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  1. #1
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    Red face Terrarium Set Up.


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    Hey!

    First post in this section so, go easy on me!

    This is going on the third tank set up since I rescued Athena and forced my fiancee to let me keep her just over a month ago. And in case anyone is wondering he, fell in love with her and now wants his own.

    I have been learning more since getting her and slowly, as budget allows, been acquiring her proper supplies.

    This is the best I have done so far and I have just started to take proper temperature reading from each location.

    The left side is her heat side and after this Friday the right side will *officially* be her light side.

    I have two ExoTerra Heat Mats attached to the tank (both installed under the substrate). The larger of the two, ExoTerra Medium 16w, installed on the left side and the smaller one the ExoTerra X-Sml 4w on the right.

    I did this to provide heat to both hides, the one resting on the surface and to the one dug into the substrate, found on the right. Ideally the right one will turn into her warm moist hide...we will have to see.

    With the substrate I went for what was available at the time and what seemed the most natural but I now know that will need to be changed further down the road. ExoTerra (is there any other brand for reptiles?) Reptile Bark. Now, this I found funny. When I purchased the product the cashier gave me a look and said that they had never seen anyone keep geckos on ReptileBark...but didn't offer a solution as to what I should us. Continuing on, I added pea gravel to it as I layered it down and patches of dig areas that consisted of shaved coconut husk(?). I added areas of flat rocks to both conduct heat and add more of a natural habitat. The word impaction keeps getting thrown around and my ears have been listening.

    Being an avid gardener I added live plants to aid in health, happiness and help provide clean air.

    The mushroom shelf was a new addition today as was the meal worm container WITH A LID so those little buggers don't escape. And so was the smaller heating pad. So we will see how that goes.

    Moss has been added to enhance environment as well as all the stones, mushrooms and crystals...and be eye candy for us, let's be honest.

    As you can tell I am leaning towards a vivarium/eco style.

    I appreciate any help or thoughts you could have!
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    What is the humidity in at least 3 spots, cold, center and warm?

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    Ah- humidity will also be happening this Friday!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildeAthena View Post
    Ah- humidity will also be happening this Friday!
    The reason I ask is because low humidity can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is one of the causes of substrate impaction. Even if you feed out a dish, they can swallow substrate while eating shed so itís important to monitor humidity and temperatures diligently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sg612 View Post
    The reason I ask is because low humidity can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is one of the causes of substrate impaction. Even if you feed out a dish, they can swallow substrate while eating shed so it’s important to monitor humidity and temperatures diligently.
    Right- while they shed substrate could stick to her...hm.

    Yes, I'll get on the humidity meter. I do mist her tank down 2-3 times a day depending on how much the furnace has been on in the house. As soon as I wake, usually mid day ( if I am home from work) and always at night. I do see her drink from her "pond" when she wakes up and I brush her down with a wet paintbrush occasionally when I have her out and about. She had a bath once before her last shed.

    But humidity meter has been added to the shopping list!
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  6. #6
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    I'm concerned about your heat mats. You mention that both are underneath the substrate.

    I have two ExoTerra Heat Mats attached to the tank (both installed under the substrate). The larger of the two, ExoTerra Medium 16w, installed on the left side and the smaller one the ExoTerra X-Sml 4w on the right
    In order for heat mats to function properly and be fire-safe, they need to be stuck to the bottom of the glass underneath the tank. There are several ways to sandwich them between tiles within the enclosure, but I don't know whether you're interested.

    Substrate significantly affects heat transfer.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-27-2018 at 06:48 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    I'm concerned about your heat mats. You mention that both are underneath the substrate.



    In order for heat mats to function properly and be fire-safe, they need to be stuck to the bottom of the glass underneath the tank. There are several ways to sandwich them between tiles within the enclosure, but I don't know whether you're interested.

    Substrate significantly affects heat transfer.

    I apologize for the confusion. They are installed on the bottom of the tank on the glass. I chose my wording because I have seen some people attach the heating pads on the side of the tanks.
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    The substrate seems very deep to me - this will both make the heat mat ineffective and potentially cause dangerous hot spots. Also, any loose substrate can be dangerous, not just for the potential for ingestion - but if your gecko were to dig under all of that is there anything that could shift and trap her? It looks like repti-bark from the picture which isn't heavy, but if it gets wet it will also mold.

    As for the live plants, make sure they are non-toxic - even if leos don't "eat" plants, many have irritating sap that is fine to us, but it not ok for them. Impaction should be a concern - it can be fatal. I would monitor the stools closely and if you see any fibrous material in it (this will mean actually breaking up the feces to check) then pull out all loose material.

    Slate tile work muck better at heat transfer than any substrate, so placing flat tile over the heat pads will be much more effective. Also, you didn't mention if the heat mats had thermostat. THIS IS VITAL. If they are UN-regualted please turn them off until you can get a thermostat.
    A heat lamp is better short term than potentially burning your leo. The heat mats can easily heat the glass on the tank to 130*F under the substrate which is very dangerous. **Also make sure your heat mats have a small gap between them and whatever the tank is set on. They need to have air flow across them or they can catch on fire or short out.

    Also keep a close eye on your ambient air temp, the ambient humidity, and the surface temps of everything else. Unless you live somewhere warm, your ambient temperature will be on the low end. Heat mats do very little for air temperature.
    Last edited by SpottedDragon; 12-30-2018 at 03:13 PM.
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