I keep my leopard geckos in non-bioactive enclosures on paper towel, and I’ve been trying to brainstorm new ways to provide them environmental enrichment.
My first try was to provide them all with a single ‘tuft’ of dried (not dyed) reindeer moss. So far I’ve found that almost all of them do push it around! However, because leopard geckos don’t live in high humidity, the moss becomes somewhat brittle when dry, and little chunks get broken off every now and then, so they’re a bit messy.
My newest try was to introduce a ‘ball’ to push around. I’m trying two kinds- ‘practice’ plastic, perforated golf balls and hard foam, solid cat toy balls. Two of my geckos were interested in their new balls immediately and began inspecting them with enthusiasm. I’ll be interested to see if I catch them interacting with them again!
I keep fake plants in the enclosures, and just switch them out/move them around once every week or so. most of mine will push them around and investigate them for hours. I usually put a bunch though not just one or two.
I love the ideas of balls, I’m going to try it sometime. For enrichment, I’ve switched different hide types, added a large dish of water over the hotspot, and I’m going to try adding things like fake plants and branches. @eaglereptiles If I have one or find one cheap enough I might try a hamster wheel, that would be funny. As a note for anyone trying this, don’t use wire ones, animals can get their feet stuck in it. Only use solid plastic.
I give mine sudoku. Nah for real tho. Before I hardscaped and foamed mines enclosure, she loved investigating the fake plants, different hides moving Around, I’d take small branches and set them up in there as well and she loved climbing all over it.
This is an excellent point! I would suggest an all-plastic one as well, to prevent rust and possible damage to geckos. I’d also use a brand with a solid ‘running surface,’ and not mesh, as leo toes are so small. I used to have sugar gliders for years, so I have several wheels that would be perfect if they weren’t so much higher than my enclosures for my geckos.
We are always looking for ways to get Evy to move since she’s still kinda chunky (Matt cannot handle when she begs for bugs…) so this is great!
I’ve got a bunch of toilet paper rolls, but I’m out sure how enriching that will be for her. I feel like for a Leo she is super smart (water bowl empty? I’ll stand on it while you’re misting the cresties. Food bowl empty? I’ll stand on it while you’re feeding the cresties.) so trying to figure out enrichment is hard. Maybe I’ll redo her enclosure for something different.
One of my leos (Mew) actually loves her toilet paper roll (or maybe it’s paper towel, not sure). It’s a little weird, as most of my geckos weren’t super interested, but it’s become Mew’s favorite hide. I cut a slit through them lengthwise, them stretch them out to form a half-cylinder, so they don’t roll around. They seem to like them best when they’re placed in darker areas with a bit more cover surrounding it.
Toilet paper tubes also make excellent emergency hides. When I was moving cross-country and all my reptile equipment was taking weeks to arrive, I used toilet paper tube rolls for all my guys in their temporary enclosures, and they all used them.