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The Leopard Gecko Advisor Answers Your Questions

Introducing Ray Roehner, author of The Leopard Gecko Advisor and owner of Designer Geckos, the first commercial storefront in the world dedicated to leopard geckos!  Periodically he will be answering questions about leopard geckos that readers send in.  Here is his first installment:

 

My Leopard gecko hasn’t eaten in a month and I’m worried

I always advise people that there are three types of geckos as far as eating habits go….picky eaters, normal eaters, and voracious eaters.  Voracious eaters will eat anything, anytime, and rarely if ever go off food.  You need to be careful not to overfeed this type or they can get obese quickly.  While they will always look up at you like they are starving, don’t give in to their requests!  Feed them in a measured way, as obese geckos can have difficulty shedding, breeding, and have a shortened lifespan.
Normal eaters will eat well most of the time, but occasionally go into fasting periods.  This is particularly true in winter and early spring when geckos’ hormones are fluctuating as the onset of the breeding season approaches.  In winter many reptiles go into more of a dormancy, non-eating period, sensing the shorter days and colder temperatures. This behavior is normal and not to be concerned about as long as the gecko’s tail has adequate fat reserves for its sustenance.  If the gecko has gone for a long period without food, and its tail and body weight has diminished, it is time to take action.
This is also an ongoing battle with picky eaters, who oftentimes do not have a good feeding response.  Picky eaters are the most difficult geckos for the hobbyists to deal with.  Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the insect preference, as many geckos do prefer certain insects.

If your gecko has gone for a long time without food and its body and tail are looking abnormally thin, I would recommend the following:

–        Be sure your husbandry parameters are correct, warm hide surface temperatures in the 89-93 range, etc.  Do NOT use heat rocks or hot lights for leopard geckos…..use belly heat with an under tank heat pad, regulated by a thermostat.

–        One month off food is not alarming unless the tail is getting thin.  If there is a question of possible health issues, it would be worth it to take a fresh fecal sample to the vet for analysis to rule out parasites.

–        If all’s in order, then trying different insects is the key.  Try fresh waxworms dropped in front of the warm hide opening first.  If the gecko takes those, feed waxworms for a few days to jumpstart the animal’s metabolism and stimulate its feeding response.  Then start to offer mealworms, superworms, dubias, etc. until you find what its current preference is.  De-legged crickets put in a small shallow dish are often irresistible and can be a good appetite stimulant as well.

–        If all these methods fail, then it may be time to try assist feeding.  Hold the gecko securely in your hand so just its head is sticking out of your fist.  Rub a fresh waxworm along its mouth until it opens, then place the waxworm in the mouth with forceps.  Close the mouth, being careful not to get bitten.  Repeat this a few times, and do this daily for three days, and then try to resume normal feedings.

–        If the waxworm method doesn’t work, then you may need to syringe feed the gecko for a few days.  I recommend a mixture of baby food (Beechnut brand chicken with broth only), mixed in a slurry with a little of your vitamin/mineral mixture and a little bottled water to get it to the right consistency.  Feed 1cc of this mixture daily for 3-4 days.  Baby food needs to be refrigerated once opened and is only good for 1 day after opening, so be sure your baby food is fresh or you’ll create other problems.

Once you have stimulated the gecko’s appetite it should soon begin to eat normally.  Again, do not be alarmed as long as the gecko is not getting appreciably thinner than normal.  Fasting is normal for many geckos, and most healthy geckos can go for several weeks without food with no ill effects.  Best of luck.

candycane

This pic is of a male Albino Zorro Mandarin Designer, called a Golden Candy Cane. It is a product of years of breeding by Designer Geckos and is the most unique albino we’ve seen. The high contrast bright orange markings on a lavender background make this new gecko a very striking animal. Test breedings are now in progress  to determine if it is a new albino, or a new variety of a Tremper Albino. Results on this will be in soon.

 Any suggestions for an adult gecko that always has trouble with her toes not shedding? I always make sure it’s humid and she has a moist hide to shed in. I also use d3 powder on her crickets! How can I help her poor little toes. She has lost a couple tips over the years.

