Upgraded Leopard Gecko Enclosure - Reptile Forums

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Old 11-01-2019, 02:39 PM
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Default Upgraded Leopard Gecko Enclosure

@wilkinss77

We have a female leopard gecko in a thirty inch tank, and she has been getting a bit too active for her current enclosure, and it started to look really small with all the hides and decorations that we have in there. When we got her it was always a plan of ours to upgrade her tank in the future to support her growth, so we just got the new tank last week on a sale for half off. It is a thirty six inch, eighteen inch deep glass tank, and it is a forty gallon. We are in the process of setting everything up, the substrate is in, and we are playing around with wood, cork bark, and artificial plants.

I do have a few questions regarding her new setup, we want it to be as close to perfect as we can get.

1. Lighting
We are using a dome light suspended a couple inches from the screen top, with a bulb that supplies UVB. It probably wonít be very bright for the larger tank, so we were wondering if we could use an LED light meant for an aquarium, which is just plain light and nothing else. Would we be able to use that alongside the UVB bulb for extra daylight and viewing purposes? I donít think getting another dome and hanging stand is an option right now, as my brother is the owner and his saving funds are limited.

2. Substrate
We have the substrate at about a half inch on the side with the heating pad for underbelly heat as an aid for digestion. The other side is three inches, and we wanted to know if we need more substrate or not? Itís ecoearth expandable coconut fiber substrate, very familiar with this stuff.

3. Heating
We read that turning the heating pad off at night is recommended also, we only turn off the UVB, but should we eliminate all heat during the night and switch it back on in the daytime?

Thank you!

Here are some photos of the tank in progress, we are working a little bit each day and moving things where we feel is best.

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Old 17-01-2019, 06:57 PM
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Bump!
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Old 18-01-2019, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by StellaCrab View Post
Bump!
You want the substrate much deeper, 2-3''.
Ditch the mat & use a basking lamp set for 95f.

Turn all the heat off overnight.
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Old 18-01-2019, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by wilkinss77 View Post
You want the substrate much deeper, 2-3''.
Ditch the mat & use a basking lamp set for 95f.

Turn all the heat off overnight.

We have the heat mat because she needs the heat for her underbelly to digest the large amounts of food she consumes each night. We used a heat lamp, she refused to come out of her hide or else she squinted her eyes, and as soon as we switched to the mat, she has eaten more than before and is twice as active. The heat does get shut off at night though.

We just added more plants yesterday, will upload a photo soon.


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Old 19-01-2019, 09:10 AM
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You use a basking lamp set up over natural stone to create the basking spot, the lamp then also properly heats the rest of the viv, the lights are then set to turn off just after dusk and come on at dawn, along with a UV setup.

If the viv is correctly setup like this, the heat mat is a then just a waste of time, energy and money. The natural stone absorbs and releases heat and provides the warth to the underbelly for a Leo's digestion.
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Old 19-01-2019, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Azastral View Post
You use a basking lamp set up over natural stone to create the basking spot, the lamp then also properly heats the rest of the viv, the lights are then set to turn off just after dusk and come on at dawn, along with a UV setup.

If the viv is correctly setup like this, the heat mat is a then just a waste of time, energy and money. The natural stone absorbs and releases heat and provides the warth to the underbelly for a Leo's digestion.

Well, like I have previously said, that did not work for us, and she is sensitive to most lamps other than what we have had now for nearly a year. She has UVB. We get advice from the YouTube channel, Leopard Gecko, she uses only mats for her geckos. The lamp and stone method is not the only capable way of providing the gecko with heat, so donít recommend only what you know and use, because there are other options.

We found the mat works for us very well, so we are not going to decide now to switch when everything is working perfectly.


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Old 20-01-2019, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by StellaCrab View Post
The lamp and stone method is not the only capable way of providing the gecko with heat, so don’t recommend only what you know and use, because there are other options.

Very true, and like i told you, you can set it up using a heatmat, but as i also explained, this is older husbandry and not effective when you start scaling up the size of the enclosure.

