Some relevant tweets from my throwaway twitter account
did you know a lot of popular sites still recommend sand for leopard geckos? Even if people do research, they can still be led to believe sand is safe. Which is why even small “cute” photosets like the original one are harmful.
I think people need to understand this, but it might be difficult to understand, so I’ve made a super-simplified explanation
When seen from the side, hamsters have naturally curved spines because they extend them when running. Lizard (in this case leopard gecko) spines are straight when seen from the side because they move from side-to side (which is pretty much the opposite of what hamsters do).
Here is a hamster standing stationary in a hamster wheel. Because its back is made for bending this way, there is no issue.
Here is a leopard gecko in a hamster wheel. I think the problem is quite obvious. In fact, if I had drawn this properly, the spine would be even more bent. The vertebrates will be pushed together and grind against each other, causing irreversible damage over time. If you want a wheel that’s safe for a leopard gecko, the diameter would have to be at least 1 meter.
I hope this was clear :3 I know some websites suggest hamster wheels or balls for lizards but a lot of websites also suggest keeping them on sand!
The clay is mixed with water and made into a “mud paste” kind of texture. You then quickly mold it to make caves or holes, and as it dries it hardens. Little to no loose parts! Digging reptiles like monitors can tunnel through it as well.
I’ve never used it, but as far as I can tell it’s safe!
The sand mat is interesting. Mostly made to fit exo terra vivs (unfortunately) it is just like their reptile carpet BUT it has sand and small bits of rock glued to it. It’s one solid piece, no loose sand! I’ve felt it and it’s not sharp at all. Personally I think it’s amazing and if I ever had a beardie or leo I’d get this.
what is the best starter gecko and what supplies should you buy for it
Hello! The best starter gecko for you specifically will depend on what you want to get out of reptile keeping, but generally the two easiest geckos to start with are leopard geckos (or African fat tail geckos, with similar care to leos just more humidity) and crested geckos.
A leo is better if you are interested in handling/interacting with your gecko more or don’t want to have to worry about misting and monitoring humidity as much. A crested gecko is better if you want to make a beautiful tropical vivarium or don’t want to deal with live food (crickets, etc).
As for what specific supplies to buy, that’s a question for Google (just make sure you are getting information from reputable websites) as that information has been written up many times in much more detail than I could cover here in a quickly written response. A few notes to avoid common mistakes: 1) don’t use sand for leopard geckos, they need a solid substrate like paper towels, tile, or slate and 2) you need a thermostat, dimmer/rheostat, or other means of temperature control for a heat mat (if you just set it up and plug it in the temperature can fluctuate dangerously).
Hope that helped! Feel free to shoot me another ask if you have more questions.
Pros and Cons of the choices I have for my first reptile
Pros: squishy, cute, fat tail, simple husbandry requirements, doesn’t require loads of space
Cons: must be fed live food and must care for/feed live food (costs money!!!), can’t give in to the “want more foob” face, active when I need to sleep
Pros: no live food required, simple powder diet, walks on walls, eyelashes, simple husbandry requirements, glamorous
Cons: can be jumpy, not all cresties like being handled, professionals at camouflage
Pros: they look like spoons, smol, doesn’t need loads of space, eats frozen mice, living sock puppets, simple husbandry requirements
Cons: escape artists like all noodles, burrows most of the time, needs lots of substrate to burrow (costs money!!!)
I got her and a baby for 45$ from some person on the FB boards here. Well what I really wanted was his SHTCTB and Baby but he decided last min he wanted to keep the SHTCHB and instead offered his other female that is “Mack Snow” (Quotes because I don’t know her genetics) so I shrugged it off and picked them up.
Well he had them on orange sand, which I could see instantly by their feet. He said the Mack is pregnant from his normal male because he kept 2 Male 1 Female and the baby in the same 40g tank together.
Well the “Mack” looked pregnant by her size so I was like alright, I’ll deal with it and just hatch them out.
It wasn’t eggs making her that big.
It was this.
I didn’t take comparison pictures and It’s already in the trash but that is bigger than a quarter.
For those that don’t know what that is, that is sand. No fecal matter besides the white top.
