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Specko
12-10-2013, 09:53 PM
ok... so... I'm sure that everyone has had this question before but I'm new, my son has asked for a leopard gecko for Christmas so I went to pet smart and bought a dessert kit it came with;
1.10 gallon tank
2.reptile matt
3.2x 60 watt light domes
4. thermometer
5.food and water dish

I went and got 2 hides and some other décor items to make it feel more homey , I've had the 60watt zoo med red bulb on the tank for 2 days and the temp is at 80 F so I went and got my little cute baby gecko today , I looked at the temp at pet smart and it was 90 F...... I'm freaking out now because I want him warm and I'm not sure how to up the heat

acpart
12-10-2013, 11:38 PM
Congrats on the new gecko.
Are you measuring heat on the floor or in the air? If it's in the air, 90 is way too hot. If it's on the floor, it's nearly OK. How long have you had the heat mat plugged in? I find that although it gets most of the way to where it's going to be in 6 hours, it can take a few days to stabilize at its maximum.

If the 90 degrees is air temp, the floor temp is undoubtedly much higher and you need to get a rheostat or thermostat to keep the floor temp in the low 90's. If it's the floor that's 90 (best bet is to get a digital thermometer with probe to be precise; they sell them at the pet store for a good price), give the heat mat a few days to stabilize. Your gecko will be fine at 90 for awhile.

As a baby, the 10 gallon size is OK. Many people feel strongly (as I'm sure you're going to hear shortly) that a 10 gallon tank isn't long enough to provide a proper heat gradient, and they recommend a 20 gallon long tank (12"x30"x12"). You may want to consider upgrading in the near future.

Aliza

Specko
12-11-2013, 08:49 AM
Thank- you!
So I do not have a Matt I'm using lights as my. Heat source I'm currently using 60 watt bulbs. Do u think I should purchase a higher watt bulb ?
I will definitely go to the pet store and purchase a digital thermometer today
27121
This is my setup .... What do u think

acpart
12-11-2013, 07:26 PM
I'm still not sure if the temperature you're recording (90) is on the floor or in the air. I've read on your other thread that you're planning to essentially keep what you have and improve on it, which I can understand. If there's one change I urge you to make it would be to ditch the light and get an under tank heater with a rheostat (think "lamp dimmer" from Home Depot or equivalent) or a thermostat (Amazon.com: R-Zilla Controller Temperature, 500-watt: Pet Supplies (http://www.amazon.com/Zilla-11403-Controller-Temperature-500-watt/dp/B0018CLYNG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1386807931&sr=8-4&keywords=reptile+thermostat)). People do use lights to heat, but it's difficult, especially at night, and some leopard geckos are sensitive to the light since they're nocturnal.

Aliza

Specko
12-11-2013, 10:43 PM
I just got a digital thermometer the ambient air temp is 82 the ground temp on the warm side is about 87 and the cool side is about 75 (about 4 inches from ground)
I have purchased an 8 watt UTH
right now since I just plugged the uth in I still have the 75 watt red bulb on ... when I go to bed i'll check the temperature again and see what is going on.... if it is too warm I will turn the bulb off.....

let me know if u thin what im doing is good or not because im totally wanting the best for the newest member of our family.... my son doesn't even know I have it yet so I have to keep my excitement level down :)
im so excited tho

acpart
12-11-2013, 11:20 PM
Hopefully the floor temp will get up into the low 90's. I have found that although the UTH is supposed to reach its full heat in about 6 hours, it can actually take a few days with some of mine to get up to full temp, so keep checking for a few days and be prepared to get a rheostat or thermostat if the floor temps on the hot side get too hot (above mid-90's).

ALiza

Elizabeth Freer
12-12-2013, 01:57 AM
Thank- you!
So I do not have a Matt I'm using lights as my. Heat source I'm currently using 60 watt bulbs. Do u think I should purchase a higher watt bulb ?
I will definitely go to the pet store and purchase a digital thermometer today
27121
This is my setup .... What do u think

I like your setup. Specko has many places to hide and feel safe. Is the large rock-like structure on the right side the warm hide? I'm wondering whether it is secure enough?

