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Planning a 10G display tank for our leo

Discussion in 'Gecko Enclosures' started by octanejunkie, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. octanejunkie

    octanejunkie Gecko Egg

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    We have a young leopard gecko and want to build a 10 gallon tank for it that is attractive, functional and easy to maintain. We know the basics, hides, basking area, hot side/cool side, plants, etc but are looking for ideas and inspiration as well as tips from experienced keepers with display tanks

    Zoo Med makes a Cavern Kit with a clay-type material and building supplies (balloons, excavating tool, etc) that can be used to create a custom hardscape, so I was thinking about making a back or side wall with this material with a cave or two (hides) and maybe a tunnel against the glass so the gecko can be observed in it's hide as well as out in the open. Anyone use the Zoo Med Cavern Kit for a leo?

    Optimally I like bedding that is easy to clean poop from, sand is great, but we understand the risk of impaction from sand swallowing. Paper towels are cheap but removing items to replace the towels is a pita and may become stressful for the animal. Zoo Med makes a fine-grain calcium sand which they market as "safe" and I have to imagine in the wild leos encounter sand lol, but again we are open to ideas from successful keepers.

    We will design a replaceable food dish for grubs and worms, but I prefer semi-free range feeders like crickets and roaches too, as well as water bowl - making cleaning them easy while keeping the display aspect as authentic as possible. We might even integrate live plant options, small potted succulents, or just stick with easy to clean plastics or silks.

    For heating we will have an 24/7 UTH and maybe a basking spot on a timer, to emulate the sun and perpetual a photocycle as the tank will be in a darker part of the house.

    We are totally open to ideas and pictures so please reply, thanks!
  2. jetfire

    jetfire Adult Gecko 3 Year Member

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    I'd consider doing a 20L, instead of a 10. That way you won't have to redo it's cage for awhile, if ever. If you do a 10, you'll be doing up another setup within a year.
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  3. octanejunkie

    octanejunkie Gecko Egg

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    20L it is!
    I had a spare one lying around

    Any advice about substrate? I'd love to use some sort of sand for several reasons.

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  4. acpart

    acpart Gecko Grandparent 3 Year Member

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    Some people use sand for geckos that are no longer juveniles (if you choose to do this, use play sand, not calci-sand). Other people use eco earth and make a naturalistic, planted viv. There is a Facebook group for bioactive reptile environments. Other products that have worked well include excavator clay (it is kind of heavy, though) and Lugarti natural reptile bedding (lugarti.com).

    Aliza
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  5. octanejunkie

    octanejunkie Gecko Egg

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    I tried some compacting some eco earth, 1" but when it dried it just wipes away. I need 3+ inches to compact. I have some lugarti tarantula substrate, but it's pricy and also not super dense. The worst part of both these is that they act as insulators rather than conductors of the UTH pad, so sand makes the most sense.

    We went to Rainbow Mealworms on Saturday (http://www.rainbowmealworms.net) and on recommendation of the fellow there bought 20# of reptilite calcium sand, but play sand is much cheaper at Home Depot.

    I did pickup the zoo med cavern kit, so my plan is to have a project day soon and my daughter and I can build a cave and tunnel hardscspe in the 20L.[​IMG]

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  6. acpart

    acpart Gecko Grandparent 3 Year Member

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    Let us know how it turns out.

    Aliza
  7. octanejunkie

    octanejunkie Gecko Egg

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    I returned the sand, opting for play sand as a conductive bed in a 10 gallon, covered with paper towels for now.

    The ultimate plan is a 20 gallon long with a mix of substrates including gravel and Coco fiber for the moist areas and a rockscape with climbing opportunities

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