Prose and Controversies: Multi-Species Enclosures

This week Gecko Time introduces a new monthly interactive feature called “Prose and Controversies”.  Here’s how it works:  Each column will feature an issue that has been controversial for gecko keepers.  We will attempt to briefly explore as many aspects of the controversy as possible.  At the end of the article is a submission box where we encourage you to send us your thoughts and ideas about this topic.  The following month we will publish all the comments we have received.  This is an excellent opportunity for the gecko community to explore controversial issues that arise in our pursuit of our hobby.

Multi-Species Enclosures

Many people are fascinated with the idea of keeping different gecko (and non-gecko) species together in the same enclosure.  Their reasons are varied: a desire to create a complete eco-system from a particular part of the world, a more compact way to keep several different species of interest, an aesthetic interest in the way different species look together, an urge to “go where no one has gone before”.  In general, more experienced reptile keepers have discouraged keeping multiple species together for the following reasons:

♦ Species from different parts of the world have different needs and will not do well together

♦ In many cases, specimens of different species will kill or eat each other

♦ Most enclosures are much too small to permit the creation of an ecosystem that works effectively

In spite of these reasons, some gecko keepers continue to plan and set up multi-species enclosures.  Based on comments in reptile forums, many novice keepers have not considered the varying needs of the species they plan to keep together, and may attempt to carry out their plan using a 10 or 20 gallon tank.  At the other end of the spectrum, some experienced keepers have successfully kept multiple species together in huge 100+ gallon eclosures.

Here’s Where You Come In

Gecko Time would love to receive your thoughts and experiences about this topic.  Some of the questions you could address include (but are not limited to):

♦ Is a multi-species enclosure ever viable?

♦ If so, what is the minimum size enclosure?

♦ What are indications that the set-up is working or not working?

♦ What are some suggested species combinations?

♦ Have you attempted this yourself, and how has it worked out?

♦ Are there any ethical issues with multi-species enclosures?

♦ Have you tried a multi-species enclosure?  If so, what were the results?

How to Submit

In the box below labelled “Name”, please put whatever name you would like to appear with your submission.  This could be your complete name, initials, user name, or whatever else you feel comfortable using.

Comments are now closed. Thank you.

What do you think?

Written by Aliza

Aliza is a home care speech therapist living in the Boston area. She successfully bred a variety of gecko species between 2005 and 2017. She currently cares for a large number of geckos as well as a few frogs and bearded dragons. Other interests which she pursues in her copious free time include work in ceramics, practicing aikido and surfing the internet.

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