Here's a link to a really popular cave. The medium size is best...small entry way and plenty of space even for my 9 inch total length female leo Cha who weighs about 70 grams.

Click:
Amazon.com: Exo Terra Reptile Cave, Medium: Pet Supplies (http://www.amazon.com/Exo-Terra-Reptile-Cave-Medium/dp/B001F3YJ9O/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1352584610&sr=1-1&keywords=exo+terra+reptile+hide)



let me know if u thin what im doing is good or not because im totally wanting the best for the newest member of our family.... my son doesn't even know I have it yet so I have to keep my excitement level down
im so excited tho


You're doing a great job getting this little guy ready for your son! :banana:

Is the leo a Christmas gift? How can you keep quiet for sooooooooooooooo many more days till December 25th? :scratchhead:

BTW, have you a link to the hide on the right that you could share?

Specko
12-12-2013, 08:06 AM
Yes, the hide on the right (in this picture) is in fact the warm hide, but since purchasing the UTH I have switched around the setup it is now on the left only because its it going on my sons dresser and the plug is on the other side....it is a bit more open at the back but I put the leaves in the corner (which is where he's been the last couple times I checked in on him, and this is also where he was at the pet store where I got him, he was in the back corner under the greenery)

I also have the back drop so he can be under the hide but also go a little further back to have a little escape.... I like the smaller more concealed cave for sure!
do you think it is less secure because its too open?
or because the heat isn't exactly holding in because its pretty open on front and back

this is the exact décor kit I purchased but I chose to take outa few of the plants as the paint was flaking off.....
All Living Things® Desert Decor Kit - Sale - Reptile - PetSmart (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3120587&f=PAD%2FpsNotAvailInCA%2FNo)
(I realized that I should have gotten individual items now but I am doing the best I can now ....)

I ordered a magnetic hide to put in there as well... (I think it will be good for when my son wants to check him out without having to disturb Speck)
I also want to get one of those 2 piece caves for the moist hide instead of the deli container
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THESE 2 CAVES

Zoo Med Small Repti Shelter (http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/reptile-supplies/terrarium-decor-and-live-plants/caves-hiding-spots-and-misc-decor/-/zoo-med-small-repti-shelter/)

Exo Terra Small Reptile Den (http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/reptile-supplies/terrarium-decor-and-live-plants/caves-hiding-spots-and-misc-decor/-/exo-terra-small-reptile-den/)

I know it is going to be tough to keep Speck a secret but I really want him comfortable in his new home before My boy gets him
:)

p.s. I am not sure if I have done the link think correctly

Ok so... my hubby brought home some random thermometer gun thing that im pretty sure is something from his work (he is a mechanic) lol so today I am going to go to the pet store and but a proper digital thermometer, I think I saw a zoo med one..... otherwise what one is best?

I see you have recommended the hydro farm thermostat.... what is this?

I have the analog thermometers in there for now still and they are about 3 inches off the floor stuck to the glass at the back of the tank one on the warm side and one on the warm, they are reading about 92 and 75

I have the uth on and I just turned the 60 watt day bulb .... is the light necessary with the UTH?

Speck is hangin out on his warm side

I noticed a brown poop with some white(is that good) to it this morning.... on the cool side so I know he has been out and about plus there are no more crickets in there and I put 7 in there before I went to bed

is this good?

i'd like to put my order into amazon asap so I can receive the items asap :)

thanks so much for all your help

Geckologist.tj
12-12-2013, 12:28 PM
What leopard geckos usually prefer in a cave is one that has only one entrance. The entrance should be just a little wider and taller than the leopard gecko will be when fully grown. They like a lower ceiling on their caves to help them feel more secure, so even if the entrance is small but the inside has a lot of head room it might not be the best.

