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I just setup a new bioactive vivarium (pic below) for my for my 16 month 31g crested gecko. She outgrew her current biocative vivarium, and it has become overrun with slugs to the point that I believe it is affecting her health (she has little appetite and her weight is stagnant). I tried the beer and lettuce tricks which did capture a lot of slugs, but more and more keep popping up, so I really needed to get her out of there ASAP.

I just finished the new viv yesterday, the final step being adding about a dozen plants. I used Pothos, since that was the plant that did the best by far in my old vivarium. I did the NEHERP bleach treatment on the plants, and baked all soil/wood at 300F for 1+ hrs, so hopefully no slugs or other critters will have made it into this one.

My question is, what would you consider the minimum time needed for the Pothos plants to be sufficiently established before I can add my Gecko to the vivarium? I've seen 3 weeks recommended, but how much risk is there to the plants if I introduce her earlier, lets say, in a week? Right now I'm keeping her in a temporary enclosure to get her out of slugville, but it is very small so I want to put her in her new home ASAP


 

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I just setup a new bioactive vivarium (pic below) for my for my 16 month 31g crested gecko. She outgrew her current biocative vivarium, and it has become overrun with slugs to the point that I believe it is affecting her health (she has little appetite and her weight is stagnant). I tried the beer and lettuce tricks which did capture a lot of slugs, but more and more keep popping up, so I really needed to get her out of there ASAP.

I just finished the new viv yesterday, the final step being adding about a dozen plants. I used Pothos, since that was the plant that did the best by far in my old vivarium. I did the NEHERP bleach treatment on the plants, and baked all soil/wood at 300F for 1+ hrs, so hopefully no slugs or other critters will have made it into this one.

My question is, what would you consider the minimum time needed for the Pothos plants to be sufficiently established before I can add my Gecko to the vivarium? I've seen 3 weeks recommended, but how much risk is there to the plants if I introduce her earlier, lets say, in a week? Right now I'm keeping her in a temporary enclosure to get her out of slugville, but it is very small so I want to put her in her new home ASAP


image

I always allow minimum 4 weeks for enclosures to become established prior to adding any reptiles. This is not just for the plants but also to ensure the clean up crew of isopods and springtails are established.
 

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You'll need to top up the cleaning crew during that time as well, for a brand new bioactive I would say 4 weeks is a minimum...run the viv the same as it would be with the crestie in and let the plants grow in and cleaners establish (can even throw some of your cresties poop in).
Judge it in 4 weeks to see how its getting on, and be prepared to give a couple more weeks.

By then, everything should have settled in, and the viv should be properly cycling and humidity will have settled in (so mist it like it had an occupant, have the lights set up etc).
 

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Good luck to you with the pothos!
No matter what we tried all our Cresties tore it down! It’s only ever done well in with our Male Panther Chameleon. Which is odd since he’s heavier. But as he uses the branches to climb it does well in there!
Cresties climb all over it and break it. Bloody nightmare!


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