Chinese cave geckos (leo cousin)

Hey all, i just learned about an awesome species called the chinese cave gecko. It is a cousin to the leopard gecko and for those that like the melanistic look, its basically their default setting. I believe they are temperate for temp and humidity needs vs the arid leos go for, but otherwise care seems pretty similar. Only other major difference I see is they arent fans of handling. But because of their temperate requirements, they likely would do well with a bioactive naturalistic enclosure. Ive had good luck with my leos on bioactive, but less so with the insects in with them due to keeping humidity down.

Pic is from google for examples sake. Just sharing a neat thing, no pressure and as always, everyone should do their own research! I dont own one, so my own research is skimming at best.

If you guys feel this would fit better in “other geckos” feel free to move it, i just figured the leo crowd would find it interesting :slight_smile:


So their care is actually different, even to needing higher humidity.

They need different substrate, since they’re from different locations.
Different temp. And so on.

They also as you said aren’t fond of handling.

I prefer them than Leo’s I’ll be honest. But I’m not a major Leo fan! X

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The temps look closer to normal indoor temps (no lower than 65, mid 80s for basking from what I saw. Do you happen to have better info you could share? Id love to learn more! As i said, my level of knowledge was a quick google review last night, and since my test with doing bioactive with my leos went well, i feel one of these guys might not be a terrible addition, as all id need to change is temps to my knowledge (my leo enclosure for reference, if anyone has any suggestions for filling the empty space that leos would enjoy, im wide open to suggestions!)

“Bioactive” is a loose term here, as it certaintly isnt lush as i dont want to swamp the leo with humidity (they do enjoy the moss side for shedding) but its substrate and some beneficial bugs do live in the more moist side.

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This is a more temperate bioactive I run for a leucistic black rat snake, in case anyone is wondering whats behind the leo!

Hes hiding under the water currently.

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Wouldn’t use bark, can cause issues if they accidentally eat it. Many have died from it :pensive:

Coco fibre mix would be fine!
Infact for Leo’s I’d go more the same route due to where they’re from. X

Also bioactive is live plants, and clean up crews also, defo something to add in with them, even succulents for the Leo’s! X

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There are isopods and springtails in the moister side, however the spiderplant I had tried did not fair well between waterings. Succulents may do better given the more arid environment, perhaps a jade plant, ill have to check toxicity to make sure it wouldnt create a problem :slight_smile:

For substraight there is a mix of reptisoil, calcisand (more for the isopods and springtails, not in large enough quantity to risk the leo deciding its food) sphag moss, snake shed, and cypress mulch. Has worked really good thus far. Im not a fan of cocofiber as it is not digestible, and isopods will try to eat it causing issues for them.

Edit: changed eco earth to reptisoil. Ecoearth is coco coir, i used to use it, but it did not work well at all.

It’s the mulch that’s worrying for me, never seen used for anything anymore to be honest as too much issues and loses of animals :cry:

Cocofibre causes no issues to isopods or anything else, many who own keep a mixture including this with them x

I used it along with many other things in all my vivs that are fully bio. X

Mulch is one of the best substrates for a lot of reptiles and is pretty popular over here in the US. One that pops into my head right away is for blue tongue skinks. I have been using it for over a year for my skink and there has been absolutely no issues.


Yeah, in US cypress mulch is the gold standard. It is too large for animals to ingest and when mixed in with soil, can act as food for the CuC. As for coco fiber (coco coir) not causing issues with isopods, it is very well known to do so in the isopod community it can be used mixed in with soil. If its used straight, the pods can get desperate for food items and try to eat it, which they cant dogest it and it just builds up. So its not that it cant be used, juat it is a bad substrate to use on its own. Essentially cocofiber is just wasted space in a bioactive setup, it has no nutritional value and only brings risk. Id go with reptisoil has sime coir in it, but also has other things pods can eat, and mixing in the mulch, leaf litter, moss, and shed gives the pods a good food source. Coco coir is also terrible for tunneling and burrowing, so overall is generally a bad choice for bioactive.

At least thats been my experience and what ive seen. Its use doesnt mean itll kill everything, it just isnt useful either.

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Never knew many used over in us. It’s very different to the uk for sure :sweat_smile:

And the iso community here, never heard of an issue with it at all, But I mean all keep well fed so never an issue with any and many now breed as a living! It’s quite amazing x

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As long as the pods are well fed it never becomes an issue for their health. For myself, I dont always have the most time, so having substrate they can eat cuts wayyyy down on maintenance needed. Basically, i give the soil water, and the isopods eat the substrate and thrive :slight_smile:

As for my leos, ive had no issue of them eating the mulch, its too big for them to swallow, so they spit it out, and any little fragments of moss they may eat seem to dogest fine, though ive yet to see them actually eat any. When watered properly it “mats” down, so its hard to pick it apart and swallow.

Things are ever changing, and it is neat to see how different things are in various regions. For the US the moisture retention and mold resistance of cypress mulch makes it a staple in most bioactive for us!

As for breeding, i have… so many pandas xD they wont stop

It is interesting I will say!
Nice to see we all keep different too, bit boring if all the same :joy:

Pandas are awesome, got any albino yet? :grin:

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Not yet, i used to have a large variety of pods accross various enclosures, but i got busy and missed watering for too long, so now i get to restart :frowning: but it shouldnt take too long, i also found a good setup to make it so the moisture lasts longer and is easier to see when its running low. So im gonna slowly get my collection going again. Would be really cool if my pandas popped out something like an albino version though!

Then again, there are so many i havent really been looking… i wonder…