tokay does not climb on wall of tank

Discussion in 'Tokay Geckos' started by buckslayer9184, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. I got my first Tokay about a month ago. He is super tame, i can handle him with no problems. He is healthy from what i can tell. but he does not hang around on the side of the tank like i have seen on many videos and pictures. i was wondering if there was any way i could encourage him to cling to the side. is this normal? any info would be awesome. thanks guys!

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    Hey there buckslayer, thats great that you're enjoying your gecko so much - good to hear he's nice and friendly too. I think a lot of herps get a bad rep for always being aggressive (or IMO, defensive) and unhandleable due to the nature of wild caught individuals brought in and the typical nature... but it's my experience that if you work with something enough, particularly from an early age, they can become quite docile and begin to appreciate human interaction. I've noticed this most often in tokay geckos and blood pythons (although some can be nasty LOL). Obviously there are always exceptions and some animals that stress very easily from overhandling, but I digress =P

    What kind of details can you give us about your current setup for the tokay? What is your typical care routine? Have you had the opportunity to thoroughly examine him to make sure that there is no shed skin or foreign material stuck on his feet/toes?

    I've never had the chance to really observe tokay behavior first hand for a period of time, so I honestly wouldn't know if they prefer to stick on the glass or not. My crested geckos have no problem hanging out in the open on the glass, but I've noticed with some of the larger bodied geckos such as R. auriculatus and R. leachianus that they'd much rather utilize their claws in addition to the lamellae on their toes to cling to things. Perhaps these heavier bodied geckos have difficulty staying on smooth surfaces for prolonged periods of time (despite having the ability to do so).

    One option if everything checks out, would be to place hanging plants on the sides of the enclosure that suction to the glass. These provide a hide for the gecko to feel safe befind; they seem to ignore the fact that the glass is transparent and just like the idea of having a physical barrier to cling to and something to cover their back from being seen. You could try strategically placing more hides on the side in this manner to encourage him to stick to the glass while hiding behind one.
  3. My current set up is a 10 gal tank (getting a bigger one soon) i use a wood chip substrate, and keep the tank in mid 80's during the day, and mid-low 70's at night and always high humidity. i have a large stick for him to climb on and a watering dish(mostly for humidity although he does stand in it). I have a house for him and he likes it a lot, a little to much for my liking lol he is always hiding in there. i got a hanging plant and took his house away yesterday... today he is just chilling on the ground under the plant. i have been able to look at his toes and they are fine, he was finishing his shedding when i got him about a month ago and has not shown signs of shedding again yet. is that a normal amount of time?

    also i hate when people say they don't want tokays because they r mean. they are just defensive. Charmander tried to bite me when i got him. but i made sure to handle him gently and just over time prove i was not trying to hurt him. i found that it is also extremely important to just back off when he does not want to be held. if he tries to run away i just leave him alone. you have to earn their trust. now after a month of handling he is super chill and has no problems being picked up.

    Thanks again!

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    As I don't keep tokay's, I'm not sure of their behavior but I've noticed with other "tropical" species that they will not drink readily from standing water. Do you ever mist the enclosure lightly? Sometimes humidity levels can affect climbing - but this is typcally more associated with shedding issues (which yours does not seem to have). You could try lightly misting the enclosure in the evening a few times a week, paying particular attention to foliage and a few areas of the side where water droplets can accumulate. It's strange, but many species of reptile cannot identify standing water as drinkable - sometimes they just need to see if moving or in the form of droplets as they might encounter in the natural habitat. Like I said, I have no idea how tokays react to any form of water, but a light mist wouldn't hurt occasionally = )

    As for shedding, the time frame you mentioned sounds perfectly fine. Shedding rate depends a lot on the species, age, genes, and growth rate. Not to mention many reptiles eat their shed skin as a calcium boost and to dispose of evidence they may leave behind to predators in the wild - so you may find that he might not appear to shed after many months when in fact he could have overnight. As long as their is no stuck shed on him anywhere that you would need to help him remove, all should be well = ) he'll shed at his own rate

    It sounds like you have your care down pretty good! Always refreshing to see a caring gecko owner who is willing to provide an optimal environment for their pet. It's possible that he may just not like to climb on the glass, but that might just be his perogative.