Depending on the size of the crickets, seven in one sitting probably isn't bad. I can tell from the avatar he is a nice plump fellow. If the crickets are close to the length of the space between his eyes, I would expect him to eat 5 or so at a time to keep a healthy weight. They won't hurt themselves by over eating, the concern there would be getting too fat over time but right now he looks good.

Specko
12-12-2013, 12:45 PM
Well thank-you :)
I am going to the pet store now... going to seek out a better hide for the warm side of the tank
your advice is greatly appreciated!


ok so went to my local pet store.... I saw that hide u sent me a link to , it is something like $3.00 on amazon in the stated and 10 or so $ in Canada and $15.99 at my pet store..... he seems to be going in the one I have and hiding in the foliage behind the large warm hide so I am going to leave it for now...
but like I said I have ordered the gecko cave hide for the moist one and also the magnetic side cave which I am soo excited for

I have added some pictures of Speck and his whole set up (including a few of my new digital thermometer)

my hubby tried cutting some tile last night but he needs he needs a special tool I have a picture of them to make sure these wil work... they are a textured ceramic
27169

its leftover from our kitchen reno.

let me know what you think

Geckologist.tj
12-12-2013, 03:46 PM
That tile looks like it will work, but I can't feel it through my computer monitor so I won't make any promises.

Most hardware stores that sell tile will cut a couple tiles for you. In my experience, that is the best route to take if you can't find tiles that fit neatly in your enclosure.

Specko
12-12-2013, 04:42 PM
what is it supposed to feel like....
that's neat that the hardware store will cut tiles for me.... I am pretty sure my hubby is borrowing a tile cutter tonight..... he is rather precise when it comes to these things so he would probably rather do it himself

do you think I should put the tile on top of the reptile carpet so it doesn't scrape the glass?

cricket4u
12-12-2013, 05:01 PM
what is it supposed to feel like....
that's neat that the hardware store will cut tiles for me.... I am pretty sure my hubby is borrowing a tile cutter tonight..... he is rather precise when it comes to these things so he would probably rather do it himself

do you think I should put the tile on top of the reptile carpet so it doesn't scrape the glass?

You just want to make sure the surface of the tile is not too slippery and he's able to walk without sliding. Just be careful when you place the tiles in not to crack the glass. There's no need for anything to be underneath.

You have so much potential and I love your enthusiasm, I just want you to realize that within a few months this tank will be undersized for your leo. You should allow at least 30% free walking space and the enclosure should be at least 4x's the length of the leo for proper thermoregulation. I hate to see you put so much effort and 3 months later you have to upgrade and change everything anyway. They can grow amazingly in just a few months.

Geckologist.tj
12-12-2013, 05:14 PM
You'll be able to tell if it is textured enough when you see your leo walk on it. If he looks like Bambie trying to walk on ice, it's too slick. I'm 99.9% sure that tile is fine though.

cricket4u
12-12-2013, 05:21 PM
If he looks like Bambie trying to walk on ice,

:lol: Great example!

Specko
12-12-2013, 07:35 PM
In that case I think I'll see if I can go to the hardware store this weekend and get a rougher surfaced tile ( and something more rock looking :)

Elizabeth Freer
12-13-2013, 09:55 AM
Hi ~

Your links came through just fine.

1) Speck looks to be a very healthy leo! Excellent body and tail size!
2) Your large rock "hide": Much less secure because it is soooooooo open.
3) That magnetic den is an excellent choice. Your son will easily be able to monitor Speck that way.
4) 3-in-1 cave: About how much room is there for moss? If there is room for about 2 inches of moss that will be good. Then damp moss will stay moist longer.
5) Temp gun is excellent for checking surface temps.
6) Urates are the "white stuff" attached to poops. The urates should be 1/4-1/3 the size of the feces.
7) The purpose of a thermostat is to keep the temps stable and within a narrow range. It also lessens the possibility of house fires from overheating.

Plug the UTH into the thermostat. Then plug the thermostat into a power strip. Leave the UTH on 24/7.

8) Once you get a larger enclosure, using both the UTH and an overhead heat source provides more of a warm zone for your leo and not just a warm spot. Heat from the UTH falls off quickly the further one gets from the substrate.