This is one of the biggest issues hobbyists have with geckos, and we see many geckos at reptile shows with missing toes.  Sadly, lost toes do not grow back, but the good news is, this is totally preventable.  Some morphs are more problematic shedders than others.  Albinos seem to have more trouble than some of the other morphs for instance.  When you know you have a problematic shedder, it’s up to you to use very careful husbandry techniques to avoid toe and eye problems post-shed.  The first thing is to check your gecko daily, and as soon as it is getting cloudy skin indicating imminent shed, you need to place a wet crumpled half of paper towel in both the cool and warm hide to increase the humidity in the caves.  After the shed is complete, examine the gecko carefully in good light and promptly remove any shed remnants with a wet warm Q tip and your finger nails.  Pay particular attention to the legs, toes, vent, and face/eye areas.  If it has excessive stuck shed, or your gecko is having a difficult time shedding for whatever reason, it is best to soak it in a container with enough warm water to cover the gecko but so its back and head are not submerged.  Once inch is a good amount depending on the size and age of the gecko.  Soak the gecko for 10 minutes, gently swabbing its back and head with a piece of paper towel soaked in the bath water.  The water should be warm, not hot.  When geckos are first placed in a warm bath, they get upset, but only for about 15 seconds or so.  Then they settle down and seem to enjoy their warm spa!  The shed will come off easily once properly soaked.  Also, be sure you are using a 50-50 mixture of vitamins/calciumD3.  We also prefer other feeders over crickets, so try varying your gecko’s diet.  More fat in its diet may be helpful to the shedding issues.  Good luck.

What do you think?

Written by Ray Roehner

Ray Roehner began collecting and studying reptiles and amphibians at the age of five. When he was 14, he worked in the animal labs of a major cancer research hospital where his interest in animals, and in particular high quality animal care and husbandry, nurtured his desire to work in the animal field. His subsequent science degree, coupled with his certification as an animal technologist, put him on the career path to manage the animal research efforts of two major companies in cancer and diabetes research. His love for reptiles continued and he became fascinated with leopard geckos, studying them and developing a high quality care program based on the many studies he designed and conducted to develop cutting edge care protocols to produce and maintain leopard geckos of the highest quality. He felt a calling to write this book so he could share his work and knowledge with others in order to further the hobby and most importantly to him, to benefit the well-being of the animals that he so truly loved.

67 Comments

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  1. Fabulous information! Thanks for great article! How bout doing one on genetic challenges like eyesight and how to handle fragile animals.

  2. All great advice! We should create some sort of F.A.Q. directory of the questions and answers, as I can see these articles continually being useful.

  3. I am looking into breeding my two female geckos. I am planning on the male living with them throughout their lives. Should i put the male in before they are ready to breed or should i keep him a different tank until they are ready?

  4. It depends on what you mean. If you mean putting him in with them before they’re big enough to breed, it’s not a good idea because they will breed too early and it won’t be healthy for them (like early teenage pregnancy). If you mean can you put him in with them before they’ve ovulated, yes you can and it may encourage ovulation. Whether or not they’re ovulating, you will have to watch them all to be sure that if he makes advances and they reject him that he backs off. I do house my geckos in small groups and nearly all the time everyone is OK together, but it can happen (just happened this week with one of mine)that they don’t get along, or stop getting along, so be prepared.

  5. My leo is dipping just his tail in his water dish and sleeping. Why would this be? Just recently started to do it.

  6. First off, are you sure it’s a male? Females will sometimes soak, usually more so when ovulating. If it is male, check his vent area to be sure there is no stuck shed remnant there. Also check to be sure there is no shed on the tail tip.
    Otherwise, you just have a gecko that may be a bit bored and looking for things to do. If that’s the case, give him more social handling time.

  7. I find that leos tend to get into certain habits and repeat the same behavior for awhile before they change to something else. One of my leos likes to sleep on the upper platform of his cage with either his leg or his tail hanging off the edge. It’s not a problem and he’ll change to some other behavior eventually.

  8. I have not gotten a male yet because my female leos are still to small. But once they are large enough, what size tank can comfortably hold all three?

  9. I do not recommend housing males together with females….too stressful for them. Only put a male in with females at breeding time, and only if you are sure the females are ovulating or a vicious fight will quickly ensue.

  10. Thanks he does seem to be a bit bored lately maybe i should change up his tank a little? Any advice on things that will entertain them?

  11. Boredom is common in all pets and leos are no exception. Imagine how we’d feel in a box 24/7?
    That’s why my research and book so heavily emphasize socialization and enrichment. Geckos are much smarter than many give them credit for. Lizards in general are very intelligent and intuitive.
    I recommend regular handling. Talk to your gecko….they understand more than you think. Sit on the couch and let them hang out and watch some TV if they want to. Just being with you more often will make them happier and healthier. You will benefit as well. Studies have shown that people who have regular contact with animals are healthier and live longer. Their wonderful energy rubs off on us, and visa versa. 🙂

  12. Anyone who is going to try to answer this question will need a lot more information to understand what you’re describing –what does it look like, when does it happen . . .

