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  1. #1
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    Default The Leopard Gecko - Natural Vivarium Caresheet


    A guide to keeping leopard geckos in a natural vivarium

    Note: It is beyond the scope of this care sheet to include options of other husbandry styles. It is meant as a husbandry option in itself, not the one true way to take care of leopard geckos. This care sheet is not for those who are not inclined to do their own research and provide a higher level of maintenance than basic setups. This husbandry style is medium risk due to exposure to parasites and muti-animal housing recommendations.

    Leopard geckos range from Iran to India, covering the south of Afghanistan and the south of Pakistan. They are found an alluvial soils and amongst rocky terrain with sparse vegetation. There are several subspecies of leopard geckos, but for the purpose of this guide, I am referring to the common captive pet leopard gecko.

    Food Variety
    Leopard geckos in captivity are generally fed crickets, mealworms, superworms, hornworms, silkworms, and grasshoppers as staple foods. Special treats of wax worms may be given infrequently, but are high in fat. Pinky mice may be given to females being bred to keep their weight up. Wild caught insects may be used to add variety to their diet as long as they are collected from a private property that doesn't use pesticides or chemivals. Caution should be exercised to ensure the wild caught insect is not poisonous to reptiles. It doesn't hurt to check google. Brightly colored insects and wild caught hornworms should be avoided. The nutritional value of the various insects is not within the scope of this care sheet. All feeders should be gut-loaded for 24 hours before feeding to your geckos. Feed as much as your gecko will eat unless your gecko is overweight.

    A dish of vionate should be provided for juvenile leopard geckos. It contains everything a growing leopard gecko needs. Adult geckos should be provided with Osteo-Form. Neither supplement needs to be mixed with calcium or vitamins. Alternatively you can mix your own preferred brand of vitamins, calcium, and D3.

    Enclosure size
    For the natural vivarium, at least 50% of the area should be open space. Additionally, because you are introducing live plants, soil, and wild caught insects the parasite load will be higher. The minimum recommended size is 20 gallons long appropriately set up to house up to 4 adult leopard geckos in a colony. This minimum size also applies to one leopard gecko to give them the appropriate amount of space and have less contact with feces. An enclosure that is too large can allow feeders to roam so long that they lose the nutritional value you have provided via gut-loading. Only by observation can you determine how much room is too much for your single gecko or multiple geckos' needs.
    For 2 -- work up from 30 inches in length max
    For 4 -- work up from 48 inches in length max
    Keep a prepared quarantine tank set up at all times for emergencies. 10 gallon minimum. See basic setup caresheets for guides on your quarantine tank.

    Multiple Leopard Geckos (Colonies) - Considerations
    The best way to ensure your geckos will live harmoniously is to limit one male per group. Clutch-mate males that grow up with their parents and siblings may live peacefully with the others, however it requires constant monitoring to ensure aggression is minimal. If they become too aggressive, you will need to remove the aggressive male from the group. New males should not be introduced to existing groups because they will fight viciously. Hatchling leopard geckos will live harmoniously with bigger leopard geckos as long as they are all being provided with adequate food. In a colony there will be a dominant male and dominant female. Any introductions to an existing colony should be very closely monitored for aggression. Some individual leopard geckos are not suited for living in a colony and should remain housed alone. In the wild, leopard geckos do live in colonies. There are no facts supporting them living in solitude in the wild. Think of your enclosure as your colony's territory.

    The substrate should be a hard dry mix of soil, sand, gravel, and clay. Pack it down to ensure it isn't too loose. They do not live on loose soil in the wild. It also provides an opportunity for them to accidentally eat loose substrate, which is not good for them. Flat rocks are okay to use as long as they cannot be burrowed underneath.

    Multiple hides should be provided to allow your geckos the option to be alone if they want to be. You will need hides on the warm and cool sides of the tank. You will also need moist hides. Hides in a natural vivarium should be similar to burrows in the ground and rock crevices. Plants should not be used as hides.

    As long as the plants are not toxic and can survive in a dry vivarium with minimal lighting, they can be used. I suggest hardy desert grasses in sparse patches.

    A UVB 2.0 bulb can be kept on a few hours of the day to add additional D3. The neat thing about the lighting is that they cannot overdose with D3 this way. It should not be used to replace D3 supplementation, just add any extra they might need. The light should not be too high or it will be ineffective. It also cannot go through objects such as glass, so a screen top should be used.

    A shallow water dish should be provided. If it is shallow enough, the leopard geckos won't mind stepping in it as much and medium sized crickets and larger will not drown in it. Just some food for thought!

