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    Default Speckles and the New, Bigger Tank


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    Since Speckles has grown into a quite large girl (9 inches in length) she seems way to big for her 20 long. We have been looking for a larger tank. Today on a reselling site, I found a 40 gallon tank that is 36x18x16. It's a tad taller than I would have liked, but the price was incredible, so we bought it. It's the Zilla Critter Keeper with sliding screen top. Previously it housed a Crested Gecko who we were told, was given away. So of course now I have a few questions as we get ready to outfit a bigger tank.
    1. How do I clean it to best ensure that Speckles will not get sick in the event the previous gecko had any type of anything. I am thinking bleach?
    2. Is a Zoo Med Large sized UTH big enough? It measures 18x7, which seems not quite right to me. Putting it the long way leaves huge gaps but putting it the short way doesn't cover 1/3 of the tank.
    3. What about overhead lighting for winter? Our current wattage is 40 watts day, 40 watts night but only the day is on during the summer. I'm thinking of switching to a ceramic heater for the winter along with the day bulb. Will we need bigger lamp housing?
    4. We've been using reptile carpet, but would like to switch to something more natural and easier to clean, perhaps even a combination of substrates? Thoughts?

    Any information for a bigger tank would be very, very much appreciated. We will probably take the next month or so to ensure everything is as it should be before we move her, so I have time to get it right
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    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
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    1. How do I clean it to best ensure that Speckles will not get sick in the event the previous gecko had any type of anything. I am thinking bleach?

    How about disinfecting the new tank with a 10% bleach solution? Maybe scrub the screen with Dawn Dish Detergent and water. Be sure to let the tank off-gas for 24 hours prior to adding Speckles.

    Just in case you may also want to give the tank a cleaning with ammonia.


    2. Is a Zoo Med Large sized UTH big enough? It measures 18x7, which seems not quite right to me. Putting it the long way leaves huge gaps but putting it the short way doesn't cover 1/3 of the tank.

    How about considering FlexWatt Heat Tape now? There is a post re that at the end of the leo caresheet. Never used it myself.

    3. What about overhead lighting for winter? Our current wattage is 40 watts day, 40 watts night but only the day is on during the summer. I'm thinking of switching to a ceramic heater for the winter along with the day bulb. Will we need bigger lamp housing?

    Seems like a larger dome would be in order. Yes, consider a CHE. Those Exo Terra Night-glo Moonlight bulbs do come in 75 watt sizes.

    4. We've been using reptile carpet, but would like to switch to something more natural and easier to clean, perhaps even a combination of substrates? Thoughts?
    Now is the perfect time to switch to slate, ceramic, or porcelain tiles!
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 07-10-2013 at 11:51 PM.
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    If you want to be absolutely sure when disinfecting, use ammonia. Ammonia is the only thing effective at killing crypto, giardia, and coccidia oocyst. Ammonia and bleach should never be mixed as they will emit toxic gas bad for both you and the animals.
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    Another question...Currently our hot side is on the right of the tank, but I'm thinking that I want to move it to the left side when we move Speckles to the bigger tank. The reason being that the left side is against an outside wall which ends up being a warmer wall in summer, colder in winter and I think it will help me keep our temps more stable. Will changing the hot side confuse Speckles? Thank you!

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    Temporarily, but the gecko will find the new warm spot and get acclimated to the new changes. It'll help if you use the same hides, without washing them so it'll still have the gecko's scent on them.
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    Please share pictures once you got this all set up. I'm planning a 40 gallon set up for my girl and would love to see how yours turns out!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffins94 View Post
    Please share pictures once you got this all set up. I'm planning a 40 gallon set up for my girl and would love to see how yours turns out!
    I will post pictures when it is finished. I am doing tons of research before we start putting it together. It might be a few weeks
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    Hi all. We've been working on getting Speckles into her new tank. I'm still working on a new background with built in hides, but we got everything else set up yesterday and are wanting to move her over today. I'm having one little problem with the temps, though. For substrate in the new tank, we put down a very, very thin layer of sand, like barely a layer at all, then placed tiles over the sand. We only used the sand to help conduct the heat and fill any gaps. Then I turned on the UTH and placed the thermostat probe in the hottest spot on top of the tile. Our thermostat is set at 90, because it drops two degrees to 88 before it kicks back on. When we were using carpet, the hottest I ever saw it get was 91.8, which felt like a good range. I know with the Hydrofarm thermostat, it can vary +/- 2 degrees either way. With the tile, it kicks it off at 90, but then the tile CONTINUES to heat up, even after it shuts off. I saw it get to 95 yesterday! And that feels to hot! I bumped it down to 89, but now it drops to 87 before it kicks back on and it STILL is getting to 94. Can anyone tell me why it continues to heat up after it shuts off? Is it just that tile is such a good conductor of heat? This is all happening without any overhead lights or heat. I wanted to get the floor temps right first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speckles View Post
    Hi all. We've been working on getting Speckles into her new tank. I'm still working on a new background with built in hides, but we got everything else set up yesterday and are wanting to move her over today. I'm having one little problem with the temps, though. For substrate in the new tank, we put down a very, very thin layer of sand, like barely a layer at all, then placed tiles over the sand. We only used the sand to help conduct the heat and fill any gaps. Then I turned on the UTH and placed the thermostat probe in the hottest spot on top of the tile. Our thermostat is set at 90, because it drops two degrees to 88 before it kicks back on. When we were using carpet, the hottest I ever saw it get was 91.8, which felt like a good range. I know with the Hydrofarm thermostat, it can vary +/- 2 degrees either way. With the tile, it kicks it off at 90, but then the tile CONTINUES to heat up, even after it shuts off. I saw it get to 95 yesterday! And that feels to hot! I bumped it down to 89, but now it drops to 87 before it kicks back on and it STILL is getting to 94. Can anyone tell me why it continues to heat up after it shuts off? Is it just that tile is such a good conductor of heat? This is all happening without any overhead lights or heat. I wanted to get the floor temps right first.
    94 or 95 isn't a "bad" temperature, some even suggest 90-95 as a ground temp however I wouldn't go much higher than that, I would get worried around the 96 or 97 range, that would personally be too hot of a temperature for me to let go.

    Remember it depends on your gecko as well, if you have it at 94 and shes constantly on the cool side then it's probably too hot
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    New Tank Step One.jpg

    This is a picture of the background we are working on for Speckles' new tank. On the left is a cool hide, the middle will be eco fiber with the log and leaves for covering (We've discovered that she LOVES to dig) the right side is her humid hide. She will also have her current hot hide on the right, just in front and to the right of the humid hide and her current middle dry hide in the middle and to the front. She's in the tank with all of her hides right now, getting adjusted. We used tile for the floor (not pictured). She was pretty upset the first day, clicking and refusing to come out of her hide. The second day she came out, explored and ate 5 crickets. I'm a little nervous about her falling as she climbs around. The highest point is 7 inches and she is a 10 inch long girl. I'm hoping nothing is to high. It's all grouted and we will be painting today and tomorrow, then sealing it all and waiting another week or so for it to off gas before putting it in.

    Edited to clarify, the foam background is currently NOT in her tank. This was a mock up for me to make sure it fit, but she IS in the tank, with other hides, UTH, lights, etc.
    Last edited by Speckles; 07-29-2013 at 09:41 AM.
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