  13. Hi I have been hanging my leopard gecko for months now and she would act like a normal gecko where she didnt eat at first and pooped around and then she eventually got used to the environment and started eating and pooping at one area. She would eat infront of me all the time as i feed her her crickets or worms one by one and she would chasing them. HOWEVER recently, she has not been wanting to eat infront of me or even outside her hide! I literally have to put her food inside her hide and cover the front of the hide just for the food to not escape while she eats them slowly. I’m very worried as to why she wouldnt eat outside her hide or infront of me, is there anything wrong with her?

  14. I find that leopard geckos get into habits where they do things a certain way for awhile and then do them another way for awhile. I bet your gecko has just decided she wants to do things this way now. Also, many leopard geckos eat much less in the winter. Hopefully Ray, the real “Leopard gecko advisor” will respond as well.

  15. I have a male who has been off food for a bit over 2 months now. He’s about 5 years old, and has never been a great eater to begin with (very picky, eats in spurts, etc.), but I can’t figure out why he’s not eating. He’s in a temp-regulated rack and I’ve double checked to make sure the tape is still working so his temps are good. I assumed it was seasonal fasting as he has fasted before, just not for nearly this long.

    He was 87g to start, and is now 80.9g. While I know this is still a good weight, I’m concerned because his tail is smaller and is spine is now protruding a bit (not sure if this is just a side effect from being so big to begin with and then losing the weight?). His behavior is normal considering the season (a bit lethargic, but nothing unusual). When I take him out to watch his movements, he also appears normal in that regard as well. He sheds normally and eats it, and appears to still be drinking, but is just showing no interest in eating.

    I’m considering a vet visit, but due to the weather and the length of the drive, I’m concerned about unnecessarily stressing him for something I could manage myself. Would he be a good candidate for assist feeding? (I gave him some liquid calcium a week ago by dripping it on his nose and he consumed quite a bit of that willingly). Or should I wait this out a bit longer?

  16. Hi! In my opinion, it never hurts to assist feed solid food if you’re on the fence about whether or not there’s a problem. I have a female that’s having a similar problem. I do feel that whenever possible, we should try to get the geckos to eat solid food as opposed to slurry (there’s a place for the puree, but I consider it a last resort). I find mealworms easiest to assist feed, but it depends on the gecko. My reluctant to eat female allows me to hold her and feed her mealworms and will nearly always tolerate a superworm or cricket that I sneak in after about 5 mealworms. Good luck with him.

  17. Hi Cassie,

    Two months without eating, and a protruding spine is cause for some concern. It sounds like your husbandry is fine. What morph is the gecko? Enigmas are known to often be picky eaters for instance.
    He is starting to lose a fairly significant amount of weight, so at this point, I would follow my feeding tips in this article by trying various insects. Some geckos have very specific insect preferences! If he refuses all of these, then take a fresh stool sample to your vet for a parasite screen…..it must be fresh. That can be tricky for a gecko that is not eating, so whenever you can get a fresh sample place it in a small airtight vial or bottle and keep it in the fridge until you can get it to your vet. The sooner the better.
    If parasites are not the issue and all else looks good, I would try the assist feed or slurry regimen as I mentioned.
    I have an Enigma female that is a very picky eater. She was losing weight and refused all insects. I used my chicken baby food syringe method for a few days to jumpstart her metabolism and now she is eating white shedded superworms like crazy and putting on lots of weight. She is doing great!
    In closing, these feeding issues can be challenging, but don’t give up. Once you get him to start eating again then you might have the opposite problem….a big fat tail!
    Best of luck.

  18. Hello! Thank you both so much for your responses! I appreciate it!

    He’s a Snow Leo, but he’s also been rather particular about his food his entire life (only eating certain insects and refusing all others). His floor temp in the rack is set at 92F, and he is spending most of his time there as well, so digestion shouldn’t be an issue either.

    I tried your suggestions and offered a variety of feeders last night. He refused all (mealworms, waxworms, superworms, silkworms) except…crickets! He ate two (dusted) ones! That was the good news. The bad news…he regurgitated them sometime in the night. 🙁

    I’m hoping this is just the result of stress and lack of eating for so long (I had cleaned out his tub after eating just to make sure I got all the bugs out, and he became a little frantic, running around and pawing at the sides) but I don’t know. The last time he shed (a few weeks ago) he ate all of that with no problems…

    So today, I tried giving him a liquid mixture of Pedialyte, some liquid calcium, and Repashy Grubs and Fruit (I know he doesn’t eat or require fruit, but thought the insects and flavour would tempt him to eat it). I merely held him normally with one hand, and offered it to him on a spoon with the other, and he seemed fine with eating a bit of it (didn’t want to overfeed at this point).

