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  1. #1
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    Cool sand vs not sand debate - solved - just train your gecko not to eat sand


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    I've been following this debate for months.

    Read forums, and websites. Basically - some geckos are fine with it - no problem. Some aren't - eat it, suffer, die. which kind was mine?

    so of course fate is fate and decided to get sand anyways, with some rock mosaic tiling. (ask if you wanna know which kind).

    I changed from all carpet to :
    • 1/2 cage carpet(hot side),
    • 1/2 cage all sand (cold side.)


    He immediately went over to the sand. started licking it. I gave him 30 secs to stop licking it, see if he get tired. All huge licks. Then he takes a full bite, mouth wide open, holy shit! I pulled him out. Makes sense why many die now. you cant shit when your stomach is filled with sand.

    how i trained him not eat sand:
    I went back to all carpet, and set up a big bowl of calcium powder(like i should have already, I know sorry).
    I watched him explore that night and find the calcium, he went crazy on it like it was a dog trying eat ice cream. Next night, I saw him take two licks from it. So now, in his little brain, i created a lick spot of powder texture to be remembered.

    I then put down all sand, covered with small/med mosaic tiles. Minimal amounts of sand seeped between the tiles/rocks, could lick a lot maybe, but not enough for him to eat. I then for the next few days gorged him on crickets and meal worms.

    I watched him every night after wards. He would occasionally take a light lick of the sand, then lick at the air, and keep walking. Now i have a small open area of sand he walks across no problem, never eats/ingest sand anymore.

    I also want to mention that I constantly checked his shits to make sure they weren't filled with sand, for extra precaution and safety, and would have immediately bailed out of trying sand, if the problem never corrected

    so summarized:
    1. allow a day or two of him experimenting licking/ eating it. its new! they are curious creatures
    2. train him to know his calcium licking spot.
    3. keep his belly full


    Your gecko can be safe with sand - if you are careful and monitor their actions for behavior conditioning. this is my set up now:
    IMG_0840.jpg


    p.s. this was a weeks worth progress, where I had my hands in the cage, moving stuff around for at least an hour a day. MY gecko Max would watch. After 30 min or so he started to almost strangely affectionately come grab my hands and climb on me. I would then feed him from my shoulder. Ever since, he has been way chiller at handling, comes up to me more often, and will actually stay on my shoulder shoulders with out freaking out anymore if I walk around with him on my shoulder. Maybe another training trick for you Leopard Gecko newbs out there!
    Last edited by scarvalho3; 12-08-2018 at 01:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    May I ask what type of sand you've used?

    All brands of calci-sand are especially tempting to leos.
    "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
    May I ask what type of sand you've used?

    All brands of calci-sand are especially tempting to leos.
    zoomed reptisand. non calcium. i figured less temptation, if craving calcium.
    Zoo Med ReptiSand, 10 Pounds, Desert White https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002DIZKC..._2DcdCb54VR6JZ
    Thanks Elizabeth Freer thanked for this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by scarvalho3 View Post
    zoomed reptisand. non calcium. i figured less temptation, if craving calcium.
    Zoo Med ReptiSand, 10 Pounds, Desert White https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002DIZKC..._2DcdCb54VR6JZ
    It’s not only digesting it that’s a concern, but any sand has also been known to cause eye infections and scratches to the cornea.

    A warning about the wood hide on the left. This was one of the first hides that came out and I think everyone who has kept reptiles for a long time has bought it at one point or another Anyway, about 13 years ago we bought it for our Leo and noticed he rubbed against it removing shed. Next thing you know he had scratched the side of his face Threw that in the trash. Perhaps a smoother texture for a hide would be best. I love the rock mosaic tiling.
    Last edited by Sg612; 12-09-2018 at 11:02 PM.
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    What a cool background! Did you draw it? It fits right in with the rest of your decor.

    I didn't notice it until now.
    "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)
    Thanks scarvalho3 thanked for this post
    Likes WildeAthena liked this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sg612 View Post
    Itís not only digesting it thatís a concern, but any sand has also been known to cause eye infections and scratches to the cornea.

    A warning about the wood hide on the left. This was one of the first hides that came out and I think everyone who has kept reptiles for a long time has bought it at one point or another Anyway, about 13 years ago we bought it for our Leo and noticed he rubbed against it removing shed. Next thing you know he had scratched the side of his face Threw that in the trash. Perhaps a smoother texture for a hide would be best. I love the rock mosaic tiling.

    negative reviews said my sand killed many leo geckos as well.
    Mine probably would have been hurt, had i left him unsupervised the first two days and stop him from gorging on the sand.

    Ill make sure i file down the log corners for safety in general. thanks!
    luckily, hes got a special spot he does shedding/scraping off. His warm rock hide has a narrow space under the entrances he slithers under/through to peel it off nicely

    IMG_0840.jpg
    IMG_0842.jpg
    IMG_0843.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    What a cool background! Did you draw it? It fits right in with the rest of your decor.

    I didn't notice it until now.
    thanks!
    yes, my son and I drew/color it.
    He thought it would make our friend happier, as i described to him the difference between arboreal lizards and desert/rock terrestrial lizards(we bought a cresty too)
    Likes WildeAthena liked this post

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    Handsome guy you have there

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    Quote Originally Posted by scarvalho3 View Post
    thanks!
    yes, my son and I drew/color it.
    He thought it would make our friend happier, as i described to him the difference between arboreal lizards and desert/rock terrestrial lizards(we bought a cresty too)
    You're welcome.

    I'm sure your custom background makes your leo feel "right at home".
    "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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    I heard the whole sand debate two months ago. i got scared by the possibility of impaction and changed my geckos substrate. she had been living on sand for 13 years before that. as soon as i changed it, she started shedding poorly and her colour became much less vibrant. Today i changed her back to sand. 13 years of healthy gecko, then suddenly sad gecko. whatever she was getting from having sand, she wasnt getting when i took it away. hopefully she will return to her healthy self now.
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