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    Default Preparing for first leo


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    Hello everyone! I've spent a few weeks researching and getting ready for my upcoming gecko, and I want to make sure I have everything right. I am a little worried about temps. I have a glass Exo-Terra tank, 25"x18"x12". My heat mat is an 8"x12" iPower with included thermostat. Ground temperature in the hot hide is 92F, humid hide is 72, and cool hide is 70. The humidity in the tank is 38-44% as measured by an Acu-Rite thermometer/hygrometer combo that stands in the tank. Ambient air temperature on the cool side is about 69.

    I have a fake plant, a fake cactus, an extra cork bark hide, and I'm ordering a background for the terrarium to reduce stress and minimize my new friend seeing their reflection. I also have vitamins and calcium supplements. But I'm afraid my temperatures on the cool side are too low.

    Could I be having issues because my tank is only 25" long instead of the usual 30"? I want to make sure my husbandry is correct before I order my new friend. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Edited to add I am using ceramic tile as a substrate with a nice rough texture.
    Last edited by Vox; 02-15-2019 at 03:49 PM.

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    70 is perfect!!! you should put your humid hide more to the warm side so it's about 87-88, tile is amazing to!! your tank sounds PERFECT!!! your leopard gecko will be VERY lucky.
    Thanks Vox thanked for this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vox View Post
    Hello everyone! I've spent a few weeks researching and getting ready for my upcoming gecko, and I want to make sure I have everything right. I am a little worried about temps. I have a glass Exo-Terra tank, 25"x18"x12". My heat mat is an 8"x12" iPower with included thermostat. Ground temperature in the hot hide is 92F, humid hide is 72, and cool hide is 70. The humidity in the tank is 38-44% as measured by an Acu-Rite thermometer/hygrometer combo that stands in the tank. Ambient air temperature on the cool side is about 69.

    I have a fake plant, a fake cactus, an extra cork bark hide, and I'm ordering a background for the terrarium to reduce stress and minimize my new friend seeing their reflection. I also have vitamins and calcium supplements. But I'm afraid my temperatures on the cool side are too low.

    Could I be having issues because my tank is only 25" long instead of the usual 30"? I want to make sure my husbandry is correct before I order my new friend. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Edited to add I am using ceramic tile as a substrate with a nice rough texture.
    Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

    You're almost ready! Is your new background something like a cling-on vinyl photo? If it's 3-D, it will compete with important space in your Exo Terra.

    The humid hide also goes on the warm side just like Geecko123 mentions. That's so a leo does not catch a respiratory tract infection.

    Your 8 x 12 heat mat is the problem. It's too small. I highly recommend an 11 x 17 inch Ultratherm instead. That will give ample space to put a dry hide and a humid hide right on top of it.

    Place the 17 inch length along the 18 inch Exo Terra width. Measure the Exo Terra first to see how close to 18 inches you have. The heat mat edges can be slid a little under the plastic frame.

    A larger heat mat could also increase the humidity some. That's beneficial.

    Which supplements do you have: brand and name? They are all different.

    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 (and controlled by a thermostat set at 91*F/32.8*C):
    • 88-92 F (31.1-33.3 C) ground temperature right underneath a leo's warm dry hide
    • no greater than 82ish F (27.8ish C) air temperature - 4 inches above ground on the warm end
    • no greater than 75 F (23.9 C) air temperature - 4 inches above ground on the cool end

    Leave the heat mat/UTH on 24/7. At night turn off overhead lighting/heating (~12 hours on and ~12 hours off) unless ambient room temperatures drop lower than 67ish*F (19.4*C).
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 02-15-2019 at 07:49 PM.
    "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)
    Thanks Vox thanked for this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geecko123 View Post
    70 is perfect!!! you should put your humid hide more to the warm side so it's about 87-88, tile is amazing to!! your tank sounds PERFECT!!! your leopard gecko will be VERY lucky.
    Thank you for your reassurance! I'm excited to get my first pet reptile but I want to make sure it's happy and healthy. I will definitely move over the humid hide.

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    Thank you for the warm welcome, Elizabeth! Luckily my new background is a cling for the outside of the tank. The terrarium did come with a 3-D background that was pretty nifty, but I took it out right away because as you said, it takes up valuable real estate.

    Thank you for the info on the heat mat. I did a quick search for the Ultratherm you mentioned, and it sounds like a great product, but I'm not seeing any sellers that have it in stock. Do you have another recommended brand you trust with the same 11"x17" dimensions?

    As for the supplements, I have NOW brand calcium without D3, Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamins, and Fluker's Repta Calcium with D3. I think I remember reading about other supplements you can mix together and use with every feeding, but I thought rotating the three different ones might be simpler for a novice like myself.