    If he manages to keep this down, would you recommend I keep this up for a time? And if so, how much would you suggest I offer/how often?

    I have a fecal testing kit at home, so if I can get a sample, I will try testing it here (my vet has a 2 hour limit on testing samples, and being that they’re a 45 min drive away, I think it would be unlikely I could meet their standard).

    He seems normal in all regards except for the extended fast and regurge, so I’m still inclined to believe he’s just being difficult (and does not have parasites), and I know that if he lacks gut bacteria due to the fast that it’ll be harder for him to digest food (especially food he is not used to) and this could potentially cause regurge. However, I’m open to all possibilities and will do whatever it takes to get him well again!

  19. The fact that he ate the crickets is a good sign. Try de-legging some medium sized crickets (he is likely too weak to chase around) and putting about 4 in a small shallow dish. Do NOT dust them at this time. Let’s just get him eating first.
    After he’s been eating crickets for a while you can transition him to other bugs.

  20. Hello! Me again. :/

    So my male Leo still isn’t eating. I’ve tried offering various prey items and while he will look at them interestedly when they move in front of him, he then looks bored and turns away.

    He was acting lethargic in December (but that is usual for him this time of year). He has perked up quite a bit now, and is often moving around his tub and scratching at the sides. He looks alert, and has no obvious physical issues (from observation or palpation) other than the weight loss.

    I’ve begun assist-feeding him Carnivore Care. His feces appears normal, and he’s hydrated as a result of the feeding.

    I’ve tried rubbing prey items on his mouth and have managed to get them inside, but he spit them out.

    I’ve also given him one dose of dewormer in case he somehow picked up a parasite (his next dose is due next week).

    He’s 75.2 grams as of today. When he started his fast, he was 87g. While he still has a normal sized tail for a Leo, it’s small for him, and yes, his spine is a noticeable (it’s weird though – I took pictures of him to send to a breeder friend. From the top view, he looks completely normal. It’s only from the side that you can see his issue).

    I have a fecal testing kit at home and am going to try to get a sample (the vet I see only accepts samples that are 2 hours old or less, so that won’t happen unless I fudge the truth a bit).

    I’m going to be making a vet appointment for him likely next week. I’m concerned though because the vet is a good 45 minute drive away and they are not reptile vets per se (we have none where I live) – they treat exotics, but their knowledge is limited. If I take him in, they’re going to want to run a pile of tests because they likely won’t know what’s wrong, so they’ll be guessing just like I am.

    Are there any leads I could give them so they’re not just running a host of unnecessary, invasive, and expensive tests on him? Anything they should look and test for specifically?

    Is there any advice you could give of things I could try that I haven’t already? I’m very worried and frustrated that I can’t figure out what’s wrong.

    Thanks so much

  21. I’m dealing with 2 female geckos (not in the same cage, never been in the same cage) going through this right now and had a male a few years ago (who is now about 85 grams) who went through it. Some of them don’t eat for months and don’t lose weight, but some do. With one of the females who has just not been willing to eat and lost a lot of weight, I’m squeezing superworm guts onto her mouth and she licks it up. I’m trying to do one superworm a day. The other one will take super worms or crickets if I push them into her mouth, though tonight she was stubborn but finally took a few mealworms. It can be very frustrating. This superworm guts trick worked wonderfully with the male a few years ago who generally didn’t use to eat at all for about 5 months in the winter. That year he got terribly thin and I didn’t think he’d make it. Now he’s 11 years old and in great shape and fortunately, still eating this year even though it’s Feb. Good luck.

  22. I have had my 2 year old leopard gecko for 6 months and she has been a picky eater only wanting crickets. She use to eat about 6 to 8 and would get aggressive and eat in front of me but now she won’t. She will only eat like 5 if I’m lucky every 4 days. Pooping every 4 days. It was brown with white and not runny. Today she had a white tip with the middle a slimy cloudy clear portion and then bright green. I normally can tell when she’s about to shed and then she does within a day or so and I will see parts of the shed start to come off but I haven’t seen that for about 2 months now. My gut tells me something isn’t right but I can’t figure out what. They say she should eat a minimum of 8 large crickets every 3 days but she’s not, and she’s not interested like she use to be. she tank has the retile carpet mat. we live in wyoming and on cold days her tank temps are : hot side 83 and cold side is normally around 70 but today its 66. she is in the heated basement where the downstairs in normally around : 69. I have tried a 25 w red and the hot side would run around 76 and the low 70 and i tried a blue bulb of 40 w and thats what im using now. I was told by a reptile store to put epson salt in the bath and that doesn’t seem to be changing anything. Please help we don’t have enough vets near us for exotic pets.