It may not work to use an overhead in addition to the UTH for a 10 gallon enclosure. Try it and see.

Specko
12-13-2013, 12:51 PM
thank you for your reply!!
you have been so help full!

That's great to know about him looking healthy!!

I have put lots of foliage around the back of the hide to help him feel more secure but for now he seems content with it because he is in it a lot

except for at night he's all over the place... except I have not yet seen him go into the moist hide....will he just go in when he needs to ... that brings me to another question... does the whole tank need to be humid or just the moss in the moist hide??

the new rock cave looks deep enough to have 2 inches of moss in it, the entrance is at the top and the base is deep so I think it will be perfect

I cant wait until next Friday when the magnetic cave arrives!

I also ordered that hydrofarm thermostat and another digital thermometer to have one on each side
I'm not going to have a temp gun but I like the temp. probe thing for sure

about the urates.... yupp he has those... 2 poopies so far and both had those...

I've been measuring the temperatures and the 60 watt bulb (blue day and red night)
are working just fine

Thanks again!!

Specko
12-15-2013, 01:47 PM
I just got the new substrate for speck its slate.... how do I make sure its clean

Elizabeth Freer
12-15-2013, 05:59 PM
except for at night he's all over the place... except I have not yet seen him go into the moist hide....will he just go in when he needs to ... that brings me to another question... does the whole tank need to be humid or just the moss in the moist hide??

Speck should use the moist hide when he feels the need. The tank itself should range from 40-50% humidity. Inside the humid hide the levels will be higher. Would not worry about how high, just keep the moss "comfortably" ;-) moist/damp.



I just got the new substrate for speck its slate.... how do I make sure its clean

I use Dawn dish detergent to clean my gecko's cage furnishings. It is good enough for seabirds and wildlife too.

Another option is placing it in a dishwasher if it is not flakey.

Specko
12-16-2013, 04:39 PM
Perfect Thank you!
so I have re vamped his tank..... (while I look into the 20 gallon long tank.. which I have every intention on getting)
for now I have the slate in there with the new hide (exo terra medium hide hide)
I have the digital probe under the hide and it is reading 93F
but Speck is still hiding in the leaves behind the hide.... I did catch him out eating meal worms in the dish this morning and last night he was on top of the new hide (which seems rather slippery) but now he is back behind it ..... I guess he feels safe back there I do have 2 curious cats)

Specko
12-17-2013, 01:01 PM
I had my friend look into getting me a new larger tank... she said she has one and the measurements are 3 feet long by 1.5 high (not sure of the width.... ) does anyone know what size that is?

if this is a right size im not sure if the heating i have will work
i have
1. 8 watt UTH
2. 2 dome lights with 75 watt capability

any thoughts???

Geckologist.tj
12-17-2013, 02:11 PM
That's probably a 40 gallon, and you would most likely have to adjust your heating. You want your UTH to be 1/3 the size of the enclosure's foot print.

Elizabeth Freer
12-17-2013, 03:45 PM
Perfect Thank you!
so I have re vamped his tank..... (while I look into the 20 gallon long tank.. which I have every intention on getting)
for now I have the slate in there with the new hide (exo terra medium hide hide)
I have the digital probe under the hide and it is reading 93F
but Speck is still hiding in the leaves behind the hide.... I did catch him out eating meal worms in the dish this morning and last night he was on top of the new hide (which seems rather slippery) but now he is back behind it ..... I guess he feels safe back there I do have 2 curious cats)

You might consider covering the back and sides of Speck's cage with construction paper or sections from paper grocery bags (not only because of your curious cats).

It seems like Speck is adjusting to the changes as expected. ;-)


I had my friend look into getting me a new larger tank... she said she has one and the measurements are 3 feet long by 1.5 high (not sure of the width.... ) does anyone know what size that is?


if this is a right size im not sure if the heating i have will work
i have
1. 8 watt UTH
2. 2 dome lights with 75 watt capability

any thoughts???

