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    Question Best Loose Substrate?


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    Recently purchased 2 Leopard Geckos and was wondering whats the best loose substrate. They are both fully grown geckos and are healthy. I see people say sand, then others say sand is bad. I also see people say eco earth, then others say eco earth is guarenteed death. I see people say coconut fiber, then others say that will kill them instantly. What do I go with? Im not a fan of paper towel or tiles, it doesnt look natural. I would like it to be as natural of an enviroment as it can be for them.

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    There will never be consensus on substrates. It does seem to be pretty clear that hatchlings should not be on loose substrate and that calcisand is not a good choice. If you feel you really have to use sand, play sand is the best bet but it's far from a natural substrate for leopard geckos (they're not Lawrence of Arabia!). I have done well with eco earth in the one bioactive environment I had for awhile (now I have lightly textured beige ceramic tile and it looks fine). Here's a Gecko Time pair of articles about leopard geckos' native habitat and the resulting bioactive enclosure that the author built for them:

    https://geckotime.com/holistic-desig...geckos-part-1/
    https://geckotime.com/holistic-desig...geckos-part-2/

    Aliza

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketeer View Post
    Recently purchased 2 Leopard Geckos and was wondering whats the best loose substrate. They are both fully grown geckos and are healthy. I see people say sand, then others say sand is bad. I also see people say eco earth, then others say eco earth is guarenteed death. I see people say coconut fiber, then others say that will kill them instantly. What do I go with? Im not a fan of paper towel or tiles, it doesnt look natural. I would like it to be as natural of an enviroment as it can be for them.
    What size enclosures have you? It's best to house all leos individually. PetCo may be having their frequent $-per-gallon sales right now. For a 20 long: 30 x 12 x 12 that's $20.

    If you plan on going bioactive, an ideal size for each leo is a 40 gallon breeder about 36 x 18 x 17 inches tall. Those give you plenty space for a deep substrate.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-21-2021 at 11:51 PM.
    "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've also heard about a topsoil/play sand mixture, any thoughts reguarding this?

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    They are in a 30gal currently, its a 30 short so it's dimentions are 36" x 18" x 13.5" tall. Unfortunately we don't get the Petco sale here in Canada. Even used tanks can get pricey. The leos needed rehoming and have lived together for awhile they get along in the single tank. If I noticed fighting or any sort of hostility I would seperate them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketeer View Post
    I've also heard about a topsoil/play sand mixture, any thoughts reguarding this?
    What I've heard is ~70% organic topsoil to ~30% play sand.
    "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 Rocketeer thanked for this post
    Likes Rocketeer liked this post

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketeer View Post
    They are in a 30gal currently, its a 30 short so it's dimentions are 36" x 18" x 13.5" tall. Unfortunately we don't get the Petco sale here in Canada. Even used tanks can get pricey. The leos needed rehoming and have lived together for awhile they get along in the single tank. If I noticed fighting or any sort of hostility I would seperate them.
    • What are these leos' genders?
    • How many hides have you for them?
    • Sometimes by the time hostility is evident, it's too late.

    Even a couple females could have a bad night. One leo could be the loser.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 01-22-2021 at 02:40 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 Elizabeth Freer View Post
    • What are these leos' genders?
    • How many hides have you for them?
    • Sometimes by the time hostility is evident, it's too late.

    Even a couple females could have a bad night. One leo could be the loser.
    How about leaving that for a discussion in another thread. This subforum is for substrate discussion. If the OP has other problems, they can start a thread in the appropriate subform. No need to bring up what's basically O/T, just because you think the info needs to be discussed.

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    It’s usually recommended that topsoil without fertilizers be used. There’s Scott’s premium topsoil and ZooMed Reptisoil. For my leopard gecko’s bioactive I use miracle gro performance organics soil mixed with quickrete children’s play sand (50/50 mix I think). Miracle gro performance organics contains bone meal, soybean meal, feather meal, and sulfate of potash. I don’t know about using soils that have added fertilizers for enclosures that are naturalistic instead of bioactive though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digs View Post
    Itís usually recommended that topsoil without fertilizers be used. Thereís Scottís premium topsoil and ZooMed Reptisoil. For my leopard geckoís bioactive I use miracle gro performance organics soil mixed with quickrete childrenís play sand (50/50 mix I think). Miracle gro performance organics contains bone meal, soybean meal, feather meal, and sulfate of potash. I donít know about using soils that have added fertilizers for enclosures that are naturalistic instead of bioactive though.
    Thanks so much for your feedback, Digs!

    I believe that the "no-fertilizer" recommendation extends to both naturalistic or bioactive substrates.
    "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 Digs liked this post

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