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Thread: My new Leo, Aya

  1. #1
    Registered User Courage's Avatar
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    My new Leo, Aya

    So, I am pretty new here, but some of you may know that a few months/weeks ago I was wanting a Leopard Gecko.

    And here I am.

    I went to a reptile show 2 days ago and got her(him?). I would say she is doing pretty good. (From my research) Her name is Aya (It means colorful design) She is 2 months old. (40$) When I first brought her home I put her in her tank and she explored a bit then settled in her warm hide. She comes out when I am not around (at night, although she is actually in my room) but during the day she stays in her warm hide.

    I have been feeding crickets and mealworms, the first feeding I was worried because she would eat the crickets and not the mealworms, but I think that's because she has never had them before. She will come 1/2 out of her hide to snap at some food and I have started sticking my hand in the tank for a few minutes and she will take a few steps out of her hide to see.

    Right now I am sitting by her (and talking to her) and she is poking her head out to look at me. She would not eat if I just dropped the crickets or mealworms in there (even when I backed off) so I am tong-feeding and putting them a few inches out of her hide right now. I am worried about leaving them in there because I am using paper towel substrate and when I tried just putting crickets in and leaving they hid under the paper towels and was even hard for me to find. So I was worried they would come out and nibble on her toes.

    I am dusting with Rep-Cal D3 and leaving a bottle cap of Rep-Cal no D3 in her tank (which she has been licking at) She has 2 1/2 hides (warm, humid, and a tube big enough for all of her to fit in easily to act as a cool hide. My only worry is her warm hide/side is 95 Fahrenheit but, she has the freedom to come out and go to her cool side (75 Fahrenheit) so I guess she is fine. I am not adding more substrate layers right now because I was told to never pick up there hide because that is there secure place. (I will when she comes out.)

    I am NOT doing any real lighting right now, (not as far as heating) but I know they should get a night-day cycle. The several breeders I talked to at the show said not to do any lighting so I am a bit confused on that!?

    Here she is, (if you can see the picture) any comments appreciated and thanks!

    https://ball-pythons.net/gallery/fil...img_6957_1.jpg

  2. #2
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    She's beautiful. Your hotspot is way too hot, it should be 90, just because they can thermoregulate doesn't mean that they do. What kind of heating are you using? If you don't want to leave the insects in her enclosure (I don't either) you could use escape-proof dishes and pop the crickets (dislocating their back legs, they have the mobility of a beetle) and also place the mealworms in the dish. I would only dust her food every other day or about 2/3 days. Aya would still eat and learn that if she's hungry the dish is food, if you still wanted to you could leave them out sometimes so she could chase them and get exercise. As far as lighting, you can use a heat lamp or heat pad, either works. If given a lamp leos will bask and if giving a heat pad they will lay over it, you could even use both. As far as UV light it helps but isn't necessary. If you're dusting her food and giving her a dish you don't need it but it can still help against MBD.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-20-2021 at 07:33 PM. Reason: "kind", not "king"?

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  4. #3
    Registered User Courage's Avatar
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    Re: My new Leo, Aya

    Ok, thanks so much! Yes, I know that her hot side is too hot, but her hide is directly over the UTH and so I was trying to wait until she will come out of her hide because I heard if you pick up there hides they will feel insecure and not trust you. The UTH I have is the kind you can't adjust, so I am just adding layers of substrate. Is it more important that I do it now? I figure with D3 I will not use extra lighting, (I actually have a lamp I am not using because it is 15 watts and someone said that was too bright)
    My new Leo, Aya


  5. #4
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    You need to use a thermostat, I use inkbird and they only cost $10-20. Otherwise the pad could malfunction and become much hotter (>200*F). You don't need to add lighting or UV lighting, it helps but if you're dusting and offering a dish of calcium it isn't necessary.

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  7. #5
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: My new Leo, Aya

    Quote Originally Posted by Erie_herps View Post
    You need to use a thermostat, I use inkbird and they only cost $10-20. Otherwise the pad could malfunction and become much hotter (>200*F). You don't need to add lighting or UV lighting, it helps but if you're dusting and offering a dish of calcium it isn't necessary.

    Congrats on your new girl, she's beautiful and I'm excited to see more LG keepers on here!

    Erie is spot on here. Without a thermostat you're risking serious injuries to your new LG. I would say turn that thing off entirely until you get a thermostat to control it. You can pick one up at most pet stores, including the big box stores, but you can get an Inkbird or a Jumpstart, which I use, pretty cheap on Amazon. That hot spot is WAY too hot for a LG. I keep mine right at 88 degrees and he does wonderfully.

    As far as tong feeding, I've always done it this way and haven't had any issues. As you've probably noticed already, they're pretty aggressive feeders and will smack their little noses on the thongs, so if you haven't already I'd pick up some rubber tipped tongs to keep them from hurting themselves. The ones linked below are similar to what I use, but you can get a cheaper pair.

    https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-angled...EaAiR2EALw_wcB

    My guy use to eat mealworms, but overtime he lost interest in them. I think the movement of crickets and dubias just sparks his feeding response better, so don't get too worried if she won't take mealworms. Also mix it up a bit, don't feed the same feeders week after week, variety is the spice of life even for a little gecko.