  23. Not being a vet I can’t say anything comprehensive. The most important temperature issue is that the floor temperatures should be in the low 90’s. The air temperature should be at least as much as what a human can tolerate indoors. I feel that if it gets much above the mid 70’s for too long (air temp), it can dehydrate the gecko. Many female geckos are ovulating at this time of year and not eating much, so it could be that. If she does have some parasites, there’s not much I can tell you but possibly if you contact a non-exotic vet, they could look at a fecal sample under a microscope and consult via internet with an exotics vet.

  24. Im having some trouble figuring out the gender of my leopard gecko finn, i have looked all over on the internet but i still really dont know. Is there any way u guys could help?

  25. If Finn is still a juvenile, it may be too early to tell. If you’re not seeing any bulges or a “V” shape of pores in front of the vent it’s a female. If you still can’t tell, you could join one of the gecko forums (including but not limited to geckosunlimited.com and geckoforums.net), post a picture there and see what responses you get.

  26. Hi again i have an instagram for finn if u dont mind checking it out, i put a picture on there, if u can just comment on it telling me if its a male or female that would be great, thank you

  27. Hi again i have an instagram for finn if u dont mind checking it out, i put a picture on there, if u can just comment on it telling me if its a male or female that would be great, thank you

  28. I’ve been incubating 2 clutches of leopard gecko eggs the older set is 32 days since being laid the other is 20 days. Of the first two one is still yellow when candles but otherwise looks fine and the other is getting bigger I’d say about 1.5 times larger than the othera now and candles a pink with dark red areas, it also has a small bulge at one end shaped like a gecko about. I have kept the temperature mostly at 83 farenheit. Is there a way to know if hatching is soon, say within a week or so?

  29. The eggs I incubate at 82 are taking 7-8 weeks. Hatching is soon when the egg starts to feel soft. It’s hard to wait,but they’ll hatch when they hatch. I try to think about other things!

  30. My daughter has a leopard gecko that is about 1.5 years old. Not sure if it is male or female, but name is Leo – we always refer to Leo as a she. Leo has always been a pretty good eater, always eaten crickets, 2-3 every night. About a month ago, we noticed that most of the time, the crickets would still be in her cage in the morning, she would rarely eat them. We have tried mealworms and wax worms since then, but she doesn’t seem to be interested in those either. Nothing about the cage/habitat has changed, so I don’t think that is it. She doesn’t look like she has lost weight, her tail is still nice and plump and she appears healthy. From what I have been reading in the other posts, it sounds like this might be a temporary phase where she is not interested in eating – as long as she appears healthy she will probably start eating again at some point? My question is should we keep putting worms/crickets in the cage every night? Or hold off a few days at a time until she seems more interested? When she first stopped eating I was really worried, but it sounds like its not a big deal if she doesn’t eat for a month or two, is that right? Is it also possible that she is just not as hungry as she gets older? I appreciate any feedback.
    Thanks,
    Angela

  31. In general, it’s best to feed leopard geckos of that age every other day or so. I feed my adult leos Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings. I do think it makes sense to keep offering a few times a week. If Leo is indeed female, she may be ovulating, which often decreases appetite. If her tail remains the same size and she doesn’t have diarrhea, she’s probably fine. If either of those 2 things happen, consider a reptile vet visit.

  32. Recently I got a leopard gecko from a friend. Today I was letting her explore and used a spare paint brush of mine to see if she would like it on her skin. She reacted well to it, but I would like to know if this would damage her skin. I would not like to cause harm in wanting her to be happy. Thank you for your time and answer!

  33. Although some gecko species, especially the day geckos, have very sensitive skin that can easily tear, the leopard gecko is not one of them and is pretty tough and hardy. I assume you were using an artist’s paint brush (not a 3″ house painter brush) and that there was no paint on it at the time! (Note that I am the editor, not the author of the book, who may respond as well).

  34. I am just worried about Kenzi. She would stayed in the rock that moist keep her warm and for few days then out of rock usually but she is not getting eat anything. Her tail is getting thin. Her eyes are closed like as sleeping and shed skins on her left eyes. I don’t know what to do.

