I need to tell you about my gecko and her home. Buckle up, because this is going to be a thread.
Okay, if you watched the video in the previous tweet, you saw an orange leopard gecko in a vivarium, with beetle larvae and other creepy-crawlies moving in the ground beneath her feet.

Yes, beetle larvae. Keep reading.
Squishy is my leopard gecko.

Most leopard geckos live in a vivarium without substrate (dirt and stuff) so that they don’t accidentally eat the stuff.

So to keep them safe, you line it with newspaper for them to poop on.

This means you have to clean lots of poops.
Squishy and I were like ‘hell naw’, pooping on newspaper is a crappy way to live.

So I made her something called a bioactive vivarium. This is where it gets really exciting!

Squishy says “Keep reading, you fools!”
A bioactive vivarium is essentially a whole self-sustaining ecosystem.

It has a gecko (obviously), plants, fake sunlight for the plants, soil, leaf litter, warmth, and a hard surface of clay and fake rocks for burrowing.

Best of all, it has bugs. Lots of them.
Who puts bugs in a lizard cage, you might ask. WHO DOES THAT?

Well as it turns out, creatures like springtails, isopods and darkling beetles are really good at one very important job.

They aren’t scared of lizard poops because they eat lizard poops FOR BREAKFAST.
So here’s what happens in a bioactive vivarium.

- The lizard poops.
- The darkling beetles EAT THE POOPS.
- The beetles poop in tunnels.
- Dwarf isopods and springtails eat the beetle poops.
- All this pooping makes SOIL.

Plants grow in the soil!
So we’ve established that bugs eat the poops.

Like, they eat all of the poops and I never have to clean the cage. Ever.

“Well what about food?” You ask! “How does the gecko get food?”

I’m getting there!
All those darkling beetles and morio beetles are busy eating poop and making babies! Well, mealworms and superworms, to be precise.

And guess what leopard geckos love to eat?

So every night, Squishy hunts for prey like a leopard gecko would in her natural habitat.

She waits for the beetle larvae to emerge from their holes and CHOMP.
The only upkeep: Add some superworms every few months, keep water in her dish, water the plants and give Squishy her vitamins. The bioactive vivarium provides everything else.

Squishy says “thanks for learning about how bugs eat my poops, y’all!”

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