Wild gecko

Chibii

A Bright Reptile
Messages
266
Location
Holland
I want to try and keep my gecko's in a naturalistic looking viv but i don't want to use sand. Since they live mostly on rock's and some other kind of sand. Am i right? I was wondering what i could use the best.
 
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leopardDragon

Guest
definetley not sand, but ur right they live on rocks in the wild. i would say go with tile or slate that looks like a rock maybe. just DONT USE GRAVEL OR STONES. they also live in grassy areas in the wild. maybe this might help
 

Khrysty

New Member
Messages
2,650
Location
Oregon, IL
They live in these kinds of places:







There IS sand there, but they don't live on the loose sand, they avoid it. The place they live is compacted down, hard. There are loose pebbles, big rocks, and desert plants.

You can find slate tile that is sort of this color, then stack some bigger rocks to make hides (make sure they're secure and not going to fall) and maybe have a potted cactus or desert grass or two hidden in the rocks as well. It'll look pretty convincing
 
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Tony C

Wayward Frogger
Messages
3,899
Location
Columbia, SC
There is no avoiding the sand in those places, even 12 miles out to see there are sand storms. Natural sand is fine in a properly set up enclosure. I would avoid cacti, or at least choose spineless varieties. Cacti are new world plants, they are definitely not something a leo would naturally encounter and their spines could do some nasty damage to a leo's thin skin. There are plenty of other desert plants that could be used.
 
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Khrysty

New Member
Messages
2,650
Location
Oregon, IL
There is no avoiding the sand in those places, even 12 miles out to see there are sand storms. Natural sand is fine in a properly set up enclosure. I would avoid cacti, or at least choose spineless varieties. Cacti are new world plants, they are definitely not something a leo would naturally encounter and their spines could do some nasty damage to a leo's thin skin. There are plenty off other desert plants that could be used.
Thanks for the correction. Cacti aren't found in their natural habitat (as the pictures indicate), I wasn't paying attention when I typed >.< Desert grasses are, though :)
 

ngrdawg

New Member
Messages
29
Location
N.O.La.
Aloe, Mother In Law Tongue, and Rubber Tree plants are all fairly soft in texture and do well in Leo conditions. I don't think a Leopard Gecko knows an indigenous plant from a hole in the ground unless it should happen to be his hole. I would avoid sand just as a fail safe, and you would hope that a captive bred "Kept Gecko" would outlive his wild counterpart living in the sand whether sand contributes to impaction or not. I also use a little bamboo for flora, succulents generally do well I would try anything that's good in high heat and safe ,but not the spiny cacti , though the small spines of the aloe appear to be harmless to the Leos in my experience. An over-sized watering dish is a also a nice little upgrade if you have the space.
 

HepCatMoe

Escaped A.I.
Messages
758
Location
Tempe Az
i would say avoid aloe, it has some nasty spines. although i suppose it depends on what species you use. i do not think the aloe around here would work well, plus they would get way way to big.

and im sure by now there are cactus in afghanistan. they might not be native, but i know they have spread around the world.

also, i think tony is right, having lived in the desert in both the american southwest and the mideast, there is no way a desert reptile is going to avoid sand in its natural habitat.

however, and this is important, a terrarium is not its natural habitat. so while its nice to make it look like nature, it is not nature. for example in the wild geckos deal with tons of parasites. you would never introduce that into your terrarium.

for the most part the geckos are able to deal with the parasites in the wild (not always, im sure some die) but they would have a much harder time dealing with it in your terrarium.

is the same true of sand? i have no idea. personally i think its probably not that big of a deal, but conventional leo wisdom says dont do it.
 

jakemyster44

Member
Messages
588
Location
Perrysburg, Ohio
I was interested in setting up the same type of tank as well. This is what I ended up with:





I picked out all the rocks at a lanscaping store, they had all sorts of stuff to choose from, but I thought this resembled their natural habitat best. For the substrate I have a sand and peat moss mixture that works great for the plants. Then I covered the sand with golfball sized rocks, and pressed them down as best as I could. The humid hide is in there, but it is actually a burried cool-whip container with a hole in the lid. I then covered the lid with rocks so you cant see it.
 

ngrdawg

New Member
Messages
29
Location
N.O.La.
Yes it looks very nice and Leo friendly nice touch on the hide camo I would use allot more stone if it were readily available unfortunately I live in the swamp and while humidity is rarely a concern here, all stone has to be shipped in. I have made use of many bits and pieces and old roofing slates salvaged from construction sights all of which I boil first. Great setup
 

Kenjiathome2

New Member
Messages
5
Location
Japn
I Love the setup but I think rocks will hurt the geckos just saying that when they get injured from the rocks and I had read that 80% of leopard geckos in the wild(high yellows) had red,pink or injured paws I just dont want to take the chances of my gecko getting hurt but its cool to see a natural setups :D
 

jakemyster44

Member
Messages
588
Location
Perrysburg, Ohio
The geckos have been living comfortably on the rocks for a few years now with no signs of injury, no missing toes/nails and no redness, etc. After doing more research, I would replace the smaller rocks I used with hard packed clay and smooth flat rocks. That seems most natural to me based upon the few pictures of natural leopard gecko habitat that I have seen.
 
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