  35. Ray may respond as well. Here’s my response: You need to get the shed skin off her eyes. Hold her gently and use a tweezers to pull off the skin. She really needs a visit to a reptile vet. You can find one here: arav.org.

  36. Hi i live in florida and i just got a baby leopard gecko and im having problems with cockroaches cause its florida who doesn’t anyways i noticed his tail was getting smaller and one of his eyes was blinking a lot and i found a cockroach in his cage i dont if there harmful to him and if maybe hes sick now because hes eating them and also hes been messing with his cave a lot like moving it i dont know why or how to stop this or what to do if anyone could give me some tips or something I’ve never had a gecko before so i dont know what im really doing thank you

  37. Where did you get the gecko from? Do you think the cockroaches have been in places where they’ve encountered poison from people trying to get rid of them?
    This is why I’m asking: Often little geckos bought from big chain pet stores are not in the best of health but it may not be noticeable when you first get them. So the gecko may possibly not have been in good shape from the beginning. Moving the hide around is normal gecko behavior. he may have been shedding and rubbing against the hide to get the shed off. It can be annoying for them to rearrange their home, but it’s fine. Many people feed cockroaches to geckos. This is fine as long as the cockroach isn’t carrying some poison that it picked up from an exterminator. If the only care sheet you’ve read so far is from the pet store, google some other care sheets, which could be in text or on youtube. There will be differences from care sheet to care sheet, but the parts that are the same are probably the most reliable. This should give you an idea as to whether or not your gecko is OK and getting the best care. Without going into detail, probably the most important aspects of keeping a leopard gecko are having the correct heat on the floor on the hot side (low 90’s) and having correct supplements (vitamin D3, calcium and other vitamins and minerals, dusting food every other feeding).

  38. (reposting my question from another site in hopes of getting a second opinion!)
    My leopard gecko currently has a ten gallon tank. She is doing perfectly well, but I want her to have more space so she can be as happy as possible. I’m looking into creating a second floor for her enclosure. I would like a Tank Topper / High Rise addition such as this one https://www.amazon.com/You-Me-Small-Animal-Topper/dp/B01MYOQ1QR.

    Is a wire topper okay for my gecko? I have solutions for any potential problems I can think of, which I will list here:

    Heat: I use an UTH for my Leopard Gecko, and her lighting can provides any additional heat needed as well. The UTH would remain where it is and the lights would be positioned on either side of the slanted rooftop shape of this tank (I can use the lamp clips and add support to keep them in place with zip ties if needed.)

    Humidity: While I use Eco Earth on the ground floor of her tank at the moment, the second floor can be covered with some reptile carpet I have. I can cut it to fit the floor, and this will help keep the humidity in the bottom. Also, the Eco Earth holds moisture and humidity well. If needed, I could add a humid hide to the second floor of the cage.

    Feeders escaping: I rarely feed my Leopard Gecko crickets anymore, and none of her feeders would be able to escape via the second floor since she eats mainly mealworms from a dish. On the occasion that I do feed her crickets, I tend to feed her in a separate area, not in her tank, because the crickets like to hide inside her tree and are nearly impossible to find.

    Falling: The tank topper I am looking at getting has a full floor, with only one opening for the ramp, so I cannot think of anyway she would fall from the second floor. There is no reason why she would fall off the ramp, but if an accident happened she would only fall a couple inches onto her Eco Earth substrate. She would not be hurt. She is also a very strong climber and enjoys climbing on her tree inside her tank and on pretty much everything else when I have her out of her tank.

    Please let me know what if you see any problems with this idea. I want to make sure I am making a good decision and providing a safe and happy enclosure for her with plenty of space.

  39. It sounds OK to me. Here is a simpler solution (unless you like the tank topper look better): I make second stories for my leopard geckos by using 4 pieces of PVC pipe, each about 6 inches tall; the ones I get come with a screw-on flange at the bottom which makes a good “foot” for the pillar). I put two 12″x12″ ceramic tiles on top of the 4 feet and sandwich a Zoo-med mini heater between them. The humid hide on the ground floor serves as a way for the gecko to climb “upstairs” and I put a hide on top of the tile. That way there is an extra, heated, square foot of cage space.

  40. Hello!

    So I always throw out my gecko’s mealworms once I start to see they’ve pooped on the bottom. It smells foul so I’d imagine it might be harmful to him. Although, is it? Can my leopard gecko still eat worms covered in their own filth? I can’t imagine it would have been a waste of worms but I’ve never been too sure.

