How to Create a Good Environment for Your Leopard Gecko

Leopard gecko coming out from under rocks.

Both children and adults like keeping leopard geckos as pets. They are little, silent, colorful, and simple to handle, but they need the right surroundings to survive, just like other reptiles do. You can provide your leopard gecko both what it needs and what it desires by giving it an enclosure that is the right size, the right substrate, lighting, and accessories.

Leopard Geckos in the Wild

Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, and Nepal are all natural habitats for leopard geckos. They inhabit arid deserts and grasslands with rocky topography and sand-filled soil in this region. If it becomes too cold, they can be found underground in a burrow where they can go into semi-hibernation. They can also be found in rock crevices. Contrary to common opinion, leopard geckos prefer to spend the day in the shade rather than in scorching conditions and sand. Additionally, they are more frequently discovered in arid regions where the soil is a mixture of clay and gravel as opposed to pure sand. You should make an effort to closely resemble these characteristics in order to provide the optimum home for a leopard gecko.

Leopard Gecko Enclosures

While some leopard gecko owners have lovely, custom-made, open-top cages, it is safer to have a terrarium with a screen lid if you have kids or other pets in your home. Leopard geckos cannot scale walls, but a lid will protect them from curious pets like dogs, cats, and birds as well as kids who may inadvertently harm them.

Leopard geckos should be housed in an aquarium made of plastic or glass, which is a standard method for keeping reptiles. When a leopard gecko is young, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons generally suffices, but a 20 gallons-long tank is preferable. Choose the long 20-gallon tank rather of the high or tall types if you prefer it over the 10-gallon tank. Leopard geckos require cages with more ground space than height, which the long version provides. The top will have a fitted screened lid that will still protect your pet while allowing for optimum airflow. You'll need a bigger tank if you desire to keep more geckos.

Large rocks, gravel, and bioactive soil made for reptiles should be utilized as the substrate in your leopard gecko habitat to make it look as natural as possible. Use paper sheets, recycled paper bedding made for hamsters, or reptile carpet if you desire a less natural but simpler to clean substrate. Sand is not advised because to the ease with which it can be ingested and cause an impaction, particularly in young and tiny leopard geckos.

Leopard Gecko Habitat Lighting

Leopard geckos aren't like many other pet reptiles, which often demand high air temperatures and high quantities of UVB radiation. Leopard geckos spend the most of the day sleeping because they are nocturnal animals. This indicates that they are not exposed to UVB rays as frequently as reptiles who bask in the sun. According to certain studies, some leopard geckos may benefit from UVB illumination, although the majority do not need it. Because of this, leopard geckos are thought to be able to live without UVB lamps. If you decide to offer UVB lighting, make sure it is of a modest power.

Leopard geckos require warm air temperatures in their environments even though they don't require much, if any, UVB. The easiest approach to prevent your gecko's cage from being too chilly is to have a heat lamp, but you should also use a thermometer to prevent it from getting too warm. Without the light, you may let the temperature in the cage drop to around 70 degrees at night, but during the day, watch that it doesn't get beyond 90 degrees where your leopard gecko would sit.

Leopard Gecko Habitat Accessories

The most essential and often used component in your leopard gecko's habitat is a hide of some kind. Using big rocks, an upside-down plastic food container with a door cut out, or one you can buy from the pet shop, you may make a hide (or tunnel) for your gecko. It is preferable to provide your leopard gecko with a variety of hides, at least one of which should be on the side of the tank with the heat light and the other on the other end. If there are any shedding problems, placing damp paper towels or moss in one of these hides will assist. The only additional components required for your leopard gecko's home are a bowl for water, a little plate or dish for calcium powder, and a log or pebbles for climbing.