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    Default Sudden drastic change is personality


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    My juvenile leo who is probably about 8-10 months old has had a sudden drastic change in personality. He's always been very outgoing since we bought him as a baby last summer. He was always the most curious, fearless little gecko. Always out and about, hardly in his hide. A lot more outgoing and curious then our other female gecko (who's about 3, separate tank, they can't even see one another).

    But suddenly for the past month he's been extremely skittish. To the point where sometimes I'll walk by the tank and when he sees me he'll frantically run like crazy into his hide. And he's been spending a lot of time in there too. In the past when he saw me or my wife he'd perk up and watch us intensely looking to be fed and was so curious about any slight move we made. He had no trouble even being picked up. I don't know what suddenly has gotten into him to run and hide now when he sees us.

    Does anyone know what could cause such a drastic change in personality out of no where?

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    Adolescence. It should change again at some point.

    Aliza

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    Quote Originally Posted by acpart View Post
    Adolescence. It should change again at some point.

    Aliza
    I thought this could be the case but is the answer really that simple? He seems absolutely panicked now. If he sees anyone walk by the tank he runs away scared to death into his hide. And spends like 99% of his time in there. He'll peak out and maybe start to make his way out but if he sees anyone he scurries back in.

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    Please share a photo of his enclosure.

    • Have you covered the sides & back with some sort of paper or vinyl clings?
    • Have you many secure places for him to hide within his environment?
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Please share a photo of his enclosure.

    • Have you covered the sides & back with some sort of paper or vinyl clings?
    • Have you many secure places for him to hide within his environment?
    https://i.imgur.com/5hyb2DC.jpg

    The back and sides are not covered as you can see. Only one side is covered, next to the warm hide, to prevent him from seeing my other older Leopard Gecko.

    You can see he has a warm hide on the far side, a cool hide on the left and a moist hide in the middle. My other gecko is set up basically the same way.

    The warm side has a temperature controlled heating pad under the tank. I rarely use the overhead ceramic bulb. Sometimes I'll turn it on to heat up the warm side a little more.

    He's always been very happy and alert as I explained. He was in a 10 gallon tank with the same layout until about 2 months ago then we switched to the larger 20 gallon. He's been acting weird for a few weeks. Perhaps this tank is too big for him and doesn't offer enough shelter? I could understand him hiding more in that case, but I don't understand why he's suddenly so scared of the slightest movement. He stays in that middle moist hide all day and night as far as I can tell. If he starts to come out and sees anybody he'll run back in.

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    https://i.imgur.com/5hyb2DC.jpg
    Every leopard gecko is different. Your 8-10 mo leo has been extremely skittish for the past month. He has a 20 long: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall. Let's try a few things.

    I don't recommend returning him to his 10 gallon.

    The back and sides are not covered as you can see. Only one side is covered, next to the warm hide, to prevent him from seeing my other older Leopard Gecko.
    Even though your young leo has 3 hides, his enclosure seems pretty "open". He may appreciate more "cover". Please cover the other side. Brown paper from bags will be fine. Cover the back side too. Make him a longish cave.

    @acpart (Aliza) suggests printing out a photo of a leo's native habitat, laminating it, and using it to cover the back.

    Maybe some medium sized rocks will help?

    You can see he has a warm hide on the far side, a cool hide on the left and a moist hide in the middle. My other gecko is set up basically the same way.
    I recommend switching hides around.

    It's important for the main hides to have small entrances. Let's keep the warm hide on the far right. Use it as the warm humid hide instead. Scoot it over a little to make room for the warm DRY hide. Use the hide on the far left as a warm DRY hide. That's because it seems to have a smaller entrance than the middle hide.

    That and the warm humid hide really should sit right on top of your heat mat. Heat and humidity go hand-in-hand.

    The warm side has a temperature controlled heating pad under the tank. I rarely use the overhead ceramic bulb. Sometimes I'll turn it on to heat up the warm side a little more.
    Have you a separate thermostat?
    What are the dimensions of your heat mat?

    He's always been very happy and alert as I explained. He was in a 10 gallon tank with the same layout until about 2 months ago then we switched to the larger 20 gallon. He's been acting weird for a few weeks. Perhaps this tank is too big for him and doesn't offer enough shelter? I could understand him hiding more in that case, but I don't understand why he's suddenly so scared of the slightest movement. He stays in that middle moist hide all day and night as far as I can tell. If he starts to come out and sees anybody he'll run back in.
    When your leo seems alone, he's King. When he sees a giant (you) around, he thinks "Oh my god, I have company!"

    Lack of suitable shelter could = excessive skittishness. He's on high alert! From his middle hide he can look all around.

    How do the temps measure up?

    Temperatures - A temperature gradient from warm to cool maintains your leo's health. Here's a temperature guide for all leopard geckos as measured with the probe of a digital thermometer or a temp gun. Set your thermostat at 91*F/32.8*C.

    Tape the thermostat's probe and a digital thermometer's probe together, but offset a little. Place them right on top of the substrate underneath the warm dry hide. If you use a UTH + a CHE you'll need 2 separate thermostats, because ground and air temperatures are substantially different.