  41. As far as I know the mealworm poop,called frass, is not wet and sticky like other creatures’ poop and they can be lifted out of it. I assume you’re talking about mealworm poop as opposed to gecko poop. Even if you’re talking about gecko poop, that dries up too and I don’t really find that my mealworms get “covered in filth” of either sort if they happen to be near the poop. So I don’t feel you need to throw them out.

  42. HI ive had my leopard gecko for 3 years Ive just taking out the sand in her taking and she is already eating much better have you got any advise for another substrate apart from reptiles carpet which I have

    Thank you

  43. My favorite is ceramic tile: lightly textured cheap tile from a place like Home Depot. Some people use coco fiber which is easier for them to pass than sand, but it tends to get dusty.

  44. My leopard gecko sadly passed away due to what we think was stick tail ;; we dont want to replace the vivarium as we recently brought it and I wondering how we would properly disinfect it as if like to get another gecko. If you could help that would be great as I don’t want another tragedy in the future. Thank you ^^

  45. If your gecko had crypto (stick-tail is a symptom but not a diagnosis), your best bet is to throw out the furniture. Clean the cage with ammonia, wash it out and let it air dry. I’d recommend against getting a gecko from a big chain pet store because I have concerns about how they disinfect their enclosures and I suspect that some of the geckos they sell have crypto.

  46. Last night whike I was feeding my gecko, he stopped eating after about two meal worms. He hasn’t eaten all week. He then put up his two back legs, and pooped out something that looks like a sac. It’s clear to beige in colour, and appears to have some blood in it. I’m very concerned on what it might be or why it might have come out of him. He hasn’t moved much this morning either, and he’s been very anxious lately while being handled. Keep in mind he’s only 8 months old.

  47. Without seeing a picture I have no way to know what it was. If you haven’t seen fresh poop (as opposed to dry poop), you may just be seeing something that looks different from what you’re used to . If for some reason the gecko didn’t digest the worm well, you may be seeing undigested worm. I’d recommend keeping an eye on intake and behavior for the next few days. If you’re more concerned than that, you’ll need to take your gecko to a reptile vet. You can find one here: http://www.arav.org

  48. Hello, my leo passed away a few weeks ago and we don’t know what from. When we took her to a reptile vet a few weeks before she got ill she had an eye problem from stuck shed in her eye so she prescribed some eye drops and medicine to clear up her eyes, since we were caught up in that we weren’t aware she had anything else but she went pale, her feet were dark, she stopped eating, shut her eyes and stayed in her wet house. I payed consistant attention to her the whole time and we don’t really know what happened.

  49. It’s hard to know. Sometimes an eye infection turns into a systemic infection and it gets beyond just the eyes. I don’t know if the vet has any thoughts.

  50. Hello,
    I have owned a leopard juvenile gecko for about 2 months now. He is in a 10 gallon tank with reptile carpet, and has 3 hideouts with a warm and cool side with temperature on each side around 85° and 70°. Since yesterday I noticed his behavior has changed alot. He usually would like to lay in one of the hideouts on the warm side and be lazy but yesterday he became very active and has warnted to stay more on the cool side. He barely ate yesterday and hasn’t eaten today. When I try to put him on the warm side he almost gets spooked and runs to the cool side and when he’s on the cool side he keeps wanting to crawl in his water dish and even up the glass at times. His body also changed to where he acts almost aggressive with his body low and tail wagging up. I am at a loss as to why the sudden behavior change. If it is something I did or hormonal? Does he need a bigger tank? Is the warm side way too warm? I’m just worried because I don’t want his health to decrease.

  51. Is the 85 degrees the ground temperature or the air temperature? It it’s the air temperature or if you’re not measuring it with a digital thermometer with a probe, then it may be hotter than you think on the ground. The floor of the tank on the hot side, measured properly, should be in the low 90’s, though I find they can handle somewhat lower temperatures OK. I find that a lot of leopard geckos are less hungry at this time of the year and some leopard geckos do change their behavior for different periods of time. One gecko does do better in a 20 gallon long tank which is 30″ long by 12″ deep.

  52. I got a Fancy leopard gecko four days ago, I was feeding him crickets for the first two days, then on the third day I put meal worms in his tank. Ever since I put the meal worms in, he only ate two out of the five that I put in. He has only eaten two meal worms for two days. To let everyone know, I’m new to owning a gecko. If anyone could give me a idea of how to help my gecko, I would appreciate it greatly.

  53. Is this a baby gecko or a larger one? The larger juveniles and adults don’t need to eat every day, every other day is fine. Geckos often don’t eat for awhile when they are in a new place and this one may have cut down after the first time eating because it’s getting used to a new place. Try not to worry if the gecko doesn’t eat a lot every day. Also notice that the gecko seemed to like the crickets but isn’t into the mealworms that much. You may see a difference if you go back to crickets.

