Reptiles like leopard gecko need attention and care. When you keep them as pet you must be aware of how to keep them healthy at their shelter. Like we clean our own house regularly to keep it disinfected, dust and bacteria free, the same way the shelter of the leopard gecko need to be cleaned at a certain interval.
- 1 Why you should clean the terrarium more often?
- 2 What items can be used to clean the gecko tank?
- 3 How to clean the gecko tank – Step by Step?
- 4 Where can you place the leopard gecko while cleaning its tank?
- 5 Using Disinfection to clean the gecko tank?
- 6 Can vinegar be used to clean the gecko tank?
Why you should clean the terrarium more often?
Also when you do not clean the tank, it starts stanching. From the food leftover to humidity-led bacteria, all these start accumulating within the tank. A foul odor can be felt if the tank is not cleaned for more than a week, so this is important to clean the tank regularly.
The mist that you spray leads to humidity level increase. The heat emitter makes the air inside hot as per the requirement of the gecko. So heat and humidity comes together and gives birth to bacteria and fungi. Cleaning regularly keeps these hazards away and it stays fresh and clean.
Not cleaning the tank often can increase the chance of bacterial infection which can be fatal for your leopard gecko. Different kinds of bacteria usually harm the leopard gecko and mites also infect their skin. When the cage is not kept clean, the poops, remnant of food, moisture and humidity helps the growth of bacteria.
What items can be used to clean the gecko tank?
There are multiple items needed to keep the cage of the leopard gecko clean. The cleaning should have the necessary items like brushes, bucket, paper towels, putty knives, rubber gloves, soap or dishwashing liquid and a sponge.
The items that you use for gecko tank cleaning should not be used for any other purpose. Do not use the sponge or brush that you use to clean your sink or kitchen as that can cause cross-contamination. Keep a separate set of these items which will be used exclusively for gecko tank cleaning.
How to clean the gecko tank – Step by Step?
The tank cleaning has two parts, one is surface cleaning and the other is disinfection.
You can clean the surface with some chemical cleaning element, which is always the cheapest and the easiest solution. However, there are chances of toxicity, like if the substance remains on the floor or on the wall of the tank and the gecko can lick it after it is placed on the clean tank. This can have a poisonous after effect on the creature. Also check this article explaining on how to Set Up a Leopard Gecko Terrarium?
Check harmful elements in the cleansing solution
So to avoid this kind of condition, you must check that the cleaning potion does not contain formaldehyde, or any other kind of aldehyde composition. Also pine-sol, Lysol or phenol compounds are harmful for any living creature.
Safe items to clean the cage
Steam cleaner is one safe method to clean the cage of the leopard gecko. This helps in quick and deep cleaning of the terrarium. But if you are going to spray the glass with hydrogen peroxide solution or vinegar solution, put the gas off. Then wipe the glass and let it dry before placing the gecko back in.
The steps of cleaning the tank
First you need to put the heating and lighting off and take the gecko out.
Wear your gloves and scoop out the poops, uneaten food like dead insects and dirt from the substrate after removing the gecko to the backup cage. Make sure no dirt remains on the substrate as that can repeat the growth of bacteria once you use the same substrate on the cleaned cage.
All the accessories of the cage, like the basking stone, bedding or substrate, hammock, natural or artificial plants, everything should be kept in a bucket or tub separately. Later these need to wash too.
Now you can dip the sponge into the solution that you have made, natural or chemical, and clean the surface, sides and walls of the cage. If you are using any antibacterial soap solution then clean the accessories and carpet (if you are using carpet in place of substrate) into the solution. There should be a spare carpet that can be used on the cleaned tank, as the previous one needs time to be dry.
The accessories need to be soaked in the solution for at least half an hour so the bacteria and fungus get removed from it clearly.
If you have accessories that are porous like wood piece, bark, rope or pebbles then these items should be baked in oven for at least 30 minutes to make sure that the mites or bacterial trapped inside the pores are dead and removed.
You can use the solution of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and water to clean the cage, as this is quite useful a method to clean the dirt and bacteria.
The corners of the mesh and cage should be cleaned with the putty knife or other sharp objects so no piece of dirt remains there.
If you are using a pressure pump then it helps to clean the microorganism from the tank. Also you can use hot pressurized water from the spray; the temperature of the water should be around 110 degree Celsius.
Where can you place the leopard gecko while cleaning its tank?
You need a back up cage which will be clean and disinfected. To clean the cage of leopard gecko you need a few hours, but it needs to be dried before you place the gecko inside it. So for the day the gecko will be living inside the backup cage.
Do not plan to leave the gecko on the ground free, as that is not a good idea for the gecko to live for so many hours. It can be harmed by other creatures or may face any kind of accidents.
Whenever you let it freely roam inside your house or in the garden, you must keep an eye on it and make sure it does not get caught into any traps or webs in the garden, or get electrocuted by some way.
Using Disinfection to clean the gecko tank?
You can use the solution of chlorine bleach which is a mix of sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide or in plain words it is called the bleach. There are a wide range of microbes that are killed by this solution. You can take very little amount of this solution and mix it with lots of water and spray inside the cage if you doubt that the gecko is infested with mites.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide or chlorine solution for the same purpose. Vinegar solution is the best option to disinfect the cage as it is a natural object and does not cause any harm to the gecko.
After you spray the disinfectant solution, you need to wipe the cage with a clean dry piece of paper or cloth to make sure no residue is left on the glass walls or cage floor.
Can vinegar be used to clean the gecko tank?
A mild solution of vinegar can be used to clean the tank of the leopard gecko. Vinegar is almost natural in nature and it does not contain any toxic compound. So it can be counted as a safe option for the leopard gecko to clean its shelter.
How can you clean the tank with vinegar?
Vinegar should not be used for regular cleaning purpose. The solution of mild vinegar can be used to wipe the surface of the cage. It is acidic in nature and thus it will successfully kill the bacteria that can grow possibly inside area of the cage.
Also you can clean wipe the glass walls of the cage with vinegar mixed with water. This time it should be more vinegar and less water. You can spray this solution on the glass surface and then wipe it with a paper napkin or towel. All the greasiness will be gone in a jiffy.