Its not opinion, its fact, heat mats are not designed to warm spaces, they are designed to create a localised basking area.

And before you say "recommend only what you know and use" i know of several other methods, thank you, and i have tried most if not all of them, the one i have explained, along with other experienced members on this board, is the most effective, most aligned to their natural behaviours and evolution and also the recommended up-to-date care method.

Its entirely your choice what you do with that information, i only ever intend to inform, not instruct. You want to ignore it and stick to what you are doing, fine, but as you said yourself, its not warming the rest of the viv properly, which is why i gave you a method that would.
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Old 20-01-2019, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StellaCrab View Post
We used a heat lamp, she refused to come out of her hide or else she squinted her eyes, and as soon as we switched to the mat, she has eaten more than before and is twice as active. The heat does get shut off at night though.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

And while we are talking about the failed attempt you had at using a basking setup, if i am remembering the correct thread, you were using a ridiculously high wattage bulb suspended over the viv and too high a UV output.... which is why it was squinting and avoiding light exposure.

I'll re-iterate one part from what i said about a basking setup:

"If the viv is correctly setup"
That would not include using the wrong bulbs, at the wrong basking distances.
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Old 20-01-2019, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StellaCrab View Post
Well, like I have previously said, that did not work for us, and she is sensitive to most lamps other than what we have had now for nearly a year. She has UVB. We get advice from the YouTube channel, Leopard Gecko, she uses only mats for her geckos. The lamp and stone method is not the only capable way of providing the gecko with heat, so donít recommend only what you know and use, because there are other options.

We found the mat works for us very well, so we are not going to decide now to switch when everything is working perfectly.


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Once again you are arguing with other users who are offering advice and help. The care of Leopard Geckos has changed so much and heat mats are no longer recommended.
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Old 20-01-2019, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StellaCrab View Post
We have the heat mat because she needs the heat for her underbelly to digest the large amounts of food she consumes each night. We used a heat lamp, she refused to come out of her hide or else she squinted her eyes, and as soon as we switched to the mat, she has eaten more than before and is twice as active. The heat does get shut off at night though.

We just added more plants yesterday, will upload a photo soon.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
The reason why she stayed in her hide is because leos are crepuscular & nocturnal- sleeping during the day is natural behaviour, they're supposed to be active at night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azastral View Post
You use a basking lamp set up over natural stone to create the basking spot, the lamp then also properly heats the rest of the viv, the lights are then set to turn off just after dusk and come on at dawn, along with a UV setup.

If the viv is correctly setup like this, the heat mat is a then just a waste of time, energy and money. The natural stone absorbs and releases heat and provides the warth to the underbelly for a Leo's digestion.
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azastral View Post
Very true, and like i told you, you can set it up using a heatmat, but as i also explained, this is older husbandry and not effective when you start scaling up the size of the enclosure.

Its not opinion, its fact, heat mats are not designed to warm spaces, they are designed to create a localised basking area.

And before you say "recommend only what you know and use" i know of several other methods, thank you, and i have tried most if not all of them, the one i have explained, along with other experienced members on this board, is the most effective, most aligned to their natural behaviours and evolution and also the recommended up-to-date care method.

Its entirely your choice what you do with that information, i only ever intend to inform, not instruct. You want to ignore it and stick to what you are doing, fine, but as you said yourself, its not warming the rest of the viv properly, which is why i gave you a method that would.
& this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azastral View Post
And while we are talking about the failed attempt you had at using a basking setup, if i am remembering the correct thread, you were using a ridiculously high wattage bulb suspended over the viv and too high a UV output.... which is why it was squinting and avoiding light exposure.

I'll re-iterate one part from what i said about a basking setup:

"If the viv is correctly setup"
That would not include using the wrong bulbs, at the wrong basking distances.
& this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellsfeathers&fur View Post
Once again you are arguing with other users who are offering advice and help. The care of Leopard Geckos has changed so much and heat mats are no longer recommended.
Also this.
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