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Old 01-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #1 
Chevko
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Cresties/Leopard Geckos Tips?

So, I've gotten very positive feedback from my boyfriend when we went to PetSmart a couple of days ago with his mom to get dog food...

He said I could get a fire belly frog when we got money but no fish (I'm still getting my dang fish). I did research and, as I like to handle what pets I can, determined that fire bellies wouldn't be good for me due to gut-loading and their being naturally poisonous (as in it's not their diet that causes the toxin). From there I remembered that they also had some lizards on display and have fallen in love with cresties and leopards. I'm itching to get one when we actually have money because all my paychecks are currently wound up in bills and rent. (We were interested in a beardie then he read on the placard that they can get up to two feet long.)

So yes. What is a good starting checklist for cresties and leopards? Would they have the same basic necessities? I know that the tanks would be entirely different due to cresties climbing and misting whereas leopards would be great with a longer tank and a thing for water. (The word has been failing me horribly the past few days.)


So. Basic tips? I know that cresties' tails don't grow back whereas gargoyle cresties tails do, and leopard gecko's tails do grow back.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:41 PM   #2 
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Definitely get this and dust your insects in it 2-4 times a week. This stuff eliminates the need for any other supplements :)
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:35 PM   #3 
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o 3o "This"? You don't have links anywhere. Calcium dust? Or a specific brand?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #4 
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you can go with trex brand though i prefer Rephashy products for crested gecko. they have insect gutloading items, calcium dust and meal replacement powder among other useful products. 20 gal tank (vertical oriented) is good for a full grown crested but a 10g or xl KK will be needed for very young to juvie creted geckoes. you can go with real plant or just fake plants but you need branches (or foam tubing) for climbing and lots of plant cover for them to feel safe. if you have to take a few minutes to find the crestie hiding in the leaf cover then chances are that its sufficient. you can have an exoterra though it will need to be close to 20g capacity for a full grown single occupant. Zoomed is another brand of terrarium. you'll have to mist the terrarium twice a day as they need high humidity.

you can save a decent amount of money in the setup and maintenance. the terrarium price and the gecko price often can be the most expensive parts. you can get a auto misting system but that can be substituted with a dollar store water spray bottle for manually misting the enclosure. paper towel substrate (young to adult) or fine cocoa husk substrate (older geckoes to avoid impaction). you could do au naturel substrate but i dont know much about that.

another plus about cresties is the temps 22-28celcius. 27+ c is a bit warm but they can die if its too warm. you also dont need a heat lamp though the pet stores will probably insist on getting one. they're mainly nocturnal so D3 from sun/heat lamp is optional but not neccessary. gargoyles need 72-82 F but they can deal with heat a bit better. garoyle basking light (85f max) is optional but its a prefered item to include. UVB lighting is also optional for gargoyles.

i dont know much about the leopard geckos so i'll pass on that part of advice.

Last edited by nel3; 01-04-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:32 AM   #5 
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@nel3
Thanks so much for all the information!

I have a tank of some sort for reptiles, but it's a long, not a tall, with a screened lid so I know I have to get a new one unless a juvie could survive in a 10gal "long". Would it be fine if I just jumped straight to a 20gal for a juvie instead of starting small? We don't have a huge amount of space here for unneeded items and I'd be afraid that the tank would get broken if it's not being used.

I did also read that it's not mandatory for them to have a UV light source but it won't hurt them if you do and where we are, I'd say it's... ~72F to my skin and I typically run ~99F as a standard body temp - our apartment is set to 75 but we all know how heating likes to work. So we'd have to get a heat lamp due to drafts, but we may also be moving in about another five months when our lease is up.

I'm taking a look at ZooMed and Exo-Terra right now and I have no idea what dimensions equal what gallon size. You have any tips on this as far as general rules to tell what's what?

