Granite, terra cotta, and few other "newbie" questions


New member
Good day all - first time reptile owner, planning on getting an African Fat Tailed and working on finishing up the Habitat.

We were curious about using terra cotta and granite hides/rocks/"decorations" (whatever you want to call the things in with it). From what I can tell terra cotta seems fine, but I can't seem to find much regarding granite (unfortunately due to morphs being referred to as 'granite' the search was not much in my favor).

Other question is around soil/substrate - for the baby initially we got some of the "eco carpet". We want to eventually get to more of a bio vivarium feel and as they normally do a degree of burying themselves want to get to having a dirt like substrate. But I've also seen in "care" guides warning against this because they might ingest it and become compacted - yet on the forums here and reddit I've seen users comment on using clay/dirt based environments. (personally I try to avoid guides on sites that also sell product, as they are often focused on linking to their products).

So while for the baby we are going to be a bit more careful with the dirt/substrate we do want to get to adding it later on (along with some plants).

Current habitat inventory:
  • 20 gallon tank (30x12x12)
  • under tank heater
  • UTH Controller
  • 2x temp/humidity sensors
  • Eco carpet

Still to get:
  • small UVB light (we understand this isn't "required" but daytime UVB is something they would get some of in the wild - and will probably end up getting a "grow light" due to eventual plant additions)
  • Hides (including moss for the "wet" hide) (terra cotta/granite question)
  • water bowl
  • cricket "setup" (storage, feeding/gut loading)

Anything I'm missing? (other than the actual AFT of course - we have a shop semi-local that we plan to purchase a captive bred from - not quite close enough for easy "drop in" though we do have other reptile shops closer if we need any specialty items).

("we" being the family we, not royal or multi me's - not to say there aren't multiple in my head)


Active member
I've kept and bred AFT's in the past. They are more secretive than leopard geckos, for example, but I've never seen one bury itself. When I was breeding I kept the hatchlings in a plastic tub in the rack or on ceramic tile (carpet is fine). I always kept my adults in planted enclosures with coco fiber as a substrate and never had a problem. I make ceramics, so most of the furniture was terra cotta. Granite is fine also. Any kind of hide material is fine as long as it can withstand the misting (so obviously cardboard isn't a good idea) and won't fall down on the gecko. Enjoy your gecko when you get it.