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    Exclamation Leopard Gecko Frequently Asked Questions: Caresheet Info Plus!


    Due to the large number and regular occurrence of threads asking the same questions over and over again, as well as difficulties using the forum, we've decided to put this FAQ together.
    If there are any commonly asked questions that you feel have been missed out of this FAQ, just drop me a PM.

    Q: How do I use the search feature?
    A. Click on the “Search” button in the blue toolbar at the top of the forum page and type what you wish to search for.

    Q: How do I word the titles of my threads?
    A. "For the benefit of everyone using the forums, the title of your thread should reflect its contents. Thread titles are EXTREMELY important. They're indexed by search engines, our search facility, and new post email notifications.

    Correct: Leaf tailed gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) tail problem
    Wrong: My phant's got a problem

    It makes it difficult to find information when searching the forums if they have titles like "Oh My God!!!"

    Q: How do I post a thread with photos?
    A. Geckos Unlimited - FAQ: vBulletin FAQ

    Q: How do I embed photos in my posts?
    A. Sign up for a free account, upload your pictures there. Then grab the link they provide you for your pictures, and when posting here click on "insert image", and paste the link in. That should do the trick. (Thanks to Mardy and Pokeefe88 on 17 July 2011.)

    Q: What does this mean: 1.1.0?
    A. The first number is quantity of male animals, the second is quantity of females, and the third is unsexed.

    Q: That does WC, LTC, and CB mean?
    A. WC = Wild Caught, LTC = Long Term Captive (wild caught animal that has been in captivity for a number of years) CB = Captive Bred

    Q: What do EOD and E3D mean?
    A. Every Other Day and Every 3rd Day

    Q: What morph is my leopard gecko?
    A. Take a look at the leopard gecko morph wiki page:
    Category:Morphs - Leopard Gecko Wiki

    Q: What substrate should I keep my Leopard Gecko on?
    A. This is a much debated topic, and everyone will have a different opinion. There is a thread devoted to this topic here:

    Q: How should I heat my gecko’s vivarium?
    A. It is best to use an Under Terrarium Heater (UTH or Heat mat) and make sure you have it on a thermostat! The heat mat should cover around a 3rd of the floor space of the vivarium, with the temperature set between 86*F and 95*F, with it dropping 10*F or so at the cooler end of the vivarium. A night time temperature drop is tolerated by leopard geckos but is not essential. Light bulbs can also be used for viewing purposes and to simulate day time better, but it is important that it is also on a thermostat to avoid overheating the vivarium. Leopard geckos do NOT require UV lighting!

    Q: What do I need to know about my gecko shedding?
    A. Depending on their age and if they’re still growing or not, they will shed every 1-4 weeks on average. It is important that your gecko has a moist hide in the vivarium, preferably on the warmer side of the vivarium, which helps with the shedding process. A moist hide can be made by using a plastic Tupperware or gladware type container, cutting a hole in the side (making sure there are no sharp edges) and putting a moist substrate layer in the bottom. Substrates that can be used are peat/eco earth type substrates and vermiculite. Better still, you can use several sheets of kitchen roll, folded thick and made damp. Geckos may take a while to shed and are easily stressed during this process, so it is best to leave them to it. The shedding process can take from a few minutes to a few hours (obviously the faster the process the better). Your gecko will start to go very pale just before the shedding process and is more likely to be off their food and less active in general.
    Sometimes geckos may get some shed skin stuck on their toes. It is important to make sure this comes off because it will cause the toes to drop off if left too long. Use warm water and cotton buds to ease the shed skin off the toes, and make sure the humid hide(s) are kept moist. If your gecko is having problems shedding, it is usually because there isn’t sufficient humidity in their humid hide, although it can be a sign of an ill/stressed gecko. One more thing to look out for when your gecko sheds is that the eye caps have come off in the shedding process. Retained eye caps can lead to irritation and infection in the eyes. If it gets bad, the gecko may not be able to open its eyes at all. If your gecko hasn’t shed its eye caps then use artificial tears (eye drops) and cotton buds to try to clear the eyes. Sometimes it can take a while for the gecko to open their eyes again.

