Ocellated Velvet Gecko (Oedura Monilis) Feeding Tank

Discussion in 'General Geckos' started by Riagan, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Riagan

    Riagan New Member

    So my gecko is around 2 years old, i got him in Feb '11 and have only once had a problem when i first got him his bulb was wrong so he wasn't getting the proper UV from it so i got a stronger bulb and he perked right up. I only switched to herp carpet about 6 months ago when it got too hard to clean up the coco fiber i was using, and he kept digging in it trying to get to the under tank heater, now that I use the carpet the crickets Ive been giving him since we moved have started to crawl under the carpet and he cant get them so i used things in his tank to hold down the corners then they would just hide behind those things, so now Ive found stacking rocks from pet smart which seem to be working and Ive also switched to feeding him in a separate tank, but for the last three days he hasn't wanted to eat, i feed him every other day because that's what hes used to and i used to feed him every day but he just wasn't eating them so they'd go to waste. But for the last 3 days since i tried to feed him tonight and two nights ago he ate one cricket and then started freaking out, like climbing the sides of the tank i had him in trying to get out so i put him back in his cage and threw out the crickets thinking they were too big for him to eat, so i tried to feed him in the tank again tonight and he did the same thing but didn't eat the cricket first, this time he just started to climb again, so i put him back in his tank and i put the cricket in there too and i checked a couple of mins ago and i couldn't see it so i figured he ate it so i put in two more which he normally eats three. why would he not eat in the separate tank when hes been doing it great for the last 4/5 weeks? hes used to being handled because i hold him and stroke his back every day since the day i got him. why is he only now acting weird about his food?
  2. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Reptiles can be finnicky creatures and their actions don't always make abide by our human logic. It's possible he saw something that spooked him at one point while in the container and has now associated being in the feeding tank with a flight response. Unfortunately, there's no way to know for sure what his issue is since we can't ask him directly. (Wouldn't that make things easier, though?)

    I would try to switch back to feeding him in his normal enclosure. He probably feels more secure in his normal "territory" and will be more likely to eat consistently there. You can leave the cricket in for a little bit like you did the other day, but after about 20-30 minutes, make sure you pick up and shake off any hides and check uner the carpte and remove any leftover crickets to make sure they aren't hiding in there overnight. (Believe it or not, they can actually injure your gecko if left in there.) Like I said, he'll be more likely to eat in familiar territory. Having said that, it is not unusual for adult geckos to go a few days without food, sometimes for seemingly no reason. Hopefully he will pick back up within the next day or two.

    Are you still having an issue with the crickets getting under the carpet? If so, you might have more luck if you use rubber mat shelf liner instead. Get the non-adhesive kind without the holes in it, such as the smoothe top kind by Duck brand. You can cut this to the size of your tank and it will lay perfectly flat, meaning crickets can't climb under it to hide. It's also a little easier to clean than the carpet IMO--it just wipes right off.

    Since you took the coco fiber out, just make sure you are providing a moist retreat for him to go to when it gets close to shedding time. This can be something as simple as a tupperware container turned upside down with a hole cut out for a doorway. You can use damp moss or paper towels to line the bottom of the humid hide. Just mist inside the hide one or two times a day to keep it damp.

    Anyways, let us know how the feeding goes. Hopefully he'll be back to himself soon. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! =)
  3. Riagan

