Any Reptile Experts?


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Leopard geckos are great starter lizards, and are good around children. They are relatively easy and cheap to set up compared to other reptiles, and the maintenance is simple if kept up.

When considering a Leopard gecko, remember that their lifespan is the same as, if not longer than a dog or cat, so it is a huge investment of both time and money. Most Leopard geckos can live 15-20 years if kept properly, and the oldest living gecko on record to this date is about 30 years old. Be sure that you and your family are ready for the responsibility and care for a long time, just as you would when thinking of buying a puppy or kitten.

Before you Buy​
Make sure to have your habitat set up for your Leopard gecko for about a week before your purchase, experimenting and settling temperature gradients. Once purchasing the Leopard gecko, it may not eat for several days to a week because of stress. Also, do not try to handle the Leopard gecko at all for at least a week when bringing it to the new home, only reaching in to do routine cleaning and feeding.
Make sure to have a good reptile vet in the area before considering a Leopard gecko (or any reptile). Within the first week, try to have a fresh fecal sample tested for parasites AND bacteria (called an acid fast stain), and make sure all is clear before introducing a new Leopard gecko to a previous pet.

Choosing your Leopard Gecko​
Make sure to pick a healthy looking gecko, and it is recommended to purchase a Leopard gecko from a reputable breeder over a pet store chain. Healthy Leopard geckos have bright eyes; tails are about as thick as or thicker than their necks, are active, and preferably are not kept on sand before purchasing. Their legs and jaws will be solid, and do not look mushy or curved strangely. Remember that if purchasing from a pet store, that the leopard geckos may seem less active because they are nocturnal.

1 Leopard gecko can live its entire life in a 10 gallon aquarium. I personally prefer a bigger cage (at least a 20L for 1-2) if using glass aquariums. I have also used large sweater box containers with holes drilled in the lids/sides for ventilation for my adults and juveniles. Rack systems are also very good if keeping multiple leopard geckos.
For hatchlings, keep in a 6-12 qt plastic shoebox container with moist paper towels, a moist hide and a dry hide, dish of water and plain calcium, and a feeding dish if using worms. Keep the paper towels moist for 6-8 weeks to keep the babies hydrated, and then it is safe to switch to shelf liner or another solid substrate.
In all juvenile/adult cages, there should be a humid hide, 2 dry hides (one on the warm side, one on the cool), a dish of fresh water, a small dish of plain calcium powder, and a feeding dish for each Leopard gecko if using something besides crickets. Hides can be very simple (paper towel or toilet paper rolls), or very expensive, depending on the owner?s taste.
It is recommended to keep at least 1 side, up to 3 sides, covered with some sort of background, even if it is plain colored or white paper. This gives the Leopard gecko a sense of security, and can make your tank look much nicer. Make sure to secure the background to the outside of the tank.
Lids are not necessary, but highly recommended. Leopard geckos are not climbers (for the most part), but lids are good to keep out other critters (cats, dogs, small children, flies, etc), and as extra security for the Leopard gecko. Use a screen top, or make sure you drill holes in the lid if using a solid top (i.e., sweater box lids).
Keep Leopard geckos of similar size together only, as adults can/will eat or nip at babies, or bully them so that they cannot have food. Also, keep hatchlings separate until at least a few months old so that they can eat and grow properly. Leopard geckos are solitary animals, and do not NEED a mate or friend.
Leopard geckos are, for the most part, solitary animals, but can live in groups. Males should never live with another male, as they can/will fight to the death. Females have been known to live together, and 1 male can live with a group of females (only recommended if breeding). Some females will not tolerate other Leopard geckos, and it is best to watch them closely for results of fighting. Introduce new possible cage mates in neutral territory, and keep a close eye on them both. Keep new Leopard geckos separated for at least 90 days before introducing them, and make sure they both come back from a vet with clean fecal samples before introducing them.

Temperature, Lighting and Humidity:
Leopard geckos need a heat gradient in the cage, meaning a warm and cool side. Leopard geckos do not need a daylight basking spot, and do not use heat rocks of any type. The warm side of the cage should range from 88-90, the cool side from 80-82. You can achieve these using heat lamps, heat tape, under tank heaters or a combination to achieve proper temps. Temperatures should be measured by a digital thermometer with a probe or temperature gun at ground level consistently. Stick on or non-digital thermometers are unreliable, and have been shown in some cases to be as much as 15-20 degrees low.
Humidity should be low, and you should not mist/spray the cage at all. A humid hide should be provided at all times, which can simply be made by using a Tupperware container filled with moist bed-a-beast or paper towel with a hole cut in the side or top. Mist the humid hide substrate daily if needed, keeping it moist. Put the humid hide on/near the warm side of the tank to produce the humidity.
Leopard geckos do not require special lighting, or any UVB lighting specifically, although this does not hurt them. You can use a night heat lamp in red, blue, purple or black 24/7 for both heat and light. Make sure the Leopard gecko does have a good day/night cycle however, keeping them in a room with sunlight or a light on during the day. Do NOT put your cage near a window, however, as your cage can become like an oven and cook your Leopard gecko from the excess heat.
Leopard geckos are nocturnal animals, and are able to see without lighting at night. Some leopard geckos will be out during the day, and it is not anything to worry about.