    If you really want to try to encourage him to climb on the sides without actually forcing him, here are my suggestions:

    -A good couple of hanging plants on the side of the enclosure

    -Perhaps take up more of the floorspace and empty area within the volume of the enclosure with climbing branches and perches that are more exposing; you dont want him to feel uncomfortable and exposed in the open at all times, so a little foliage couldn't hurt, but you could opt to remove the ground hide and place an adequate number of more arboreal style hiding places that he would need to access by climbing.

    -There's always the possibility that he lacks the ability to recognize the transparent glass as something he can readily climb on, you could try placing a background around the outside of the enclosure on the back and sides. This would still make it look nice, because its possible to find rainforest type of backgrounds for vivariums, and it would block his view outside of the cage from the 3 walls...maybe convincing him that its a physical barrier he can climb on? I don't know because I'm not a tokay gecko; but thats just a thought! = P

    There's always the chance that he may just not like climbing on the glass and there is nothing you can do but accept his choice to avoid it, but the suggestions I laid out shouldn't stress him out or make him feel uncomfortable in any way. I tried to think of ways that you could encourage him to climb at his own will as passively as possible.
  5. I mist the tank several times a day and i have rigged a dish that drips water onto his heating rock every once in a while. i know he can climb, because i have seen him do it on rare occasion. i think i might just have to come to terms with the fact that he dosnt want to lol. i guess the important thing is he is happy. but i did take the ground hid away and i put up hanging plants. we will see where this gets me.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    = )

    I do want to make a little note, I noticed you said "heating rock". I'd like to urge you to utilize another heating source if you are using the marketed "Hot Rocks" that plugs in and warm up. The problem with these is they can develop hot spots on them that can literally burn your pet, it can be dangerous where I've heard of these small spots reaching in excess of 130 degrees F despite the majority of the rock only feeling only warm to the touch.

    Of course, this may just be a miscommunication where his heating rock may just be a basking rock under a light bulb - which is perfectly fine. Just wanted to give you fair warning in case you are using a Hot Rock that may potentially be dangerous. I'd suggest buying a little dome light fixture and placing a regular household incandescent bulb, Ceramic Heat Emitter (CHE), or a specialty red nocturnal bulb in there to increase temps during the day. If you use a regular incandescent, I'd recommend buying a timer for it so that it can turn on and off automatically to keep consistenty in case you are unable to turn the bulb off at night occasionally ( life happens). The other bulbs I mentioned produce no visible light to the reptile so they can be used without a timer and turned off and on with less need for consistency.
  7. i know it can be dangerous but i only use it during the day. i also have an exo-terra under tank heater. i always unplug the rock at night. would he be smart enough to move away from the rock if it gets too hot? there is plenty of room to get away from it. but if he is not in his house he is usually laying on/next to the rock.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    I'd probably play it on the safe side and remove the rock, it's hard to say if he'll know better - I've seen a couple of pictures of nasty burns which might suggest that at least those reptiles didn't realize they were cooking themselves. A lot of reptiles have a very high capacity for pain so by the time he might actually move if it was too hot it might be too late =/ a UTH should be adequate enough for getting ambient temperatures where they neet to be

    And like I said, if he really enjoys basking and utilizing the warmth of that rock, you could create him a little basking spot with a rock (or unplugged hot rock) or a branch with a low wattage bulb placed above his enclosure = )
  9. ok i will see what i can find this week. thank you for all your help!

    if anyone else has any input it would be appreciated. i want to learn as much as i can :p
  10. tokaygirl55

    tokaygirl55 New Member

    Well when mine stopped climbing on the wall of the tank he literally couldn't attach to the wall. He soon died and I received no help when I posted on this site.(now my female has it too.) That doesn't really seem to be the problem with your gecko, so like you said he might just not really want to.
  11. tokaygirl55

    tokaygirl55 New Member

    Id also reccomended raising the temp. When mine wouldn't stick to the side, I noticed her temp was colder than usual.

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