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  1. #1
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    Default Best Type of Sand


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    Before I get slammed here I am going to lay the foundation for my title of this post. I am an employee at PetSmart and I obviously have customers that I am able to persuade from sand because of the health risks involved and there are of course the rare group of people that refuse to get anything but sand. My question then is what is the best kind of sand I can suggest to these people to hopefully ensure the health of the gecko is not jeopardized. I always, always will add that the gecko should be an adult before sand is used regardless.

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    Zak ~

    Can you share with your customers that textured tiles (either slate, ceramic, porcelain) make the best substrate? The tiles conduct heat well, are inexpensive, permanent, and ATTRACTIVE, and exceptionally easy to clean. Paper towels work as a temporary substrate till tiles are purchased.

    When GU members insist on sand, I refer them to the following links (in the Leo Caresheet right under the sub-title Substrates). Simply NOT worth the risk in my book.

    RIP Leo "Peach":
    http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...impaction.html
    http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...ear-peach.html
    http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...impaction.html

    Leo "Geoffrey":
    http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...paction-2.html

    1) Never ever go with any calcium-based sand.

    2) Even with Jurassic Reptile Playsand (a quartz sand) a gecko of mine had prolapse issues once.

    3) Silica-based sands have sharp pointy grains whereas quartz sands have rounded grains.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-06-2013 at 04:16 AM.
    "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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    Out of curiosity, has there been more research on this topic and shown conclusive evidence that it is more harmful? I only ask because when I had a leo years ago (probably 6-7 years) having sand in the cage was only really bad when they were juvi and it was just fine as adults. I want to be clear that I am not trying to argue your point Elizabeth, just my curiosity perking up.

    I will try and persuade them to use tiles or something along those lines versus the use of sand. Let's hope people are able to accept the issues associated and make the best choice for their gecko...

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    If you absolutely have to suggest a type of sand, a playsand/soil mix is best, and this is something that can be picked up from Home Depot and the like. Even with those who use it for their leos though, they often avoid it with their young geckos and only implement it in their adult enclosures.

    Try educating your customers on the terrain in the leopard gecko's native land. They don't live on soft, loose sand there, so why would they want them to live on sand in captivity?

    Leopard gecko - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Leopard gecko's natural habitat
    ~Cassi~
    Thanks Jstoker1238 thanked for this post
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    Quote Originally Posted by zak.payne View Post
    Out of curiosity, has there been more research on this topic and shown conclusive evidence that it is more harmful? I only ask because when I had a leo years ago (probably 6-7 years) having sand in the cage was only really bad when they were juvi and it was just fine as adults. I want to be clear that I am not trying to argue your point Elizabeth, just my curiosity perking up.

    I will try and persuade them to use tiles or something along those lines versus the use of sand. Let's hope people are able to accept the issues associated and make the best choice for their gecko...
    Even adult leos have suffered (and fatally) from impaction.

    Click:
    http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...impaction.html

    Noob leo keepers are many times less aware of issues till it is too late.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 12-06-2013 at 04:24 AM.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by cassicat4 View Post
    If you absolutely have to suggest a type of sand, a playsand/soil mix is best, and this is something that can be picked up from Home Depot and the like. Even with those who use it for their leos though, they often avoid it with their young geckos and only implement it in their adult enclosures.

    Try educating your customers on the terrain in the leopard gecko's native land. They don't live on soft, loose sand there, so why would they want them to live on sand in captivity?

    Leopard gecko - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Leopard gecko's natural habitat
    Have you looked at playsand underneath a microscope, Cassi?
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Have you looked at playsand underneath a microscope, Cassi?
    I have not. And I only suggest playsand as an alternative because there are some keepers/breeders who cannot be convinced that a loose substrate can be problematic, and as such, playsand is one of the safest loose substrate options for leopard geckos. If necessary, I would much rather someone recommend a generally safe alternative to customers vs. being adamantly against all loose substrates which can cause customers to make their own decisions instead since they may perceive the seller as not being open-minded or knowledgeable.

    While there is still a risk even with playsand, if done properly, the risk can be significantly minimized. This is also why I suggest a playsand/soil mix, as it'll be more compact vs. loose, and much easier to pass if accidentally ingested. While I'm not a proponent of any loose substrates for leos, and am a definite fan of tile/carpet/paper towel, not everyone shares my stance, so I like to do my best to guide them to the safest options that they're comfortable with.

    GeckoTime did well in covering the pros and cons of substrates. This may be of help to the OP:

    Housing Leopard Geckos on Sand | Gecko Time
    ~Cassi~

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    If a person walks into a pet store asking about sand, chances are they're inexperienced. I have told people this, "Your lack of experience without the sand can kill the leo, use sand and I will guarantee a hefty vet bill or a deceased leo." I must say it worked every time. They forgot about the sand quickly.

    Okay, a few times I had to go into further detail such as mentioning what I have seen:

    impaction
    prolapse- bacterial infection- substrate sucked in via the cloaca after a bowel movement
    eye infections
    bacterial infections

    And then we also have a leo who becomes obese and unhealthy because he must eat out of a dish. Not the smartest trade off in my opinion.
    Last edited by cricket4u; 12-11-2013 at 10:16 PM.
    Currently keeping:

    Eublepharis gecko 2.1.0~Hemitheconyx gecko 1.0.0~Gekko gecko 1.0.0~Pogana Vitticeps 1.0.0~Varanus exanthematicus 1.1.0~Varanus acanthurus 1.0.0~Blue Tongue Skink 1.0.0~Red-eared slider 1.0.0

    Reptiles I have rehabilitated, rehomed or kept.
    All above species plus:


    Phelsuma Grandis~Rhacodactylus ciliatus~Paroedura~Rhacodactylus auriculatus ~Hemidactylus frenatus~Iguana~Turtles ~Snakes and too many more to name!

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