Originally leopard geckos are indigenous to desert areas of Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. But mostly they can be found in the rocky shrub areas and grasslands. Thes leopards are beautiful and are also one of those who need particular temperature and humidity conditions that is suitable for their longer life. also, it is crucial to find the best substrate for leopard gecko that will not harm them. it is important to create a habitat that is perfect for their natural growth to take place in time.
One of the most crucial things that gecko owners or prospective owners need to take into consideration is the terrarium substrate that will be used. The substrate is a compound substance that will be used on the floor fo the terranium on which the geckos will move. One can find many types of substrates in the market, but choosing the right one among them is crucial.
Finding the right substrate will help in keeping the leopard gecko healthy and will avoid various health issues and diseases. While choosing a substrate the size of the gecko and the age fo the geckos need to be taken into consideration. The thing about substrates that will make sure that it is a good choice is that it should not be easy to ingest by the gecko. Also, it should be easy to maintain and clean.
The most crucial thing about a good substrate is the fact it should be compact and should not have loose particles. Why? because when the gecko will be eating, the loose substrate can also be ingested with the food and that can have major health disadvantages. Loose substrates will come off easily when the gecko will walk on it or lay on it. also, the substrate should be chemically safe. That it should not have any type of substance that can harm the lizard in the longer run. also, it should be easy to clean or should be easily replaced without too much added cost.
Also one of the safety tips that veery gecko owner should have is that there should not be any sand particle in the substrate or the terrarium. The reason is impaction. If the sand particles are ingested, it can use the backup in the digestive system. This can lead to loss of severe weight loss as the lizard will not eat and defecate any more. This is the reason why loose substrate should be avoided at all costs.
Types of substrates
Some of the best substrates for leopard gecko are:
This is one of the most cost-effective substrate types which si easy to replace. Laying the newspaper as the substrate is effective for the baby geckos. As there are no loose particles, there is no chance of impaction. Also, it can be easily changed without many efforts and the cost is way lower than the others. One should change the newspaper every two days and remove the soiled ones immediately to avoid bacterial growth.
2. Reptile carpet
Reptile carpets are another very popular choice among the pet gecko owners. Thes carpets have a soft top and stiff bottom lining which is absorbent. One can spot clean the carpet and can wash the carpet easily 3 to 4 times a month. also, there are no chances of impaction involved. However make sure to check if the fibers of the carpet are coming loose, as it may get tangled with gecko’s feet.
3. Paper towels
Not too attractive but effective. There is no risk of impaction with these substrates and also these can be replaced easily when soiled. Also, the paper towels are quite soft thus comfortable for the geckos to move around. One thing that is disappointing about paper towels is that it may disappoint the geckos who loves to burrow.
4. Stone slates
Stoen slates or pavers are quite perfect for a choice for those who want to give their geckos are natural feel habitat. Thes rocks will help in giving a natural feel and also will be quite easy to walk on by the gecko. However, make sure that they do not wobble or do not gap in between which can hurt the lizard.
5. Excavator clay
Excavators clay is like modeling clay which when moist is easy to mold into any shape. One can make the burrows and caves and the flooring with it. this will give a natural feel to the terranium and will also let the gecko get a feel of the sand-like base but only firm and compact with no loose particles.
Well, when it comes to coconut substrate one can only say that it is highly controversial among the experts and pet owners. Coconut coir or coconut fiber or eco earth, whatever you want to call it, is one of the most famous yet is regarded as unsafe as well.
Coconut coir has many pros and cons attached to it, and thus one should consider them before choosing it for the substrate.
Among the goods, coconut coir is regarded as a healthy and natural option. It can be used as a dried substrate for the terrarium and as a wet substrate for the hiding areas. Also, it has anti-microbial properties that help prevent molds, rotting, and bad odors.
On the bad side, the coconut coir when used in dry form can produce dust particles. These particles can lead to respiratory problems in the gecko. Also, there can smaller particles which can be ingested leading to the impaction problem.
Creating a habitat
Without any doubt, geckos are one of the most common household pets that one can find these days, especially at home of those who love reptiles. Leopard geckos are out of all the most beautiful ones as they look spectacular with their black and yellow patterns. But there are also quite sensitive to atmospheric conditions and thus require a good artificial habitat build for them to have a longer life. also, the food should be chosen carefully. these geckos are insectivorous and that means they eat insects only. but one thing that should be kept in mind is the fact that they eat live insects only like mealworms, dubia roaches, crickets, super worms, etc.
Things that are very crucial for creating an artificial habitat are:
- Heating pad
- UV light kit
- Humidity gauge
- Water dish
- Reptile fogger
Creating a habitat for geckos is not an easy job and one needs to keep themselves well aware of all the things that should be done and things that should be avoided. Their habitats should be well taken care of with daily and weekly maintenance. water should be changed, feces should be cleaned and reptile fogger should be dampened every day. hiding areas should be sanitized every week and the furniture and inside of the tank should be cleaned every month.
Having a gecko in a terranium is not that much work if the right substrate and habitat conditions are used. While choosing a substrate it is important to keep in mind, the habitat type, age of the gecko, cleaning, antimicrobial properties, etc. there are many substrates that one can find, but coconut coir if chosen can prove to be hazardous for the geckos. However one can choose to use it cleverly, like by not putting food on the coir and preventing a lot of dust production. Also, it is important to make sure that the coir substrate is made of high-quality organic coconuts.