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  1. #1
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    Default Slate substrate questions


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    Hello!
    So far Iíve had 2 different substrates for my leopard gecko: paper towels which I hate the look of, and reptile carpet which she got her teeth and claws stuck in so I took it out. I want to switch to tile but I have a few questions.
    -How would I set up the heat mat?
    Iíve heard that tile/slate can be hard to heat through (I do have a working thermostat set to 90 degrees), should I keep the heat mat under the tank still or put it inside?
    -How do I find appropriate sizes of slate?
    Iíve been looking online for slate tile for awhile and the most common sizes are 12x24 and 12x12, I have a 20 gallon long aquarium so none of the sizes would fit the whole bottom. I was looking into cutting the slate but I have no experience with power tools and I donít want to spend money on an expensive tool Iíd use once.
    -Will it hurt my geckos joints over time?
    It seems like no substrate is just perfect for leopard geckos. Iíve heard that solid substrates can put stress on a geckos limbs leading to problems over time, is this true? If it is how could I prevent it?

    Those are all of the questions I have for now! Thereís a lot but even if you can give your input on one that would be beyond helpful, thanks!

  2. #2
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    There are multiple different substrates that can be used including clay and ECO Earth. The substrate completely depends of what you want but I would suggest not using tile. Also, you never want to put the heating mat in the cage because leopard geckos can burn their skin (Because they can't sense heat or something). What I found useful for my leopard gecko was the reptile carpet with moss on top of it. They like to dig and burrow so they have fun with the moss. I hope this helped!!! Good Luck!!!
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  3. #3
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    In all my research about it, I have never once heard that tile can be detrimental to a gecko's well being. Perhaps Elizabeth and Aliza could comment further here as well as some of the other experienced keepers.

    I myself use Ceramic textured tile in my gecko's enclosure with slate rocks on top beneath the Digital Heat Projector. The heating mat should in the vast majority of cases be below the enclosure and then your tiles on top. If you are worried about heat spots, using a small amount of sand to fill the spaces beneath the tile can be useful. But not so much that it comes up between the tiles into the enclosure.

    As to cutting the tiles. I enlisted the help of my father in law who is quite handy with tools. But I imagine you could get this done at a hardware store somewhere also. As long as you have the correct measurements.
    Click here for Elizabeth Freer's excellent Leopard Gecko care database.
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    I use slate in my leopard gecko's tank in combination with coconut fibre. The slate I use is actually a serving platter that I found at a restaurant supply store in my city's chinatown. I do not have a slate cutter, but since slate is such a soft and brittle rock, it can be cracked and broke it into the correct size (very bootleg lol, make sure you do this with eye protection). I don't advise this, as it's definitely not the safest route, but it works if you have no other option. You absolutely have to properly file down all edges of the slate, cut by you or not, to ensure that your gecko's skin doesn't get scraped or ripped.

    As for heating, I only have slate on the cool side of the tank. On the hot side, where I have an under-tank heat mat, I cover the glass with Eco Earth coconut fibre, which my gecko loves to dig and sleep in. You only need a small amount of coconut fibre at a time, since you're only covering a portion of the tank. Any gaps between the slate and the glass can also be filled with coconut fibre.
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  5. #5
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    Here's a follow-up to this thread. GU's Gutler recently discovered that slate cheese trays in the USA are available via Amazon.

    The 16 x 12 (11.8 ) x 0.3 inch thick slate trays work well in a 20 long! If you get two of these cheese trays, you would only need to trim about 2 inches from the length of one tray to cover the entire ground.

    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 04-11-2020 at 03:37 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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    @Jeromimo
    "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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