now hes got a exo terra UV light and a heat lamp.. Im always worried its too cold on the terrarium because my house usually stays pretty cold (the fun of canada). however he spends some time under the heat lamp, he also spends lots of time under just the uv light so im assuming he cant be that cold..

He also seems to spend about 90% off the ground, is this normal for these guys? the previous owner put in what almost looks to be a mulch.. i cant imagine it being comfortable for him.. i will change that once i get the new exo.

10-27-2008, 09:49 AM
Its perfectly normal for him to stay off the ground , in fact if he ever starts to just lay around on the bottom then there is a problem . There arboreal geckos so they stay in the trees etc... there entire life . You can also feed him fruit baby food with calcium and vitamins and some honey added he'll really love you for that . I live down here in massachusetts and the winters are cold here to but the geckos and I get by :) . My gecko room never gets under 70 .

10-27-2008, 09:55 AM
I bought some mango/apple sauce that he just seems to go nuts for. I coat his crickets in the calcium power, should i be putting a pinch into the fruit as well then?

*edit* maybe a stupid question.. but when you guys say mist them, do you mean spray the gecko directly or mist the terrarium walls and stuff.. or both? enzo doesnt look happy when i spray him haha

10-29-2008, 09:31 AM
Can anyone help with those last 2 questions?

Thanks :biggrin:

10-29-2008, 11:45 AM
Dont spray him directly ,just spray down the enclosure . It it wont hurt t all to mix in calcium and vitamin supplements into the apple sauce ... But I would still switch to a baby food as it has more nutrients ect than an apple sauce .

11-02-2008, 06:57 PM
Congratulations! Enzo looks like a Phelsuma Madagascariensis Grandis to me, Madagascan Giant Day Gecko. They're a species I used to keep before I moved. Like bp said expect Enzo to spend all his time off the ground. It's if you see him on the bottom of his cage that you should worry.

If he seems to be eating, pooping, drinking, and moving around his cage well then your temperatures are probably fine. To be sure I would suggest putting a thermometer in there somewhere, or getting a temperature gun. If you go with the thermometer don't get one of the tape style ones that stick to the sides of the cage. If you've ever felt a glass window on a cold day you know even if your house is comfortably heated the window will feel a lot colder. Same way with the tank, glass'll be a lot colder than the air. So a tape style thermometer attached to the glass is gonna read the surface temperature of the glass, not the air temperature where your gecko is hanging out. I'd suggest a mercury style aquarium thermometer with a suction cup. They're dirt cheap and more than sufficiently accurate for your purposes. Attach it to the areas in his cage where he spends the most time. This will give you a good idea of the temperature range in your cage. You want to try to keep the temperature between 75-85 with a hot spot going as high as 90-93. It can get down to 70 with no problems so long as it warms up the next day.

As far as misting goes you can spray him directly. He may not like it all that much but it won't hurt him. Just so long as things're staying relatively humid in the cage, you see him drinking, and he's shedding properly you're doing fine.

I'd say put a little bit of calcium in everything he eats. Whether it's fruit mash, crickets, or worms. While it is possible for an animal to develop hypercalcemia, an excess of calcium, in my several years of working in the reptile industry I've never seem it. I have, however, seen far too many animals suffering from hypocalcemia, a lack of calcium. Remember an ounce of prevention...

Anyway, sounds like you and little Enzo are doing well so far. Best of luck to you and don't hesitate to ask questions of us here on the boards.

11-03-2008, 07:57 PM
Funny that you mention shedding.. I have had him for a bit over a month (we got him off someone else) so i had never seen him shed! This morning i woke up to see that half his body was white, and now he's already done (other than a couple little peices).. amazing how fast they go!

question about eating though.. the last time I put crickets in was Wed (its now monday!) I put about 7 in.. I have been feeding him fruit as well but even yesterday I still saw a cricket in there.. So thats like 4-5 days for 7 crickets, is that right? Today I saw no more so i bought some more. I put 1 in this time just to see if he went for it. He looked at it but lost interest. The 1 cricket hid so i moved stuff around to see that there was still 1 more cricket left over from the wed feeding!

Is he eating okay? I would expect him to eat so much more otherwise I might as well only buy a dozen crickets at a time if they're going to last me a week and a bit..

11-03-2008, 09:46 PM
Oh yeah, half the time you'll never even know they're shedding 'cause they'll do it over the course of a single night and eat the skin as it comes off. Keep an eye on those little bits that didn't come off. If they aren't gone in a few days then you may need to gently remove them. Otherwise you run the risk of his dead skin constricting his body, cutting off his circulation thereby causing him to lose extremities. Usually it's just toes and tail tips but I have seen animals lose limbs and over half their tale to constriction from improper shedding.

If you're feeding him a lot of goop then I wouldn't expect him to eat as many bugs. A thing to be careful of is when you feed them high sugar foods like applesauce they will sometimes refuse other, more nutritionally sound, foods. I would suggest limiting his goop intake and trying to limit the applesauce to occasional treat status. Especially if it is a non-organic brand of applesauce as those tend to have a lot of extra sugar in them. Instead feed him some fruit based organic baby food with maybe a bit of protein based baby food mixed in along with some calcium powder. If he's getting a well balanced goop diet and seems to prefer it then you can cut back the bugs and only offer them in small groups once or twice a week. My adult grandis only got bugs once maybe twice a week, and they did very well for me.

