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  1. #1
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    Default Leopard Gecko suddenly off food and always in humid hide


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    Hello, everyone! I'm very new to this site and Leopard Geckos, and have a few questions. First, some info:

    Gecko
    Gecko species: Leopard Gecko
    Gecko size: approx. 6 inches
    Gecko weight: I'm not sure
    Gecko age: approx. 1 month (Not quite sure. I've had him for a little over a month, but that doesn't always equate to age.)
    Gecko bought from: Petsmart, captive-bred

    Environment
    Tank size: 20 gallon long
    Substrate: Repticarpet
    Humid Hide Substrate: Beaked moss wetted every other day or so (only when it gets dry)
    UTH: All Living things 24 watt 11"x7"
    Hides: Cool dry (on cool end), Warm Dry (on warm end), Warm Humid (straddles warm and cool ends)
    Water: Shallow bowl changed daily
    Food: Feeding "large" mealworms dusted with Rep-Cal brand phosphorous-free Calcuim with Vit.D3 and Herptivite (mixed in 1:1 ratio per instructions on bottles), mealworms are served in a shallow dish, and dead ones are immediately removed
    Calcium: Available readily in shallow dish, changed weekly.

    Temps and humidity (taken with zoomed digital thermometer and analog hygrometer)
    **I LIVE IN FLORIDA PLEASE BEAR WITH ME**
    Cool end (floor): 78.5 F
    Cool end (air): 78 F
    Warm end (floor): 92 F
    Warm end (air): 88.5 F
    Middle (floor of humid hide): 83 F
    Middle (air over humid hide): 80 F
    Humidity (day): 60%
    Humidity (night): 50%

    I got Lavi (my gecko) from Petsmart about a month ago. He had been housed with a much larger gecko, so I think he may have had some serious stress when I first got him. I gave him plenty of time to adjust to me and his new home (a good two weeks of slow introduction), and he warmed right up to me! He's very snuggly, and enjoys hiding in my sleeves and burrowing in his humid hide's moss.

    Now, the first issue: He's ALWAYS in his humid hide (when I'm awake, at least). I'm thinking it's because it has the moss to burrow into and is the absolute MOST enclosed hide he has (his other hides is a rock cave on the cool end and a log hid on the warm end). If I go in and dig him up, he pops right up and climbs on my hand (I generally do this to mist his moss if it's dry, I don't want to mist HIM in the process), and is very alert and walks around with no problem where I put him (with my supervision, of course). Is it ok for him to spend so much time in the humid hide? He's shown no signs of illness or shedding, but it's a bit worrisome.

    My second issue: He's suddenly gone off food! He was eating 10 or so mealworms a day (once I got him eating), but he stopped eating altogether two days ago. I've read that this is normal, but I'm still a bit concerned. I haven't changed anything in his tank, so I'm not sure if that's even an issue. He's shown no signs of illness or shedding (no swollen anything, no pus, no weird feces/urine... when he was defecating/urinating, no pale skin, etc), and I was hoping I could get some tips on how to get him back on food again and if this was normal behavior.

    Thank you so much in advance for your time and help! And if pictures are needed, I can provide some... but I can't guarantee quality, since I only have a cellphone camera.


    EDIT:
    Ok I think I might have been wrong about the "no signs of shedding" thing. He shed on me. XD
    Last edited by Gossamer; 11-05-2015 at 03:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    Mine the last few days has been hanging out in his humid hide, that is normal for most geckos, especially around the time they start to shed (Ziggy is currently pale so he's going to shed soon). As far as food, just keep offering and he might pick back up on eating and try to variety the diet with crickets, roaches, hornworms, phoenix worms or superworms, you can throw in a wax worm or two as a treat ONLY. He could be "bored" with mealworms. Hornworms are like gecko crack and can usually get a gecko that has gone off food to eat again.
    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." ~ Winston Churchill

    “I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one to stand around looking impressed! What’s the point in having you all?”-The 11th Doctor.

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    Welcome Gossamer!

    Have you tried other feeders? Such as crickets, roaches, hornworms, silkworms, and phoenix worms. He might just not be into the mealworms. But this was already mentioned above. I did notice that your air temperature on the warm end is a bit high. Usually a good range is between 80-83 F, no greater than 85 F. Are you using a heat lamp? Is your UTH on a thermostat? What is the temperature of the room that his enclosure is in? Sorry for all the questions lol.

