Saturday, March 15, 2003

[My Setup] What follows is a detailed description of my leopards' cage.

The enclosure is about 3 square feet surface area and was made from a 29 gallon fish tank over on its side with the now topmost side taken out and cut to put where the tank top was. I hope that's clear. The substrate is felt with small pieces of slate, mostly over the area that the under-tank heater is, bought from the local pet store.

Heating is a Cobra 11" x 11" under tank heater (uth) on a 1/2" thick piece of styrofoam for insulation, on a thermostat, set to 78* F, and it starts maintaining that temperature at night after the daytime equipment has gone off. During the day, I have a ceramic heat emitter (che) on a lamp dimmer, then a thermostat set for 90* F., then on a timer set for 13 hours of daylight. A fluorescent fixture is also plugged into the timer.

The tank is sort of cluttered, even though there's so much space, because I have many hiding boxes, made out of frozen macaroni and cheese containers. They work rather well. I use perlite in small aquarium filter bags, moistened and put into some hides to create humid hides. I also have a humid hide made out of a tupperware-type container with the sides taped with duct tape (make sure no tape is loose or can come off - leopards can get stuck on tape), a hole cut in the lid for access, and a mixture of vermiculite and potting soil (not recommended, but I haven't had any problems) inside the container. It also doubles as a laying container.


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