Heating Equipment:
You can use a UTH, heat lamp, heat tape or combination to achieve proper temperature gradients in the cage.
If you are using a UTH, only have it attached to 1/3 to 1/2 of the tank so that the other side can be cooler. Most UTH?s and heat tape must be attached to a rheostat/dimmer to control temperatures properly
If using a heat bulb, start with a smaller bulb first then work upwards until a proper temperature is achieved. Only use a red, blue, purple or black night bulb, as day bulbs do not meet the lighting requirements (even if colored). Only use a day bulb on a 12 hour on/off cycle if the cage is not in a room that gets enough light for the leopard gecko to get a good day/night cycle.
If using heat tape, make sure it is wired properly and controlled by a dimmer or rheostat, and is only attached to the back/bottom of the cage. Check temperatures constantly, and watch for burns, tears, frays, etc in the tape consistently.
Do not EVER use a heat rock, as they can cause burns to any reptile.
Leopard geckos do not need a basking spot specifically, so a basking lamp is not required, although it does not hurt if temperatures are kept correct.

I personally have used shelf liner, paper towel, tiles and repticarpet as substrates. Out of those, I prefer ceramic tiles for adults and hatchlings over 6-8 weeks, and paper towels for sick, impacted or hatchling Leopard geckos.
Solid substrate tips - put a piece of paper towel in the corner(s) your Leopard gecko chooses as a toilet area for easy cleanup. Make sure to use solid, textured, non-adhesive, light colored/patterned liner (for ease of hunting if using crickets). Most Wal-Mart?s, Targets, hardware or kitchen specialty stores carry shelf liner for anywhere from $3-$10 a roll. Once a week, take the liner out, shower off with hot water, wipe with a bleach cleaner towelette (Clorox Wipes are good), rinse with hot water, let drip dry, then put back into the clean cage. I also put a small doubled piece of paper towel underneath of the water bowl to absorb any spilled water.
Others have had much success using newspaper, slate tiles, and indoor/outdoor carpet WITHOUT loops.
The main thing for beginner and inexperienced keepers is to stay away from any sort of substrate that is particle based, including, but not limited to sand, crushed walnut shells, bed-a-beast (except in a humid hide or lay box, explained below), calcium sand, or anything else your Leopard gecko may be able to ingest. Even products marked safe or digestible can cause impaction or illness in a Leopard gecko over time. Experienced keepers should also be very careful of the risks of using a non-solid substrate, and should never advocate the use of a solid substrate to a beginner.

Leopard geckos are strictly carnivorous animals, and prefer live prey. Crickets, meal worms, silkworms, and roaches are all good staple diets. For adults, you can also use super worms (not super meal worms). Leopard geckos do not and should not have fruit or vegetables available at all. Wax worms can be offered occasionally as a treat, but it is not recommended to offer more than 3 a week, as wax worms can cause fatty liver disease if fed as a staple.
Make sure to keep a small, shallow dish of fresh water in the cage at all times that is changed every day. The dish should be shallow enough that the Leopard gecko can climb out, but wide enough that the Leopard gecko can sit/bath in it if it so chooses.
Leopard geckos can stop eating a few days before and after shedding, as they eat their sheds for the protein. If a Leopard gecko does not eat for a week, you should arrange a vet visit to check for any issues. Once a Leopard gecko goes off of live food, it can be difficult or impossible to bring it back to live food.

For babies and juveniles, you should dust the food 5 days a week with a plain, no phosphorus calcium powder. For adults, dusting can be done every other feeding. Twice a week (for adults and babies), substitute with a calcium powder with D3 for dusting. Do NOT use the D3 powder for every dusting, as Leopard geckos can not absorb that much D3 and remain healthy without proper exposure to UVB lighting.