    An under the tank heater should be used and should span about a third of the tank length. The cool end can be room temperature and the warm end should be no hotter than 105 (which is the hottest they are exposed to by choice in the wild. 110 on rocks, 105 on soil) They should always have the choice to have multiple warm options in the 88-93 range. A heat lamp is not as efficient but can be used with a UTH. Heating is not optional. Your gecko will not do well without a heat source.

    * Check fecals frequently for parasite load -- some parasites are okay, but too many will cause your gecko to get sick. Needlessly treating for parasites can kill the good organisms living in their digestive systems.
    * Change out a portion of soil every few months to get rid of bacteria, old fecal matter, and dead feeders/skins. If you have a bioactive substrate, you can ignore this.
    * Spot clean daily. Change water daily. Clean water bowl and feeding bowls frequently.
    * Do not introduce new leopard geckos until they have had 3 fecal exams in the span of 7-10 days checking for crypto and they have been quarantined for 90 days
    * Wash your hands before and after touching your geckos and caging. Wash your hands in between different cages and enclosures to reduce the spread of any disease.
    * Never recycle food items from one cage to another

    If the worst happens....
    If your gecko is so sick that you feel the need to post in all caps for help, it is probably time to schedule an appointment with the local reptile vet.

    Shedding issues - Moist paper towels in plastic container. Stick gecko in for 30 minutes. Gently remove the stuck shed with tweezers. Do not pull too hard and be sure not to poke the gecko. If the shed is stuck in the eye, you need to see a vet.
    Won't eat: See this article: LEOPARDGECKO.COM | Assist Feeding
    Additional Nutrition (nursing a sick gecko back to health that won't take solid food): Golden Gate Gecko Slurry: Golden Gate Geckos Information

    Feeding Leopard Geckos - Beyond the Cricket and Mealworm Diet - Part 2
    The Herpetoculture of Leopard Geckos by Philippe de Vosjoli, Ron Tremper, and Roger Klingenberg DVM
    Leopard Geckos
    Cryptosporidiosis | Arizona Exotics | -Lizards Resources
    Golden Gate Geckos - Home

    Esta lengua no es mi primero lengua. Si hace correcciones, por favor commente abajo.
    Nota: Es más allá del alcance de esta guía para incluir opciones de otro estilos de crianza.
    Esta guía es riesgo medio de parásitos y agresión.

    Geckos Leopardo viven en Irán, Pakistán, Afganistán y la India. Viven en suelo alluial y rocas con arbustos del desierto. Hay varias subespecies, pero para el propósito de esta guía, estoy refiriendo al gecko leopardo común.

    Variedad de Alimentos
    Geckos leopardo son generalmente grillos, gusanos de la harina, superworms, gusanos picudos, gusanos de seda, y los saltamontes alimentados como los alimentos básicos. Golosinas especiales de gusanos de cera se pueden administrar con poca frecuencia, pero son altos en grasa. Ratones Pinky se pueden dar a las mujeres de ser criados para mantener su peso hacia arriba. Wild capturado los insectos se pueden utilizar para añadir variedad a su dieta, siempre y cuando se recogen de una propiedad privada que no utiliza pesticidas ni productos químicos. Se debe tener precaución para asegurar la salvaje capturado insectos no es venenoso para los reptiles. No me duele comprobar google. Insectos de colores brillantes y los gusanos picudos capturados salvajes deberían evitarse. El valor nutricional de los diversos insectos no está dentro del alcance de esta hoja de cuidados. Todos los alimentadores deben ser gut-cargado durante 24 horas antes de alimentar a su geckos. Alimente tanto como su gecko va a comer menos que su gecko tiene sobrepeso.

    (Spanish -- Work in progress)


    備考:これは私のガイドライン。レオパーの世話をする方法は他にもあります。これは中程度のリ スクである。

    レオパーはインド、パキスタン、イラン、アフガニスタンに住んでいます。沖積土壌と岩に住んでいます。ほと んど植生がある。亜種が多い、でもこのガイドラインは、一般的なヒョウのヤモリを参照している 。

    (Japanese -- Work in progress)
    Last edited by Yuk; 07-11-2014 at 12:15 AM.
    Oh my Science!
    Likes Superleo98, kvnsu liked this post

  2. #2
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    Nov 2015
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    Thank you. I bought shed ease to help her shed but she won't tolerate the soak. I poured it over her. I hope it helps I will let u know if she shed ok

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    USA: Oregon
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    Hi Samanthalee ~

    This thread has been inactive for a long time.

    What type of gecko? If it's about a leo, try reposting here:
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)

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