    Q: I’ve just got my Leopard Gecko and it isn’t eating, what do I do? /How often should I feed my gecko?
    A. Don’t worry - it is normal for a gecko to not eat for a while until it has settled into its new home. It is also normal for geckos to only eat every other day or even less often. It is also common for females to stop eating for a while when ovulating.

    Q: What do I feed my Leopard Gecko?
    A. There are many different foods you can feed your leopard gecko, including crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches and many more. However, there are concerns about feeding them mealworms exclusively. There is a sticky thread devoted to this here:

    Q: Do I need to use any supplements as well as live food?
    A. Yes. It is vital that a balance of calcium and vitamin powder is used to ensure a healthy gecko. Failing to provide calcium to your geckos can result in MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease), where the bones become weak, flexible and brittle, and if left untreated, will be fatal. It is diffult to specify exactly what supplementing regeime to use as different countries have different brands of supplements, all with slightly different ingredients. The best thing to do is to ask someone who you know has good experience with leopard geckos, or start a new thread on this forum.

    Q: How do I tell if my gecko is male or female?
    A. Check the underside of the gecko, and look between the back legs, near the base of the tail. Do this without fully turning them on their back.
    If the gecko is male, it will have a very pronounced arrow shape, females will also show this shape, but to a lesser extent. Here is a link that shows this in photos: Sexing Leopard Geckos

    Q: My gecko has dropped its tail – what should I do?
    A. A gecko will drop its tail when it feels threatened or very stressed. This is an anti-predatory mechanism (known as autotomy) that geckos have evolved to have in order to distract a predator, while the gecko runs to safety. When a gecko drops its tail, it will twitch and wiggle for a while. It is inadvisable to put any ointment or antiseptic etc on the wound, as it could cause more problems. Gecko tails are designed to fall off and grow back with easily, so putting anything on it could hinder the regeneration process.

    Q: How do I incubate leopard gecko eggs?
    A. This webpage is a good guide for incubation:
    Albey's How To Incubate Leopard Gecko Eggs

    Q: What size vivarium should I have for a leopard gecko?
    A. Most people would agree that an ideal vivarium size for one gecko is 15-20 gallons (not arboreal).

    Q: What should be included in a leopard gecko vivarium?
    A. There should be at least one moist hide, on the warm side of the vivarium, a food bowl (depending on what feeder you're using), a water bowl, a calcium dish, and plenty of hides for the gecko to feed at home. If the vivarium is fairly empty, then the gecko is unlikely to settle in well, and could end up more timid and skittish. Conversely, don't make the vivarium too cluttered so that food is difficult to find, and you rarely see your gecko.

    Q: Can I keep more than one leopard gecko together
    A. If they are males, no. If they are females then yes, provided they have enough space, hides, and so on. Generally, leopard geckos will do better separately. Geckos should only be housed together if they are the same sizes. If you want a male and a female to breed, it is best to keep them together only for as long as it takes to breed them, then separate them again. Any geckos new to your collection should be quarantined before sharing a vivarium with another gecko.

    Q: What do I need to know about quarantine?
    A. Quarantining any new geckos is very important, as you don't know the complete history of the animal, even if you know the person you got the gecko from. Using kitchen towel as a substrate is important, so you can see they are passing their food and have healthy faeces. They should be kept away from other reptiles, preferably in a different room, and hygiene should be very strict. Quarantine should be for 3-6 months, obviously the longer the better. Bear in mind that geckos may be carriers of problems, and not be affected themselves.

    Q: What does it mean when my gecko makes noises or wags its tail?
    A. If your leopard gecko is making a barking/grunting noise then it is most likely because it is unhappy, stressed or in pain. Most of the time they’ll only make these noises when being handled, so it may mean they just don’t want to be handled - or aren’t being handled properly.
    Most geckos will wag/shake their tail when they are hunting, but it can also be seen during breeding and just before the gecko drops its tail.

    If this hasn't helped you with any questions you have, please search the forums before posting a new topic!
    Last edited by Graham_s; 11-01-2011 at 02:24 PM.


    To ALL GU members, please take the time to look through old threads and/or use the search feature BEFORE asking questions.
    GU's search feature ----> Geckos Unlimited - Search Forums
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