PDA

View Full Version : Need help with new leopard geckos...



Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 04:30 PM
Hi I'm new to the forums. After a few hours of searching on the internet, I happened upon this site. I saw how professional, helpful, and nice the people on this forum were. Anyways, that is my introduction. Now lets get to business. A week ago on June the 3rd, I bought 3 leopard geckos from a reptile expo. 1 of them is enjoying my presence, but the other 2 are hardly around. I stuck a bowl of around 40 small meal worms into their tank yesterday night and by the time I got back from school, they had eaten every single meal worm except for 3. So I know they are eating well. I also found signs of um... defecation in the tank so I also know they are digesting properly. When I stuck my hand in today to feed them, one of the geckos who were hiding suddenly jumped out at me and attempted to bite my finger. (lol I was extremely surprised:lol:) So I want to know, is it normal for this species to want to bite you? Also I looked inside one of my hides to see the geckos, and 2 of them are sharing a hide, with one sorta laying on top of the other. I have 5 hides in their tank (including the moist hide) so do they not like the other hides? I'll post a picture of the tank when I have time.
Thanks for trying to help,
-steviekim13

Mardy
06-10-2013, 05:13 PM
You've only had them for a week, so yes it's normal if they are still skittish and bark at you every once in awhile. This behavior is usually seen with younger geckos, hatchlings and juveniles alike. They tend to slowly grow out of it as they get older. So give them time, they have yet to settle into their new terrarium. Plus they have to get used to you still.

As for them not liking other hides, it's possible yes. Take a look at the design and placement of the hides they use. There's usually a reason they like one hide over another. Be it that the hide they use is more secure, thus making them feel more safe. Or that the hide they use is on just the right spot where they feel comfortable. Maybe the other hides are too hot or cold, or that they're too wide open.

Hope that helps, good luck!

Embrace Calamity
06-10-2013, 05:25 PM
What Mardy said is correct. However, from what I've read, laying on top of each other can be a sign of dominance and something on which an eye should be kept. But it might just be because it's the best spot (for temperature or security) - however, if they're there for belly heat, obviously the one on top isn't going to be getting the proper heat, which could result in problems. Ideally, each gecko should have its own three hides so that they don't have to fight over them. (Remember that leopard geckos aren't social creatures.) Also, are they all the same size and all female?

~Maggot

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 05:34 PM
Embrace Calamity, yes they are all juveniles by my understanding. The breeder I bought my leos from told me they were juvies, so I believed him. Also they are all around the same size give or take a 1/2 cm. They have not been sexed yet because of their A) skittishness, and B) the fact that they are juvies. However, I made sure to ask the breeder what temperature they were incubated as, and he informed me that they were bred to become females. Also, Thank You both for a quick reply to my post!

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 05:35 PM
And Mardy, I will make sure to make more hides for my beauties lol

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 05:54 PM
Oh, and like I might not have said, but I was thinking in my mind, here is a picture of the entire terrarium. All the hides have been hand made :)
23319

Cor8et
06-10-2013, 05:55 PM
I`d say there a thin line between juveniles, in this case we may have 2 females. Typical action of a female dominating another female when reaching that age. Not sure what set up you have bud but loads of hides and space is what i`d think would help ease the natural dominance type thing happening most of the time.

I wanted to set up a large tank for a few females and a male but after reading so many negative things what could go wrong, well tbh i never had the heart for it, just incase something went wrong.

Good luck, hope you all do well :)

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 06:04 PM
Thank you very much Cor8et! I have a 40 gallon breeder for the 3 of them (in my opinion, quite spacious) but I think I still need a butt-load of hides! My parents are actually opposed to me adding more hides because they want my pets to be visible :lol: And Cor8et, if you look at the post right above yours, there is a picture of the tank. The hide to the bottom right is hard to see because I suck at taking pictures.
Oh and I want to repeat this: "Thank You!" lol

Mardy
06-10-2013, 06:11 PM
That was Cor8et that posted above by the way, just wanting to make sure you thanked that person, not me, for posting it lol.

