Friday, March 1, 2013

A Note About Substrate

Leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) Русский...
It’s one of the first things all Leopard Gecko owners learn:  Don’t use sand as a substrate.

I’m sure you experienced owners already know this.  But if you’re new to the Leopard Gecko care scene, make sure you stay away from sand as a substrate if at all possible.  It’s quite easy for Leopard Geckos to suffer from impaction when housed on sand, even calcium sand.  This is especially true when they’re younger.  They ingest some of the sand as they hunt, and sometimes even purposely if they feel deprived of minerals like calcium.  This sand blocks their digestive tract causing major health problems and even death.
Artemis was originally housed on sand for 2 weeks until we were able to get some suitable tile for the bottom of her habitat.  Now she happily lives on a combination of half tile and half reptile carpet. 

We’d suggest using either reptile carpet or tile as a substrate.  Reptile carpet is great, but sometimes causes the geckos to snag their teeth while hunting.  Tile is great, but must be carefully installed.  You want a tile with texture, not a smooth surface.  You also have to be careful there aren't any sharp edges on the tiles.  And finally, you have to make sure that the tile is holding the appropriate temperature.  Use a thermometer to monitor it, and even a thermostat to help control under tank heaters and lamps.  Use multiple layers of thinner tiles if necessary. 

Getting the proper substrate installed in the habitat is the first step to providing your Leopard Gecko with a great habitat in which to live. Want to learn more about animals? Check out my other horse site.

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