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Old 23-04-2019, 12:37 AM
Egg
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
Default Too much conflicting advice please help!

So my son wanted a leopard gecko, so we went to a reputable reptile shop and asked lots of questions before purchasing one. We bought the small Viv starter kit with blue bulb, uv bulb, calcium substrate and moss etc. The girl explained that a lot of people don't recommend the substrate but its quite rare for them them to eat it and it's ok to use. The moss again was recommended and we were told to keep the tank at 30 to 32 degrees.
Ok got home set it all up, great. Reg seems happy then temps going through the roof. Back to shop got a thermostat. Set up blue bulb with the stat set it required temp, turn it down at night to 25, uv set on timer to mimic day and night.
All good, Reg is happy comes out day and night likes the log near the heat source at night. I think all is good till I start researching up on them and here lies the problem-
Substrate- apparently we shouldn't use the calcium stuff as it causes impacation and everywhere I read say I should use anything else but that!!! So do I change it or is it ok?
Moist hut- I moved it today as it seemed constantly cool and it's seems it should be warmer so set it in middle of Viv so it gets more heat. I take it that's ok? He has a lot he loves near the heat end of in the cool side he goes into.
Now this is the one I'm getting totally lost over, night temps. So day temp on the thermometer, is 30 to 32 and I use the thermostat to keep it there. The bulb is at The far side of the Viv, where the shop placed it. State probe sits about an inch of the floor, hanging from the bulb. Reg seems happy with that as he basks under it.
Now night I have read, to drop the temp to mimic the desert to 21-24, so I drop it to about 25, and they warm up on the stones. We have a stone basking platform he doesn't go near preferring to lie on the floor or the log. But what I'm reading is he should have a warm area at night too and everyone recommends a heat mat but the shop I got him from said it's not worth it!! So is it ok to drop the temp as I'm doing and leave Reg as he is, as some say yes, others say no, some it's good to mimic the desert others say they should be kept constantly warm!!!! This is totally doing my head in now and it's not even my pet!!!
So basically day I have the stat set at 30-32, night 25-27 is this ok?
Moss- should I use it or not, again conflicting advice?
Calcium powder- dust the crickets 12 hrs before each feed or when we first buy them or just leave a small dish down for him to help himself?
Waxworms- avoid as they are highly addictive or give as a treat once a week?

As said all conflicting advice!!

Sorry for the long post but i just want to know he is ok and im not slowly killing him!

Many thanks
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 23-04-2019, 07:33 AM
wilkinss77's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissyP View Post
So my son wanted a leopard gecko, so we went to a reputable reptile shop and asked lots of questions before purchasing one. We bought the small Viv starter kit with blue bulb, uv bulb, calcium substrate and moss etc. The girl explained that a lot of people don't recommend the substrate but its quite rare for them them to eat it and it's ok to use. The moss again was recommended and we were told to keep the tank at 30 to 32 degrees.
Ok got home set it all up, great. Reg seems happy then temps going through the roof. Back to shop got a thermostat. Set up blue bulb with the stat set it required temp, turn it down at night to 25, uv set on timer to mimic day and night.
All good, Reg is happy comes out day and night likes the log near the heat source at night. I think all is good till I start researching up on them and here lies the problem-
Substrate- apparently we shouldn't use the calcium stuff as it causes impacation and everywhere I read say I should use anything else but that!!! So do I change it or is it ok?
Moist hut- I moved it today as it seemed constantly cool and it's seems it should be warmer so set it in middle of Viv so it gets more heat. I take it that's ok? He has a lot he loves near the heat end of in the cool side he goes into.
Now this is the one I'm getting totally lost over, night temps. So day temp on the thermometer, is 30 to 32 and I use the thermostat to keep it there. The bulb is at The far side of the Viv, where the shop placed it. State probe sits about an inch of the floor, hanging from the bulb. Reg seems happy with that as he basks under it.
Now night I have read, to drop the temp to mimic the desert to 21-24, so I drop it to about 25, and they warm up on the stones. We have a stone basking platform he doesn't go near preferring to lie on the floor or the log. But what I'm reading is he should have a warm area at night too and everyone recommends a heat mat but the shop I got him from said it's not worth it!! So is it ok to drop the temp as I'm doing and leave Reg as he is, as some say yes, others say no, some it's good to mimic the desert others say they should be kept constantly warm!!!! This is totally doing my head in now and it's not even my pet!!!
So basically day I have the stat set at 30-32, night 25-27 is this ok?
Moss- should I use it or not, again conflicting advice?
Calcium powder- dust the crickets 12 hrs before each feed or when we first buy them or just leave a small dish down for him to help himself?
Waxworms- avoid as they are highly addictive or give as a treat once a week?

