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My Leopard Gecko Terrariums 1 Year Later…

By Solid Gold Aquatics on


Jennifer Lynx: Hey guys. It’s Jennie. Welcome back, once again, to Solid Gold. I’ve got little Sylvia here on my shoulder because she is going to be featured along with my male leopard gecko, Rune, in this video. I’m going to give you guys an update on their two enclosures, which you can see behind me, here.

These are both sitting on my awesome, huge rack of terrariums and vivariums that I got about a year ago now from Custom Cages, and I am loving them.

All six of them are now set up and fully functioning with animals living in them. I’ll have to do updates on all the different animal tanks that I have sitting on this rack. We’re going to start off on the bottom with Sylvia here and Rune because there’s quite a few updates to go over with these guys. Sylvia recently had a health scare that I had to bring her to the vet for.

Thankfully, I have an exotic vet in my area -- where are you going to go -- that is familiar with treating leopard geckos, so that worked out just fine, and she is all back to her normal, spunky little self now, but that was scary for a minute. Keep watching this video for all the details on that. I even have a cool X-ray of Sylvia to show you guys. It’s pretty cool stuff.

I also want to say that it’s been a little bit longer than I intended since my last video. I think it’s been like a month or so. I am sorry about that. I am doing my best here. I can promise you that. Just to take a little detour into my personal life because why not, I might as well. I went through a breakup that was pretty difficult for me. That set me back a bit mentally, just on being able to function as a normal human being. I don’t say this to try and get sympathy or anything like that, so please don’t feel bad. We all go through ups and downs. I’m not the only one to have ever gone through heartache and a breakup.

I actually, now that I’m on the other side and feeling better, I’m feeling really, really good about it. I’m happy with where I am now. Let’s say that. I’m very happy with where I am now. I just wanted to let you guys know why it was a little bit long in between video updates. I love you. [chuckles]

At the end of the day, I just don’t think I’ve said it in a little bit. I don’t know. Maybe I have, but I just want to remind you guys and let you know that I am so, so thankful and grateful for each and every one of you. Whether you just casually watch my videos every now and then, thank you, you’re awesome; or maybe you’re a Solid Gold member and you help support my channel financially, thank you, you’re super awesome, in whatever small or big way that you help support my channel, and my animals, and myself.

I just want to say thank you. It’s not lost on me how awesome it is and how special it is that I have this platform here on YouTube. All the good stuff. Thank you guys so much for clicking on another video and for caring about me and my little horde of animals that I have here. I’m really excited to share all the updates with you guys on my leopard geckos, so let’s just get right into the video.

First, let’s take a look at Rune’s enclosure. Now, a question I get a lot is how big are these leopard-gecko enclosures? They’re both custom made by Custom Cages to be two-and-a-half feet wide, by two feet deep, and about one foot tall. Here’s how Rune’s enclosure looked back when I first set it up about a year ago. A side note, I can’t believe that it’s already been a year since I set this tank up. It’s crazy to me because it does not seem like it’s been that long.

If you guys remember, I tried growing live succulents in these cool, fake wood planters I found on Amazon, but the lighting over these enclosures turned out to be just too damp to grow live plants under. Since leopard geckos don’t need or even really like bright lighting, I didn’t want to switch to a brighter light, so I just went back to using fake plants. I was a little bummed about that, but I do have plenty of live plants in my other reptile and amphibian enclosures, so I guess I’m fine with having fake ones here in the leopard gecko cages.

Every so often, I like to move things around slightly or replace things in their environment, just to keep things interesting for them. The layout of Rune’s cage is a little different than the last time you saw it. Rune’s favorite spot in here is definitely his warm hide, where he spends most of his time.

Rune’s personality is definitely to be pretty shy, but he also has been more adventurous as time has gone on. He actually does come all the way out of his warm hide now when he sees me walking by. I think it’s because he’s starting to learn from Sylvia about how to beg for food and he’s definitely a lot more comfortable with me now, less afraid, but he’s still will be really quick to just pop right back into his hide if he gets scared. He is a little bit easily spooked. He’s still shy but he’s coming around.

He’s now a year-and-a-half old. Here’s a clip of him from the unboxing video I did of him from last April. I’ve had him for a year now. Again, that’s blowing my mind because it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Anyways, you can really tell that he has grown and changed a lot since I first got him.