    Riagan New Member

    I know that leaving them in there can harm him, but i do leave them there over night cuz hes always been weird about not eating while someones watching him, so by the next morning theyre normally gone i left him two last night and they werent gone when i got home from work today so ive taken them out and im trying with the tank again with only one cricket and its covered with a dark blanket. the thing is hes never had any issues eating before. thank for the advice on the mat thing, ill look for that and try it. the coco fiber was never wet because hes a desert lizard ive never misted him either and hes never had a hard time shedding with this mat, even with the coco he always rubbed himself in his house and rolled around inside it to shed and i dont know when he will shed either cuz he goes pale at night and then the next morning theyre be skin everywhere in his house. im not a newbie to him either since ive had him since feb 2011 i know my gecko, so when something is weird with him im immediately concerned. i know his breed can go weeks without food or water but he obviously hasnt haha, and now hes gone 3/4 days now without eating, i think he might be trying to catch the cricket thats with him now cuz i can hear him darting at it so im hoping hes eating. i also dont calcium coat the crickets because i found out he wont eat them when i first got him i did it for about 2 1/2 weeks so i tried not coating them and he ate them right up like he was starving so i got the fluckers oragne cube diet for crickets with the vitamins in it cuz i figure if theyre eatng the stuff and getting nthe vitamins and theyre healthy then he eats them he digests the nutrients too.
  4. Riagan

    Riagan New Member

    Thanks so much for your help! He has started to eat again, i gave him two crickets last night and he ate them by this morning and Ive just given him 5 meal worms and he wouldnt take them from the tongs like he normally does which is cool and i like to watch him eat cuz its interesting, so i put them in his dish and i picked him up to show him and as soon as i put him on the ledge of the dish he perked up and darted at one and caught another one so hes eating again which is a relief and i didnt think he could be too hot since his tank is between 86/85 since i use two different temp monitors to see i use one thats directly on the glass and one that is also on the glass but shows the air temp and they both show the same temp during the day but since i cant see the one at night i use the other one to see the night temp, so ive unplugged his undertank heater to see if it will go down more at night cuz it will only drop a couple degrees and its suppose to drop at least 10 but i never let him go below 70 cuz then he just stops moving totally. Could a reason he wasnt eating is because hes too hot?
    but thanks so much helping me out and giving me some piece of mind in it all. hes my baby like my cats are too and i was panicking thinking he was sick and going to die or something. Ive had him for a year an a half and he only lives 10 years minimum so i only have him for 8 more years and i want him for as long as i can safely keep him alive and healthy. his name even has a special meaning to me cuz riagan means little king, and hes the king of his tank haha.
    Cammy likes this.
  5. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    It's possible the excess heat at night was contributing. I'm assuming from your description (of them needing a drop at night) that they are similar to chameleons, which depend on a 10 degree drop at night to digest properly.

    And I completely know what you mean about your lizard being your baby--I'm the same way...actually, I think most of the board members here will tell you the same. Just because they don't fit into the traditional "cute and fluffy" model doesn't mean they aren't loveable. I love the name Riagan and it's origin too, by the way. =D
    Riagan likes this.
  6. Riagan

    Riagan New Member

    Thanks :) I couldnt figure out a name for him and I finally just googled names with meanings and I found that one for a boy and it originates from Ireland, which would seem strange since hes from Australia haha, but I liked it cuz it suited him for what I was looking for. All of my animals are my baby and people really dont understand about how you can love them. They say to me but he lives in a cage and hes cold and scaly and my reply is always the same, yes he lives a tank but I still have to feed him and water him and clean up after him and make sure hes healthy and I handle him every day so he knows who I am and trusts me in case something does happen to him and hes not cold and scaly, hes warm and feels like silk to me hes so soft. I did a lot of work to pick the right animal for me to buy and the right breed for what I wanted since I wanted him to stay small because of the amount of space I have and because hed be easier to handle. I also am afraid of anything that can break my skin or fit my finger in its mouth and he cant do that, I dont think he even has teeth actually. Ive never seen them, it looks like he has gums like a baby does.
    I almost started to cry one day, like night before we were to move my son had got into my room and opened his tank and he got out and my husband heard something in the middle of the night so i go to check on him the next day to make sure hes okay and everything and i couldnt find him so i tore his tank apart and then i go running to the front door outside where my husband was smoking freaking out and going I cant find my lizard, hes not in his tank. I had all of our stuff packed and stacked in our bedroom, so i started unpacking and repacking every bag and box until i finally found him and i was like please be in her and i felt like a car had been lifted off my chest when he was in the box it was so nice to find him.
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