When looking for a bigger enclosure, it is the actual length that is important, not the gallon measure. 36 inches long is very good. (Can't precisely predict Speck's full length. An average length of a mature leo is 9 inches.) 18 inches is a good maximum heighth. 12-18 inches is easiest to heat.

The clincher is the UTH pad will need upgrading. Go for 1/3 the tank's length to as close to the width as possible.

Your overhead bulb will probably be an 100 watt bulb.

Sometimes larger tanks have screen tops that are split into sections on top. In that case, a 10 inch diameter dome might not work. The reason I prefer a 10 inch dome (with ceramic socket) is that more of the heat is directed downwards.

If you find a gently used enclosure, be certain to disinfect it well with ammonia, then bleach. Do not mix ammonia and bleach! Then off gas from both at least 24 hours. (instructions if needed)

Specko
12-17-2013, 09:50 PM
I am unsure about getting the bigger used tank .... so I am going to wait to see if there are any sales for Christmas.... if not I saw a 20 long at pet smart for $40.00 plus a hinged top ($22.99) for easy access.... I like the idea of the tank being long but not tall because I will be able to use the lights and UTH I already have... i'll just have to bite the bullet on buying the 10 gallon kit (stupid me)):oops:

on a positive note I have healthy well gut loaded crickets lovin the bearded dragon food and poultry feed

and Speck's magnetic cave came in today..... I washed it all up then put it in while he had his dinner this evening and when I just went to check in on him he was inside it :cheer:

he's much less timid when I come in talking to him for a feeding he comes out to eat while my hands are still in the tank

I put up some desert background so the cats are not bothering the little guy

still waiting on his new moist hide, thermostat and another digital thermometer (fingers crossed they come before Christmas)

Elizabeth Freer
12-18-2013, 02:53 AM
I am unsure about getting the bigger used tank .... so I am going to wait to see if there are any sales for Christmas.... if not I saw a 20 long at pet smart for $40.00 plus a hinged top ($22.99) for easy access.... I like the idea of the tank being long but not tall because I will be able to use the lights and UTH I already have... i'll just have to bite the bullet on buying the 10 gallon kit (stupid me)):oops:

Don't beat yourself up. We all make "mistakes". Just wish stores would not even market those 10 gallon packaged "deals" (enclosures). :-( Nice to have discovered this now, so Specko can get used to his new environment almost from the geck-go.

Really your learning "curve" has been very steep: :cheer:!

Ammonia and bleach cleansings do not totally rid the tank of cryptosporidia--if that has ever been a problem.

For your bigger tank you will need a much larger UTH: 1/3 the length of the tank and as close to the width as possible. :-). Have you a Zoo Med UTH? It is recommended by Zoo Med that those NOT be restuck because the wiring could be damaged when removing it from the smaller tank. Check post #43 following my Leo Caresheet for emails from Zoo Med.

on a positive note I have healthy well gut loaded crickets lovin the bearded dragon food and poultry feed

Excellent finding those cricket foods...locally (?)! :-)

and Speck's magnetic cave came in today..... I washed it all up then put it in while he had his dinner this evening and when I just went to check in on him he was inside it :cheer:

Another great find! Speck is "moving right in" :biggrin:! Your son will be very happy in 7-8 days. :banana:

"Weeeee can hardly stand the wait ;-), please Christmas don't be late!"....Alvin & the Chipmunks :lol:

he's much less timid when I come in talking to him for a feeding he comes out to eat while my hands are still in the tank

:yahoo:

I put up some desert background so the cats are not bothering the little guy

Yes, I saw a desert background in some other GU member's tank very recently!

still waiting on his new moist hide, thermostat and another digital thermometer (fingers crossed they come before Christmas)

What size Zoo Med Repti-Shelter 3 in 1 cave did you order?

You may wish to have the overhead bulb on a rheostat?

Specko is certainly a lucky leo!

Specko
12-18-2013, 08:07 AM
Ammonia and bleach cleansings do not totally rid the tank of cryptosporidia--if that has ever been a problem.

this is why id rather the new 20 (just to be safe.)