CharmedGecko
06-10-2013, 06:13 PM
Oh, and like I might not have said, but I was thinking in my mind, here is a picture of the entire terrarium. All the hides have been hand made :)
23319

I would strongly suggest getting rid of the sand. I've heard way too many horror stories and have seen geckos die of impaction that I would never take that risk.
I do like the look of your hides, what are they made out of?
Too bad none of your geckos were out for the pic. :(

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 06:30 PM
I know about the stories with sand... I didn't have any money though to buy a different substrate... However, during the summer, I WILL replace the sand. What I will do for the ground try to replicate the geckos natural habitat with dry, cracked "mud" or clay. I made the hides using insulation foam and concrete/grout/cement with some sealer. And the geckos are still adjusting to their habitat lol.

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 06:40 PM
Lol sorry for embarassing both you and Cor8et. :oops:
Yeah so thanks for both of you lol :lol:

Embrace Calamity
06-10-2013, 06:42 PM
Paper towels make a fine temporary substrate. I'm not as anti-sand as most people, but it's not something I'd suggest for young geckos or for someone without a lot of knowledge and experience with leopard geckos.

You might be able to get away with not as many cool hides, but you definitely need to make sure you have three hides on the hot side. If they're all forced to share one, you'll eventually end up with one or two geckos who aren't getting the heat they need and won't digest or eat as well.

~Maggot

CharmedGecko
06-10-2013, 08:05 PM
I know about the stories with sand... I didn't have any money though to buy a different substrate... However, during the summer, I WILL replace the sand. What I will do for the ground try to replicate the geckos natural habitat with dry, cracked "mud" or clay. I made the hides using insulation foam and concrete/grout/cement with some sealer. And the geckos are still adjusting to their habitat lol.

Paper towels work really well and it's cheap. :)

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 08:26 PM
Embrace Calamity, I have 3 hot hides.... for now... The 2 geckos are just choosing to share the same one lol. The 3rd one is smart and realized that there were other hides :lol:. Anyways, thanks for telling me about these problems and I will change the substrate to paper towels if I can find any. If I can't, I'll have to tell my parents to go paper towel shopping with me lol.
Thanks,
Steviekim13

Mardy
06-10-2013, 08:42 PM
Another great alternative is slate/ceramic tiles. Each 12x12 tile cost $1.50 at Homedepot/Lowes. So if they fit, I would build your decors around the tiles. I know these 12x12 tiles work perfect in 20 gallon long tanks which are usually 30x12x12. But yours is a different size so I'm not sure how well they would fit. But you could still use the tiles, but fill the rest of the gaps with larger rocks (nothing small where they could ingest), repti carpet, paper towels, or moss.

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 08:55 PM
Mardy, that is essentially what I was planning to do! However, I would crack the tiles, and fill the cracks in with sand to attempt to create the dried and cracked dirt and mud they lived on it the wild. Or I was going to make a mass of clay 38" by 17" then dry it quickly to crack the clay and basically replicate the cracked ground.

Steviekim13
06-10-2013, 09:03 PM
Mardy, would it be ok if I were to remove an inch of the layer of sand, then place the tiles on top of the sand? Or should I remove the sand entirely

cricket4u
06-10-2013, 09:17 PM
Embrace Calamity, I have 3 hot hides.... for now... The 2 geckos are just choosing to share the same one lol. The 3rd one is smart and realized that there were other hides :lol:. Anyways, thanks for telling me about these problems and I will change the substrate to paper towels if I can find any. If I can't, I'll have to tell my parents to go paper towel shopping with me lol.
Thanks,
Steviekim13

Hi,

You have too many geckos in that amount of space. Each gecko should have their own hides in which will lead to a crowded enclosure. They will do best all housed separately. You mentioned the 3rd one is small? Are you referring to one of the gecko being smaller than the others?

The fact that you state that you can't afford substrate is concerning. What would happen if they become ill or injured and they needed a vet?

