African Fat Tail Geckos are from West Africa. They live in the rocky outcrop in the scrub land. The African Fat Tail Gecko is named such after its chunky tail, which is one of their most distinctive traits. These geckos come in a variety of different colors and patterning, ranging from oranges and yellows, all the way to whites and blacks. These geckos are related to Leopard Geckos and share the ability to have movable eyelids. AFT Geckos are more docile and tolerate handling a lot better than the more commonly known Leopard Gecko.
SIZE & LIFESPAN:
African Fat Tail Geckos are a medium sized gecko. When they hatch out, they are no bigger than 2 inches in total length and weigh only a few grams. By the time they are full grown, they are 8-9 inches in total length and weigh between 45-70 grams. These geckos are very hardy and can live between 15 and 20 years with the proper care and set up.
African Fat Tails are great eaters! They will eat a variety of bugs including: crickets, dubia roaches, phoenix worms, meal worms, and super worms. We dust all prey items in Calcium D3 supplement every other feeding. We recommend Minerall because it is a human grade calcium based supplement with over 50 trace minerals that help with growth and bone density. We also recommend placing all food in bowl to reduce the geckos likelihood of ingesting bedding. Give the gecko as many insects as it can eat in 15 minutes. We usually give the geckos about 8-10 insects each feeding. Be sure to feed the right sized insects. Baby geckos should be fed small mealworms and ¼” crickets, whereas, adults can eat larger mealworms and ½” crickets. AFT Geckos are notorious for being picky eaters. Most prefer to eat crickets above all else and refuse other prey items. It' okay to feed them just crickets if they refuse all other prey items.
African Fat Tail Geckos need average humidity. You want to keep the tank humidity between 40 and 60%. Lightly mist your geckos cage once a day to help maintain humidity. African Fat Tails are temperate geckos, so the cage should not be overly moist, but should also not be bone dry. Be sure that the cage foliage is dry in a few hours to insure that the cage isn't overly moist.
All geckos should be provided with a small, shallow water dish. Although these geckos do not usually drink from bowls it is always good to offer water in case the gecko gets thirsty. Be sure the water dish is shallow enough so that the gecko can stand in it. If the water is too deep, there is a potential of the gecko drowning. When using water, be sure to either use spring water or tap water with dechlorinator added to it.
African Fat Tail Geckos are a medium sized gecko and require 10 gallon tanks for their entire life. We prefer to keep them in 20 gallon tanks or equivalent sized tubs to give them the added space. All geckos should be kept separately. Even females can stress each other out and become aggressive towards one another if kept together long term. It's best to keep all AFT Geckos separate to avoid any unneeded stress. Tubs will make the gecko feel more secure, but you can also cover three sides of a tank to achieve the exact same effect.
We recommend using tile or carpet for baby fat tail geckos because it lessens the chance of impaction. Once the gecko gets to 15 grams, we use an eco earth/bark mixture throughout the cage. African Fat tails will burrow down into the substrate, so do not be alarmed if your gecko is half buried under the substrate. We always provide geckos at all ages a moist hide. The moist hide should have a handful of golden sphagnum moss to help aid in shedding.
AFT Geckos should be provided with three hides, one moist, one on the cold side, and one on the warm side. We recommend putting sphagnum moss inside the moist hide to aid in shedding. We also use fabric leaves from craft stores for cover as well. Place them between hides to provide the gecko with cover so that it feels safe and secure in its habitat. Be sure to rinse off any new decor in case it has any chemical residue on it. Alongside those items, you can also provide these geckos with rocky outcrops. Be sure the rocks do not have any jagged edges. You don't want your gecko getting injured on sharp rocks.
HEAT & LIGHTING:
AFT Geckos need a warm and cold side in their tank. This is easily achieved by placing a heat mat on one side of the enclosure. The hot spot should be around 90 degrees. A warm spot is essential for digestion. If the warm spot gets too cold, a ceramic heat emitter may be required to raise the warm side along with the ambient temperature in the tank. The cool side of the tank should be between 78-82 degrees. These geckos will self regulate their body temperature by moving between the cool and warm zones of the tank, so making sure the tank has a nice heat gradient is essential to a healthy, happy gecko.
African Fat Tail Geckos are very docile even from a young age. They are far more docile and easier to handle than their cousin, the Leopard Gecko. After your gecko has settled in, you can star handling them 2 times a week for 15 minute intervals. They geckos will get used to you very quickly and do not have a strong urge to run away from you. We also recommend tong feeding worms and other insects so that the gecko can associate you with feeding time.
We recommend spot cleaning the cage at least once a week and doing a full bedding change and tank cleaning once a month. Every week look for poo, dead insects, shed, and food smears on the ground or glass and remove it from the enclosure. When cleaning the entire cage out, first remove all bedding and wipe down all surfaces with hot soapy water. Put the decor into a bucket with warm water & a capful of bleach. Let it soak for 15 minutes & then rinse off the items & place them in bucket of hot water. Once the decor have soaked for 15 minutes, rinse them off again & then they are ready to go back into the tank once cleaning is complete. Then you want to be sure to disinfect the tank with either bleach, vinegar or a commercial reptile cleaning product. Once you have disinfected the tank, thoroughly rinse your tank out with hot water until it is free of any cleaning products.
☐ 15 gallon long tank
☐ Crickets, Mealworms or Dubia Roaches
☐ Calcium D3 Powder
☐ Ceramic Bowl for bugs
☐ Mister Bottle or Spray Bottle
☐ Fake silk or plastic plants
☐ Moist Hide
☐ Dry Hide
☐ Eco Earth Bedding
☐ Sphagnum moss
☐ Digital Thermometer & Hygrometer
☐ Heat mat or Ceramic Heat Emitter