Other than that, there’s really not much else to say about Rune. He is just doing well and doing his own thing, and loving life, which I am happy about because that’s my goal for all of my animals is just to set them up with a really nice home and just let them live their best life.

Here’s Sylvia’s enclosure which is right next to Rune’s. Now, their enclosure walls are glass, so they can see each other but they can’t get to one another. I have wondered in the past off and on about whether it might be stressful or not for them to be able to see each other since leopard geckos are a little bit territorial. They don’t like sharing their space with other leopard geckos, they like to have their own individual space.

I have experimented from time to time with putting a piece of cardboard in between their cages for like a couple of weeks at a time, just to see if there was any change in their personality or behavior if they couldn’t see one another, but honestly, I didn’t see any difference at all in their behavior. For me, I concluded that it doesn’t really bother them at all that they can see one another. After all, they do still have their own separate spaces. They seem to be very happy here.

Just like in Rune’s enclosure, I have changed the layout of Sylvia’s area a little bit and switched over to using fake plants. Sylvia is her same goofy, adorable self that you all know and love, but recently, she did have a little trip to the vet and she even had some X-rays taken because she was having an issue with her eggs. Up until a few weeks ago, Sylvia had never laid eggs in her life, as far as I know.

Female leopard geckos will continuously produce eggs inside of their bodies, but if there are no environmental triggers for them to continue the development of the eggs to the point where they start to calcify them, their bodies actually can reabsorb the eggs early on in their development. Sylvia has always been the type to reabsorb her eggs early on in the development instead of fully developing them and laying them. This is the first reproductive season in her life, where she’s been living next to a male leopard gecko. I think that triggered her body to actually fully calcify and then lay the egg.

How this whole saga started was several weeks ago, I noticed some purplish-blue spider-like vein looking things on her skin, and then also some just general patches that looked purplish on her skin. This was very, very abnormal for her, and it freaked me out because I had never seen this on her before. I asked her breeder that I got her from, which if you guys remember is Gecko Daddy, about this, and they said that purple spots or vein looking things like this in females can be caused by reproductive stress.

She had also been off food for several weeks, which for her around this time of year actually is pretty normal for her to go off food. Female leopard geckos are known to go off food for a while during their reproductive season, so I wasn’t too worried about that. But when I noticed the purple color changes along with also she was becoming lethargic, and then with not eating on top of that, I was definitely very, very concerned, and I decided it was time to bring her into the vet because I was pretty sure she was egg-bound.

Now, if you don’t know, a female leopard gecko will usually produce two eggs, and one is located on either side of their abdomen. But when the vet did Sylvia’s X-ray, and I’ll put a picture of it here so you can see too, it became apparent that Sylvia only had one egg. Because of this, all the resources that would normally be shared between two eggs, all just went to that one egg and made it become pretty oversized for what it should have been.

The vet took a measurement of the egg inside of Sylvia. You can see on the X-ray where those measurements are. They took a measurement of the egg and also of the opening between

Sylvia’s hips that the egg would have to be squeezed through to be able to come out.

It appeared, on the X-ray, that the egg was too big to fit through her hip area, so the vet said that I could do some supportive care at home because the eggs, they’re not hard eggs like a bird egg would be, they are a little bit squishy, and pliable, and soft. Even though the egg measurement was too big to fit through the gap between her hips, it can still compress and squeeze through there.

It seemed that the vet was pushing towards doing surgery, but I was really worried about that because that would involve opening up Sylvia’s abdomen and removing the egg and her ovaries. The plus side would be this wouldn’t happen again in the future, and I don’t have any breeding plans for her, so I wasn’t concerned about that, but the vet admitted to me that the risk of doing a surgery like this on such a tiny and delicate animal is really, really great. There would be a very good chance that Sylvia wouldn’t make it through this surgery. In my mind, the surgery route was going to be absolutely worst-case scenario, last option.

We decided that I was just going to do supportive care at home and hope that Sylvia would be able to pass the egg on her own. Then if it looked like too much time had gone on and she was getting worse, or still not eating or anything like that, we would have to bring her in for surgery as soon as possible.

