Reptile Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Caresheet for beginers with leopard geckos

I've noticed that quite a lot of people new to the hobby have been asking questions on their leopard gecko. When i first got my leo, i bought a book called "leopard Geckos" by Gerold and Cindy Merker, and id recomend it to anyone new to herp keeping. Seeing as the same questions keep coming up, i thought i'd be a good forum person and do a caresheet, so people can see how i keep my leo, and to answer any questions they may have. I'm not gonna talk about their taxonomy or anything just lookin after them. Anyway let's start...

Housing

When you buy a leo, make sure you have had the vivarium, heaters etc ready for at least 3 days before you bring them home. That way you can make sure that all equipment is working and all tempereatures are at the correct level, so your new pet can settle in quickly. Geckos need a tempereature gradient so they can regulate their body tempereature. You should aim to have a hot end at no more than 32c and a cool end at 22c. When setting up a viv, monitor the tempereatures at different times of the day, so you can make sure that these tempereatures do not fluctuate. A heatmat, covering about 1/3 of your vivarium floor, should be plugged into a "mat stat" to control your tempereature. Always use a stat, unless you want to cook your gecko! I recomend a wooden vivarium as it will hold heat better, and is more hardy than some glass ones. A substrate (something to cover the floor) such as Repti-Carpet (which i use), lino, slate tiles, kitchen roll or newspaper should be used. NEVER EVER USE SAND OF ANY KIND, WHETHER IT'S "SAFE FOR REPTILES" OR NOT. If you use sand you run the risk of your leo swallowing it and dying due to impaction. You need at least 2 hides for the gecko,one in the cool end, one in the warm, and you can get these on the net or in shops, or you can make your own. Make sure the cool hide, has damp Sphagnum moss in it. This will help your gecko shed it's skin easily, and can help keep him/her hydrated.(Remember that geckos thrive in desert conditions, so make sure only one hide is moist, and that it's damp, not like a swimming pool!) In your enclosure you should also include a water bowl, and a shallow dish (milk bottle tops work well) to put some Calcium in it, which your gecko will lick to help it keep healthy. You may also need an "Escape proof" feeding bowl if you decide to feed Mealworms, which brings us on to...

Feeding

You should feed a hatchling gecko everyday, a young juvenille gecko every day, with sub adults and adult geckos fed every other day. However this is only a rough guide, as every gecko is different. Feed 4-7 mealworms or crickets and at each feed dust them with a calcium supplement. Dust your geckos food with a multivitamain supplement once every week. Like i say, each gecko is different, but you should get to know your geckos feeding pattern after a few weeks, and then feeding gets a lot easier. (always take any remaining/dead food out after 3/4 of an hour, so your leo doesn't get munched) Make sure feed the gecko's food (the crickets and mealworms), otherwise your leo gets none of the goodness and basically eats exo-skeleton.

Handling

A front opening vivarium is much better as your gecko can see you coming and so doesnt think it's being picked up by a predator. talk to your gecko, so it knows your voice and associates being picked up with you, the bringer of food! gently scoop one hand under the leo and lift slightly, and then put your other hand underneath to support it's legs. You should aim to handle your leo once a day, for them to tame up. Never grab your gecko by the tail because it will fall off, and you dont want that, do you? Try to hold it over the vivarium/ your bed etc not over the floor because you never really know, even after years what your leo might do if its spooked. Don't be afraid of your leo exploring your hand just make sure you can see it at all times. (gecko not hand)


Health Care

Make sure their is a vet near near you who specialize or have a knowledge of reptile care. If you do it now it'll save you a lot of trouble, should you need to find one in an emergency. When your geck sheds its skin, it will take on a ghostly appearance. They generally head to the humid hide, which must be kept wet at all times, and emerge a few hours later, with a new layer of colourful skin showing. Your gecko will eat most of the old skin, but no-one really knows why, Possibly for the nutrients in it. However sometimes their may be some old skin on the feet or toes. To remove this get a shallow container, and fill it up to where your geckos belly would be with luke warm water, and this should get rid of old toe skin. Always observe your leo in a bath to make sure it doesn't drown or freeze when the water gets to cold.


Sexing

It's difficult to tell if your gecko is a boy or girl if it's a hatchling. However as they get older and bigger it becomes quite easy to tell what sex your gecko is. Males have large pre-anal pores in the shape of a v, and large Hemiphenal bulges. Females have small pre-anal pores and they lack bulges, or the bulges are very small. Make sure you only have one male to an enclosure or one female. If you want a group of leos have up to for females. If you want to breed one male and a group of females is usually the most succesfull. Females should be over 50 gramms if you wish to breed them Make sure you are absolutely certain of the sex of your reptiles before you start to breed, otherwise you could end up with an injured gecko, as two males fight will fight to the death. Make sure any geckos you keep together are similar sizes.

Disease

If you practice proper husbandry, your gecko should remain healthy for many years. However, sometimes geckos do get sick, and a good diagnosis leads to (hopefully) a speedy recovery.




Links
I thought i'd put some links here of websites that i would recomend for buying things, and products you should get.

www.petzoo.co.uk

http://www.petzoo.co.uk/index.php?cPath=102 <-- Hides

http://http://www.petzoo.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=92&products_id=53 <--- Mat Stat

http://www.petzoo.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=80&products_id=64 waterbowl

http://www.petzoo.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=80&products_id=62 food bowl



If you have any questions PM me or E-mail me at [email protected] (there are underscores in each space) anyone who would like to comment on what i have done and things that you'd like to be changed/added reply to this and i'll get editing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I really should have called it Leopard Geckos for beginners

:up::up::up::up: <-------------------------bump
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was gonna leave breeding cos I thought id do it for people who come on asking if geckos can eat veg the day before they get them. I've just thought of things that need to be added
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sexing started, ill get some pics on...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,748 Posts
only one correction
you should feed the crickets not the geckos ;)

On a different note it should be mentioned that if you are keeping leos together then they need to be about the same size
also for the sexing part and just the basics of breeding it should be boted that it is not advisable for leos to breed unless they are over 50 grams

Make sure feed the geckos food, otherwise your leo gets none of the goodness and basically eats exo-skeleton.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
just making sure i get my disease bit spot on
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,748 Posts
Its looking good though i was thinking exactly the same thing today has there have been a few posts that make me question the way people impluse buy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,792 Posts
Just noticed that when I have read many posts when I first started in leo's MANY people advised that the moist hide went in the warm end OR half in warm and half in cool end, but your says moist hide in cool end.....not being at all funny, just wondering if people that already have leo's are doing the right thing :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,748 Posts
Just noticed that when I have read many posts when I first started in leo's MANY people advised that the moist hide went in the warm end OR half in warm and half in cool end, but your says moist hide in cool end.....not being at all funny, just wondering if people that already have leo's are doing the right thing :)
Ours go in the warm end helps with the sheding and creates more humidity than in the cool end ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,792 Posts
Ours go in the warm end helps with the sheding and creates more humidity than in the cool end ;)
Mine too........before I did half and half but they still had little bits left on.....since putting in the warm end completely, I have not had ANY shedding left on : victory:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
my hide goes in the warm and cool end so ill change that
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top