Good day all;
Were putting together a 10 gallon tank which i've bought. We plan on getting our leopard gecko this weekend at a big reptile show in town.

I was going to buy a wire mesh top for this tank as we have a cat, but then got to thinking would a fish tank hood with light be better? I think it would keep the cat out, and then I could have the option to put lights on.
But would that be enough ventilation? Could crickets get out of this setup?
Thoughts?
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I was going to buy a wire mesh top for this tank as we have a cat, but then got ... better? I think it would keep the cat out, and then I could have the option to put lights on.

You can set lights right on top of the screen, as well as an additional heat source for wintertime. No-can-do with an AQ hood.
But would that be enough ventilation?

Probably not, although they don't have high ventilation needs I'm sure the poopie smell would build in there very quickly.
Could crickets get out of this setup?

Yeap, aquarium hoods aren't secure... sometimes crickets will climb the silicone in the seams and wiggle out... get the metal screen top.

fr0glet
I always get metal lids now with clamp locks. I've found if my cats are intrigued enough they can sometimes get a flip top open and have even knocked the metal lids off before I started using those clamps. Better safe than sorry.
Right now they have been doing sentinel duty on the 2 beardies I brought home over the weekend. For whatever reason, they fascinate the cats more than the snakes..or maybe they're just used to the snakes. Who knows with cats? They've just spent the last 6 hours keeping track of the crickets I put in the cage earlier.

Later,
janetlee
The only difference between a rut and a
grave is depth.
I guess that brings up another question. Does a pad heater under the tank not keep the tank warm enough in the winter? I planned on buying that but will I need a lamp as well?
I always get metal lids now with clamp locks. I've found if my cats are intrigued enough they can sometimes ... with cats? They've just spent the last 6 hours keeping track of the crickets I put in the cage earlier.

) At least cats are easily entertained.
Cindy
I guess that brings up another question. Does a pad heater under the tank not keep the tank warm enough in the winter? I planned on buying that but will I need a lamp as well?

snip
Well, it can depending on airflow around the tank, etc. I tend to use a heat pad and supplement over the warm end with bulb during cooler times.

Just remember it will take days for temp adjustments to come through if you use a sand like substrate. It will heat slower, but it will work as a heat sink and radiate heat well once heated up from below.

Chad
Yeap, aquarium hoods aren't secure... sometimes crickets will >climb the silicone in the seams and wiggle out... get the metal screen top.

And believe you me, you DO NOT want crickets loose in your house. Their chirping will drive you demented. My grandmother said she couldn't sleep because there was something making a noise in the corner of her room and when her bed was being made a cricket jumped from under the bed clothes (it had been in the bed with her all night) and there was a cricket chriping loudly under my floorboards.
:) At least cats are easily entertained. Cindy

They respond more to images on the TV than dogs. Bill Oddie Goes Wild in America was on (he's a Brit bird watcher) and there was a woodpecker on the screen. The cat started creeping up on it like it was a bird outside on the lawn.
I guess that brings up another question. Does a pad heater under the tank not keep the tank warm enough in the winter? I planned on buying that but will I need a lamp as well?

This is your opportunity to do something wonderful for your gecko! Invest ~$15 in a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer from your local hardware store or wal-mart! Place the main body of the therm in the cool side of the tank, low in the cage... use the long probe to place anywhere you need to find the basking temperature!
Too many variables are involved in proper heating to answer your question with a yes or no... what's the weather like where you live? How warm do you keep your house? Are there drafts from doors or windows? These are rhetorical questions but you see my point.
In my opinion the most important part of reptile husbandry is getting the thermal gradient inside the cage to just the right temps. This helps so much of their little bodyily functions!
You may need to add a daytime basking spot or a nighttime basking spot to your cage with changing weather. You certainly need to reevaluate your temps with each seasonal change.
I wrote a very basic caresheet on leopard geckos a while back, if you're interested...
http://www.pnhs.net/Resources/Leopardgeckos.html
HTH
fr0glet
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