This girl ingested enough sand to poop it out like it was food. She is now half the size that she was when I picked her up and I can still see a dark mass in her stomach. So with luck she will pass it all. (She is also having to see the vet)
She dodged a bullet, if she didn’t pass it (And what’s left could still not come out) it would have been either costly surgery or death. (Maybe both.)
So instead of keeping them on it because it looks nice or what ever reason you have, put them on Paper Towels, Tile, Towel/Cloth or anything that they can’t ingest.
- What she looks like now. (I didn’t take a picture pre-sand poop)
She may still be pregnant, but that’s a problem for another day.
Do you have any ideas on what I could do with an empty 10 gallon tank, either fish or not? I'm not sure if any non fishy friends would be happy in it but if you have any suggestions I'd def do my research, kind of just looking for ideas to get the ball rolling
Small amphibians often do quite well in a 10 gallon (newts, frogs, some sals and a couple toad types). Invertebrates almost all do great in a 10. Fish I have a guide if you look up stocking and 10 gallon. As for reptiles not many, some garter snakes, some say a male sand boa, micro geckos, Pygmy chameleon maybe… But almost all those are up for debate.
But I mean, technically tnd is right. But it was still irresponsible of her to not say that
The point is, that picture already ended up on BuzzFeed. It’s gonna end up elsewhere without any sort of context. Not everyone who sees that picture is going to go to TND’s Instagram/YouTube and scour all her posts. They see gecko+sand and they automatically think it’s ok. It’s like with fishbowls. They’re so prevalent in our media culture that most people think fishbowls are ok without any sort of second thought.
She should know better, especially with how much attention she gets. If she really wanted that geck on sand, she could’ve put a disclaimer on the pictures or the caption.
Do you know why everyone says it's bad to buy geckos from PetSmart or Petco? Bc if no one buys them they will be stuck in those awful conditions...
Not everyone says it. I can’t speak for others who do, only myself. There are many people with different opinions on the matter, and your ask seems to demonstrate that.
Some people don’t care at all about buying from PetCo or PetSmart, or would encourage it. Many people do get their reptiles there.
I don’t believe I have ever said this on my tumblr yet, though I agree with those who are against it. I certainly do not think anyone should buy their pet at these chain stores; I will go into why I think this.
1.) It doesn’t help the root of the “awful conditions” problem – it actually perpetuates and contributes to it. 2.) You are likely to get a genetically unhealthy animal. 3.) You are likely to get an acutely unhealthy animal. 4.) There are plenty of legitimate rescues who have geckos needing to be adopted.
Buying them (or other animals for sale but suffering) is what I (and others) call a “sympathy purchase”, not a rescue. By buying them, it perpetuates the cycle of encouraging mass breeding farms (essentially gecko “puppy mills”) to sell to pet stores that will continue to keep them in sub-par conditions. Buying them does not just save that one gecko from those awful conditions. They will immediately buy new stock, and put it into those same awful conditions. It just dooms more geckos. Even if hundreds of thousands of people all went and bought geckos to “save them” all it would do is drive up PetCo/Smart’s sales and they would put more effort into promoting gecko sales, selling cheap gecko kits, and so on. They sell more animals when animals are promoted as “easy” and “cheap” so they stock “easy” kits which are nowhere near adequate for the animals, and the cycle of neglect after purchase continues.
These stores have bad corporate policies in place that the employees, no matter how dedicated, can’t get around. Different stores have different levels of care, but no matter what they do, they still buy stock from breeders who value quantity and profit over the health and quality of their animal’s lines (budgies with horrible genetic problems and cancer, geckos of questionable parentage and shortened lifespans, horrible diseases rampant in their lizards, birds, and rodents, etc. I could go on and on), feeding policies that are atrocious, and other poor husbandry requirements.
Buying animals from them has never changed that.
However, other things have. They used to sell large birds. They used to sell rabbits. Due to boycotts, petitions, and other grassroots campaigns, PetCo and PetSmart caved to pressure and stopped carrying these animals in their stores. They started hosting adoption events. Many stores host adoption events for various animals all the time. In addition, husbandry does get better when pressure is put on the store. Not through buying animals, but through campaigns. Things that cost them money such as protests and boycotts, not animal purchases.
