Although many Leopard Geckos have successfully used eco-earth substrate for years without any issues, most Leo owners would advise you against it. So, the question arises Is Eco-Earth Safe For Leopard Geckos? The eco-earth substrate does, however, offer your enclosure a natural appearance and feel.
Because it is produced from environmentally friendly coconut husks, it can be safely and readily composted. A spongy surface for your reptile to walk on can also be created by moistening the fibers. On the other hand, let’s examine some critical drawbacks and issues with employing the eco-earth substrate.
- Is Eco-Earth Safe For Leopard Geckos?
- Eco-Earth Disadvantages
- What Other Suitable Alternatives Can You Consider?
- More About Leopard Geckos And The Environment
- Final Summary
- Frequently Asked Questions
Is Eco-Earth Safe For Leopard Geckos?
Leopard geckos can safely live on Eco-Earth. Owners of geckos have, however, given it varying opinions. There are many possibilities for a substrate that is ideal for leopard geckos. An owner of an exotic reptile should prioritize choosing surfaces that most closely resemble a gecko’s habitat and are secure, clean, and affordable.
Yes, eco-earth is safe for reptiles and is suitable for use with a leopard gecko. The only disadvantages are that it can be a little powdery when dry and can store too much moisture for them if it becomes wet (depending on the humidity of your house and the tank).
Use organic topsoil (free of perlite or vermiculite) or a blend of 60% topsoil, and 40% plays for a more natural appearance (never sand by itself and NOT calcisand). You may also use a bioactive substrate and incorporate tank cleaners like springtails and isopods (popular options include Porcellio scaber or Porcellio laevis), which will lessen the amount of cleaning required by consuming the waste your gecko leaves behind.
If you choose to go in this direction, you will also need to include leaves and a moister retreat, such as bark with moss underneath it, where they can hide if the humidity is too low for them (especially the springtails).
Mealworms and darkling beetles are also used since they can survive in lower humidity levels. They can also serve as nutritious treats for your gecko, and with the right conditions, they will reproduce and populate independently.
There are various reasons why you might want to avoid using eco-earth in the cage for your leopard geckos.
Greater Humidity Levels
If you want to boost the humidity in your enclosure, Eco-earth is an excellent substrate. This substrate retains moisture and water well, although it can sustain high humidity levels for a long time.
Leopard geckos are not adapted to extremely humid or tropical environments because they are native to an arid, desert-like habitat. Mold growth might result from the substrate’s increased enclosure moisture and create respiratory and skin health issues.
Eco-earth is designed for usage in humid conditions. The substrate can become extraordinarily dusty and potentially infected if left in its dry fiber state. The eco-earth coconut fibers will become fluffy and dusty due to the greater temperatures required by Leopard Geckos, which can be ingested readily.
Respiratory illnesses typically necessitate a trip to an exotic reptile veterinarian and probable antibiotic therapy because they can become severe if not properly treated.
The substrates being used are the leading cause of Leopard Gecko impaction problems. Your Leo could accidentally devour loose substrates. The soft, dry, fluffy coconut fibers from Eco-Earth are superficial for your Leo to eat. Although the substrate is somewhat digested, consuming more significant amounts of it might cause impaction and other related health issues.
The main reason exotic pet owners do not widely use eco-earth substrate is that it is nearly twice as costly as a substitute Leopard Gecko substrate. Due to the substrate’s high absorption capacity, regular substrate changes are also necessary to prevent hygienic and medical issues brought on by the absorption of waste and excrement.
Problems With The Joints
The strain using eco-earth substrate can put on Leopard Geckos’ joints is a lesser-known and less frequent worry. Leo may have trouble walking on this loose substrate for extended periods, which could affect his joints’ health.
What Other Suitable Alternatives Can You Consider?
The four primary substrates thought to be best for leopard geckos are as follows. Paper towels, reptile-print rugs, slate slabs, and pebbles/stones are among them. Discover the advantages of each acceptable substrate by reading on.
Paper towels, particularly for young leopard geckos, are one of the best surfaces for leopard geckos, despite popular belief. The least expensive substrate available is paper towels, which are also functional. They are comfortable to walk on and won’t hurt your gecko from impact.
It is also straightforward to clean out and replace after that and will absorb all of your geckos’ waste and feces. Paper towels are incredibly hygienic and easy to clean, which lowers the risk of illnesses and diseases.
