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    Default New to leopard geckos!


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    I don't actually have my leopard gecko yet but i'm preparing for her (i want a girl), and i just want to make sure i do everything right before the big day (August 18th). So if anyone has any tips or advice about gecko care and setting up my cage and what to get that would be super helpful, but don't get me wrong i've done ALL my research and i really do feel prepared but i joined a site like this when i started my fish tank and it was SO helpful so i thought this site could be helpful to me as well? And i promise to post plenty of pictures once i get my baby!

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    Oh and i already have my tank, its a ten gallon with the screen top and locks on it! I just need to add the substrate, hides, heater, and all that good stuff! And the gecko of course

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    More specific questions would be easier for people to help you with. There's so many tiny little details that people can't really tell you them all. I will say that it would probably be a good idea to get a 20 gallon long (not high) instead of a 10 gallon. You'll get a better temp gradient and have enough room for all the hides necessary. Plus your gecko will have more room to move around, which it will make use of if provided.

    ~Maggot
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    I mean i pretty much think i know everything i need but i'm just trying to see if theres any special things most beginners dont realize or anything important like that.

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    Frankly, there are all different levels of beginners. Some beginners think keeping a leopard gecko means putting it a tank with calcium sand and throwing in a hide, while others understand the need for two dry hides and a humid hide, the pros and cons of different substrates, the different nutrients needed and what supplements to use, what feeders to use and which ones to stay away from, etc. I guess explaining your plans for supplements, substrate, setup, etc. would be the best place to start.

    ~Maggot
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    I know that you need a warm hide and a cool hide and a humid hide. And i know you need calcium and to feed live mealworms and crickets! I was leaning towards reptile carpet for my substrate (which i would keep clean), i heard that it works well and i dont want my gecko eating the sand! I don't know too much about what supplements to use so any advice on that would be great! What feeders do you suggest?

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    Geckos need much more than just calcium. Vitamin D3, for example, is what allows their bodies to actually use calcium. They also need different nutrients like vitamin A, potassium, etc. There are many different supplements, some of which cover only a few of these things and some cover all of them. People have all different opinions on the subject of supplementation, so how it's done depends on the individual person. The only two all-in-one supplements I know of are Repashy Calcium Plus and Zoo Med Reptivite (not Repti Calcium). The benefit of these is that they cover all that the geckos need in their diet, so there's no fear of a deficiency. Some people choose to mix and match supplements, though I'd be wary of that for fear of having too much of one thing and not enough of something else (eg too much calcium and not enough vitamin A). I personally always side with Repashy Calcium Plus because it has higher levels of vitamin A, which is important for skin and eye health. But some people don't like Repashy and prefer Reptivite. It comes down to personal preference, really.

    I'd not recommend the carpet, however. Young geckos especially can get their teeth and toes caught in the fibers. It's also difficult to keep truly clean. There's some concern about "things" growing on it after a while, which could lead to infection. Paper towels and slate tiles are probably the two best choices for substrate.

    As for feeders, mealworms and crickets are fine. Just make sure to provide sufficient belly heat so that the gecko doesn't have trouble digesting all the chitin in the mealworms. (Remember that floor temps on the warm side should be 88-93, measured digitally and hooked up to a thermostat.)

    ~Maggot
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    Okay. And the Repashy calcium plus and the zoo med reptivite both also have calcium? Because if it has everything i need then i'll definately buy one of those. I've also heard that they can get stuck in the carpet and stuff, hmm maybe i'll get some to try it and then just use papertowels for backup? Idk. I was planning to get a under tank heater for belly heat, i heard there best for that but im not sure, thats why im asking your guys' opinion!

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    Yes, they're both all-in-one supplements that contain everything the gecko needs. Whichever you get, use according to the label instructions.

    Belly heat is important for digestion, yes, but, IMO, overhead heat is equally important. Many people keep their geckos only with UTHs, and it won't cause them any harm, but it will decrease their activity, especially if the room they're kept in is cooler. UTHs warm the surface nicely, and the trapped heat in the warm hide will keep that warm, but the rest of the enclosure will sit at about room temp. This means that the gecko has to pretty much stay in the warm hide to stay warm, or keep its belly to the ground. I've tried all three ways with my gecko - with only overhead heat, with only a UTH, and with both. I found that my gecko was healthy and active with only overhead heat (but I provided plenty of areas for her to bask to warm her belly) and with both, but when I tried just a UTH, she became much less active. She spent 90% of her time in her warm hide, even at night, in the interest of staying warm enough. But with a 10 gallon, the problem is a proper temp gradient. They're too narrow to provide a proper cool side (no higher than 77, but lower is even better) while providing overhead heat in conjunction with a UTH. At least, I don't know of anyone who's done it successfully, unless maybe the room is exceptionally cool.

    ~Maggot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Embrace Calamity View Post
    Yes, they're both all-in-one supplements that contain everything the gecko needs. Whichever you get, use according to the label instructions.

    Belly heat is important for digestion, yes, but, IMO, overhead heat is equally important. Many people keep their geckos only with UTHs, and it won't cause them any harm, but it will decrease their activity, especially if the room they're kept in is cooler. UTHs warm the surface nicely, and the trapped heat in the warm hide will keep that warm, but the rest of the enclosure will sit at about room temp. This means that the gecko has to pretty much stay in the warm hide to stay warm, or keep its belly to the ground. I've tried all three ways with my gecko - with only overhead heat, with only a UTH, and with both. I found that my gecko was healthy and active with only overhead heat (but I provided plenty of areas for her to bask to warm her belly) and with both, but when I tried just a UTH, she became much less active. She spent 90% of her time in her warm hide, even at night, in the interest of staying warm enough. But with a 10 gallon, the problem is a proper temp gradient. They're too narrow to provide a proper cool side (no higher than 77, but lower is even better) while providing overhead heat in conjunction with a UTH. At least, I don't know of anyone who's done it successfully, unless maybe the room is exceptionally cool.

    ~Maggot
    Okay! Thanks so much, you've been very helpful.

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