The only way to stop this is to actively oppose it. Do not encourage it, at the very least.
As to the second point, it is a continuation of the first. PetCo and PetSmart typically source their animals from larger scale breeders and farms. The animals are from mill-like situations. These are not the healthy, well-bred animals you’d get from a private breeder who has been perfecting several morphs for years.You don’t know what health problems you’ll get down the road. (In some cases you do; if you buy a petstore budgie, for example, you can expect cancer, cancer, cancer.)
In addition, because of poor husbandry (both at the farm and by necessity in the loud, bright, overcrowded tank at the store), they may have acute illnesses like parasites and bacteria. I believe PetCo had cryptosporidiosis go through their leopard geckos before (protozoa infection), which can also infect the feeder insects. PetCo keeps their geckos on sand (even as babies) which means you might get them already starting to suffer fromimpaction. PetSmart keeps them on carpet, which is better because of impaction, but carpet can harbor lingering bacteria if not cleaned properly, especially with already sickly geckos, so it’s not recommended either!
Finally, if you really want to rescue an animal from a bad situation, there are geckos in rescues all around the country. Some of them have had it really bad, such as surviving burns or surgeries. Others are abandoned after people grew bored with them, or are recovering from being malnourished, or neglected. Some are just “different” and not up to snuff for a breeding project. Since they are one of the most common pet reptile, they are one of the most common pet reptile needing adoptive homes.
And of course, many originally came from PetCo and PetSmart, because that’s where they were bought originally before the original owners got “bored”, but adopting from the legitimate rescue is awesome!
Note: Adopting an animal from PetCo or PetSmart which is not for sale through their adoption programs is not the same as buying from them and does not perpetuate the cycle.
Egg and Renfield are LOVING their new toys! Egg actually slept in the coconut house today, and Renfield isn’t sure what to make of the pipes, but he’s been and out of them a few times- and I am very grateful for the Over the Garden Wall DVD! I’ll be watching it with Kaiju and some popcorn sometime very, very soon!
Small rant about keeping reptiles on sand because “They live on it in the wild”
It’s true, your pet probably would spend it’s fair share of time on sand, dirt, and other loose substrate.
Now, that being said, would you put a hawk in the aquarium that your lizard lives in because “That’s what they deal with in the wild?” Probably not, since obviously your lizard wouldn’t stand a chance in such a small space with an obviously deadly thing.
So why put a much less obvious, yet much more painful, killer in the same aquarium as your lizard? There’s little to no chance of escape from it without your help, and it kills them slowly and painfully by filling up their stomachs (basically starving them to death) and causing horrible infections in their eyes, vents, mouths, and any other opening on their body.
Health risks aside, lets talk money and aesthetic appeal. Sand looks gross, lets admit it. It looks dirty, smells weird, and gets everywhere. It also requires new sand being bought periodically, which starts to add up.
You know what you only have to buy once, doesn’t smell, can be cleaned just as easily as the glass walls of the aquarium, and doesn’t get everywhere? Slate tile! It looks awesome, provides lots of grip for lil lizard toes to run on, and best of all, doesn’t slowly kill them.
I’ve been told you can get your aquarium tiled for pretty cheap(especially in relation to how much you would spend on sand) at Lowes, and then you never have to worry about it again, unless of course something goes wrong and you need to replace a tile or something.
I know you said you’re fine with people tagging you but I’m sorry anyway lol. followthebluebell can you fact check me here and give some more info on getting your tanks tiled if you have any info?
Given all the gross sand posts going around, let's get another post going around showing what a good safe setup looks like.
Lizardfolks, let’s show the internet what a safe setup looks like! If you have a setup with tile, newspaper, paper towel, or another safe substrate, please reblog with yours added! Let’s show people in the lizard and gecko and beardie tags that a lot of regular people have nice safe setups! Show me your happy geck and beardie houses! And any other happy lizard houses you might have!
AHHHH meet my new Leopard Gecko! We ended up naming them Megatron for now and are unsure of the gender (we forgot to ask). And yes that is a butter container, I washed it out and lined it with moss for a moist hiding spot since Megatron was still shedding (you can see a piece of it on their head).