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  1. #1
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    Question No basking or cryptic basking (UVB)? Should I be concerned?


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    Hi all,

    I have had my juvenile (8 months) gecko for nearly 2 months now. She seems to refuse to engage in any kind of basking under her UVB. I'm beginning to get concerned about her D3 supplementation.

    My setup:

    • 80x50x50 wooden viv
    • Arcadia DHP set to 32C on a big piece of slate, cold side temps range from 22-25C depending on the hide
    • Arcadia ShadeDweller ProT5 at about 32cm distance from the basking slate and 39cm from the ground right next to the DHP (Arcadia recommends 25-40cm in their lighting guide)
    • 6 hides and foliage
    • Substrate is tile


    She enjoys splaying out her legs in all directions under DHP - but only after the UVB goes off! She prefers to stay in one of her colder hides on the other side of her tank that are too far away from the UVB. I leave the UVB on from 7am-7pm. Don't really now what she is doing until I wake up at 9am, but whenever I check on her after waking up she is sound asleep in one of the cold side hides. Never seen a leg or tail poking out, even though I'm home all day and check on her every once in a while during the day (except from 7-9).

    Her current supplement schedule ist plain calcium - plain calcium - Reptivite w/o D3 and Reptivite w/ D3 once a month.

    I'm just really scared that she will develop MBD because she just won't lay under the UVB at all. Should I up her D3 supplementation or just keep it as it is? Or change it completely and switch to a normal T5 for general lighting (I have a dark apartment) and supplement artificial D3? Or maybe contact a vet?

    So far she has shown no signs, she is very active, eats and poops well, and does not have the MBD bendy legs or any swelling.

    I would love to hear some of your experiences and/or advice - have you heard of a case of MBD despite UVB and proper calcium supplementation?

  2. #2
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    Not only do many leopard gecko keepers (including me) not use lights at all (except for ambient light), I have also maintained day geckos, who require even more D3, without UVB lights through supplementation. Some leopard geckos bask and many do not. I recommend you dust feeders every other feeding. I use Repashy calcium plus which is an all-in-one supplement. Elizabeth Freer has a very detailed care sheet on this forum with a lot of supplementation information and I'm sure she'll chime in here eventually.

    Aliza

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    Thanks for the answer. I know that it is okay to not use UVB, but my breeder recommended it to me to not make D3 supplementation dependant on feedings and because it is generally beneficial to them - but I guess I didn't think about her not basking. I always thought that they were at least cryptic baskers and from what I have read I thought they would be able regulate their D3 synthesis.

    I really don't think ambient lights are enough, my apartment is very dark and I want her to have a clear day - night schedule by supplying UVB and especially UVA through the ShadeDweller. I have a wooden viv and screwed it in, but I don't have access to the required tools currently. Could I still leave it in?

    What I forgot to mention: I kept her in a quarantine bin for 4 weeks, so she has only been in her enclosure for a month. I supplemented D3 artificially through that time. Is she maybe not used to it yet? She did not have UVB at her breeder.

    I'm just kinda confused right now. Are there cases of leopard geckos developing MBD even though calcium is correctly supplied? That is my big worry.

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    I recently started to use 2% UVB (local brand) and Arcadia earth pro-a and my geckos seem to be more active and eat much more. My super snowflake hates the light, so when I turn the lights on, he hides in the darkest place possible. My super snow doesn't seem to enjoy it that much too, but my mack snow enigma loves it. She goes out of the hide immediately when I turn them on and basks all day about 20cm from the light source.
    Plus I gotta say, the arcadia stuff is great. I bought their calcium and the multivitamin. I don't use the calcium that much, but the multivitamin almost every feeding and they don't mind it at all. They refused to eat when I dipped their food in other supplement brands. Plus it sticks to insects perfectly (maybe even too much).

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    If its only been a month then I would say just wait. My gecko used to not use her UVB but now she regularly exposes her head from her warm hide a couple times a week.

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    In the wild, geckos have a wide variety of choices of where to be and when to be there. In captivity, they have fewer choices and that may affect where they like to be when. It may be the case that geckos in the wild get their D3 from basking in the early morning and late in the day. Geckos in the wild who didn't bask most likely didn't survive due to MBD! I have been using Repashy Calcium Plus since 2009. Since then, the only MBD issues I had ever were with a few hatchlings who turned out to need plain calcium in their enclosures as well as on their feeders. I bought a juvenile gecko once who turned out to have signs of early MBD and she recovered on my supplementation schedule. I still have her. How about if you supplement and then, if you see that her situation changes and she starts to bask, cut back on (or eliminate) the D3?

    Aliza

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    Quote Originally Posted by acpart View Post
    In the wild, geckos have a wide variety of choices of where to be and when to be there. In captivity, they have fewer choices and that may affect where they like to be when. It may be the case that geckos in the wild get their D3 from basking in the early morning and late in the day. Geckos in the wild who didn't bask most likely didn't survive due to MBD! I have been using Repashy Calcium Plus since 2009. Since then, the only MBD issues I had ever were with a few hatchlings who turned out to need plain calcium in their enclosures as well as on their feeders. I bought a juvenile gecko once who turned out to have signs of early MBD and she recovered on my supplementation schedule. I still have her. How about if you supplement and then, if you see that her situation changes and she starts to bask, cut back on (or eliminate) the D3?

    Aliza
    I’ve heard that the moon produces uvb but not as much as the sun though. Maybe that’s how nocturnal/ crepuscular reptiles get some of their d3 in the wild.

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    Hi all,
    thank you very much for answering - I sadly noticed that she sometimes has a light shake in her limbs, but only when moving slow or reaching for things. She's fine otherwise.

    Video: https://youtu.be/iESkjHTrJlM

    I made an appointment at a reptile vet for next wednesday. Hopefully they can determine what is wrong and give me some help figuring out her supplementation. I hope she doesn't have MBD. I feel awful that I might have provided her with inadequate care. She's my first reptile. But I'm certain that whatever is causing this will be fixed once her supplementation is balanced out.

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    I do see the shake, but in my opinion, any leopard gecko that climb that rock wall is pretty strong in the limbs. It certainly doesn't hurt to take her to the vet; she looks OK to me (but I'm not a vet!)

    Aliza

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    That is good to hear. She is indeed a very active climber! I'm certain the vet can help me figure it out.

    I also noticed that she stuck her tail out yesterday. I'm also planning to lower the UVB a bit, I realised that the measuring tape I used was off a bit, it's about 45cm from the ground which is outside of Arcadia's recommended distance.

    But yeah, a vet visit definitely won't hurt. I'll report back afterwards.

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