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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys i am from a fish keeping background so please for give me as this isthe first time i havebeen to this forum and indeed my first time in keeping reptiles

so here comes the question...

i am currently in the process of building my 3 ft by 2 ft by 2ft tall viv i was just wondering the equipment i will need to be ready for a leopard gecko or 2? e.g heat bulbs thermostats night lights (red?) i know well sort of the bits i need as i have been reading up but cant find anything about heater strength and wattage and so fourth any help will be very appreciated

thanks gaz
 

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i use a heat mat of 2/3 of the tank, that sorts out night time temp and accompanied with a spot bulb, heats the tank during the day.

MY bulb is 25 watt and keeps a 90 degree hot spot, and 80-85 degrees as you progres to the other side of the tank. I keep the heat mat set to 85 degrees using a thermostat
 

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60 watt spot bulb will do the job in a tank that size...i personally don't use a thermostat but instead monitor the temps very carefully in the summer. if you want a thermostat for piece of mind get a habistat one...you do not need a dimmer or dual just a plain ole thermostat will do (not a mat stat though)
Leopards are pretty cool, good place to start.. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guysi read somewhere that uv light wasnt important looks like its another fitting to add to my viv!

great help thanks :D
 

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leos

Hiya gaz! first of all let me start by saying welcome to the forum :welcome: dont worry about the fish keeping background...i have my fiance who does all that and i do the leos lol.im a veterinary nurse and have been keeping geckos for about 4 years now.Well if your thinking about leos then first you need to decide on what you want from the animal.i.g if you intend to breed or just want them as a pet?Let me make the easy explaination 1st.if you just want a pet then you are better having just the 1 leo for now.female leos can be housed together quite happily but males will fight and tear a chunk out of each other.Then you need to decide what age you want your leo to be either juvie or adult.it doesnt really make a huge differnece really but just bare in mind they need feeding a little more often then a adult.

HOUSING:With regards to housing you dont need any bulbs to heat a viv.all you need is a heat mat or pad as there called from ant local exotic shop.This is a good way to keep the temps nice to.i dont have to bother with mine at all as my didgy thermomiter says its between 22-26C on the heat pad an 18-22C on the cooler end.ideal.the heat pad gos under the subsrate at one end of the viv and left on all the time.With leos you have to create a warm spot and then at the other end of the viv its classed as the cooler spot.basicly leos absorb heat through their tummys and unlike other reptiles they dont need to bask in the "sunlight" or under a bulb...so they go onto the heat pad for a warm up then they move to the other side to cool down and vice versa.This also plays a vital point to their digestion rate as well.if they aint warm enough they cant digest their food correctly.If you do want to have a light in the viv for veiwing the leo then i strongly advise a blue or even red low watt bulb around no more then 15 watt as if you put a normal light in then they will simply hide as they are nocturnal. With regards to substrate there is a lot of issues at the min online with every1 finally finding out how bad Calci sand is for leos and the impactation it can cause if the leo eats it.i strongly advice you dont use calci sand or even play sand as it contains silicon which will can harm a leo if eaten.a lot of people have slate,reptile carpet,tiles and paper towel.I myself use reptile sand for all my adult leos and i have never had a problem but its up to you personally to decide if you want to take the risk.if you get a young leo i wouldnt use sand as they are still perfecting their aim when eating so they can take in some sand with their food.You need to have a couple of hidy holes for your leo,you can either buy reptile huts from shops or just use a butter tub with a hole in.depend what you want.you should put one on the warm spot an one on the cooler place though so they dont chose security over heat though like mine tended to do.A small hide should be place into the viv also containing damp moss as geckos use this to help when they come up to a shedding of there skin.plastic plants can be used to decorating the viv and making it more pleasing to the eye.a bit of cork wood or even slate can be used for decoration but make sure these are secure so they dont fall on your gecko.A dish of calcium should be left in the viv at all times to and also a shallow water bowel should always be available.A thermomiter is advised to, so you can keep a eye on temps.

Other then that i would pretty much say that covers it.if you need anymore help im sure me or some of the others could help out.
:2thumb:
 

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ok, heatmats are a no no inside vivs especially on the floor, all it takes is for them to be damaged, age etc and then get slightly wet and short and result in fire etc ..

they can also overheat and reach temps of 130f, enough to burn any reptile really

they should also always be statted too.

also most reptiles have heat sensing spots on their backs, so using a heat mat and they cannot detect the temps properly and can overheat/burn them selves

i use bulbs for my leos, on a dimming stat and is what i would reccomend
 

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lol, dont be a twat !

