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Herp for small tank?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I've posted on my Ontario reptile forum, but I thought I'd ask you too.
The tank that I have for my Leopard Gecko was bought by my boyfriend, and while it is a very nice tank, with doors that open (that are raised a bit) and special vents and all kinds of good things, it's also quite small. The tank dimensions are 12"X12"X12". The arrangement is working right now for my leo, as he's tiny, but I know it wont in the long run.
My boyfriend doesn't like the idea of my getting rid of the tank, and thinks the leo will be fine in it forever....so one of the methods of negotiation which I'm considering is getting a used 20gal long and a new pet that wont outgrow the small tank. I might end up selling it, but I really don't want to hurt my boyfriends feelings....i wish I could just keep the little guy in his tank and he'd be happy.
So? What fits in a tiny tank? I estimate the gallons to be around 7.5, and like I said, it's a cube (with an undertank heater, and light, etc) so something that climbs a bit might be happy.
post #2 of 13
There are some smaller geckos, but it depends on what you can get near you. Viper geckos are popular, and since they come form the same region (Pakistan, I think?) the care is somewhat similar to leos - look up detailed care or ask on a gecko forum. Have you seen them in stores near you? Though that cage is still a bit too small even for a viper... (and despite what you may read, never use cali-sand)

Anything that is arboreal won't use the UTH, btw.

Your leo will definitely need something larger. Get a ruler and physically show your boyfriend how large 9-10 inches is, he'll get the idea.
You will need a 20gal long or a 29-30 gal for a leo to be able to move around, as your leo starts to grow you can add a lizard hammock to give a bit more space for the time being- your leo will probably love it too. You should have 3 or 4 months to save up to buy another cage and UTH.


I have several empty aquariums, including a large 60 gal that are just sitting in storage. I have no space and I don't have "empty tank syndrome" as many call it.
Don't fall into the habit of getting more then you can handle before you're ready - there's no need to get rid of the aquarium either, just put it up where it won't get broken till you need it.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Don't worry, I wont use Cali-sand
The under tank heater is for the leo, but I just wouldn't use it if what I got didn't need it.
I was thinking about making a small shelf, having the lower have have a dry hide, and the upper a moist hide...same idea as the hammock.
I don't know what the boyfriend would say if I told him I wasn't doing something with the tank he got me. I don't know why, but whenever I mention needing a bigger tank eventually he gets really offended. I hope that he'll see the error in his ways when Rawr starts getting too big for the tank he has.
Maybe I'll ask for an undertank heater for my birthday in April. that should be around the right time for the new tank, and then just make the slip on him for the tank. Fortunately Rawr (my leo) will be at my apartment by then, and not at his house, so it will be easier to do.

*shrugs* I feel bad.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
I was thinking about making a small shelf, having the lower have have a dry hide, and the upper a moist hide...same idea as the hammock.
Shelf while still using it for the leo? If so that will not work. A moist hide must be humid, otherwise it's just a cold wet hide -not very appealing to a gecko and possibly dangerous. The same for anything else you may want to put in there.

Surely your boyfriend has common sense and can let his pride go over something like this? It's not as if you're just going to throw it away... men can be touchy about odd stuff though.

If you might have problems affording a 20gal long, try looking in newspapers, craigslist, freecycle, or even look for sales. Make sure you get a sturdy lid and some locks (simple $2 metal clip locks work) for it if you will have cats at your place.
post #5 of 13
you could put 2 may 3 small to med hermit crabs in the smaller tank. The set up is very similar between a herp and hermit crabs. They need moist sand though and salt water avaliable. But once it is all set up that is pretty much it. Change the sand every 4 months or so, for a small tank. You might also keep the smaller tank just "in case" you need it --like to take Rawr to the vet or something.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I sucked it up and asked him point blank if he'd be mad if I went against his advice, and he said that he thought that Rawr wouldn't need it, but if it would make me feel good he's not going to be upset with me.

I guess a moist hide needs to be warm too eh? Makes sense! I think I missed that part (he's been through one shed and my boyfriend just put him in an empty peanut butter jar with paper towels...worked like a charm). I'd like to have a permanent hide, of course, still arranging the tank to provide the most room though. (yes, it's the next addition and I just made room for it)

I definately will be getting a used 20L....tanks aren't worth the dough brand new IMO.

Thanks for the support
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by badninjakitties View Post
The set up is very similar between a herp and hermit crabs. They need moist sand though and salt water avaliable.
I don't recall there being any lizards that need wet sand or saltwater - so that's not similar at all.