    Regarding the hides, I think it would be best if you upgrade his warm dry hide to one that is more secure. You can swap the log hide with the cave hide if that is more secure, or you can purchase another one. Like this one: Amazon.com : Exo Terra Reptile Cave, Medium : Reptile Supplies : Pet Supplies. I like to face the opening towards the inside of the cage and place some sort of decor piece, like a plant, near the entrance to provide a little more security.

    After swapping the hide for a more secure one and it still seems that he is avoiding the warm end, I would reduce the temperature of the UTH by one degree and see if there is any difference in his behavior. If he is still avoiding the warm end I would reduce the temperature again (staying within the 88-92 range) until I see a difference.
    Last edited by JIMI; 10-25-2015 at 03:06 PM.
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    @JessJohnson87

    I thought that might be the case. I'll give the hornworms a try (once I find a store that sells them), since crickets and roaches are not allowed in my house as feeders. (Parent's rules, unfortunately). Thanks for the suggestions!
    Last edited by Gossamer; 10-25-2015 at 03:38 PM.

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    @JIMI has roaches in his house, under the bed hehe. Roaches are quiet, do not stink and very easy to care for. If you keep them in a plastic tub or aquarium and keep the temperatures low, they will not breed or escape. Sometimes phoenix worms can be labeled as calciworms, when I picked some up at Petco that's what they were calling them. Just Google smaller pet stores in your area and call to ask if they carry something other than mealworms and crickets. That's how I found a store that carries dubia's and hornworms.
    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." ~ Winston Churchill

    “I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one to stand around looking impressed! What’s the point in having you all?”-The 11th Doctor.

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    @JIMI

    Hi, Jimi!

    I'm not using a heat lamp, just the UTH. The room he's in is around 79 F, so I may have to get a thermostat to regulate his UTH. My room has crummy circulation, but opening windows only leads to humidity, so I can only leave the door open to promote air flow.

    I'll probably swap his cool hide with his warm hide. I actually had the one you mentioned as the cool hide, he just seemed to be very attached to the log, hence why I had it on the warm side. I figured if he liked it, he'd spend more time in it. Guess I was wrong. I'll be sure to give all those tweaks a shot!

    As far as feeders go, I can't have crickets or roaches in the house (parental rules), so I'll look around for some hornworms. I'll try and convince my mom (the naysayer) to let us try crickets, but that might take some doing.

    Thanks for the advice!
    Last edited by Gossamer; 10-25-2015 at 03:37 PM.

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    My husband is deployed, so I bought roaches and he will have to get over it when he comes home

    Parents can be tough to sway. When I got my first leo, I lived with my grandmother and she was not happy about it, but over time she got used to the idea of having Marley around and as long as the crickets didn't escape, she didn't care. A good argument to point out is those critters are better for the gecko to eat than worms all the time, plus they need a good healthy variety of food just like people do!
    "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." ~ Winston Churchill

    “I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one to stand around looking impressed! What’s the point in having you all?”-The 11th Doctor.
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    Ah yes, I do keep roaches hidden from my parents lol. I understand your predicament. My parents refused to allow me to bring roaches into the house, so I decided to buy now and ask for forgiveness later lol. I think that my parents are suspicious, but since the house is quiet and doesn't smell they don't ask. I'm not encouraging you to do what I did though. I'd definitely ask first. You might find this helpful: Much Ado About Chameleons: Roaches - A Feeder Choice Worth Considering. If you are interested, you can email the author and ask her where she purchases her legal roaches since she also lives in Florida. She is very nice and always willing to help. There are certain species of roaches that are illegal in Florida, such as Blaptica dubia, which are the most common feeder roach.
    Last edited by JIMI; 10-25-2015 at 03:50 PM.
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    @JessJohnson87

    Huh! I'll have to give that a try! Also, how would you describe signs of early shedding? I went to check on Lavi a few minutes ago and when I looked, his body seems a bit washed out. His tail and the very tip of his snout are still a lot brighter compared to his body. I think he may be getting ready to shed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMI View Post
    Ah yes, I do keep roaches hidden from my parents lol. I understand your predicament. My parents refused to allow me to bring roaches into the house, so I decided to buy now and ask for forgiveness later lol. I think that my parents are suspicious, but since the house is quiet and doesn't smell they don't ask. I'm not encouraging you to do what I did though. I'd definitely ask first. You might find this helpful: Much Ado About Chameleons: Roaches - A Feeder Choice Worth Considering. If you are interested, you can email the author and ask her where she purchases her legal roaches since she also lives in Florida. She is very nice and always willing to help. There are certain species of roaches that are illegal in Florida, such as Blaptica Dubia, which are the most common feeder roach.
    Nice, thanks for that link JIMI
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