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  1. #1
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    Default Need help with newly acquired Leo


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    Last Monday (2/25/19), someone left a Leopard Gecko in my care. I run a small animal rescue. It came in an empty 40 gallon tank with two heat rocks and that's it. No food, water, substrate, or anything else. Oh, there was a bottle of mineral oil (the type use for enemas) in the tank too.

    I attempted to register on this site as soon as I found the gecko--left on my doorstep, but some sort of glitch held me up until this morning.

    I joined because I needed help with what to buy for it and some basic care information. Since I couldn't register for so long, I "winged" it on buying supplies.

    I removed the heat rocks, and replaced with a UTH--but it's probably too small. The thermometer I bought barely registers 70 degrees on the "warm" side--thermometer is stuck on tank about midway up the tank.

    I have also bought/acquired:
    a couple of hides
    some small dishes
    crickets
    food for crickets
    container for crickets
    powdered vitamins
    powdered minerals (calcuim)

    I'm using paper towels as substrate.

    I don't know if "he's" eating or drinking. I don't know if he's well.

    Some questions I have:
    A couple of random questions:
    1. Do you put foods, supplements and water bowls on the heat mat or on the cold side?
    2. The owner gave me a bottle of mineral oil (enema type). Am I supposed to oil him?
    3. If you put a slate/tile bottom—how often to you take it out to clean?
    4. Again with the slate/tile bottom—I’m assuming the heat mat can heat up through the tile?
    5. I’m going to put my tank, once finished onto a wooden surface. Will the heat mat damage or burn the wood?
    6. Do I need a backing on the tank?




    Please advise!

  2. #2
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    I'm assuming that it is a Leopard Gecko. Here are a couple of pictures of my hastily assembled tank and the gecko.
    IMG_0770.jpg
    IMG_0769.jpg

  3. #3
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    1. Do you put foods, supplements and water bowls on the heat mat or on the cold side?
    The cold side is better, that way you don't have to worry about the heat degrading the supplements, or the water evaporating too fast.
    It's not recommended to leave supplements in the enclosure, it's hard to regulate how much the gecko gets, but some people do it, so it's up to you.

    2. The owner gave me a bottle of mineral oil (enema type). Am I supposed to oil him?
    No, don't use it. It's not needed, and might do more harm than good.

    3. If you put a slate/tile bottom—how often to you take it out to clean?
    Spot clean it daily, if you see poop, and clean it once a week, maybe 2, depends on how messy it is.

    4. Again with the slate/tile bottom—I’m assuming the heat mat can heat up through the tile?
    I don't use slate/tile, so I can't say for sure, somebody else will have to chime in. I don't see it working very well.

    5. I’m going to put my tank, once finished onto a wooden surface. Will the heat mat damage or burn the wood?
    You have to elevate the tank a wee bit for air circulation to prevent possible fires or heat damage. With the mat attached to the tank, it will be okay once elevated.

    6. Do I need a backing on the tank?
    It's not necessary, but it does provide some sense of security for the gecko. You don't need anything fancy, even paper taped to the outside works. Do back and both sides, if possible.

    You need to check the floor temperature, where the gecko hangs out, so you know how warm it is for him. Air temperature doesn't really matter much, since the gecko won't be doing many high jumps to get up there.
    Place a thermometer on the floor, or anything that can reliably measure the floor temperature.
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    Thank you so much for the information and for all of your help! I'll elevate the tank, remove the minerals, toss the mineral oil, and cover the back and sides of the tank ASAP! I have some backing with scenery and some plain black/blue backing from other tanks.

    What do people normally use to elevate the tank? Does it have to go around all four sides of the bottom of the tank?
    Last edited by Woke Becky; 03-07-2019 at 02:04 PM.

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    Usually there are 4 little 'feet' included with a new UTH, they tend to look like half bubbles. If you don't have that, just put something under the tank to raise it a touch, one at each corner. I've used wooden rulers in a pinch, as long as there's a gap for the air to circulate. Make sure that whatever you use is flat and the same height, so the tank is even, and won't slide off. You only need something about 1/4 inch / 0.5cm high.

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    about the slate tile and the UTH a UTH will heat up slate tile, I use it and it works great.
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    Thanks again. I found some paint stir sticks and busted them into 8 small pieces. I stacked two under each corner of the tank. Now there is a small gap and I can clearly see the whole bottom of the tank. I see that one of my UTH's is coming un-stuck so I'll have to re-fasten it to the bottom when I next clean the tank.

    I purchased another, larger UTH; now there are two under the warm end of the tank. One covers 1/4 to 1/3 of the length of the tank; the other goes to the 1/2 way point.

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