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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 17311
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 20+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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There! Someone gave my ten year old a baby (no idea

Customer Question

Hello there! Someone gave my ten year old a baby (no idea how old it is really, but it's little and looks to be just under 6 inches) leopard gecko for her birthday last Sunday (without my permission-who does that?!). *sigh
Anyhow, I aim to do the best I can for this little creature to keep it happy and healthy. I've done some research online, and watched some videos. I'd ideally like to not use the overhead heat sources if possible since their eyes are so sensitive. But I do have a small white bulb and a black heat bulb on right now (using those black metal cone shaped ceramic lamps on top of the screen lid-are these the ceramic heat elements people talk about?). I have them both on right now because the temps are reading too low. I have 2 air temp thermometers on the tank currently. One is a regular thermometer(on the heat mat side), and the other one is a thermometer / hygrometer combination. The under the tank heat mat is covering about half of the 10 gallon vivarium at the moment. The air temp seems to consistently read just under 80 degrees and the side with the lower temperature gradient seems to read at 65 with a humidity of 40 to 50%. I know that the temps aren't high enough, and I'm worried. My question, is that when I purchase a thermostat, will it keep the temperature up on the heat mat to where it needs to be as long as the heat mat isn't defective? Also, I thought I was supposed to keep a small dish with regular calcium in it inside her habitat for her to supplement with when she likes? I mean, in addition to dusting her crickets with it before she eats them.
Thank you so much in advance for your time and any knowledge you might have to share. :)
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 6 months ago.
Hello,My name Is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for30+ years with special interest in Reptiles and reptile rescue.It sounds like you are doing a good job. The do need a moist hide as well as a dry hid. The Moist hide should be kept on the warm side of the tank and the dry hide on the cool side of the tank. The moist hide is to aid with shedding.Make sure you use only a solid substrate. The diet is good the can eat live crickets, meal worms, Silk worms and Phoenix worms. The temps should be in the mid 80's on the warm side and the upper 70's on the cools side. As gar as over head heating the black light bulb works great. You will need to watch, two males will fight so you may need a second tank. A male and female will bread so there is a possibility of eggs in the future. I will give you a link for sexing as they get older: As far as the thermostat, it will do fine as long as the Mat is not defective. We have seen mats burn the geckos, So check the mat regularly.All seems good with what you have done. Please let me know if you have any specific questions and I will be happy to help.Joan