2 rescued Leopard Geckos - update 12/2 - & their Baby!!!

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2 rescued Leopard Geckos - update 12/2 - & their Baby!!!

Post by wodesorel » Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:42 am

With the addition of Blaze I sort of fell in love with geckos... I was cruising the local Facebook animal classifieds around my birthday in May and saw an ad for a male and female leopard gecko. The cage was well.. This

Taken in April
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Taken in May
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I was horrified. Unfortunately some things came up and the money I could have used for them went elsewhere.

About a month ago we were able to sell a few things and I was able to set some money aside. It was supposed to go for the hermit crab upgrade, but I kept thinking about those two geckos. The ad hadn't been reposted since the start of May, but I PMed the woman mostly to check and make sure they had been taken by someone.

They hadn't.

I paid $60 for them and their 10 galllon (!) tank filled with wood chips (!) and no heat (!). I got ripped off, but I was so worried about them.

This is what they looked like when I got them home. He's the thin one on the left (60 grams) and she's the emaciated (30 grams) one on the right.
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I immediately separated them into their own private 20 gallons with a heat pad and no substrate. (I'm one of those pro-substrate people, but only when the gecko is healthy which these two weren't.) They're a little makeshift with plastic hides, but we bought slate tiles for them and I found really nice tiles at the Restore that we just need to cut to size.

They are now eating me out of house and home. I'm pretty sure they went through 7 dozen superworms in just the past week, along with mealworms and some crickets... The goal is getting them up to weight and they should taper off on wanting food on their own like the Fat Tailed did. I haven't reweighed them recently but you can tell by their tails they're getting up to where they're supposed to be.

This is Belle:
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And this is Butler:
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And these are their eggs (!):
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Even though they're supposedly only a year old and she's half the weight a breeder should be, because the previous owner had been keeping them together she's been producing eggs all spring and summer. She could lay another 5 or 6 times even though they are now separated. This is her second batch of eggs with me - the first ones were dead on the way out because she was so malnourished. I'm not sure these are good, but a friend of mine lent me a seriously epic incubator to try. (Duh Duh Duh....Duh-Duuuhhhh. Boom-boom boom-boom...)
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Right now I'm not really planning on keeping Butler long term. I'm not sure if I want to have three geckos! But he was in trouble and I'm enjoying watching him get fat and sassy again. Belle however is staying forever. She is so tiny! She was bred so young that I doubt she'll ever grow to be a normal size. They're both cute and funny though and I just adore them. IF any of the eggs end up being good... well... we'll have to wait and see. I have trouble getting rid of babies...)


And the redone critter room. Hubby made me a scorpion love hotel which fits double the tanks but is skinnier than the previous rack. I've got 16 (?) tanks with room for two more. My allergies got so bad that we relocated the roaches and I'm in the process of selling them. (Three colonies to go, w00t!) It's so much easier now with the roaches gone - no more running nose or wheezing just from walking in the room. No more debates on if I need to go to the ER after doing the rounds. We gutted the entire room, I cleaned it top to bottom, washed all the tanks, and replaced or washed all the racks. It takes me about 15 minutes to spot clean daily and then about an hour once a week to really get into the tanks and straighten up.

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Not bad for a 5 foot by 8 foot room, hunh? ;)

And I still have room for one more 20 gallon. :innocent:

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CallaLily
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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by CallaLily » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:32 am

They are looking so much better and the critter room looks awesome!

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by Crabinski » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:13 am

My jaw dropped three times reading your post. The first time was for the simply unbelievable condition of those poor geckos, the second for their amazing turnaround (don't animals always amaze us with their resiliency?) and the third for that glorious critter room (only 5x8? mind-blowing!). How like you, wode, to go ahead and adopt more at-risk animals while struggling with serious health issues of your own. I am so proud of you and your ongoing rescue efforts
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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by wodesorel » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:34 pm

Cats are where my training and my heart is, but it's because of the health problems I can't do it anymore. Last year and this year were the first time in a decade we didn't foster a litter of kittens or take on bottle babies, because I can't promise to keep up with daily tasks anymore. Reptiles still require care, but by default the majority of predator species shouldn't be fed daily and hands off is a better thing for them. It works out strangely perfectly for my good days/bad days schedule, and if it comes to tossing in food for the night because that's all the time I can stay standing, well, that's pretty much just what they always need anyways. :)

I'm still bummed that what should have been a weekend project on the room took almost a month from start to finish. I realized that this summer had been less than perfect, but I thought I was doing a little better that that! Sigh.

