I’m going to be a leopard gecko mommy!
I’ve wanted to care for a reptile for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that all of the pieces came together, and now I’m in the position to care for one. My first desire was a chameleon, but the tiniest bit of research helped me realize that a Chameleon was going to be waaaaay too much work. I decided to go with the classic My First Reptile: a leopard gecko! I don’t have the gecko yet, but here is a photo that gives you a general idea of it will probably look like:
We’re going to name it Adler after Irene Adler because why the hell not? I like the way Adler sounds.
Last week I did some research about care, cost, feeding, local reptile vets, etc. and on Sunday I went over to Twin Cities Reptiles in St. Paul to buy all of the things that I would need to prepare a habitat for my little guy or gal. And while I was there I put my name on a list to reserve a leopard gecko when one became available. They do a lot of their own breeding at Twin Cities Reptiles, and the three leopard geckos that were in-house were two hatchlings and a sub-adult. One of those three might be mine! They keep the new animals at the store for a period of time to make sure that they’re developing well, eating enough, etc. So I should get mine in the next week or so.
Last night I finalized my set-up! I’ve been working on it for a couple of days, so some of these pictures were taken earlier than others.
Overhead light and a basking rock on top of “reptile carpet”.
There is a lot of debate online about whether to include a heat lamp in a leopard gecko’s habitat. They’re nocturnal creatures, so they don’t need the light. Most people seem to use an under the cage heating pad. However, after 24 hours of the pad alone, my cage near the floor was only 82°F and the air temperature by the basking rock was hovering around 79°F. I decided to go with a 60 watt bulb to get the daytime temperature into the high 80s where it belongs.
The next three photos are my “splurge”. I bought a magnetic rock hide, which is a “rock” that has been split in two. One side contains a tunnel, in which the reptile can hide. The other side is a “lid”, which is attached via magnets to the outside of the cage, the idea being that the nosy human can peek in on their sleeping reptile.
And finally, the second thermometer and a decorative background so that the humans can have a bit more fun:
Aaaaaaany day now. *checks messages again*