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    Question Choosing between too-cool basement and too-warm upstairs for my tank (help wanted!)


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    Hello! I just got my first leo and I'm trying to figure out where best to house him. I didn't mean to fall in love with a gecko, so I'm still getting his kit together and trying to make sure he's happy until I can get a better setup. (Looking to upgrade to tank either 10x30x12 or the exo terra 18x24x12, and move to tile substrate.)

    Current setup: 10 gallon tank, small size (10-20 gal) exo terra heat mat, desert sand-mat substrate, 3 hides (crowded in small tank, no idea how anyone fits everything in a 10 gal?). Waiting for thermostat to arrive tomorrow from Amazon, so in the meantime mat seems to be running a little inconsistent.

    All temps taken with infrared digital thermometer.

    Option 1: Basement. Ambient air temps 65, meaning tank is around 67-68 on cool side. Warm hide measured between 89-95.5. (Seems the mat spikes sometimes, worried that leo will overheat but not leave because cool side is too cool.) Pros: not too bright, quieter, consistent temps.

    Option 2: Upstairs. Ambient air temps 72-74 today, cool side of tank measuring 74. Temps may spike this week though to being 80-84 inside, worried that will leave nowhere for my leo to cool off. I just moved him upstairs today, he explored his tank a lot more (so I think the ambient temps are a good thing.) Warm hide currently at 93.5. Concerns: temps could get too high, lots of windows around.

    I've also noticed his cool hide stays around 75. I don't know if there is a way to re-arrange in a 10 gal setup with such a small heat mat to get it more on top of the heat (or if the substrate->plastic just doesn't transfer heat well.)

    Pic is setup, although since then I have swapped the wood for a more enclosed cool-hide.
    IMG_3821.jpg

  2. #2
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    I'm glad you're going to be upgrading to a larger enclosure, but a 10 gallon is OK until you can do that. As you can see, it's hard to fit everything in a 10 gallon and it's also hard to get a decent heat gradient. I think you should consider the upstairs. I live in New England with no AC. In the winter, the ambient temp is in the mid to upper 60's and the geckos spend most of their time in the warm hides. In the summer, there are a few days where the temp can get into the 90's and the geckos and I all cope. They spend most of their time on the cool side. I feel that in the main part of the house where there are things going on, it's a more enriching environment. I have seen some of my geckos watching the cat with interest when she's around (she's not trying to eat them, just climbing around in the same room).

    Aliza

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    Thanks for the advice! He seems to really love being upstairs and I’ve seen him out of his hide a ton more. Just got him in his new tank and although it’s been a lot of change for him I think he really likes it!!

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