View Full Version : Slate substrate questions

01-29-2020, 02:34 PM
So far Iíve had 2 different substrates for my leopard gecko: paper towels which I hate the look of, and reptile carpet which she got her teeth and claws stuck in so I took it out. I want to switch to tile but I have a few questions.
-How would I set up the heat mat?
Iíve heard that tile/slate can be hard to heat through (I do have a working thermostat set to 90 degrees), should I keep the heat mat under the tank still or put it inside?
-How do I find appropriate sizes of slate?
Iíve been looking online for slate tile for awhile and the most common sizes are 12x24 and 12x12, I have a 20 gallon long aquarium so none of the sizes would fit the whole bottom. I was looking into cutting the slate but I have no experience with power tools and I donít want to spend money on an expensive tool Iíd use once.
-Will it hurt my geckos joints over time?
It seems like no substrate is just perfect for leopard geckos. Iíve heard that solid substrates can put stress on a geckos limbs leading to problems over time, is this true? If it is how could I prevent it?

Those are all of the questions I have for now! Thereís a lot but even if you can give your input on one that would be beyond helpful, thanks! :)

01-29-2020, 08:33 PM
There are multiple different substrates that can be used including clay and ECO Earth. The substrate completely depends of what you want but I would suggest not using tile. Also, you never want to put the heating mat in the cage because leopard geckos can burn their skin (Because they can't sense heat or something). What I found useful for my leopard gecko was the reptile carpet with moss on top of it. They like to dig and burrow so they have fun with the moss. I hope this helped!!! Good Luck!!!

02-03-2020, 03:53 PM
In all my research about it, I have never once heard that tile can be detrimental to a gecko's well being. Perhaps Elizabeth and Aliza could comment further here as well as some of the other experienced keepers.

I myself use Ceramic textured tile in my gecko's enclosure with slate rocks on top beneath the Digital Heat Projector. The heating mat should in the vast majority of cases be below the enclosure and then your tiles on top. If you are worried about heat spots, using a small amount of sand to fill the spaces beneath the tile can be useful. But not so much that it comes up between the tiles into the enclosure.

As to cutting the tiles. I enlisted the help of my father in law who is quite handy with tools. But I imagine you could get this done at a hardware store somewhere also. As long as you have the correct measurements.