Tyrannosaurus Pets

Fat Tail Gecko (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus) Starter Kit Set Up and Care

Housing Your Fat-tail

The tanks are designed for reptiles, and are escape proof if used correctly.

The heat mat goes under the tank.  If using a wooden tank stand it on some coasters so that there is some air flow over the heat mat.  This will prevent excessive heat build up and prolong the life of your mat.

Place a thin layer of substrate across the base of the tank.

The gecko needs two hides, one in the cool end and one over the heat mat.  In a small tank one larger hide can stretch from the heat mat to the cool side.

The water dish needs to be kept at the cool end this will keep it fresher for longer.

Don’t use household detergents, and disinfectants as these can be toxic.

Setting up the thermostat

If you are using a plastic tank attach the thermostat sensor to the heat mat using a good quality tape like duck tape.

If you are using a wooden tank drill a small hole in the back of the tank and place the thermostat sensor on the floor of the tank above the heat mat.  Use a hide to hold the sensor in place.

Place the thermometer on the floor of the tank directly above he heat mat.  The temperature needs to be between 28◦c, and 30◦c.

Set the thermostat to around 32◦c.  Leave for two hours to warm up and then check the thermometer.  If the temperature is not right adjust the setting on the thermostat, leave for another two hours and recheck.  Keep adjusting and checking until the temperature is stable at the desired level.

Daily Care and Feeding for Your African Fat Tailed Gecko

Change the gecko’s water daily, and spot check daily.

Give the tank a full clean out every four weeks.  Put the animal in a secure ventilated container.  Remove and clean any decorations from the tank.  Remove the old substrate.  Clean and disinfect the tank with a reptile specific product.  Dry the tank, and put in clean substrate, replace the décor, and the gecko.

Baby geckos need to be fed daily.  Once the animal is six months old drop off one day of feeding.  Then drop another day every three months.  Adult Geckos only need to eat two or three times a week, as they are prone to obesity.

Look after the crickets as ‘you are what you eat’.  The live food will last longer if kept in a larger well aired tank like a cricket keeper, and fed spider water and cricket food.

With baby geckos use a full spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement twice a week (Monday and Friday) and a pure calcium supplement a further three days a week.  Put 6 - 10 appropriate sized prey items in a large jug, or clear plastic bag.  Add a pinch of powder and shake to cover the food with the dust.

Feed the dusted food to the gecko.  If the animal eats all the food, but is still hungry, feed a further 2 – 3 prey items to the gecko.  This extra food does not need to be dusted.  Keep feeding in this way until the animal is full.

As the animal grows keep the ratio of supplements the same, so an adult gecko will receive the full spectrum supplement once per week and the calcium once or twice per week.

Geckos shed their tails as a defence mechanism.  Never hold a gecko by its tail or it will come off.  For the first couple of weeks handle the animal inside the tank so if it chooses to jump off your hand it will be safe in the tank.

Allow the animal to settle into the tank before trying to handle them, wait till it has started to feed regularly.

Baby geckos shed their skin every four to six weeks.  The animal will lose its colour and then go ghostly grey.  This is the old skin coming off.  Fat Tail geckos eat their shed skin.

Fat Tail geckos require a higher humidity than leopard geckos. We use a humid substrate such as orchid bark.  Give the tank a gentle spray every couple of days.  Fat tail geckos also benefit from having some moss kept in the warm hide.

When the gecko has shed check the animal thoroughly particularly the toes and around the jaw line/eyes.  Any shed skin that has been left will appear as a plain white patch.  If this happens ring in.

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Tyrannosaurus Pets