Sunday 17 January 2010

Decorating The Nursery

Paul and I had an exciting day today, getting ready for our new arrivals. We thought long and hard about pets, and settled on leopard geckos, as Paul fell madly in love with this little chap back in September:

We've been to Pets-Or-Meat and bought the terrarium and some of the other kit. Doesn't it look good? We'll be going back next Saturday to get the geckos themselves.

The substrate will go in soon (we're just seeing if we can get the temperature up to optimum with the heat rock, but I expect we'll need a heat mat too), and some bits and pieces for them to climb on. We've checked out all the food we need to get, along with the food for the food, and have a small arsenal of ungents ready to deal with any veterinary eventuality.

We saw one of the prospective pets passed out in her water dish today. Hope it was nice and cool for her!


  1. Dear Julia,

    I'm just in my third year of vet school and I would like to urge you not to get a heat rock or mat if you can. A lot of herps get bad thermal burns from them. An overhead heat lamp that they can't reach is better and some good basking spots with optimal exposure for them.

    Ewan Wolff (previously of MT State- Paleo)

  2. Thanks for that advice Ewan. The only problem is that leos are not basking lizards - they're nocturnal in fact! And they rely on ambient and ground temperature. We've been advised that we could put the heat mat on the underside of the glass bottom, and it deliberately wouldn't cover more than half the base of the tank. Hopefully that would be alright instead?

  3. Not sure if you know, but thought I'd warn you about how easily Leopard Geckos drop their tails. There is a masters student in the lab next door to mine working on tail regeneration in them and she said all she has to do to get them to drop their tails is just pinch the tail for a few seconds. The new tails actually look kinda neat - with a different texture and color. Have fun with them! : )

  4. Hey Julia,

    The half of the tank coverage with the mat sounds pretty standard, that way they can get away from it if they want to and there is some separation between their skin and the heat generator. I just know heat rocks are bad news. This isn't official advice of course, because I'm not a vet yet, but I wanted to make sure your babies didn't get cooked =). Best of luck with them!

  5. Thanks for the advice Ewan - they do seem to be settling in and there's a pretty good gradient in the tank from 32°C down to 20°C if they want it. One of them seems intent on proving you (and every other gecko expert) wrong by basking underneath the dayglow lamp!

    Patty, those poor geckos!! We're trying to avoid touching their tails, especially as they haven't eaten for us yet so they're probably a bit stressed from the travel home.


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