    As far as lighting, if your room gets a good bit of natural light, you don't NEED any supplemental light in the enclosure. I've kept LGs with light and without and both methods have worked. Now recently I upgrade my guy's tank and because of where I put it in my reptile room, I felt he could use some extra, so I'm using a small lamp, but for most of his life he's done fine with the window light.
    Last edited by Hugsplox; 04-20-2021 at 09:27 AM.

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  9. #6
    Registered User Courage's Avatar
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    Re: My new Leo, Aya

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugsplox View Post
    Congrats on your new girl, she's beautiful and I'm excited to see more LG keepers on here!

    Erie is spot on here. Without a thermostat you're risking serious injuries to your new LG. I would say turn that thing off entirely until you get a thermostat to control it. You can pick one up at most pet stores, including the big box stores, but you can get an Inkbird or a Jumpstart, which I use, pretty cheap on Amazon. That hot spot is WAY too hot for a LG. I keep mine right at 88 degrees and he does wonderfully.

    As far as tong feeding, I've always done it this way and haven't had any issues. As you've probably noticed already, they're pretty aggressive feeders and will smack their little noses on the thongs, so if you haven't already I'd pick up some rubber tipped tongs to keep them from hurting themselves. The ones linked below are similar to what I use, but you can get a cheaper pair.

    https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-angled...EaAiR2EALw_wcB

    My guy use to eat mealworms, but overtime he lost interest in them. I think the movement of crickets and dubias just sparks his feeding response better, so don't get too worried if she won't take mealworms. Also mix it up a bit, don't feed the same feeders week after week, variety is the spice of life even for a little gecko.

    As far as lighting, if your room gets a good bit of natural light, you don't NEED any supplemental light in the enclosure. I've kept LGs with light and without and both methods have worked. Now recently I upgrade my guy's tank and because of where I put it in my reptile room, I felt he could use some extra, so I'm using a small lamp, but for most of his life he's done fine with the window light.
    Thanks for the link and everything! I am looking for an inexpensive, yet still keep-my-leo-happy route. So I will probably just leave the window shades open (no direct sunlight and they are a good 10 feet away from the tank so I don't think it will get overheated. I am worried about turning the UTH off completely, would it be ok if I left it on and added a tile layer until I can get one? I have a thermostat, but not one I can plug in and adjust the temp. (I am checking the temp though at LEAST 5-7 times a day) This is only Aya's second day and I stuck my hand in there and she came right out of her hide and took a look (she didn't touch me but she came out) as far as tong feeding I usually just drop it a few inches in front of her, and THEN she will go for it.
    Last edited by Courage; 04-20-2021 at 10:13 AM.
    My new Leo, Aya


  10. #7
    Registered User Courage's Avatar
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    Progress in leaps and bounds- Aya licked me. She only had to come out of her hide a few inches, but she licked me!
    My new Leo, Aya


  11. #8
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: My new Leo, Aya

    Quote Originally Posted by Courage View Post
    Thanks for the link and everything! I am looking for an inexpensive, yet still keep-my-leo-happy route. So I will probably just leave the window shades open (no direct sunlight and they are a good 10 feet away from the tank so I don't think it will get overheated. I am worried about turning the UTH off completely, would it be ok if I left it on and added a tile layer until I can get one? I have a thermostat, but not one I can plug in and adjust the temp. (I am checking the temp though at LEAST 5-7 times a day) This is only Aya's second day and I stuck my hand in there and she came right out of her hide and took a look (she didn't touch me but she came out) as far as tong feeding I usually just drop it a few inches in front of her, and THEN she will go for it.
    Just to be clear, if you're going to do this as a temporary solution you need to be really careful, pay really close attention to what's going on, and if for any reason it's not working, switch the UTH off, and make the thermostat happen right away. As long as you can make sure whatever you're putting over the UTH is heavy enough that she can't move it, and you're sure that the temperature is safe, and I mean without a shadow of a doubt safe, that may work as a VERY temporary fix. That's not a substitute for a thermostat, but if you can't get one for a few days, and you're checking the temp as much as you say you are, you might be okay.

    I know I keep saying this over and over but I just want to make sure that the point isn't being lost. A thermostat is priority number 1 right now, so just because you find something that works, it's temporary and you still need to pick one up.

    With all reptiles, LGs included, you really want to set that tank up and let it run for a week or so before you put an animal in it, so you can make all these corrections without disturbing their settle in period. LGs are less prone than say a ball python would be to stressing out when you're moving stuff around, but regardless you still want to avoid disturbing them as much as possible for the first couple of weeks, and allow her to settle into her new home.

    I don't mean to sound like I'm fussing at you, but a thermostat is something you should have picked up when you were buying the rest of your set up. The silver lining is, now you'll know this stuff for your next reptile!

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  13. #9
    Registered User Courage's Avatar
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    Re: My new Leo, Aya

    Ok, sounds good. I will look on amazon today. I still want to keep the UTH on for RIGHT NOW so I am going to add a layer of tile under some paper towels. I am hoping this will take the temp down at LEAST to 90 or so. (Just so you know, I am checking her thermo AT LEAST that much if not much more because it is my room) I am just worried about getting Aya out of her hide.
    My new Leo, Aya


  14. #10
    Registered User Courage's Avatar
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    Alright, I put in a layer of tile and it is now 91 degrees. And I am moderating carefully. I am debating wether to put another one in. I think I will leave it until I can get a different situation.
    My new Leo, Aya


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