Gargoyles do look interesting as well, are those best found online through a breeder? *Curious.*
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:58 AM   #6 
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Definitely get this and dust your insects in it 2-4 times a week. This stuff eliminates the need for any other supplements :)
Lol I am an idiot....I meant to say Repashy Calcium Plus. I got mine on Amazon.com

Also for a Leopard gecko you will need three hides. One for the cool end of the cage, one for the warm end, and a humid hide. I made my humid hide out of a disposable tupperware type container. I just cut a hole for him to get in, then put a layer of paper towel in thr bottom. I spray it every day. This helps with shedding. Also I recommend a few layersof paper towels for substrate. They are safe and cheap.

For heating you will need an under tank heater and a thermostat. Set the temp 89-93F. The cool side hide should be 70-80F, so depending on how your weather is, I wpuld get a heat lamp to warm up the air in his cage. The black night bulbs are my favorite because they don't annoy the leo and they are cheaper than ceramic heat emitters.

Last edited by finnfinnfriend; 01-05-2013 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:23 AM   #7 
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Leopards need
1. substrate that if they eat wont hert them (no sand it can get bound in there stomache and kil them
2. a low water bowl so they can drink and so if they get in it they wont drowned
3. they will need a heat light ( put it on one side of the top of tank so they can exscape from the heat
4. a shelter so he can sleep and hide in ( none of those ones that are magnetic through the glass- they have been known to accedently brake or hert there legs
5. of course the calcium dust, super worms as snacks
6. optional- get parasite and mite spray and spray every thing you put into tan and inside the base so you dont bring any unwanted guess in to your tank
And be aware that if you get a baby it is a little more work to take care of them

Last edited by eatmice2010; 01-05-2013 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:58 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevko View Post
@nel3
Thanks so much for all the information!

I have a tank of some sort for reptiles, but it's a long, not a tall, with a screened lid so I know I have to get a new one unless a juvie could survive in a 10gal "long". Would it be fine if I just jumped straight to a 20gal for a juvie instead of starting small? We don't have a huge amount of space here for unneeded items and I'd be afraid that the tank would get broken if it's not being used.

I did also read that it's not mandatory for them to have a UV light source but it won't hurt them if you do and where we are, I'd say it's... ~72F to my skin and I typically run ~99F as a standard body temp - our apartment is set to 75 but we all know how heating likes to work. So we'd have to get a heat lamp due to drafts, but we may also be moving in about another five months when our lease is up.

I'm taking a look at ZooMed and Exo-Terra right now and I have no idea what dimensions equal what gallon size. You have any tips on this as far as general rules to tell what's what?

Gargoyles do look interesting as well, are those best found online through a breeder? *Curious.*
Np Chevko, mine's 18x18x18 inch cube (25g) terrarium simply because it was the only good deal i find on Kijiji/craigslist. i started with a 3.4gKK but you could go with a 5gkk if you want. you can multiply the inch dimension to cubic inches and fin the corresponding volume. 18x18x12 comes out to 16gal liquid.

you can buy a new or used terrarium, its all personal choice though you will find some good deals once in a while. i got a 1.3ft tall and wide (is slate mounted on bottom) wood stump, 6 inch heat lamp and 18x18x18 cube exoterra for $80 CAD. usually i can find the same size exoterra 2nd hand going for $100 just for the empty terrarium. i dont like the zoomed single door much but the metal top screen apparently doesnt rust like an exoterra.

jumping to a full size terrarium in s 50/50 chance. they need sufficient space and cover to feel safe. some can do it but others wont feel safe or wont eat properly bc they can find the food. though more importantly they need to smell their food easier with new tank upgrades so a 2-4 month old one could stay in a large kk or maybe even 10g. i think i put mine in the 25g around 17g weight. a weight that measures grams is needed also, just a normal food scale. it doesnt need to support 50lbs. some cresties get to 80g but those arent common. 40-60g is a common total average weight but individuals differ.

you should be careful about the temperature of the enclosure as anything over 78f/28c is much like a human living in a sauna bath their whole life. its a bit overexagrating but 27-28 is stressful and longterm constant temps such as that will not help the gecko's health very much. the geckoes are coldblooded and rely on the surounding temps to control the body temp and they'll overheat and can die if they remain too hot too long. even my place cant moderate temps atm too large windows and can hit 30c full sun in summer with ac off. even winter and full sun on the windows is causing me so worries as i can see 26.5-27 without ac on.