The supportive care involved setting up Sylvia with a hospital tank because her normal tank is out in the fish room, but I wanted to have her closer to me where I would see her pretty much all day long and be able to check in, and I would notice if something was wrong right away. I set her up in a temporary hospital cage on my kitchen counter. That way, if she did start trying to push the egg out and she just couldn’t do it on her own, I would notice right away and she would pretty much be rushed into emergency surgery pretty quickly.

She had to lay boxes available. These are also called moist hides or humid hides, and they’re just a little enclosed cave that has some soft, moist substrate in it that the gecko can dig around in and lay her eggs in. It’s really important for a leopard gecko to always have at least one moist hide available. It helps them to have extra humidity in just a small area of their cage for when they need it, to help them with shedding and removing their skin. The extra humidity helps with that. Especially, for females that are going through egg-laying, the extra humidity really helps with that, too.

I was giving her a warm bath every single day as well to help her stay hydrated so she could lay her egg. I also finally got her to eat some waxworms. These are not a good staple diet for leopard geckos because they’re too high in fat, but at this point, she just needed to eat something. It was a really, really good sign that she was finally eating something. I noticed right away that it really helped her regain some strength back, which she would need when it came time to lay her egg.

The vet also prescribed some liquid calcium supplement that I gave Sylvia twice, daily. She always has her food dusted with calcium and other supplements. She also had a dish of calcium powder available if she felt like she needed more, and she did use that from time to time. It’s really cute watching them lick the calcium powder. The vet said that giving her this liquid calcium supplement would help her calcify the egg a little bit quicker, and thus would bring about her egg laying sooner. That’s the supportive care I was giving to Sylvia. Beyond that, it was just a matter of waiting for her to hopefully lay the egg on her own.

It took about two weeks, so we had to be really patient, but she finally did lay her egg all on her own. I was so proud of her. It was cute. Unfortunately, she went ahead and did it while I was sleeping, so I didn’t get to watch or catch it on video, but she apparently had no problems with laying the egg on her own with the supportive care. She did seem a bit tired after laying the egg, so I kept her in the house for another week or so to keep a close eye on her still. Then I eventually moved her back into her enclosure out here in the fish room.

That’s what’s been going on with my little Sylvia. I was extremely worried for a little while there because being that she is the first reptile I’ve ever owned, and she’s only about four-years-old, so not at the point in her life where it would be normal for her to pass away. I really didn’t want to lose her. It’s super common for females to have issues with eggs though, so definitely something to watch out for if you have female leopard geckos of your own.

If you notice them refusing food for weeks at a time no matter what kind of food you try offering, if they’re acting lethargic. Another sign is them turning around and licking at their backside, or definitely purplish color changes on their skin, or even getting a distended abdomen, she had that going on too, you should definitely bring them to a vet right away to make sure they’re not egg-bound, because it can be an emergency, life-threatening situation.

Thankfully, for Sylvia, she was all good, everything was fine. For some reason, her body just decided to be weird and only make one egg instead of two. Who knows? Biology is weird, but she’s all good now.

Thank you guys so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed the update on my sweet Sylvia girl. I just love her so much. I love her little spunky personality. It’s so cool to be able to share her with you guys, and to know that a bunch of you guys out there probably are just as in love with my animals as I am. That is so just, it’s hard to comprehend sometimes. Thank you guys so much for watching. I’ll see you in my next video. Until then, stay Gold.

Ready to go back home, Sylvia? She’s like, “I don’t know. I’m liking this.” Oh, you’re so feisty. Okay. There you go. [chuckles] She’s so cute.

About Solid Gold Aquatics

Jennie’s fish house is outfitted with Custom Aquariums rack systems that include standard glass aquariums for her fish collection, amphibious tanks set up a bioactive vivariums, and Custom Cages Hybrid H2 reptile enclosures.

"I'm Jennifer Lynx and Solid Gold is about goldfish and all the other pets in my life - aquatic or not! Fancy goldfish have long been the main subject of my channel, but as an animal lover I have many other pets that I make videos about too. Here you'll find goldfish, discus, plecos, other aquarium fish, axolotls, poison dart frogs, leopard geckos, rabbits, cats, and more. Subscribe to see new videos about them every week!"

Jennie's mission is about promoting the goldfish hobby and inspiring better goldfish-keeping practices.

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