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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How to setup your basic leopard gecko vivarium
I have written this guide to help with basic setup questions and also to help with anyone new to keeping leopard geckos.
A guide like this may already exist but i have not seen it.

First list of what you will need

1. Vivarium minimum 60cm x 30cm x 30cm width x depth x height can be made from wood glass or plastic.


2. Heat mat must cover at least 1/3rd max ½ of the vivarium floor


3. Thermostat
Its up to you which you choose i used a lucky reptile on off stat for this viv

4. Thermometer preferably digital with two probes


5. Three hides one for warm end one for cool end one to be used as moist hide


6. Food bowl water bowl calcium dish


7.will explain my supplement method pure calcium i put in a small pot inside Viv can be licked up as they feel the need , i dust live-food every feed alternating between Calcium with D3 , vitamin powder i.e. nutrobol there are other supplement methods but i find this works best for me.
Not really part of the setup but thought i would mention it :)

8. Substrate I recommend any substrate that is not loose to greatly reduce the risk of impaction. Vinyl tiles / lino flooring, laminate flooring, sandstone / slate tiles, kitchen roll can all be used and all allow good transfer of heat from the heat mat.


9. Any other decoration you fancy from a background to some fake plants or nice pieces of wood.


10. Optional items would be lighting they don’t require any lighting as long as your room has a natural day and night cycle this is enough. Although using UV lighting for a couple of hours a day has been found to be beneficial even though they will probably not completely expose themselves to the light.


First thing to do if using a wooden vivarium is to place your heat mat in and figure out how you are going to run the wire out if the plug is removable you could drill a hole and feed the wire through if it is not removable you may be able to take one of the vents out depending which kind your vivarium has.
If you don’t have a vent to put the plug through and your heat mat has a sealed plug all I can suggest is if your competent at replacing a plug is what I have done in the past cut off the sealed plug run the wire through a drilled hole replace the sealed plug with a normal one.


Now you need to figure out the same thing with your thermometer probes and thermostat probe you either need to drill a hole or feed them through one of your vents.

Next if you are using a background like a stick on vinyl scene it is best to fit this now.

Now it is time to put in what ever substrate you have chosen have I chosen vinyl tiles


Now I fix my probes into position with a small blob of super glue this is optional but I find it a good way of stopping the probes from being moved around by the leopard gecko they are still easily removed as it’s only a small amount.
If you wanted to seal around bottom with aquarium sealant or fill any holes with aquarium sealant now is the time to do it.
Make sure to leave to air for a reasonable amount of time so their are no fumes and everything is dry.

 

Now its time to add your hides I prefer using exo terra medium and Trixie medium hides for the warm side on my Viv's. On the cool side I use a coconut hide normally. For the moist hide you can buy a ready made one or you can make your self one out of a cheap plastic tub.

How to make a cheap basic moist hide
All you need is a plastic tub with a lid then cut a hole big enough for your gecko to get through into the lid then fill with your choice of medium i.e. moss , coir , kitchen roll .

Next add your final pieces of decor fake plants etc I particularly like a small piece of mopani wood or cork bark.


And then you have your finished basic leopard gecko vivarium
Hope this guide helps some people and can answer some of the basic questions for anyone new to leopard geckos.
Let me know what you think positives and negatives please
 

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i may be blind, but did you state the temps they should set it to?

nice guide though :p should be quite useful, especially now we are in summer xD
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i may be blind, but did you state the temps they should set it to?

nice guide though :p should be quite useful, especially now we are in summer xD
no i didn't state the temps was going to but then all that info is available on many good care sheets that are around this was more focused on the actual putting together of the setup :)
thanks for the positive comments.
 

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shouls explain the basics of the calcium, nutrobol etc. very good, should help out laot of newbies :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
shouls explain the basics of the calcium, nutrobol etc. very good, should help out laot of newbies :D
thanks for the comments i changed the wording to do with supplements a bit. didn't want to go to in depth with it will be explained in more detail on the new care sheet I'm creating at the moment.
 

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no problem, should save alot of "how is my setup" threads. all we need now is "no, your royal is not a morph" and the forum will be a lot tidier :D
 

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Could maybe have a sticky with 'Basic setups' and this in there - Nicnet did a good guide on setting beardie temps earlier too, could add a basic setup for a beardie and other common lizards maybe? Just a suggestion, would keep the forum a lot tidier I think :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is the back board upside down and back to front?

Phil
was waiting for this yes it is upside down purposely so the cut outs for the cable were at the bottom.
but i realised to late that the back board was indeed back to front wont really be a problem but i will know for next time :). :blush:
 

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was waiting for this yes it is upside down purposely so the cut outs for the cable were at the bottom.
but i realised to late that the back board was indeed back to front wont really be a problem but i will know for next time :). :blush:
Ahhhh, I thought you did it on purpose for the cut outs but was confused with the vents... :2thumb:

Have you secured them, I double sealed the vents on mine as they push out really easily and my MBK is always trying to escape... Lol

Phil

Good thread I recommended it for sticky with the mods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ahhhh, I thought you did it on purpose for the cut outs but was confused with the vents... :2thumb:

Have you secured them, I double sealed the vents on mine as they push out really easily and my MBK is always trying to escape... Lol

Phil

Good thread I recommended it for sticky with the mods.
yeah have stuck the vents in they wont be budging :) i didn't look hard enough at instructions on how to build the Viv so it was my own fault got it built in 15 minutes but will teach me to stop and read bit more thoroughly next time :).
thanks for the recommendation :2thumb:.
 