you can either go with pet shop or a breeder. depends on what you're looking for ie morph/patterns and what you're willing to pay for a gecko. if you plan to breed you can go either but you cant be 100 sure about the quality of the gecko ie certain standards to pass on. if its just for a pet then go with whats more convenient. i went to a breeder as the prices were a bit better in my region for the quality i was looking for ie nice looking gecko without specfifc standards required.

you can feed crickets or feeder roaches (if you can stand them) to the geckoes. the worms are debatable due to the impaction issues that may arise if too much of the shell material doesnt pass through the lizard's system. in all honestly roaches are the best option though not all might like them. crickets are noisy smelly and high maintenace as feeder insects imo. despite the roeaches' reputation they're very clean and wont jump out of relatively shallow dishes. the raoaches may not be welcom in a few living complexes ie appartments or condo/loft communities.

@eatmice: i didnt hear about those magnet ledges breaking b4. i do have one in my terrarium but its strong enough to support my gecko given the ledge isnt defective. i dont doubt they may cause some sort of injuries but ive seen none in my case. is there any particular gecko safe mite/parasite killer products?

Last edited by nel3; 01-05-2013 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:54 PM   #9 
Chevko
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@finnfinnfriend
Ah, okay! I'll definitely keep this in mind as well :D

@eatmice
I have heard of impaction in leo's, turtles and beardies from "bad" substrate, so I will definitely keep sand in mind. All of the tips, anyway, lol.

@nel3
omigawd. Thanks for the info! The deal you found makes me itch to look at those two but I have seriously zero money right now and can't make things bad for myself ;__; Took a peek at CL previously and was all "WHY DO I HAVE TO BE BROKE?"

The gKK abbreviation is foreign to me, what's that one stand for? And slate mounted? I've got speculation on both, but it's just a bit over my head on them.

Jumping to full size while they're still young makes me think of hognose snakes - too big and they'll feel too exposed. Do you know if I could put a divider in there, "held" in place by logs to cut the space if I go with a full-size to help with costs? It'll create the illusion of a smaller space while still being a "full size" tank.

Thanks for reminding me about the scale to tell if they're getting a bit heavy, I was thinking about one of those then totally forgot about it. Is there a safe way to help them "work" off extra weight other than straight denying food? I honestly don't know how one could safely cause a lizard to lose weight =\

I will definitely keep in mind as well to get a thermometer to stick in there to ensure the temp stays at a proper degree.

As far as morphs go I've found I like bicolor red and darker, and bicolor green Fire and Harlequin morphs as well as cream Fire but I doubt I would find the exact baby I want from a store and a breeder would be pricey - I'd have to go with what I can get really.

I'd be able to handle roaches just fine, only thing I've heard is that crickets tend to smell fairly bad, but would population control be the primary thing? Too many in a smaller container causing a scent issue? I'm sure that roaches wouldn't be welcome hardly anywhere because of a bad rep so I'd prefer keeping them to treats or something since crickets are so easily obtained (I'd imagine). By worms, do you mean like super worms and mealworms? I've heard with super worms that the heads can cause impaction issues so it's good to de-head them before feeding.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #10 
nel3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevko View Post
@finnfinnfriend
Ah, okay! I'll definitely keep this in mind as well :D

@eatmice
I have heard of impaction in leo's, turtles and beardies from "bad" substrate, so I will definitely keep sand in mind. All of the tips, anyway, lol.

@nel3
omigawd. Thanks for the info! The deal you found makes me itch to look at those two but I have seriously zero money right now and can't make things bad for myself ;__; Took a peek at CL previously and was all "WHY DO I HAVE TO BE BROKE?"

The gKK abbreviation is foreign to me, what's that one stand for? And slate mounted? I've got speculation on both, but it's just a bit over my head on them.

Jumping to full size while they're still young makes me think of hognose snakes - too big and they'll feel too exposed. Do you know if I could put a divider in there, "held" in place by logs to cut the space if I go with a full-size to help with costs? It'll create the illusion of a smaller space while still being a "full size" tank.