    Also, while I think about it, I notice in your profile it says no supplements inside the vivarium. Is that to prevent overdosing? I've read a lot of different care sheets and some recommend putting calcium without D3 in the tank at all times. Thank you for all the help!
    Likes Elizabeth Freer liked this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vox View Post
    Hello everyone! I've spent a few weeks researching and getting ready for my upcoming gecko, and I want to make sure I have everything right. I am a little worried about temps. I have a glass Exo-Terra tank, 25"x18"x12". My heat mat is an 8"x12" iPower with included thermostat. Ground temperature in the hot hide is 92F, humid hide is 72, and cool hide is 70. The humidity in the tank is 38-44% as measured by an Acu-Rite thermometer/hygrometer combo that stands in the tank. Ambient air temperature on the cool side is about 69.

    I have a fake plant, a fake cactus, an extra cork bark hide, and I'm ordering a background for the terrarium to reduce stress and minimize my new friend seeing their reflection. I also have vitamins and calcium supplements. But I'm afraid my temperatures on the cool side are too low.

    Could I be having issues because my tank is only 25" long instead of the usual 30"? I want to make sure my husbandry is correct before I order my new friend. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Edited to add I am using ceramic tile as a substrate with a nice rough texture.
    Did you just purchase the Exo-Terra tank, 25"x18"x12"? If so your Leo would be much better off if you exchange it for the 36x18x18. Trust me, you will thank me in the long run. The temps won’t be a problem as it is likely to be in only 25 inches wide.
    Last edited by Sg612; 02-15-2019 at 08:41 PM.

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    What is the ambient temp on the warm end? Test about 2 inches about the warm hide. If it’s too cool your Leo will be inactive and will be more prone to obesity. Daytime cool end should be more like 75f.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sg612 View Post
    Did you just purchase the Exo-Terra tank, 25"x18"x12"? If so your Leo would be much better off if you exchange it for the 36x18x18. Trust me, you will thank me in the long run. The temps won’t be a problem as it is likely to be in only 25 inches wide.
    Yeah, I was a bit worried about the temperature gradient in the tank, but I bought it on somewhat of an impulse because I found a great deal on it. I heard most people prefer a 30" or 36" inch long tank for leos, but unfortunately with my room the 25" long is about the best I can do right now. My hamster is in a 40 gallon long, so perhaps when he goes to the big hamster house in the sky, I could set my leo up with a longer tank on the hamster's table.

    The ambient temp on the warm end is 77. Elizabeth up above recommended a larger heat mat, maybe I will try that to get things just right. Thank you for your help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vox View Post
    Yeah, I was a bit worried about the temperature gradient in the tank, but I bought it on somewhat of an impulse because I found a great deal on it. I heard most people prefer a 30" or 36" inch long tank for leos, but unfortunately with my room the 25" long is about the best I can do right now. My hamster is in a 40 gallon long, so perhaps when he goes to the big hamster house in the sky, I could set my leo up with a longer tank on the hamster's table.

    The ambient temp on the warm end is 77. Elizabeth up above recommended a larger heat mat, maybe I will try that to get things just right. Thank you for your help!
    You’re welcome. You can always make upgrades later

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vox View Post
    Thank you for the warm welcome, Elizabeth! Luckily my new background is a cling for the outside of the tank. The terrarium did come with a 3-D background that was pretty nifty, but I took it out right away because as you said, it takes up valuable real estate.

    Thank you for the info on the heat mat. I did a quick search for the Ultratherm you mentioned, and it sounds like a great product, but I'm not seeing any sellers that have it in stock. Do you have another recommended brand you trust with the same 11"x17" dimensions?

    As for the supplements, I have NOW brand calcium without D3, Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamins, and Fluker's Repta Calcium with D3. I think I remember reading about other supplements you can mix together and use with every feeding, but I thought rotating the three different ones might be simpler for a novice like myself.

    Also, while I think about it, I notice in your profile it says no supplements inside the vivarium. Is that to prevent overdosing? I've read a lot of different care sheets and some recommend putting calcium without D3 in the tank at all times. Thank you for all the help!
    You are welcome!

    I found an 11 x 17 Ultratherm heat mat for you. BeanFarm.com @ 877-708-5882 has them in stock for $26. Open Mon - Fri 9-5 Pacific time. Let them know your plan to place it underneath your 24 x 18 x 12 Exo Terra. Snugly attach it with Nashua tape rolls and strips. Have exact measurements when you phone. Ask whether it's OK to trim the edges a little (if necessary) and what their return policy is. You could also use heat cables to cover the same area.

    Fluker's also makes an 11 x 17, but Ultratherm comes with high recommendations from a fellow geckophile. She has never had an Ultratherm fail. She uses Ultratherms all the time. Ultratherms (and Fluker's) are reusable.

    About no calcium dish in the enclosure. Yes, it's to prevent overdosing. Hilde says that: "Excess calcium in the digestive tract can hinder absorption of vitamins A and D".

    Here are some links about calcium with D3 and multivitamins. Please note the differences in ingredients. I use and highly recommend:
    • Zoo Med's Repti Calcium with D3
    • Zoo Med's Reptivite without D3
    • NOW brand pure calcium carbonate

    "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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