leopard gecko on sand if I feed in different container?

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Dec 2, 2009
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I have a leopard gecko on reptile carpet right now and I just thought I'd try somthing new and I want to put it on sand. I know this is supposedly bad because it can give an impaction. But if I feed it in a seprate container is that ok. It just seems like sand wont get as nasty as the reptile carpet gets (everything gets stuck to it and its nasty)

Oh and the sand I have is ground walnut shells. If this is ok and I can use sand I will upgrade to the finer sand when I go to the petstore
 

christianD

Arachnopeon
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Jun 11, 2010
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leopard geckos on sand

hows it goin. I keep my older leopard geckos on sand. definitely easier to clean than jungle carpet. they would ingest some when they stuck their tongue out to lick their eyes and such or if I fed them some crickets. never enough to hurt them. If they're big enough and you put their food in a shallow dish (with a large hole in the lid usually) they will be fine. and of course a calcium dish and water etc. the only reason i believe they would eat the stuff is if they're low on calcium or starving, serious cases. some would say absolutely not and others would say sure go ahead. i think its really your own choice.
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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Dec 2, 2009
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I think I'll give it a try. If I see him eating it I'll take him off lol.
 

LeilaNami

Arachnoking
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Walnut is fine. It is digestible, unlike sand. I've used natural sand for leopard geckos in the past and they have done fine on it. It's when Petco forced me to use calcium sand impactions started to become a problem. Just keep in mind that with any substrate that can be eaten, there is always a risk of impaction. Some just have a higher risk than others.
 

Rowdy Hotel

Arachnosquire
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Feb 21, 2010
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I use sand because it is easier to heat to the right temperature than reptile carpet. I've never had a leo get impacted but I do always place their food in a food dish, works great if you feed dubia roaches and mealworms like I do, they can;t climb out. I also give them all a dish with a little calcium and multivitamin along with occasional dusting of food.
If you're going to use sand don't waste your money on expensive calcium sand from the petstore. Those companies just want to scare people into buying it in my opinion. A reptile can't digest the calcium sand fast enough to avoid impactions so for that reason it doesn't matter what the sand is made out of. If anything calcium sand is more dangerous seeing how reptiles eat it if they need calcium. Just go to home depot or lowes and buy a 50lb bag of playsand for like $4.
 

snappleWhiteTea

Arachnoangel
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Jul 13, 2009
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Walnut is fine. It is digestible, unlike sand. I've used natural sand for leopard geckos in the past and they have done fine on it. It's when Petco forced me to use calcium sand impactions started to become a problem. Just keep in mind that with any substrate that can be eaten, there is always a risk of impaction. Some just have a higher risk than others.
i heard walnut was one of the worst things to use.
 

mike w

Arachnopeon
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Jan 10, 2010
Messages
25
I don't even chance impaction. So I use carpet and clean it once every 2 weeks.
 

hassman789

Arachnobaron
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I notice he somtimes sleeps on his poo poo paper towel (I will not tollerate that!:mad:lol) mabey he just needs to get used to it. and I'll see if I can get somthing finer, this is a little rough. I will stay away from snad with vitamins and calcium. And how do geckos know to eat the calcium and vitamin sand if they need it? How do they tell the difference from regular sand?
 

jebbewocky

Arachnoangel
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Oct 1, 2009
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Particulate substrates of any kind are frowned on for leos. They are messy eaters, and impaction is a real risk. I strongly urge you to use something else--shelf liner, slate tile, reptile mats..anything!
 

LeilaNami

Arachnoking
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I don't even chance impaction. So I use carpet and clean it once every 2 weeks.
That's a good approach to take when owning a leo. I prefer paper or plastic as substrate if I can be sure my animals aren't stupid enough to eat it but if the OP insists on using a particulate substrate, I would use walnut or natural sand.
 

Earthworm Soul

Arachnosquire
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Aug 11, 2007
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A carpet substrate increases the chances of snagged claws and lost toes.

There is absolutely no reason to be overly worried about sand when it comes to healthy, well-hydrated adult leos. They should have no problem passing a little bit of sand. They wouldn't have made it as a species if a little bit of loose substrate could kill them so easily.

For a healthy, well-hydrated adult, sand is A-OK. Babies, however, are a different story. Healthy babies will usually be fine, but because of their smaller size, the risk of impaction is greater than it is with an adult. When I was breeding leo's, I used only paper towels for babies. For my adults I had a mix of clean potting soil/sand/large gravel for a substrate. After dozens upon dozens of babies and adults, I never had a single case of impaction.
 
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