For your bigger tank you will need a much larger UTH:

this is another reason i'd rather stick to the 20 long.... the UTH I have is zoo med Im going to restick it.... I am off work for a bit over the holidays to monitor it that way if the heat isn't up to par i'll just end up getting anew UTH

I have to local pet stores who both carry crickets....the ones I originally came home with from pet smart (out of town) where a bit bigger but then someone recommended buying crickets the size of the space between his eyes.... so ive been getting the smaller ones ... who seem to be quick little buggers so ive been pulling off their back legs :yikes: (I can honestly say I would have never been touching crickets before this)

I ordered the medium cave for moist hide

by Christmas I am going to be an official gecko teacher for my son... Thanks so much to you!

Geckologist.tj
12-18-2013, 09:18 AM
" i'll just have to bite the bullet on buying the 10 gallon kit (stupid me)"

The only logical thing to do here would be to get a western banded gecko. You wouldn't want a perfectly good enclosure going to waste. ;-)

Specko
12-18-2013, 09:35 PM
so... I now have the jumpstart thermostat..... have it plugged into the wall and the UTH plugged into it... I have it under the warm hide ... what else do I need to do with this?

what should I have it set to?

Elizabeth Freer
12-18-2013, 09:59 PM
by Christmas I am going to be an official gecko teacher for my son... Thanks so much to you!

Hooray! You're welcome.


so... I now have the jumpstart thermostat..... have it plugged into the wall and the UTH plugged into it... I have it under the warm hide ... what else do I need to do with this?

what should I have it set to?

:yahoo: for you for so quickly getting used to Specko's crickets.

R-E-A-L-L-Y glad I could help you out. :D You seem quite receptive. It's easy to suggest things for your family.

Jumpstart thermostat? Do you mean Hydrofarm thermostat? Correct, plug the UTH into the thermostat and then plug the thermostat into the wall.

Preset the thermostat for the high and for the low. I recommend 92 F for the setting where it will automatically turn off; 88 F for the setting where it will automatically turn on. I will be surprised if the small UTH can reach that high.

Specko
12-18-2013, 10:53 PM
oops! yes the thermostat is hydrofarm I have set it to 88F
it seems to be working good so far.... I have taped it to the tile under the warm hide... should I keep the other digital thermometer probe with the hydrofarm thermostat or should I put that one elswhere

Elizabeth Freer
12-19-2013, 06:54 AM
oops! yes the thermostat is hydrofarm I have set it to 88F
it seems to be working good so far.... I have taped it to the tile under the warm hide... should I keep the other digital thermometer probe with the hydrofarm thermostat or should I put that one elswhere

88*F could be too low. Try 90 or 91 to see Specko's reaction.

Tape the digital thermometer's probe right on the thermostat's probe. That will confirm the Hydrofarm's settings.

Specko
12-19-2013, 07:52 AM
ok thanks.... i'll increase he temp setting

I have a funny story.... this morning my boy came into my bedroom with his hands cupped together "mommy mommy look what I found in my room"
my heart sunk and I almost cried.......
he opened his hand and there I saw he had a small cricket in his hand..... "its the kind leopard geckos eat"

it was so cute.... (oopsies, my bad the little tiny crickets can squeeze out of the holes in the lid of the cricket cage))

.. just thought this was cute... I only have 6 more days to keep this secret.... its getting harder!!

Elizabeth Freer
12-19-2013, 08:22 AM
ok thanks.... i'll increase he temp setting

I have a funny story.... this morning my boy came into my bedroom with his hands cupped together "mommy mommy look what I found in my room"
my heart sunk and I almost cried.......
he opened his hand and there I saw he had a small cricket in his hand..... "its the kind leopard geckos eat"

it was so cute.... (oopsies, my bad the little tiny crickets can squeeze out of the holes in the lid of the cricket cage))

.. just thought this was cute... I only have 6 more days to keep this secret.... its getting harder!!

Cool share, Specko's mom, I love this story!