Leopard Gecko - Egg laying setup & vermiculite grades???

WLF2207

New Member
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5
We have 1 male & 1 female gecko, both about 1 year old, that were given to us a few months ago, so we're reading as much as we can and learning as we go. The female, Loretta, laid her 1st 2 eggs over the holidays. I have a lay box that is 6in wide x 8 in long x 2.5in tall with a 2in diameter hole. I have jungle mix as the substrate in the lay box and was wondering HOW DEEP THE SUBSTRATE NEEDS TO BE. I've looked around, but haven't found any suggestions. I was thinking maybe 1-1.5 inches deep to leave 1-1.5 inches for Loretta to crawl around in. I want her to have enough substrate for her eggs, but don't want her to be too cramped in there and thought it'd be harder to find the eggs if there was too much substrate. I added more because it seemed a little low and made sure to spray it with water until it evenly clumps, but doesn't drip. Hoping she'll use it, but seems like our male, George, is the one getting the most benefit out of it. He is there a lot. Hoping he doesn't inadvertently dig up her eggs if she does chose to lay them in there. Anyway, any suggestions or info on a good substrate depth and/or how much space they might need between the substrate and the top of the lid would be appreciated. Also, I'm thinking of purchasing some vermiculite to mix with the jungle mix to incubate the egg over or in in a deli cup, but I can't find any recommendations on what grade or size to purchase. Was thinking organic, medium grade, but wondered about fine. Any RECOMMENDATIONS ON VERMICULITE GRADE would be great. Thanks in advance.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
15,195
Location
Somerville, MA
Welcome to GF! I'm no longer breeding geckos, but I measured one of my former lay boxes, now a humid hide. It's 3" high and the substrate is about 1 1/4". This was not a scientific decision; I just put some substrate in there. I use eco earth. When I was incubating I used perlite, but I also got some egg boxes that are the kind where you put the eggs over instead of in the substrate. What incubator will you be using?

Aliza
 

WLF2207

New Member
Messages
5
Thanks and thank you for the info.
We're borrowing a JANOEL 12 incubator. It has a fan, so I may need to have the next eggs halfway in the substrate to keep them from drying out. I have 2 delli cups with an egg tray in each that sits above the substrate that I'm hoping to try though. I'll mix jungle mix & vermiculite if I can figure out what grade/szie vermiculite to use. I'm thinking I'll probably put 4 thumbtack-size holes at the top of the container (not in the lid), maybe opposite each other. Her 1st 2 eggs were infertile I think. We'll see if she lays more.
 

WLF2207

New Member
Messages
5
Welcome to GF! I'm no longer breeding geckos, but I measured one of my former lay boxes, now a humid hide. It's 3" high and the substrate is about 1 1/4". This was not a scientific decision; I just put some substrate in there. I use eco earth. When I was incubating I used perlite, but I also got some egg boxes that are the kind where you put the eggs over instead of in the substrate. What incubator will you be using?

Aliza
Hi Aliza, I just replied to you, but accidentally put it in the main feed above. This message was specifically to you:
Thanks and thank you for the info.
We're borrowing a JANOEL 12 incubator. It has a fan, so I may need to have the next eggs halfway in the substrate to keep them from drying out. I have 2 delli cups with an egg tray in each that sits above the substrate that I'm hoping to try though. I'll mix jungle mix & vermiculite if I can figure out what grade/szie vermiculite to use. I'm thinking I'll probably put 4 thumbtack-size holes at the top of the container (not in the lid), maybe opposite each other. Her 1st 2 eggs were infertile I think. We'll see if she lays more.
 

WLF2207

New Member
Messages
5
Don't put holes in the egg box. Just open the lid briefly every week.

Aliza
Thanks for the tip. Did your incubator have a fan/forced air? When you incubated eggs, did you have any trouble with them drying out? Did you have to add any water after your initial setup of the eggs above the substrate? If so, how often throughout the incubation period? We'll of course be checking her eggs for air exchange and mold growth and humidity, just wondered if your substrate dried out at all. It should be easy enough to add water if I need to with the setup we'll have. For our last egg (the 2nd one of her 1st clutch) we kept it half buried in moist substrate, but the container had to many holes and they were in the lid. I kept the incubator humid with water in the very bottom of it and the egg still dried out, but we thought it might be infertile from the start with how it looked and were just incubating for a while just in case it was fertile. We were bummed it didn't make it, but not surprised and I suppose it was good practice for us to get properly set up.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
15,195
Location
Somerville, MA
The incubator you're using is the type that can only heat, not cool. That means that if the temperature of the room where the incubator is gets hotter than the temperature you're incubating at, the temp inside the incubator will rise as well. If you have AC in the summer this isn't a problem. I don't, so when I was using this type of incubator I had to put it in the basement for the summer. It may be a good idea to disable the fan if possible. I never had to add water. If you're incubating over, but not in the substrate, add enough water so that there's condensation on the inside walls of the box. It's not unusual for the first clutch and even beyond that of a new female to be infertile. I hope everything works out OK.

Aliza
 

WLF2207

New Member
Messages
5
The incubator you're using is the type that can only heat, not cool. That means that if the temperature of the room where the incubator is gets hotter than the temperature you're incubating at, the temp inside the incubator will rise as well. If you have AC in the summer this isn't a problem. I don't, so when I was using this type of incubator I had to put it in the basement for the summer. It may be a good idea to disable the fan if possible. I never had to add water. If you're incubating over, but not in the substrate, add enough water so that there's condensation on the inside walls of the box. It's not unusual for the first clutch and even beyond that of a new female to be infertile. I hope everything works out OK.

Aliza
Thanks for all the info!
 

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