Eco Earth for Crested Gecko – Good or Bad?
Crested geckos require specific environmental conditions to remain healthy over the years. Temperature and humidity play a defining role in this sense, but so does the substrate. Today, we’ll discuss the best substrate for crested geckos, looking into the pros, cons, and how to use it properly.
More specifically, we’re talking about eco earth.
What is Eco Earth?
Eco earth or zoomed eco earth is basically compressed coconut fiber. This is one of the most popular substrate choices for all types of reptiles, especially burrowers. The substrate itself comes in a compressed form, like a brick that you can break and use to cover the terrarium’s bed.
Coconut fiber is an eco-friendly material that’s perfect for moisture retaining and imbuing the terrarium with a more natural vibe. While crested geckos aren’t great substrate diggers, as they prefer to dwell at elevated spots, they will benefit from coconut fiber just as much as other reptiles.
Eco earth is great for humid environments as it retains moisture, keeping the gecko’s ecosystem balanced and healthy.
Is Eco Earth Safe for Crested Geckos?
Yes, it is. Eco earth is the best substrate type for geckos which is why most gecko and reptile keepers have included it in their pets’ ecosystems. Eco earth has a decent lifespan, influences the level of environmental humidity, and is completely eco-friendly, which means you can dispose of it without hurting the environment.
How to Use Eco Earth for Crested Geckos?
Eco earth comes in compressed bricks, which are quite tricky to break down. If you’ve decided to purchase eco earth for your crested gecko, consider the following recommendations:
- Consider the quantity – The typical eco earth brick will expand in approximately 1.8-2 gallons of substrate. This is sufficient for a 10-gallon tank, as the eco earth brick will turn into a one-inch substrate. If the gecko’s enclosure is larger, get 2 or 3 bricks, depending on your need. Most people house their crested geckos in 20-30-gallon setups, so 3 eco earth bricks are sufficient for a one-inch substrate.
- Soak the brick – There’s no other way of breaking the brick evenly without soaking it up first. You may need to soak the eco earth piece for several minutes to ensure the material breaks easily. The final form looks similar to earth mixed with coconut fiber.
- Consider the loose version – If you want loose eco earth instead, you can opt for that too. The loose version is just as popular, so it all comes down to your preferences.
- Freeze it first – Many gecko keepers advise freezing the eco earth before soaking and using it for your gecko’s habitat. The freezing process will kill any mites that may have contaminated the substrate prior to packaging. An extra layer of caution hasn’t hurt anyone.
When it comes to choosing the best eco earth seller, I would say stick with the popular ones. Go for the most reviewed products, read some of the reviews, and assess the product’s characteristics to make sure it meets your expectations.
Pros and Cons of Eco Earth for Crested Geckos
I would say that generally speaking, eco earth is the ideal substrate for reptiles. But we wouldn’t have a comprehensive review without a pro and con section. So, here we go:
– Eco Earth Pros
- Moisture retaining – Coconut fiber is exceptional at retaining humidity and releasing it gradually into the environment. This provides geckos with stable humidity values in conjunction with regular spraying, live plants, and other humidity-promoting elements.
- Easy to clean – The soil and coconut fiber mix contains excess humidity in the spillage area. In layman’s terms, if your gecko takes a dump, the feces and additional urine remain in one area instead of soaking into the substrate completely. So, you only need to scoop the fouled section, and the cleaning process is complete.
- Hypoallergenic and mold-resistant properties – This is one of eco earth’s core and most welcomed characteristics. Eco earth has no allergenic properties and is resistant to mold, preserving the reptile’s ecosystem in a healthy and clean state. This is invaluable in a warm and humid environment that’s naturally exposed to bacterial, fungal, and mold growth.
- Easy on the digestive system – Crested geckos often ingest substrate particles when hunting their favorite insects and worms. The particles can be hard on the gecko’s digestive system, often leading to constipation and compaction. This is not the case with eco earth given that it has no large particles and it will go straight through the gecko’s digestive system. Not to mention, coconut fiber can actually aid in digestion due to the high amounts of fiber.
- Easy to use and replace – Soak it, break it down, place it in your gecko’s enclosure. We’ve already discussed the cleaning process, and there is none when it comes to general maintenance. This mold-resistant substrate doesn’t require any special care moving forward. When the substrate is no longer viable, you replace it completely. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
– Eco Earth Cons
- Difficulty of use – The eco earth material can be difficult to break down, even after soaking it in advance. Be ready to get your hands dirty during the process.
- Prevent it from drying out – You should always keep the substrate slightly humid. Otherwise, the eco earth substrate can become dusty and actually become detrimental for your geckos. The reptiles will ingest the dry substrate, potentially experiencing respiratory problems because of it.
- The soaking odor – This isn’t the case with all products, but some types of eco earth products deliver an unpleasant odor when soaked. You should always experience with several products until you find the one you’re most comfortable with. You and your gecko, of course.
It’s clear that eco earth is a perfect pick for your crested gecko, despite the minuses.
How Often to Change Eco Earth Substrate?
Most gecko keepers change their eco earth substrate once every month of every 2 months, depending on their reptile’s activity. If you only have one adult gecko-only, I would say that the 2-month lifespan is probably the most accurate. One gecko won’t cause too much mess, as these reptiles only poop when they eat, which is 3-4 times per week.
You can go for several substrate options, but I would recommend eco earth as the ideal one. It’s easy to use and replace, and it has virtually no downsides aside from the mild ones I’ve just mentioned.
Also, eco earth mimics the reptile’s natural habitat, so your gecko will most definitely love it.