For the humid hide, a small glad container works. I use the ones that are about 6"x3"? - maybe slightly larger, and they work fine. Cut a hole in the end and either sand the plastic a little or melt it some so there aren't any sharp parts.
To be honest, none of my leos use their regular warm hides. They will use the humid hides, cool hides, or just lay right out in the open. My youngest leo is almost always asleep on her hammock at the front of the cage or laying draped over her rock, male sleeps over his rock, and my other female sleeps in front of her hides.
post #8 of 13
My fav lizards are the anoles - they would not grow too large for the smaller tank
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
For the humid hide, a small glad container works. I use the ones that are about 6"x3"? - maybe slightly larger, and they work fine. Cut a hole in the end and either sand the plastic a little or melt it some so there aren't any sharp parts.
Yep! That's exactly the arrangement I'm going to be making...it's not pretty but it'll work for awhile. I'll have to get a smaller container though, which is ok for now, because he's only 2" himself (or there abouts). Do you use moss or paper towel or??? Seems most people use moss, but I've seen a few who use towel, might be more of a pain that way though, you'd have to wet the towel more often I think.
I'd like to bring him home with me today, but the temperature HAD to drop outside last night to a chilly -7ish Celsius. (that's below freezing but not like freeze your face below if that helps). We'll see how we work it, either I'll wait for a warmer day or tuck him in my coat in a container and carry the load to the warm awaiting car.
Hammocks are a good idea, they can't be that expensive either
Thanks again for your help, I know it sounds childish, but from reading on the Reptile Rooms forum the people there are very aggressive about doing things their way, and I take very well to support but not to criticism. I couldn't take a big old loud "you're doing it wrong!". So I appreciate your patience
post #10 of 13
I use paper towel, cheap and cleaner then moss.

Hammock, depending of the store are around $7-8 for a small one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
Thanks again for your help, I know it sounds childish, but from reading on the Reptile Rooms forum the people there are very aggressive about doing things their way, and I take very well to support but not to criticism. I couldn't take a big old loud "you're doing it wrong!". So I appreciate your patience
RR has had a lot of kids join lately and the ones that are helpful tend to be a bit blunt because they've had to answer the same questions over and over again. Sort of like how on here someone will post in the health section that their cat is very sick -what should they do and everyone tells them to take the cat to the vet. If you don't want to join you can still use the search to look up stuff, there's a good chance that whatever problem you've had - someone else has faced it too.

And I'm a little guilty there too. I'm pushy that people not keep WC turtles, check their state laws, put them outside if at all possible, and to get their animals to a vet.


GoldenKitty45 - anoles like to jump around. So even through they're small it's better to give them a decent sized enclosure. More like a 20gal tall.
post #11 of 13
The smaller anoles will do well in small tanks. But really I'd prefer to keep those and house geckos in nothing smaller than 10 gallons, although a cleverly laid out 7 gallon can work.

Proper basking lighting is what is the main issue with small set-ups. They tend to overheat the entire environment rather than spot heating a specific spot.

10 gallons is about the smallest that you can do that in, and really bigger is ALWAYS better when dealing with reptiles in my opinion, just like fishtanks.

I dislike seeing breeder herps in tiny containers stacked up in cabinets ... something about that just bugs me. Sure they can live in a container like that - but what a sucky life.
post #12 of 13
Do let me amend that to say that my largest setup was a 150 gallon tank for anoles, house geckos, tree frogs and burrowing frogs with a filtered 10 gallon "pond" and waterfall that I had for like 7 years.

One of my hobbies is creating ecosystems in miniature lol.

Haven't been able to do that in a while but man I love it.

All I have now is a very very old leopard gecko and a corn snake for reps. And a LOT of tanks. LOL.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by alyssa View Post
I dislike seeing breeder herps in tiny containers stacked up in cabinets ... something about that just bugs me. Sure they can live in a container like that - but what a sucky life.
You'd dislike how I keep my baby goldens then... I start them out in a 6qt shoe boxes. The first one I moved up to a 10 gal way too soon and he became incredibly stressed by it, I lost almost all progress I had made taming him.
I have his younger siblings in 12qt boxes at this time and they're a happy pinkish gold and are easier to handle.

Many breeders keep young lizards in smaller containers for that very reason... and the fact that 60+ aquariums just for offspring per season would be a bit crazy. The rack setups also allow heat tape to be used -which would use less energy overall then dozens of separate heatmats.
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