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 Golden Geckos as Pets

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RVL Kennel
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PostSubject: Golden Geckos as Pets   Mon May 31, 2010 10:09 pm

Golden Geckos
From Lianne McLeod, DVM

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Species Name:
Gekko ulikovskii

Life Span:
10 years or more.

About Golden Geckos:
Golden geckos reach an adult length of around 7-8 inches, though females tend to be a bit smaller than males. Males can be yellow-golden in color (sometimes with markings), while females tend to be darker and have more green. They have specialized toe pads that allow them to effortlessly move along vertical surfaces and upside down.

Housing Golden Geckos:
A 20 gallon tall terrarium is sufficient for a golden gecko, but bigger is better as gpolden geckos are active lizards. Golden geckos need vertical space for climbing so use a tall tank. Males are territorial so should only be kept one to a cage.

Substrate:
The substrate for golden geckos should be something that retains moisture, such as reptile bark or shredded coconut fiber bedding. Some keepers also use pure soil (not potting soil with perlite).

Accessories:
Golden geckos need room to climb, so provide branches, driftwood, and silk or live plants. They also need hiding spots such as reptile caves or clay plant pots placed on their sides. Provide enough hides to give multiple geckos (females or male/female pair) space to hide from each other. A small shallow water dish can be provided, with fresh water daily. They may use this more for soaking than drinking though, as they may prefer to drink water droplets from leaves.

Temperature :
A daytime temperature gradient of 75-90 F (24-32 C) should be provided for golden geckos, with a drop at nighttime to 70-75 F (21-24 C). Heat can be provided a ceramic heat element or reptile light bulbs in a reflector. White incandescent bulbs or blue reptile bulbs can also be used during day time hours, and red reptile night bulbs can be used at night. Do not rest a heat source right the top of the tank, as these climbing geckos could get too close and burns could result.

Lighting for Golden Geckos:
Golden geckos are nocturnal so do not need special UV lighting. However, many experts feel providing UV lighting is still beneficial to their overall health.

Humidity:
Golden geckos need a moderate to high humidity level; aim for 60-80 percent relative humidity (get a hygrometer and monitor levels as humidity is very important). Provide humidity with regular misting; the geckos will likely drink from water droplets left from the mist.

Feeding:
Golden geckos should be fed a variety of insect prey items. Crickets can make up the main part of the diet, with the addition of waxworms, mealworms, butterworms, roaches, and other insect prey. Prey should be gut loaded prior to feeding, and dusted with a calcium supplement two to three times a week and a multivitamin once a week. Feed in the evening; juveniles should be fed daily but adults do not need to be fed every day. Some keepers recommend varying the feeding schedule to keep them interested in their prey (e.g. feed every other day, then feed two days then skip a day, and so on). Feed as much prey at one time as the gecko eagerly eats.

Golden geckos will often take fruit as well: try bananas (mashed slightly), pureed baby food, and sliced fruit (especially tropical fruits such as mangos).

Note:

* Golden geckos are skittish and have delicate skin, so are not good candidates for handling. They also have a bit of a reputation for biting when stressed.
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