Converting 20 Gallon Hex

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BlazeitChris

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Aug 19, 2015
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Alright so long story short, I now know why people don't like hex tanks when compared to normal rectangular tanks. After I re-homed my angels I considered trying a crayfish or maybe a couple of African Clawed frogs but I think I want to give reptiles a shot. My tank dimensions are: 21" height, 20" depth, 16" wide.

I did some research and it seems like the best beginner reptiles are either leopard geckos or crested geckos. Both have pros and cons so I don't know which one to choose for my first lizard.

My questions:
1) Can I use slate/ceramic tile as a substrate? I've seen it done with beardies and leopards but can't find anything on crested geckos. I want the tank to be easy to clean while looking nice so I don't want to use soil, repticarpet, or paper towels.

2) Do they need a special kind of light a heat lamp or UV, or will a normal desk lamp make due?

3) What kind of live plants can I put in the tank? I'd like some kind of vine for the sides and something to make the tank look more attractive.

Thanks.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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I don't see why you couldn't use tile for the bottom, but I'd think moisture and various other nastiness could get under it and just kind of sit there, so you'd want to make it so you can easily remove it for cleaning. I prefer a soft bed of something (sand, fine gravel, etc) on glass bottoms to absorb any shock, then place what you want on top of that.

I'm assuming any live plant you put in there would have to be grown in soil. I know pothos is a easy fast growing vine type plant, where the roots can adapt for soil or water, but I'm not sure it's compatible with what you want to stock.

I have a large amount of pothos growing out of one of my fish tanks.
 

BlazeitChris

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Original poster
Aug 19, 2015
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I don't see why you couldn't use tile for the bottom, but I'd think moisture and various other nastiness could get under it and just kind of sit there, so you'd want to make it so you can easily remove it for cleaning. I prefer a soft bed of something (sand, fine gravel, etc) on glass bottoms to absorb any shock, then place what you want on top of that.

I'm assuming any live plant you put in there would have to be grown in soil. I know pothos is a easy fast growing vine type plant, where the roots can adapt for soil or water, but I'm not sure it's compatible with what you want to stock.

I have a large amount of pothos growing out of one of my fish tanks.
I was planning on putting a layer of pool filter sand under the tile to act as a "cushion" and to fill in spaces between tiles. I have pothos growing out of my tanks as well; what about air plants and/or succulents?
 

Smaug149

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Aug 17, 2018
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I know this is a little old but I wouldn't recommend cresties with tile. They have to be sprayed down a lot and I even had trouble with mold in my beardie's cage. I had tile for him and it was the biggest pain. Crickets got stuck under it.
Crested gecko's love live plants. Any kind of relatively sturdy vine should work. I would plant it in a mix plain potting soil and eco earth. Cresties prefer colder temp like 75 ish. So you only need led for the plants. If you want easier cleanup, crested gecko bio-active tanks are supposed to be easy but I don't have personal experience with that.
 
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