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Old 02-18-18, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Questions about cage size for adult gecko

Am in the planning stage of getting a gargoyle gecko. I keep reading suggested adult cage sizes ranging from 18"Wx18"Dx18"H up to 24"Wx18D"x24H". After shopping for snake cages, those sizes sound small to me, though gargoyles are, of course, small in comparison to my colubrids. So I have a couple questions.

- If space & price weren't an issue, what would be an optimum cage size for a gargoyle? Right now my planned cage size is 24"Wx24D"x24H", but I could go larger if that would be better. Ex. 24"Wx124D"x36H" or 36"Wx24D"x24H" or 36"Wx24D"x36H"

- Is there a reason, other than space & budget limitations, for the smaller sizes? Like, do gargoyles naturally have a limited range?

My currents two snakes are my first reptiles, so I've no real knowledge on any of this other than what I've read online, primarily care sheets. Side note, my sister is an avian zoo keeper & when I mentioned my interest in gargoyles she looked them up & got excited that they are from New Caledonia. She wants to visit there because of the birds. I let her know I'd love to do that trip. Though to be able to afford that, I'll have to quit purchasing reptiles & their accessories.
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Old 02-19-18, 08:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Questions about cage size for adult gecko

I keep my Gargoyles in Sterilite 66 qt clear containers, which are actually smaller than your 24x24x24 planned cages.
These are not very active geckos. Mine spend most of their time wedged behind their hide boxes, or sitting up in the branches.
With most species of herp, there's really no reason not to use large enclosures if you have the space. However Gargoyles are fed primarily Pangea or similar powdered diets. I would be concerned about them finding their food in a large enclosure, considering how inactive they are. But I also think they can figure it out, if you show them where the food is for the first few feedings.
I have owned many species of herps, and to me, the Gargoyle is the ultimate gecko for captivity. Calm, hardy, not to fast to catch, colorful, easy to feed- just great lizards.
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Old 02-19-18, 01:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Questions about cage size for adult gecko

Hi,
A larger enclosure with lot of branches, cork tubes, live plants (if possible) and good substrate to maintain stable humidity levels would be required. Also the provision of UV light is advised as all gecko's (lizards in general) bask for D3 synthesis among other things. 36x24x36 sounds about right, though it's not a worry if the depth is 18 (personally I prefer 24 deep though since it's much easier to do furniture and planting).

They are mostly inactive during the day, but they aren't strictly nocturnal. Most lizards with highest activity peak during the night, still have activity during the day. It is called cathemeral. Not providing enough space for exercise can lead to an inactive and obese (unless feeding is adjusted) animal. It's always best to provide enough space. They can jump, and will jump, from branch to branch hunting for insects.

There are some great knowledge-able people on reptiles in this group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/454242811428496/ that can help you setting up a good enclosure for your gargoyle.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Questions about cage size for adult gecko

Thank you for the responses. Had read a couple sites with the idea that not just babies, but even adults could have trouble finding their food in a large container. That was part of the reason for my question. Will say that I have trouble believing they couldn't find food in a larger cage as long as it isn't bigger than what would be their normal range in the wild. If I understand correctly, part of the idea is that the geckos could be stressed/scared in a large container unless there is a lot of cover. If they're scared, they are less likely to go looking for the food. So set up is even more critical in a large container. That sound about right?

TRD, had not known the term cathemeral. Thanks for mentioning that. The UV light issue has been confusing for me. Despite the many references that UV isn't strictly necessary for these geckos, it does sound like they display more natural behaviors if offered full spectrum including UVA & UVB. Had already planned to do that, but what level of UV is still undecided. Suggestions seem to range from 2%-10% UVB. Am leaning to around 5% for no other reason than it seems to split the difference. Care to add a suggestion?

Thanks again,
Laura
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Old 02-20-18, 12:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Questions about cage size for adult gecko

Hi Laura,
Yes, size doesn't matter, you can keep them in a room size enclosure... as long as the layout is sound. They find their food in the wild, they'll find their food just fine in any size terrarium...

For UV they require shade levels, around a UVI of 1.0.. depending on the distance between UVb light and gecko I could make some recommendation. It's always a bit tricky with them as they can just hang upside down right under the lamp and you don't want them to fry :P As such the more powerful UV solutions (MVB, some HID, T5HO) are generally not advised. Most people use either a CFL in a little hood or a T8 tube for gecko's. 2% tubes are generally too low in output, it would be either a T8 5% or a 23W CFL 5%. Is there a mesh in between? And what is the distance between the light and the highest branches to climb on?

It has been shown that gecko's can metabolize D3 even from very low and very short exposure. As such their "basking" may be as simple as putting the legs or tail in the UV light for 1-2 hours a day and keep hidden otherwise.

And besides, if a species receives supplementary D3 in their diet, it means they require UV light (house cats/dogs also get D3 supplementation through their food, for example). Only those reptiles that eat whole mammalian prey do not need UV for the D3 synthesis (though it wouldn't hurt!) but besides that there are other benefits to UV light as well the the immune system, hormone/vitamin production, vision - as a lot of reptiles can see UVa, ... just to name a few major ones.

Last edited by TRD; 02-20-18 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 02-20-18, 01:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Questions about cage size for adult gecko

Well, I have decided. Just ordered the 24x24x24 cube to use for a baby snake now & a juvenile gargoyle later. Ultimately, I will end up buying or building something much larger but the little cube will work while I slowly build the reptile area in a room upstairs.

Have come a long way since I started planning for a snake 18 mos ago. "I only have room for one small snake," I claimed then. Now I've got a Brooks kingsnake & Russian rat snake, am preparing for the gargoyle, & pondering a Trans Pecos.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Questions about cage size for adult gecko

Yea I know this feeling...
I'm enjoying myself with Psammophiidae currently. Such fascinating snakes.
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