Thanks for reminding me about the scale to tell if they're getting a bit heavy, I was thinking about one of those then totally forgot about it. Is there a safe way to help them "work" off extra weight other than straight denying food? I honestly don't know how one could safely cause a lizard to lose weight =\

I will definitely keep in mind as well to get a thermometer to stick in there to ensure the temp stays at a proper degree.

As far as morphs go I've found I like bicolor red and darker, and bicolor green Fire and Harlequin morphs as well as cream Fire but I doubt I would find the exact baby I want from a store and a breeder would be pricey - I'd have to go with what I can get really.

I'd be able to handle roaches just fine, only thing I've heard is that crickets tend to smell fairly bad, but would population control be the primary thing? Too many in a smaller container causing a scent issue? I'm sure that roaches wouldn't be welcome hardly anywhere because of a bad rep so I'd prefer keeping them to treats or something since crickets are so easily obtained (I'd imagine). By worms, do you mean like super worms and mealworms? I've heard with super worms that the heads can cause impaction issues so it's good to de-head them before feeding.
i did pretty well to get my gecko start up costs low. $30-50 for the food and calcium dust, $80 the gecko, $80 for 80% terrarium setup. the rest was dollar store purchased ie spray bottle and a few small purchases from a pet store. the branches i got for free ie fallen branches. CL KJ can help out to lower costs given the pet store may sell the full size terraium kit for minimum $200. as for substrate you can chose to use paper towel for their whole life, some ppl like the fine cocoa husk. once the gecko is old enough the impaction issues will largely be gone, unless they constantly ingest it -> switch over to some other substrate. small amounts of cocoa husk wont pose too much issues with impaction though i personally chose to stick with paper towel. feeding insects to geckoes can also cause impaction issues if they also take the substrate along with the insect.

i dont know who did the stump mounting but its just a long rectangular slte rock with 1 hole and a stone screw to hold the stump. it can swivel with such a setup.

Gkk is ie 3.4 gallon Kritter Keeper/faunarium. ie those plactic pet containers sold at stores. a tank divider should work just fine until they're ready for the full area. i never did that personally but it will give then less space to explore and feel safer. if possible you can put some clear plastic on the other side of the divider to limit the space the food smell can go.

a lizard can lose weight thought it'll be more through sickness and/or bad care. some geckoes can get overweight but controlled feeding amounts can help out to limit the weight gain. hand walking/handling the gecko will also help them lose weight think of it as exercise and getting them used to you. for most lizards you probably shouldnt handle them for the first 2-3 week much as they're still acclimating to new surroundings. they will also likely wont eat but a crestie can go 2 weeks without food but it wont starve itself unless its sick.

crickets do get smelly in any quantity but its not over bearing to make the whole house/room smell (unless you have several hundred in an area). they're relatively high maintenance to keep alive until they die or get fed. they can be noisy ie chirping but thats just personal oppinion as to what you can tolerate. cricket containers are possible, plastic is up to you as some might chew through the container and escape. ive never had mine chew through as i dont overstock them ie 2.2quart container to hold 11 crickets max. too many also will canabalise the others in the same container. the ideal tank for crickets is 10-20g tanks as they high ledge wont let them jump over. though i also dont have much space so i went with plastic containers (drilled and craft mest screnntop ie aq silicone).

super worms are partly impaction issues but the crestie doesnt chew the insect, they crush them and you cant guarantee the feeder is dead when it enetrs the stomach. this can leave a living worm in the stomach chewing out for freedom. the shell of the worms is something they cant digest nor pass through well. some feed freshly shed worms but that up to personal choice and people can either support feeding worms or to avoid them for cresties. some other lizard species dont have such impaction issues.

lol sorry if my replies are a bit long. i do prefer harley/flames, dalmation an tigers are next. patternless are cool though i dont mind them. i dont really like the pattern on pin stripes, they dont easthetically please me.


Last edited by nel3; 01-06-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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