  54. My new baby gecko has 2 heat pads on the sides of his tank. I’ve read they do need heat lamps, and I’ve read they’re not necessary…. which is it? He’s digesting fine and acting normal with just the under tank heaters….

  55. Different people do things different ways, which is why you’ve read contradictory info. I can tell you what I do and why and you can evaluate that, but there will still be people who make different choices. In general, leopard geckos need belly heat, since in the wild they’re probably getting most of their heat from the ground and rocks that have absorbed sunlight. It’s actually best to install the under tank heater under the tank, as opposed to the sides to provide appropriate belly heat. Some people do choose to use heat lamps. I worry about this because, especially in small enclosures, I feel that the heat lamps are going to heat and dry the air and the gecko will become dehydrated. Heat lamps could be indicated if for some reason the ambient temperature in the home is too low for humans to be comfortable. My home in the winter may get as low as the mid 60’sF but I feel that if that’s too cold for the gecko, it can be under its warm hide on the hot side and will be fine.

  56. I have had my pet gecko for 5 years now, his name is Gecky. He didn’t always bite… For maybe three years he was always gentle and calm than when two babies came into our lives its been hard getting him the attention he used to get. My older sister is always in her room now, my little baby sisters of course cant be left alone, so that keeps my parents busy. That leaves me the only one giving him love. And since I’m not always free he still lacks attention. Now though I have all the time in the world for my Gecky! But he seems to be done with me… When you come by his glass tank, he instantly squirms over and stares. If you put your hand on the glass his tail waves like when he goes for crickets. And when you move your hand he always gently hits the glass with his mouth. I realized he could hurt himself so I stopped. I put water is his mini bowl and he always loves his food and water. Or am I just giving to little? Is that why when you put your hand in the tank he tries to bite it? Gecky has two low bowls, one for water and the other is for worms. He Has a log, really small logs put together on a round thing, a rough carpet, a red light, and his favorite rock named rocky. It’s hard to fit two hiding spots in the tank so since we were never told too we never put one besides the shade under the log. But since you said they need two do you think I messed up! It has been five tears and he has never gotten a hiding spot! Do I feed him too little? Twice a week he gets food and every night we refill the water because we haven’t found a better bowl. How many hours a day should I try to interact with him? Usually, I do 1 hour because I fear I make him upset. Should we have sand instead? Or is the carpet fine? What would I take or add to his home? Should we get a wider home for him since it would be too cramped if we added more things? And just how do I make my poor Gecky happier and like me more?! :((

  57. The carpet is fine. It sounds as if Gecky is in a 10 gallon tank (20″ long). He may have more room and be happier in a 20 gallon tank (30″long) and then you’d have a place to put more hides. Maybe if you put your hand in the tank and just keep it still there and talk to him, he’ll get used to you again. If it’s possible to pick him up, make a little cave with your hands (have him sitting in one hand and then cover him with the other hand) so he feels safe. Good luck with him.

  58. my leopard gecko, name thunder, doesn’t eat. we think that he might be cross-eyed, or something is just wrong with his vision. what do i do? if you could help, i would love it! thank you.

  59. It would be good to have more information:
    How long have you had the gecko? How long has it been since it ate? Is it a juvenile or an adult? What are you feeding it? Has it ever tried to eat? If you’ve had it for awhile, is the tail getting any thinner? Does it poop?
    Answers to those questions will help. You can also look in the Gecko Time Archives (www.geckotime.com/archives) for 2 articles about how to get your gecko to eat.

  60. So I got a question that I’d like answered please. I have a leopard gecko he’s 2 years old now and he’s always been a normal eater of course he ate tons when he was a baby but for awhile now he’s only been eating every six days and 3-4 live bugs (usually 2 super worms and 2 crickets) and there always dusted with “Repashy calcium plus” which has both vitamins and calcium is this normal or what? Cause I don’t see a problem with my gecko and he looks very happy so I take it he’s fine but I want to make sure he’s getting enough food. He is diet is: super worms, crickets, wax worms, and sometimes horn worms.

  61. If you offer your gecko food every 3 days will he eat? If he’s active and his tail is a reasonable size there’s no reason to worry. I have a bunch of leopard geckos and they have very different eating schedules (that vary throughout the year) ranging from “hungry all the time” to “don’t want to eat for weeks”. In other words, if it’s not broken, no need to fix it!

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