We have two crested geckos that are 1-2 years old. We have a bio active/self sustaining tank with live plants and we had

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Customer: Hi, We have two crested geckos that are 1-2 years old. We have a bio active/self sustaining tank with live plants and we had a few of our plants just die very quickly. I am unsure if it is a safe environment for the geckos anymore. They are looking healthy and eating fine as of now.
JA: Hi there. The Vet will be able to answer your question, plus any follow-ups you may have. What's the gecko's name and age?
Customer: Topaz and Hamilton, they are both 1-2 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Topaz and Hamilton, they are both 1-2 years old
Answered by Dr. Caryn – Vet in 2 days 8 months ago
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Dr. Caryn – Vet
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2,242 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

I am sincerely ***** ***** there was a delay in someone responding to your question. (Experts are independent contractors and as such are online based on their own schedules.) However, I am available and can assist you if you still need veterinary advice.

Hello and thanks for posting your question on JustAnswer.com. My name is***** and I have been a licensed and accredited veterinarian in the US for over 22 years, specializing in aquatics, reptiles, amphibians, avian and other exotic species. JustAnswer is a question and answer service, not a veterinary telemedicine or emergency service. On this platform veterinarians can provide insight and advice based on the information you provide, but as this is not considered a legal client-patient relationship and we cannot examine your pet, we are unable to provide definitive diagnoses, prescribe medications, provide medical records or sign documents for your specific pet. For any of those you would need to make an in person visit with a local veterinarian. If your pet has a serious illness or life-threatening emergency, I strongly recommend you obtain hands-on veterinary care with a local veterinarian or veterinary emergency service as soon as possible. I am happy to chat with you via the JustAnswer app via text. For US based clients, if you are interested in a phone call instead that is an option you can choose for an additional charge. In the meantime, I am putting together some questions and/or suggestions to help with your pet’s concern.

Thanks for your question and your obvious concern about the well being of your two crested geckos, Topaz and Hamilton.

So plants dying in an enclosure wouldn't necessarily cause problems for your geckos unless these were toxic plants. (What type of plants are they?) Do you have any idea why the plants may have died (overwatered, underwatered, too little light, insect infestation, lack of nutrients)? I assume you have removed the dead plants?

Crested geckos are arboreal so live amongst trees and leaves, and benefit from a planted environment. If the tank seems a bit sparse without the plants and you need to temporarily use artificial plants in their place to provide cover, climbing options and hides for your cresties in the meantime that is okay until you are able to replace/replant.

If I am misinterpreting your question or what you are asking, please let me know and provide additional clarification about your concern.

With any crested gecko that there might be a health or environmental concern, it is always a good idea to start by checking that their environment and husbandry are proper for their species. Taking a physical measurement of the temperature gradient within the enclosure and measuring humidity with a hygrometer are a good idea. Making sure the UVB bulb is appropriate for the size of the space and has been changed regularly. Even if they are still producing visible light, UVB bulbs have a limited lifespan and need to be changed every 6-12 months, depending upon bulb type. Making sure diet is a good quality crested gecko diet and any live insects fed out have been gut loaded with a nutritious gut-loading diet as well as dusted regularly with calcium and multivitamin powder. Therefore, I am attaching a crested gecko care (husbandry) reference sheet that I put together. Please review it at your convenience and let me know if you have any questions.

I should be notified if/when you respond with additional information so we can connect about your crested geckos and the concern regarding the recently dying plants but, in the meantime, I hope this information is helpful and I wish you both the best. Thanks again for posting your question to JustAnswer.com. Sincerely, ***** *****


Customer
There was some type of fern (that we made sure was gecko safe), an aquatic plant and a money tree. I'm unsure why the plants died, but I'm guessing it was a watering issue. I decided to keep an eye on the geckos for any symptoms of sickness just in case
Customer
The tank has also looked and smelled fine, so I think it is unlikely that there is some sort of fungus or bacteria in the tank
Thanks for the followup. Likely they will do fine despite the plant deaths, especially if the plants are gecko safe and everything else looked and smelled fine. FYI, not every fern is gecko safe (avoid use of the braken fern in any reptile enclosure), but there are a number of them that are fine to use in gecko enclosures like maidenhair, holly or bird's nest ferns.


Though this is not gecko specific, Reptiles Magazine has a reference list of plants to definitely avoid using around reptiles as they can be toxic:

https://reptilesmagazine.com/list-of-plants-that-can-be-toxic-to-reptiles/


My best to you, Topaz and Hamilton. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. Sincerely, ***** *****

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