Mardy
06-10-2013, 09:23 PM
Mardy, would it be ok if I were to remove an inch of the layer of sand, then place the tiles on top of the sand? Or should I remove the sand entirely

If they can't get to the sand, you should be fine. Sand under the tiles are ok. Sand is recommended against when you have small geckos, because they impact a lot easier as their digestive tract is very small. So since you have 3 juvies, it's best to make sure you cover the sand up with tiles or remove them.

Elizabeth Freer
06-11-2013, 03:15 AM
Oh, and like I might not have said, but I was thinking in my mind, here is a picture of the entire terrarium. All the hides have been hand made :)
23319

LOVE those clever hides with the stairs and small private openings. These allow leos to take advantage of the upper areas of their cage which would normally be inaccessible.

Elizabeth Freer
06-11-2013, 03:32 AM
I know about the stories with sand... I didn't have any money though to buy a different substrate... However, during the summer, I WILL replace the sand. What I will do for the ground try to replicate the geckos natural habitat with dry, cracked "mud" or clay. I made the hides using insulation foam and concrete/grout/cement with some sealer. And the geckos are still adjusting to their habitat lol.

If you buy tiles at Lowe's they will custom cut the tiles for free or for a small fee.


Mardy, that is essentially what I was planning to do! However, I would crack the tiles, and fill the cracks in with sand to attempt to create the dried and cracked dirt and mud they lived on it the wild. Or I was going to make a mass of clay 38" by 17" then dry it quickly to crack the clay and basically replicate the cracked ground.

A large mass of clay will be difficult to remove and clean.

Hope you are making plans to remove the sand very soon. Sand is not recommended for any leo under 1 yo or for new keepers even after then. It is just not worth the risk of impaction.

http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/leopard-geckos-general-info-intros-pics/67832-my-leo-peach-her-fight-sand-impaction.html

WARHAWK77
06-11-2013, 09:33 AM
Those are nice looking hides.

On the tile I would put about 1/4" or 1/2" of sand then the tile on top. The sand should transfer the heat from the UTH to the tile better. Under the tiles there are void areas so you can put mortar beds down but in our case it's not needed. Then a little sand between the tiles so stuff doesn't get between them. Now if you can get them cut right the tiles should fit tight so very little sand between.

Steviekim13
06-11-2013, 04:11 PM
Thanks for telling me about the tiles! I looked up some leo cages with tile for substrate and I thought "I like the tiles". So I will be removing the sand and adding the tiles! I will update a picture once I have money to buy the tiles. :P And Elizabeth, thank you for sharing that story with me. After reading it I really wanted to go and buy my leos some tile. I have ALOT of slate tiles in my backyard because we had leftovers from making a bar downstairs lol. Is slate fine to use?

Steviekim13
06-11-2013, 04:29 PM
Erm... there seems to be another problem that has aroused... One of my leos, a tremper, does not want to go to the warm side... First, should I put my moist hide on the warm or cold side, because that might solve it. So anyways, the tremper does not like the warm side at ALL!!! It has hidden in the moist hide since a week ago and it just likes to sleep there for the day. I am worried because I don't want it to have any digestive problems... The warm side is around 92 degrees and the cold side is usually around 77 degrees.

Steviekim13
06-11-2013, 04:46 PM
cricket4u I said that the 3rd gecko was smart :lol: Anyways, each gecko has their own hide but they don't want to go into them...

Elizabeth Freer
06-11-2013, 05:03 PM
Erm... there seems to be another problem that has aroused... One of my leos, a tremper, does not want to go to the warm side... First, should I put my moist hide on the warm or cold side, because that might solve it. So anyways, the tremper does not like the warm side at ALL!!! It has hidden in the moist hide since a week ago and it just likes to sleep there for the day. I am worried because I don't want it to have any digestive problems... The warm side is around 92 degrees and the cold side is usually around 77 degrees.


cricket4u I said that the 3rd gecko was smart :lol: Anyways, each gecko has their own hide but they don't want to go into them...

Place the moist hides on the warm end of the tank.

