Behavior - Burrowing

capergeo

New Member
I am a little confused about something regarding the natural environment of the Leos. Having had my two Leos (Markus/Hypo Tangerine male & Martha/Snow Mack female) for a short while I was advised by the breeder who gave my wife and I Markus to use a soft substrate in their cage.

Here lies my confusion - countless times I come across habitat setups where people use artificial turf, paper towels, tiles and so forth. Martha has this thing that she does periodically in the late evening where she walks around, eats, drinks, explores and then burrows into the substrate.

I have read that they naturally live in a rocky environment and there is the possibility of compaction should they consume any substrate. Is the use of flat surfaces such as tiles a cleaning convenience or a safety issue?

Is her burrowing tendency a natural behavior? Does it mean anything or is it just curiosity?

Thanks, Geo
 

Leosrule

New Member
Messages
50
I am a little confused about something regarding the natural environment of the Leos. Having had my two Leos (Markus/Hypo Tangerine male & Martha/Snow Mack female) for a short while I was advised by the breeder who gave my wife and I Markus to use a soft substrate in their cage.

Here lies my confusion - countless times I come across habitat setups where people use artificial turf, paper towels, tiles and so forth. Martha has this thing that she does periodically in the late evening where she walks around, eats, drinks, explores and then burrows into the substrate.

I have read that they naturally live in a rocky environment and there is the possibility of compaction should they consume any substrate. Is the use of flat surfaces such as tiles a cleaning convenience or a safety issue?

Is her burrowing tendency a natural behavior? Does it mean anything or is it just curiosity?

Thanks, Geo
Its safety issue! Impaction is from loose substrate like sand. The burrowing is most likely to get warm.
 

Spots

New Member
Messages
291
Location
Ontario
Safety! but it is also sooooo much easier to clean!

And the females may start digging if she is about to lay eggs too.
 

KevinS

New Member
Messages
36
Location
WV
Yes, burrowing is a natural behavior. There are countless arguments and maybe even a few civil discussions about loose substrate for leos. Different people have different preferences. I think it is great to give them something to burrow in since it's pretty sad to see one pawing at a bare floor, clearly trying to dig. As long as you're feeding in a way that isn't causing them to grab a mouthful of substrate, I say keep maintaining them the way you are. Just use common sense (and maybe a feeding dish) and you'll be fine.
 

ajveachster

New Member
Messages
1,185
Location
NE Ohio
Burrowing is not uncommon in my colony. We use paper for tub substrate. We use paper towels in the hides for all non-laying animals. We use coco fiber in the hides for all the laying females. They will dig and hide under all of the above. I'll find animals hiding under the paper on the floor of the tub. Some of the animals like to ball up their paper towels. Some like to hide between the folds of the paper towels. Some of the females will dig in their hides even if they are not laying eggs at the time. Some will even dig in their calcium dishes, spreading powder all over. Sometimes I swear they have secret parties when we aren't looking. Gregg M. just wrote an article for gecko time about natural substrates if you are interested.
 

rickmoss95

New Member
Messages
391
Location
north east ohio
Burrowing is not uncommon in my colony. We use paper for tub substrate. We use paper towels in the hides for all non-laying animals. We use coco fiber in the hides for all the laying females. They will dig and hide under all of the above. I'll find animals hiding under the paper on the floor of the tub. Some of the animals like to ball up their paper towels. Some like to hide between the folds of the paper towels. Some of the females will dig in their hides even if they are not laying eggs at the time. Some will even dig in their calcium dishes, spreading powder all over. Sometimes I swear they have secret parties when we aren't looking. Gregg M. just wrote an article for gecko time about natural substrates if you are interested.
i am interested to read this, where can i find this article? thank you
 

GodzillaGecko

New Member
Messages
156
Location
Milford PA
Bio substrate. Well its nothing new its just natural. But I don't feel safe not cleaning my tanks no matter what anyone says. I don't want to dig up mice skele's or any skele's for that matter. I don't actually trust the whole bio deal cause that doesn't mean anything for the gecko's health. They still get impacted.
 

Crewdog00

James Skar
Messages
405
Location
Brookfield, CT 06804
It's interesting and was a good read but I'd personally never attempt this with a live animal in the tank. Multiple reasons... I like a clean tank and if my pet gets sick it's easier to narrow down. Impaction not possible with tile. Heat is always solid with digital readings and temp gun. Food is free of dirt or bacteria since its fresh and in a food dish.

Hides are cleaned once a month and the tank is completely broken down once a month.
 

mudskipper

New Member
Messages
268
I agree. One of the great things about keeping leopard geckos is the fact that they are so clean. They are definitely the cleanest pets I have ever owned. All 3 of mine poop in their litter boxes everyday. Besides some calcium powder here and there and a few stains from exploded insects, the tanks are completely clean. So having a clean up crew in the tank is not necessary at all.
 
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