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  1. #21
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    Beware, not all filtered water is as good as you'd think. Some types of ion exchange filters soften water by "trading" chemicals to soften water. Honestly, most hard water can be softened just by boiling it.

    Todd
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by amsdadtodd View Post
    Beware, not all filtered water is as good as you'd think. Some types of ion exchange filters soften water by "trading" chemicals to soften water. Honestly, most hard water can be softened just by boiling it.

    Todd
    Can you share more about hard water versus soft water as hydration for geckos? Some people I know use Reverse Osmosis (RO) attachments on their water. That lessens permanent water spotting on glass.

    PS:
    Perhaps we should begin a separate thread?
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-01-2016 at 07:17 AM.
    "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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  3. #23
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    I believe hard vs soft water is really the wrong discussion to have, as it relates to leopard gecko health.
    Water that is considered hard contains higher levels of calcium and magnesium salts than that which is considered soft. It should be noted that that these salts are minerals which we strive to keep in the diets of our pets. I don't use any softening techniques for my pets, I'll explain why a bit later.

    There are actually two kinds of hardness, carbonate hardness and permanent hardness. Carbonate hardness is the result of calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate salts dissolved in the water. These salts are easily broken down by boiling, resulting in a reduction of the overall hardness of the water. Permanent hardness is the result of sulphate and chloride salts, and these can only be removed by more aggressive softening techniques, such as ion exchange, distillation, or RO/DI (Reverse Osmosis/De-Ionization).

    All three of these softening techniques have their risks, and it's important to understand them before considering whether or not to employ them. Ion exchange is performed by passing water through a resinous material rich in sodium and/or potassium to replace the calcium and magnesium ions. The most commonly available ion exchange systems are "softener pillows" which are porous bags of resinous granules designed to either pour water through, or soak in a container of water to be softened. The net effect this has on our pets is alarming. It basically removes biologically desirable chemicals and replaces them with chemicals which are intended to decrease those vital minerals inside their bodies. In other words, using ion exchange softened water is likely removing calcium and magnesium from our leo's bodies. I don't know if this effect is sufficient enough to actually cause MBD, but I'm certainly not going to find that one out the hard way!
    Distilled water, and RO/DI water both have largely the same risks. They are so purified that when they are ingested, they may leach nutrients from the tissues they pass through. In other words, the absence of any dissolved compounds in solution creates an imbalance when it passes through the body of any organism which is resolved by robbing dissolved minerals from the body tissue. This can lead to degradation of intestinal walls to the point of causing diarrhea. The same goes for humans, if we drink this ultra-pure water, it will sicken us quickly.
    The first part of the RO/DI process, stand alone Reverse Osmosis, is becoming more common and less costly. It's also less aggressive, and probably less detrimental than the other methods.

    My personal preference is to not use any water softening methods. The tap water where I live is quite hard, and has been chlorinated at the treatment plant. I use ReptiSafe water conditioner drops to remove any chlorine before pouring tap water into the water bowls, and I wash the water bowls once a week with Dawn dish soap. There is no scale building up in the water dishes, but even if there were it's not a problem for our pets. The only other water use for my pets is in spraying the moist hides. I have store bought spring water on hand which I use to spray many of the plants I keep in my herp room, and use this same water for the moist hides.

    I hope this helps!
    Todd
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  4. #24
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    I have fish tank dechloinator that I use in my misting bottle, it that basically the same concept as the reptisafe? I usually use the water from my Britta Pitcher as drinking water in the bowls. I believe the filters are carbon based like fish tank filters.

    Also don't mean to hijack Gossamer!
    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." ~ Winston Churchill

    “I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one to stand around looking impressed! What’s the point in having you all?”-The 11th Doctor.

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  5. #25
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    Jess, the fish tank de-chlorinator is fine to use. ReptiSafe contains a few other things that may be helpful, but the main reason I use it is the de-chlorination which is the same effect as aquarium products. As to the Brita filter though, I'd be concerned. I found this write-up on their site. https://www.brita.com/why-brita/what-we-filter/ and the filters do perform ion exchange as well as carbon filtration. To my thinking, that makes it not worth the risk. Remember, just because something is safe for human consumption doesn't mean it's safe for our pets. I'd have this concern with any water filtration system which is any more aggressive than charcoal based particulate removal.

    Todd
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  6. #26
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    Our filtered water is from a Britta carbon filter is all. I'm certainly not doing any reverse osmosis filtration! I just thought it would be best to switch to the filtered water after seeing the yellow-y urate. A week of filtered water cleared the problem right up, so I'm pretty sure that was the issue. We have a really bad problem with hard water here, and we don't have a treatment plant to soften it (we have well water). Hence all the filters in the house.