    • Warm dry hide ground temperature: 88-92 F (31.1-33.3 C) inside a leo's warm dry hide.
    • Warm humid/moist hide: Place the humid hide 100% on top of the heat mat. Keep temperatures similar to the warm dry hide.
    • Cool dry hide ground temperature: 70ish-75 F (21.1-23.9 C) Usually the cool end ground temperature matches the room temperature where the enclosure sits.
    • no greater than 82ish F (27.8ish C) surface temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the warm end
    • no greater than 75 F (23.9 C) surface temperature - 4 inches (10 cm) above ground on the cool end

    Leave your heat mat on 24/7 IF ambient room temperatures drop lower than 67ish*F (19.4*C). If NOT, during the night turn off overhead lighting/heating (~12 hours on and ~12 hours off)
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-23-2021 at 12:06 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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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    https://i.imgur.com/5hyb2DC.jpg
    Every leopard gecko is different. Your 8-10 mo leo has been extremely skittish for the past month. He has a 20 long: 30 x 12 x 12 inches tall. Let's try a few things.

    I don't recommend returning him to his 10 gallon.

    The back and sides are not covered as you can see. Only one side is covered, next to the warm hide, to prevent him from seeing my other older Leopard Gecko.
    Even though your young leo has 3 hides, his enclosure seems pretty "open". He may appreciate more "cover". Please cover the other side. Brown paper from bags will be fine. Cover the back side too. Make him a longish cave.

    @acpart (Aliza) suggests printing out a photo of a leo's native habitat, laminating it, and using it to cover the back.

    Maybe some medium sized rocks will help?

    You can see he has a warm hide on the far side, a cool hide on the left and a moist hide in the middle. My other gecko is set up basically the same way.
    I recommend switching hides around.

    It's important for the main hides to have small entrances. Let's keep the warm hide on the far right. Use it as the warm humid hide instead. Scoot it over a little to make room for the warm DRY hide. Use the hide on the far left as a warm DRY hide. That's because it seems to have a smaller entrance than the middle hide.

    That and the warm humid hide really should sit right on top of your heat mat. Heat and humidity go hand-in-hand.

    The warm side has a temperature controlled heating pad under the tank. I rarely use the overhead ceramic bulb. Sometimes I'll turn it on to heat up the warm side a little more.
    Have you a separate thermostat?
    What are the dimensions of your heat mat?

    He's always been very happy and alert as I explained. He was in a 10 gallon tank with the same layout until about 2 months ago then we switched to the larger 20 gallon. He's been acting weird for a few weeks. Perhaps this tank is too big for him and doesn't offer enough shelter? I could understand him hiding more in that case, but I don't understand why he's suddenly so scared of the slightest movement. He stays in that middle moist hide all day and night as far as I can tell. If he starts to come out and sees anybody he'll run back in.
    When your leo seems alone, he's King. When he sees a giant (you) around, he thinks "Oh my god, I have company!"

    Lack of suitable shelter could = excessive skittishness. He's on high alert! From his middle hide he can look all around.

    How do the temps measure up?
    Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it.

    I ordered a natural background for the tank to put on the back and sides. Going to try that. In the mean time I taped some brown paper bags to the back and sides. I also added a log inside.

    About the hides. The moist hide you see in the middle is the most private hide by far. This is where he's been spending all of his time, and he can't see out at all once he's in it. It's completely enclosed like a cave. It's also specifically designed as a moist hide. Take a look - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This is my cool hide you see on the left - https://img.chewy.com/is/image/catal...565036278_.jpg

    It has a small opening and no bottom.

    This is my warm hide on the right - https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....AC_SL1500_.jpg

    Also has a small opening but this one has a bottom.

    Now I'm not totally clear on how you want me to arrange these but its not possible to put the moist hide and another hide directly over the heating pad. I'm not sure how people do that in a 20 gallon tank. From my experience they have to be set up in a row like I have them. I can't squeeze any two of these hides on one side on top of the heating pad. The heating pad would need to take up half the tank. The heating pad measures 12"x8" btw. This is the one - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    My temps on the warm side are in the high 80's/low 90s. The heating pad is hooked up to a thermostat that shuts it off when it hits 92.

    What it so confusing to me out of all of this is why he was perfectly fine and not scared one bit for the first 3 months we had him, same set up and everything, now all of the sudden he's scared to death seemingly overnight. It's very strange.

  8. #8
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    It is a little odd, but could be within a normal range of behaviors. I've had leopard geckos live together in small groups for years and then all of a sudden, one starts getting bullied (and gets moved out right away!). I have a leachie that has periods of time where she tries to bite me every time I put my hand in the cage (cage defensiveness, common to leachies) but other times where she's fine with me and lets me take her out and carry her around. Hopefully covering the sides will help. Some geckos see their reflections in the glass and get freaked out. In my gecko enclosures I put the humid hide wherever I have room. Sometimes it's on the hot side and sometimes on the cold side. It all works out either way.

    Aliza

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