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where could i find the thermostat that you are using here? and whats the cost of it? thanks :)
 

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Great info, thanks. I do have a couple of questions about LG viv setups regarding probe placements and stats.

Ok, so I will be setting up my adult LG viv over the next couple of months. I will be getting the Vivexotic 48" x 18" deep viv. I will be putting a heat mat in the hot end with a mat stat and setting it to a max of 90F. Where would the best place for the mat stat probe to be, on the substrate surface?

Also, I was planing on fitting somekind of lighting to simulate daytime, any thoughts on how this is best? Will this lighting need to be on a regulating thermostat also such as a dimmer stat to prevent over heating? Would two stats work in contrast and be pointless?

The other question I have is what do people in the UK do about heating in the winter months to heat their vivs? My house can get down as low as 15C at night and I didnt know if the mat would provide enough heat in the viv or if I need somekind of infrared reptile light to keep viv warm?

Thanks,

Newty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Great info, thanks. I do have a couple of questions about LG viv setups regarding probe placements and stats.

Ok, so I will be setting up my adult LG viv over the next couple of months. I will be getting the Vivexotic 48" x 18" deep viv. I will be putting a heat mat in the hot end with a mat stat and setting it to a max of 90F. Where would the best place for the mat stat probe to be, on the substrate surface?

Yes this is the place place for it to be at the same level as the leopard gecko above the heat mat what substrate are you thinking of using ?.

Also, I was planing on fitting somekind of lighting to simulate daytime, any thoughts on how this is best? Will this lighting need to be on a regulating thermostat also such as a dimmer stat to prevent over heating? Would two stats work in contrast and be pointless?

if you want to have the vivarium lit during the day you may as well just go for a low output UV tube 2.0 -5.0 wont have to worry about it heating the Viv then so will be no need for another stat.
just put it on a timer so you don't have to worry about it.

The other question I have is what do people in the UK do about heating in the winter months to heat their vivs? My house can get down as low as 15C at night and I didnt know if the mat would provide enough heat in the viv or if I need somekind of infrared reptile light to keep viv warm?

well i don't have the problem of my house getting to cold temps never dropped below 20.c for last 3 winters and the heat mats kept the Viv warm enough.
all i could suggest is if you were concerned it was to cold would be to setup a ceramic heater with a separate thermostat and set it to about 20.c - 22.c to up the ambient temperatures inside the Viv this would stop them getting to cold and they would still benefit from the heat mat.

Thanks,

Newty!
Answers in blue any other questions I'm happy to help
 

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Thanks for the info, I used to keep Uromastyx lizards about 12 yeas ago and I use a substrate called Lizard Litter Desert Blend, which I think was basicly crushed up walnut shells. It did look great for a desert setup but Im not sure how the geckos would fair?

I will of course be adding a moist hide box, would this be best in the warm end or cool end?

I would like to create a habitat that is fuctional yet also natural and beautiful, so I need a substrate that will look good, any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the info, I used to keep Uromastyx lizards about 12 yeas ago and I use a substrate called Lizard Litter Desert Blend, which I think was basicly crushed up walnut shells. It did look great for a desert setup but Im not sure how the geckos would fair?

I don't personally use loose substrate (although other people do) with any of my leopard geckos because of the risk of impaction there are many documented cases.
i can tell you the worst substrate are the so called digestible calci sands avoid these at all costs just do a google search on it to see what i mean.
substrates i would suggest are vinyl lino flooring can get rock / sand effect , slate tiles , thin sandstone tiles , repti carpet or fake rock.
your safest bet for a loose substrate with the least risk would be your bog standard play sand about half an inch or less thick with plenty of stones / rocks , logs , cork bark placed around.
deep sand isn't really natural for a leopard gecko they are not built to wade through it or skip across it.

I will of course be adding a moist hide box, would this be best in the warm end or cool end?

i find the middle best with around one third of it actually over the heat mat don't want to raise the humidity of the Viv too high by placing the whole moist hide over the heat mat + it would dry the hide out very fast.

I would like to create a habitat that is fuctional yet also natural and beautiful, so I need a substrate that will look good, any ideas?
answers in blue again :)
 

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Thanks again, I will have a think about the substrate. I think maybe I will get some large flat rocks/stones and make a stone based floor display with a small amount of substrate inbetween for effect. How do LG deal with fake/silk plants, I guess they dont try and eat those?

I have only ever used basking bulbs before, how are the cermaic heaters at creating a mellow background heat or are they quite abrasive? I would like a mellow heater on a dimmer stat to maintain a warm air temperture 24/7 without effecting the heat comming from the heat mat, how would this be best achived?

Thanks
 
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