Heat mats are a no no that should always be used with a stat??????????

Either use with or stat or dont use at all, not both !

Yes, heat mats can go wrong, like any other heating source so a stat is always recomended, but also recomended is checking the state of everything in the viv. Any signs of damage and it should be replaced.

Sand can cause the mats to overheat, so avoid that, and ofcourse paper roll is a hazard. but putting a slate tile over the mat works great.

I have kept reptiles for 20 years, right now have over 40 vivs on the go, all but 3 or 4 have under floor heating , and I have never had a problem.

Using a light for heat for leos only helps to mess up the day night systems and mess up eating habbits, IMOHO !

Buy all means, keep as you like, I will stick to what I have found works.
 

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seems that everyone has different ways...think as long as the animal/animals are happy, feeding well and look good that is all you need...just find a way that works and stick to it...my female is now 8 and doing fine without heat mats/thermostats..the bulb she has keeps her to a diurnal cycle and keeps the viv at the correct temp...only thing i do have is a dimmer so i can control the temps better...
As with all reptiles you learn as you go...as long as the basic husbandry is there you can modify it to suit yourself and your rep...
 

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nutty, 22-26 deg c doesn't sound right to me. I've got my basking area set at 31 deg c which is what it tells you to do in most care sheets.

Belial,
We use a heat mat covering 1/4 of the viv with a 25 watt bulb (red bulb).. they never have any problems with cycles and they also want to eat. I'm no pro on them, but if you check the thread i made up you'll see useful tips on shedding and feeding.
 

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Royal python wrote:
nutty, 22-26 deg c doesn't sound right to me. I've got my basking area set at 31 deg c which is what it tells you to do in most care sheets.
31C for a basking spot is way to high.When i did my veterinary nursing degree we were taught that it should not be any more then 26C max and then the other end of the viv should be around 18-22C.

back me up here guys to what you think because im just going off how i keep mine an the ones at the vets :roll:
 

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royal,

the information is quite right, a heatmat under 1/4 of the substrate 25watt bulb etc will work, good basic care..like i said i just use a different technique and have never had a problem...the leopards go and stand over the water bowl when they want to shed think standing in the water helps their toes...they get sprayed 3 days prior to shedding everyday to get humidity up and this all leads to happy little geckos...
Was merely saying that every caresheet you read will say different things (have read a few in my time) you just have to have decent husbandry that works for you..

87-90F is the optimal temp for the basking spot but the heat should eminate from a rock so the leo can lie on it and pull up the heat they need...this is bout 31C..26C is too low...you need to create a thermal gradient and this cannot be done if the heat spot is only 6 degree above average room temp.
 

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I thought so. I'm laughing because i'm not sure why i was refering to you lol... I think i was meant to be giving advice on how i do it for Gaz, and checked the name on the top of the reply page. Woops! But cheers. I know your method will work, like i say, i think i was meant to be replying to gaz :lol:
 

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yeah, I love my royals. I'm soon going to have 15 of them EEK! And another male morph next summer. I think after this i'll chill for a bit and concentrate on breeding what i've got (which will eventually be 4 different morphs).

I think that 4.8.0 means 4 males, 8 females, 0 hatchlings? We do have ones that hatched about 3 months ago by ourselves, but we're keeping the remaining 4. Also purchased 5 morph's which are probably of the same age. Thought it'd be easier just to say we have x amount of males and females.

Once you find the suitable pet, they get addictive don't they! :D
 

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Agreed.

As I have said else where, there are plenty of wrong ways, but no 'right' way.

Each animal is a living thing, and as such differ from each other, just like humans.

I go for 88-90 (in old sizes !) as most of mine seem to like it, but I do have one or two that feed better at slightly lower temps.

Aslong as your gex is eating , not loosing weight and moving around, generaly you not far off !

If its not bust dont fix it !! comes to mind !!

Well done on the great advice tho guys

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ok guys 1st thank you for making me feel welcome and being very helpful

a couple of questions
do i need a uv lamp?

im going for the heat mat but what natural looking substrate?

adult leos or juvinile for total beginner?

is a built in shaded area useful?

can i house 3 female to no males without problems?

do they all need seperate "hidy holes"?

thanks again and i look forward to ur replies

p.s sorry i havent replied been busy building and working
 
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