    And no worries about "hijacking", you guys. This information was very interesting and quite useful! If there was any kind of hijacking going on, I'd prefer it to be this kind.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
    Our filtered water is from a Britta carbon filter is all.
    I've looked through Brita's web site and can't see that they offer a product which does only carbon filtration without also performing ion exchange. See the link I pasted above in post number 25 for more info on that, and the description I wrote about ion exchange in post 23.
    Actually, when you consider that leopard gecko's don't really drink water very often, it may be alarming that the urates cleared up so quickly. If the yellow crystals you saw were solely due to mineral content in their drinking water, and the correction is to use lower mineral content water, then the flushing out of those crystals should show a gradual decrease, not an immediate absence. However, if the replacement water contained those ions used in the ion exchange filtering process, it would be reasonable to expect the immediate absence of crystals.
    I'm not saying this is absolutely what is going on, but I would err on the side of caution and go back to using the hard well water in the bowls and maybe cut back on calcium supplementation.
    Another thing you mentioned in the earlier post 19 was that you feed your feeders directly from their gutload bin. Can you describe what this means?

    Lastly, I want to suggest that in the absence of life threatening conditions, only make one significant change to your husbandry at a time, and allow an appropriate amount of time to pass to understand the results of that change before making another. The idea is to avoid rapid changes in physical condition that may continue to change past optimal. Consider our own bodies, when a person becomes overly alarmed at a gain of five pounds. They may stop eating, take diet pills, and engage in frenzied exercise all at once and drive themselves into an exhausted, malnourished, and dehydrated state, but five pounds lighter.

    Todd
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  8. #28
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    @amsdadtodd

    That is very true about the rapid changes; I never thought about it that way. I was just so worried about the yellow-y urate that I went into the very frenzy you described to correct it. I'll go back to the tap water and watch their calcium intake. I was just happy that the yellow-y urates were gone. For all I know, the yellow-y urates could have been caused by her taking in too much calcium and she's just now getting it all out of her system. (This was when I still had a bowl of plain calcium in the tank, about a week ago. It's since been removed). In the future, I'll be sure to just make small, gradual changes one at a time.

    I'm happy to say that my geckos are still doing just fine, no weirdness of any sort. Everyone had their tanks cleaned today, and I didn't see/smell/hear anything off, so I'm going to keep to the status quo.

    Also, when I said I "feed the feeders directly from their gutload bin", I mean I just take them out of the bin I'm gutloading them in, dust them with supplements when needed, and then feed them to my geckos. I've read in other threads that feeders should be gutloaded, removed from their gutload a day prior to feeding to clear out their systems, and then be dusted/fed to geckos. I'm not sure if this method is more "right", but I haven't seen a need to do this. Please correct me if I'm wrong, though!
    Last edited by Gossamer; 01-02-2016 at 12:07 AM.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
    ......

    Also, when I said I "feed the feeders directly from their gutload bin", I mean I just take them out of the bin I'm gutloading them in, dust them with supplements when needed, and then feed them to my geckos. I've read in other threads that feeders should be gutloaded, removed from their gutload a day prior to feeding to clear out their systems, and then be dusted/fed to geckos. I'm not sure if this method is more "right", but I haven't seen a need to do this. Please correct me if I'm wrong, though!
    You mention feeding your mealworms Zoo Med's Adult Natural Bearded Dragon Food and Fluker's Calcium fortified Cricket Quencher. That's great!

    We really don't wish to "clear the feeders' systems" before feeding off insects or worms. It's the nutrients in their systems (guts) that we wish to share with our geckos.

    I feed crickets and dubia Zoo Med's Natural Adult Bearded Dragon Food 24/7. Sometime they get romaine lettuce or collard greens too.

    If one feeds the insects/worms a less nutritious diet 24/7, then for sure it's important to place them in a separate bin and formally "gutload" them with high calcium/low phosphorus food and veggies 24-48 hours prior to feeding them to geckos.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-02-2016 at 08:43 AM.
    "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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  10. #30
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    @Elizabeth Freer

    Okay, so I'm NOT crazy. That was my logic behind just feeding the feeders as is (occasional supplement dustings aside). I haven't stopped doing that (I feed all my feeders the same diet), but I've seen the other way in other forums and threads. It always made me scratch my head as to why you would clear out their systems when you WANT their systems loaded up with nutritional goodness for your geckos.

    At any rate, I'll be happy if my geckos eat tonight. Both my geckos have been very skittish today. Lore has been hiding in her cool hide since last night (though she did come out and eat 5 mealworms and 2 crickets a little earlier when I put her food in her bowl) and I have yet to see her go near her warm hide (temps are still 93-95F). And Lavi had a scare last night. He knocked over a small plant in his tank and it freaked him out pretty bad. There were no injuries aside from wounded pride, but he's been hiding in his warm hide all day (which is nice to see, since he's usually in his humid hide). His warm hide temps are the same as Lore's.

    Adding the cold front and rain, having cleaned their tanks yesterday, and Lavi's wounded pride together make me think they might not eat much tonight. But hey, that's normal for this time of year. I know Jess is having a hard time getting Ziggy to eat, so I'm not all that concerned. So long as no one loses weight/starts acting funny, things should be fine. I'll just leave them be this week except for the usual maintenance.

    And thanks again for that aside with the water filtration. That was pretty darn interesting!
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