As said all conflicting advice!!

Sorry for the long post but i just want to know he is ok and im not slowly killing him!

Many thanks
You want 35 for the basking spot.
Turn the heat off at night, it can get freezing cold at night where leos come from.
Get rid of the calcium sand- it can indeed be dangerous if they swallow any. Replace it with play sand: Loose substrates & the myth of gut compaction.
Dust the crickets- powder in a dish might not get eaten.
Waxworms are ok as an occasional treat.
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Old 23-04-2019, 08:44 AM
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Location: Telford, Midlands, UK
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The issue with calcium sand is when its eaten in any quantity it can gel together and cause problems rather than dissolving like it ordinarily would in the stomach.

Leos are a species that are well known to readily self-supplement, so if it wants calcium, and it gets a mouthful of the calci sand, it will know its got something in it its craving and will eat more. (Its not uncommon to have a small dish in with a Leo with just calcium powder in that they can lick because of how readily they will self-supplement).

Combine those two factors, and calci sand is a bad choice for a Leo (bad choice for most species to be fair, but Leos are more at risk because of their habits)
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 23-04-2019, 09:34 AM
Egg
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
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Thanks everyone, so what would you recommend instead of the sand? I did see someone said play sand but I'm just thinking of trying to clear that out would be a bit of a difficulty for my son and very messy. The calcium grit isn't great but its easier to clean up.
I keep seeing people saying eco earth or something like that? Anyway thank you again, I'm going to phone the shop today and have a chat with them again.
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Old 23-04-2019, 09:38 AM
Egg
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
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Sorry @wilkinss77 just saw your link for substrate on your post. That's a great help thank you
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 23-04-2019, 03:35 PM
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Egg
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Addlestone
Posts: 7
Default Solved?

Is great to see you so wanting to keep your pet in good care.
I hope you solved your problems.
After reading your post, I think eco earth would be good.
When i had my leopard gecko , i use heat mat.
Don't know if this help.
Terence
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Old 27-04-2019, 01:09 AM
Egg
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
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Hi everyone just wanted to update you all and say thank you for all your advice. I phone the shop we got him from and they were great, so feel a lot happier. I did find some moss in his poo but he's shown signs of impacation but just to be safe I wrap a paper towel round the moss and keep it damp. Reggy seems happy enough with it. I've also put his hide in the middle of his Viv but leaning more towards his hot side to get more of the humidity up in there. He seems very content coming out during the day and night, he now come up to the glass, when I open it and climbs onto my hand and walks around and I'm gradually getting my son to handle him too. We seem to have found all the right temps now, for day and night and I'm gradually putting his day light hours up for the summer hours. Although Reggy is my son's gecko, I'm actually secretly loving him myself 😁
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Old 27-04-2019, 01:14 AM
Egg
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
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Sorry I put he's shown signs of impacation, when I meant to put hadn't shown signs before you all worry 😊
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Old 27-04-2019, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissyP View Post
Sorry I put he's shown signs of impacation, when I meant to put hadn't shown signs before you all worry 😊
Did you change the substrate like we suggested?
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Old 27-04-2019, 07:15 PM
Egg
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
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No, I left it as it was, as advised by the shop where I got him from. As long as I keep his husbandry up and he's getting all that he needs he shouldn't eat the substrate and I even saw someone on here say the same. He's happy and healthy and has been living with the same substrate at the shop for nearly a year, so will leave as is.
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