What type thermometer are you using to measure temperatures? If you are sure that it is accurate, try lowering the warm end ground temp to 88 F and see if your leos change their minds.

It is typical for leos to stay in their hides all day. Leos are crepuscular/nocturnal lizards and often not active till dusk or dawn.

For many more leo tips, check out the Leopard Gecko Caresheet linked right below in my signature :D.

Elizabeth Freer
06-11-2013, 05:06 PM
Thanks for telling me about the tiles! I looked up some leo cages with tile for substrate and I thought "I like the tiles". So I will be removing the sand and adding the tiles! I will update a picture once I have money to buy the tiles. :P And Elizabeth, thank you for sharing that story with me. After reading it I really wanted to go and buy my leos some tile. I have ALOT of slate tiles in my backyard because we had leftovers from making a bar downstairs lol. Is slate fine to use?

You are welcome :-) about the tiles and Peach's story. Leo Peach is one of the leaders of the Campaign Against Sand for Leos.

Slate tiles will work just fine as long as they are not too thick. How thick are they?

Thickness matters because of the under tank heater.

Mardy
06-11-2013, 06:03 PM
Erm... there seems to be another problem that has aroused... One of my leos, a tremper, does not want to go to the warm side... First, should I put my moist hide on the warm or cold side, because that might solve it. So anyways, the tremper does not like the warm side at ALL!!! It has hidden in the moist hide since a week ago and it just likes to sleep there for the day. I am worried because I don't want it to have any digestive problems... The warm side is around 92 degrees and the cold side is usually around 77 degrees.

Moist hide should be on the warm side, the last thing you want is a cold & wet gecko, they're cold blooded. They do enjoy a warm moisthide better. I like to place the misthide somewhere in between, kind of like half on the UTH half off, this will make sure it doesn't get too hot or too cold.

You want to observe and make sure there's no bullying going on. Also make sure you have plenty of hides for them all, as sometimes they just want to lay and rest alone. Younger geckos do like the moisthide a lot, so make sure you have one for each of them, and they should be warm.

cricket4u
06-11-2013, 06:35 PM
cricket4u I said that the 3rd gecko was smart :lol: Anyways, each gecko has their own hide on't want to go into them...

Just so that you know, I'm not trying t be mean or anything, I've just seen this too many times and problems always develop. They are experts at hiding stress and illness, therefore by the time most keepers notice, the situation critical. My advice to you is do what you can to house them separately. Picture yourself looking at one of your pretty leos wasting away sick and you can't afford a vet. It happens all the time and it's heartbreaking to listen to. Housing separately will reduce stress, allow proper thermo-regulation and it will also help you keep track of each gecko's health.


You can not watch them 24/7, therefore you can always come home to an injured gecko. They will not send you a warning.

You will also not know whose feces belongs to who. If one gecko ends up ill, all 3 will need to be evaluated by a vet. So that's the vet fees X 3.

And the lists of reasons go on and on....:(

Steviekim13
06-12-2013, 09:19 AM
I'll make sure to have spare tanks ready for my geckos if I see ANY forms of bullying. I have 3 spare unused 10 gallons for them in case of fighting. 10 gallons are fine to use right? And thank you all for helping me :)

Steviekim13
06-12-2013, 09:20 AM
The slate tiles' thickness vary from 1/4" to 1/6".

Elizabeth Freer
06-12-2013, 11:51 PM
I'll make sure to have spare tanks ready for my geckos if I see ANY forms of bullying. I have 3 spare unused 10 gallons for them in case of fighting. 10 gallons are fine to use right? And thank you all for helping me :)

What if they decide to fight when you are not nearby?

A 30 inch x 12 inch x 12 inch tank makes it easy to achieve a thermal gradient and gives the leo a minimum playground.


The slate tiles' thickness vary from 1/4" to 1/6".

Excellent! Go with the 1/4" slate tiles right on the glass above the under tank heater. How flat are your tiles? Since you already have the tiles, perhaps we can see the pictures sooner?