11-04-2008, 08:42 AM
ahh, yes i figured he was just getting fussy. he goes nuts for the fruit but not for the crickets! He has also been stubborn lately, i dont know if its because of the shedding or not. He's usually very friendly but yesterday he was opening his mouth at me! and when i was changing his water he was trying to eat my sweater.. silly enzo..

ill try him again today and see how he's doing.. would you suggest removing fruit from the terrarium for a bit then? and maybe trying to cycle between one or the other? usually i have both in there

11-04-2008, 05:29 PM
Heh, yeah everyone has their bad days.

I'd suggest cutting out the apple sauce for now and offering goop made of organic baby food or one of the powdered gecko diets 3 days a week, crickets 3 days a week and one day with no food. You can re-introduce the apple sauce as an occasional treat once you have him on a more nutritionally balanced diet. They can be little brats about their food some time but they usually come around.

11-05-2008, 08:58 AM
Thank you so much for all your help! now earlier you mentioned the stupid tape-thermomters. Well thats what the person already had in the tank, so last week I ordered the flukers digital thermometer/hydrometer (the one that goes inside of the terrarium). So now im trying to figure out the most appropriate place to put it.

I've heard to put it in the colder places of the tank, but the only thing is that the coldest places in the tanks would be behind the plants where i cant see it! my only options are either under the UV light or under the heat lamp. I have a fairly tall tank so im pretty sure that if i put it at the bottom it wouldnt be picking up any heat from the UV light. Do UV lights put off very much heat?

The current tape thermometer is useless, it's tough to see and i remember it used to always read the tank was way colder than even my house. Hense why i got this new one, plus now i can keep my humidity optimal :)

11-05-2008, 05:12 PM
You're welcome. There were several people who spent a lot of time answering my questions when I first started out so I'm happy to do the same for others. I'd suggest using zip ties, string, or twist ties to affix your thermometer to the area where your gecko tends to spend the most time. Additionally, moving your thermometer around the cage is a good idea to give you an idea of the range of temperatures in the cage. So a few days in spot A, then a few more in spot B, a few in spot C back to A and repeat. After a few circuits you'll have a pretty good idea of the thermal picture in your cage. If it helps record the temperatures in a notebook or something, making sure to include the date and location in each entry. This will allow you with some time and attention to accurately predict where your temperatures are likely to be at throughout the cage with a measurement from only one spot in the cage. Another thing you can do, especially if you end up getting another gecko...or three is to buy a temperature gun. There are a few reptile product manufacturers that make them and many restaurant supply companies that do. With one of those you can simply walk over to the cage, check temperatures in as many places in the cage as you like and record the data all in under five minutes. As for the tape thermometer just scrape it off or something, they're unsightly and useless.

11-05-2008, 05:14 PM
...oh yeah, UV lights rarely put off any appreciable levels of heat. They may warm things up by a degree or two within an inch of the light but that's about it. Now if you go with some of the heavy duty grow lights and whatnot then we're talking a completely different story. But for reptile purposes no. UV lights are for UV only not heat.

11-05-2008, 05:56 PM
Perfect it's in place! Its actually a stick on with velcro! very handy for cleaning. Its reading the humitidy at only 50%-60% though.. I tried misting more but it didnt help :(

11-06-2008, 05:07 AM
Yeah, humidity can be a real problem with any cage that has an open top. All the nice warm, humid air we want to stay in the cage rises right out the top. Pesky thing physics. Possible solutions could involve covering about half the cagetop with something impermeable to water like plastic, glass or even aluminum foil. This also holds in heat so you want to keep an eye on both if you do this. Another thing to do is put some live plants in the cage. Ideally replace all the fake plants you have in there with lives ones. They increase the humidity in the cage tremendously, look nice, and help lessen the need for cleaning. Additionally make sure you're using a substrate that will retain moisture without growing mold or anything like that. I prefer soil, ideally some sort of organic orchid growing mix. Tends to have good drainage so you don't end up with a swamp while still retaining moisture thereby raising the ambient humidity levels. Try some of these and see how they work out. the real key thing to watch for in regards to humidity is shedding. If Enzo is shedding completely with no little bits on the toes or tail tip then your humidity levels are adequate.

11-06-2008, 07:35 AM
Well I can't seem to see any little bits left on him so i'm pretty sure he's shedding okay. regarding the substrate though, we "adopted" him if you will, so he's already full grown (i think). The original owner used what looks like wooden chips in the bottom, but now that I have been to more pet stores, I see that this could be coco husk or the tropical substrate chips. either way eventually i'd like to take it all out and do just what you said - plant real plants. one problem with redoing the entire terrarium is that enzo was never handled, and he has NEVER been out of his home! He trusts me and all to eat from my hands, but if i touch him he shuffles away!

11-10-2008, 07:13 AM
Yeah, touching phelsumas is generally not a great idea anyway. Most of them have very delicate skin which tends to tear if they're restrained, an escape mechanism in the wild, very disconcerting in captivity. You could try cupping him like you would a spider that you wanted to remove from your house without killing it, nets can work as well, as can just getting him to climb on to your hand and quickly transferring him to a holding container. As with children sometimes we have to do what's best for them even if it's not what they would prefer. The trick is to just make it as quick and painless as possible so as to minimize stress to you and enzo.