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:41 pm

Wow, your critter room is amazing! I am blown away by how much care and effort you put into rescuing and saving the lives of so many little animals! Great job!

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by sugarselections » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:46 pm

I love Butler! His face is just the cutest thing ever. Do they have to have crickets as part of a healthy diet? That's what has always deterred me in the past.
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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by wodesorel » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:50 pm

Some breeders/owners stick to super and meal worms exclusively. I would much prefer it if all three of mine did, but Blaze (the fat tailed) decided all he'll eat now is crickets. He's close to four years old though and I'm not sure what his previous owners fed him. From the research I've done on them, they'll generally be fine with whatever they were raised on, and then will only get picky if their diet has been expanded and they find a new favorite. The only downside is that the supers pretty much have to be hand fed as they can get out of any gecko sized bowl. It takes a lot of mealies to make a whole meal, but they breed very easily - I haven't had to buy any in months and I'll probably have so many I'll need to sell some off in a couple more months! (I wish the supers didn't take so long to mature, the scorpions love the adult beetles. That would make a great breeding colony but it's too slow.)

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by CallaLily » Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:10 am

I'm always amazed when I hear of others feeding supers to their Leos. I picked some up once and they were HUGE. Lizard wouldn't touch them. It was the only size I could find. I'm assuming you can usually get them in different sizes, like mealies? I haven't bothered trying again.

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by wodesorel » Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:10 pm

Butler loves them full sized, but Belle will usually only go after them up to about 3/4 sized. My frog will take any anything under half sized. (And the scorpions love the beetles.)

I get them anywhere from one to three inches when I buy them at the local pet shop. The chain stores tend to get all the same size in a batch, anywhere from 3/4 to full.

Even baby supers are massive compared to a mealie!

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by wodesorel » Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:20 pm

The biggest ones here are about 3/4
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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by fantasybookworm » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:57 pm

The geckos are adorable!! I'm so glad you took them in and have gotten them back to good health, thank you for caring for them!! I really want to get a leopard gecko sometime, I think they're adorable. They were one of my favorite reptiles to care for when I worked at a pet store. I'm hoping to do bio-active if I do end up getting one, but we'll see!

I'll have to do more research on food before I do though, I guess...superworms are one of the few insects I don't think I can deal with. Too big! :shock: I'd never seen them before I visited a friend of mine with hedgehogs (who I'm getting my new hedgie girl from once my friend & I have moved out). She gets them for one of her boys and they're just huge. I'll stick with mealworms, I think!

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by KellyCrabbieLove » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:15 pm

*shudder*

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by wodesorel » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:55 am

fantasybookworm wrote: I'll have to do more research on food before I do though, I guess...superworms are one of the few insects I don't think I can deal with. Too big! :shock: I'd never seen them before I visited a friend of mine with hedgehogs (who I'm getting my new hedgie girl from once my friend & I have moved out). She gets them for one of her boys and they're just huge. I'll stick with mealworms, I think!
They squirt liquid when mad, too! And can bite. I use tongs when dealing with them. Have never touched them. The adult beetles are really cute though! Nothing like the food invader mealies.

Financially and nutritionally they're a better choice - one super is $0.11 and is equal to 10 mealies at $0.41. Supers are also higher in calcium.

They also take forever to mature, so I can buy in bulk at a cheaper price and a month or two later they'll still be grubs. Mealies tend to pupate on me within a week and I loose 1/3 to 1/2 of what I bought. (Granted, I now have a major breeding colony going because of that and the hermits love the extra.) I started pupating out the supers to try for a breeding colony to save even more money, more work but the rewards should be nice!

I also cannot get my geckos to eat from bowls, and dropping 40 mealies one at a time takes about an hour....

They do crickets, too. I give them some occasionally, especially since the scorps are all on crickets now. I like crickets least of everything. They smell and they die in droves. (We do the shopping every two weeks, so stuff has to last in our house!)

KellyCrabbieLove wrote:*shudder*

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by KellyCrabbieLove » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:07 am

Bugs creep me out. I saw a container of superworms at the petstores a dew days ago and almost gagged. My husband finds it very annoying how afraid of most bugs I am. Spiders are the worst.

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Re: 2 rescued Leopard Geckos and a redone Critter Room :)

Post by wodesorel » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:15 am

Have had several nope-nope moments at my MILs house involving three inch dolomedes fishing spiders. When they are the size and speed of mice and can cartwheel on water I will run away screaming. The only way I will go up there or walk in her house is if hubby stays right with me or we bring a cat with us for protection. I'm still having nightmares from when I got surrounded in the basement!

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