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    Question Rookie Mistake with Substrate - Help!


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    Hi Everyone. Iíve had my Leo now for 5 days. Heís a curious little one and everything seems to be in order (eating wellóhe loves the crickets, normal poo/urate, licking/climbing on my hand when left in his tank). However, I seem to have made a rookie mistake. When I got him the store ensured me that the Repti-Sand was the best option (European equivalent if that matters). Despite knowing regular sand was a no-go, I went ahead because I assumed the repti-sand was an okay alternative. Now however I would prefer to switch to tiles just to avoid any possible complications. Since Iíve only had him a few days is it best to wait to make the switch or go ahead and do the change with a ďbetter safe than sorryĒ mentality? Currently, Iím using a heat lamp and his warm side is around 89-90 and the cool is 78-79. I do have an UTH with thermostat that I planned to install once I changed the substrate (I didnít want to have to disturb the tank too much so I figured Iíd do them both at the same time). Any help on waiting or just changing the substrate now is much appreciated.
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    Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

    I agree with you. ANY sand has the possibility of causing impaction -- especially a calcium-based sand. Change the substrate to paper towels until you find textured ceramic tile or slate.

    Here's a good abbreviated care sheet.

    "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 Llewej thanked for this post
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    Thanks so much Elizabeth. That care sheet is great!

    I already have the ceramic tiles (went out and bought them yesterday); I was just nervous to switch it out so soon in fear of added stress on Nigel. It sounds though as if switching sooner rather than later will be better for him in the long run, even if it upsets him for a few days in the mean time.



    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Freer View Post
    Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

    I agree with you. ANY sand has the possibility of causing impaction -- especially a calcium-based sand. Change the substrate to paper towels until you find textured ceramic tile or slate.

    Here's a good abbreviated care sheet.


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    Thank you Elizabeth. That care sheet is great! I went and bought the ceramic tiles yesterday, I was just nervous about switching it out too soon. It does seem as if it would be better to go ahead and change it out now. Any advice on if it would be better to do it gradually to cause less stress or for safety purposes go ahead and do it all at once? I guess my first thought is his long term wellbeing (safety) is worth the risk of him being upset for a few days at the change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Llewej View Post
    Thank you Elizabeth. That care sheet is great! I went and bought the ceramic tiles yesterday, I was just nervous about switching it out too soon. It does seem as if it would be better to go ahead and change it out now. Any advice on if it would be better to do it gradually to cause less stress or for safety purposes go ahead and do it all at once? I guess my first thought is his long term wellbeing (safety) is worth the risk of him being upset for a few days at the change.
    You're welcome, Llewej. Change it all at once.

    Use a light layer of that sand to level out the ridges on the backside of the tiles. If you don't, the ridges may create "hot spots".

    Leos are sensitive to change. No matter when you change it, he will probably explore all around again.

    Since you're doing it for a health risk, I see no point in waiting.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 07-09-2019 at 06:42 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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    Talking

    192CEC0F-BABD-4C65-9D1B-62C15AFBACDB.jpg

    Substrate change done You were correct, he came out and explore a bit.

    The thermostat and UTH made a world of difference; his warm side actually seems warm. Thereís a much better temperature gradient now as well.

    I need to add some cover on the bank so heís not staring into glass, but for now Iím happy with this progress.

    Thanks again for your guidance!
    Likes Elizabeth Freer liked this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Llewej View Post
    192CEC0F-BABD-4C65-9D1B-62C15AFBACDB.jpg

    Substrate change done You were correct, he came out and explore a bit.

    The thermostat and UTH made a world of difference; his warm side actually seems warm. Thereís a much better temperature gradient now as well.

    I need to add some cover on the bank so heís not staring into glass, but for now Iím happy with this progress.

    Thanks again for your guidance!
    I'm happy my suggestions are helping you and Nigel.
    Nigel's home is getting better and better! The sand is history! I'm happy his belly is warm. Be sure to keep both the warm dry hide and the humid hide right on top of the UTH.

    For one enclosure I cut brown paper shopping bags to size and taped them onto both exposed sides. In the USA we can buy background clings of many designs. Maybe clings can be made from photographs?

    Can you add rocks or logs for climbing?
    "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)
    Likes Llewej liked this post

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    Brown bags are a great suggestion. I’ve ordered the cling on Amazon but shipping will likely take a while so I’m the meantime that’s a great substitute.

    I need to find some quality rocks or logs. He actually had a reptile tree trunk But I ended up taking it out because he managed to climb down into the shoots of the roots and I was scared he was going to get stuck

    I’ve moved over his wet box a bit as well. He was out quite a bit more today and gobbled down the crickets (it was much more interesting seeing him hunt on this compared to the sand. He looked more majestic haha).

    While off topic from my original post, would you happen to have a quality size/age reference? I’ve searched through the forums and while I’m seeing a lot of posts on approximate weights, I don’t see much in length versus age. I know it all depends on the individual gecko; however, I want to ensure that I’m not overfeeding. He’s been happily devouring crickets everyday for a 15 minute window (approximately 8 or 9). The crickets have been gutloaded and I’m dusting with supplements as recommended in the “care guide”. BE139778-5841-430C-A8F1-B94E3A01A84B.jpg

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