Make sure that there is a good reptile veterinarian in the area before purchasing a Leopard gecko. Leopard geckos can and do require checkups, medications when sick, and fecal samples twice a year to rule out parasites. Be prepared for any emergency by having a good vet in your area and also make an appointment if you suspect any health issues.
For impacted or sick Leopard geckos, you can use a mixture of chicken or veal baby food, calcium powder, Pedialyte and water fed from a syringe. It is not recommended to try to force feed a Leopard gecko unless shown how by a veterinarian, as Leopard geckos can choke or aspirate (food goes into the lungs) and die. A drop or 2 of mineral oil/olive oil in the mixture is good for impacted Leopard geckos to help pass the impaction. Medications may be appropriate for impaction, and are necessary for parasites. Another good supplement for sick or impacted Leopard geckos is ReptiAid or Jumpstart, which can be found at most pet stores or online. It is recommended to keep some around just in case. You can also get Critical Care mix from your veterinarian to help with appetite stimulation and adding weight.

Handling should not occur with a Leopard gecko until they are about 4-5 inches, but if necessary can be done before then. Some Leopard geckos will not ever tolerate handling; some seem to enjoy it more than others. Be sure to handle your Leopard gecko carefully, and supervise children at all times with a Leopard gecko. As babies, Leopard geckos are very fast, and can escape if dropped or they jump into an open area very quickly. Make sure to respect the personality of your Leopard gecko, and do not try to handle a Leopard gecko if it is not willing - this can thoroughly stress the Leopard gecko, sometimes to the point of dropping its tail.

Leopard geckos are hard to impossible sex when they are younger. Most can be sexed properly at the 6-9 month age. Males will have pronounced large bumps near the base of the tail with smaller bumps in a "V" like formation; females will not be so pronounced. These smaller bumps are called "pre-anal pores" and the larger are "hemi-penal bulges."
Leopard geckos are sexed during incubation, although this is not 100% all of the time. A temp range of 78-82 will produce mostly females, 83-86 will get a mixture, and 87-90 will give mostly males. A "hot female" can be produced at higher temps - this is a female with a usually nasty attitude that will never be able to produce fertile eggs.

Females can lay 6-10 clutches of 2 eggs each season from one breeding time, and males should be separated after breeding, due to issues with stress to the female with constant breeding attempts. Keep a lay box (can be the humid hide) available at all times to gravid females with moist substrate (bed-a-beast, vermiculite or perlite works best). Make sure gravid females are offered extra calcium, and feedings should be dusted daily at that time. Breeding season usually runs from around November until approximately March, and egg-laying can happen every 3-6 weeks for many months afterwards.

There are many different opinions on substrates, diets, heating, caging, and almost all other aspects of keeping a Leopard gecko. Read many care sheets and decide for yourself what the best care is from those sheets. Also, talk to reputable breeders, and ask a lot of questions. Research and constant education are the best tools you will have to provide your Leopard gecko with a long, healthy, happy life!


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There has been some decent advice here and some not so great advice. If you want to know anything about chameleons or most lizards shoot me a pm. If you want a chameleon there are a few things to consider. They are not as difficult to keep as you may think depending on the species. I would recommend a veiled chameleon for a beginner. They cannot be kept together and you can not have just a female. For veileds the males are prettier anyways with the nice tall cascs. The cage should be screen (I have several new in box if interested). They need both full spectrum lighting as well as a heat light during the day. They don't drink standing water but need a drip system. If you are interested and want more information I can tell you whatever you need to know. I will also be going to a reptile show in three weeks if you need anything.


New member
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There has been some decent advice here and some not so great advice. If you want to know anything about chameleons or most lizards shoot me a pm. If you want a chameleon there are a few things to consider. They are not as difficult to keep as you may think depending on the species. I would recommend a veiled chameleon for a beginner. They cannot be kept together and you can not have just a female. For veileds the males are prettier anyways with the nice tall cascs. The cage should be screen (I have several new in box if interested). They need both full spectrum lighting as well as a heat light during the day. They don't drink standing water but need a drip system. If you are interested and want more information I can tell you whatever you need to know. I will also be going to a reptile show in three weeks if you need anything.
Thanks I might just go with a leopard gecko. They seems pretty cool to take care off. BTW I will be sending you a PM soon with the things I think I'm going to need. If I'm missing anything just lmk I would really appreciate it buddy thanks.


Reef for life. .
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Okay I know MR probably doesn't have this kind of questions asked on here. But I wanted to give it a try to see if they are any here.

I'm thinking of set a baby chameleon set up on a 29G. My questions are the following.

What kind of lights would I need how many watts too?

Which are beginner chameleon for noobies?

Which are better set ups a cage ones or tank ones?

Are chameleons aggressive towards humans?

How long can a chameleon be handled for?

What are the requirements for this set up?

Are chameleons easy to take care of specialty for a noobie that doesn't know anything about reptile care?

PS: I will asking for questions as soon as I have some replies.
I used to breed Panthers and Parsons Chameleons PM me your number will talk too much information to type....

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