Paper towels’ sole drawback is that it doesn’t look all that appealing. In reality, it’s not at all appealing to the eye. Paper towels make an enclosure appear unnatural and almost unkempt. A substrate that looks natural and is aesthetically pleasant is ideal.
Excellent reptile carpet. You may lay it in the bottom of your geckos’ enclosure after purchasing a roll and cutting it to the appropriate size. Since the carpet rarely frays, there is almost no chance it will be ingested.
The only issue you need to watch out for is any loose carpet fibers. If they can’t release themselves, leopard geckos may become stuck when their tiny toes become entangled in loose carpet fibers (but this is very rare).
Once dried, the carpet can be cleaned, sanitized, and put back within the cage. As a result of their ability to be recycled, substrate costs are maintained at an absolute minimum. Again, if you can readily and frequently clean out the enclosure, this also helps to reduce illness or disease.
Although a little is pricier, this outfit can look great. Your leopard gecko can be housed on a slate rock slab. The chance of ingesting it when eating is decreased because reptile gravel, which will be placed beneath the slate, can hold it in place.
Slate slabs are fantastic because you can reuse them and quickly clean them. To give your geckos’ enclosure some elevation, you can slightly tilt them. Given that leopard geckos spend most of their time on rocky surfaces outdoors, this substrate will give your habitat the most natural appearance.
Small Stones And Pebbles
Another excellent option for giving your geckos’ habitat a natural appearance is using pebbles and stones. For the same reasons as previously, these can also be secured using reptile gravel. Avoid incorporating these stones in the enclosure since they may have sharp edges.
More About Leopard Geckos And The Environment
In Asia, arid, rocky areas are home to a particular species of ground-dwelling lizard called a leopard gecko. Their speckled patterns, which enable them to blend in with their environment, gave rise to their name. Leopard geckos grow to a maximum length of about 10 inches, making them comparatively small reptiles.
They are nocturnal creatures, meaning that they are most active at nighttime. To evade predators, they hide during the day in crevices and fissures. Insects are the primary food source for leopard geckos, although they will also eat other small animals and fruit.
Leopard gecko aquariums frequently use a substrate called Eco Earth. It is constructed from various organic components, such as dirt, bark, and leaves.
Leopard geckos may safely burrow in eco soil, supplying them with the necessary nutrients. Because eco-earth closely matches the animals’ original habitat, many leopard gecko owners opt for it. When utilizing eco earth, there are a few things to remember.
To prevent dust from becoming airborne, the substrate must be moist and deep enough for the gecko to burrow. Additionally, the eco-earth needs to be changed periodically to provide a clean environment for the leopard gecko.
This has helped to clarify Is Eco-Earth Safe For Leopard Geckos? We would reject it. Eco Earth is not the best place for leopard geckos at this time. This lizard cannot live on it naturally and may irritate its belly. Eco earth is not the best substrate material for leopard geckos; many other options are available.
Only a few types of reptiles, primarily exotic frogs, should be handled with coconut fibers. Please remember that sand should only be used sparingly on mature leopard geckos. As long as you regularly check on your gecko’s health, everything is good.
Please see your veterinarian as quickly as possible to address the health concern if you suspect it has resulted in some ingestion or inhalation damage. Any residual sand should then be replaced with a different suitable substrate.
After researching and testing a wide range of devices, we have developed a list of “Must Have” products for suggestions for the best enclosure accessories based on price and durability.
Frequently Asked Questions
For leopard geckos, is Eco Earth coconut fiber beneficial?
While there are drawbacks to using coconut fiber as a general substrate, using coco as a moist hide substrate is trouble-free. Coco maintains moisture well and resists mold growth nicely. Leos will happily burrow in this substrate and even deposit eggs there.
Does Eco Earth cause impaction?
It is challenging for bacteria or fungi to thrive on Eco Earth, and they hardly ever result in impaction. I’ve trusted it for years, and nothing has ever gone wrong!
Can a leopard gecko handle 100 watts of power?
We advise either the 100W or the 75W option for leopard geckos. Less than 75W is too weak, and 150W is too strong. The light is bright and generates a lot of heat. This will adequately heat some air with a decent light or reflector dome.
Are there mites on Eco Earth?
Yes. Without a doubt, mites and springtails appear rather quickly.