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Old 06-01-2013, 04:14 PM
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Default First leopard gecko help!

Hi, I just need some advise if possible, I'm planning on getting a leopard gecko within the next month or so, it will be an adult. I'm just a bit unsure on what heating method would be best, everyone seems to use heat mats on thermostats, however our set up (even when using a new heat mat) heats the ground but not the air temp. Our house is relatively cool so not sure this is ideal, pet shop recommended heat bulb (coloured so the gecko can't see it), is this an okay method even in a 2ft viv?? How difficult would it be to get a sufficient temp gradient in such a small viv? Also if this method is okay would I use a heat mat aswell to get the ground temp??
Sorry for so many questions.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:20 PM
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The air temp is not at all important As long as the heat mat will get the hot end ground temp to 30-32*C then it will be fine. Also, I wouldn't worry about how cool your house gets - the leo will be absolutely fine without any additional heating to the cool end, they need to be able to thermoregulate to remain healthy
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:23 PM
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Hi there,

For leopard geckos, ground temperature is important rather than ambient air temperature. In the wild they would come out in the darker hours and lie on rocks/substrate that have been warmed by the sun throughout the day - heat mats replicate this. Any colour light bulbs can still be seen by leopard geckos, so would disrupt them if you were planning to use this during the night - most are not willing to come out in the day to bask under them so they won't get the heat they require. Heat mats really are the best option for this species

If you do still choose to use a heat lamp make sure it is also on a thermostat (as the mat should also be) to prevent over heating. You would also have to keep a close eye on the cool end, as you said, in a 2ft viv it is going to make getting an effective thermogradient difficult.

If you haven't already read about it, thermostats are not accurate for measuring temperatures so should be used along with a digital (not analogue) thermometer to get the correct temperatures.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:33 PM
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So as long as the ground temp is hot enough the air temp doesn't matter? What would you reccomend as the best heat mat and stat? I have the exo terra desert mat which currently is under a glass tank, we are however switching to a 2ft wooden one, would you reccomend putting it directly under a substrate such as Lino (I understand sand is a definite no due to possible impact ions) it just never seems to get very warm and its a fairly new one :-/. Also sorry for all the questions, I've been told UVB doesn't matter so my as long as there given neutrobal and calci dust properly, will it harm them to have it in or is it not recommended.
Thank you
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:44 PM
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For a wooden viv I would put the mat inside the tank but under the substrate. I think I use habistat mats (which haven't failed me yet) and habistat or microclimate thermostats are reliable.

UVB is beneficial but not necessary. If you don't have a UVB light you're right, you must supplement them well.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:55 PM
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Thank you for all your help, just want to make sure it's all set up correctly before getting him
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